Hard Drive or SSD

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
LarZ2
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:03 am
Location: West Coast, USA

Hard Drive or SSD

Post by LarZ2 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:59 am

I have been running Ableton 10 on a Sony laptop PC Win 10 i-7 1.90 GHz 64-bit with 8.00 GB RAM and a SSD. That ran pretty good for the last year, but I recently noticed the CPU usage was at 90%, and peaking to 100 when it started skipping on some more complex songs.

I upgraded to a Win 10 Dell Desktop I-7 3.4GHz 16GB RAM and a Hard Drive.
The performance is way better, with CPU load at 40%.
The only problem is that some of my songs skip. I updated the Scarlett 2i2 drivers, changed to High performance Power settings.
Updated all drivers and everything else listed as performance improvements on the Ableton site.

That finally seems to have solved the problem, but I am surprised that it is so difficult to make it work, since I have a big increase in PC power.
The Sony laptop never missed a beat until the CPU was maxed at 100%. This Dell has been a nightmare to make it work.

Is the problem the Hard Drive? I am considering buying a SSD for this computer. Would that make a huge difference?
Run Win 10 on the HDD, and Ableton on the SSD. Would that make a vast improvement?
I noticed that quite a few people on here have SSD, is that a game changer for Ableton??? 8O

Thanks for any input, Lar
LarZ

McAnix
Posts: 412
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:42 pm

Re: Hard Drive or SSD

Post by McAnix » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:21 pm

This video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUsLLEk ... 5eZ2Z&t=0s

Although not a direct answer and it might not solve your problem it might give you some insight as to what you should be looking for. Someone posted this on the forum the other day and it really helped me understand some of the issues computers are having nowadays.

As a direct answer, the only difference I saw when getting an SSD was faster loading times, performance wise....I honestly can't say, maybe a bit better but there are as usual a lot of variables.

LarZ2
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:03 am
Location: West Coast, USA

Re: Hard Drive or SSD

Post by LarZ2 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:25 am

Wow, that video was great. Like a college class in computer structure. From what I learned there, I definitely think I need a SSD, or two of them.
LarZ

Tarekith
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Location: Ableton Forum Administrator
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Re: Hard Drive or SSD

Post by Tarekith » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:37 am

That was an excellent video, more people who make music with computers need to see that.

Thanks very much for passing that on.

fishmonkey
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: Hard Drive or SSD

Post by fishmonkey » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:35 am

i posted that video in another one of those "why does my beastly new computer perform worse than my cruddy old one?" threads.

the issue we face is that both Windows and macOS are multitasking operating systems, and it is not possible to guarantee real-time performance with either of them, and DAWs require solid real-time performance. in a true real-time operating system, a process can be guaranteed the continuous processing power it needs to function properly.

here is an analogy: say a pizza joint needs to deliver 100 pizzas in the surrounding neighbourhood, and they have the choice between 10 scooters and or one dump truck to do the deliveries. obviously the dump truck can carry way more pizzas, but the fleet of fast little scooters will do a way better job at getting hot pizzas to the masses.
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

miyaru
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Hard Drive or SSD

Post by miyaru » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:06 am

Good video, explaines it very well - thanx!
Greetings from Miyaru.

Prodaw i7-7700, 16Gb Ram, Focusrite Saffire Pro40, Live Suit 10, Push2, Presonus Eris E8, Lexicon MPX1,
Korg N1, Korg R3, NI Massive, Air Hybrid 3 and Scaler.

LarZ2
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:03 am
Location: West Coast, USA

Re: Hard Drive or SSD

Post by LarZ2 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:50 am

Ok, I bought a SSD and cloned my entire Hard Drive. Dis-connected the HD, so now my new SSD is my only drive.
The computer boots up super fast, and even Ableton loads a faster. Yes, a big improvement.

But it still skips about one in every 16 beats, no matter what song I play.
Unbelievable !!!! I-7 3.4GHz 16GB RAM, SSD drive, and it won't play the friggin music.
I have updated everything, audio, video, audio interface, optimized power settings, and applied every troubleshooting trick on the Ableton web site.

What is it?? What else can I do ?
I'm going to try some upgrades next on the sound card, since I am playing through an audio interface, not sure if that will make any difference.

Any ideas out there. I'm ready to try a stick of dynamite.

Thanks
LarZ

McAnix
Posts: 412
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:42 pm

Re: Hard Drive or SSD

Post by McAnix » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:06 am


jestermgee
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Re: Hard Drive or SSD

Post by jestermgee » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:09 am

Have you checked that your power profile is set to Max Power and that any sleep settings for HDD/USB sleep have been disabled?

What is your audio interface and what are the buffer and samplerates?

