faulty cpu or IK software or somthing else?

hi there,
sorry if this seems abrupt, trying to keep it short. (yeah right :unamused: )

if you don’t like reading long posts please skip to where i ask a favour…please.

i got a new win 7 pc (if listing the components helps please ask) and an rme fireface uc, i also upgraded to cubase 6.
when i hooked everything up i was getting terrible cpu spikes in the vst performance meter resulting in bad distortion and dropouts, didn’t happen all the time but when it did it was bad.

i disabled all i could in the device manager - no change
tried my pod hd 300 as an interface - no change
installed my emu 1616m pci (successfully) - no change

i downloaded that dcp latency checker and although it seemed to stay in the green it would still spike from between 100/200us to 700/800us so i ran this while using cubase and these numbers increased and while it was spiking i was getting clicks and pops or some distortion.

after removing three pci cards i found that a usb pci was playing a huge roll in this but there’s still somthing else.

my vst performance meter will happily sit around 30% then it spikes and triggers the red light, it happens that fast and results in nothing more than a click and a pop but the dcp checker is comfortable only peaking at around 280us, i also noticed that when i close cubase down the dcp checker jumps to high in the red to around 9000us.

i typed in msconfig in the start bar and in the general tab i selected to boot up in diagnostic mode then ran cubase.

when using the emu it seemed pretty stable, it spiked twice, once when the IK multimedia philharmonik plugin kicked in (this will become more relevant), i rewind it to see if it does it again but dosn’t, i put the song to the start and let it play and it was fine except i did notice that none of my midi inputs were avalible but there were no red spikes in the dcp checker when i closed down cubase, i later discovered that to get midi inputs i had to check the “windows audio” box in the sevices tab (msconfig again) but this also brought back the red spikes when closing down cubase.

when using the rme i found that i DID have midi ports avalible when the “windows audio” box was unchecked but still got the red spikes when closing down cubase. again it seemed more stable but also spiking when the philharmonik kicks in and again it didn’t spike when i rewind or play it back from the start.

A POINT OF NOTE - throughout my experimentation i felt the rme was more stable at a buffer size of 128 than it was at 256, the vst meter seemed erratic at this setting.

i decided to replace the philharmonik with the halion sonic se that came with c6, so far so good, no spikes in the vst performance meter from either interface and the rme seems more stable at a buffer setting of 256.

if you have read all this i thank you very much

here’s the favour

if you dont all ready have it could you please download the dpc latency checker tool from http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml and run it while using cubase and keep it running while you close cubase down to see if you get severe red spikes, if this is common i can remove it from the equation and suddenly everything looks much better.

also check cpu usage in the task manager, sitting idle i get cpu spikes up to about 20% (i dont know if this is normal)

my way of thinking is this,

i get cpu spikes in the vst performance meter even though the dpc latency tool is showing no signs of bad drivers (except on shut down), this could suggest its a hardware problem, more so with the spikes in the task manager

removing the philharmonik seems to fix things(not the closing down cubase part), this could be because it is the problem since its a 32bit plug in designed for win xp running on win 7 hp 64 (cubase 32bit) but could also be a symptom of a faulty cpu(couldn’t it ? ), its a little more hungry for cpu than the average plug in so could that be enough to trigger it.

any input welcome,


you need to get the DPC tamed before even opening software

depending on the patform
X58 DPC around 15-20 consistant and no spikes
P67/Z68 around 50-80 no spikes (even 120-200 is ok but consistant)
X79 30ish no spikes.

hi scott

it’s an asus p8z68 (v lx if i remember), after more tinkering i discovered that it was not so much the firewire pci card but more the pci slot it was in that was causing the dcp spikes when closing cubase, i’ve removed the graphics and usb cards and it sits mostly as you say between 50 - 80 with an absolute maximum of 136 (observing for 30 min).

when cubase is loaded and playing it was between 50 - 200 with an absolute max. of 255 and the rme can now happily play at 48 samples although im sure the dpc max. went up to about 380 at this setting but it runs fine now,

i still got the problem with the ik philharmonik though, i dont get why the song only pops and crackles when its loaded and i dont get why it only does it the first time the songs played, if there’s a flaw why isn’t it consistant :confused: