Recently I have been experiencing small dropouts in audio playback, roughly every 15 to 20 seconds. Sometimes its a tiny silence, or maybe a pause, or sometimes a small stuttering glitch. Only a fraction of a second but noticeable.
I have tried my best to troubleshoot, below is what I have tried and the result, so now I am stuck.
I first noticed it whilst playing music in itunes. But after testing I have found it also happens when playing the MP3 directly in Windows Media Player, plus also Youtube videos suffer from the same issue, so I assume its affecting any kind of audio playback.
I updated the drivers on my soundcard. Same issue.
I installed an external hardware USB soundcard and routed all audio through that. Same issue.
I have tried restoring the PC back a few days to before this issue started, but the issue is still there.
I have tried general spyware checks, scans, virus scans, disk cleanup programs but it hasn't helped
I don't really know what to try next. My hunch is that there may be a short burst of CPU usage coming from somewhere that is just tripping up the audio. I don't know for sure but I don't know where to look or how to monitor what may be doing this.
Any ideas for troubleshooting this are welcome