High pc cpu usage for VST's compared to Mac

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion
KVRist
66 posts since 19 Jan, 2018

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:48 pm

Hello,

I recently switched from Mac to pc in the hopes of it being a more powerful and customizable platform, but unfortunately I am having performance issues when it comes to VSTs and latency. Both machines are run at 96k, using Cubase and Ableton as DAWs.

For reference I was using a 2019 iMac, with an i9 processor and 32gb of ram, and was able to comfortablely use a latency of 128, and even go down to 64 if I had very few virtual instruments loaded.

My pc I just built is using an i9 10850k, with an ASUS ProArt Z490 Creator motherboard and 64gb of ram. The clock speed is 3.6 on both chips but the 10850k has two additional cores. I have 2 Samsung 980 Pros installed, with an 870 evo for my sample libraries. With bios and windows tweaks, I am able to hit a minimum latency of 128, but my VSTs use anywhere from 10%-40% more cpu using the same patch.

Synths like Chromaphone 2, Kaivo and even ZebraHZ are practically unusable with even one instance, when comparably I could get multiple instances of each before I felt the performance hit on my Mac. I am not even able to tweak Chromaphone 2 without hearing obvious clicks/pops/distortion. Raising my buffer size to 256 helps a bit, but the problem persists.

I would appreciate any assistance, as I really can't imagine that windows is that much less efficient than Mac. I downloaded LatencyMon, but it does not show that there is any issue for real time audio. I am using a Lynx Audio Aurora(N) as my interface.

KVRAF
4611 posts since 22 Nov, 2012

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:13 pm

usually this means you are trying to sell an apple (we can't call them macs anymore).

KVRist

Topic Starter

66 posts since 19 Jan, 2018

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:18 pm

Is this a joke/troll comment? Regardless, I would appreciate some help in getting this figured out!

KVRAF
4611 posts since 22 Nov, 2012

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:24 pm

there are no macs anymore. you should be able to get 512 on any modern machine, and you will not be able to get more then a couple of tracks programming on any common machine. you will have to turn off ALL external processes (like wifi) and bounce.

KVRAF
2883 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:25 pm

Seems like you are using just single core, look into BIOS settings, maybe set it to exact number instead of automatic or vice versa.

KVRAF
29563 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:26 pm

Are you using the "High performance" power plan in Windows? It's mandatory for audio.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRAF
4611 posts since 22 Nov, 2012

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:27 pm

might be using multicore actually. it's a good suggestion,

KVRist

Topic Starter

66 posts since 19 Jan, 2018

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:33 pm

I can get more than a couple of tracks programming on my 2019 iMac which is a "common machine". Are you implying a pc is incapable of achieving what my older inferior iMac can do? Some of the largest film scores in the world are done on pc so I doubt that is the case. My wifi is off, and so are all other external processes that I know of. I would really appreciate some more direct help to address the specific issues I am having with low buffer sizes and VSTs. I have no desire to turn this into an Apple vs Microsoft/PC debate.

KVRist

Topic Starter

66 posts since 19 Jan, 2018

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:34 pm

I am using high performance, and have read multiple guides on how to setup a pc for best audio performance. This is my first pc though so its very possible I am missing things. I will check on the single core issue now.

KVRist

Topic Starter

66 posts since 19 Jan, 2018

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:38 pm

"Active Processor Cores" is set to All, and task manager displays 20 threads, which would mean I have 10 active cores correct?

KVRAF
2883 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:58 pm

MeanGreen7 wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:33 pm
Are you implying a pc is incapable of achieving what my older inferior iMac can do?
Your older iMac (it's one year/gen older than your current CPU and whole build) isn't really that inferior to be honest, you just got next gen i9, difference isn't that big, like if you got something like Ryzen 9 5950X or something.
"Active Processor Cores" is set to All, and task manager displays 20 threads, which would mean I have 10 active cores correct?
Seems like Windows is recognizing your CPU correctly.

Next suspect would be Lynx drivers and maybe something with using 96Khz, maybe there's mismatched project sample rate settings in DAW's, are there any known issues with Lynx on Windows?

KVRist

Topic Starter

66 posts since 19 Jan, 2018

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:21 pm

Passing Bye wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:58 pm
Your older iMac (it's one year/gen older than your current CPU and whole build) isn't really that inferior to be honest, you just got next gen i9, difference isn't that big, like if you got something like Ryzen 9 5950X or something.
Yes you are correct. My point was simply to say that I don't think I should be getting such drastically decreased performance on a machine that is technically superior. Although I do understand specs only play a small role in the overall performance.
Passing Bye wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:58 pm
Next suspect would be Lynx drivers and maybe something with using 96Khz, maybe there's mismatched project sample rate settings in DAW's, are there any known issues with Lynx on Windows?
This is possible, and I can contact them to check. I did a quick search, but did not seen any mention of issues on windows.

The thing is, everything else on my system seems to be working great. I'ts just a few cpu intensive VST synths that are giving me major issues. (Both Chromaphone and Kaivo are physical modeling synths which are known to be very cpu intensive) I'm thinking it's something to do with the way they are communicating with the cpu, but I don't know how to troubleshoot further.

KVRAF
2883 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:28 pm

Did quick Google search and indeed some folks had issues with Lynx drivers on Windows 10.
https://gearspace.com/board/music-compu ... ssues.html

To be honest, think this is the main reason people get Mac for audio, there's no so big surprises, either something works or not, there's handful of combinations and that's it, building PC and trying to come up with optimal configuration takes some research and time, some tweaking and testing, than sometimes even software/hardware vendors can't help you out because they can't replicate your issues. Avid did proper thing, these are supported brand name PC desktop machines, get them and you will have full support or get one of these Mac's. Building your own machine can really save some bucks and be rewarding, but it can be stressful and don't turn out to be as easy going and optimal, leave you with lot of headaches and non musical labors, which you are getting glimpse of right now. Maybe best route in PC desktop land is to go with professional desktop audio builder like SCAN or with brand name workstations like HP Z and the likes, most successful PC audio users in industry like Junkie XL did actually that and have a guy that worries about those systems.

Sorry for the off topic rumblings, hope you manage to fix your issues quickly.

KVRist

Topic Starter

66 posts since 19 Jan, 2018

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:51 pm

Passing Bye wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:28 pm
Did quick Google search and indeed some folks had issues with Lynx drivers on Windows 10.
https://gearspace.com/board/music-compu ... ssues.html
Yeah I saw that, but figured it might be irrelevant since it was from a few years ago. I’ll definitely get in contact with them and ask some questions.


I actually appreciate the rumblings, as it’s good food for thought. I went back and forth with getting this pc, and ultimately hoped the flexibility would offset any slight headaches due to the more open ecosystem. I figured if someone else can build one, so can I, and ultimately a computer is a computer…..
I hope to get this sorted but if not, I suppose it was at least a good learning experience.

I appreciate the help, and thanks for Passing By…

User avatar
KVRian
637 posts since 20 Oct, 2018

Post Wed Sep 29, 2021 3:55 am

Not all audio interfaces work as good as they should when it comes to 96 khz.
As a test you could see what happens when you change the pc to 48 khz. Which is perfectly fine for both audio and video.

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