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Does current DAWs really scale that bad? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 28th December 2010
Gear Addict
nicogrubert's Avatar

Does current DAWs really scale that bad?

Hi there

This evening I made a quick test to see how good my DAWs scale on multiple cores. To be honest: I am shocked how bad they scale.

I used FL Studio 9.7 beta and Ableton Live 8.2.1 on Windows XP SP3.
+ PC, i7-920 CPU, 3 GB of RAM
+ RME HDSP 9632 at 256 Samples (12 ms latency)

I created 2 channels:
1: sampler with kickdrum
2: UHE ACE Softsynth with a cpu hungry patch

Both channels have an identical FX chain of 8 different plugins.

The CPU meter in FL Studio reads 99% and crackles appear.
The CPU meter in Ableton Live reads 78% and if I add some other CPU hungry plugins the CPU goes to 87-93% and audio crackles appear too.

The task manager tells me:
13% CPU usage when running FL Studio
20 % CPU usage when running Ableton Live at 87-93% CPU in Live.

See the picture below:

Is there anything I can do to get a better scaling?
I mean, if the CPU is only at 20% and audio already starts to crackle, something must be wrong.
If I use more tracks then all cores are somewhere between 10% and 40% while the taskmaner CPU reads 25% and audio starts to crackle...
Old 28th December 2010
Lives for gear
jupiter8's Avatar

DPC Latency Checker
Run this one and see what it says.
Old 28th December 2010
Gear Addict
nicogrubert's Avatar

DPC Latency Checker: everything green.
Current latency is between 20 and 50 µs.
Absolute maximum: 53 µs
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