Musician: help w i7 SPro3 (heat, cases, throttling)

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by jojoB3, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. jojoB3

    jojoB3 New Member

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    Hello,

    I picked up a barely used i7 SPro3, 512GB, 8GB ram for $600 not long ago (battery report showed 4 cycles, so this thing really wasn't used much at all).

    Lots of stuff I LOVE about it, and some things I believe I need to inquire with those in the know here about this model SP3 and my usage.

    I'm a working musician (keys, hammond b3, etc) and aside from the regular biz apps/items I use this for on the road I've also been enjoying the portability onstage playing sounds/samples with the SP3 in using it to play some (rather hefty) VSTi (virtual instruments) via a Behringer U-phoria UMC204HD (ASIO, low-latency USB2 audio device and Cantabile 3.0 (VST host).
    VSTi examples onhand: Omnisphere (1), Lounge Lizard EP-4, OP-X 1 and 2, Addictive Drums 2 are examples of some of the heftier/pwr hungry VST I have.

    On my desktop (AMD 8-core) of course all these VSTi run well as expected, but I didn't expect the SPro3 to run these VSTi above as well as it is. I'm rather impressed (and the portability can't be beat!).

    Q 1:
    However, because I'm using this thing live on shows I really want to keep a protective case around it. Problem is after trying a Trident Cyclops, and then an Otterbox for the SP3 I found out the hard way the cases are blocking too much of the SP3 needed venting access. I noticed throttling issues with the case on, with it off it performed much better.

    Anyone know of the better SPro3 case out there that both protects well AND allows for the most/all venting on this thing?

    Q 2:
    In regard to my usage of playing VST instruments via the SPro3, can any of you suggest the best way to setup this particular i7 SP3 in regard to helping avoid throttling? I don't wish to "burn out" the cpu of course but perhaps some of you can suggest some things to set/adjust in regard to making things stable and steady performer?

    Note: Like my home DAW and any system I use for music, I've streamlined the SPro3 Win10 as much as possible. Right now, I can load in Cantabile 3: Omnisphere 1, EP-4, Addictive Drums (and a host of smaller/less hungry VSTi) without much issue. However I've been told I should be able to get even a few more (heavier) VSTi to run without issue.

    I'm now thinking that some more SP3 and OS streamlining may be in order, or things to adjust to help avoid bottlenecks, throttling, etc. when it comes to pwr usage with VSTi's, etc.
    I'm hoping some of you SP3 gurus out there can advise me on all this.

    *I'm not exactly new to computers, DAW building, etc. I do realize there will be limitations of course w the SP3 vs my desktop system. Just wanting to get advice here on getting the most out of her in regard (VSTi performance and stability).

    ** Normally on my desk DAWs I keep VST on a separate fast HDD, but all VST I use on this SPro3 here are on the 512gb SSD.

    Thanks so much for any advice and help!
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  2. jojoB3

    jojoB3 New Member

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    Nobody's using an SP3 for music/VST's?
     
  3. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I For a protective case, I found that the Under Armor Gear case worked beautifully. You can see it in action here: Post your SP3's in the WILD!

    I haven't had a problem with throttling using this case.

    For music, I have used my SP3 as a Midi controller, and for Staffpad compositions. Not much VST. I play electric violin, guitar, mandolin, with pickups. The SP3 also assists with tabs and charts, and audio editing (Goldwave) now and then.
     
  4. young blade

    young blade Member

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    My advice is if for example if you use a 64bit daw. don't use jbridge to load up 32bit vst's/vsti's. It will spike up your CPU (dropouts and latency issues). I've had a few projects of mine that became pretty much useless until I decided to replace the jbridged vst's with a 64bit version. For those that I couldn't find the 64bit version of I used an alternative.

    Now my projects run smoothly..
     
  5. jojoB3

    jojoB3 New Member

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    The issue might not be "cpu throttling" afterall (seemed like it was the most likely issue).

    I was getting random clicks/pops in VST use (Cantabile 3 here) using only x64 vsts or 32bit jbridged VST
    The SP3 isn't even being taxed much (task manager or sys performance will show).

    I downloaded latencymon to test things further. Each test points to ACPI.SYS being the culprit...and I cannot for the life of me figure out some way to resolve this.

    Latencymon reports (every test):

    Your system seems to be having difficulty handling real-time audio and other tasks. You may experience drop outs, clicks or pops due to buffer underruns. One or more DPC routines that belong to a driver running in your system appear to be executing for too long. At least one detected problem appears to be network related. In case you are using a WLAN adapter, try disabling it to get better results. One problem may be related to power management, disable CPU throttling settings in Control Panel and BIOS setup. Check for BIOS updates.
    LatencyMon has been analyzing your system for 0:05:41 (h:mm:ss) on all processors.
     
  6. jojoB3

    jojoB3 New Member

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    Happens with wifi on or off btw.

    My SP3 has all current updates as well.

    Can you/anyone perhaps download latencymon and run a few times, let me know what your SP3 reports?

    Is there any fix out there with ACPI.SYS ?

    Thanks
     
  7. jojoB3

    jojoB3 New Member

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    Update:

    I decided to power off, pull out the SD card (Samsung 64gb EVO select).
    I also disabled WiFi and Location

    Now LatencyMon test went for 20mins without showing issue.

    "Your system appears to be suitable for handling real-time audio and other tasks without dropouts.
    LatencyMon has been analyzing your system for 0:19:35 (h:mm:ss) on all processors."

    I also tested removing the SD card and leaving wifi and location on. Determined the ACPI.sys issue in latencymon is caused by the SD card. Same test and issue with two other SD cards as well.

    Not seeing any resolve/fixes for this out there :S So it looks like when I use the SP3 for midi/VST (Cantabile 3) the sdcard must be removed.

    Is there an equivalent to disabling the SD card (like in device manager) rather than physically pulling it? (asking because constant removal/insertion will eventually cause wear/issue, plus they're so small I can see myself losing it).
     
  8. jojoB3

    jojoB3 New Member

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    In summary:

    - disable WiFi
    - Pull SD card (if you have one).

    = No more ACPI.SYS issue

    Still, if anyone knows the equivalent to pulling the SD card (disable only SD card in Dev manager or other) it would be great.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  9. Hard.Wired

    Hard.Wired New Member

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    jojoB3,

    This is very interesting. Could you post all the info about the SD card you can? Brand, size, class, year, specs? I am curious because I am having a separate issue that may involve SD cards.
     
  10. jojoB3

    jojoB3 New Member

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  11. Wayne Orwig

    Wayne Orwig Active Member

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    Have you tried to select 'eject' on the menu for that drive. That should un-mount it and accomplish the same thing. Not the best solution, but maybe better than physically pulling it.

    I'm not sure how to mount it back afterwards though. Other than a reboot or physical reconnect. :)
     
  12. Hard.Wired

    Hard.Wired New Member

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    jojoB3,

    Have you received the Fall Creators Update on your SP3 yet? I finally got it installed on an SP3 and it is running much smoother and with a lot less CPU activity.
     

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