How To | Optimize Windows PC's for AV Applications & USB Connection
Learn the best ways to tailor your Windows PC for optimal performance with AV applications.
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Table of Contents
Most Windows based systems default configurations are ideal in typical IT and office environments requiring lower usage and power saving functions. These settings are not ideal in AV installations where the equipment requires constant power and data streaming.
When configuring a system for AV applications and USB connected devices such as the unDUSB, it is recommended to adjust the following Windows settings to insure optimal and stable performance.
Accessing Windows Control Panel
Many of the settings below require access to the Windows Control Panel. To access the Control Panel, follow these steps:
- Right click on the Windows Logo at the bottom left of thecomputer screen and choose Control Panel.
- Click the box next to View By and select Large Icons. This will provide optimal viewing when working within the Control Panel.
Update Graphics Driver
Outdated graphics drivers often times will not use the GPU efficiently. This can put strain on the system’s processor, which in turn steals resources audio and control software. As as result, a decrease in performance can occur. To find the make and model of the graphics controller and update it, follow these steps:
- Open the Control Panel and click on Device Manager
- Click the triangle next to Display Adapters
- The system graphics care model will appear directly below
- Right click and choose Update Driver Software. If no driver is found, try updating the driver manually using the steps below.
- Double-click to view its properties
- In the General tab, find the model and the manufacturer. In the Driver tab, find the driver version and the date.
- Go to the manufacturer’s website to find the latest driver for the graphics controller.
Update Network Adapter Driver
If the network adapter drivers are out of date, the ethernet controllers could end up using more resources than they need, which would ultimately affect the performance of the software and audio network. To update the network adapter driver, follow these steps:
- Access the Device Manager from the Control Panel.
- Select the Network Adapters category
- Find the manufacturer and your network adapter model. Often times, there will be more than one network adapter in Device Manager. Try updating them all to ensure proper performance.
- Go to your manufacturer’s website to find the latest drivers for your network adapter.
Disable C-State Transition and Turbo Boost (BIOS)
Not all systems have these settings.
If possible, it is recommended to disable these settings. These two settings can cause the processor to change speeds depending on the computer’s activity and can lead to issues with audio and control software.
Consult the manufacturer of the computer or motherboard to see if these settings are available and learn how to disable them.
Adjust Power Options
It is recommended to adjust the power options so the computer does not enter sleep mode, put the hard disks to sleep, or suspend USB devices. These features can cause playback and record issues as well as issues with audio interfaces. Follow these steps to optimize system power options:
- Open Control Panel and click Power Options
- Select High Performance and choose Change plan setting
- Set the display’s sleep time as well as the computer’s sleep time to Never.
- Click on Change advanced power settings
- Click the + next to Hard Disk, then click the + next to Turn Off Hard Disk After
- In the text field, type Never
- Click on the + next to USB settings, the click the + next to USB selective suspend settings
- Double-click where it says Enabled, then click Disabled.
- Click on the + next to Processor power management, then click the + next to Minimum processor state
- Type 100 in the text field (%)
- Click Apply, then OK, and finally Save Changes
Disable USB Power Management
Disabling the USB power management can free up bandwidth on the USB bus which will help with issues related to device recognition and driver installation. To turn it off, follow the steps below:
- Open Control Panel and click on Device Manager
- Double-click on Universal Serial Bus Controllers as well as the first USB Root Hub item
- Click on the Power Management Tab and uncheck the box that says “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” and click OK
Do this for all USB Root Hub items.
Run as Administrator
Running software as an Administrator will help solve many launch and other issues. To adjust these settings, follow the steps below:
- Right-click on the icon for the audio and/or control software and choose Properties
- Click on the Compatibility tab and Check the box that says “Run this program as an administrator”
- Click Apply, then OK
Hard Disk Optimizations
These optimizations will improve disk performance for recording and playback of audio files.
- Right click on the Windows Logo and choose File Explorer
- Click This PC in the left Column
- Right click on the drive on which media is stored and choose Properties
- Compress this drive to save disk space and Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed should be unchecked
- Click Apply, then OK
- Repeat this process for any drive where you’ll be storing audio
Install the Latest Device Drivers
Audio interface and other device drivers should be kept up to date. This will ensure compatibility with playback, recording, and control software. Driver updates can be found at the device manufacturer’s website.
Adjust Processor Scheduling
Adjusting the processor scheduling will allow the computer to run audio and control software more efficiently. Follow the steps below to adjust these settings:
- Right click the Windows Logo and choose System
- Select Advanced System Settings and click the Advanced Tab
- Under Performance, click the Settings button
- When the Performance Options window pops up, click the Advanced tab
- Under Processor Scheduling, select Background Services
- Click Apply, then OK
- Click OK to close System Properties
- Restart the computer for the changes to take effect
Disabling Screen Saver
The screen saver may cause issues if it starts while audio and/or control software is running. To turn it off, follow these steps:
- Right-click on your Desktop and select Personalize
- Click on Screen Saver
- Select None, then click OK
Disable User Account Control
User Account Control can cause issues with volume read/write permissions. To turn it off, follow these steps:
- Open Control Panel and click User Accounts
- Click Change User Account Control Settings
- Set to Never Notify
- Click OK and then restart your computer
These recommendations help get better performance out of PC systems:
- Avoid connecting audio interfaces to USB or Firewire hubs. Performance is typically more stable when directly connected to the computer.
- Make sure all unnecessary programs are closed. They can waste useful resources.
- Turn off any software utilities that run in the background, such as Windows Messenger, calendars, and disk maintenance programs.
- Disconnect any unused USB devices from your computer.