BIG performance issue on MacBook

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Akshara
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:16 pm

Re: BIG performance issue on MacBook

Post by Akshara » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:47 pm

What do you think, guys, could I optimize something else or the only way to get over this is a faster hard drive?
If the audio files are recorded at 32-bit, converting them down to 24-bit can help relieve stress on the audio drive. To do this:

1) Go to Preferences > Record, Warp, Launch and change Bit Depth to 24
2) Open the project and create a copy using Save As
3) Select All audio clips, Right-Click on a clip and select Crop Clips

This last step can also be done individually per clip, rather than by selecting all. When in the Detail View or right-clicking on a single clip, the function changes to Crop Sample. When the Crop function is used without selecting a region of the clip, it creates a new copy of the entire clip; and since the Preferences were changed, the new clips will have a 24-bit word length, which should be easier on the audio drive.

Worth a try, hope it helps. If you are already running 24-bit, consider converting to 16-bit as a test.

PS. One thing to note when installing a 7200 rpm drive in a Macbook is that the heat will increase which will cause the fan to turn on more frequently. We have a 7200 rpm drive in my wife's MacBook, and when doing any audio or video work for more than about 10 minutes, the fan stays on pretty much all the time. It's just a compromise to consider when weighing the pros and cons of an upgrade.

dothedru22
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:26 pm

Re: BIG performance issue on MacBook

Post by dothedru22 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:26 pm

Akshara wrote:
PS. One thing to note when installing a 7200 rpm drive in a Macbook is that the heat will increase which will cause the fan to turn on more frequently. We have a 7200 rpm drive in my wife's MacBook, and when doing any audio or video work for more than about 10 minutes, the fan stays on pretty much all the time. It's just a compromise to consider when weighing the pros and cons of an upgrade.
No. The new 7200 rpm Western Digitals produce less heat and use less power than a typical shitty 5400 rpm you find in your mac books. I've replaced dozens and dozens of laptop hard drives with 7200 rpm drives. I've also been building computers since I was in high school. I know how these hard drives work and trust me when I say there will be less heat and less power. These western digital scorpio blacks aren't some crap shoot you get with a mac book. It's a quality component.

locojohn
Posts: 484
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Location: riga, latvia

Re: BIG performance issue on MacBook

Post by locojohn » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:16 am

dothedru22 wrote:
Akshara wrote:
PS. One thing to note when installing a 7200 rpm drive in a Macbook is that the heat will increase which will cause the fan to turn on more frequently. We have a 7200 rpm drive in my wife's MacBook, and when doing any audio or video work for more than about 10 minutes, the fan stays on pretty much all the time. It's just a compromise to consider when weighing the pros and cons of an upgrade.
No. The new 7200 rpm Western Digitals produce less heat and use less power than a typical shitty 5400 rpm you find in your mac books. I've replaced dozens and dozens of laptop hard drives with 7200 rpm drives. I've also been building computers since I was in high school. I know how these hard drives work and trust me when I say there will be less heat and less power. These western digital scorpio blacks aren't some crap shoot you get with a mac book. It's a quality component.
I replaced my MacBook's HDD with a Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320GB two years ago and it performs very well. Not a single glitch, very reliable, at least as quiet as the original Hitachi 5400 250GB drive and I didn't really notice any difference in the work of the fans.

Andrejs
/*
  • the basic tone of life remains the same,
    and in it there are some happy melodies
    and some sad melodies
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codemac
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Re: BIG performance issue on MacBook

Post by codemac » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:26 am

locojohn wrote: I replaced my MacBook's HDD with a Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320GB two years ago and it performs very well. Not a single glitch, very reliable, at least as quiet as the original Hitachi 5400 250GB drive and I didn't really notice any difference in the work of the fans.
Andrejs
You mean you've experienced audio drops & glitch problems before replacing the HDD and the problems disappeared since you have the new hard disk?

locojohn
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Location: riga, latvia

Re: BIG performance issue on MacBook

Post by locojohn » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:38 am

codemac wrote:
locojohn wrote: I replaced my MacBook's HDD with a Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320GB two years ago and it performs very well. Not a single glitch, very reliable, at least as quiet as the original Hitachi 5400 250GB drive and I didn't really notice any difference in the work of the fans.
Andrejs
You mean you've experienced audio drops & glitch problems before replacing the HDD and the problems disappeared since you have the new hard disk?
No, what I meant was that I experience slightly increased performance and 70 GB increase in space since I have a new disk.

