Core I7 Vsti's Go Crazy ?


I searched the whole forum for Core i7 topics, but couldn’t find much.

I can’t nail it down exactly at the moment, but I’ve the “subjective” impression
that since I use a new Core i7 920 2,66 Renoise 2.0 and some of my VSTi’s are no longer best friends.

I tried everything with compatiblity options and experimented with nr of Cores (means: Use 1 Core, max. compatibility, static buffers).
But sometimes those plugins need awful much time to respond:

  • Linplug RMV v5.04: drumsets switching takes ages - everytime ! Whole system hangs for quite a while.
  • Battery 3 v3.04.001 sometimes doesn’t respond for a long time and suddenly raises from death

I used those plugins with an Athlon Dual Core and had not such problems.

Could it be the Core i7 ??? Have any other people here made similar experiences ?

System: Win XP, 32, SP3, Renoise 2.0

CoreI7 are those the new 3 quad CPU layouts?
I have no idea if the technology was designed to work as with the known multicore cpu’s.

Did you changed more besides that?
Do the plugins use your system hardware for protection matters? (challenge code), that can also be a problem because the CPU specifications of your system usually forms a part of the challenge code you have to submit to register these programs and once you change that, the code is not working anylonger. (That is why iLok is used nowawdays)

the corei7’s are native quad cores with hyperthreading. (which means 4 cores with a virtual one each -> 8 cores in taskmanager).
in my p4 days, hyperthreading caused a lot of trouble and i had crashes with various VSTi. i don’t know in how far that behaviour changed throughout the different renoise releases, but i think it’s worth a try to disable HT from within the BIOS (if you board allows it, airmann).

ps. airmann, do you see 4 or 8 cores when rightclicking the CPU usage meter in renoise?

I see just 4 Cores in Renoise settings. The CPU usage meter I haven’t checked, so far - good idea to do so.

Thanks for the worthwile hint about HT-Problems. So far I don’t need more than 2-4 Cores anyway,
thus it should be no prob to disable the HT in BIOS. I know that my BIOS provides that feature, so I’ll check it out and post the results here.

The VSTi that I’ve used use no hardware protection or any dongles. But that’s an interesting hint, too!
I should check if Cubase still works :wink:

Thanks guys !

if you can only see 4 cores from within renoise, then the virtual ones get disabled upon renoise launch. you can always check that in the log file. there should be a line which reads like this:

CPU: Found 1 enabled unit(s) with 4 core(s) / 2 logical processor(s) per unit. 4 cores are enabled in total.CPU: Disabled Hyperthreading.   

from my personal experiences from the past however, i was still having trouble with novation VSTi (v-station, basstation), and it could only be properly fixed by turning off HT from within the BIOS.
so it would be interesting to see if that fixed your issues.

btw: i’m a bit confused… do you have two accounts here?

That might declare a big thing. Audio apps and HT don’t work well, i’m glad i got rid of my HT cpu just because of that.
Renoise actively disables HT support when it detects a HT cpu, but this detection method most likely does not work for Renoise. Either shut down the HT option in the BIOS or try to remove the extra HT cores in the CPU affinity of the Taskmanager processlist (renoise.exe) when you have started Renoise.
Most likely that might resolve the problem, at least i’m enxious to the results.

OK … I switched off HT in my BIOS and voila … my RMV plugin works again like expected.

To set the process affinity in Task manager is a good hint, but a bit impractically IMO.
In the past I used the tool imagecfg from the Windows XP Server Resource Kit to set the affinity
in the exe header persistently (had problems with my AMD Dual Core and some games)
See also

But it turned out that imagecfg didn’t work out in all cases.
Therefore, I used the AMD Dual Core Optimization tool which fixed time stamp counting.
See also
That solved all of my problems in the past. But I don’t know if it’s the same issue with the Core i7.

Also interesting: Affinity.cmd script:

the deactivation in BIOS seems to solve the problem so I don’t need any tools for that.
I will switch HT in the BIOS on again and check if it is reproducable.

Thank you both !

@Keith: yes I use two accounts, but I will close down the Airjob, soon ;-). Thanks about the hint about the implicit HT deactivation and the logfile . Didn’t know that one existed at all.

Since I’m about to build a new system myself and are seriously considering to build it around the Intel i7-920 CPU – can you please give us some info about other plugins you’re running and the overall speed/stability you get from your setup? With the HT off, does it work like a “true” Quad-core in Renoise and how many VST/VSTi:s can you load and run smoothly?

This is really interesting!

don’t be afraid transcender… you can’t go wrong with the core i7’s, even with HT disabled. renoise would hardly care about the additional (virtual) cores anyway, because in most “real-world” songs, it is already having a hard time getting some gain from anything greater than dualcore.
what i mean is, that with a dualcore you will most likely get a speed up of about x1.5 and with a quadcore it’s most commonly around x1.8 (compared to singlecore), so efficiency per core drops the more you add to the system.
just be sure that your motherboard is capable of disabling the virtual cores, because when i recall correctly, any software-workaround (affinity in taskamanger, renoise core amount selection) didn’t do the trick.

if you plan to get a core2quad (which is a very potent CPU as well and offers usage of cheaper DDR2), then let me know - i have quite some experience with that platform and might give some useful advices before buying stuff.

Most appreciated! :)

I just posted the planned setup for a new core2guad system here:…st&p=152088


Besides the HT problem the Corei7 seems to run smoothly, and I haven’t had any further problems with any other Software so far.
It runs like a true Quadcore with HT disabled.

I bought the Corei7 920 because IMO it’s a good and not too expensive CPU for the next 3-4 years
and has the next generation CPU design. I intend to use it not only for Renoise/Audio but also for
Video-creation and everything else.

For me it subjectively seems to be very powerful:

E.g. I’m also using Reaper for WAV Recordings - With my current Corei7 I can add a bunch of decent high quality effects in a Reaper track and “live-play” E-Guitar through this chain without noticeable delay.
My settings are: 2ms ASIO Buffer + 0.1ms Firewire Buffer. I have an output latency of 3,8 ms and input latency of 3,6 ms. With that settings I can use a DSP chain of 8 HQ VSTe’s without hearing crackles.

Moreover: I’ve read some news about a new Corei7 920 Series which uses the new D0 stepping.
With that it’s possible to overclock the Corei7 920 up to 4,6 GHz (crazy !)…stepping_2_ghz/

But I agree with Keith that the system he suggests delivers absolutely enough CPU power for Renoise and maybe run even a bit more stable (?). In certain circumstances the CoreQuad Systems seems to slightly beat the Corei7 920 System. But the 960 is always king (according to C’t Magazin). I also think it depends heavily on how the software is written / how multicore is supported. The prices of the different systems seems to be not very different.

So it depends on your personal preferences

A list with VSTi I can’t provide. All of the VST I’ve used after disabling HT made no problems, so far !

BTW: regarding motherboard - buy the best, the very best that you can get ! I use the Intel DX58S0, because I assumed that Intel CPU + Intel Mainboard would be a good combination. So far no probs.