How you know that there is lag ...
By observing kernel latency timer values.
Over 1000 = 1ms this is too high and a system is regarded as not suitable for audio.
The lesser this value is with best no high spikes / peak the better your CPU cores are able to quickly react on a workload. I mentioned already my usual and best values on my desktop system.
On a company laptop Lenovo T540 P around 6y ago I achieved kernel latency values around 50-60 us. For Internet browser I had to enable the separate nvidia GPU for this application otherwise I got audio dropouts at 32 samples ASIO buffersize because graphic use of a GPU which is integrated into CPU has higher prio for things like accessing the shared DRAM and this can cause issues.
idle system (freshly booted, just logged in, wait until all startup processes and services have loaded (no disk activity)).
No applications running or opened.
During test no movement of mouse pointer as this also generates interrupt's of mouse driver.
General tuning starts at BIOS level as here you define for your cpu certain parameters in terms of energy saving. The higher the sleep state that your cpu cores are allowed to enter the more time is required to wake them up until they are in useable state. This alone can take up to over 250 microseconds.
See this blog how I tuned my bios settings:
http://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/inde … -X10SRi-F/
Next steps are quite basic:
- disable not required devices in Bios
- install only required drivers, no Raid stuff etc
- avoid installation of add-on tools from laptop vendor. Be it for upgrades or blower control or wifi add on GUI. Most of these tools are badly coded and often cause much lag by too high check frequencies and who knows what they are all doing
- then it can happen that certain versions of drivers can be bad. So learn to know your hardware and what LatencyMon values you usually get
- you need to take the high performance energy profile otherwise lag/dpc will be higher
- try to disable cpu core parking
- set windows to priorize background tasks
Disable / stop certain Windows background processes. Be it animated icons in the startmenue, file indexing, disk defragmentatin (for ssd a nogo anyway).
You can also stop certain not needed Windows services. Especially those related to collection of user data.
Use O&Owin10shutup to harden Windows which also will stop some of these data collectors.
Avoid in windows task planning that certain maintenance programs will be started automatically.
When installing open source software some installers install not wanted 3rd party tools, sometimes you can only see it when choosing advanced installation options.
If you got your PC preinstalled then perform a new installation on your own as all preinstallation that I saw so far are more or less crap.
If you have ssd then look too leave around 10% unpartitioned space at the end which is needed by most ssd controllers to have enough free cells for heavy io operation .
Basically avoid everything which generates unwanted background cpu load.
Norton and Kaspersky Internet security solutions are fine, careful with others they might suck to much performance.
I personally did remeasuring after every single change driver and software installation. Then you learn most about your system and can identify what causes isues and what not.
BR Ramses - UFX III, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1680v4, Win11Pro22H2, Cub12