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Noise and Sound Distortion with Wifi Traffic


Hello everyone,

I noticed that there are scratchy noises and very noticeable sound distortion with Wifi traffic on my laptop (Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon 3rd Gen, Intel AC 7265) starting about 3 weeks ago. With the noises, the system becomes very slow intermittently with the mouse becoming sluggish and video playback experiencing pauses, too. I have never had this problem before.


The only thing I remember I changed recently is to hit the "Update Driver" button on the Wifi device in "Device Manager". I have already uninstalled the that device driver and downloaded the 18.40 (most recent) one from Lenovo. It was good for about a day after installing the version 18.40 wifi driver, but the noises came back. I've tried uninstalling the driver a few times. What is interesting is that the driver version never showed up right... it's always either 18.32 or 18.33...


I also noticed that any wifi traffic seems to trigger high CPU usage. I suspect this is the culprit, but couldn't find anything online. I suspect it has something to do with Windows 10 regular updates or the 18.40 wifi driver. I've also tried the driver version before the issue occurred, 18.33. The issue remains. When the system becomes very slow, the process System Interrupts jumps from about 2% CPU use to 11 - 12% (overall CPU use would be ~ 74% with just about 1.5 MB/s downloading). There is also increased CPU use in System and compressed memory.

What I also noticed is that the problem seems to only happen after the system has been up and running for a while.


I found this page talking about a Dell model that had a similar issue, and they attributed to Wifi driver and Windows DPC mechanism. (http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3517/t/19434026 XPS 15z Audio Crackling/Stuttering with network traffic over wireless (Latency Issue) - Audio - Laptop - Dell Community)


Does anyone have any suggestions about how to fix this problem?

Thank you very much for your help!


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3 Replies
Honored Contributor II


Are you using this computer for gaming?

What exactly do you mean by noise and sound distortion regarding your WiFi traffic?


Hello Aleki,

Nope, I am not. This laptop is not a gaming laptop. It's a business model from Lenovo.

The noise is a popping noise. And as for sound distortion, it sounds like the distortion you would get when you listen to music while using a CPU test software to exhaust your CPU cycles. And they only happen when there is something going on through wifi, e.g., loading a webpage, downloading a file, watching Netflix, etc.