Surprised at the CPU spikes I'm having with ableton on this new laptop
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Old 23-07-2016, 02:26 AM   #1
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Surprised at the CPU spikes I'm having with ableton on this new laptop

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I got this laptop for school and I also thought that it would handle the music production side of things. I spent the night yesterday trying it out and happened to get massive cpu spikes and audio drop outs with only 5 channels running.

I honestly thought that an ssd and an i7 will satisfy all of my production needs. Am I doing something wrong or is this normal? And, what can I do, if anything?

Thank you!

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Old 23-07-2016, 03:10 AM   #2
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Re: Surprised at the CPU spikes I'm having with ableton on this new laptop

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the app only supports up to Win7 but this is a good bit of info. I went down this rabbit hole with several PC laptops a handful of years ago, I ended up with a Macbook when all was said and done.

that said, you can definitely configure a PC to be a monster for music production.

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Old 23-07-2016, 07:11 AM   #3
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Re: Surprised at the CPU spikes I'm having with ableton on this new laptop

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Supports Win 7, 8, 8.1, 10
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Old 23-07-2016, 08:18 AM   #4
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Re: Surprised at the CPU spikes I'm having with ableton on this new laptop

check if you have... i think it is called "cpu parking" enabled (power management profiles)

usually setiing performance to "highest" should disable it. there is a strange latency if enabled, apparently it takes a few msec for the cpu cores to reach full capacity/cpability

had that same issue with my desktop machine

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Old 23-07-2016, 08:55 AM   #5
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Re: Surprised at the CPU spikes I'm having with ableton on this new laptop

Three years ago when I had to deal with such problems, I found out that there's several functions like Intel Speed Step that can cause cpu spikes on laptops. Don't remember precisey, but basically it's due to the power saving features that should prevent overheating and save battery - good for a mobile device. Alas there are companies that just disable certain functions in the BIOS, so you can't turn them off.

There are tools that can help if you get to the root of whats causing those spikes.
Can be a real pain in the ass though. Trial n Error.

Just try ro set everything to best performance, fixed values. And run one of the tools provided above. I'll check my bookmarks later. Or just google
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Old 23-07-2016, 09:31 AM   #6
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Re: Surprised at the CPU spikes I'm having with ableton on this new laptop

first thing one should do is to deinstall all those manufacturer "management suites". Did so on my toshiba lappie and my dell lappie. Usually create more problems than they solve; bloatware and at times almost malware with the frequent phone-home features.

windows does a good job in managing resources - there is no need at all to keep manufacturer management programs. Maybe add ccleaner and/or tinywall to help remove bloatware, and you are set. if you do not click unsafe links and only download files from secure sites, you won't even need an antivirus program. Majority of those are pure snake oil. (and they are performance killers)

i always wonder why manufacturers like to cripple their hardware with bloated shit?

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Old 29-07-2016, 02:41 AM   #7
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Re: Surprised at the CPU spikes I'm having with ableton on this new laptop

I do remember when DPClat.exe (DPC Latency Checker) first got popular, there were alot of posts on Sound On Sound . com about hardware design flaws causing issues on laptops. Some of CPU issues only happen on laptops because of their design differences. A lot of them had to do with the wifi / networking chips. But there were some other issues too. You will want to look that stuff up if you can. DPClat.exe doesn't work as intended on Vista and beyond, but there are other programs with similar functions and others who know more know about to explain better than me.

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Old 09-09-2016, 01:50 PM   #8
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Re: Surprised at the CPU spikes I'm having with ableton on this new laptop

A few questions first:

1. Are you using an external sound card, MME/MMX, or Asio4all?

2. Could you describe what kinds/number of fx, instruments, etc you are using on your 5 channels?

A couple of suggestions (some of which have already been mentioned):

1. Make sure your power supply is plugged in and under power management you have the highest performance settings enabled.

2. Turn off all non-essential services and programs. This includes updates, wifi, etc.

3. Make sure there isn't another program trying to control your audio drivers. Realtek HD Audio is notorious for this. You can generally disable any extra programs and just leave it to native windows. This will still help even if you are using an external card.

Hope this helps.

Also just fyi: Extra cores usually do not help with DSP, because of how audio has to be processed. So buying a CPU with less cores, but a higher clock speed is more beneficial. There is a good article on SoS.com but I can't post links yet.

Last edited by jorgecurioso; 09-09-2016 at 02:02 PM.. Reason: added fyi at bottom
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:38 PM   #9
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Re: Surprised at the CPU spikes I'm having with ableton on this new laptop

Also don't forget to check your ableton preferences and make sure everything is optimal for your setup.

That's the buffer & bitdepth...

I'm not sure how experienced you are in DAWs but many people just load the software and attempt to use it without making sure the preferences are correct.
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Old 04-10-2016, 01:55 AM   #10
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Re: Surprised at the CPU spikes I'm having with ableton on this new laptop

I had the same issues
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:35 AM   #11
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Re: Surprised at the CPU spikes I'm having with ableton on this new laptop

ASIO4ALL

if you're using windows/realtek/whatever generic driver

SWITCH

DO IT NOW

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