macOS CPU performance related to WindowServer

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TLW
Posts: 803
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: macOS CPU performance related to WindowServer

Post by TLW » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:15 pm

No laggy visuals, no laggy anything. Live looks exactly the same and behaves exactly the same.

Except Live’s cpu usage drops like a stone. On my Mac from 30+% for a new project with no audio, plugins or MIDI in it and audio dropouts once the meter hits 35% to 5-6% and still stable at 70%+..
Live 10 Suite, 2020 27" iMac, 3.6 GHz i9, MacOS Catalina, RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

zangpa
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:16 pm

Re: macOS CPU performance related to WindowServer

Post by zangpa » Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:39 pm

Unfortunally this does not seem to work for me. I have tried every single advice i could find, including Options.txt, but still experience laggy behaviour, GPU spikes on AMD Radeon Pro, and fans that are runing like crazy. The only thing that works is to hide the Ableton window.... but that is kind of i impracticable.... I use a 16 inch Macbook pro 2019 with Catalina. Anyone else have the same problem?

fishmonkey
Posts: 4218
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: macOS CPU performance related to WindowServer

Post by fishmonkey » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:04 pm

zangpa wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:39 pm
Unfortunally this does not seem to work for me. I have tried every single advice i could find, including Options.txt, but still experience laggy behaviour, GPU spikes on AMD Radeon Pro, and fans that are runing like crazy. The only thing that works is to hide the Ableton window.... but that is kind of i impracticable.... I use a 16 inch Macbook pro 2019 with Catalina. Anyone else have the same problem?
are you using an external display?
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

TLW
Posts: 803
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: macOS CPU performance related to WindowServer

Post by TLW » Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:50 am

Have you tried preventing GPU switching? I remember seeing something about this on Apple’s user forum or help web site but can’t find the link to it, sorry.
Live 10 Suite, 2020 27" iMac, 3.6 GHz i9, MacOS Catalina, RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

luxupra
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:30 pm

Re: macOS CPU performance related to WindowServer

Post by luxupra » Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:35 am

I did this to the extreme settings "15" and I noticed ableton became laggy... but I also think my CPU % improved a little....

Is this what it does, make the frame slower? and make the graphics more laggy? How does that improve the CPU?

TLW
Posts: 803
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: macOS CPU performance related to WindowServer

Post by TLW » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:35 pm

It basically drops Live’s screen refresh rate. “15” is probably going to be a bit laggy, but I can’t tell the difference in terms of graphics response between 30 and not making the options.txt change.

It made a huge difference to my 2014/15 Retina i7 MBP, which has Intel graphics, and makes hardly any difference at all to my new 2020 27” i9 iMac, which as well as a much faster cpu (and more RAM) has a dedicated video card. The MBP was basically unusable with Live 10 without dropping the refresh rate - an empty default standard project template with the transport not running sent Live’s resource meter to 35%+ and dropouts started when Live’s meter hit around 40%. The options.txt trick dropped Live’s resource meter to 4 or 5% when idle and crackling didn’t start until around 75%.

The WindowServer is a core part of a Mac’s OS, it’s what applications and the OS uses to draw stuff on the display. Things which constantly update tend to use it a lot, and it uses cpu cycles to do its stuff so lots of screen updating can and will increase cpu load.

Another thing which might help reduce graphics load based cpu usage is to use the “reduce transparency” option in the Accessibility part of Settings.
Live 10 Suite, 2020 27" iMac, 3.6 GHz i9, MacOS Catalina, RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

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