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Windows 10 settings / stuff you can turn off for music?

JohnG

Senior Member
Adjustments to Windows 10 PC Slave [edit: updated BIOS changes Feb 11, 2016]


Hello all,


Thanks to everyone who chimed in on two threads. Here's what I did to 3 different PC slaves, all running Windows 10, VE Pro standalone, and each having Kontakt 5 and PLAY on them. In aggregate, these changes conspicuously improved performance.

Remember, you may not get good results doing these things and may have better ideas -- I am just recording what I did, not telling anyone else what he or she should do. Windows 10 is brand new and will likely change a lot over the coming months, so whatever is here (November 2015) may be unhelpful down the road.

SOME OF THESE THINGS ARE RISKY, LIKE BIOS STUFF!!

If you don't know what you are doing with the BIOS you can wreck your computer.

A. Tested system to see if I needed to bother (I did):

Downloaded latencymon (seems to have been updated for Windows 10 based on what's on their site): http://www.resplendence.com/downloads

Basic fixes and interpreting results of Latencymon:

https://www.native-instruments.com/en/support/knowledge-base/show/3671/windows-78-tuning-tips-for-audio-processing/

B. BIOS alterations -- remember, these are RISKY, especially turning off thermal throttling and other CPU protections

1. Updated BIOS (on my computers needed USB flash drive formatted for FAT):

2. Turned off Speedstep

3. Turned off Turbo boost / Advanced Turbo

4. Turned off Thermal Throttling / CPU Thermal Throttling

5. Turned off CPU C States Support and / or individual C-states related to CPU

6. Disabled onboard audio from motherboard (I'm using separate audio card so don't need it)

7. Turned off Isochronous whatever-it-is. I quote from an internet post: "Isochronous refers to time-bound processes, such as synchronizing audio and video in a multimedia stream or ensuring that data is transferred across a network or data bus (like a northbridge or southbridge on a motherboard) with similar constraints. It prioritizes threads or calculations between the IOH and ICH. So basically, the more important tasks will be determined and executed in Isochronous Mode. So if it's enabled, it means time bound processes are given priority first while if it is off FIFO rule applies. I think all these "features' on the board are just marketing crap and don't really show any real world advantage or disadvantage. If you're OCing, best to keep it disabled!"

8. I checked the BIOS and the "Advanced CPU Features." The CPU Clock Ratio was set to 15, which yields a CPU speed of 2.00 GHz. I changed it to 23 (max is 24) and now the CPU Frequency is 3.06 GHz, approximately what it's rated.

9. Turned off hyperthreading on at least one computer -- honestly can't remember if I did this on all of them.

10. Chimuelo (if I understood him correctly) recommends turning off EIST

C. Windows 10 Adjustments

Followed Native Instruments tips on issues like power settings (see second link, above, for Native Instruments suggestions). Most of these are familiar from Windows 7/8 or earlier.

Turned off Energy Efficient controls of Network adapter card (this was a big one for me):

1 Windows Explorer, This PC

2 Right click, manage

3 Device Manager

4 Network Adapters (open)

5 Right click your adapter, Properties

6 Power Management – get rid of the power saving options (I also got rid of wake on LAN and other stuff)

Windows 10 “Settings”

1. System –

a. Turned all the rubbish off (notifications, multitasking, tablet mode)
b. Set all power to “Never” or otherwise full power

i. Additional Power settings: High Performance (then change sub-settings under “Change plan settings”)

2. Devices – turned pretty much all the toggles off

3. Privacy – since this is just a slave and won’t be used for email or anything like that, I turned off a lot of stuff but especially everything under “Background apps,” which is a fairly long list of applications that are running all the time if you don’t disable them. Left “Settings” on.

4. Update and Security

a. Windows Security, Virus & Threat Protection, Virus & Threat Protection Settings [scroll down] - under "Exclusions," decided to exclude all folders with samples, plus the software I use a lot. I turned Defender off completely because the PCs are never connected to the internet.

b. Windows Update - I ran this repeatedly, based on advice from someone else, who said Windows 10 is still changing rapidly. This may or may not be helpful, but that's what I did. Once I put the PC back to work, it will be completely unplugged from the internet anyway and so will not be updating. [Note: not sure if this is still true but -- If you want to have some influence over updates, it appears you have to buy the Pro version of Windows 10. I did.]

c. (after updating) Turn off Windows Update – Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Services (double-click), Windows Update =>disabled and stopped.

[EDIT: Have heard that, unless you have Windows 10 Professional, there is no way to really stop automatic updates, and even then, using Group Policy, it still may not be permanent. In light of that, the best way to prevent updates is to unplug your PC from the Internet.]

Other

This was posted by mirrodin, another member:

Another thing worth mentioning is actually hardware related. If you use NVIDIA graphics card(s) and do not use the Stereoscopic displays, or use a SHIELD tablet, disable these 2 services:

1. Nvidia Streamer Network Service (latest version of driver services)

2. Nvidia Streamer Service (older, may still be present if drivers are just updated over previous and not clean installed)

3. Nvidia Stereoscopic 3D Driver Service

4. Open the task manager, go to the services tab and right click on any service, and select "open services.”

5. Locate the Nvidia Services (listing should be alphabetical), and you will find these services.

6. Right click on one and select Properties.

7. In the new dialog window: under startup Type select "Disabled"

8. In the service Status, if it is currently running, click on "Stop."

9. Repeat for the other services mentioned above.

10. Whenever another driver update occurs, these services will be restored to their default state (most likely active). You will want to check that these services are disabled after each update.
 
