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Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

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Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby Shambolic Charm » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:40 pm

After looking around at other laptops and mini pcs, I decided to give my HP DV7 another go with some radical tweaking. It is after all an i5 processor so should have some oomph somewhere.

I wizzed around the net and tried switching various devices on and off (all through the Device Manager and regedit as the Bios is about as locked down as is possible. I now have my DPC averaging between 40 and 50 micro?seconds and peaking very occasionally (often when I shut down Sonar X1) at 500ish. the load is now spread across the cores more, so no overloading of the first core that seemed to be happening all the time. The laptop is now running multitracks in Sonar that overloaded big time before.

The big tester was a 13 track Dub composition with a lot of the tracks loaded up with Phasers, Spring Reverb, Dub delays, compressors Guitar Rig and more. also 4 effect sends with similar. Ran beautifully no problem.

Thought I'd let you know what I have switched off
1) as it may help others trying to sort these awful laptop problems and
2) so someone can tell me if I'm going to blow my laptop up with some of the things I've switched off. So here goes.

I switched off with Regedit

the core parking with a registry edit that allowed me to alter this in power management. That stopped the constant overloading of the first core when others were nowhere near at max. Also seems to have stopped a crackling effect coming in with my Tape Delay effect when set with high feedback for Dub echoes.

Switched off with Device Manager

the Webcam - DPC went down a fair bit
The DVD - Same
Microsoft AC adapter-Ditto
Microsoft ACPI-compliant control method Battery - cause big spikes, knocks out the battery, not a problem as I never use it
Bluetooth
All the Intel 5 Series/3400 series Chipset family PCI Express Root Ports-5 of them made a big difference, first one takes out the wifi
Intel processor PCI Express Root Port - this made a massive difference, seemed to knock out the Nvidia graphics driver and there is no driver showing in the device manager now but I still have full 1600x900 resolution with no apparent loss of clarity(maybe the on chip intel?)
The intel Turbo boost technology driver.
and switched the processor driver from Intel to just processor ( can't remember why but some article suggested it.

And there you have it, a glitch free efficient laptop! I'm very pleased, I had all but given up on it. what a shame they don't bother to sort this [ ****** ] out themselves. I can still turn this stuff on if I need to go onto the net, run a DVD use batteries etc. I have a shortcut to Device manager on the Desktop.

I am wondering if anyone knows how to write individual 'buttons' for some of these functions so I can put them on the Desktop. That would be great to be able to switch on Wifi, Webcam or DVD at the single touch of a button.
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby Parco » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:51 pm

So is your laptop running Windows 7 inside and what is your sound device?
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby Shambolic Charm » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:06 pm

Yes Windows 7 64bit. I have used various Audio interfaces from a Tc Electronics Konnekt 6, to a Berhinger UC and settled on a Sonar VS100 usb, the VS100 was quite happy with a few tracks and a few effects but I tend to use up to 20 tracks with various CPU hungry effects. It was quite frustrating because I was producing songs in my studio with an oldish Q6600 Quad that the i5 couldn't get near but seems ok now.
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby Parco » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:47 pm

Try to tweak your MMCSS my modifying your windows registries.
And try to raise the priority of IRQ 0, 8 and the IRQ of your 1394 card or PCI interface-card (make surethat IRQ number is not shared with the other audio-irrelative hardwares).
Make sure you are using the most fastest anto-virus if you have installed one.
update all your windows-update, softwares and interface driver to the latest version.
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby Shambolic Charm » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:01 pm

IrQ's can't be changed in the HP Bios
Virus checker is turned off, as is the 1394 card. I am using USB 2
As I said it's all running very well now. So not sure if changing the MMCSS would be a good idea when it's running well?
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby Shambolic Charm » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:50 pm

Anybody got any ideas on how to write desktop switches for the items in the Device manager that I turn off/on ?
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby sp_euan » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:25 am

Hi,

This looks like it might be what you're after....
http://blog.aherrman.com/2010/02/shortcut-for-enablingdisabling-wireless.html

The example is for wireless but should be applicable to all devices...

