Audio latency issues

For a few months now, my PC has been experiencing latency spikes. Audio dropouts are exceedingly common, and I can't seem to properly diagnose what is causing this problem.
This all started when I installed a new HDD, a WD Blue. Of note is that it spun at 5400rpm, which I initially deduced to be the source of my problem. I have since replaced the WD Blue with a WD Black that spins at 7200rpm, yet the problem persists.
This problem is very inconsistent. Normally, my computer's latency is fine when I boot it up in the morning. The longer it stays on, the worse the spikes get. Sometimes, restarting the system provides a temporary fix.

Here are things that I've already tried:
  • Defragmenting my HDD with Defraggler.
  • Installing and routinely using CCleaner.
  • Lowering the number of startup programs.
  • Updating all my drivers.
  • Updating my BIOS (currently American Megatrends Inc. R01-A4, 5/19/2016).
  • Installing exhaust fans in my tower. These definitely do their job when it comes to cooling the system.
  • Disabling CPU throttling for all programs.
  • Moving the system pagefile to my SSD boot drive, as opposed to my HDD data drive. I also tried disabling it entirely.
  • Replacing my Realtek HD Audio driver with Microsoft's generic HD Audio driver. When this didn't work, I disabled the motherboard's onboard audio entirely, via the BIOS menu. To be thorough, I even uninstalled the Realtek HD Audio driver with Display Driver Uninstaller.
  • Disabling ALL audio drivers. I technically have three: a speaker system connected to my motherboard's onboard audio (as mentioned above), my monitor's internal speaker, with a driver handled by my GPU (since it has an HDMI connection), and my wireless headphones that connect via a USB adapter.
  • Disabling my network drivers (both my WiFi card and my Ethernet port).
  • Resetting my PC via wiping my boot drive and reinstalling Windows.
Here is a LatencyMon report:

Attached are a text version of this summary, and a summary of my desktop via Speccy.

I posted a thread like this a few weeks ago, but as I couldn't get any help I resorted to resetting my PC. That fixed the problem for a while, but it's back now. Hopefully I can get it fixed for good this time.
Let me know if you need any more information from me.


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  • #2
Final update:
I solved the issue in a rather frustratingly simple way. Turns out it was nothing more than one of my background programs. I never suspected it was a problem because nothing suspicious was showing up in Task Manager. But when I shut the program down, the problem seems to go away.