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Help a newbie - why is my laptop performing so badly?

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Hello everyone - this is my first post. Pleased to meet you all. I was hoping something with more experience could tell me why my laptop is performing so badly while running Cakewalk. It's an HP laptop with good specs - Ryzen 7/16gb/512. On paper it should cope really well with music production. But... Cakewalk crashes constantly. Latency while recording live audio tracks (guitar/voice) is almost unusably bad. It doesn't even run VSTs well. Should I just admit defeat and get a Mac? Would using an external audio card improve things? Are there basic setup things that I'm missing? Would be really grateful for your advice. Many thanks.

 

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Posted (edited)

Ryzen's, from what was posted on here by a builder a couple years ago, are great for gaming and video production.  Intel CPU's are better for audio and better latency.

However, get the PC "cleaned up" before trying recording.   Many PC's have vendor added programs  that can cause Latency problems.  Download and run the free (and popular) Resplendence Latency Mon.  It should help you in locating what may be causing the problems.  Look at startup, many programs in startup are not necessary.  Some antivirus programs add to latency problems (I only use the built in Windows Defender antivirus, no Norton or whatever). 

Finally, a PC sound card (e.g. Realtek) has high latency and poor signal to noise ratio.  Get a real recording interface.

 Resplendence Software - LatencyMon

 

Edited by Jack Stoner
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8 hours ago, Jack Stoner said:

Ryzen's, from what was posted on here by a builder a couple years ago, are great for gaming and video production.  Intel CPU's are better for audio and better latency.

However, get the PC "cleaned up" before trying recording.   Many PC's have vendor added programs  that can cause Latency problems.  Download and run the free (and popular) Resplendence Latency Mon.  It should help you in locating what may be causing the problems.  Look at startup, many programs in startup are not necessary.  Some antivirus programs add to latency problems (I only use the built in Windows Defender antivirus, no Norton or whatever). 

Finally, a PC sound card (e.g. Realtek) has high latency and poor signal to noise ratio.  Get a real recording interface.

 Resplendence Software - LatencyMon

 

+1

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Guys - thanks very much. Ryzen chip may be the problem. Probably more likely is the Realtek soundcard. I'm going to get an external soundcard and see if that clears things up. Really appreciate your time.

 

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Posted (edited)

And like Jack said, be sure to get rid of all the bloatware.  No doubt that laptop is packed with it, with about 7 million useless, BS, apps all running on startup.

Edited by bdickens

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A half decent audio interface with a dedicated ASIO driver would be a good decision, the internal realtek cards on laptops are great for playing music but not so good for setting up recording/playing as you need in a music workstation.

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The thing is, while everything said here is true, a Ryzen 7 with 16G of RAM and an SSD is more than capable of running Cakewalk. Playback through the onboard hardware CODEC should be fine with WASAPI Exclusive. It's way more hardware than I use, especially my notebook system.

There's something else going wrong here that buying an external interface is not likely to fix, although if you're recording guitar and voice, an external interface is essential. It's not the Realtek CODEC itself that's the issue, it's the circuitry connecting to it. You'll sound so much better with studio quality mic preamps and analog-to-digital converters.

Definitely look into decrapification. HP is known for loading up their notebooks with tons of stuff you don't need and don't want on your DAW. Also, exclude your Cakewalk Projects and plug-ins folders from active Defender scanning.

Resplendence LatencyMon is one of the system tuners' best tools for tracking down what's causing trouble.

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The op didn't mention which ryzen 7 the laptop is running. There's a huge differencce difference between the oldest 1700 and the latest 5800. But any of them will work just great with Cakewalk and won't crash your computer alone. Like said above, don't use the internal soundchip for recording, it's not build for that at all and gets you nowhere. For playback it's fine.

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