About a month ago I installed Windows 7 on my laptop, getting rid of the ol’ evil Vista which had been infecting it for almost 2 years. Once the Windows 7 setup was finished, I went through the usual routine of getting up to date drivers installed for devices such as video and audio. Now, as I’ve become aware, there have been countless people experiencing crappy audio from their laptops/desktops via Windows 7 due to Realtek’s drivers. I was one of those people and for the life of me I couldn’t get a Realtek driver that would fix the poor audio.
Finally I managed to get a driver that has fixed the problem – if you go to here you can download a zip which contains some drivers that were mention in this forum. At last, no more pops and crackles. :)