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Topic: You Know What Drives Me Nuts???!!!

  1. #1

    You Know What Drives Me Nuts???!!!

    I'm so sick of Windows being a CPU and RAM hog. Here, I have a machine that has more than enough resources and things still get bogged down. This is not a new problem, but I'm just sick of dealing with it.

    I'm inheriting at least one, maybe two Mac Pro's this summer, not the intel Macs, but the previous Mac Pro. I'm seriously thinking about dumping my PC for the Macs, completely.

    I'm sorry for the rant, but Good Night, enough is enough!!!!

    That being said, how well do the Mac Pros handel resourses? Does OSX have a thousand processes running constantly? Ou Ve!!!

    For more information, check out www.jonathoncox.com/intro.html

    "The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music they should be taught to love it instead." - Igor Stravinsky

  2. #2

    Re: You Know What Drives Me Nuts???!!!

    first of all, if its not intel, its not a mac pro, it must be a g5. but it will run fine. If you have enough ram, (get at least 2G) you will be happy. OSX is very customizable. it uses a lot of ram, but there are ways to scale it down. you can turn off such things as the dock, dashboard, and you can even quit the finder with a third party app. (i forget what its called).
    good luck

  3. #3

    Re: You Know What Drives Me Nuts???!!!

    Windows also drives me insane. I have 2 GB of RAM in my computer and it only allows a program to access at most 1.5 GB of RAM. That, combined with the apparent 2 GHz limit (I have a 3.2 GHz processor) drives me up the wall. I even tried comparing Windows XP Home on a laptop (2.6 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM) against my G4 PowerMac (400 Mhz, 384 MB RAM) and my Mac outperformed Windows XP Home. This summer, I'm purchasing myself a Panasonic AG-DVC7 camera and a Mac Pro.
    Colton J. Provias
    Film Score Composer, Location Sound Mixer, and Sound Editor
    Full-stack Web Developer

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    South of the Ohio River

    Re: You Know What Drives Me Nuts???!!!

    I think the last thing any of us need on this forum is a Mac vs. PC thread. Both platforms are excellent if you have taken careful consideration of what you are using the machine to do. If you are using your computer in a multi-tasking environment then you must live with the fact of background processing, etc. I've never used a Mac so I can't speak to it's ability to multi-process in the way that PC's handle that task, but I really believe that you can design and use a PC to be a CPU efficient and RAM efficient machine if you dedicate it to that purpose. My DAW is PC based, optimized to run under XP Pro but it not connected to the internet nor does it have any of the many bundled programs installed which often come with "off the shelf" machines. It works fine for me and I can run multiple instances of Kontakt 2 or GPO or many of the NI plugs and I have only 2 gb RAM. I think it's great that we have GPO and JABB and other Garritan products which will run comfortably in both the PC and Mac environments. I also understand the frustration of trying to get a system to run efficiently. But my quiet observation would be that maybe it's not the machine itself but rather what you are expecting from it. It is, after all, only a computer and will do whatever you tell it to do. There is also a thread somewhere which has tips on optimizing a PC for use as a DAW. That might be on Scott Garrigus' web site WWW dot digifreq dot com. There are things which can be done to help you tweak your system. Maybe you have already done that - I don't know. I'm just trying to be a little help. And, if migrating to the Mac platform is your answer, then I hope you find it to be a good resolution to your frustrations. At the end of the day, all we want is to help each other make beautiful music together.
    Dayton, Kentucky
    Personally, I'm waiting for caller IQ.

  5. #5

    Re: You Know What Drives Me Nuts???!!!

    I run a Mac G5 dual 2.0 ghz machine with 3.5 gigs of ram for Digital Performer and it works beautifully.

    I also use a three year old Dell 3.06 ghz Windows XP PC with 2 gigs of ram for all of my samples. Regardless of whether the sounds play from a Kontakt player through V-STack, Gigastudio or Kontakt 2, the machine performs beautifully.

    There are two reasons why the Dell Windows PC runs so smooth...

    1. I followed the instructions to a 'T' when I installed Gigastudio so that I could use GOS.

    2. The internet is never connected to this machine. I use a much less powerful PC with Windows XP Pro for the internet. As cheap as PC computers are, do yourself a favor, and get an old computer for skype, email and internet browsing junk. Do not use your good dedicated audio PC for that stuff.

    Here is a list of the things that I did back in 2004 when I got into this midi stuff. These are tweaks that allow you to get every last ounce of power out of a PC, and will provide a glitch free computer audio system, provided you have a nice soundcard. I use an RME HDSP 9652. This card does not have any analog inputs or outputs, purely digital, but it is regarded as one of the best there is. I purchased this card because I needed the 24 channels of digital audio, so the sounds can stream into my Mac computer via it's MOTU 2408 MKIII audio interface, and then finally into DP's audio tracks for mixing.

    In this list, I did everything except disable system restore. That to me is a priceless feature. If at anytime you install something new, or something gets messed up, you can always "go back" to a time when the system worked properly. I did not want to give that up. It is obvious after looking through this list, that the operating system is doing a ton of things under the hood that we know nothing about, and then we ask the computer to render all the sounds of a full orchestra. Geez! Could we ask it to do anything more? Gee how about run a DAW too

    So, please do yourself a big favor and follow this list, and do what it says. This is a list of things that you DO NOT want your computer to be doing while it is trying it's best to deliver an orchestra.

