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Topic: "Tweaking"an XP-PC

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  1. #1

    "Tweaking"an XP-PC

    Hi folks, I\'m tweaking my new PC running XP. I went to some \"tweakers\" sites and they do not seem to agree about the best procedure too optimize. Even simple things. May be we can extract a consensus here-a survey may be?- about how we have set these 4 issues:

    1-Do you choose \"Applications\" or \"Background\"?----I have it set it to \"Apps\"
    2-Standard PC or ACPI mode?----- ACPI here
    3-NTFS or FAT 32? NTSF for System--FAT for Audio disk
    4-Service pack 2-install or not----I didn\'t

    So, how\'s your PC set?

    cheers

    Ric
    ------

  2. #2

    Re: "Tweaking"an XP-PC

    There was a \"Tweaking XP for Audio\" pdf file on the Tascam website not too long ago. I got the following from there...

    1. Select “adjust for best performance of background services” to ensure lowest latency with ASIO-based drivers (ASIO drivers run as background services in Windows).

    2. ACPI, or Advanced Configuration and Power Interface, is designed to help allocate system resources to more efficiently run peripheral devices. For an audio machine, though, it’s been reported to cause some performance problems due to its assigning all devices to a single IRQ.

    3. While NTFS offers a number of improvements over FAT32, most of these advantages are not all that applicable to audio, and you are unlikely to see a major performance difference between the two. Moreover, defragmenting your drives is substantially quicker in FAT32.

    4. From my experience, I have not needed to install any SP\'s so I haven\'t bothered. If it aint broke, don\'t fix it.

    Hope this helps,
    Ben Ripley

  3. #3

    Re: "Tweaking"an XP-PC

    Originally posted by ricren:
    Hi folks, I\'m tweaking my new PC running XP. I went to some \"tweakers\" sites and they do not
    .........
    So, how\'s your PC set?

    cheers

    Ric
    ------
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Hi Ric- I saw your post over on the DUC, and replied there, but for the benefit of this forum, I\'ll post my reply here also. Note that these tweaks will help just about any audio application, and in fact, will help your system run faster overall, whether you\'re running Pro Tools, GigaStudio, or no audio applications.

    -----------
    Since I recently upgraded to Windows XP Home, this topic is of interest..

    The best overall guide I\'ve seen for tweaking Windows XP for audio applications is available online- it\'s an excellent paper by By Dave Casey, a TASCAM Product Specialist. It\'s a .pdf, so you\'ll need to get Adobe Acrobat Reader, if you don\'t already have it.

    http://www.nemesysmusic.com/support/W2k_XP_Optimize.pdf

    I did all the tweaks he mentions in the paper, and, while I can\'t give you \"before and after\" performance figures to compare, my system is subjectively much \'snappier\' and more responsive now.

    FWIW, one thing he mentions is that defragging a FAT32 volume is quicker than if the volume is formatted NTFS.

    I\'m running the \"Processor Scheduling\" in the Advanced tab set to Background, but it doesn\'t seem to make much difference one way or the other on my system.

    I chose \"Standard PC\" when I set up XP.. My thought was that the less crap running in the background, the more processor cycles are available for PT. I don\'t need the Power Management features.

    Doug

  4. #4

    Re: "Tweaking"an XP-PC

    First at all, thanks for your reply. As I said before, experts do not agree on these items, and that-as a long time Mac user-make me MAD.

    I\'ve had already read the Tascam guide before posting .The thing is, others say different, like Creamware and RME people. Take for example this:

    1-Standard PC vs ACPI: The people at RME suggest going ACPI in XP, exactly the oposite of Tascam advice. Reasons? They say:

    If you have an APIC capable motherboard, then it is recommended that APIC is selected in the BIOS, as opposed to PIC and that you do an ACPI install of XP. Typically, the number of interrupts will increase from 16 (actually 15 as IRQ 2 is reserved for PIC linking) to 24 with APIC and ACPI.

    2-On the Background -Apps debate, Tascam advices \"background\" for better latency on ASIO, but what happens with GSIF or Digidesign drivers?Is the same? In my P4-1.7-Intel 845 machine going from apps to background made GS to click and pop after 130 voices in Gigapiano. Go figure.

    I sincerely amazed that companies that depend on Computer performance as system hosts like Nemesys (Tascam now) or Digi do not provide a detailed and specific answer for tweaking the machines. I plain and simply do-not-understand. Sould be more simple.


    cheers

    Ric

  5. #5

    Re: "Tweaking"an XP-PC


  6. #6

    Re: "Tweaking"an XP-PC

    Originally posted by ricren:
    ...In my P4-1.7-Intel 845 machine going from apps to background made GS to click and pop after 130 voices in Gigapiano. Go figure.
    ...
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Something else must be wrong here, you should be able to get max poly with a far less powerful CPU (say, P3 at 900, or Duron at 1000-1300).

  7. #7

    Re: "Tweaking"an XP-PC

    Originally posted by ricren:


    1-Standard PC vs ACPI: The people at RME suggest going ACPI in XP, exactly the oposite of Tascam advice. Reasons? They say:

    If you have an APIC capable motherboard, then it is recommended that APIC is selected in the BIOS, as opposed to PIC and that you do an ACPI install of XP. Typically, the number of interrupts will increase from 16 (actually 15 as IRQ 2 is reserved for PIC linking) to 24 with APIC and ACPI.

    Ric
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">This is correct, and it\'s how we\'re setting up our Truespec systems.

    What you have to keep in mind is how fast the motherboards are changing from the time these documents were originally posted. Just a few months ago, my partner in Truespec bought a new P4 1.8GHz with using SDRAM. At \"the time\" it was the best value since a 2.4GHz was radically expensive. This weekend, we setup my new Cubase SX system with the newest 845 board with LAN, 1GB RAM. In a few weeks, this \"new\" system will be the \"old\" system once the \"new\" Intel 333 boards hit (mine is 233).

    You have to look at these documents as starting points, then check to see what\'s changed.

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