Vista and Sonar

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Timur
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/25 04:47:16 (permalink)
The difference between SP1 and original Vista regarding disc I/O is mainly in Vista's "File Copy" functions. These are used by Explorer, but also by the majority of software that has to do one or the other file copying operation unless they implement their very own algorithms (like many Norton Commander clones, Total Commander for example offers to switch between its own and the one provided by Windows).

According to articles Microsoft's developement team spend quite some effort into making it better performing than XP. Unfortunately there were some design flaws that made it even worse performing in some cases (especially over networks), so in SP1 it's now a hybrid between Vista's new design and XP's old design as far as I understood.

Independent of that Vista disc I/O system offers advantages when working with large file I/Os (like the ones we often have when using DAWs) and an application can reserve a minimum I/O bandwidth (like a DAW telling Vista "Hey, I need at least 30 mb/s for streaming my tracks! Don't let other software steal that away from me!"). It's described in more detail in that article. However, the software (aka Sonar) has to actively make use of it to benefit from the functions.

PS: Later on I will explain why Aero is a good thing! ;)
post edited by Timur - 2008/09/25 04:48:42

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John
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/25 04:47:47 (permalink)
BTW I have all the same programs loaded on both drives but it's not easy trying to quantify the experience of using one then the other of the 2 OS's. Not enough time to do it thoroughly but in the end I don't notice too much difference while I'm in SONAR 7.02 for example.

Again Sonar loads faster with Vista then it did with XP. It loads even faster now because Vista knows about it. Its simply a more responsive OS when compared to XP. Now I did stop some unneeded programs from starting up on boot. This is built in to Vista. No need to use Autorun from Microsoft. Vista has this already. Its not the same as system configuration in XP either. It is not a diagnostic tool which system configuration is in XP.

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Timur
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/25 05:12:17 (permalink)
To be fair, loading times of the application (Sonar) don't mean much in this context. Superfetch is most likely just playing tricks on your perception and the clean/fresh installation does the rest. Try turning it off Superfetch via Services and see if it still loads faster.

All that Superfetch does is to constantly monitor your usage behavior and then preload all applications and data that you regulary access into the file-cache (aka RAM). Have a look at your physical memory vis Task-Manager and you will notice that it's constantly filled by the file-cache (also listen to your HD working all time until the cache is filled). Whenever an application needs memory the file-cache releases memory at once, but as soon as an application releases memory the file-cache is filled again by Superfetch preloading apps and data again.

This is only marginally interesting for us, because usually we load our DAW only once or maybe a few times per day and keep it running all day long. What's far more interesting is wether Sonar uses intelligent I/O transfers for its own operations. It makes alot of sense to use large I/O transfer for loading and saving whole audio tracks and plugins, while using smaller to medium I/O transfer for streaming playback from disc and loading small sample clips. And in any case it makes alot of sense to reserve bandwidth for both streaming playback and recording to make sure nothing interferes with Sonar.

Since Vista does not support "high" priority disc I/O yet Sonar can't make use of that, but because Vista support "low" priority disc I/O and uses that for it's own Indexing service and other background tasks like Defragmentation and probably Defender there's also a benefit build into the system. Hopefuly Antivirus developers will adopt to make their own applications scan at low disc priority anytime soon. No need to switch off the Virusscanner anymore then.
post edited by Timur - 2008/09/25 05:14:00

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John
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/25 05:24:55 (permalink)
I understand what you are saying. I also know that XP and Vista are new installs. My machine is new I just finished building it a couple months ago or so. XP is on its own HD that is removable as is Vista. They are easily swapped. I use a mobile rack for them and one other HD. I have another inside the case. I have a total of five HDs on my system two are USB the other three are SATA 2. I am documenting my experience with both Vista and XP. I have no bench marks to show but I do know when things are faster or not. I should say I am on Vista SP 1 and XP Pro SP3. Both are fully updated and free of errors as best as I can make them. You will need I think to read the thread from the beginning to get a feel of what I am saying and why I am saying it. I should add that Vista reports a 5.9 for my system.

