Jump to content
Starship Krupa

"Upgraded" to Windows 10, Cakewalk performance has suffered greatly

Recommended Posts

I run a dual boot with Windows 7 64 bit & Windows 10 64 bit.

The Windows 10 was an upgrade from Windows 7, however I upgraded from a clean install of Windows 7.

Everything in Windows 7 seems a LOT snappier for me. Plugin scans are about 4 x quicker, and the GUI is far more responsive.

DAW performance however is identical between the two. 

Things I did notice that affected performance:

  • Game Mode - make sure this is off (was mentioned in an earlier post)
  • OneSync - Either turn this off, or make sure you customise it for the folders you need... and make sure there's no folders included that Cakewalk uses whilst its running, else it can crash Cakewalk (certainly in the case of project audio files). This goes for any other cloud backup services.
  • Set power profile to high performance, and turn off all power saving on USB devices - again, mentioned before.
  • Windows Defender or any other virus checker - make sure all your VST & Cakewalk folders are excluded.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, An upgrade install (if you choose to Save/Migrate nothing), is essentially a clean install of Win10. 

An upgrade install (where you migrate) does leave the Registry a mess (by comparison to a clean install).

In a perfect world, you want to start with a clean install... as that's the most rock-solid foundation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8GB RAM is a bit lean to run Win10.

Get that up to 16GB (or 32GB - especially if using virtual-instruments)... and you won't risk hitting the VM swap-file (in lieu of enough physical RAM)... which kills performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have tried to upgrade from W7 to W10 today but at the very end of the process I always get an error code 0x80004005 and then it stops...

I have already tried several hints from the ms forum but no success.

Any ideas? Do I have to stay with my good old W7?

Thanks in advance,

Peter

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a similar experience, which is why I ended up doing a clean install of W7 and upgraded it after I'd installed all the service packs & updates. I suspect it was down to some old drivers that were present on my W7 system that couldn't be upgraded. 

You're lucky your W7 system still works. My failed upgrade totally trashed my system and forced me to start from scratch.

You could stay on W7 for the time being. Failing remove your existing W7 hard drive, get a new hard drive and do a fresh W7 install before upgrading it. 

 

  • Great Idea 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Jim Roseberry said:

8GB RAM is a bit lean to run Win10.

Get that up to 16GB (or 32GB - especially if using virtual-instruments)... and you won't risk hitting the VM swap-file (in lieu of enough physical RAM)... which kills performance.

So a computer that ran CbB and everything else just fine when I was running Windows 7 should now have its RAM doubled or quadrupled because I installed Windows 10.

Had I known this ahead of time, I would surely have stuck with Windows 7. I had been under the impression from my research on the web that Windows 10 was no more resource-hungry than Windows 7.

Until a few weeks ago, my i5 notebook was running CbB on Windows 7 with 4G RAM like a champ. I doubled its RAM to 8G in anticipation of the Windows 10 "upgrade," did the "upgrade," and now it's actually less responsive with Windows 10 and 8G of RAM than it was with Windows 7 and 4G of RAM.

Throughout this, I have been monitoring things with Resource Monitor, and there haven't been problems with excessive page faults that I can see. That's the mystifying part. Resource Monitor shows, of course, a lot of disk read activity from the project disk, which is a 7200RPM SATA in AHCI mode, but that's about it. The project in question is an audio-only affair, no samples, no VSTi's. Same with the other projects I have called up to test it with.

Resource Monitor shows the CPU busy, but not straining itself, disk reads normal under the circumstances, memory of course a lot of it in use, but not all of it, not to the point of excessive page faults. I once had a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer cert, I know where to look, but this is eluding me. I don't see a smoking gun.

So far, my advice to anyone contemplating going from Windows 7 or 8 to 10: try dual boot before you commit.

I'm going to try swapping video cards next, because I'm thinking there's a bottleneck, and I've had DAW's not play nice with graphics cards/drivers before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The specs of my long-suffering audio laptop is in my sig below. This is running Windows 10 and doing some pretty big productions.

Absolutely agree with Jim in that 8gb is much too small for a DAW in 2019, but I've found Win10 to be at least as snappy as Win7, even on this ancient hardware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Lord Tim said:

The specs of my long-suffering audio laptop is in my sig below. This is running Windows 10 and doing some pretty big productions.

Absolutely agree with Jim in that 8gb is much too small for a DAW in 2019, but I've found Win10 to be at least as snappy as Win7, even on this ancient hardware.

8G is much too small, yet you're doing some "pretty big productions." With an M620 yet. How can it be much too small?