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Gerhard Westphalen

Scoring Mixer
One issue to be careful of is that when I turned off the update service it made me unable to use the Windows store so if the store isn't working for you after you've tried making some changes to Windows, that could be it.

The only tweak that I've made is the background services one and I haven't run into any performance issues yet.
 
That was no problem for me. I installed in such a way that I am not connected to the Windows store, nor the Microsoft cloud nor connected to anything Microsoft. Autoupdates kept trying to update my drivers for all of my hardware and screwing up my system. Now that I am on manual mode, I can choose which updates to install. I just have to check myself once a week.
 

Audio Birdi

Active Member
Make sure your sample drives are excluded from Windows Defender within settings. Your samples will load slowly otherwise. I scratched my head over this for a while and then realised later. Since Microsoft Security Essentials and Defender are both integrated into Windows 10 now.
 

Blakus

Midi Magician
Make sure your sample drives are excluded from Windows Defender within settings. Your samples will load slowly otherwise. I scratched my head over this for a while and then realised later. Since Microsoft Security Essentials and Defender are both integrated into Windows 10 now.
OMG, Thank you - this has been stumping me! My template load time in Windows 10 was twice as long, for no apparent reason that I could find. This fixed my problem perfectly. Thanks!
 
Do Not Spy 10 disables Windows Defender and Security Essentials entirely (if you tick the boxes). I use Eset Nod32. I don't need all of that crap-ware from MS. And amen D. Salzenberg on the Satan comment. Actually, it was controllable from Windows 7 so I used it with my settings. If it is on with Windows 10, Microsoft does whatever the heck that they want, evil demon stuff.
 

Audio Birdi

Active Member
OMG, Thank you - this has been stumping me! My template load time in Windows 10 was twice as long, for no apparent reason that I could find. This fixed my problem perfectly. Thanks!
You're welcome Blakus! it was annoying the crap out of me for a whole day :P, I hadn't realised that Defender actually scans your drive(s) nowadays too, so I'm glad I've helped others to have super fast loading again! :D
 
OMG, Thank you - this has been stumping me! My template load time in Windows 10 was twice as long, for no apparent reason that I could find. This fixed my problem perfectly. Thanks!
So why not just turn it all the way off? Why disable it on only your sample drives? What it is doing is worthless compared to what other 3rd party software does without interference to your music production. I have a bachelors and masters in computer science, BTW. I do music as a hobby. Windows Defender is a virus in itself. It does more harm than good. Turn it off!
 
That can be disabled, but the other updates can continue going (which is usually the smart thing to do).

https://davescomputertips.com/how-to-prevent-automatic-driver-updates-in-windows-10/
Thanks ED. You have really been educating me this week. I appreciate all of you replies to my recent posts. Sometimes my thinking is not entirely correct, but I am willing to learn ☺ and you are a good teacher. I'll look at that post, but I am religious about the computer tasks. MS pushes big updates once a month and I check once a week. Anything in between that is a major risk, they push to everyone, no matter the settings. It's been that way since XP. Again thank you so much for your recent education on all of the posts. You are a good and wise Human being.
 

EvilDragon

KSP Wizard
That's why people should have Professional, not Home edition. Yes it's more expensive, but you can switch yourself to a slower, 3-month update track. Much preferred IMHO.
 
That's why people should have Professional, not Home edition. Yes it's more expensive, but you can switch yourself to a slower, 3-month update track. Much preferred IMHO.
I always used Professional for other reasons. I know nothing of Home edition other than the networking limitations that I read about.
 
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kitekrazy

Senior Member
Make sure your sample drives are excluded from Windows Defender within settings. Your samples will load slowly otherwise. I scratched my head over this for a while and then realised later. Since Microsoft Security Essentials and Defender are both integrated into Windows 10 now.
also exclude Defender from scanning itself.
 

chrysshawk

Active Member
Thread might deserve a sticky.
Did install W10Pro on master+slave this weekend, and there are currently glitches in C8 while playback and worse during playback+recording (on W8.1 P this did not happen). For Win 8.1P I used IOBit's suite to uninstall a ton of the Windows applications which run in the background and cannot otherwise be uninstalled, will also do this on Win10.
 

paaltio

Member
I don't turn off anything. Most of the "optimize Windows for audio" guides are outdated, and I've even seen some that are pure nonsense, so I would steer clear of them.

The essential thing on a new Windows install is to check with LatencyMon that there aren't misbehaving drivers. After that you're basically good to go. If something else is causing problems I would address that on a case-by-case basis.
 

Lannister

Member
Never used OSX, but do people go to such lengths on that OS too? I only ever read about it with regard to Windows.
 

D.Salzenberg

Active Member
I don't turn off anything. Most of the "optimize Windows for audio" guides are outdated, and I've even seen some that are pure nonsense, so I would steer clear of them.

The essential thing on a new Windows install is to check with LatencyMon that there aren't misbehaving drivers. After that you're basically good to go. If something else is causing problems I would address that on a case-by-case basis.
Well, I don't normally mess with Windows settings too much, but after reading this thread I turned Defender off and my samples load much much faster when I load a project.
 
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