Win 7 looks ugly? How can I ... ?


I don’t get it.

I am not able to change the color and size of these blue frames around applications and windows - they are using truckloads of space as well as this stupid blue looks cheap as hell inside Nuendo - in XP I had the design switched to “silver” all the time.

In addition these “Aero” Stuff is not available on my system, nothing! I can switch between all those Aero-Designs but there is changing only the desktop-background, nothing more nothing less.

I am using Nvidia NVS 450 which should be capable - or not?

Oh I don’t know what I am doing wrong.

Change to Windows Classic Style.


Ok, I have found out what was going wrong…

Users of the NVS 450 - stay away from trying out that “Mosaic Modus” which is able to give you a stretched desktop - like with Matrox Parhelia. I finally reinstalled Windows up from scratch after I spent hours of tweaking without result - voila - perfect customizable GUI with all candy - or no candy (up to taste).

Reinstalled the Nvidia stuff - dang - everything fucked up again!

The result is an ugly GUI which is somewhat a mixture between Classic Style and the Win7 GUI - looks awfull… Thick, fat, nontransparent, teletubby-blue frames and bars… Not tweakable and roll-backable and stuff. I don’t know how that was possible.

Reinstalled again, now everything is nice and fast. Sadly without those stretched Desktop options for now… In another thread I read about tools who can do something similar… I will check that out…


When it comes to video cards in a DAW, ATI is you friend. I have nothing but good experiences in this respect.

Well - 5 user, 6 oppinions… This time I tried the Nvidia way and well… So far I am not THAT expressed. The card itself seems to work fine, but mh - just driving 3 x 17"" TFT should not be to difficult…

So, when we are here… I spent some time today messing with Win7 optics.

  • I do like the eye candy Aero-Stuff a lot, but it only looks good when just working with explorer windows and small applications etc… When it comes to Cubendo it looks completely messed up - the frame as well as the program-bar on top is transparent (for example, in my case dust-grey) - but inside Nuendo there are a lot of bars with ugly blue, thick and blue - the mixer… The project window… It messes completely with the otherwise brilliant GUI of both, Cubase and Nuendo. I found a way to get those bars a little smaller… but - can I change color as well? This would be great, I still love the look of silver-XP design here… And I like OSX & Cubendo. I just watched the new Cubase Vids - Mac all over the place, maybe because of cosmetics?

  • changing to Classic Style safes a lot of space and here we can change the color of the window-bars, but when using “allwas on top” for plugins and stuff the text on it is crippled as well as the overall thing just looks very old school, Win 98… Isn’t it possible to have a design which is more that classic XP style (silver)?

    Well, after all I am sitting 60h/week in front of it as well as in a todays studio which usually does not feature a large mixing desk the optical impression of big screens with awesome looking mixers and plugins on it is a not that unimportant express-your-client fact. The new Cubase looks awesome and it tells “friendly to the eyes” and stuff, but with those blue Window bars all over the place?

Well, after lots of test I finally set up a Classic Style Design - all of the Problems I had are almost gone:

N3 does need almost NO CPU to playback a heavy edited project (no plugins) - I had up to 10% CPU pegging with Aero Style.

Even Cubase 5.5 needs significant less CPU for playback, scrolling, zooming. More than N3 (that is what I love at N3, so light to the CPU even in ugly big projects) though… I am not talking about plugin load, just basic work in a 30 track heavy edited Drumprojects stretched over 3 displays.

So I am curious - who uses Aero who Classic? I am talking about serious workstation use in the studio…


I’m running my setup with Aero enabled. I’ve compared windows with setting for “the best appearance” (under the advanced system tab) + Aero against setting for best performance and no aero. Guess what, absolutely no differences here.
I have two nvidia 8400gs 512Mo cards for four screens (3 X 19" + 1 X 37") and I sometimes run some “heavy” sessions. Well, as far as “heavy” means something with an I7 and when you tailored your workflow on a modest machine… :smiley:

I wouldn’t want to go back to the old blue windows 98 style or even the xp one. Yuck !
Especially after I tasted the OSX eye candy OS …

PS : Your system may not be setup correctly ?

I did another test…

Trying to go down with buffer size - with Classic Mode a 40 Track project with 20 Tracks recording is absolutely no problem at 64 samples. 15% CPU or something. As soon as I enable the Aero Profile the playback is crackling like mad. CPU in Taskmanager is littler higher but not 100% but the Asio meter ist shaking like crazy - up to 100%.

Oh man, I am completely frustrated in the Moment, I do not have time and energy for messing around with that new system… 5 years ago I set up that Dual Opteron machine in one evening and the other day I was working.

What can be set up wrong?

Basically I just put the parts together - Asus Mainboard, i7, 12GB Corsair Dominator Ram, SSD System drive, 2 big Sata Hds in regular SATA mode (no raid, will add another SSD later) - and that Nvidia Quadro NVS 450 incl newest drivers. I don’t think that there can go much wrong… Maybe that grafic card sucks? Oh - and when I grab a Plugin window and move it very fast over the project with the heavy edits I have quite some CPU usuage and it feels like “honey” - I am not sure but on my old DAW with the Parhelia this was faster with almost no CPU usage…? But I have to check that out first.


CPU Stepping activated in the bios maybe ?

