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Hi all. I am feeling despondent beyond words.

I recently purchased a newer PC (not the latest, but at least 5 years newer than the previous one) to improve on latency and playback issues. But after the big effort to migrate to a newer system has proven futile. The few clicks and pops I heard during playback of an old song of mine, are now 10x worse! I've experimented with different buffer settings under Mixing Latency in Cakewalk, but that didn't make any difference.

My audio interface hasn't changed -- it's a Presonus Audiobox USB 96. The same Asio drivers. 

OLD SYSTEM:

Dell T7910 E5-2640v3 8C 2,60Ghz / 128GB DDR4 Ram with 512GB SSD.

NEW SYSTEM:

Dell Precision 5820 W-2145 8C16T 3,7Ghz / 32GB Ram with 1TB SSD. (this system supposedly has a faster bus speed, and this should have reflected in performance).

Can someone please give me some hope?

 

 

Edited by Cobus Prinsloo
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Did you remove  bloatware that came with new computer? 

One simple test you can do is while in Cakewalk press FX button on upper header panel to disable all VST FX.  If project runs fine with disabled FX, start enabling FX one by one until sick one is found. 

My previous computer was fairly fast, but something in it's processor architecture or chipset would not allow me to use Izotope plugins. And I tried many (many!!!) things trying to make them work.  Nothing helped. I gave up on those plugins. A new computer, which is NOT a gaming computer takes Izotope without any issues. Different architecture made a world of difference.

bypass.jpg

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New computer then this means you need to optimize it for audio. Start with this 

https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon

Dell's can need extra work to remove  stuff they build into the Bios. I have personal experience with that one. I would never buy a Dell for audio again after that mess. 

Presonus interfaces often install a invasive ASIO driver that is different from the real ASIO driver. Check that you are for sure using the proper ASIO driver. Look in the box I show below and make sure this matches the same wording as in the Drivers settings tab Playback and recording timing master. They are also near the bottom of the bench test lists for pre amp noise and quality. A different interface would be on my checklists. 

Interfaces do make a difference. Example Motu M4  @ 256 buffer- Crackles and Pops.

Same computer, same project Zoom L8  and Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 @ 256 no crackles or pops. I sold the Motu. 

Screenshot (182).png

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Have you run Resplendence LatencyMon to check what processes or drivers might be causing the delays? Even the faster computer system can have glitches if there is some other software or driver hogging the CPU.  I had a machine with a specific graphics card that would cause pops and clicks anytime a plugins UI was showing. I used latency mon to track it down to the video driver. Switched video cards and no more clicks.

https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon

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In addition to the bloatware mentioned above, do a quick search on "system optimization" for your Windows version. Power settings (like USB port going idle or cores getting parked should be explicitly disabled). Also, in that pic that John posted above, have you bumped up the Playback and Record I/O buffers (just above the red box in his pic)? If the project has a lot of audio with it, try bumping those up to 512 (or even 1024)KB. Those settings coupled with the ASIO drivers you are using will often have a sweet spot (that may also be project dependent).

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15 hours ago, Cobus Prinsloo said:

My audio interface hasn't changed -- it's a Presonus Audiobox USB 96. The same Asio drivers....

 

 

Be sure to go to Presonus' website and download the latest drivers available for your interface. (If you're using your original drivers, there might have been significant fixes between versions).

Do the same for your whole system (go to Dell's site and grab the latest drivers for all components).  And of course, disable hardware you don't need (per the optimization routine others have suggested).

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11 hours ago, njm255 said:

You have a lot less RAM in the newer one. Seems that could have an affect and you might have to up your buffer size.

... a LOT less: you downgraded your RAM to a quarter that you previously had.. and for a DAW the amount of RAM is critical.

--- 

OLD SYSTEM:

Dell T7910 E5-2640v3 8C 2,60Ghz / 128GB DDR4 Ram with 512GB SSD.

NEW SYSTEM:

Dell Precision 5820 W-2145 8C16T 3,7Ghz / 32GB Ram with 1TB SSD. (this system supposedly has a faster bus speed, and this should have reflected in performance).

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Ram makes a difference when you use a sample-playing vsti.

It might be helpful to say a lot more about the projects you have: audio? midi? softsynths? number of tracks? sample rate?