My system ran like a bat out of Hades with 8G of RAM in it, for heaven's sake.

With all good humor, do you remember my sig on the old board, where I said that if someone told me that I needed more RAM, or an SSD or a Waves plug-in, I would troll them pitilessly? That was because after hanging out there for a while, I noticed that if any technical discussion went on long enough without a solution, someone would tell the OP that they needed at least one of those things.😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the upshot of all this is: Trust your instincts. You know best what works for you. Stay with what you have if it's working for you. Don't upgrade just because everyone else is. If your needs change, then obviously it's time to change your equipment.

  • Great Idea 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Starship Krupa said:

8G is much too small, yet you're doing some "pretty big productions." With an M620 yet. How can it be much too small?

My system ran like a bat out of Hades with 8G of RAM in it, for heaven's sake.


For the sake of clarity and words not being put into mouths here, let me explain my statement. 😉

Like you saw, your machine with 8G of RAM "flew like a bat out of Hades" and that's my experience too - to a point.

Unless a project has corrupted itself somehow (which does happen, in fact I have one particular project with almost exactly the same specs as 10 others I did at the same time that would take about 6 seconds to save, while the others were more or less instantaneous. It would also glitch up in a particular area for no good reason too), I would be able to run dozens of tracks without too much of an issue. The GUI would be snappy, the audio would be glitch free.

However, start piling effects on that, or running sample libraries where both CPU and RAM become a big factor, the only way such a low-spec'd machine can cope is by careful project management. Archiving non-essential parts of the project if they're not necessary to the section you're editing, freezing instruments and effects, or in some extreme cases (as was the case of a huge 25+ minute long concept thing I did), actually do it in sections, and assemble that as a single song later, similar to how you'd master an album or EP or something like that.

Any relatively modern system would negate the need to do most of that, Win7 or 10 or otherwise. Just because I can do big productions on this kind of machine isn't an endorsement that one should.  Believe me, the next chance I get, I'll be upgrading (if, for no other reason, to wipe the smug smile off the face of the new 8700k, 32G, NVMe M.2 powered computer I just bought for for video editing 😋 )

Ultimately it's down to your needs first of all - are you using a lot of real-time effects? Softsynths? Sample libraries? Are you running more than a couple of dozen tracks? On even an old dual core system with 8G of RAM, this is fine. But a bicycle with a basket on the front will also get your shopping home from the store too quite adequately, although you may need to do a few trips and it's slower going. Sometimes it's best to just get a car. 😉

But this all said, the crux of the issue is that going forward you're going to find less situations where Win7 is a good idea now it's EOL and less companies are testing on that platform, so there's more chance of your software not working as expected. New hardware especially is going to be designed to work better with Win10 (and hardware will always need to be replaced eventually). I was one of those guys who held on tight to Win98se, and then XP, and 7 (since 8 was such a mess when it launched) for all of my work machines, and dabbled with the latest versions of everything on my non-essential computers. Win10 was the first OS for me out of those where it just worked great out of the box and was every bit as snappy as Win7.

I'll echo the good advice in this  thread again - if you're finding this isn't the case for you, start fresh. There's just too many variables with in-place upgrades to make a proper judgement call on how well this should be running on your particular system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, msmcleod said:

I had a similar experience, which is why I ended up doing a clean install of W7 and upgraded it after I'd installed all the service packs & updates. I suspect it was down to some old drivers that were present on my W7 system that couldn't be upgraded. 

You're lucky your W7 system still works. My failed upgrade totally trashed my system and forced me to start from scratch.

You could stay on W7 for the time being. Failing remove your existing W7 hard drive, get a new hard drive and do a fresh W7 install before upgrading it. 

 

Thanks! This is a wise recommendation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its actually much preferable to do a clean install of Win10 rather than an upgrade of Win 7. It will still recognize your license but will start without all the baggage and cruft from Win7. I've seen weird behaviors where the search bar was not fully functional after an upgrade install. 

Much easier to troubleshoot as well when you don't have mixed components and a registry upgrade from an old OS.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Noel Borthwick said:

Its actually much preferable to do a clean install of Win10 rather than an upgrade of Win 7. It will still recognize your license but will start without all the baggage and cruft from Win7. I've seen weird behaviors where the search bar was not fully functional after an upgrade install. 

Much easier to troubleshoot as well when you don't have mixed components and a registry upgrade from an old OS.

Noel,

first of all I very much appreciate your clear and open communication. This helps a lot!

