Graphics card tweaks

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Music Manic
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Graphics card tweaks

Post by Music Manic »

Are there and graphic card specific tweaks that improve audio playback and performance of plugins which don’t interfere when scrolling with the mouse in particular?

I know some plugins perform better without graphics acceleration but are there any more we should know about, like 3D, open gl settings etc?

Thanks
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valis
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Re: Graphics card tweaks

Post by valis »

In general this isn't much of an issue now. Even Intel's native GPU drivers give openGL accell needed for many plugins (Waves for instance), and many devs used frameworks like JUCE that will have several codepaths they can use depending on what API's they find available when launching in a given DAW. Even the stock MS drivers for your GPU should include the necessary functionality if you're not trying something that relies on say the latest Vulkan extensions for certain game related functions.

Nvidia also has a Studio driver branch now, which I tend to use with their consumer cards when doing graphics work. This enables (among other things) full 10 bit support without even using a Quadro. I have noticed the cards are a bit more prone to overheating under heavy load with these drivers, which might indicate why the Quadros were restricted in their thermal counterparts in terms of TDP (quadros tend to not be gimped at the higher precision floating point tasks, and enable often higher than 10bit per pixel color and more outputs).

It seems to me the largest issue from Nvidia/AMD is often related to switching power states, or in a laptop situation it's the switching between the integrated GPU and any 3rd party chipset (Nvidia/AMD again on an Intel or AMD chipset).

In both cases, setting the card to 'maximum performance' can ensure the card stays in full 3d accell mode, and thus keep the card from going into low power states (or sleeping on a laptop). For both Mac & PC, there are various utilities that can monitor & control these clock states, I tend to use EVGA precision-X on desktop and stick to Nvidia GPU's (outside of Macs) because I'm most familiar with the drivers there.

I find I also set power & fan profiles on the desktop side, but I simply do this now via a shortcut that changes power profiles and I set the profile options directly in Windows (or Mac of course). Where before when possible I would disable the lowest sleep states (below C1 and maybe even C1e), later I started just restricted things to stay at C3 & above, and now I simply toggle 'maximum performance' on the GPU's control panel, then set a windows 'maximum performance' profile to disable sleep on USB & PCIe sleep states, disable power states on SSD's (and HD spin down), and keep CPU at 100%/maximum.

Open a command prompt or run "CMD.EXE" and then type: powercfg /list

Code: Select all

Existing Power Schemes (* Active)
-----------------------------------
Power Scheme GUID: 381b4222-f694-41f0-9685-ff5bb260df2e  (Balanced) *
Power Scheme GUID: 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c  (High performance)
Power Scheme GUID: a1841308-3541-4fab-bc81-f71556f20b4a  (Power saver)
What you'll see will be the power states you have stored on your installation, which of course defaults to 3 (Balanced, High Performance, Power Saver). Most machines tend to expose only the Power Saver and Balanced modes, with High Performance slightly hidden by a rollout. There is a GUID string associated with each power profile. This means you can call that profile by using Powercfg with the /setactive command.

Armed with this info, you can then set shortcuts to call "C:\Windows\System32\powercfg.exe /setactive 381b4222-f694-41f0-9685-ff5bb260df2e" for balanced in the "target" section (setting the "Start In" field to "C:\Windows\system32"), and similarly you call "C:\Windows\System32\powercfg.exe /setactive 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c" for the target of a shortcut (again with the right path for the "Start In' field) and use that shortcut for High Performance.

I have attached both of my shortcuts as well as one that simply opens the power control panel. What I do is create a custom folder in my "Documents" folder called 'quicklaunch' and then right click on the startbar and choose "Toolbar" > "New Toolbar" and point to the quicklaunch folder (or inside of it). I actually go a bit further and create 'bin' (general apps), 'daw', 'gfx', etc toolbar subfolders in there, and create one for each which is loaded with shortcuts for many of my tasks. But whatever your preference, you can simply launch the shortcuts as needed once you have customized the options in a power profile to suit your needs.
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valis
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Re: Graphics card tweaks

Post by valis »

Apologies, here are the promised shortcuts:
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PowerShortcuts.zip
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sepuka
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:21 am

Re: Graphics card tweaks

Post by sepuka »

The main tweak is to replace Nvidia with AMD. Nvidia's drivers think that apart from the video card there is nothing more important in the computer and occupy the bus for a long time. The overall latency of the system increases, the processor does not have time to fill the audio buffer and the computer starts wheezing when the maximum CPU load is still far away. AMD behaves much more modestly. As a result, the overall latency is less.

