I'm using a Lenovo Legion Y530 with Windows 10 1809 (Intel i5-8300H) and I have noticed for a long time that my sound has a lot of crackling/popping. After weeks investigating it (I'll provide more details at the end of the post for those interested) I found out that one setting in power plan configurations is responsible for this. If i set "Processor performance boost policy" on power plan options to 0%, there is no crackling. If I set it to 100%, there is a popping on average every 3 seconds, which makes it unbearable to work while listening to music. This is not a hardware problem, it is exclusively linked to this setting. I have tried to update/downgrade every driver possible, but the problem persists.

I really would like to be able to use my computer at full speed while listen to music, but this is making it impossible to do so, specially with headphones.

Does anyone have any idea on how to solve it?

For those who might be interested, this is the debug i did to get to the root of this problem:

First I tried using a headphone to check if the problem was with the speakers. The crackling also happened while using phones.

Then I booted on ubuntu using a flash drive and noticed that there were no problems there, so it probably was something related to software.

Then I realized that when switching between power plans (Energy saving - Maximum Performance) the problem could be solved (on energy saving). I also noted that it didn't matter if it was connected to the battery or the AC, so it was not a problem with the charger.

I exported all hidden configurations from both plans using the method described here. Then I imported it into an excel to check what were the different configurations between both plans. I unhid the hidden settings using the method described here. I changed one by one and played a 100hz video to easily spot the crackles. Nothing changed until i modified the "Processor performance boost policy". I also noticed that by changing the "Processor energy performance preference policy" also caused the audio to crackle, but in a much smaller scale (around an average of a crackle every 15 seconds, compare to the 3 seconds average of the performance boost policy).

Being so, it seems undeniable that the processor energy configuration is the one responsible for the crackling.

  • What about using the Balanced Power Plan (built into Lenovo machines) so that the machine may adapt to the power requirements in use at a given time. I do this on my Lenovo machines and no issues with sound. – John Feb 13 at 14:21
  • It still has the same problem because "Processor performance boost policy" on balanced is set to 60% when connected to AC. Any value above "0%" causes the audio to crackle – Jn Coe Feb 13 at 15:25
  • Did you try a new Audio Driver? Also try BIOS and Chipset Updates – John Feb 13 at 16:18

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