Small Windows 10 tweak for better performance

Thought I would share this with you guys & gals as it made a noticeable difference in my CPU performance with Cubase.

My system is dedicated to DAW use and was already “tweaked” to the max. But this improved things even more.

Simply uncheck “Turn On Fast Startup” (Note: Even though it says: “Recommended”, it will not
cause any instability or issues. Will only add a few seconds to system start up)

To do this: Go to Control Panel, Power Options. Click “Choose What The Power Buttons Do” in upper left. Then click (in blue)
“Change Settings That Are Currently Available”. Now: Click the check-mark next to “Turn on fast Startup” to uncheck it.
Also uncheck “Hibernate” if its checked. Click “Save changes” at the bottom. Restart your system.

I didn’t expect much, but was pleasantly surprised when I opened Cubase to find my CPU usage improved by almost 10%

I have to give credit to a user: olavsflaa, over at the Studio One forum for this one.

Also: Some Windows updates may turn this feature back on. So check after updates etc.

Interesting! What could the reason for this be?

Any idea why this would improve Cubase performance, especially since the setting impacts stuff at startup?

When engaged, it appears to keep some settings & other information in the background. Here’s a quote from

“By saving the operating system state to a hibernation file, it can make your computer boot up faster.”

Even with hibernation off (if Turn on fast startup is ON) it still stores system state information to that temporary file. So, it seems
to be doing quite a bit in the background.

Studio One CPU performance (on my system) is also better with it off

That’s a fantastic tip, thanks for posting. It makes sense, it’s just strange that windows would keep caching that stuff during all processes.

I think (yes not know) this is related to windows not really shutting down when turned of, so you never have a fresh OS start, cause it suspends to disk. Unless you choose restart. So you could be working on a machine that has been on (in a way) for days or weeks, until you restart.

Very interesting, but I don’t have that option “turn on fast startup”.
I am on the latest W10 PRO -1909.
Maybe MS deleted this option?

found it! you have to turn on the Hibernate.

This is one thing I was annoyed with about Windows 10. This “hibernate/sleep shutdown” instead of a true shutdown. I used to have to start my PC and then RESTART my PC to get all the peripherals working (particularly the audio interface) until I figured out that the PC wasn’t actually shutting down but just “sleeping”. Drivers, docks, and USB adapters, etc., sometimes don’t reload correctly after sleep mode. I have always recommended people turn it off and as someone else said, a true cold boot doesn’t take but a few seconds longer (especially with an SSD) and it clears all the residual processes and apps and a fresh start for audio drivers etc.
My main annoyance is that Windows turns it on by default and it is somewhat obscure to find out about it and turn it off.

Yes jaslan, I agree.

So: Last night I had a chance to do some testing with Cubase and Studio One to see if there was actually any improvement
during tracking, VSTi use etc. Ultimately, Cubase did show a slight improvement. Maybe 2% - 4%. (not the “almost 10%” which
I initially asserted) When I loaded my template after the change, my CPU performance meter (when idling without any input)
definitely showed around a 5% - 10% drop. Once I started tracking with various VSTis etc. Performance improvement seemed minimal.
But a slight improvement non-the-less.

Now: With Studio One (identical template) the improvement was more pronounced during tracking etc. I would say definitely around 5% - 8%

So, ultimately with this tweak, your “mileage may vary” But certainly worth implementing

I have hibernation disabled, and the “Turn On Fast Startup” option isn’t even there.

Note: I turned off hibernation by entering “powercfg -h off” in an elevated command prompt. This completely removes the hidden hiberfil.sys file.

Likewise I don’t see the “Turn on Fast Startup” option. Am I right to think that implies hibernation is disabled on my system too? However I never disabled it via a command line. The PC was built as a dedicated DAW so I suppose it could have been disabled from the beginning. But that would mean the disabled state survived the upgrade from Win7 to W10…? Possible, but I’m a bit skeptical.

If I’m doing a Shutdown and not Sleep, does that give me a clean boot or does some stuff just get written to disk and reloaded?

This is actually kind of ‘Fake News’. :slight_smile: Because this tip will advise you to disable part of a scheme that’s best disabled all together! “Fast startup” is part of the hibernation scheme. It caches system files so your computer will start faster when coming out of hibernation. If you don’t see this option you probably already have hibernation disabled? But a good way to check is to see if you have the file Hiberfil.sys in the root of your C: drive. ( You need to have ‘view hidden/system files enabled’ for this!) For our purposes it’s best to disable the hibernation option all together. So if you see this file and clearly haven’t done so already just open a system prompt (cmd) with ‘admin’ rights and type the following command: powercfg.exe /hibernate off

Now restart your computer and you’ll see you got rid of the gigabit consuming file Hiberfil.sys. And you got rid of this horrible resource consuming hibernation scheme all together. :slight_smile:

I suppose it’s possible that the setting carried over from Win7. It does try to retain as much as possible when performing the upgrade. All of my Win10 machines were clean installs though. I had some issues with a couple of upgrades back when Win10 came out, so I started from scratch.

Clean Boot is actually a specific procedure to locate and isolate startup issues. It’s a separate thing from normal boot (with fast boot disabled). No need to perform a clean boot unless there are specific problems you are trying to fix. Just stick with normal boot.

I agree with everything that Nickeldome said. In fact disabling hibernation is one of the first things I do after installing Windows. I have never used it, the file takes up space, and it can cause issues for some programs.