Back in November we reported on another in what's becoming a long line of issues with Dell's and Alienware's laptops, with M17x owners suffering from "skipping, stuttering audio" -- rather unbecoming in a high-end gaming rig. Dell was quickly on the case and initially indicated that a BIOS update last month contained a fix, only to learn that it didn't resolve all things for all people. There's still no proper resolution in sight, but Dell's Community Manager John Blain has told us that "getting the community more closely involved with this is going to be key." If you have an affected M17x John is asking that you stop on over to the Direct2Dell blog and shoot him a message with your machine's vitals. He's pledging to aggregate everything together and "expedite a resolution for those affected." Godspeed, mobile gamers.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
Update: Tipster Adam wrote in with a fix that worked for him -- check out his advice in full after the break.
I do not take credit for the following steps and the link to the original post does not have the author listed.
It involves editing the registry (very simple) to basically disable what's called PowerMizer which allows the clock speed of the graphics cards to change depending on usage.
Without PowerMizer, what happens is the clocks run at full all the time, audio stuttering usually occurs (in my situation and others) when the PowerMizer chooses to increase or decrease the clock and so disabling fixes the problem.
Now, I am not one for editing the registry without proper knowledge of the consequences. Ever since I have done this (Even before BIOS AO3) I have been monitoring temperatures inside my computer and specifically the GPU's and have not noticed a significant increase (About 1-2 degrees difference, but that is minimal and could have been location dependant) in running temperature, meaning there should be no adverse affects to using this fix.
This fix works with all current drives supported with the M17X.