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22 hours ago, John Vere said:

New computer then this means you need to optimize it for audio. Start with this 

https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon

Dell's can need extra work to remove  stuff they build into the Bios. I have personal experience with that one. I would never buy a Dell for audio again after that mess. 

Presonus interfaces often install a invasive ASIO driver that is different from the real ASIO driver. Check that you are for sure using the proper ASIO driver. Look in the box I show below and make sure this matches the same wording as in the Drivers settings tab Playback and recording timing master. They are also near the bottom of the bench test lists for pre amp noise and quality. A different interface would be on my checklists. 

Interfaces do make a difference. Example Motu M4  @ 256 buffer- Crackles and Pops.

Same computer, same project Zoom L8  and Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 @ 256 no crackles or pops. I sold the Motu. 

Screenshot (182).png

Yes, I ran Latency Mon on the new PC and it did not pass the test. But, is there anything that can be done within this app to optimize the PC? With regards to the ASIO driver - I thought that the driver installed for the audio interface would be the proper or "real" one. How can I obtain the right type of ASIO driver? You'll see in my screenshot that I have only two options for fivers - The Audiobox one and then Realtek ASIO.


Another thing - could the number of CPU cores impact playback performance? Although my new PC has a faster processor, it only has 16 cores as opposed to the 30 of the old PC.

asio.png

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8 hours ago, bvideo said:

Ram makes a difference when you use a sample-playing vsti.

It might be helpful to say a lot more about the projects you have: audio? midi? softsynths? number of tracks? sample rate?

It's mainly Midi with 21 tracks, using 17 soft synths (and more than one instances of the same ones). There's one audio track containing several sound fx clips.

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11 hours ago, Andres Medina said:

... a LOT less: you downgraded your RAM to a quarter that you previously had.. and for a DAW the amount of RAM is critical.

--- 

OLD SYSTEM:

Dell T7910 E5-2640v3 8C 2,60Ghz / 128GB DDR4 Ram with 512GB SSD.

NEW SYSTEM:

Dell Precision 5820 W-2145 8C16T 3,7Ghz / 32GB Ram with 1TB SSD. (this system supposedly has a faster bus speed, and this should have reflected in performance).

Oh, I thought 32 Gb Ram would be sufficient for audio. How much Ram do you use? 

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17 hours ago, reginaldStjohn said:

Have you run Resplendence LatencyMon to check what processes or drivers might be causing the delays? Even the faster computer system can have glitches if there is some other software or driver hogging the CPU.  I had a machine with a specific graphics card that would cause pops and clicks anytime a plugins UI was showing. I used latency mon to track it down to the video driver. Switched video cards and no more clicks.

https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon

That's astounding, that a video card could have any effect on audio performance!

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2 hours ago, pwal³ said:

Less cores at higher speed versus more cores at slower speed, only @Jim Roseberryknows 😉

You don't want more cores at the expense of significant clock-speed.  That's why Xeon processors are typically not great choices for a DAW.

In a perfect scenario, you want highest possible clock-speed... AND maximum number of cores. 

If it's a choice between fewer cores at much higher clock-speed (vs more cores at much lower clock-speed), go with the higher clock-speed.

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3 hours ago, Cobus Prinsloo said:

Yes, I ran Latency Mon on the new PC and it did not pass the test. But, is there anything that can be done within this app to optimize the PC?

No it won't do anything within the App to optimize your PC - It will just help you identify what's causing the issue

On this system I have now it was the NIC causing clicks and pops. On the system before it was a sensor inside the case , and as soon as I disabled it the issues were gone.

So...it's a case of looking at what it's telling you and doing some digging

 

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Did you try clicking a single magical FX button in Cakewalk I suggested?  

 

Cores and ram has little to do with your issues. Seems your specs are sufficient. My new computer has same amount of Ram (32), but less cores as previous. Runs much, much better. Processor, different chipset architecture and I/O bottlenecks mainly are causes of issues you are describing. 

In my view, #1 thing that gets overlooked is you have to set your power scheme to High Performance. Even if you have crapware installed, it should make a difference how Cakewalk runs. Usually it is set to "balanced" by default. 

 

 

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