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Panu Pentikäinen

I built a new i9-9900k PC for CbB

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Hello, Windows 10!

One Win7 user has left the building, one new Windows 10 user already on the door.  I built a new PC for my studio:

Storage: 1 TB m.2 for the programs, 2 TB for projects, 1 TB for mixes and soundbanks. Separate file server for archives.
CPU is i9-9900 which is $150 overpriced but fast with native 5 GHz speed and 8 cores. It's a long way from my first Sharp MZ-821 home computer although it had the full 64k RAM.
RAM: only 32 GB at this time but there's room left for another 32 GB.
Graphics card: GTX 1070 from my old system.

Something that I noticed immediately on the first CbB test: enabling "Plug-In Load Balancing" made audio crack badly. Disabling healed audio for a while but playing a heavy project caused audio crack again. I opened the Task Manager and noticed how CPU speed varied all the time. I decided to set it to fixed speed all the time and adjust Windows power options to maximum performance. After that everything started to work perfectly.

64-bit Double Precision Engine is on. Every setting is pretty much on factory defaults.  Cakewalk runs smoothly on RME buffer size 48 but unfortunately Adobe Audition couldn't handle it properly. 64 works for both programs but for now I went back to more conservative setting, 128.

ThreadSchedulingModel=1 (default). It's 2 on my old system but I don't have no idea what this setting does. Help on Preferences window says:
0 = Legacy Spin
1 = Legacy Wait-for-single-object
2 = Producer/Consumer.

I'll test the 2 option later.

I tested  multi-track recording by recording three hours, 18 tracks. Writing 8 GB recorded audio took only about 10 seconds. Solid state and m.2 drives make a huge difference! Exporting projects is also ridiculously fast.

Conclusion:
- Plug-In Load Balancing may not work on every system
- Set CPU speed to fixed.

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Nice Panu!

I'm about to do something similar. What did you use for a motherboard? Have been going back and forth between a few. 

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Motherboard is MSI Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon Intel Z390.  However, I'm not totally satisfied with it: using m.2 drives disables two of the total six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Thus there are four SATA + two m.2 available, not six SATA + two m.2.  So I have only one SATA port free because one is for the DVD drive and two for the SSDs.

 

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That board is on my list. Lots of positive reviews. The limitation in sata ports shouldn't be a big deal in my case. 6 is good (for me) even giving one to the dvd burner.

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DPC Latency Checker reported normal Windows 10 values: around 1100 us with no spikes.  It is much more than in XP or 7 but still OK.

image.png.3d9a6eb09ae3b39dff61699df45a38f4.png

 

And here's Task Manager / CPU Performance while Cakewalk is playing full mixed 80 track, heavily produced mix:

image.png.6b7abe268ad82d5a4bbcbe89f83f6af4.png

Disk usage (audio is on M drive) is 2% (!) and CPU usage 12%.  Obviously the mix needs more tracks and plugins. ;)

 

 

 

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Panup , dpc latency cheker isn t reporting the real thingy under windows 10 , that s why you have to use Latencymon , witch will give you the real values ( it will be better than what you think according to the false dpc latency checker results ) and even the process linked to spikes ....

 

how did younmanaged the noise of your computer , no passive solution ? 

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Hi @panup :)

I am reading your post with interest as I am currently looking into getting myself a new workstation for my DAW, amongst other things.

I'm shooting for an i9 although my eldest son thinks I'm a bit mad splashing out on an i9 when the latest i7's are not far behind. But I fancy diving in at a slightly higher spec and the fact that you get eight physical cores.

I am also looking at a Z390 motherboard.

Graphic card will probably be a GTX1050. I have found a so called "0dB" model although that remains to be seen.

And to try and keep the noise level to a minimum I am looking at a Noctua cooler and some quiet 140mm case fans. Again, it remains to be seen (or heard) how quite everything turns out.

4 hours ago, Zo said:

how did younmanaged the noise of your computer , no passive solution ?

I will also be interested in hearing panup's noise abatement solution :)

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I have a 4th gen i5, so I've been thinking if this major update as well.  Thing is, my system works and is reliable and I don generally run into performance issues until I do something stupid, like adding tons of layers if melodyned vocals and not bouncing them.

It is a bunch of cash for what may not make a huge impact.  I am using all SSD drives so that lessens the impact if an older but capable CPU.

I am thinking a gigabyte mb with 16gb of RAM and the i9.  As you can tell by my 4th gen i5, I don't do this often, so a big leap on the tech end (not just an incremental upgrade) is a good time.

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CPU cooling: Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler ( https://noctua.at/en/nh-d15 ).

noctua-cooler.jpg.f842f4e4fe74938566e53064e66e5c4d.jpg
Noctua NH-D15

I set Noctua to 'silent mode' and it's just like that: at low stress fans stay still and thus the CPU cooling is totally silent. This was a very positive surprise for me!

Power supply is Corsair CX750M. It's quiet in normal usage (like Cakewalk) but user reviews hint that it gets louder under high stress. I haven't noticed raise of sound level yet, not even while rendering After Effects projects. 

