Topic: Vaio, i7 720qm Memory, 6GB, on board 1394a , FF800 Ableton Live 8

Hi, I recently bought a Sony Vaio F Series with the above specifications, Many of you might have bought recently something similar and you might want to compare the performance of your system in order to see if mainly the latency(buffer size) is improvable. The minimum workable buffer size with 48000Kz/24bit is 96 with latency 6.36 milliseconds. Bellow that buffer there are clicks and pops at even one track playback. Is this normal?  What actually happens with lower buffer size is that the cpu cores ,as seen from the task manager, are picking instantly but periodically producing clicks and pops. Is it to optimistic to hope to record at the 48/24 and 42 buffers just one track? Will an external express card with TI chip improve the performance or its just a working or not working issue there? Will the better protocol of the 1394b improve anything? I would appreciate any comments on my systems performance as I have the impression that something might be wrong.


Re: Vaio, i7 720qm Memory, 6GB, on board 1394a , FF800 Ableton Live 8

Start Task-Manager "as Administrator" and set Live's CPU priority to "Realtime".

What graphic-card is build into the Vaio?

Re: Vaio, i7 720qm Memory, 6GB, on board 1394a , FF800 Ableton Live 8

Hi, and thanks for the reply, Sony Vaio F series 720Qm is not plug and play and I am not convinced that this computer can run properly with my FF800. I get crackling noises when I do things like opening a window a menu or even the wi-fi switch. I added today a Unibrain ti chip 400 xpress card with various X64 drivers , and the noises are still there.  I disconnected plenty drivers and nothing. My graphics card is NVidia GeForce GT330M and I couldn't find the CPU priority setting. I ran DPC and there are crackles while nor DPC or the processors are peaking. Although one core works higher than the others. I've tried other things too. The next things I can try is windows XP, any knowledge there? and then I don't know... Is it possible with a similar characteristic PC to have a workable system? I can't work and it starts to feel unpleasant. I need to short this system out or find another.

Any suggestions

Re: Vaio, i7 720qm Memory, 6GB, on board 1394a , FF800 Ableton Live 8

I found live's Cpu priority setting And I could set it to high, not real time. I should check it tomorow

Re: Vaio, i7 720qm Memory, 6GB, on board 1394a , FF800 Ableton Live 8

You need to run Task-Manager "As Administrator" or disable UAC in order to be allowed to set a priority to "Realtime". To do this:

Open Start menu and enter "taskmgr" into the search field, then press CTRL-SHIFT-ENTER (or right-click on the search result and chose "Run as Administrator". Then you will be allowed to change process priorities to "Realtime".

Another thing you can try is to disable Aero. That is because Life uses the very same *non*-realtime priority as Aero does ("Highest"). Turning Live to Realtime fixes this problem (and others).

Also Life's GUI drawing priorities are messed up (even without Aero running, or sometimes even worse without Aero) which shows when you move the mouse over the tracks in Arrangement view. Again this is fixed by turning Live to "Realtime" priority. One drawback of the latter is that if Live should hang or overload (full CPU load) you likely wont be able to do anything but restart the computer.

Ableton could use MMCSS or fix their priorization handling, but it didn't happen for 2 years and it likely wont happen anytime soon. At the moment Ableton is busy fixing lots of bugs (have a look at how often the word "Crash" is mentioned in their latest change-logs), this has priority over new features. So until then the Task-Manager workaround is the way to go.

If you say DPCs are *not* peaking, what is the maximum reading? The Nvidia driver can cause short interval peaks whenever it switches it's clock-rates and when running in 2D mode, but that should be quite visible on the DPC Latency Checker.

You may also get a regular short/medium peak every 15s because of the "ACPI compliant battery" driver which regulary reads out the status of your laptop battery. This one can be turned off via device-manager, but you wont see the current load status anymore and Windows cannot go into standby/off when the battery goes low automatically anymore.

6 (edited by Dennis21 2010-05-05 12:29:07)

Re: Vaio, i7 720qm Memory, 6GB, on board 1394a , FF800 Ableton Live 8

Never used Aero. The ACPI is disabled, Core Park is disabled, Various drivers are disabled. Running Ableton at real time priority made very noticeable change, around 20% at the max latency reading. Now the DPC maximum latency reading is between 400 and 500?sec, most of the time it doesn't exceed 500 but occasionally every few minutes with fast midi activity (playing notes fast) on an existing project, might go around 1000 usually without popping sound. That is with 48/24bit and 96buffers which I find the lowest possible setting in any case. I think the Unibrain drivers might have helped a little.

Any experience with the ubtweak tool that comes along with the drivers?

Can the Nvidia 330M be tweaked from the settings or by other means. I think Rivatune can't cooperate.

Will installing XP or vista solve any problems?

Any other suggestions?

Thanks a lot

Re: Vaio, i7 720qm Memory, 6GB, on board 1394a , FF800 Ableton Live 8



I think the Unibrain drivers might have helped a little

to my knowledge here from RME, Unibrain drivers isn't compatible with Fireface
try uninstall and use MicroSoft own driver in Windows
"OHCI-compliant 1394 Host controller (legacy)"

regards S-EH

Re: Vaio, i7 720qm Memory, 6GB, on board 1394a , FF800 Ableton Live 8

You are right about the Unibrain drivers, I couldn't set them to work properly. For some reason I preferred Texas instruments drivers instead of the legacy ones. I started working my music again and now my system seems fairly stable. Although a friend of mine with a much older 2core Vaio, win XP, Ableton Live, and FF800, can use the lowest buffer size and I can't. Next thing I ll try to do is a clean install, and try to minimize the services.