Andrejs
/*
  • the basic tone of life remains the same,
    and in it there are some happy melodies
    and some sad melodies
    - sekito kisen
*/

codemac
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:20 pm

Re: BIG performance issue on MacBook

Post by codemac » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:57 am

Ok guys, I'm back with the latest information.
As I said, I experiented audio glitch and crack problems while playing simultaneously 7-8 wave files (16 bit or 24) + one midi track for the drum rack. Of course, there are some effects on a few of these tracks, like voice compression or eq, nothing fancy. The problem showed up mostly at the first 2-3 plays after opening the session. Also I experienced audio crack at the first press of my master keyboard's key (midi signal to a synth created in in Operator). It could be something similar described by @robnotrob with his drum rack.

All these has disappeared and I am not able to reproduce any of the previously described problems. What I did? I replaced my Samsung 2.5", 5400RPM hard drive with a Kingston SNV425-S2/64GB hard drive. Also the processor usage has went down from 20-21% to 12-13%.

p.s. also the the time to open the live session has reduced from 2 minutes to less than 30 sec.
Cheers and thank you all for your support!

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

8O
Posts: 5502
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Location: Berlin

Re: BIG performance issue on MacBook

Post by 8O » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:43 am

Great, thanks for reporting back. What speed is the new HD, 7200? Is the capacity just 64GB?

Have you run the Live Performance Test on your new set-up already?
Image

locojohn
Posts: 484
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Location: riga, latvia

Re: BIG performance issue on MacBook

Post by locojohn » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:44 am

8O wrote:Great, thanks for reporting back. What speed is the new HD, 7200? Is the capacity just 64GB?

Have you run the Live Performance Test on your new set-up already?
He's talking about installing an SSD my friend. The term "rpm" is probably inappropriate here :)

Andrejs
Last edited by locojohn on Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
/*
  • the basic tone of life remains the same,
    and in it there are some happy melodies
    and some sad melodies
    - sekito kisen
*/

8O
Posts: 5502
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Location: Berlin

Re: BIG performance issue on MacBook

Post by 8O » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:45 am

Oh... nice... explains the 64GB, right? $$$?
Image

codemac
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Re: BIG performance issue on MacBook

Post by codemac » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:42 pm

8O wrote:Oh... nice... explains the 64GB, right? $$$?
Yep, it's an SSD, the price was somewhere at 145 euro. I hadn't the chance to test the setup on the stage but I'm pretty sure everything will be ok, since I cannot reproduce the errors in the studio. I don't need more than 64 GB since I will use this SSD only on the stage (Ableton Live, some plugins, the band's session, etc.) so without internet, IM, music composing, email and other stuff. For these usual activities I'll boot the system from my external (old) hard drive. I think this is the most professional thing I can do, for the moment at least. Maybe later I'll buy a new notebook, however I discovered that my Mid. 2007 MacBook is smart enough for what I need (right now).

The Leopard 10.5.8 startup takes less than 17 seconds. Just to imagine by yourself how fast can be the OS with this new SSD, and as I said, opening the session (.als file) takes less than 30 seconds (before it took almost 2 minutes or so).

Ninja-Matic
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Location: Chicago, IL

Re: BIG performance issue on MacBook

Post by Ninja-Matic » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:44 am

locojohn wrote:
8O wrote:Hi again! :)

Some things to check:

On Leopard I think you still have the options for "highest performance" or something, in Energy Saver preferences, right?
There is no such option on Mac OS X 10.6.

Andrejs
He's running a MacBook - he has that option.

Just checked my 17" running 10.6.3 - yep - I have the option to adjust performance.

locojohn
Posts: 484
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Location: riga, latvia

Re: BIG performance issue on MacBook

Post by locojohn » Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:28 am

Ninja-Matic wrote:
locojohn wrote:
8O wrote:Hi again! :)

Some things to check:

On Leopard I think you still have the options for "highest performance" or something, in Energy Saver preferences, right?
There is no such option on Mac OS X 10.6.

Andrejs
He's running a MacBook - he has that option.

Just checked my 17" running 10.6.3 - yep - I have the option to adjust performance.
And where would it be? I don't find it:

Image

Andrejs
/*
  • the basic tone of life remains the same,
    and in it there are some happy melodies
    and some sad melodies
    - sekito kisen
*/

codemac
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:20 pm

Re: BIG performance issue on MacBook

Post by codemac » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:46 am

Yep I have that option. Before starting this thread it was "custom" and after talking with you, I put "Highest performance". Unfortunately I couldn't observe any performance increase in Live. This not means that "highest performance" can not improve the OS X's performance.

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