What does your project consist of with track count, instruments and effects used to get an idea of how that should be working.

Angstrom
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Re: Hard Drive or SSD

Post by Angstrom » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:49 am

We don't really know what you mean by "more complex songs"
Do you mean "18 instances of Omnisphere with 9 Wavetable synths set to full polyphony and the fanciest Spread algo with 5 Convo reverbs"?

On my system if I try to run 3 Wavetables I'll hit my CPU limit. Some people with very fancy CPUs will be able to run 20 of them.

Go to Passmark, download the benchmarking software, install it and run it - don't bother to register, just hit continue - benchmark your system (takes about 10 minutes)
https://www.passmark.com/products/pt.htm

My system is a 2011 era i7 2600k 3.4Ghz and my benchmark is 4080

what's yours?

here's a link to a test benchmark I just ran on my desktop, the app will give you this link if you choose to upload your results after the test has run
Image

If you click that image you'll see my old CPU is rated with: CPU Mark 8,599
I suspect that your CPU mark is quite a lot lower. Potentially your CPU is this one https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cp ... GHz&id=889
Last edited by Angstrom on Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

Lar-ZZ
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:05 pm

Re: Hard Drive or SSD

Post by Lar-ZZ » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:55 am

Thanks McAnix for the Focusrite link. yes, I did all of those power optimizations last night. Still have the issues.

Power profile is set to High Performance, found all of those tips on the Ableton site.
Audio Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, 44100 and 256. I can change the rate, tried 4800 and more, that only made it worse. Cant change the sample rate. Thanks for those ideas.

The sound card in this Dell is on the main board, but there is a PCI socket to upgrade it. Would a sound card upgrade make any difference. Since everything goes out to the Focusrite, does the sound card matter at all?
If it makes any difference I will buy the best one I can find tomorrow.

fishmonkey
Posts: 4072
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: Hard Drive or SSD

Post by fishmonkey » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:25 pm

have you run a DPC Latency checker on your machine yet?

https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

Lar-ZZ
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:05 pm

Re: Hard Drive or SSD

Post by Lar-ZZ » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:09 pm

jestermgee wrote:

What does your project consist of with track count, instruments and effects used to get an idea of how that should be working.
Track 1 : Kick2
T2 : Ableton drums
T3 : Waves Flow Motion bass line with sequencer
T4 : DX7 VST playing three or four note chords
T5 : Waves Flow motion synth
T6 : External instrument. Using ClypX and Push 2 to play Yamaha MOX synth Tenor Sax sounds, Has Waves Doubler and Reverb, compressor.

So only 6 tracks on this set, several VSTs with audio and Plugin effects.
I would not say it is a complex song. My CPU runs at 35%.

Lar-ZZ
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:05 pm

Re: Hard Drive or SSD

Post by Lar-ZZ » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:10 pm

[quote="fishmonkey"]have you run a DPC Latency checker on your machine yet?

Ran that and it was all green, not any problems.

Lar-ZZ
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:05 pm

Re: Hard Drive or SSD

Post by Lar-ZZ » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:32 pm

Angstrom wrote:We don't really know what you mean by "more complex songs"
Do you mean "18 instances of Omnisphere with 9 Wavetable synths set to full polyphony and the fanciest Spread algo with 5 Convo reverbs"?
On my system if I try to run 3 Wavetables I'll hit my CPU limit. Some people with very fancy CPUs will be able to run 20 of them.
Go to Passmark, download the benchmarking software, install it and run it - don't bother to register, just hit continue - benchmark your system (takes about 10 minutes)
https://www.passmark.com/products/pt.htm
My system is a 2011 era i7 2600k 3.4Ghz and my benchmark is 4080
what's yours?
here's a link to a test benchmark I just ran on my desktop, the app will give you this link if you choose to upload your results after the test has run
Image
If you click that image you'll see my old CPU is rated with: CPU Mark 8,599
I suspect that your CPU mark is quite a lot lower. Potentially your CPU is this one https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cp ... GHz&id=889
Only 6 tracks, several VSTs, a sequenced bass, some plugin effects, and audio effects. Only the Piano track is polyphonic with 4 note chords. It should not be that hard. CPU load is 35% on the Live meter.

That is an interesting benchmark test. My score is 1657 CPU=6828 Memory=1781 Disk=3018
I have the same CPU as you i-7-2600 3.4GHz with 16G RAM and a SSD. Why is your score so much higher?
Last week, I restored Win 10, uninstalled everything else to clean it up for my DAW.
I just don't understand why it is not working. There must be one thing that I am missing because everything else appears to be right.
Thanks for your input. Is there any way I can upload a song so you can play it on your machine and see if it skips?

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