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Re: VST dropouts
MacMacMac #2826890 03/14/19 06:59 PM
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For very long time I was running shadow defender on my windows machines - the idea is to install your machine from scratch as you want with the Windows and all the apps and data you need but use two partitions c for windows and d for data and enable shadow defender on c. Anytime you restart the computer it will switch it back to the state you initially set it on. Just remember to save all your data to d or they will be lost if you save them to c.
Worked really well. Made my computers completely bug free for years. Anytime I restarted it, it was like a freshly installed windows. I no longer use it though. There are other software like this. SHadow defender was what I was using but there are others.

Last edited by oscar1; 03/14/19 07:01 PM.

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Re: VST dropouts
MacMacMac #2826943 03/14/19 08:16 PM
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Hi Mac'3

It looks like the Dell XPS 8920 has a disappointing range of menu items in BIOS, despite the good 7700K CPU.

I would try each step below, play the VI for a while to see if that helped. Else move to the next step.

First, make sure you have the latest BIOS installed on your computer. Then check to see if there are more menu options for c-states etc. Ideally you can shut off c-states in the new BIOS but I don't know if Dell allows that basic functionality.

Second, you should confirm that the BIOS actually turns off Speed Step. You can download HWiNFO64. Run program, check box "summary only", click "Run". On the left hand side there is a panel labeled "features" and "EIST" should be red font if Speed Step indeed was disabled. If "EIST" is green font, BIOS did not disable Speed Step properly (I had this problem on several Dell computers). Enter BIOS and double check that you disabled Speed Step and saved.

https://www.hwinfo.com/download/

Third, if your Dell did not disable Speed Step properly (EIST still is green font in HWiNFO64), an easy option is to download & install free ThrottleStop software. On main window make sure the "SpeedStep" box is unchecked. Relaunch HWiNFO64 and hopefully the EIST is now red font (disabled).

https://www.techpowerup.com/download/techpowerup-throttlestop/
https://www.notebookcheck.net/ThrottleStop-Primer.213140.0.html

The ThrottleStop forum is here and the developer is UncleWebb who is always available to answer questions

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/the-throttlestop-guide.531329/

Fourth, you can look at alternatives to disable c-states. Below is a quick old primer on c-states so you know what they are

https://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/qna41893/what-is-the-c-state?lang=en

In the main window of ThrottleStop you can easily disable the troublesome C1E states with the checkbox. For energy savings and heat purposes, you should disable only when playing VIs.

Fifth, if the above fails, you probably can disable all c-states with a registry tweak. I suppose this could brick your system so make sure you are comfortable with this and do a bit of research. I don't think this disables C1E but you just use the ThrottleStop C1E checkbox in step 4 above.

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/the-throttlestop-guide.531329/page-206#post-9631401
https://social.technet.microsoft.co...lock-to-maximum?forum=win10itprohardware
https://www.wintips.org/fix-cpu-not-running-at-full-speed-in-windows-10/

EDIT - Keep an eye on temps as your processor will get a bit toasty and I don't know how robust the XPS cooling system is. Intel will throttle the CPU around about 100*C regardless, but you want to run a good bit cooler.

Last edited by newer player; 03/14/19 08:25 PM.
Re: VST dropouts
newer player #2827010 03/15/19 02:11 AM
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If it's a notebook computer I strongly advise against using unofficial solutions to prevent power management. The hardware and its cooling is designed with these options in mind (thermal design power) and can overheat and even melt, if you decide to force a power output, which it wasn't meant for.


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Re: VST dropouts
MacMacMac #2827016 03/15/19 02:49 AM
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Mac said above it is a 7700K Dell desktop computer. It has overclocking options built in the BIOS so will have much more robust cooling than a laptop.

Re: VST dropouts
newer player #2827025 03/15/19 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by newer player
Mac said above it is a 7700K Dell desktop computer. It has overclocking options built in the BIOS so will have much more robust cooling than a laptop.

But people tend to read those instructions later and apply them to all kind of hardware. That's why I advise caution.


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Re: VST dropouts
JoeT #2827093 03/15/19 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeT
If it's a notebook computer I strongly advise against using unofficial solutions to prevent power management. The hardware and its cooling is designed with these options in mind (thermal design power) and can overheat and even melt, if you decide to force a power output, which it wasn't meant for.


