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  #1  
Old 08-20-2018, 08:34 AM
ashokleyland ashokleyland is offline
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Default PT2018 / i7-7820x performance

Hello,

i built a new machine a while ago and I am struggling with performance issues and the way PT is using the CPU.
In fact, the i7-7820x is a powerful CPU but PT appears to only use a (very) small portion of it in most of the case (full config at the end of the post).

So I did a 3 test sessions :
  • 24 tracks with 6 echoboys per track (in an effectrack), total 144 echoboys
  • 3 tracks with 48 echoboys per track (8 effect racks with 6 echoboys each), total 144 echoboys
  • 1 track with 48 echoboys (8 effect racks with 6 echoboys in each)

Here are the sreenshots of the system usage

Latency is set to 1024 samples and dynamic processing is off.

As you can see, the second and third sessions are unplayable. I did that test with soundtoys but it can be done with any plugin manufacturer (I actually tested Fabfilter, Softube, Waves, Slate and Soundtoys). As a result, and in the real world, PT is running out of CPU very fast as only one core is mostly used. A session would see the core 8 full and others running at only 5 or 10%, but PT doesn't seem to care and doesn't balance the load of the CPU.

I would like to understand if this behavior is related to a specific platform and CPU (X299 and 7820x in my case) or not. For example, do we have the same results with a z370/i7-8700k ?

Any ideas on this ? Is it the same behavior on your computer ? Can you send screenshots of the CPU load with a different configuration ?

Here is the config :
X299 Designare EX (latest BIOS)
i7-7820x
32GO RAM
Win10 1803 (OS build 17134.228)
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2018, 09:56 PM
TAMBOR TAMBOR is offline
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Default Re: PT2018 / i7-7820x performance

First, turn off speed step and set the system to run the max turbo speed 100% of the time.
If you can get that to work, try for a stable overclock in the neighborhood of 4.0 to 4.4GHz.
Make sure you best the most stable video drivers. May not always be the newest.
Consider reducing video resolution as a test, to see if that reduces CPU usage. Also consider experimenting with alternate slot positions for your video card. Make sure it is not sharing PCI bandwidth with your drives, if possible.

Let us know if any of that helps.
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2018, 12:40 AM
noiseboyuk noiseboyuk is offline
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Default Re: PT2018 / i7-7820x performance

I'm running 2018.4 on the 7820X and it seems both solid and very low CPU use (but note, I'm using it for audio post and though I have high track counts the processing isn't wildly taxing - typically at 256 through a Babyface, max CPU strain is crica 5-10%). But I'd echo TAMBOR's comments above as a first stop, I understand that the ramping up and down of CPU clock speed can cause major issues. I'm running at 4.3ghz (overclocked by Scan) and the system runs very cool and stable.
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PT 2018HD; W10 Pro; i7 7820X; 64gb RAM; RME Babyface; UAD Quad Satellite USB; GTX 1050i
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2018, 03:16 AM
ashokleyland ashokleyland is offline
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Default Re: PT2018 / i7-7820x performance

Hello,

thanks for your answers.
Speed step was already disabled and setup also already setup to run at 100%.
No sharing bandwidth, video drivers seem stable.

I tried to enable C states (C1/C6/C7) in the BIOS (which is not recommended both by Avid and UA) and it seems better. At least when multicore is called like in my first test case. I did not tried to overclock yet.

What I try to understand is why PT is not balancing the load when you stack a lot of plugins on only one track. Balancing is fine when you have the same plug-in on multiple tracks but it seems to only use one core to load the first instance of a plug-in.

I have the feeling (I may be wrong of course) that this is not a global system tuning issue.
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  #5  
Old 08-21-2018, 04:32 AM
TNM TNM is offline
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Default Re: PT2018 / i7-7820x performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashokleyland View Post
Hello,

thanks for your answers.
Speed step was already disabled and setup also already setup to run at 100%.
No sharing bandwidth, video drivers seem stable.

I tried to enable C states (C1/C6/C7) in the BIOS (which is not recommended both by Avid and UA) and it seems better. At least when multicore is called like in my first test case. I did not tried to overclock yet.

What I try to understand is why PT is not balancing the load when you stack a lot of plugins on only one track. Balancing is fine when you have the same plug-in on multiple tracks but it seems to only use one core to load the first instance of a plug-in.

I have the feeling (I may be wrong of course) that this is not a global system tuning issue.
no daw in existence works the way you want it to. Your system is performing fine. All DAWs do signal path per core.. i.e a track, then whatever it's routed to, a single core.
Each vi instance is it's own core, till they all get used then the cycles starts again.

Pro Tools actually goes one further than any other DAW I have ever seen, certainly Cubase and Logic do not do this.. Pro tools will assign a bus to a different core.. What i mean by this is.. if I route say a vi track to a submix bus, it will put the subkix on a different core to the VI.. Pro tools is the first DAW I have ever seen that can do this...

