Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
wjbuchanan
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:12 pm

Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by wjbuchanan » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:38 pm

modecai wrote:I just can't find a good description of what the cpu whine is... Or what quiet mbp is supposed to do. I'll do some more googling.
Oh, I see...ignore that completely..."CPU whine" was an issue with certain Macbooks a few years ago.

They created an audible noise, the root cause was down to power saving in the C2D processors.

QuietMBP resolves this defect by making your processor work even when it is idle - stopping the power saving modes.

However, we are using QuietMBP for a different reason.

In Windows you can stop power saving by setting your power profile to "High Performance"...you can't do this in OSX and it can cause higher CPU usage due to the CPU being in a lower power state.

QuietMBP gives me better CPU usage whilst using Ableton because it doesn't ramp down during the idle gaps (the CPU ramps down even under load, the idle "windows" are milliseconds long).

Hope this makes sense.

moonpie
Posts: 305
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:22 am

Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by moonpie » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:04 pm

wjbuchanan wrote:
moonpie wrote:
wjbuchanan wrote:OK one last tip folks...sorry to post so many of these but I am on a mission to squeeze as much performance out of this old MBP as possible, and iron out a few OSX issues along the way.

I obtained 4Gb RAM from a friends old notebook today and promptly upgraded it.

I started to notice that OSX was still paging though, and wanted to stop this behavior.

These commands will do so by unloading the "dynamic_pager" process. This has the effect of only loading programs (i.e Live) into RAM as opposed to virtual memory

Code: Select all

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.dynamic_pager.plist
sudo rm /private/var/vm/swapfile*
If you want to reenable, no restart needed

Code: Select all

sudo launchctl load -wF /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.dynamic_pager.plist


Now...this one is probably only for those really serious about getting some extra performance.

My 2007 MBP is now "blazinly" fast, and I haven't experienced any crashes...if you used more than 4Gb then there would likely be a crash.

Remember to use the 64-bit kernel :)

Your mileage may vary though. I don't use many samples apart from drums, and tend to Live only loaded...perhaps with Firefox if I'm following a tutorial.
How much of these tweaks reset upon restart? The "nice" setting for example. Which things reset on restart or closing ableton etc?
"Renice" only affects the current session of Live, which doesn't survive a reboot
"Nice" is to be used when loading Live, to preset the priority - this also wouldn't survive a reboot but you could create an alias to start Live in realtime mode
QuietMBP is active as long as the program is running
dynamic_paging is active until you disable it, and survives a reboot

Thanks for that! How would I go about creating an alias with that terminal command? I wouldnt be versed in terminal stuff.

wjbuchanan
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:12 pm

Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by wjbuchanan » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:28 pm

Thanks for that! How would I go about creating an alias with that terminal command? I wouldnt be versed in terminal stuff.
If you're no into the command line you could use a GUI frontend..I think there's a few out there

http://osxdaily.com/2011/02/21/adjust-a ... s-renicer/

modecai
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:29 pm

Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by modecai » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:10 pm

wjbuchanan wrote:
modecai wrote:I just can't find a good description of what the cpu whine is... Or what quiet mbp is supposed to do. I'll do some more googling.
Oh, I see...ignore that completely..."CPU whine" was an issue with certain Macbooks a few years ago.

They created an audible noise, the root cause was down to power saving in the C2D processors.

QuietMBP resolves this defect by making your processor work even when it is idle - stopping the power saving modes.

However, we are using QuietMBP for a different reason.

In Windows you can stop power saving by setting your power profile to "High Performance"...you can't do this in OSX and it can cause higher CPU usage due to the CPU being in a lower power state.

QuietMBP gives me better CPU usage whilst using Ableton because it doesn't ramp down during the idle gaps (the CPU ramps down even under load, the idle "windows" are milliseconds long).

Hope this makes sense.
so basically, your mac is working "full steam ahead" all the time? That way, the mac doesn't slow down the processor while something basic is going on in ableton, (and thus, when the 84 other instrument/synths kick in, the processor doesn't overload?)

wjbuchanan
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:12 pm

Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by wjbuchanan » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:23 pm

modecai wrote:
wjbuchanan wrote:
modecai wrote:I just can't find a good description of what the cpu whine is... Or what quiet mbp is supposed to do. I'll do some more googling.
Oh, I see...ignore that completely..."CPU whine" was an issue with certain Macbooks a few years ago.

They created an audible noise, the root cause was down to power saving in the C2D processors.

QuietMBP resolves this defect by making your processor work even when it is idle - stopping the power saving modes.

However, we are using QuietMBP for a different reason.

In Windows you can stop power saving by setting your power profile to "High Performance"...you can't do this in OSX and it can cause higher CPU usage due to the CPU being in a lower power state.

QuietMBP gives me better CPU usage whilst using Ableton because it doesn't ramp down during the idle gaps (the CPU ramps down even under load, the idle "windows" are milliseconds long).

Hope this makes sense.
so basically, your mac is working "full steam ahead" all the time? That way, the mac doesn't slow down the processor while something basic is going on in ableton, (and thus, when the 84 other instrument/synths kick in, the processor doesn't overload?)
I like to think of it as having the processor actually prepared for the workload...

The CPU is switching many times per second between "idle" or "working". A delay is incurred by switching from "idle" to "working, so it is better to keep the processor in a constantly busy state.