Since the upgrade path towards W10 seems not to be possible on my DAW-PC, I am now facing the 'clean install'...

But this would mean that have to do a complete new installation of all HW and SW components, right?

I would need to install all the content, VSTs, Tools, etc. again, including all the painful, and even risky registration/authorization processes,right?

I would at least plan one week of effort for this task and there is actually no way for me personally to do this huge  investment.

If I completely misunderstood the 'clean install' please let me know.

Best regards,

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

So a computer that ran CbB and everything else just fine when I was running Windows 7 should now have its RAM doubled or quadrupled because I installed Windows 10.

Had I known this ahead of time, I would surely have stuck with Windows 7. I had been under the impression from my research on the web that Windows 10 was no more resource-hungry than Windows 7.

Until a few weeks ago, my i5 notebook was running CbB on Windows 7 with 4G RAM like a champ. I doubled its RAM to 8G in anticipation of the Windows 10 "upgrade," did the "upgrade," and now it's actually less responsive with Windows 10 and 8G of RAM than it was with Windows 7 and 4G of RAM.

Throughout this, I have been monitoring things with Resource Monitor, and there haven't been problems with excessive page faults that I can see. That's the mystifying part. Resource Monitor shows, of course, a lot of disk read activity from the project disk, which is a 7200RPM SATA in AHCI mode, but that's about it. The project in question is an audio-only affair, no samples, no VSTi's. Same with the other projects I have called up to test it with.

Resource Monitor shows the CPU busy, but not straining itself, disk reads normal under the circumstances, memory of course a lot of it in use, but not all of it, not to the point of excessive page faults. I once had a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer cert, I know where to look, but this is eluding me. I don't see a smoking gun.

So far, my advice to anyone contemplating going from Windows 7 or 8 to 10: try dual boot before you commit.

I'm going to try swapping video cards next, because I'm thinking there's a bottleneck, and I've had DAW's not play nice with graphics cards/drivers before.

By today's standards, 16GB RAM for a DAW isn't a "stretch"... it's common place.

 

If you're running 8GB RAM (especially using virtual-instruments), that's running pretty lean (even with Win7).

The OS itself is going to take some of that 8GB (Win10 with Chrome open to write this message is using about 2.8GB).

So, even in your Win7 scenario, say the OS is taking 2GB of the 8GB total RAM.

That leaves ~6GB before the machine starts to hit the VM swapfile in lieu of real physical RAM (which will absolutely kill performance).

If you're running something like Superior Drummer (where the samples are loaded/streamed from RAM), that can consume another 2+GB.

You're now down to ~4GB for your DAW software and any remaining plugins.  Even if it's working fine, that's definitely running lean.

 

It's not about doubling/quadrupling your RAM for Win10, it's about having enough RAM for your largest projects (to avoid hitting the VM swapfile).

The doubling/quadrupling is the reality of having to install dual-channel (two matching sticks) for maximum performance.

 

With each OS release, the OS is slightly larger... and the system requirements creep up. 

Been the case with Win95, Win98, WinNT, Win2k, Vista, Win7, and Win10

One could say each OS becomes slightly more "bloated" compared to the previous version.

Hardware speed/capacity increases... and the OS/Applications/Plugins are developed to use this increase in speed/capacity.

If you were transitioning from Win98 to Vista or Win7, you'd be feeling exactly the same.

 

Win10 is a fine DAW platform.

Increase your RAM to 16GB and tweak the OS for maximum DAW performance.

If you want the option to run Thunderbolt, you have to be running Win10.

If you want to run the latest generation of hardware (ie: Z390 chipset motherboards), you have to run Win10. 

If you want to run the latest DAW software/plugins (smoothly), it makes sense to run the latest OS (not one that's a decade old).

Some software developers have stopped official support for Win7 (more will follow).  That's a reality of finite development resources.

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A clean install means reinstalling all software/plugins (reauthorizing everything). 

This is one case where using dongles is actually more convenient.  Your license is on the dongle, so there's no re-authorization when reinstalling.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Peter Mangold said:

Noel,

first of all I very much appreciate your clear and open communication. This helps a lot!

Since the upgrade path towards W10 seems not to be possible on my DAW-PC, I am now facing the 'clean install'...

But this would mean that have to do a complete new installation of all HW and SW components, right?

I would need to install all the content, VSTs, Tools, etc. again, including all the painful, and even risky registration/authorization processes,right?

I would at least plan one week of effort for this task and there is actually no way for me personally to do this huge  investment.

If I completely misunderstood the 'clean install' please let me know.