No. Modern hardware does shut down on unsafe temps. A cpu usually shuts down at around 100C~.
However, the power supplies if notebooks / non-custom hardware usually is very bad.
You can tell by the brand. Even the higher end DELL desktop pc's use partly unsufficient PSU's.
I for my part have a BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 11, which is considered top of the line.

PS: Never overclock mobile hardware, it does not possess the cooling capabilities.

Last edited by nicknameTaken; 03/15/19 09:31 AM.
Re: VST dropouts
nicknameTaken #2827111 03/15/19 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by nicknameTaken
No. Modern hardware does shut down on unsafe temps.

Unless you disable that on a quest for low latency audio. wink


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Re: VST dropouts
nicknameTaken #2827121 03/15/19 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeT
But people tend to read those instructions later and apply them to all kind of hardware. That's why I advise caution.

Agreed. Especially for laptops.

Originally Posted by nicknameTaken
Modern hardware does shut down on unsafe temps. A cpu usually shuts down at around 100C~.
However, the power supplies if notebooks / non-custom hardware usually is very bad.

Agreed. Notebooks often have substandard heatsinks and poorly applied thermal paste making things worse.

Re: VST dropouts
MacMacMac #2827123 03/15/19 10:55 AM
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+1 this whole thread....this is what I love about PW - you don't just learn about pianos etc.. you learn about all kinds of sh*t from laptop heatsinks to quantum theory...love it! smile

Re: VST dropouts
MacMacMac #2827129 03/15/19 11:03 AM
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And you also learn that requests for help often go out into left field.

So ... thanks newer player, sullivang, and Charles Cohen for being on point (as usual). And thanks likewise to relative newbie oscar1.

Re: VST dropouts
MacMacMac #2827134 03/15/19 11:13 AM
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And you also learn that Apple users are ridiculed for their overpriced computers. Why would you pay so much for a machine that won't allow you to spend hours tweaking some configuration settings on your BIOS and OS, but will instead require that you play some boring piano music wink

Last edited by CyberGene; 03/15/19 11:14 AM.

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Re: VST dropouts
CyberGene #2827197 03/15/19 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
And you also learn that Apple users are ridiculed for their overpriced computers. Why would you pay so much for a machine that won't allow you to spend hours tweaking some configuration settings on your BIOS and OS, but will instead require that you play some boring piano music wink


LOL

You are right.
It's a shame that Windows doesn't provide a factory made glitch free mode that prevents any dropout for the kind of use we do.

Last edited by stamkorg; 03/15/19 01:24 PM.
Re: VST dropouts
MacMacMac #2827215 03/15/19 02:26 PM
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Until recently this Windows box was ready-to-roll quickly. As was the one before that, and the one before that.
In each case it was just ...
- Install Kontakt
- Install Presonus driver
- Install piano VSTs
- Configure Kontakt
- Play the piano

It's only recently that I've had problems.

Re: VST dropouts
newer player #2827252 03/15/19 05:08 PM
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I've done some of the things you suggested ...
Originally Posted by newer player
Make sure you have the latest BIOS installed on your computer. Then check to see if there are more menu options for c-states etc. Ideally you can shut off c-states in the new BIOS but I don't know if Dell allows that basic functionality.
I have not yet checked this.

Quote
You should confirm that the BIOS actually turns off Speed Step. Run HWiNFO64program, check "summary only", click "Run". On the left hand side ... "EIST" should be red font if Speed Step indeed was disabled.
Yes, EIST is in RED, as seen in this picture ... HWiNFO screenshot

Quote
If your Dell did not disable Speed Step ... download & install ThrottleStop.
Speed Step was indeed disabled ... but I installed Throttle Stop anyway.
I ran it and it gives this ...
Throttle Stop screenshot
I don’t know what most of this means ... but note that C1E IS CHECKED, and SPEEDSTEP IS NOT CHECKED.
I'll have to uncheck the C1E box later.


Quote
In ThrottleStop you can easily disable C1E states with the checkbox. For energy savings/heat purposes, disable only when playing VIs.
OK, that explains what to try regarding C1E. I'll try that tonight.

Quote
If the above fails, you probably can disable all c-states with a registry tweak. I suppose this could brick your system ...
That is unpalatable. frown

A thought just occurred to me ... maybe if I temporarily turn off the antivirus software? I'll try that later, too.

If all of that fails I'll have to blame it on Windows 1803 or one of the interim updates.

Re: VST dropouts
MacMacMac #2827256 03/15/19 05:21 PM
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I turn off antivirus software on the areas where my music software and VSTs run, it -does- interfere.