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Timur
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/25 05:36:54 (permalink)
I read through the thread and really didn't mean to sound like attacking your experience. I'm just trying to relate to the "Sonar loads" faster with what I know about how Vista does the trick. Superfetch and Readybost are both nice features, the improvements in Vista's disc I/O system and overal kernel-design are real and should show.

But once an application is loaded (aka Sonar) most of it's I/Os are responsibility of the application itself. If it manages to get out more out of Vista than mostly because Vista makes it easier (aka offers more possibilities) to do that. Application developers can tweak the hell out of XP as well, but there's more things getting in their way and less possibility for control over what's happening without compromising overal system-stability.

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John
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/25 05:56:41 (permalink)
But once an application is loaded (aka Sonar) most of it's I/Os are responsibility of the application itself. If it manages to get out more out of Vista than mostly because Vista makes it easier (aka offers more possibilities) to do that. Application developers can tweak the hell out of XP as well, but there's more things getting in their way and less possibility for control over what's happening without compromising overal system-stability.

You are right I wasn't thinking about Sonar and disk I/O. I was only talking about Vista and its speed in dealing with disk I/O. and not just loading programs but just general OS operations. Reading disks in explorer and folders. How quick I can get to a file. That sort of thing.

However the disk usage under Sonar is a little lower then in XP. But its to small in either to be of any use as a benchmark. The wonders of fast disks.
That was not the case on my old machine.

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John
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Timur
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/25 06:04:30 (permalink)
Now, I promised to explain why Aero aka "Desktop Windows Manager" (DWM.exe) is in fact a good thing for music production on PC.

Taken from "The Fine Print" of Sonar 8 changes:

Step Sequencer drawing more efficient. Views were redrawing too often. Better cpu usage.

Without Aero every application is responsible for drawing its own GUI elements. There are several ways of using Windows' inbuild mechanism to do that or coding your own ones. In any case the CPU load/penalty of frequent drawing of lots of GUI elements can be considerble when working with low latency "realtime" DAW applications. That is why all DAWs try to balance priorities between serving low latency audio/midi streams and drawing their own GUI. This becomes even more problematic and complex when other applications and services are running in the background.

DWM (Aero) takes that burden from all applications that are using Windows' system-calls for drawing their GUI. It collects all calls from all applications, recompiles them into a more streamlined and efficient routine and finally hands the whole drawing business over to the accellerated GPU (graphic-card). This does use CPU load by itself and can even produce more load than running an optimized application in Classic/Basic mode, but in my own experience the load is generally well below 5% (mostly around 1-2%) on modern systems for the total of all applications regardless of what the sophisticated GUI operations the applications are performing. Furthermore it doesn't matter wether you have Glass (transparency) and all the other goodies like "Show Window Content while dragging" enabled or not.

One very convincing case that shows the benefit of this system is Ableton Live. Whatever exotic system-calls Ableton uses to draw Live's GUI it's far from perfect on XP and completely broken on Vista when using Classic/Basic mode. Obviously Microsoft has changed some of their routines, and seemingly Ableton Live is the only software to suffer from that as far as I can tell. Live's GUI will drag down even the most powerful CPU to uselessness when being run in Classic mode and I credit this misbehavior to bad coding and botching quality-assurance. Anyway, upon turning on Aero I don't have to care about the quality of Live's code, because all CPU problems vanish into nothing. DWM/Aero is a safety net against badly optimized GUI coding!

But there is even more to it. DWM/Aero always uses HIGH priority 15 for drawing the GUI. That's a big problem for Vista/MMCSS unaware DAWs like Ableton Live, because that exactly the same priority that is being used for Audio and Midi operations. Obviously GUI drawing gets into conflict with low latency audio/midi operations then. Even worse, since all applications are running via DWM/Aero other applications with a GUI can drag down low latency performance leading to crackles and pops. Not so when MMCSS is being used as demonstrated by Sonar. MMCSS can be used (and is used by Sonar) to lift Audio and Midi priorities to Realtime and thus put it above anything running on the system except driver calls (DPC) and lowest-level kernel routines. That way the DAW application doesn't have to worry about GUI drawing priorities of its own routines or those of other applications running, it's all done nicely by Vista!

PS: MMCSS can have some drawbacks, but only if you stress your system considerably with applications other than your DAW while the DAW is running or if the DAW does major mistakes in implementing it. And even for that there is a solution.
post edited by Timur - 2008/09/25 06:07:09

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John
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/25 06:15:46 (permalink)
This explains why Cubase was flickering from time to time. Nice one Timur. Also I did notice a better behaved bunch of plugin graphics with Sonar. Again this post of yours nicely explains this. I may have to experiment about this. I put it down to a better look and feel over all. Neat!

Edit to add: I have had Vista less then a month. I have just barely scratched the surface in learning it. I really thank you for taking the time with posting what you have learned. It is very helpful. Please post anything you think we can use.
post edited by John - 2008/09/25 06:20:00

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Gary Long
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/25 07:04:44 (permalink)
I changed to vista because my hp pc went down so I bought a new pc and vista is the only o/s on the new ones. Then, had to buy Sonar 7 because Sonar 5 would not work in Vista. I have to say, Very stable and fast ! Great recording experince now with no dropouts so far and alot faster than my old set up. "Sonar 5 and HP 2.4 gig p4 w/xp " . I added a geforce pcie 8400 as well to my new set up to step it up a bit as well.. Vista is cool !

Sonar 7 PE , Dual core pc w/Vista home premium 3.25 gig Ram, M-audio delta 66, M- audio Oxygen 49 , Jackson Git's, FR Discovery git, Bass git's, acoustic git's, 12 channel mixer, Line 6 amps, Headphones , drums, and other stuff, etc.
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Timur
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/26 03:08:02 (permalink)
The "High Precision Event Timer" (HPET) is extremly interesting for Music Production because we are depending on good clock and timing like no one else. Windows XP does not support it. Unfortunately beside MIDI over DirectMusic, which is implemented by Microsoft, I doubt that many drivers/DAWs make use of it yet. I will investigate further into that though.

The following operating systems are known to be able to use HPET: Windows Vista, Windows 2008, x86 based versions of Mac OS X, Linux 2.6 and FreeBSD.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Precision_Event_Timer

PS: Would be nice if we had just one Vista thread here.
post edited by Timur - 2008/09/26 03:12:51

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John
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/26 03:29:07 (permalink)
I totally agree! You are doing great work here and in the other thread. I hope that you understand that.
I just copied this over.

You don't have to slavishly post here as well as there. That could get old for you quick. If you are answering in the other thread you don't need to update this one. I was being selfish with you on this. I didn't see all the ramifications of asking you to post here. But post here what you think would be useful in a general sense. Thanks. Of course you are free to post here anything you like.

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John
Gary Long
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/26 03:40:16 (permalink)
I have the new Vista O/S and I have to say it smokes on my p4 w/xp and way faster. I have the dual core pc stuff now so I dont know what it would do to older pc's.. Sonar PE 7 is very stable with vista.. Cant wait till 8 !! Just added a new song in the songs forum tonite.. Havin some fun !!! Later , Whyrag yrag Gary

Sonar 7 PE , Dual core pc w/Vista home premium 3.25 gig Ram, M-audio delta 66, M- audio Oxygen 49 , Jackson Git's, FR Discovery git, Bass git's, acoustic git's, 12 channel mixer, Line 6 amps, Headphones , drums, and other stuff, etc.
Timur
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/26 04:08:14 (permalink)
Initially, on systems with an HPET, all Windows timer APIs will be ported to the new hardware rather than using the legacy 8254, RTC, APIC, or PM clock. After the HPET is widely available, Windows timer APIs will be extended and the underlying Windows timer code will be enhanced to take advantage of the enhanced capabilities of the HPET.

If I understand that bit right than Vista should use the HPET for all timer calls on hardware that supports it. But it seems as if precision is still limited to a 1ms, although that's already a benefit if that 1ms can be achived in practive without impact on performance (see the article below for more detail).

I checked Sonar, Ableton Live and Reaper on my XP system and all use the same old "Windows Multimedia" timer-call named "TimeGetSystemTime" (TGT), Cubase allows to switch between two timer models (TGT and QPC). Upto now I thought that TGT always uses the old hardware timer, but according to that Microsoft article it may well be that TGT also uses the HPET when it's available. I have to admit that I delve in half-wisdom concerning this area. Guess Noel knows best what's happening internally.

For all technically inclined people here is the link to the original Microsoft article describing all different hardware timers available in PC hardware and how they relate to timer precision and performance.

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/sysinternals/mm-timer.mspx
post edited by Timur - 2008/09/26 04:13:14

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Timur
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/26 04:18:08 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: John

I totally agree! You are doing great work here and in the other thread. I hope that you understand that.

Thanks for the flowers, glad to be of help by sharing some of my knowledge. I'm sure some other people know more about PC/Windows internals than I do, but on the other hand alot of people don't.
post edited by Timur - 2008/09/26 04:19:19

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Geokauf
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/26 18:08:27 (permalink)
I am not convinced.

Hello,

Most likely "not interested in being convinced." That's OK. I can only suggest alternatives. X1 kicks major search butt. I could't be in business without it (or something like it). Vista's OK I've got it on a couple of laptops. I have no complaints. Vista connects to wireless networks much better than XP and the way they grouped the control panels is a bit more sensible and I do like the integrated search window. However, according to Scott and Jim there is no stunning bump in DAW performance by using Vista. Hard drive throughput is more a result of faster drives and SATA2 than the OS (which can work faster than drives can).

I have Vista because it came on the laptop but I wouldn't upgrade an XP machine to Vista as Vista only offers an incremental change and no significant performance boost. I fail to see why you are so enrapt. And, as I was constantly reminded by my mentor, a world-class symphony musician who played under Tuscanani's baton, "a new broom always sweeps clean."

GK
post edited by Geokauf - 2008/09/26 18:10:58
John
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/09/26 18:39:18 (permalink)
Hello,

Most likely "not interested in being convinced." That's OK. I can only suggest alternatives. X1 kicks major search butt. I could't be in business without it (or something like it). Vista's OK I've got it on a couple of laptops. I have no complaints. Vista connects to wireless networks much better than XP and the way they grouped the control panels is a bit more sensible and I do like the integrated search window. However, according to Scott and Jim there is no stunning bump in DAW performance by using Vista. Hard drive throughput is more a result of faster drives and SATA2 than the OS (which can work faster than drives can).

I have Vista because it came on the laptop but I wouldn't upgrade an XP machine to Vista as Vista only offers an incremental change and no significant performance boost. I fail to see why you are so enrapt. And, as I was constantly reminded by my mentor, a world-class symphony musician who played under Tuscanani's baton, "a new broom always sweeps clean."

GK

Good post. I do think Vista uses HDs better then XP. I listed one factor why. It is also stated clearly that Vista has better I/O performance in general. So yes I do see an improvement in disk I/O.

BUT, and here is the main reason for this thread, I was as said, mortified that I would have to junk my current audio gear in order to use Vista. I was also skeptical that Vista would bring anything useful to me or not bog down my system. Thus this thread. It is a way for me to inform those that are thinking the same things I did and having doubts about upgrading their OS. I did this thread for the sole purpose of debunking all the bad press associated with Vista.

With that said Vista is not for everybody. It does need the right hardware specs to run well. Its not a replacement for XP its a totally new OS.
I would never even attempt to put it on my P4 machine.

We have become used to the notion that when MS comes out with a new OS version it simply can be used to upgrade our machines. With Vista this is no longer true. With that in mind I built my new machine with the idea that I would try Vista and see for myself what it was like. I started as if I would need to revert back to XP in order to get any work done. It was the shock that not only were my fears unfounded but it actually made working easier and better over all. Sonar seemed happier under Vista then it ever did under XP. When this seemed to be true across the board I became angry at myself for being so fearful and angry at why I was.

The truth was never told to us. It had to be gotten on our own. I blame myself and those that spread nonsense about it in the first place.