Even when you're hammering it with a VST, there are still points where the CPU is idle...waiting for data from the rest of the bus for example, SpeedStep will reduce the power usage at this point.

QuietMBP does this by filling in the blank CPU cycles with something for it to do, this way the CPU doesn't need to sluggishly return from "idle" state.

If it didn't do this, there are points were the CPU is still in low power idle mode, and it'll ask for the data to be resent next cycle.

modecai
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:29 pm

Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by modecai » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:35 pm

I like to think of it as having the processor actually prepared for the workload...

The CPU is switching many times per second between "idle" or "working". A delay is incurred by switching from "idle" to "working, so it is better to keep the processor in a constantly busy state.

Even when you're hammering it with a VST, there are still points where the CPU is idle...waiting for data from the rest of the bus for example, SpeedStep will reduce the power usage at this point.

QuietMBP does this by filling in the blank CPU cycles with something for it to do, this way the CPU doesn't need to sluggishly return from "idle" state.

If it didn't do this, there are points were the CPU is still in low power idle mode, and it'll ask for the data to be resent next cycle.
awesome! thanks for explaining. So what do you set Quiet mbp at to get the job done?

wjbuchanan
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:12 pm

Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by wjbuchanan » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:15 am

modecai wrote:
I like to think of it as having the processor actually prepared for the workload...

The CPU is switching many times per second between "idle" or "working". A delay is incurred by switching from "idle" to "working, so it is better to keep the processor in a constantly busy state.

Even when you're hammering it with a VST, there are still points where the CPU is idle...waiting for data from the rest of the bus for example, SpeedStep will reduce the power usage at this point.

QuietMBP does this by filling in the blank CPU cycles with something for it to do, this way the CPU doesn't need to sluggishly return from "idle" state.

If it didn't do this, there are points were the CPU is still in low power idle mode, and it'll ask for the data to be resent next cycle.
awesome! thanks for explaining. So what do you set Quiet mbp at to get the job done?
0ms...go have a muck about with it, it's risk free!

Khazul
Posts: 3185
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Location: Reading, UK

Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by Khazul » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:04 am

modecai wrote:i find this thread very confusing... I have a new macbook pro 13" and if I have had no problems running ableton, would you suggest that I still look into using these applications?

Thanks!
No - if a 2011 model, should be fine as is.
Nothing to see here - move along!

wjbuchanan
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:12 pm

Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by wjbuchanan » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:37 am

Interestingly I've found out that QuietMBP doesn't seem to affect native Live instruments much.

Perhaps it depends on how the VST is written...I was mainly using impOScar2 before.

I bought Suite today and converted my set to 100% native Live instruments - no affect when using QuietMBP.

Your mileage may vary basically!

steko
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Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by steko » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:42 am

Great, a misguided ex-Windows user with "tweaking hints"… Awesome. A W E S O M E !

Hint: OS X is NOT Windoze! You can mostly leave it as is.


Don't tell noobs how to enable root; there's no need for (not even for your renice stuff -> sudo) & it's dangerous. Sure it's good for fucking up a system even better...

Renice: I don't think you will gain anything with it: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/26 ... 4&tstart=0 (BobHarris) Zero performance gain here...

Maybe it would help Live with a Handbrake encoding running in the background - but who the fuck would do that?

And hey, great, fuck up OS X's memory management by unlinking .dynamic_pager. If you constantly get large amounts of page-outs/swap buy more RAM FFS.

Did you ever do any repeatable AB-testing???


/end rant mode :x :wink:
Rahad Jackson wrote:My Awesome Mix Tape #6


steko
Posts: 3350
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:29 pm

Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by steko » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:45 pm

I wasn't ranting against QuietMBP.

Though release date is 19 May 2006 & newest comment on MacUpdate is from 20 May 2006… 8O

So I'd be careful with using that. Sounds a bit odd to me anyway. Dunno, but possibly could cause damage.

If you try, check in Activity Monitor & Console -> system.log (Applications/Utilities) for runaway CPU & errors.

Not a big fan of system haxies - mostly do more harm than good... And again: 2006!
Rahad Jackson wrote:My Awesome Mix Tape #6

Captain Johnson
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Contact:

Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by Captain Johnson » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:05 am

roger that........ :wink: ........The computer hacks in atlantis are pretty fishy too!!...........forwards!! :D

steko
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:29 pm

Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by steko » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:12 am

:)
Rahad Jackson wrote:My Awesome Mix Tape #6

rikhyray
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Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by rikhyray » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:17 am

steko wrote:Great, a misguided ex-Windows user with "tweaking hints"… Awesome. A W E S O M E !

Hint: OS X is NOT Windoze! You can mostly leave it as is.


Don't tell noobs how to enable root; there's no need for (not even for your renice stuff -> sudo) & it's dangerous. Sure it's good for fucking up a system even better...

Renice: I don't think you will gain anything with it: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/26 ... 4&tstart=0 (BobHarris) Zero performance gain here...

Maybe it would help Live with a Handbrake encoding running in the background - but who the fuck would do that?

And hey, great, fuck up OS X's memory management by unlinking .dynamic_pager. If you constantly get large amounts of page-outs/swap buy more RAM FFS.

Did you ever do any repeatable AB-testing???


/end rant mode :x :wink:
to the point but there is error at the end, instead of
/end rant mode
should be
/thread

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