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Topic: OT: Optimizing your computer for audio

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  1. #1

    OT: Optimizing your computer for audio

    Hi everyone, I posted this in Off Topic 3 days ago and there\'s nothing but tumbleweeds blowing over there... [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Anyway, since we all have experience in streamlining our machines for audio, I wanted to throw this out to you knowledgeable people here for your thoughts...

    I have been approached to do some tutorials on optimizing your computer for audio, focused in particular, on Windows XP. They range from very basic to advanced. I thought I would post what I have come up with so far. I welcome any suggestions or criticisms if you think anything I have said is not accurate. Also, is there anything you think I have missed that should be included?

    Some of the things I plan to talk about are;

    Looks vs Functionality
    - turning off visual effects
    - reducing color bit depth
    - turning off background images

    General Maintenance and Operating Tips
    - Disk Defrag
    - Error Checking Hard Drives
    - Creating Shortcuts
    - How to properly remove programs
    - System Restore, what it is and how to use it
    - The Device Manager
    - Applying updates

    Installing Drivers
    - different options when installing
    - windows driver signing; what it is and how to turn it off
    - rolling back a driver
    - checking the current driver version
    - updating a driver
    - manually installing a driver

    Optimizing Hard Drives for Audio
    - Have a seperate drive, perhaps two; one for playback and one for recording
    - turn off Indexing Service
    - make sure drives are DMA enabled
    - set all drives to master
    - leave drive on it\'s own IDE cable
    - Creating a disk partition

    Optimizing Memory and Processor
    - How much memory should you have? (check motherboard manual for limit)
    - Creating a swap file (virtual memory)

    General Performance Tips
    - Processor Scheduling, set for background services
    - turning off uneccessary services
    - removing unwanted Windows components
    - turn off Windows sounds


    Regards, Scott.

  2. #2

    Re: OT: Optimizing your computer for audio

    Hi Scott,

    Looks pretty comprehensive and obvious question is how do we acquire/buy the doc once done?

    What about also talking to the pros/cons of adding internet. Explain why most say it\'s a bad thing, and how most people get around not having a machine online.

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Optimizing your computer for audio

    Hi Joanne, unfortunately the content will become the property of the college I am providing it for. They are in fact going to be video tutorials. I will ask the college principal if I can post here what it\'s all about, I just don\'t want to preempt anything without his permission.

    That\'s a good point about the internet - thanks. Windows XP requires you to go online for updates so it is a bit hard for an offline machine. I\'m not sure if you can even obtain a CD of updates from Microsoft anymore, you used to be able to.

    Cheers, Scott.

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Optimizing your computer for audio

    You\'ll probably be asked whether RAID makes a difference. Now that\'s a can of worms...

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Optimizing your computer for audio

    Originally posted by Chadwick:
    You\'ll probably be asked whether RAID makes a difference. Now that\'s a can of worms...
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Ditto for SCSI...

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Optimizing your computer for audio

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by Chadwick:
    You\'ll probably be asked whether RAID makes a difference. Now that\'s a can of worms...
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ditto for SCSI...
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Good points! Given that these tutorials are geared toward novice users I think RAID and SCSI could be giving them enough rope to hang themselves with. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Balance that over the hair pulling experience of setting it up and the marginal (or non-existant!) performance increase, I think I\'ll keep it centered on UDMA/IDE. When SATA comes out that will be another story, and hopefully a new tutorial...

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Optimizing your computer for audio

    I would have to agree. Plus, I think that with current technology, good UDMA-IDE drives are fast enough and the price difference makes them much more attractive, especially for beginners.

  8. #8

    Re: OT: Optimizing your computer for audio

    ...thought of another, what about light pipe verses networking two PC\'s together? Pros and cons etc.

  9. #9

    Re: OT: Optimizing your computer for audio

    Thanks Joanne, another good thought. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] The tutorials are primarily focused around novice PC users so it would be a bit advanced at this stage.

    I would\'ve loved to have included tutorials on running multiple DAW\'s, two or monitors, KVM switches, Midi over Lan, MTC, SMPTE, bitrate, dithering, etc... This is when the fun really starts. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Scott.

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