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  #1  
Old 05-15-2019, 01:16 PM
the.engineer the.engineer is offline
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Default CPU usage drops with mix and edit window closed

Hi All,

I'm sure many of you have seen the aformentioned CPU usage drop before when closing the mix and edit window, if you haven't, try it for yourself and watch the meters fall away! Firstly some context (and check my signature for full specs)...

I'm currently trying to 'get back' to using my Apple LED Cinema Display which I retired because it was causing CPU dropouts (you better believe it!) and downgraded to a 1080p only screen. Result: no more CPU spikes.

I was told earlier this year by Avid that with Mojave support coming my screeen issue *may* get fixed. As of today and 2019.5 it is not fixed. I have been testing various things and the bottom line is with the same session, the Apple LED Display causes Pro Tools CPU usage to run at least 12% higher than with the Asus 1080p. With the Asus Pro Tools is snappy and responsive.

This is still bizzare to me. Are Avid still not supporting 1080p+ screens? have they not bridged the gap with the Metal API (this screen issue has been happening since El Capitan). Is it my aging system (that's still supported by Apple, with Metal enabled graphics, PCI SSD blah blah...)

And why on earth do the CPU meters drop to nothing (literally nothing) when the edit and mix windows are closed with the track still playing!? Activity monitor doesn't budge, the CPU meters seem completely erroneous.

Please tell me (again) what screens you are running above 1080p and how they're holding up. It's driving me insane not to be able to see all my sends and inserts. I work fast and edit v.quickly, having a laggy screen doesn't work for me. Like walking through treacle .

I am going to try Mojave first and possibly the Sapphire RX580 8GB as a last resort.
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James Welch
Recording Engineer | Producer
Masterlink Productions

Mac Pro 5,1 (Mid 2010) | 3.46GHz Six-Core Intel Xeon | 32GB Ram | AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB | Apple 27" LED Cinema | 500GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2 SSD System Drive | 1TB WDC Sample Drive | 4TB RAID 0 Seagate Audio Drive | UAD-2 Quad PCIe
Mojave 10.14.5 | Pro Tools Ultimate 2019.5 | HDX | Avid Omni | Avid 16x16 HD I/O x2 | Digidesign 192 | Digidesign C24
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2019, 01:33 PM
digifactory digifactory is offline
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Default Re: CPU usage drops with mix and edit window closed

What if you change the display profile in the system preferences/monitors/colour to e.g. Adobe? Do you recognise any improvements?

I am on 5K retina (3200 x 1800) and there is no change in CPU usage (mix/edit windows. Everything smooth.
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  #3  
Old 05-15-2019, 01:53 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: CPU usage drops with mix and edit window closed

Why would changing the colorspace of a monitor affect graphics performance related issues? Seems very hard to see how this would happen. A similar colorspace conversion processing is still involved.

Lots of other things that are easier to see being suspicious... like GPU, CPU, low level rendering model/components being used (like the metal mess/catchup Avid needs to do), etc.



CPU meters dropping when graphics windows are closed may not be a surprise, there is significant processing happening in the CPU to render all that stuff. The CPU, not GPU, has to work out what to draw in all those windows. What to draw for all the mix window channels, meters, plugin GUIs etc. the GPU can help (a lot) in assembling low level things on the screen, moving windows, transparency and other effects etc). When the the mix or edit windows are closed nothing needs to be redrawn. The CPU required to just actually record or playback audio is pretty low. The quality of the GPU and details of the software may affect how much CPUis used to draw these windows.

CPU measurements are always a lie/guess. Who knows what is going on here if you see big differences between Activity Monitor and Pro Tools meters. 2019.5 is supposed to address some known inaccuracy with CPU meters, but who knows what it is doing now. The root of many of the challenges there is that these types of meters are based on statistical sampling of what the CPU is running, and the sampling can miss stuff or completely overcount other stuff if it happens to line up with the sampling.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 05-15-2019 at 02:28 PM.
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  #4  
Old 05-15-2019, 02:05 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: CPU usage drops with mix and edit window closed

What actual AAE errors do you get on 2019.5? At what buffer size and sample rate?

I am cautious to comment because a I am not aware of current experiences with the R9 GPU on Cheesegraters, or heard from others about this after trying 2019.5.

But I would make sure the system is *fully* optimized, every last thing done, and try some quick tests... trash prefs (use Peter Gates PT Prefs took) and test, try removing all .aaxplugin files from the plugin folder (and trash prefs again) and test, try starting with a new empty session. I would also be testing with that session on your fast internal SSD not on RAID storage, and make sure disk cache is set to at least a few GB (not “normal” = off)

Some plugins may be bad at tripping things up, maybe in combination with graphics related performance issues. It can be that they only need to be installed, not actually in use to cause problems.

Otherwise I hope other folks have advice for the best GPU card to use in this the cheese grater, and what GPU driver version to run.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 05-15-2019 at 02:29 PM.
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  #5  
Old 05-15-2019, 02:36 PM
toolz toolz is offline
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Default Re: CPU usage drops with mix and edit window closed

I had the same screen issue with Sierra, closing edit and mix gave me the correct performance, updating to High Sierra fixed my issue, and It's all good with 2019.5

Have the same 5,1 machine, HDX2. Hope this helps :)
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  #6  
Old 05-15-2019, 02:54 PM
the.engineer the.engineer is offline
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Default Re: CPU usage drops with mix and edit window closed

Quote:
Originally Posted by toolz View Post
I had the same screen issue with Sierra, closing edit and mix gave me the correct performance, updating to High Sierra fixed my issue, and It's all good with 2019.5



Have the same 5,1 machine, HDX2. Hope this helps :)


Which graphics card and screen are you using? This is encouraging.


