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S20 Audio Stutter / DPC Latency

by on ‎06-04-2010 01:12 PM - edited on ‎07-14-2011 07:20 AM by SuperMod (1,090 Views)



Lenovo S20 (Xeon W3520 with memory upgrade to 6GB). I mainly use this workstation as a DAW for audio recording / editing. Instead of the preinstalled Windows XP (32bit)

and the Vista Business that comes with the DAW, I installed Windows 7. Everything went fine,

system is stable, ThinkVantage drivers are up to date. A NVIDIA GeForce 260 is used as graphic card.


I get audio drop outs/stutter even with the on board sound, if I play back a mp3 or wav file. I deactived unnessary devices / background programs, tested it with HT on/off, tested it without Speedstepping and without Turbo Mode. No difference. I get a regular DPC spike every 15 seconds. And the spikes are really high (16ms). No difference if I plug in an EMU 1820 PCI card instead of the on board sound. Disabling the on board LAN didn't make a difference either.


Take a look: DPC Latency Screenshot

The DPC Latency Tool can be found here:



This audio stutter / latency problem can be resolved by updating the BIOS to the following:


For S20, make sure you're at BIOS 32A or later. Link to version 38A

For D20, make sure you're at BIOS 38A or later. Link to version 38A for D20


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I have a related issue on X200 with Win 7. Audio sometimes pops, particularly after sleep. Now the audio playback sounds flawless, but DPC Latency screenshot is similar to the post (with read spikes)! Any suggestion? Thanks!