PC Usage

What determines…

So my n-track is humming along nicely, except with 9 - 11 tracks with effects my PC usage is exceeding 80%. SInce I have only 256 RAM, I figure it’s time to increase it. I added another 256, but lo and behold, PC usage has barely dropped.

What gives? What does PC usage really mean, is it a memory issue?

Effects processing, EQ Spectrograph display are real CPU hogs. Just for fun, click the little green “FX” button in the top left corner of the timeline display to toggle effects processing off. I bet you will be amazed at the drop in CPU usage.


Yes, but shouldn’t adding memory reduce the PC usage %?

Not really. Effects processing and calculating spectrographs in real-time are CPU intensive tasks. With Windows, 512MB should give you PLENTY of memory UNLESS you are loading huge soundfonts or sample banks into memory rather than streaming them from disk. Remember, there is a LOT of crap going on under the hood when you playback your 9-11 tracks with reverbs and compressors and EQ’s etc…


Quote (valrecorder @ May 27 2005,13:42)
Yes, but shouldn't adding memory reduce the PC usage %?

Being smarter won't necessarily make you run faster. That is very simplified, but one does not effect the other really. More memory will reduce the need for the hard drive to be accessed as often, but it will almost never reduce CPU usage very much. The only CPU usage that more memory saves is the CPU usage for paging operations.

Hi valrecorder,
about my experience: after memory increasing, HD´s and video boards changes I replaced my P4 1.7 GHz CPU for another one with 2.2 GHz and I had 30% less CPU usage. Sound Processing = Lots of Math…

Quote (makako @ May 27 2005,15:31)
Sound Processing = Lots of Math....

Ain't it the truth? :D

More CPU power is what you need more than likely. What kinda processor you running? What speed?


Running a P4 with 1.8 GHz. So, it’s the processor, grasshopper…

So, if going from 1.7 to 2.2 (a 30% increase) reduces CPU usage by 30%, does that mean that if I’m using 80%, a 1 GHz would not handle the load? Just curious.

I’m suddenly struck with GAS. Faster processor, faster processor… :O

Oh, well, I did the next best thing and bought a dedicated hard drive for the music files.

Processors are not linear in their performance. A 1Ghz processor will not necessarily be 2x the speed of a 500Mhz processor. It depends on bus speeds, L1/L2 cache, memory speed (not size), the actual processor architecture (a 1.5Ghz AMD is as fast as a 1.8 Ghz Intel), and other factors.