Hello. my first post. I'm not up on hardware debugging, so please go easy on me. I recently assembled a new PC using the Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 rev 3.3 motherboard. I have the following hardware installed: (all new) Antec SmartPower 2.0 SP-500 ATX12V 500W Power Supply COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UB Black /Blue Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600 CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400C4 (in the yellow slots on the MB) HITACHI Deskstar T7K500 HDT725032VLA360 (0A33435) 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive Pioneer 18X DVD±R DVD Burner Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model DVR-112D EVGA GeForce 8800GTS 320MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card I assembled everything just fine. Windows XP pro installed just fine. I have no floppy disk but the fresh install of XP and SP2 (from a separate CD) seems to have installed the SATA drivers. But how do I know? Anyway, my PROBLEM is that any music file I play on my hard drive or off the DVD or on USB will randomly slow down then go back to normal speed. After the install I added my old IDE hard drive and it also plays music files with the same issues. (it didn't on my older machine) I am running the latest BIOS ( F11 ) and drivers from the gigabyte site. My processor is running at 2.4Ghz, not over clocking anything. I just set the BIOS to "optimized" I have tried various media players (MS media player, Winamp, etc) and they all exhibit the same issues. It seems that I get this problem no matter where the source is coming from. even a music CD in my DVD drive does this! So how can I trouble shoot or fix this? How do I KNOW my motherboard is running the latest drivers? If SATA2 is set up correctly? If my BIOS is really running with the correct settings? I am not running a RAID of any kind. I am at a loss as to what I need to try to fix this. Gigabyte have basically washed their hands. they want me to RMA the board back which isn't an option. I know it's not a bad MB anyway because I have a friend with a similar problem and he has an OLDER model gigabyte board, not even a 965... If it helps, here is some data from cpu-z: additionally I have tried the following: downloaded and installed RealTek's latest ac97 drivers (no effect on issue) set the affinity for winamp to only 1 core. (1 not 0 ) no effect. But I did notice my CPU Usage jumps up a touch when this issue is happening. I've circled it in red: I have tried a sound card and that doesn't alleviate the problem, so maybe it's not the sound chip or drivers. What the heck could it be?