Windows 10 anniversary update

Windows 10 Anniversary update audio performance comparison

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I ran some tests before and after the Windows 10 anniversary update dropped to see if anything had changed. Here’s the results from my Surface Pro 4 and my desktop running Cubase, Pro Tools, Reason, FL Studio, Bitwig and Ableton Live.




7 thoughts on “Windows 10 Anniversary update audio performance comparison

  1. Thanks for the useful information – good to hear it’s not getting any worse at least. I have been gradually catching up to the point I check this blog about every week hoping there’s something new, with which I mean to say: thanks & keep up the great work!

    Any hope the issues identified with the SP4 are getting gradually resolved in terms of pro-audio, or will this be revealed next time? I am finding that most of the waking up problems disappeared, and Win10 is getting gradually less buggy overall, but it still feels unfinished by and large – what they call software as a service, I suppose.

    1. Nothing is yet easy. Sometimes I turn it on and it works flawlessly and other times it doesn’t – but then does after messing around and tweaking a bit. The SP3 was flawless once tweaked and remains so even with Windows 10. So it’s difficult to say. I don’t tend to fire up stuff that doesn’t work unless i’m doing some testing – somewhere, somehow I will find time for that soon but I have no idea if its better until I do it. There’s no dramatic pause or anything.

  2. Hi Robin,
    I know absolutely NOTHING about the Surface Pro 4, but I am an expert at recording music on a PC DAW. And… the very first rule of recording software is to NOT use the same hard drive for your Operating System and your recorded tracks. When I first stared off in the DAW world I had clicks, pops, drop-outs, you name it. Here are a few of the things that were cause my problems;
    1.) Networking. The PC was constantly trying to contact the mothership online, in the background without me knowing it. It was trying to contact MicroSoft, plus all the “bloatware” that came with the PC was dong the same thing. It is an ASUS PC and their free software suite was more like Malware as it tried to constantly send info back to ASUS. I finally was able to uninstall ALL the bloatware, free software, etc. Suggestion; turn off WIFI and your networking apps while recording. That will help.
    2.) RAM. GET THE MOST YOU CAN! A minimum would be 16gb in my opinion, 8gb will soon have you running out of RAM as you run more and more plugins, etc.
    3.) Record your audio tracks to a separate hard drive. This one was easy for me and I ended up with 5 extra 10,000 RPM Velociraptor hard drives installed in my ASUS PC with 32gb or RAM. It’s a monster music computer now. I can run over 50 MIDI tracks of symphonic orchestra library tracks processing MIDI real time (not bounced to audio) with no clicks or pops, just pure wonderful orchestra! It’s awesome. So; Not knowing the Surface Pro 4 at all; can you plug in a separate SSD drive? Or… can you create or partition simulating a separate drive space?
    4.) When I boot my music only PC I have a batch file that turns of EVERYTHING that is not needed for music production. There are dozens of command lines in my batch file. I did not write this batch file but I got it online in the Reaper.fm forum. You may be able to find it there and perhaps modify it for the Surface Pro 4. Mine is for Windows 8.1

    Lastly, none of this may help as I’m on a Windows PC…but…generally speaking all of the above are known bottlenecks to recording with a computer and perhaps one of these things will trigger some thoughts that may help you figure this all out.
    I wish you good luck. Once it’s all figured out and running it’s an amazingly powerful tool.
    Marty Tryon
    Alpine, CA

    1. Thanks Marty. I literally published books on the subject of computer music on Windows in the 90’s and 00’s. I wrote the tweak guides that most people use. I was tweaking PC’s for audio before ASIO or VST existed. Everything from Windows 98 and beyond. My tweaking Windows 8.1 video has had nearly 70,000 views. All I mean is that I know a thing or two about tweaking Windows for audio – believe me.

      I would disagree with your first point. Using a separate hard drive has very little impact on the music capabilities of your system. If you want to run masses of orchestral library then sure, separate hard drives would be great – SSD drives would be even better. However, there’s no reason why you cannot run your system, your virtual instruments, sample library and audio tracks off the same drive while multi-track recording at the same time. People do it quite happily all the time. Every owner of a laptop or MacBook does exactly that – so does anyone running an iPad. So I would say having a separate hard drive is helpful, but it’s very very far from any kind of golden rule – at least in my experience. Your experience may vary 🙂

      RAM – up until recently many DAW’s were 32bit. That means they could not access more that 4GB of RAM on a system which had to share that RAM with Windows. And yet we were happily multi-tracking audio, loading up software synths and having a lovely time. In 2010 I wrote an article for Sound On Sound magazine (http://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/should-musicians-move-64-bit-os) and Ableton, Avid and Propellerheads all said they didn’t see the need for a 64bit version of their DAW. These days that seems bonkers. RAM is good, it lets us run larger and more complex sample libraries – but it’s only actually useful for that. Running soft synths and audio tracks and effects requires CPU power and has bugger all to do with memory. So 16GB is fabulous yes, but also 8GB is plenty and I run out of CPU power way before I run out of RAM on my Surface.

      And yes I have tried running audio on a separate drive – because I’ve tried everything 🙂

      Boot – batch file. That’s a good idea if your system requires it. To me it’s the sign of badly put together PC. There’s no reason why that with a decent computer, installed correctly, you can’t run music production software and still have your computer operating normal every day tasks. Of course remove background bits of rubbish and things that are slowing your system down but you shouldn’t need to cripple it in order to make music. With the Surface Pro 4 I have to turn on flight mode to disable the wifi when making music – with the Surface Pro 3 I didn’t have to do that – it’s very infuriating to see things get worse on a new version of a platform rather than better.

      I appreciate your comments and sharing your experience and I’m glad to hear you have system that runs to your liking. Stay tuned I’ll have lots more testing and discussion coming along soon!

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