Driver version 516.94 introduces high DPC latency and serious audio problems

Issue can be resolved by:

Extracting the driver and installing it via Windows Device Manager. As bare driver there is no more Latency Issues.

To disable the Nvidia Control Panel notification you need to disable the LS Container Service.
To get rid of the notification / Controlpanel TRAYICON you have to add this registry key:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\NVIDIA Corporation\NvTray]

Most Settings can still be done using the Nivdia Profile Inspector.

So my suspicion is that the Control Panel is causing the Latency spikes. Hope this helps fixing the problem.

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Hello @lastghoulbiting, thank you for adding another possible workaround and welcome to the forums!

I’ll make sure to update our issue tracker with your findings.

A general note of caution, please only follow this if you know what you are doing. The Control Panel might not be essential, but the driver installation process does other things under the hood, which might not always happen if you go the Device Manager route.


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@lastghoulbiting Thank you very much for sharing your workaround!
Comes in extremely handy, since my favorite game started crashing after the last update, while running 5.12.95!
So i had to start switching drivers whenever i wanted to either use my sound apps or my game.
Also, thanks for the hint about the tool “Profile Inspector”…

BTW: the NVIDIA control panel has been a bit suspicious to me because it still uses an old-fashioned GUI, so i thought it had never been updated and it was just a left-over from older driver generations.
I haven’t used it for more than 10 years. I never found an option to remove it but also had no idea that it might cause problems.

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Hi @MarkusHoHo Do you think that customizing a setup file of the driver distribution, in order to exclude the control panel from installation, could be a legit way to do this?

Another question that comes to my mind: if such audio issues happen on other (non NVIDIA) systems, might they also be caused by similar tools (whatever these tools are doing in the background)?

Well, hold your horses. I got DPC latencies as shown in the image after a while, and also serious audio dropouts again.
That said, the workaround seems to only apply temporarly and i am totally confused now 😩

@NetAndifNG I cannot verify if removing the control panel really is a fix or the fix just comes as a side-effect. So I am reluctant to call it “legit”.

One thing I saw recently was that these kind of latency issues can also come from mismatched IRQ assignments. There is an article from IgorsLab about it explaining how to check and possibly fix it.

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Thanks. Although, i suspect that many guys already ruled out the interrupt topic.
That’s why we are here finally.

BTW: i switched to the Mac for audio production. But i keep my Windows hardware setup and will continue checking it out. I had to do that for my well-being.

Your are not the only user who has literally been forced to awkward actions. It’s a shame for NVIDIA to be honest.

I have talked to ChatGPT and it gave me that sum-up

NVIDIA graphics drivers have been known to cause issues with real-time audio applications, resulting in audio latency and dropouts. However, NVIDIA provides a feature called “Audio Prioritization” in their graphics drivers that can help reduce audio latency by prioritizing audio processing over other tasks that the GPU may be performing. This can be particularly useful for real-time audio applications that require low-latency processing.

Enabling “Audio Prioritization” can be done in combination with the “Low Latency Mode” option in the NVIDIA Control Panel. This option can be found under “Manage 3D Settings” > “Global Settings” > “Low Latency Mode”. Selecting “Ultra” from the drop-down menu will enable both “Audio Prioritization” and “GPU Scheduling”, which can help further reduce audio latency.

It’s important to note that enabling “Audio Prioritization” may impact gaming performance, as the graphics card will allocate a portion of its resources to prioritize audio processing. However, for users who prioritize low-latency audio processing over gaming performance, enabling this feature can provide significant benefits.

I suggest that the moderators of the NVIDIA developer forums consider providing more information on “Audio Prioritization” and its benefits for real-time audio applications, as well as instructions on how to enable this feature in the NVIDIA Control Panel. This can help users who experience audio latency and dropouts in real-time audio applications, and provide a more positive experience for NVIDIA graphics card users.

This is one of those situations where I am missing emojis in this forum. (laughing with tears in my eyes)

You are aware that ChatGPT does not have access to confidential, proprietary information of any GPU or OS company unless it was leaked in the past. Also that information in ChatGPT is from before 2022?

So please take it with a very big grain of salt. If the issue here were as simple as “Audio Prioritization” I am sure someone would have mentioned it as a viable solution.

Still, that comment is a good suggestion and I will try to write up a Knowledge Base article on the topic.

So thank you for the suggestion! Or should I say, thank you for the well engineered ChatGPT prompt?


Dear followers. What i have for you right now, is simply mindblowing.

You need to install the full driver, in case you didn’t.
Then, start NVIDIA control panel from the Start Menu.

Here are my findings (please verify and judge for yourself):

In the global settings, change the option as shown here (i don’t know what it is called in English) to max performance mode.


Here is my LatencyMon with that setting, while using my audio interface and my sequencer with decent ASIO load.
This is the same project file i always used for my tests.

And here is the other magic option in the NVIDIA control panel. It is set to off by default.


