What is performance meter actually displaying in the status line?

I’m trying to analyse / get a feel for how my performance is. It was getting flaky with some some audio dropouts. I do have a simple older USB audio E-Mu 0202 which I found in a cupboard, but it seems to work fine, also in other DAWS… and I’m just doing stereo out, nothing else.

The native ASIO allows the buffer to be set in ms, not samples… with a smaller buffer, e.g. 8 or 16 ms the processing in negliglble but ASIO guard is getting quite high. Disk Cache is also negligible.

With a large buffer size, e.g. 100 ms the Real Time procesing is something like 50%, ASIO guard around 50% and the Disk Cache meter is bouncing up and down like crazy to nearly 100%?

That’s all confusing and counter intuitive for me… I see there was an older topic on this subject but it’s now closed. ( better performance with smaller audio buffer )

But my specific issue is what is going on with the performance meter, why does it seem to show ASIO guard reading instead of Processing ( Real Time is processing?? ), why is it labelled “Maximum Load”, or do they mean Peak but called it something different? But then why are meters showing completely different values? See the image here, Peak is near zero… and “maximum load” has the same value as ASIO- guard?

Do these meters actually work meaningfully, can I trust them at all, the layout and labelling doesn’t actually inspire confidence!

image

Maybe this will help.

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It doesn’t make sense for me. just changing the buffer size for the audio output should have no effect on the ‘audio processing’ that is happening in Cubase… you could stream several audio on a PC 25 years ago and they are a million time faster now… it’s just copying some numbers to the output buffer… i.e. nothing… Maybe if someone was doing simultaneous multiple inputs and outputs, like 24 in and 24 out… and 10 or 20 years that could have been a thing… but nowadays, I just can’t think what’s going on? That’s why I’m questioning what it actually shows. Also in the main audio processing dialog, i.e. for the project I’m doing now… the ‘Real Time’ can start off around 3% and end up at 60% in the same session… but I haven’t changed any plugin settings… initially it was playing everything showing the extremely low value… and now it isn’t, but how can the ‘real time’ load change when it’s doing the same thing… what does ‘real time’ mean?

Have you ran LatencyMon to check for any strange DPC spikes?

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thankyou, I will check it out