James Welch
Recording Engineer | Producer
Masterlink Productions

Mac Pro 5,1 (Mid 2010) | 3.46GHz Six-Core Intel Xeon | 32GB Ram | AMD Radeon R9 280X 3072 MB | 256GB Samsung SM951 SSD Blade (PCIe) System Drive | 1TB WDC Sample Drive | 4TB RAID 0 Seagate Audio Drive | UAD-2 Quad PCIe
Sierra 10.12.6 | Pro Tools Ultimate 2018.10 | HDX | Avid Omni | Avid 16x16 HD I/O x2 | Digidesign 192 | Digidesign C24
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James Welch
Recording Engineer | Producer
Masterlink Productions

Mac Pro 5,1 (Mid 2010) | 3.46GHz Six-Core Intel Xeon | 32GB Ram | AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB | Apple 27" LED Cinema | 500GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2 SSD System Drive | 1TB WDC Sample Drive | 4TB RAID 0 Seagate Audio Drive | UAD-2 Quad PCIe
Mojave 10.14.5 | Pro Tools Ultimate 2019.5 | HDX | Avid Omni | Avid 16x16 HD I/O x2 | Digidesign 192 | Digidesign C24
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  #7  
Old 05-15-2019, 11:35 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: CPU usage drops with mix and edit window closed

So just curious. I wanted to see what my MacBook Pro could do and if it showed any CPU use due to windows being visible/open or closed. What I saw was no noticeable difference when in Pro Tools CPU meter or Activity monitor reported CPU usage when closing Mix and Edit windows or not, and whether that was 100 stereo tracks with no plugins or the plugins described below.

I have not looked at CPU use and graphics in ages, and remember seeing differences on past systems (but hey (older) Mac Pro as well so...).

I'm traveling with my MacBook Pro (i7 quad core/2.9 GHz/16 GB/2880x1800 internal display) and decided to set up a quick test session just to see what it would handle. 44.1 kHz session with 100 stereo tracks, Avid Channel Strip, Moogfooger analog delay, Reel Tape Flanger, D-Verb on each track. Just running with Built-In Output as the playback engine. At 64 samples it seemed stable enough to use. Stunning compared to past Pro Tools releases.

Pro Tools CPU meters and Activity monitor showing the same 60-70% total usage. And Switching between discrete GPU (Radeon Pro 460) and Integrated GPU (Intel HD Graphics 530) did not seem to change that. Pro Tools seemed to run with integrated graphics, but i did not push it like that (I'd never bother).
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  #8  
Old 05-16-2019, 01:09 PM
the.engineer the.engineer is offline
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Default Re: CPU usage drops with mix and edit window closed

Just updated to Mojave. Had to bring the Mac Pro home because of rubbish internet (and to see my wife!).

Clean install of Mojave on the SSD blade. Couldn't bring an HD I/O unit home with me so can only test on built-in output.

Running 30 tracks of pink noise with 5 instances of D-Verb on each channel.

CPU usage hovering around 35%. Closing the edit/mix windows makes no difference to CPU usage.

Interestingly, looking at activity monitor, GPU history shows the the GPU going up and down when I close/open the mix and edit window (which is what I would expect it to do!), the CPU history doesn't change.

Will do further testing tomorrow with the HDX card powered up.
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James Welch
Recording Engineer | Producer
Masterlink Productions

Mac Pro 5,1 (Mid 2010) | 3.46GHz Six-Core Intel Xeon | 32GB Ram | AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB | Apple 27" LED Cinema | 500GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2 SSD System Drive | 1TB WDC Sample Drive | 4TB RAID 0 Seagate Audio Drive | UAD-2 Quad PCIe
Mojave 10.14.5 | Pro Tools Ultimate 2019.5 | HDX | Avid Omni | Avid 16x16 HD I/O x2 | Digidesign 192 | Digidesign C24
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  #9  
Old 05-17-2019, 03:20 AM
the.engineer the.engineer is offline
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Default Re: CPU usage drops with mix and edit window closed

The update to Mojave seems to have fixed it. Can open close edit/mix windows without CPU usage changing.

Tried on both HDX and Built-In output.

I'm a happy bunny right now!
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James Welch
Recording Engineer | Producer
Masterlink Productions

Mac Pro 5,1 (Mid 2010) | 3.46GHz Six-Core Intel Xeon | 32GB Ram | AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB | Apple 27" LED Cinema | 500GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2 SSD System Drive | 1TB WDC Sample Drive | 4TB RAID 0 Seagate Audio Drive | UAD-2 Quad PCIe
Mojave 10.14.5 | Pro Tools Ultimate 2019.5 | HDX | Avid Omni | Avid 16x16 HD I/O x2 | Digidesign 192 | Digidesign C24
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  #10  
Old 05-17-2019, 10:11 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: CPU usage drops with mix and edit window closed

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