Now you are free to use any OS you like as am I. But I made this thread to give others that may think of trying Vista but are reticent to commit.

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John
aleef
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/10/04 15:34:12 (permalink)
However, according to Scott and Jim there is no stunning bump in DAW performance by using Vista. Hard drive throughput is more a result of faster drives and SATA2 than the OS (which can work faster than drives can).


i don't care what the great Scott and Jim have to say.. Ive' been on Xp just as long as them, Vista too.. and as i said months back, Vista is just smoother, more secure, more stable and search-wise better at assisting you than XP..depending on how current your system and processing power is...Ive' had way better workflow under Vista than XP...

Its not the all that ends all..XP needs to die! just like every OS before it.. seek, learn, and think for yourself..

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John
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/10/04 16:01:25 (permalink)
One thing I was not clear about was Disk I/O it is faster if you have the right gear. In Device Manager goto the didks and check if they have high performance checked. This is not in XP. I believe that this does speed up disk I/O.


File systems

* Transactional NTFS allows multiple file/folder operations to be treated as a single operation, so that a crash or power failure won't result in half-completed file writes. Transactions can also be extended to multiple machines.
* Image Mastering API (IMAPI v2) enables DVD burning support for applications, in addition to CD burning. IMAPI v2 supports multiple optical drives, even simultaneously recording to multiple drives, unlike IMAPI in Windows XP which only supported enabling CD recording for one optical drive at a time [26]. Windows DVD Maker can burn DVD-Video discs, while Windows Explorer can burn data on DVDs (DVD±R, DVD±R DL, DVD±R RW) in addition to DVD-RAM and CDs. Applications using IMAPI v2 can create, and burn disc images. IMAPI v2 is implemented as a DLL rather than as a service as was the case in Windows XP [27], and is also scriptable using VBScript. IMAPI v2 is also available for Windows XP. [28]
* Writable UDF File System. The Windows UDF file system (UDFS) implementation was read-only in OS releases prior to Windows Vista. In Windows Vista, Packet writing (incremental writing) is supported by UDFS, which can now format and write to all mainstream optical media formats (MO, CDR/RW, DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW/RAM). Write support is included for UDF format versions up to and including 2.50, with read support up to 2.60. UDF symbolic links, however, are not supported. [29]
* Common Log File System (CLFS) API provides a high-performance, general-purpose log-file subsystem that dedicated user-mode and kernel-mode client applications can use and multiple clients can share to optimize log access and for data and event management.
* File encryption support superior to that available in Encrypting File System in Windows XP, which will make it easier and more automatic to prevent unauthorized viewing of files on stolen laptops or hard drives.
* File System Mini Filters model which are kernel mode non-device drivers, to monitor filesystem activity, have been upgraded in Windows Vista. The Registry filtering model adds support for redirecting calls and modifying parameters and introduces the concept of altitudes for filter registrations.
* Registry notification hooks, introduced in Windows XP, and recently enhanced in Windows Vista, allow software to participate in registry related activities in the system.
* Support of UNIX-style symbolic links.[30] Previous Windows versions had support for a type of cross-volume reparse points known as junction points and hardlinks. However, junction points could be created only for directories and stored absolute paths, whereas hardlinks could be created for files but were not cross-volume. NTFS symbolic links can be created for any object and are cross-volume, cross-host (work over UNC paths), and store relative paths. However, the cross-host functionality of symbolic links does not work over the network with previous versions of Windows or other operating systems, only with computers running Windows Vista or a later Windows operating system. Symbolic links can be created, modified and deleted using the Mklink.exe utility which is included with Windows Vista. Microsoft has published some developer documentation on symbolic links in the MSDN documentation. [30] In addition, Windows Explorer is now symbolic link-aware and deleting a symbolic link from Explorer just deletes the link itself and not the target object. Explorer also shows the symbolic link target in the object's properties and shows a shortcut icon overlay on a junction point.
* A new tab, "Previous Versions", in the Properties dialog for any file or folder, provides read-only snapshots of files on local or network volumes from an earlier point in time. This feature is based on the Volume Shadow Copy technology.
* A new file-based disk image format called Windows Imaging Format (WIM), which can be mounted as a partition, or booted from. An associated tool called ImageX provides facilities to create and maintain these image files.
* Self-healing NTFS: In previous Windows versions, NTFS marked the volume "dirty" upon detecting file-system corruption and CHKDSK was required to be run by taking the volume "offline". With self-healing NTFS, an NTFS worker thread is spawned in the background which performs a localized fix-up of damaged data structures, with only the corrupted files/folders remaining unavailable without locking out the entire volume. [31] The self-healing behavior can be turned on for a volume with the fsutil repair set c:1 command where C presents the volume letter. [32]
* Windows Vista has support for hard disk drives with large physical sector sizes (> 512 bytes per sector drives). [33]
* The NLS casing table in NTFS has been updated so that partitions formatted with Windows Vista will be able to see the proper behavior for the 100+ mappings that have been added to Unicode but were not added to Windows. [34]