Best regards,

Peter

Yes a clean install means it will reinstall Windows from scratch and all plugins etc will need to be reinstalled. 

That said, you also get a choice when doing a clean install to reformat the main system drive or not. In my case I did not and it retained a bunch of other folders other than the Windows folders, user documents etc. This can be useful but to be completely clean I think its better to reformat the system drive and let it install from scratch.

Yes its a pita to reinstall your stuff from scratch but if you have an aging system doing this will potentially make things launch faster etc since your registry is clean. Also a good time to do some housecleaning and get rid of stuff you don't use.  Before I reinstalled I made a copy of my application files and documents folder and took screenshots of all installed programs so I could see what I had earlier. Getting back wasn't as bad as i thought it would be.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jim Roseberry said:

A clean install means reinstalling all software/plugins (reauthorizing everything). 

This is one case where using dongles is actually more convenient.  Your license is on the dongle, so there's no re-authorization when reinstalling.

+1 on dongles. Early generations of iLok were like willfully installing a virus, but they've cleaned up their act considerably.

Also note that these days, much authorization is done in the cloud (e.g., Native Access, Waves Central, etc.). You just de-authorize your old hard drive and authorize a new one. Waves Central can even put all your authorizations on a standard USB stick (no proprietary dongle). The whole issue of registration and copy protection has become much more streamlined since the days of Windows 7.

Three other observations: 

  • 8 GB of RAM is indeed a minimum these days. 8 GB is on its way to becoming common for Android smart phones (iPhones need less due to different memory management), and they do a lot less than stream multiple tracks of audio with multi-gigabyte sample libraries! Around the time of Windows 7, 1 to 2 GB for a phone was fine (unless you were into games, multitasking, or having a lot of browser tabs open). Apps have to compete with other apps, so they take advantage of newer operating systems and want more RAM.
  • At some point you will need to do a clean install. It's inevitable, because hard drives die and it would make no sense to reinstall an older operating system that is no longer supported. So you can either choose to do it, or be forced to do it when you least expect it. The advantage of choosing to do it is that after your pristine, clean install, you can make a disk image and if all hell breaks loose at some point, just restore your system from the image. Hopefully your content will be saved on separate drives, so all you'll need to restore is what you added after doing the disk image. As time goes on, you can re-image so you can get back to where you were in minutes instead of a week.
  • Finally, I highly recommend a removeable system drive. Keep your old drive intact, install a new OS on your new drive, and install programs as you need them (most programs allow two installs, so you don't necessarily need to uninstall them from the original drive unless absolutely necessary). For example the last time I did a clean install, I installed Sonar, Studio One, Live, Native Instruments Komplete, IK's Total Studio, Waves Mercury, and LibreOffice. That did 95% of what I needed to do, and it took a few hours mostly because ATT's internet sucks and I needed to download some updates while I was at it. Then as I needed other programs, I installed them. Eventually, I didn't need to use the old system drive any more, but still had it around "just in case."

I know that doing an OS update is painful, and a major workflow speed bump. I put off Windows 10 for as long as possible. But after updating, I kicked myself for not doing it earlier.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everybody for your thoughts on this important topic!

I well understand all your points but since my W7-system is still running well there can only be one conclusion for me:

I stick to W7 as long as I have enough money to buy a new hardware that would then justify the installation effort and naturally updates me to the latest OS.

It is a simple old rule, that still seems to fit. The thing that has changed in the past 10 years is the lifetime of the hardware since we do no longer see the steep improvements in performance. So we can use a chipset for much more than 5 years without penalties in functionality...

Edited by Peter Mangold

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Peter Mangold said:

Thanks everybody for your thoughts on this important topic!

I well understand all your points but since my W7-system is still running well there can only be one conclusion for me:

I stick to W7 as long as I have enough money to buy a new hardware that would then justify the installation effort and naturally updates me to the latest OS.

It is a simple old rule, that still seems to fit. The thing that has changed in the past 10 years is the lifetime of the hardware since we do no longer see the steep improvements in performance. So we can use a chipset for much more than 5 years without penalties in functionality...

Like I said, if this is what works for you, who is to tell you any different? The only revision I would make to my previous statement is that the situation may be different for hobbyists vs. professionals. If you have people depending on you (like wife and kids!), it probably makes sense to keep abreast of the wave, assuming you can afford to do so. Hobbysists can afford to be much more conservative, upgrading only when they really have to. I need to keep in mind that what makes sense for me, a hobbyist, may not make sense at all for a professional. But it still comes down to what works for you. One size does not fit all.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...