CPU usage in Live 10

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Marco Raaphorst
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:42 am

Re: CPU usage in Live 10

Post by Marco Raaphorst » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:58 am

has anyone already mentioned integrated graphics card versus dedicated graphics card? Live 10 defaults at integrated meaning it uses CPU cycles. that's better for you battery but will not be giving you the best CPU performance. it's a compromise between efficiency and power. if you want better performance make sure your dedicated (GPU) graphics cards is used when using Live. I am using the donation ware tool gfxCardStatus on my MacBook Pro for this.
here's where I live: https://melodiefabriek.com

Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:37 pm

Re: CPU usage in Live 10

Post by scheffkoch » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:51 am

...or you could just switch off graphic cards switching within os preferences...no need for a tool...
macbook pro late 2018, osx 10.14.6, rme multiface via sonnet thunderbolt expresscard adapter + thunderbolt to usb-c adapter, ableton live 10.1.7, push 2, komplete 9, maschine 2.9.2, touchable

Posts: 1064
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:06 am

Re: CPU usage in Live 10

Post by Nokatus » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:12 am

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:58 am
if you want better performance make sure your dedicated (GPU) graphics cards is used when using Live.
As we are talking about a relatively simple 2D GUI here, the difference should be negligible (and is) unless there's something wrong with the system. Always test to failure instead of seeing a number on a CPU monitor; build a stress test project in Live and see how many plugin instances you can run, of the plugins you usually use. Find where the limit is when you start hearing audio breakups. Do the same with the dedicated adapter and the built-in graphics. Unless there's something funky going on with the drivers, power saving or whatever, you will find that there isn't really a meaningful difference there.

Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:50 am

Re: CPU usage in Live 10

Post by Alexein » Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:06 pm

Alexein wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:04 am
Hi folks,

I think there's something wrong with Ableton. The first few seconds after startup, Ableton is stable (CPU around 1-10%). After some time on, the CPU will jumping 92,15,75,64,85,37 ... and the sound will start cracking when playing.
OK I did the test. I have two of the same songs, one created in Ableton and the other created in the Reaper. Same instruments, same samples, same effects. In Reaper the song is pure, CPU indicator 0.2-3%, max.6% sometime. In Ableton after a few seconds jumping the CPU indicator (30-80 ...) and cracking the sound.

I do not understand that. I noticed Ableton loading my GTX1080 GPU (30-40%). Why?

Win10, i7 4790k, 16GB RAM, GTX1080 and GTX1070
I found one interesting thing. On my older laptop (Dell Inspiron N5110, i5 processor), Ableton works well with a stable CPU load, no cracking and other annoyances.

Very interesting..

Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:50 am

Re: CPU usage in Live 10

Post by Alexein » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:04 am

Chris Roth
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:03 am

Re: CPU usage in Live 10 POSSIBLE SOLUTION

Post by Chris Roth » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:29 am

So, I googled this issue cause it started happening to me in my brand new laptop (I needed a laptop to record on studios and bla bla), my actual computer is an I5-9600K, 16GB RAM, M.2 SSD, good motherboard with power management and a good PSU, all the good juice, runs perfect with live 10.
Now... the laptop, it's an ASUS TUF 505 with a Ryzen 5 3550H and 8GB RAM, M.2 NVME SSD, good system as well, launched a project, very simple one, olny 4 tracks, one VST, just integrated ableton FX, running at 70% CPU usage....
I tried different things, which guided me to success.
- First, tried a different sound card (not the problem)
- Second: the laptop was not plugged into the AC, so, I plugged in, (Fixed number 1), suddenly now it was running at about 42%, still pretty high, but better.
- Third: entered the software-controled power management, switched from normal tu turbo, (fix number 2), now it was running at 30% CPU load.
Have in mind, I didn't close steam, dropbox, skype, bitdefender, etc etc, all the background apps still running.
- Fourth: BIOS CPU C-states, PHASES and CPU Load-Line calibration: now, here's were the thing gets a little bit more tricky, Ableton works in a way that it will perform according to what the CPU is capable to deliver, it's an all-auto software, that's why it doesn't have the "multicore" option anymore, it will select single to multi depending on the CPU state, so, in order to control this, we have to do some things, first, disable in the BIOS, the CPU C-state, this is an option that will force your CPU to run always at it's maximum clock speed (Not load), do not confuse, it won't make your CPU go at 100% all the time, just to have it's clock at top speed, this will prevent your cpu from going to low "rpms" and then having to rev up again.
Second, If you are in a laptop, set the power management properties to go always at 100% for CPU, even disconnected from the power.
Now, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you have a good motherboard with hardawer power management control and phase controls (Phase and load line calibration), and a good PSU with clean and reliable power, doesn't matter if you are running on an I9-9900K, if it's mounted on a crappy MB and cheap PSU, it'll run like crap, it's like having a lambo and using dirty low octane fuel.

Phase and load-line calibration are necessary to make your CPU respond faster and for the power to be delivered when the CPU needs it.

Last but not least, try dissabling you TURBO BOOST, turbo boost will peak your CPU, but only in 1 or 2 cores, not all of them, so the cpu usage, even if you're running at 4.6Ghz, it's gonna be higher if you have a lot of tracks, cause it'll have less cores, in live 9 this was prevented with the "multicore" option, forcing the CPU to go to it's maximum clock speed without hiting the turbo boost.

Nowadays all the computers will hit the turbo everytime, and this is the main reason we see this "bug" happen in Live 10, cause then the program will run in one core at 4.6 Ghz, but again... just one core, one out of 6.

So, go ahead and try these things, and the most important thing is to take care of the power delivery and power stability.


Posts: 810
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: CPU usage in Live 10

Post by TLW » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:11 pm

I’m on a Mac, so the hardware and OS architecture is obviously very different (BIOS? What BIOS? Where?), but Turbo seems to have a beneficial effect.

My MBP has a lowly 2.2GHz quad core + hyper-threading i7.

When I run low latency audio one core immediately goes to turbo speed and stays there, this being, I presume, the core running the audio driver. It doesn’t seem to load Live much if at all. So it might not be a problem for all Windows PCs. Many years ago some sources said to disable hyper-threading which apparently could cause some Windows DAWs problems, though I mostly ran Sonar and it never did for me.

Another DAW performance clobbering issue was cpu core parking, which could be switched off by editing registry settings. Is that still a thing?
Live 10 Suite, 2020 27" iMac, 3.6 GHz i9, MacOS Catalina, RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

Post Reply