System performance

Main article: Windows Vista I/O technologies

* SuperFetch caches frequently-used applications and documents in memory, and keeps track of when commonly used applications are usually loaded, so that they can be pre-cached and it also prioritizes the programs currently used over background tasks. SuperFetch aims to negate the negative performance effect of having anti-virus or backup software run when the user is not at the computer. Superfetch is able to learn at what time of a given day an application is used and so it can be pre-cached.
* ReadyBoost, makes PCs running Windows Vista more responsive by using flash memory on a USB drive (USB 2.0 only), SD Card, Compact Flash, or other form of flash memory, in order to boost system performance. When such a device is plugged in, the Windows Autoplay dialog offers an additional option to use it to speed up the system; an additional "ReadyBoost" tab is added to the drive's properties dialog where the amount of space to be used can be configured.[38]. ReadyBoost can also use spare RAM on other networked Vista PCs.[39].

* ReadyBoot uses an in-RAM cache to optimize the boot process if the system has 700MB or more memory. The size of the cache depends on the total RAM available, but is large enough to create a reasonable cache and yet allow the system the memory it needs to boot smoothly. ReadyBoot uses the same ReadyBoost service. [40]
* ReadyDrive is the name Microsoft has given to its support for hybrid drives, a new design of hard drive developed by Samsung and Microsoft. Hybrid drives incorporate non-volatile memory into the drive's design, resulting in lower power needs, as the drive's spindles do not need to be activated for every write operation. Windows Vista can also make use of the NVRAM to increase the speed of booting and returning from hibernation.[41]

* Windows Vista features Prioritized I/O which allows developers to set application I/O priorities for read/write disk operations, similar to how currently application processes/threads can be assigned CPU priorities.[42] I/O has been enhanced with I/O asynchronous cancellation and I/O scheduling based on thread priority. Background applications running in low priority I/O do not disturb foreground applications. Applications like Windows Defender, Automatic Disk Defragmenter and Windows Desktop Search (during indexing) already use this feature. Windows Media Player 11 also supports this technology to offer glitch-free multimedia playback.

* The Offline Files feature, which maintains a client side cache of files shared over a network, has been significantly improved. When synchronizing the changes in the cached copy to the remote version, the Bitmap Differential Transfer protocol is used so that only the changed blocks in the cached version are transferred, but when retrieving changes from the remote copy, the entire file is downloaded.[43] are synchronized on a per-share basis and encrypted on a per-user basis and users can force Windows to work in offline mode or online mode or sync manually from the Sync Center. The Sync Center can also report sync errors and resolve sync conflicts. Also, if network connectivity is restored, file handles are redirected to the remote share transparently.
* Delayed service start allows services to start a short while after the system has finished booting and initial busy operations, so that the system boots up faster and performs tasks quicker than before.
* Enable advanced performance option for hard disks: When enabled, the hard disk drive operates in write-back cache mode, in which all the data that gets written to the drive is first stored in the cache, and then later written to the disk. Both writes and reads are cached in this case. When disabled, the HDD operates in write-through cache mode, in which all data that gets written to the drive is immediately written to the disks and also stored in the cache. Writes are not cached, but reads are.