Next, i have set the performance mode to normal again, and enabled this instead:


And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, i present to you the best result i ever had:

Is this just some random, lucky coincidence because i had reinstalled the 531.68 driver, and soon the problems will come back again?

No. I can do whatever i want. The LatencyMon result only changes slightly. And i don’t have any dropouts, crackles whatsoever. A dream.

EDIT: meanwhile i had another single occurrence of high DPC latencies. I set the energy mode to max power then, and it disappeared.

Here is my conclusion for now, and why i accept ChatGPT’s solution.

Changing these two options in NVIDIA control panel, namely: “power management mode” to “prefer max performance”, “Low Latency Mode” to “Ultra”, did solve basically all of the audio issues i had.

I repeat: all the issues are gone for me. Working with my audio apps is fun again.

However, for some reason my post was not taken serious, and i feel that no one believes me.
Sure, my generated ChatGPT reply was funny, but i thought that everyone recognises the irony in this.
Sometimes i can only take things with humor.

Final thoughts: I don’t think this is a fix for each and every system that has latency problems, but i suppose it is a solution for some users with specific hardware and software constellations.

Thank you @NetAndifNG for the write-up and marking it as a solution!

As an additional note: This might not work for everyone. Internal QA was able with certain driver & Hardware constellations and stressing the setup to still replicate the original issue even with setting “Low Latency Mode” to any of the available modes.

@MarkusHoHo Yes, even with “Low Latency Mode” set to “Ultra”, i experienced a sudden DPC latency spike again.
It happened shortly after booting the system.

From my findings, the reason might be the power management behavior of the NVIDIA driver, when the “Power Management Mode” is set to “Auto” or “Adaptive”. So i changed that setting to “prefer maximum performance” and since then, i didn’t get any DPC latency spikes anymore.
I found a knowledge base entry that describes that option:

And here is another article by NVIDIA, that not only mentions the “Low Latency Mode” of the control panel, but also a feature called “NVIDIA Reflex”. Which i hadn’t even heard of before.

Update: “NVIDIA Reflex” is focused on games. According to ChatGPT, it might not give the same improvements for audio apps as it does for specific games that support the “NVIDIA Reflex” technology. Another thing learned ;)

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I’ve did try the fix you’ve put forward, @NetAndifNG, and it seemed to have done the trick for quite a time, until I’ve launched GeForce Experience.

I don’t know if it’s related in any kind of shape or form, but right after configuring the GeForce Experience Overlay (for capturing highlights), I started to hear the crackle and pops again, and as I checked with LatencyMon, the latency went haywire again.

I did find myself a safehaven on 527.56.

Interesting. I did install GeForce Experience, but deactivated it and haven’t used it since I made the two settings through the control panel. I will test it sometime, but not without making a backup first.

Thanks, your settings solved the issue at the moment with my focusrite usb-soundcard on windows 11, which I have since many weeks. I’m on the latest nvidia driver version with an RTX 2080 Super from Gigabyte with an Z390 AORUS Elite board with the latest BIOS-version and an intel i9-9900K. I had to reboot my box each eavening only while watching videos on YT and other streaming services in different browsers (latest chrome, fox) because only caused by switching the browser-tabs while playing a video and my focusrite soundcard got crackles, heavy noises until the playback has stopped completely or the sound gots a heavy delay.

Edit: It is fixed not at all. After I paused a youtube-video, switched between the browser-tabs and tried to start the video-playback again, the sound-delay was coming up again and I have to reboot the my windows-box again…

@neralex I’m sorry that the fix did now work for you finally. This is something i am very familiar with. At first you think like: wow, that did the trick! But then it appears to have only changed things temporarily.

I see two different possibilities. Either something has “overwritten” your control panel settings (which i don’t believe tbh), or you have another power management related issue.

One day i had exactly the same problems that you describe with one of my systems.
What finally solved it was to disable “Intel Speed Step” in BIOS setup.

Meanwhile I also disabled any other CPU power management functions in BIOS and also the OS itself, although it is uncertain if this would be really necessary.
My conclusion was that “Intel Speed Step” continuously attempts to clock the CPU up and down, in order to save energy. As a side-effect, it causes these kind of “interrupts” in the system, which lead to audio and video dropouts.

Remark: also disable “CPU C-States”, if you have that option in your BIOS.

PS: read this: Setting Max C-State in Windows 10 - Super User

@NetAndifNG I disabled the CPU C-States in my BIOS. After that all is running smooth without any interrupts for the moment - together with you settings in the NVIDIA control panel. I will see how long it works. Thanks.

Edit: The issue came back after the latest driver 532.03. All the issues coming only from this driver/device on windows 11. After disabling my 2080 GPU in the device-manager the issue is gone. So at the end the Nvidia driver software is causing this anoying issue.

@neralex Well, what should I say. “Don’t touch a running system” may sound naive, but I am very reserved at the topic of always keeping drivers up-to-date. There have been cases where some app or game forced me to do so however.
That said, if you downgrade to the previous driver, does it help in your case? That would certainly be interesting.