Optimizing your PC for audio on Windows 7

  • General optimisation:

    1. Set your computer's power for high performance
    If your computer is set to conserve energy, the CPU may not be running at full speed all of the time. This can have a detrimental effect on your computer's audio performance. To set your computer's power for high performance:
    - Go to: Start>Control Panel>Power Options
    - Choose "High Performance"
    - Click the "Change plan settings" button.
    - Make sure both power options are set to "Never"

    2. Disable system sounds
    System sounds can interrupt audio. Ensure that they are disabled by doing the following:
    - Go to control panel and select "Sound"
    - Go to the sounds tab
    - Under sounds scheme, select "No sounds"
    - Click "Apply" then, "OK"

    3. Enable DMA (Direct memory access) on each IDE channel
    This allows data to be transferred directly into the memory and can improve audio performance. To ensure that DMA is enabled:
    - Open device manager
    - Expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers category then double click on each one of the IDE channels
    - Under the 'Advanced settings' tab, make sure the 'Enable DMA' box is ticked in device properties
    Please note: this only applies to some hardware and if this option is not available, you should not worry about completing this step.

    4. Set processor scheduling to "Background services"
    This will improve the performance of your audio drivers on your computer. To do this:
    - In control panel select "system"
    - Go to "Advanced system settings" and then the "Performance" tab
    - Set processor scheduling as "Background Services"
    - Click "Apply" then "OK"

    5. Disable Windows Firewall, anti-virus and spyware software
    These should all be disabled to ensure that no interferences occur during audio recording or playback and to ensure that maximum resources are available. To remain secure while your firewall and antivirus disabled, it is advisable to temporarily disconnect from any internet connections when working with audio.


    Advanced optimisation:

    If you wish to optimise your system further, or you are using a system that is particularly lacking in resources you can follow the tips below for advanced optimisation.

    Disable Visual effects
    The visual features in Windows 7 can use resources that could otherwise help to improve audio performance. As a start, it is good idea to disable some of the visual features by doing the following:
    - Press start and in the search box type: "SystemPropertiesPerformance" and press enter
    - On the visual effects tab select "custom"
    - Untick: "Animate windows when minimising and maximising" to help prevent glitches when minimising and maximising. You can also experiment with disabling other visual effects in the custom list to see how they improve audio performance.
    - Once finished, press "OK"

    If you wish to optimise your Windows 7 graphics for the best performance use the "Adjust for best performance". Although improving computer performance, this will make your Windows 7 appear a lot less aesthetically pleasing.

  • great man i setting my laptop
  • Hey, great straight fwd tips for performance tweaks .........
    Only thing I recently read about and tried was ReadyBoost using a good clean usb memory stick for additional Ram like speed. It doesn't work for everyone, but it does work great on my Win 7 x64, dual core Amd n620 2.8 ghz, 4 gig Ram with stock sound card and hard drive. It's cheap and easy experiment and speed increase if works on your system. Just be careful about settings, file structure in usb, and especially not to pull out the stick while in use...... Lots of good articles and tips out there for ReadyBoost. Wish I would have discovered years ago........
    I tried a few different setups, but in the end FAT32 and dedicated to ReadyBoost settings seem to work best on my laptop.

    Cheers!
  • Meant only thing addl I've read about and tried ..........^
  • Very nice. Very helpful post

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