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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby Shambolic Charm » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:03 am

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately it seems that Devcon only runs up to XP. I tried it in Win 7 and it doesn't want to run. I see there is a way to make Bat files but it is quite a lot to get my head around.
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby wave1 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:55 pm

I remember in the good old days of XP using hardware profiles to achieve this, however it seems that this functionality is missing from win 7....
Is it possible to have user accounts with different hardware settings? Haven't tried it myself but it might work.

The only other workaround I can think of is to dual boot.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

;-)
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby johnny h » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:16 pm

If it doesn't work just sell it and get one that does. Life is too short.
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby Shambolic Charm » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:42 pm

johnny h wrote:If it doesn't work just sell it and get one that does. Life is too short.

Actually this one is running fault free and works very well. It's just that I have to go into the device manager to switch on the DVD or the Webcam on the rare occasions that I need them. I also switch off the wireless for gigs through the device manager. It's no great deal and I'm hoping life's not So short that I can't afford those few seconds. It would just be a little more convenient if I had a shortcut to do it.
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby JPHogg » Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:40 pm

It's been a while since I had a PC so excuse me if this suggestion is out of date!
Could you use macros to achieve this. I used to use a bunch of these to perform tasks in windows and other program's.
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby Scope » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:56 am

Staggering to think that a modern (Windows) computer needs a ton of work, just to make it run properly.
Why go through all this hassle ?
Why does it just not "work" ??
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby johnny h » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:11 pm

Scope wrote:Staggering to think that a modern (Windows) computer needs a ton of work, just to make it run properly.
Why go through all this hassle ?
Why does it just not "work" ??

Fragmented design, lazy programming and shoddy quality control. This is why so many people are prepared to spend a little more to get a Mac.
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby Shambolic Charm » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:22 pm

I agree, seems music production is way down the food chain and more and more bells and whistles are being added! Macs do have the same problems though, they are much like a top of the range pc now. Check the net,lots of issues these days for pro music usage and they use the troublesome Nvidia graphics drivers now. If you are going to spend all that money on a macbook I would suggest a laptop specifically tweaked for Music is a much safer bet might be a bit cheaper too! Nevertheless with the tweaks I have done I can't see how either can be any better than my HP at £347.
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby alexis » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:15 pm

Shambolic Charm wrote:After looking around at other laptops and mini pcs, I decided to give my HP DV7 another go with some radical tweaking. It is after all an i5 processor so should have some oomph somewhere.

I wizzed around the net and tried switching various devices on and off (all through the Device Manager and regedit as the Bios is about as locked down as is possible. I now have my DPC averaging between 40 and 50 micro?seconds and peaking very occasionally (often when I shut down Sonar X1) at 500ish. the load is now spread across the cores more, so no overloading of the first core that seemed to be happening all the time. The laptop is now running multitracks in Sonar that overloaded big time before.

The big tester was a 13 track Dub composition with a lot of the tracks loaded up with Phasers, Spring Reverb, Dub delays, compressors Guitar Rig and more. also 4 effect sends with similar. Ran beautifully no problem.

Thought I'd let you know what I have switched off
1) as it may help others trying to sort these awful laptop problems and
2) so someone can tell me if I'm going to blow my laptop up with some of the things I've switched off. So here goes.

I switched off with Regedit

the core parking with a registry edit that allowed me to alter this in power management. That stopped the constant overloading of the first core when others were nowhere near at max. Also seems to have stopped a crackling effect coming in with my Tape Delay effect when set with high feedback for Dub echoes.

Switched off with Device Manager

the Webcam - DPC went down a fair bit
The DVD - Same
Microsoft AC adapter-Ditto
Microsoft ACPI-compliant control method Battery - cause big spikes, knocks out the battery, not a problem as I never use it
Bluetooth
All the Intel 5 Series/3400 series Chipset family PCI Express Root Ports-5 of them made a big difference, first one takes out the wifi
Intel processor PCI Express Root Port - this made a massive difference, seemed to knock out the Nvidia graphics driver and there is no driver showing in the device manager now but I still have full 1600x900 resolution with no apparent loss of clarity(maybe the on chip intel?)
The intel Turbo boost technology driver.
and switched the processor driver from Intel to just processor ( can't remember why but some article suggested it.

