"Respectable" CPU usage?

I was wondering (being new to computer recording) what a “normal” cpu usage % was. I’m running v4.1 on a desktop with a pIII 933 MHz/256 MB ram and v4.1 on a laptop with pentium m 1.7 GHz/256 MB ram (both with xp sp2).

Using an 8-track recording with reverb on an aux feeding all channels and the “smaller” compression unit on 4 channels, I’m using close to 40% cpu usage according to n-tracks ratings (which differ from xp’s ratings according to my searches).

Is this respectable? At what % should I be concerned about problems? I don’t know what the norm is and am very curious.

Thanks in advance

Quote (harphunt @ Oct. 12 2005,21:47)
I was wondering (being new to computer recording) what a "normal" cpu usage % was.

Whats a normal PC? :)

Seriously though, its the same question. The CPU usage in any given project will be dependent on your hardware, but also on the complexity of the project, how many tracks, plug ins, which ones, etc

I'm running at about 50% cpu too when I am at the stage ready to mix down (ie about a dozen or so tracks, loads of plugs applied). before I add any plugs I am around 10% or under. My system is an 1.8GAthlon with 512mb ram, Win98SE.

If I got up to around 70% I guess I would start worrying and look at reducing the load through sub mixes.

the only times i worry about CPU usage is when i start getting skips, jumps and lags in my playback. i have been up around 80-85% when that usually starts to happen. then i start to remove some of the plugins that may be redundant or…i have read, i think on this forum, you can mix down a few of the tracks so you aren’t dealing with so many. i have done that also. as i said, i dont think CPU usage is a big deal unless it affects your playback. if you’re only using 40% it seems you still have at least another 40% to go before you start to hit the ceiling. …my opinion…i’m a noo-b and could easily be totally wrong…


Yeah, like g8torcliff said. CPU usage only really matters when you start running out of CPU for what you are wanting to do. If you can run your system with 20 tracks and at least 1 plug in on each and its only hitting 10%… awesome… if the most you’re ever going to do is 20 tracks with 1 plug in on each and you are getting 80% cpu usage with no problems doing that… awesome. Its when you get those 20 tracks and plug ins going and yoo u ggee tt t t t pr ooo b l eeemm s s s s s s s s that you need to worry about cpu usage