    The best “recipe” for setting up Windows XP for any serious audio work is to:
    1. A fresh install of Windows XP
    2. Verify in “Device Manager” that all devices (AGP, PCI, FW, USB etc…) are happy. (No “yellow exclamation marks” or “other device” categories.)
    3. When at all possible verify that in “Device Manager” “View/Resources by type/Interrupt request (IRQ)” that your audio card is sitting on its own IRQ number and that this number is not assigned to any other devices.
    4. Now it is recommended that you turn off any services or programs in Windows that run in the back ground.
    5. For consistency, before carrying out the tuning tips suggested below, switch to classic view in the control panel as well as for the start menu.
    • Control Panel > "Switch to Classic View".
    • Start > Control Panel > Taskbar and Start Menu > Start Menu Tab > Classic Start Menu
    • Switch off Desktop Background Image
    Right Click Desktop > Properties > Desktop Tab > Background None
    • Disable Screen Saver
    Right Click Desktop > Properties > Screen Saver > None
    • Switch off Power Schemes
    Start > Settings > Control Panel > Power Options > Always On > Set: Turn off monitor and turn off hard discs to Never
    • Disable Automatic Desktop Cleanup
    Start > Settings > Control Panel > Display > Desktop > Customize Desktop > Untick "Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days
    • Disable Hide Inactive Icons
    Start > Settings > Taskbar and Start Menu > Taskbar TAB > Uncheck "Hide Inactive Icons"
    • Set Visual Effects to “Best Performance”
    Start > Settings > Control Panel > System > Advanced > Performance Settings > Visual Effects Tab > Adjust for best performance
    • Disable Remote Assistance
    Start > Settings > Control Panel> System > Remote > Untick Allow remote assistance invitations to be sent from this computer
    • Disable Automatic Updates
    Start > Settings > Control Panel> System > Automatic Updates > Turn off automatic updating. I want to update my computer manually
    • Disable System Restore, this is the one I did not do
    Start > Settings > Control Panel> System > System Restore Tab. Tick the "Turn off System Restore on all Drives"
    • Disable Internet Synchronize Time
    Start > Settings > Control Panel > Date and Time > Internet Time > Untick "Automatically synchronize with internet time server"
    • Disable Windows Sounds
    Start > Settings > Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices > Sounds Tab > Sound Scheme to None.
    • Disable Fast User Switching
    Start > Settings > Control Panel > User Accounts > Change the way users log on or off > Untick Use Fast User Switching

    These are the tweaks that allow you to get every last ounce of power out of a PC. They are your best source for a glitch free computer system.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rayzalaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: You Know What Drives Me Nuts???!!!


    Just one of things that I'd missed from other advice.

    Disable Fast User Switching - now sorted -

    I use only my PC and XP. Through experience from the days of Atari I try every trick to eliminate problems and I don't have many. I've got 46 processes running in the background. I could easily make it crash but I know it's limits and work within them.


  7. #7
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: You Know What Drives Me Nuts???!!!


    I agree, let's not get the whole Mac vs. PC thing going ("my operating system can beat up your operating system, anyday"). I just want to ask what "Ou Ve" meant. Did you mean "Oy Vey"? Now that I understand...

    The Mac world is a nice place. Small. Not too many of us. Lots of room to stretch your legs.

    Hope you get it all sorted out.
    Ron Pearl





  8. #8

    Re: You Know What Drives Me Nuts???!!!

    Ray, I think this list of tips from Tascam is what has made my PC experience a pleasurable one. I'm glad you found something in there to help make your system even a little more reliable.

    The whole Mac/PC issue is a waste of human energy and only hurts feelings. The people who carry on and patronize those conversations in a negative way, are usually ones who did not have their system setup properly. In the Mac environment, things generally are more intuitive and more common sense oriented, but all in all, it does not make them a better performing machine. I like both systems, since one is incapable of certain things, while the other one shines in other areas.
    Glad to help Ray!

    I have to share this funny yet very unforgettable experience.
    After using a PC for a few years for email and invoicing, I purchased my first Mac so I could use Digital Performer since it is a "Mac only program". After setting up the Mac, and turning everything on, I wanted to put a CD into the driive. I could not for the life of me figure out how to get the stinkin' drive door open. Gee, PC's always have a little button right next to the tray door.

    After scratching my head for 30 minutes, my Dad saw a button on the keyboard that had an icon that looked like it might be the door opener. Whalla! it opened.

    I fealt so dumb.
    Then the first time I transferred some audio files into Toast (software for making CD's and DVD's) I put a blank CD into the drive and clicked record.

    Immediately, Toast delivered a message saying something like...

    "Toast needs at least 2 seconds before the first song,
    do you want me to fix that for you?"

    I was not amazed at that, but more amazed at the choices for answers...

    YES..... NO

    On a PC, it would have been a very long complicated question with choices like..... yes..... no..... delete..... continue.

    OK, sorry I started to turn this into a Mac PC topic


  9. #9

    Exclamation Re: You Know What Drives Me Nuts???!!!

    The list DPDan shared from Tascam is a great list. There are more tips at http://www.musicxp.net. I've used the tweak lists for DAWs from both and I have never (furiously knocking on wood) had any issues.

    I also like Macs, so this is not a PC vs Mac statement. Rather, it is a statement that you can do a great deal with what you have with the XP operating system. Turning off all unneeded services will be a great help. Unless you have more applications installed than is required for a DAW you should have a great deal of memory available to you.

    Best of luck with your efforts, either on PC or Mac!


    P.S. I'll add that I would *love* to go to Digital Performer. Not because of the OS, but rather because I think DP is the best thing around. Unfortunately, the cost to make the move is so cost prohibitive I doubt it will ever happen.
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  10. #10

    Re: You Know What Drives Me Nuts???!!!

    Kevin here is what I would do, honestly, buy a used G5 on Ebay and get DP. Not only is DP awesome, but it is so inexpensive compared to most all other DAW software available.

    If you don't like the Mac environment or DP or both, you could resell them both.

    MOTU, makers of DP also allow a cheaper price (crossgrade) if you are using a legitimate program from some other vendor.

    Plus, if you had DP, we could share projects through email too!


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