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I have Windows 8 and a Realtek high definition audio integrated in the motherboard. For some reason I always get crackling sound when I listen to anything.

It doesn't always happen and it last a split second. It's more like an abrupt burst. And I can't do anything about it. I tried reinstalling the drivers or changing the sound quality from the control panel. This is pretty irregular as it can happen when I move the mouse on a button. Sometimes it gets worse and I usually don't see this effect when I first start the PC but it gets worse as I use it more and more.

Also, the computer sometimes hangs for a split second too when I hear the crackling sound.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Are you dual-booting the machine? If you are can you test the sound in another operating system? with crackling 9 times out of 10 it's either the output cable/connector or the source of audio (spotify, iTunes etc.).

If the crackling persists in Windows 8 and not in another OS then it may be a driver issue and you should email Realtek to see if they will be providing a windows 8 based update driver.

If you do not have a dual boot, try booting into a liveUSB or liveCD such as Ubuntu and see if the problem persists.

These steps will help you find whether it is faulty software or hardware.

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Turns out it was a driver problem. I installed windows 7 and it worked just fine. And the System process stopped using the cpu so much, around 30% constantly. – Alecu Nov 15 '12 at 16:52

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