To check latency: https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon
Music Manic
Posts: 1722
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 4:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Graphics card tweaks

Post by Music Manic »

valis wrote: Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:04 pm In general this isn't much of an issue now. Even Intel's native GPU drivers give openGL accell needed for many plugins (Waves for instance), and many devs used frameworks like JUCE that will have several codepaths they can use depending on what API's they find available when launching in a given DAW. Even the stock MS drivers for your GPU should include the necessary functionality if you're not trying something that relies on say the latest Vulkan extensions for certain game related functions.

Nvidia also has a Studio driver branch now, which I tend to use with their consumer cards when doing graphics work. This enables (among other things) full 10 bit support without even using a Quadro. I have noticed the cards are a bit more prone to overheating under heavy load with these drivers, which might indicate why the Quadros were restricted in their thermal counterparts in terms of TDP (quadros tend to not be gimped at the higher precision floating point tasks, and enable often higher than 10bit per pixel color and more outputs).

It seems to me the largest issue from Nvidia/AMD is often related to switching power states, or in a laptop situation it's the switching between the integrated GPU and any 3rd party chipset (Nvidia/AMD again on an Intel or AMD chipset).

In both cases, setting the card to 'maximum performance' can ensure the card stays in full 3d accell mode, and thus keep the card from going into low power states (or sleeping on a laptop). For both Mac & PC, there are various utilities that can monitor & control these clock states, I tend to use EVGA precision-X on desktop and stick to Nvidia GPU's (outside of Macs) because I'm most familiar with the drivers there.

I find I also set power & fan profiles on the desktop side, but I simply do this now via a shortcut that changes power profiles and I set the profile options directly in Windows (or Mac of course). Where before when possible I would disable the lowest sleep states (below C1 and maybe even C1e), later I started just restricted things to stay at C3 & above, and now I simply toggle 'maximum performance' on the GPU's control panel, then set a windows 'maximum performance' profile to disable sleep on USB & PCIe sleep states, disable power states on SSD's (and HD spin down), and keep CPU at 100%/maximum.

Open a command prompt or run "CMD.EXE" and then type: powercfg /list

Code: Select all

Existing Power Schemes (* Active)
-----------------------------------
Power Scheme GUID: 381b4222-f694-41f0-9685-ff5bb260df2e  (Balanced) *
Power Scheme GUID: 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c  (High performance)
Power Scheme GUID: a1841308-3541-4fab-bc81-f71556f20b4a  (Power saver)
What you'll see will be the power states you have stored on your installation, which of course defaults to 3 (Balanced, High Performance, Power Saver). Most machines tend to expose only the Power Saver and Balanced modes, with High Performance slightly hidden by a rollout. There is a GUID string associated with each power profile. This means you can call that profile by using Powercfg with the /setactive command.

Armed with this info, you can then set shortcuts to call "C:\Windows\System32\powercfg.exe /setactive 381b4222-f694-41f0-9685-ff5bb260df2e" for balanced in the "target" section (setting the "Start In" field to "C:\Windows\system32"), and similarly you call "C:\Windows\System32\powercfg.exe /setactive 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c" for the target of a shortcut (again with the right path for the "Start In' field) and use that shortcut for High Performance.

I have attached both of my shortcuts as well as one that simply opens the power control panel. What I do is create a custom folder in my "Documents" folder called 'quicklaunch' and then right click on the startbar and choose "Toolbar" > "New Toolbar" and point to the quicklaunch folder (or inside of it). I actually go a bit further and create 'bin' (general apps), 'daw', 'gfx', etc toolbar subfolders in there, and create one for each which is loaded with shortcuts for many of my tasks. But whatever your preference, you can simply launch the shortcuts as needed once you have customized the options in a power profile to suit your needs.
Ye I’ve got all tweaks set thanks Valis but I guess my old Windows 7 setup has reached its peak. Still does a good job. I’m currently updating to a faster Mobo and spec.
Music Manic
Posts: 1722
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 4:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Graphics card tweaks

Post by Music Manic »

sepuka wrote: Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:30 pm The main tweak is to replace Nvidia with AMD. Nvidia's drivers think that apart from the video card there is nothing more important in the computer and occupy the bus for a long time. The overall latency of the system increases, the processor does not have time to fill the audio buffer and the computer starts wheezing when the maximum CPU load is still far away. AMD behaves much more modestly. As a result, the overall latency is less.

To check latency: https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon
Nvidia does come up as causing latency in latency checker.
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