Question I bought a laptop to run a single program. What all can I disable?

kriswingfield

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Sep 11, 2018
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Howdy. I'm in a 90s rock cover band and practice at home through my computer using amp modeling software. I love the sound of the amp modeling software more than my actual physical amp, and so decided to try this setup on location. A couple of weeks ago I bought a laptop for the sole purpose of running this amp modeling software and outputting the audio into the power amp section of my amplifier. It works great, but I feel it could work better.

Every now and then I'll get a little ten-millisecond hiccup, but not too often; maybe once a jam session. Twice sound has completely dropped out for a little less than a second, though. I have none of these problems on my home PC, even when running multiple programs simultaneously. Though my home PC was originally a gaming PC, not a $400 laptop (I paid $100).
On the laptop, I still get notifications popping up about things being disabled or out-of-date even though I have what I believe to be every notification (and wifi) disabled.
The band plays shows, and I would really like to use the PC instead of my amp because I just love the myriad of sounds. The real-world equivalent of my custom preset within the software is worth 23 times the value of my physical amp setup at the jam spot. It's great.

I have already uninstalled a lot of things, disabled a lot of processes, every startup item, as well as things like Windows animations/transparency/etc since it's a combined CPU/GPU. It's been a long time since I've done something like this to a PC, though (98/xp), and things have changed. So many processes now. I've pretty much done everything I've found to do after googling generic results for my desires. So now I come to real people who can hear my problem and offer more customized results.

I essentially want a PC that only runs processes that are necessary to keep Windows and the amp modeler running. I don't even need the clock; though I'm not suggesting turning that off. lol

PC: Lenovo IdeaPad S145
CPU: AMD A6-9225 Radeon R4
Mem: 8GB
Stor: 250GB SSD

Amp modeler: Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5
Audio interface: Native Instruments Rig Kontrol 3 via USB 3

Whatever other stats you need, just ask.

Seriously, a Gateway laptop is enough to run the program at minimum. I know my laptop isn't the best for modern day uses, but the amp modeler is eleven years old. My laptop is more than powerful enough. I just want insurance against those hiccups.

Thanks for your consideration and any help!

Edit: if anyone knows how to change my profile name, that would also be awesome. I don't remember making this account, but it was already tied to my e-mail with my name as my username. Because anonymity, I guess. 🤷‍♂️
 
Last edited:

Cyberat_88

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Apr 9, 2011
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Start with any software sitting in the tray that is not windows and you don't need it for your audio setup.
<Win> + R and type in "msconfig" enter. There you can disable anything that starts on boot at the startup tab (careful not to cripple system,
and on the services tab, hide Microsoft Windows and you can disable services from software you don't use.
Third you can disable Windows Search (you can still search but no indexing), Superfetch, but more importantly get rid of the drive munching Pagefile.
Control Panel, System, Advanced Settings, Performance (visual tab you can set to Performance also), Advanced, set pagefile to none, Reboot (or it won't change).
But if you use Ctrl + Alt + Del and go to Task Manager, how much RAM does your app eat when loaded, idle ?
 

Cj-tech

Notable
Jan 27, 2021
326
36
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Howdy. I'm in a 90s rock cover band and practice at home through my computer using amp modeling software. I love the sound of the amp modeling software more than my actual physical amp, and so decided to try this setup on location. A couple of weeks ago I bought a laptop for the sole purpose of running this amp modeling software and outputting the audio into the power amp section of my amplifier. It works great, but I feel it could work better.

Every now and then I'll get a little ten-millisecond hiccup, but not too often; maybe once a jam session. Twice sound has completely dropped out for a little less than a second, though. I have none of these problems on my home PC, even when running multiple programs simultaneously. Though my home PC was originally a gaming PC, not a $400 laptop (I paid $100).
On the laptop, I still get notifications popping up about things being disabled or out-of-date even though I have what I believe to be every notification (and wifi) disabled.
The band plays shows, and I would really like to use the PC instead of my amp because I just love the myriad of sounds. The real-world equivalent of my custom preset within the software is worth 23 times the value of my physical amp setup at the jam spot. It's great.

I have already uninstalled a lot of things, disabled a lot of processes, every startup item, as well as things like Windows animations/transparency/etc since it's a combined CPU/GPU. It's been a long time since I've done something like this to a PC, though (98/xp), and things have changed. So many processes now. I've pretty much done everything I've found to do after googling generic results for my desires. So now I come to real people who can hear my problem and offer more customized results.

I essentially want a PC that only runs processes that are necessary to keep Windows and the amp modeler running. I don't even need the clock; though I'm not suggesting turning that off. lol

PC: Lenovo IdeaPad S145
CPU: AMD A6-9225 Radeon R4
Mem: 8GB
Stor: 250GB SSD

Amp modeler: Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5
Audio interface: Native Instruments Rig Kontrol 3 via USB 3

Whatever other stats you need, just ask.

Seriously, a Gateway laptop is enough to run the program at minimum. I know my laptop isn't the best for modern day uses, but the amp modeler is eleven years old. My laptop is more than powerful enough. I just want insurance against those hiccups.

Thanks for your consideration and any help!

Edit: if anyone knows how to change my profile name, that would also be awesome. I don't remember making this account, but it was already tied to my e-mail with my name as my username. Because anonymity, I guess. 🤷‍♂️
Disabling services and built-in software will probably worsen your situation if you mess with the wrong things. Even if you do change things without ruining your system, it is unlikely to give you a noticeable increase in performance.

If you want a lightweight operating system, most Linux variations (like Ubuntu Desktop) would work for you. Though, it is likely that the software you are using is not available on Linux.