 

Edited by panup
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<NERD ALERT>

LatencyMon reports:

 image.png.eca6ed2238dabe810b0fd76a921e80ee.png 

SYSTEM INFORMATION
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
OS version:                                           Windows 10 , 10.0, build: 17763 (x64)
Hardware:                                             MS-7B17, Micro-Star International Co., Ltd., MPG Z390 GAMING PRO CARBON (MS-7B17)
CPU:                                                  GenuineIntel Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-9900K CPU @ 3.60GHz
Logical processors:                                   16
Processor groups:                                     1
RAM:                                                  32722 MB total

Highest measured interrupt to process latency (µs):   192,20
Average measured interrupt to process latency (µs):   3,022335

Highest measured interrupt to DPC latency (µs):       159,70
Average measured interrupt to DPC latency (µs):       1,022943

 REPORTED ISRs
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Interrupt service routines are routines installed by the OS and device drivers that execute in response to a hardware interrupt signal.

Highest ISR routine execution time (µs):              195,605556
Driver with highest ISR routine execution time:       dxgkrnl.sys - DirectX Graphics Kernel, Microsoft Corporation

Highest reported total ISR routine time (%):          0,012871
Driver with highest ISR total time:                   dxgkrnl.sys - DirectX Graphics Kernel, Microsoft Corporation

Total time spent in ISRs (%)                          0,012907

ISR count (execution time <250 µs):                   47811
ISR count (execution time 250-500 µs):                0
ISR count (execution time 500-999 µs):                0
ISR count (execution time 1000-1999 µs):              0
ISR count (execution time 2000-3999 µs):              0
ISR count (execution time >=4000 µs):                 0

REPORTED DPCs
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
DPC routines are part of the interrupt servicing dispatch mechanism and disable the possibility for a process to utilize the CPU while it is interrupted until the DPC has finished execution.

Highest DPC routine execution time (µs):              728,506111
Driver with highest DPC routine execution time:       ndis.sys - Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS), Microsoft Corporation

Highest reported total DPC routine time (%):          0,004141
Driver with highest DPC total execution time:         nvlddmkm.sys - NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 388.13 , NVIDIA Corporation

Total time spent in DPCs (%)                          0,009174

DPC count (execution time <250 µs):                   192967
DPC count (execution time 250-500 µs):                0
DPC count (execution time 500-999 µs):                1
DPC count (execution time 1000-1999 µs):              0
DPC count (execution time 2000-3999 µs):              0
DPC count (execution time >=4000 µs):                 0

</NERD ALERT>

image.png

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24_Product_RR-HD92-28PK-R1_01.jpg.b921eb21577df41d5c2f927eef1660ff.jpgThis is the CPU cooler I have. It has two fans that push pull. Very quiet.

Cooler master Hyper Cooler D92

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21 hours ago, panup said:

Conclusion:
- Plug-In Load Balancing may not work on every system
- Set CPU speed to fixed.

Plug-In load balancing results are very dependent on the actual load of plugins. Load balancing itself can be expensive since its doing some magic subdividing buffers so if you don't have really expensive plugins in the bin it could impact performance adversely. I plan on making this option per bin in the future so you have more fine grained control over it.

Note that by default load balancing is ineffective at buffer sizes < 128 samples. This value can be changed in the ini file. More info here.

Producer/Consumer mode basically allocates an extra thread and separates out the scheduling of mix engine tasks from actual mixing. On a system with lots of cores this can give you a slight improvement in balancing the workloads.

How do you set CPU speed to fixed?

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I found this to work better than plugin load balancing...
In prefs > audio, set "EnableSetThreadIdealProcessor" to false and set MixThreadCount to 1 less than number of cores you have.
Also, make sure core parking is turned off and disable the hdmi audio drivers for your video card in device manager.

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On 2/16/2019 at 10:27 PM, panup said:

DPC Latency Checker reported normal Windows 10 values: around 1100 us with no spikes.  It is much more than in XP or 7 but still OK.

 image.png.3d9a6eb09ae3b39dff61699df45a38f4.png

 

And here's Task Manager / CPU Performance while Cakewalk is playing full mixed 80 track, heavily produced mix:

image.png.6b7abe268ad82d5a4bbcbe89f83f6af4.png

Disk usage (audio is on M drive) is 2% (!) and CPU usage 12%.  Obviously the mix needs more tracks and plugins. ;)

 

 

 

Don't use DPC Latency Checker in Win10... use Latency Mon instead (accurate and lists more specific information).

Regarding M.2 drives and SATA ports:

Many Z370/Z390 motherboard have two M.2 slots.

Typically, if you run the second M.2 slot using 4 PCIe lanes, the motherboard will disable the last pair of SATA ports.

If you don't have two M.2 Ultra SSDs, put the M.2 SSD in the first M.2 slot... as most motherboard will run this slot with 4 PCIe lanes... and not disable the last pair of SATA ports.

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