And there you have it, a glitch free efficient laptop! I'm very pleased, I had all but given up on it. what a shame they don't bother to sort this [ ****** ] out themselves. I can still turn this stuff on if I need to go onto the net, run a DVD use batteries etc. I have a shortcut to Device manager on the Desktop.

I am wondering if anyone knows how to write individual 'buttons' for some of these functions so I can put them on the Desktop. That would be great to be able to switch on Wifi, Webcam or DVD at the single touch of a button.


Hey Shambolic Charm - still happy with your laptop re: music production? Fan noise OK? Which OS are you using?

Wondering if you might expand a little bit on the registry edit you did ...

Thanks!
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby Shambolic Charm » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:34 pm

Hi there, The laptop is rock solid and I haven't managed to max it out yet it behaves like a desktop i5. The fan I don't notice so much. I think it does rev up occasionally but I only use the laptop at home for di guitars and synth. I'm using it mostly for live use. I use my studio for vocals and miced up guitars, better room sound. I reckon you might be able to use speedfan to control fanspeed but of course the cpu has to be kept cool sometimes. Speeedfan you can set max revs or have it on at low speed constantly which might stop it overheating. I'm using Windows 7 64bit.
The regedit was much the same as this one:

http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.aspx?m=1861804&mpage=2

This looks an even easier option

http://www.coderbag.com/Programming-C/Disable-CPU-Core-Parking-Utility
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby alexis » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:08 am

wave1 wrote:I remember in the good old days of XP using hardware profiles to achieve this, however it seems that this functionality is missing from win 7....
Is it possible to have user accounts with different hardware settings? Haven't tried it myself but it might work.

The only other workaround I can think of is to dual boot.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

;-)

Anyone happen to have that link for XP "hardware profiles" handy (I assume that's a quick way to switch the PC from "normal function" to "audio recording function" and back?).
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Re: Tweaks to get my Laptop efficient and glitch free for Audio

Postby Pete Kaine » Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:26 pm

Scope wrote:Staggering to think that a modern (Windows) computer needs a ton of work, just to make it run properly.
Why go through all this hassle ?
Why does it just not "work" ??

It does "just work" for the vast majority of people in the vast majority of cicumstances but then us audio people sit squarely outside of that box as in fact the vast majority of people have no requirements as far as DPC levels go. In fact you speak to most hardware producers out there and you imply that their drivers affects DPC in a fairly negitive fashion and at best they'll just shrug and go "so?"

(Standard response in most cases is in fact "DPC???")

Just for the offical word on this from Microsoft:

Microsoft guidelines wrote:
Microsoft recommends that DPCs should not run longer than 100 microseconds and ISRs should not run longer than 25 microseconds.


So if you have half a dozen processes stacking at any given time and any two or three of those are holding the DPC queue up for 100 microseconds each then already verging on the edge of unusable for those of us that require realtime audio access to the CPU.

As we've seen it only takes 1 broken driver to render a machine unusable for audio. Unfortunately what we refer to as unusable isn't judged to be so by Microsoft or any number of driver developers out there.

The core parking fix noted up top is actually a fairly decent fix for any number of ailments both audio and none audio related. I first discovered it on a old gaming board years back as a fix for one of the older Battlefield games. The fact that so many users were needing to apply a fix to essentially 100% their CPU however, just to be able to process driver feedback quickly enough that the game wouldn't glitch and judder is in itself an indication that it's gone far beyond a bad joke now. Those gamers only need a DPC result of around a 1000 microseconds (we need it to be around a quarter of that) to make a system usable for that game and it really shouldn't be that hard to put together drivers that are not that that atrocious.
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