[solved] Unusually high CPU usage on new Laptop...

I recently purchased (well, to be fair, it was bought for me) a new laptop, and what better way to put it through its paces than to make some music, right?

I’m not exactly new to Renoise at this point; I’ve been dabbling with it since version 2.5 was released on a number of older systems. But for some reason, I’m struggling to handle even the most basic tasks on this new computer.

As an example, while fooling around in a sound design session involving only a single, extremely short looped waveform and a few envelopes for pitch and filtering, I was topping out at over 80% CPU usage only by playing a few notes (maybe 10 or so simultaneously - I was trying to make something with a bell-like timbre and wanted to hear how a fairly intricate melody would sound). Now, bear in mind this was done with no VST instruments or effects, and only a single instance of the Renoise Reverb DSP for some color. I thought maybe it was just a fluke, so I tried loading some of the included demo tracks and playing them, but they almost all caused the audio player to go into panic mode and shut off after a few bars.

I don’t know too terribly much about computers, but I do know that a brand new laptop - and a fairly recent model, at that - should at least be able to run software that my laptop from 5 years ago (which, even then, was an outdated budget model) could handle.

I did some brief searching on Google and found that the processor in my current machine (an Intel Celeron N2830) has a clock speed of 2.16 GHz, which I think should be fast enough at least for simple songs and basic sound design like I was trying. I know it’s not a super high-end model, but I’ve read about people running Renoise on much slower hardware than that, so I should at least be able to get something going, right?

I even tried upping the latency setting in the Audio Preferences window, but unless I drive it to the upper 3-digit values, I’m not seeing any real decrease in CPU usage. Is pushing it that far and hoping for the best my only option, or did something go horribly wrong?

The thing with laptops usually is that they are configured by default to run at economy efficiency. It means that the CPU is being throttled for power on demand:if the user is not doing much than the CPU level is degraded and when power is demanded, the CPU is being put into high gear.

This stuff however does not work efficient for applications like Renoise and games since the throttling action always lags behind the request.

So the first thing to look for is a switch either in the Bios or somewhere in your system power settings to set your hardware performance to something similar like “always full performance”.

And even my vaio core i7 notebook is a pure weakness if no power adapter is connected. Means that thus damn device has two hardware build in power profiles, one weak for battery mode and one strong for adapter. There is nothing I can do about it. Only not buying Sony next time and do a proper in deep test with the device before.

Besides of this, Renoise also was kind of stuttering on my core2quad system (which is quite fast). Now on a new core i7 it’s better. But I would assume that there is still room for optimization especially in relation to the GUI (switching to some GUI views while stuttering often fixes the problem).

Thanks so much to both of you guys for the help. Adjusting the power settings does seem to have helped a bit. It’s still more CPU-heavy than I’d like, but at least I can make a song now as long as I’m not using too many VSTs. I don’t have a whole lot worth using, though, so it’s cool.

This forum is so helpful sometimes.