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Re: VST dropouts
JoeT #2827258 03/15/19 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by nicknameTaken
No. Modern hardware does shut down on unsafe temps.

Unless you disable that on a quest for low latency audio. wink

CPUs (and GPUs) have several layers of thermal protection. The initial temperature warnings are sent by the processor and managed by the operating or BIOS. These can be configured or even disabled in some cases. When higher temperature are reached, the processor will step down the voltage and throttle down the frequency. If the so called maximum Tjunction temperature limit is crossed, the CPU will simply shutdown. The latter cannot be disabled.

Re: VST dropouts
MacMacMac #2827265 03/15/19 05:49 PM
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@Mac: have you tried running your VST as a high priority or realtime process?
https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/89548-set-cpu-process-priority-applications-windows-10-a.html

Are you using any anti virus apart from Windows Defender? In any case, disable them while using the VST or at least make sure they are not scheduled to scan when the computer is idle.

Check your startup processes (from task manager) and disable all updaters and non essential startup software. Also check if you have software (such as drivers) automatically looking for updates. You can also check if you have scheduled taks in the Task Scheduler that activate when the system is idle.

Re: VST dropouts
MacMacMac #2827269 03/15/19 06:07 PM
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I really don't think I have overtemp issues. The fan isn't spun up. It does race when I do video processing. And once in a while when gaming. But not with pianos.

I'll try disabling antivirus later tonight. And the process priority bump, too.

Re: VST dropouts
MacMacMac #2827274 03/15/19 06:12 PM
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ONE You can find updated Dell drivers and BIOS here (You get a customized list of drivers if you type in your service tag or serial number - recommended):

https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/product-support/product/xps-8920-desktop/drivers

The latest BIOS seems to be Nov 2018 and was 1.0.18. I would update all the drivers to be frank, especially the nVidia ones as they have been problematic for DPC latency.

TWO Not sure this is as effective as shutting off c-states but one easy "trick" that locks the CPU clocks you could try with ThrottleStop:

- Click the "FIVR" button. In "Turbo Ratio Limits" section, you can set the CPU speed of each core with the left/right buttons (x cores active). Set them all lower (and all cores to the same level). Click apply, OK.

-- Alternative: Click the "FIVR" button. In "Turbo Ratio Limits" section you might be able to select the "Overclock" checkbox and type in a lower value at "Overclock". Click apply, OK.

You can confirm that clock multipliers are locked (ThrottleStop main window, FID column varies "realtime" and should be locked at say 35).

You need to test what multipliers your 7700K will maintain will all cores running. Maybe try 35x and see if clocks are stable (shown on ThrottleStop main screen FID column. Continue to bump up and test. I suppose you can get over 40x before fans go ballistic.

Once you are happy with settings you can click "save" on the main screen of ThrottleStop.

Re: VST dropouts
newer player #2827287 03/15/19 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by newer player
ONE You can find updated Dell drivers and BIOS here (You get a customized list of drivers if you type in your service tag or serial number - recommended):

https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/product-support/product/xps-8920-desktop/drivers

The latest BIOS seems to be Nov 2018 and was 1.0.18. I would update all the drivers to be frank, especially the nVidia ones as they have been problematic for DPC latency.

TWO Not sure this is as effective as shutting off c-states but one easy "trick" that locks the CPU clocks you could try with ThrottleStop:

- Click the "FIVR" button. In "Turbo Ratio Limits" section, you can set the CPU speed of each core with the left/right buttons (x cores active). Set them all lower (and all cores to the same level). Click apply, OK.

-- Alternative: Click the "FIVR" button. In "Turbo Ratio Limits" section you might be able to select the "Overclock" checkbox and type in a lower value at "Overclock". Click apply, OK.

You can confirm that clock multipliers are locked (ThrottleStop main window, FID column varies "realtime" and should be locked at say 35).

You need to test what multipliers your 7700K will maintain will all cores running. Maybe try 35x and see if clocks are stable (shown on ThrottleStop main screen FID column. Continue to bump up and test. I suppose you can get over 40x before fans go ballistic.

Once you are happy with settings you can click "save" on the main screen of ThrottleStop.


These are good tips, but is an overclock really needed to run a VST? Playing around with cpu core multipliers and voltages without understanding the impact may easily lead to overheating and an overall unstable system. The problems here described, as most VST problems, seem to be due to software, not hardware configuration.

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