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Question: Audio stuttering and randomly disconnecting USB devices when running Windows

I recently purchased a refurbished 2017 Macbook Air with the I7 processor and 256 GB storage, to replace my older model and its no longer sufficient 4 GB ram and 128 GB SSD. On OS X, it works fantastically as far as I can tell, but I am having issues when booted into Windows via Bootcamp. Whenever the computer is doing anything processor intensive, the audio starts to stutter, and USB devices eventually start to randomly disconnect and reconnect. As far as I can tell this does not happen when booted into Mac OS (ran processor test in Geekbench while listening to music on iTunes and the audio didn't stutter once.)


I've done a crazy amount of research to try to solve this. I've made sure USB selective suspend is disabled, I've made sure to instruct Windows not to turn off USB devices to save power under device manager. I've tried updating drivers. I've tried switching to an externally powered USB hub. So far, the only thing that seems to help is limiting maximum processor state in power options to disable overclocking completely, limiting the processor to 2.2 GHz. But that seems kind of counterproductive, I mean, why have the upgraded processor if I'm just going to limit it?


Does anyone know what could be wrong? Is the processor simply too powerful and is taking power from other components, even though it seems to be only a problem with Windows? Is there something wrong with the hardware with it being a refurbish? Are there any settings I've overlooked that might help with this? Thanks in advance for any help!


Apologies if I am breaking a rule by posting this both here and in the MacBook Air community. I did a quick search and couldn't find anything saying I shouldn't, so decided to in case my issues are better known by the people here.

MACBOOK AIR (13-INCH, 2017), Windows 10, 2.2 GHz I7 processor, 256 GB SSD

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Dec 14, 2017 4:07 AM in response to PatJB96 In response to PatJB96

There is a level of thermal protection and if Windows, which typically runs a bit hotter than macOS, is managed via Power Options -> Processor states, it does reduce the heat produced.


Set the Processor state to be Maximum. Can you check if the Mac appears hotter when you start seeing the USB disconnects? Does this happen on Battery as well as with the regular Power Adapter?

Dec 14, 2017 4:07 AM

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Dec 14, 2017 5:57 AM in response to Loner T In response to Loner T

It isn't noticeably hotter when it starts to disconnect. Even simple things like installing a program or random spikes while watching Youtube/Netflix makes my USB headset frequently skip and cut out, and if the activity happens for long enough, the entire USB hub disconnects and reconnects, even if the headset dongle is the only device connected to it. It happens as long as the maximum processor state is set to 100%, whether plugged in or on battery. As I said, lowering it to 99 fixes the problem, but that also disables turbo boost completely, and then the processor is actually slower than it would have been with a base model.

Dec 14, 2017 5:57 AM

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Dec 14, 2017 6:52 AM in response to Loner T In response to Loner T

I'll have a look for that, with that said my model is a MacBook Air as my opening post states, so no USBC ports. The problem also caused my external hard drive to disconnect and reconnect, so it's definitely the USB connection being hit.

Dec 14, 2017 6:52 AM

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Question: Audio stuttering and randomly disconnecting USB devices when running Windows