What you are asking for is not going to happen.. How can a daw put different effects on the same track on different cores? No daw does it, as i said. Not a one.
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2) MBP 2.8ghz i7 quad, 16GB ram, 1TB SSD, OS 10.12.6, PT 2018.7, Logic 10.4.1,Internal Sound, TBolt SSD 512GB.
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2018, 04:55 AM
ashokleyland ashokleyland is offline
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Default Re: PT2018 / i7-7820x performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by TNM View Post
no daw in existence works the way you want it to. Your system is performing fine. All DAWs do signal path per core.. i.e a track, then whatever it's routed to, a single core.
Each vi instance is it's own core, till they all get used then the cycles starts again.

Pro Tools actually goes one further than any other DAW I have ever seen, certainly Cubase and Logic do not do this.. Pro tools will assign a bus to a different core.. What i mean by this is.. if I route say a vi track to a submix bus, it will put the subkix on a different core to the VI.. Pro tools is the first DAW I have ever seen that can do this...

What you are asking for is not going to happen.. How can a daw put different effects on the same track on different cores? No daw does it, as i said. Not a one.
Thanks for your detailed answer.
I do not want or asking anything to my system or Protools, just trying to get a better picture of how it works ! Thanks to you I know a bit more. I can go a bit deeper if you have some ressources or links to give.

thanks
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  #7  
Old 08-21-2018, 09:59 AM
TNM TNM is offline
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Default Re: PT2018 / i7-7820x performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashokleyland View Post
Thanks for your detailed answer.
I do not want or asking anything to my system or Protools, just trying to get a better picture of how it works ! Thanks to you I know a bit more. I can go a bit deeper if you have some ressources or links to give.

thanks
Hmmmm... to find resources I would honestly have to google myself to all the old discussions about it at kvraudio and gearslutz.. Especially at the latter there have been a lot of detailed talks about it. Your best bet, is if you don't have an account at gearslutz.com, is join up and find all the posts about it from various programmers.. Really, I would have to just search myself to find them, as I haven't talked about this for a couple years so don't have any actual topics saved as such I can link you to.

I'm getting my imac pro in a week now, with the xeon version of the same processor, 8 core, 16 thread.. I have the complete soundtoys suite, so i promise I will do detailed dsp tests for you on mac, to compare, with pro tools, LogicX and Cubase9, just so we at least know your system is getting the expected amount of effects.

Anyway, in a nutshell.. In all DAWs

1) Any kind of track, VI or audio, and all the effects on it, all on one core

2) Complete signal path of that track, i.e submixes, same core.. *except* Pro tools, which can put that on a different core. This makes perfect sense, and all DAW"s could do this if they wanted. Personally, I like it, cause if I have a VI that is maxing a core when being played, i can still put effects on it by extra routing in Pro Tools. What can't be done is splitting the load of each track on different cores.. Someone has definitely explained why this is the way it is but honestly I am no programmer and you'll need to find it if you really want to know why (does it matter though? I promise you no DAW does it, it's something to do with realtime audio performance).

3) Any effect *can* be programmed to use multiple threads *itself*.. i.e.. even though pro tools and all DAWs will do one track per core, the effects amongst them can be programmed to be split amongst several cores.. *however*.. this will cause great havoc with the DAW and the DAW's own performance meters can't reflect this.. It's best to just let the DAW do it's job. For example, Kontakt causes many issues if it's own multithread is enabled in the plugin versions.. Clicks and pops galore when say the pro tools meter is only at half way, or not even..

4) Most DAWs assign the master to a specific core, sometimes along with graphics/midi/other resources. I haven't looked into it enough at all, to see how pro tools assigns it's master output effects. Whatever it is, they WILL be on one core, I just don't know how PT chooses it..

5) It's best with all DAW's to learn how it handles core stacking, and then creatively route tracks to maximise/even out usage. Anyway, your topic reflects why gigahertz in an audio application still matters.. as in.. maximum single core performance.. As many things are often stacked onto one core as you found out.. This is why, if I had the choice of a 6 core 4 ghz processor or an 8 core 3ghz, i'd choose the 6. Same with an 8 core 3ghz over a 12 core 2 ghz. Your turbo should be at 4ghz for all cores, very easily.. so that's very decent single core performance.. However, say something like an 8086K, would simply be able to do more on one core.. for example.. It could perhaps play 32 notes of the most intense VI all at one time, where as yours and my coming machine might only be able to play 20 notes.. Just another example. In a couple one off cases, multithreading of the plugin itself can be useful. For example, if i was going to use just ONE instance of kontakt or say Diva, i would enable it's own multithreading. Only if I was using one.. Otherwise it's just best to let the DAW handle it as I said above. Hope this helps.

Cheers
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2) MBP 2.8ghz i7 quad, 16GB ram, 1TB SSD, OS 10.12.6, PT 2018.7, Logic 10.4.1,Internal Sound, TBolt SSD 512GB.
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  #8  
Old 08-22-2018, 12:46 AM
ashokleyland ashokleyland is offline
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Default Re: PT2018 / i7-7820x performance

Thanks for the explanations.

Cheers
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