Help with computer lag, sound crackle/popping ?


Apr 17, 2013
For past 6months to a year now the computer is slowing down from time to time and the sound becomes all crackle-y and popping sounds, the computer lags at the same time during these moments, and at other times it's completely fine. All drives are up to date, still plenty of free space on the harddrive, and there are no viruses.

I'm thinking it could be either the graphics or sound card? Possibly? it's a 2008 Alienware M17 R1 (right before Dell bought out Alienware), Intel Core2 Duo Q9300 Extreme Quad Core Processor @ 2.53GHz, 8GB of ram (2x 4GB), 320GB harddrive (raid I believe with 2x 160GB @ 7200rpm), ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3870 X2 crossfire enabled (most of the time).

I have it hooked up to a 42" plasma tv just... cuz you know it's better than 17" :p and cheaper than monitors these days geesh. I have tried running cleaning programs (In fact my computer these days REQUIRES TuneUp Utilities (or if I manually do all this stuff myself... but I'm lazy) to negate all useless processes that the computer doesn't require, and free up as much processing speed as possible. I do a clean up on TuneUp, as well as CCleaner, including registry cleanups, every week, and a Disk Frag at least once a month. I've noticed sometimes the laptop runs better without crackling if it's freezing cold in the apartment (even with the cooling pad under it already), but it's hit and miss really. It'll sometimes work perfectly even when it's hot.

Okay sorry for ramble, if any further info required I'll post what I can, but would like to narrow this problem down to what it might be... I would love to get a new computer and not worry about it, but I got so much going on right now can't afford a new computer :\
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