CPU should be set to 100% power all the time (in the bios and in Windows7 power scheme)

In windows yes, in the bios I will check.

There is nothing special what needs to be done when installing win7, or not?

I installed, then updated the chipset drivers with the latest Intel-Inf installer - as well as the Nvidia card (though windows had already installed the stuff completely by default), then I did some smaller tweaks, energy saving stuff all set to max and few other things… I am not sure about the process optimization - in XP days we always set this to “background task” - here I changed nothing. Hyperthreading is activated.


Yes, usually with I7 boards, you HAVE to activate ahci for sata controllers and set off all CPU throttling capabilities in THE BIOS. Now whether it is mandatory before or after installation I would not know.
Hyperthreading is OK.
I set priority to background.
You should do the windows evaluate procedure just to get an overall score of your machine and post it here.

Ouuh - I had SATA set (default) to “enhanced” “IDE” - I changed to AHCI - but I was not able to boot anymore (bluescreen)… I set it back.

This is a normal behavior…
The choice between IDE or AHCI or RAID must be done before the OS installation process.
If you change this afterwards, windows is looking for the AHCI driver wich was not previously installed and crashes.

IMHO for a DAW there is no need to use AHCI mode, enhanced IDE mode is fine.

However if you want to change from IDE to AHCI while having the OS installed, it is possible but you have first to open the Registry Editor; to change manualy some keys; to install the ACHI driver, then reboot and change the BIOS setting from IDE to AHCI.

I’ve the complete sequence somewhere, if you’re interested let me know and I’ll try to find it back.


Found it…

Enabling AHCI mode AFTER Windows 7 Installation

  1. Startup “Regedit”
  2. Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SYSTEM / CurrentControlset / Services
  3. Open msahci
  4. In the right field left click on “start” and go to Modify
  5. In the value Data field enter “0” and click “ok”
  6. exit “Regedit”
  7. Reboot Rig and enter BIOS (hold “Delete” key while Booting

In your BIOS change SATA Mode to AHCI from IDE.

You now boot into windows 7, the OS will recognize AHCI and install the devices or have the device driver ready if the device is not recognized by Windows. Now the system needs one more reboot and it’s done.


Bernard, you are a living Computer Encyclopedia! Thanks!

But forgive my question - what kind of advantage will give me that AHCI thing? HD performance seems to be ok here… can’t tell exactly because I can’t compare to anything because my old System was Velociraptor Raid0.

I’ve had a bad experience with AHCI in the past… but it was under XP.

AHCI offers hot plugging and native command queuing, but also seems to have a major drawback with DAW under some circumstances (Chipset or Driver issue) like audio stuttering for approx. 1 sec every 20-30 minutes !
no such problem with IDE or RAID modes.

Don’t expect better disk performances with AHCI mode with classical discs drives (with SSD drives it’s another story).

If you need better performances for your Audio data, a RAID 0 config with today’s raptors remains a good option.
Before I had also a RAID O with raptors, now I’m running the IDE mode with 7500rpm disks without issue.


I’d go the AHCI route for the hot swap capability it offers. I’ve put all my hardrives in caddies and I can hot swap some disks (Samples/OSX HFS+ data disks etc…) when needed.
Not a big bonus, but hey, it’s free.

Here it is - I hope you mean that what is called Leistungsinformationen in german Win7…

BTW, the board is P6T Deluxe V2 - and I don’t know about the somewhat bad result for the system drive, it is a SSD drive (Vertex 2 Extended).

That’s the test I was talking about. It’s called WEI (Windows Experience Index).
Your overall note is of the level of the slowest component. Here, the graphical card. Your video card shows a normal average score for a business purposed card ; you “only” have 2 X 256MB ram per gpu.
It does not look like the card is the culprit (apart from the driver “features nightmare” you described before).

I get nearly the same scores you got with my I920 (including on the video department), but I too, am surprised to see your SSD score with a Vertex 2…
I get 7.3 WEI score with an OCZ Agility wich is much slower than your disk.
Maybe It does need a firmware update (some added function come overtime with firmware updates like TRIM).

You should check that under peripheral management/disks, the “best performance” option is checked for the Vertex Agility and that the “use write disk cache” is on too.
Check that the ATA Channel your SSD drive is plugged to is on DMA 5 or 6.

Deactivate file indexing and defragmentation as well for this disk.

I read some users claiming better performances on SSDs with AHCI as well but as Bernard pointed out, it could be marginal.

At last, you still have to check (maybe you did but didn’t mention it) in the Bios to verify your CPU is not throttling.

Quick THANK You for the moment!

So you (Bernard) - please let me ask more:

Don’t expect better disk performances with AHCI mode with classical discs drives (with SSD drives it’s another story).

I have SSD drive - so I need AHCI?

Flashing a new firmware to the Vertex2 needs AHCI mode (I just checked the docs)…

But I don’t want to get into trouble, better slower performance:

AHCI offers hot plugging and native command queuing, but also seems to have a major drawback with DAW under some circumstances (Chipset or Driver issue) like audio stuttering for approx. 1 sec every 20-30 minutes !
no such problem with IDE or RAID modes.

@ Bifop: So it is possible to HotSwap Sata drives DURING a running Windows? Because I installed a Cady as well, thought that could be a cool option for the fast “once in a week” backup - here larger amounts are transfered than during the daily backup using Retrospect.