The above is from the Technical features new to Windows Vista at Wikipedia:

Best
John
Brandon Ryan [Roland]
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/10/04 16:06:14 (permalink)
Running Vista 64 with SONAR8 here and it is finally rockin'. Clean low latency and all. We're actually running Vista here on the mains stage at AES and it has been very solid indeed.

"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel." WG

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John
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/10/04 16:35:54 (permalink)
Brandon ; To me it looks as if Sonar and Vista were made in heaven. DAW heaven!

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John
Timur
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/10/04 16:56:36 (permalink)
That "Advanced Performance" Mode does the same as "Optimize for Performance" on XP, namely activating the write-cache. That's the default setting for non-removeable drives on XO and Vista. Removeable drives, like USB HDs and sticks, usually don't use it unless you activate it, so that no data gets lost if you just pull the cable before writes are performed. Nothing fancy there, sorry.
post edited by Timur - 2008/10/04 17:00:07

We're all mad in here...
John
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/10/04 17:41:15 (permalink)
Optimize for Performance is checked in Vista but I also checked Advanced Performance. They are both there in my HDs under policies. My USB drives don't have this at all. They only have Optimize for Performance and Optimize for Quick Removal.
post edited by John - 2008/10/04 17:48:12

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John
LOSANO
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/10/04 17:54:20 (permalink)
Ever since I start using Vista, I am not experiencing any dropout issue as I was with XP, but I've noticed something strange, while recording with Sonar8PE edition in Vista, I can even record more than 10 tracks without noticing any single latency problem, it seems as if the latency is self-adjusting accordingly. That’s great! accordingly.

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SilkTone
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/10/04 18:22:55 (permalink)
One difference I noticed between XP and Vista is this:

If you have a large Sonar project that has a lot of samples loaded, and something happens that causes those samples to be paged out to disk (running another resource intensive app while Sonar is minimized, etc) XP and Vista responds differently when you start playback again in Sonar:

XP: Starts playback immediately, but stutters and glitches the whole song through. Often the only way to make the song play back reliably again is to close Sonar and re-open the song.

Vista: Pauses a few seconds and seems to first load all samples back into memory. After that the song plays back glitch-free.

Just my observation.

SilkTone

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macsmusic
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/10/04 19:23:38 (permalink)
Im running vista 64 bit with no problems and Sonar 7 is rock steady! I would never go back to an older system now. I run video and art editing software and appreciate the extra speed and the RAM reserves such applications demand.
cobbler
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/10/04 19:54:32 (permalink)
I cannot count the amount of forum posts I read regarding how XP was not all it was cracked up to be etc for years after its inception. Would anyone really entertain the 98 vs. XP argument anymore? Many people simply do not like change and/or are unwilling to go through the bug fixing process that is inherent with any new application or OS. As for the UAC issue, I actually like the added security and really don’t find one mouse click all that annoying compared to the peace of mind.

Though I am truly a newb to the DAW world and obviously have not created any OS taxing project to date, I run Vista 64 and Sonar 7 with no problems at all. Of course I have purchased quality new gear for my foray into the recording world and they came with Vista 64 drivers. With that said, as far as other older desktop equipment (Printers, scanners, camera, phones etc) I have not had a single compatibility issue. In fact, installing Vista and finding the equipment was incredibly quicker and easier than any XP install I ever attempted.

Maybe I’m just lucky!
Blades
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/10/04 20:51:02 (permalink)
I'm usually a pretty decent Vista supporter, but I still have some issues. I just rebuilt my Vista boot drive to see if I could make things better. They are, but not completely.

I have a P5B with a Core2duo 6300, 2gb RAM, Layla 3G sound card running the 7.3 WDM driver under Vista with SP1 installed. There is nothing on this system but the audio drivers and software required to use Sonar, along with some extra plugs (no freebies).

At low latency, I have a strange sound that happens with either audio effects or VSTi. I can usually clear the sound from happening by stopping and restarting the audio engine, and it seems to be less commonly there when in Record mode (sort of like the motorboting "fix" from a little while back). The sound that is made is a little like whatever I'm doing has been put through a ring modulator and a quick whammy/pitch shift. I can sometimes get it to happen by hitting more keys or, strangely, ny just hitting keys harder. In some cases, I have audio recorded going through an effect - I play the tune and all is well, then for several seconds it will do this pitchy, glitchy, almost distorted, grainy thing, and then go back to normal.

It seems to happen either in direct response to playing as I mentioned or in these little bursts of unusable and then completely normal - no clicks, pops, glitches, etc. I have watched the Task Manager to see if anything interesting is happening there while this sound happens, but I don't see anything useful.

Timur - you mentioned a MS app that may be of help to track things down in Vista - would that be a useful troubleshooting tool here?

Any thoughts on how to get around this would certainly make me happier to peacefully use Vista.

Blades
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Timur
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/10/04 21:20:31 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: John

Optimize for Performance is checked in Vista but I also checked Advanced Performance. They are both there in my HDs under policies. My USB drives don't have this at all. They only have Optimize for Performance and Optimize for Quick Removal.

Sorry, I mixed things up. I strongly advice against using the "Advanced Performance" option when working with sensible audio projects! Your data integrity can be seriously endangered by using it. In fact it has most likely only been implemented to "emulate" a bug of Windows 2003 Server (before the bug was fixed it ignored any call to flush the cache to disc and wait for acknowledgement).

Here is what it does:

By default Windows Vista reads from a cache on your hard drive and writes directly to the hard drive, bypassing the cache. Reading and writing from your hard drive’s cache is much faster than from it’s platters. When you enable advanced performance on your hard drive it reads and writes from your hard drive’s cache making some operations faster.

When Advanced Disk Performance is enabled, the hard disk drive operates in write-back cache mode, in which all the data that gets written to the drive is first stored in the cache, and then later written to the disk. Both writes and reads are cached in this case. When disabled, the HDD operates in write-through cache mode, in which all data that gets written to the drive is immediately written to the disks and also stored in the cache. Writes are not cached, but reads are.

Note: This setting is recommended only for disks with a backup power supply, it further improves disk performance, but it also increases the risk of data loss if the disk loses power.

The last sentence "further improves disk performance" is only half-true. What it does it tell Windows that all data has been successfuly written to disc when in fact it's still only in the harddrive's own ram-cache. Normaly the Windows-Cache can be ordered to be flushed by applications, like Sonar telling the Cache to write your recorded audio to disc NOW and return an acknowledgement once it's done.

Enabling "Advanced Performance" removes any control for applications and the OS to know wether the data has really been written to disc already. It "enhances performance" by telling the application "Done!" early when in reality it's not done yet.

I guess Noel could give us some informations on how Sonar's caching/disc I/O and flushing scheme works.
post edited by Timur - 2008/10/04 21:44:48

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Timur
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/10/04 21:26:13 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Blades

I play the tune and all is well, then for several seconds it will do this pitchy, glitchy, almost distorted, grainy thing, and then go back to normal.

This sounds as if the last sample-buffer is repeated (stuck).

Timur - you mentioned a MS app that may be of help to track things down in Vista - would that be a useful troubleshooting tool here?

You can try "Process Explorer" and "DPC Latency Tool". Also have a look at this thread for some general hints (also look at page 2):

Diagnose and Optimization of Windows performance
post edited by Timur - 2008/10/04 21:29:17

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biodiode
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RE: Vista and Sonar 2008/10/05 06:06:40 (permalink)
I did try Vista x64 some time ago (think it was just after SP1) and had to go back to XP due to a number of plug-ins not being detected even when running Sonar under 32 bit mode (things like Jamstix interface not loading up). The other problem I encountered was bad timing issues with Spectrasonics Stylus under the 64-bit version of Sonar 7. Does anyone know if these timing issues have been fixed under Sonar 8 or is it a plugin problem.

One final question - I have held off trying Vista again, however does the 32-bit version of Vista properly support 4gb of Ram as under XP most of you will know it could not use 4gb properly.

Regards

Adrian

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