From your original post, it sounds like you have a lot of pending updates. You should install all the Windows updates then install any driver updates from your manufacturer. Most of the manufacturers have tools for updating drivers. For Lenovo, you can download Lenovo Vantage from the Microsoft Store.

If you have an old audio driver, updating it could be the solution to your problem.
 

kriswingfield

Reputable
Sep 11, 2018
3
0
4,510
0
Start with any software sitting in the tray that is not windows and you don't need it for your audio setup.
<Win> + R and type in "msconfig" enter. There you can disable anything that starts on boot at the startup tab (careful not to cripple system,
and on the services tab, hide Microsoft Windows and you can disable services from software you don't use.
Third you can disable Windows Search (you can still search but no indexing), Superfetch, but more importantly get rid of the drive munching Pagefile.
Control Panel, System, Advanced Settings, Performance (visual tab you can set to Performance also), Advanced, set pagefile to none, Reboot (or it won't change).
But if you use Ctrl + Alt + Del and go to Task Manager, how much RAM does your app eat when loaded, idle ?
I've pretty much done all of that, minus the Pagefile thing. I'll look into that before attempting it.

Program uses 132MB of RAM and 30-35% CPU at idle. It's not really a power-hungry program.

Disabling services and built-in software will probably worsen your situation if you mess with the wrong things. Even if you do change things without ruining your system, it is unlikely to give you a noticeable increase in performance.

If you want a lightweight operating system, most Linux variations (like Ubuntu Desktop) would work for you. Though, it is likely that the software you are using is not available on Linux.

From your original post, it sounds like you have a lot of pending updates. You should install all the Windows updates then install any driver updates from your manufacturer. Most of the manufacturers have tools for updating drivers. For Lenovo, you can download Lenovo Vantage from the Microsoft Store.

If you have an old audio driver, updating it could be the solution to your problem.
PC has never been connected to the internet. There are no pending updates. The notifications I get are in regard to every Windows Security/Defender/whatnot being disabled. Even though I disabled these things and all notifications that I can find to turn off, I still get notifications saying "Hey, your Windows Safety whatsahoozits are turned off!"

Drivers are fine.

Change that first.
16GB.
PC came with 4GB of RAM and was upgraded to 8. The program has a minimum requirement of 2GB, runs 132GB of RAM at idle, and is - again - intentionally the only thing running on the PC. I'm not playin RDR2 or processing massive spreadsheets. 16GB would be overkill to an extreme for my purposes.



Thanks for the replies thus far.
 

Cj-tech

Notable
Jan 27, 2021
326
36
840
27
PC has never been connected to the internet. There are no pending updates. The notifications I get are in regard to every Windows Security/Defender/whatnot being disabled. Even though I disabled these things and all notifications that I can find to turn off, I still get notifications saying "Hey, your Windows Safety whatsahoozits are turned off!"
If you’ve never connected it to the internet, there are probably a ton of Windows updates. Not sure how you know that the drivers are fine if you haven’t ever been connected to the internet - unless you manually installed them.

PC came with 4GB of RAM and was upgraded to 8. The program has a minimum requirement of 2GB, runs 132GB of RAM at idle, and is - again - intentionally the only thing running on the PC. I'm not playin RDR2 or processing massive spreadsheets. 16GB would be overkill to an extreme for my purposes.
If the software has a minimum requirement of 2GB of RAM, then you should aim to have more than that. I’d allocate 2-4GB of RAM just for the operating system to use on any Windows 10 system (varies depending on what is going on). That would leave only 4GB for the software.

Program uses 132MB of RAM and 30-35% CPU at idle. It's not really a power-hungry program.
Sounds like your computer doesn’t have enough processing power if the software uses that much of the CPU at idle.
 
Howdy. I'm in a 90s rock cover band and practice at home through my computer using amp modeling software. I love the sound of the amp modeling software more than my actual physical amp, and so decided to try this setup on location. A couple of weeks ago I bought a laptop for the sole purpose of running this amp modeling software and outputting the audio into the power amp section of my amplifier. It works great, but I feel it could work better.

Every now and then I'll get a little ten-millisecond hiccup, but not too often; maybe once a jam session. Twice sound has completely dropped out for a little less than a second, though. I have none of these problems on my home PC, even when running multiple programs simultaneously. Though my home PC was originally a gaming PC, not a $400 laptop (I paid $100).
On the laptop, I still get notifications popping up about things being disabled or out-of-date even though I have what I believe to be every notification (and wifi) disabled.
The band plays shows, and I would really like to use the PC instead of my amp because I just love the myriad of sounds. The real-world equivalent of my custom preset within the software is worth 23 times the value of my physical amp setup at the jam spot. It's great.

I have already uninstalled a lot of things, disabled a lot of processes, every startup item, as well as things like Windows animations/transparency/etc since it's a combined CPU/GPU. It's been a long time since I've done something like this to a PC, though (98/xp), and things have changed. So many processes now. I've pretty much done everything I've found to do after googling generic results for my desires. So now I come to real people who can hear my problem and offer more customized results.

I essentially want a PC that only runs processes that are necessary to keep Windows and the amp modeler running. I don't even need the clock; though I'm not suggesting turning that off. lol

PC: Lenovo IdeaPad S145
CPU: AMD A6-9225 Radeon R4
Mem: 8GB
Stor: 250GB SSD

Amp modeler: Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5
Audio interface: Native Instruments Rig Kontrol 3 via USB 3

Whatever other stats you need, just ask.

Seriously, a Gateway laptop is enough to run the program at minimum. I know my laptop isn't the best for modern day uses, but the amp modeler is eleven years old. My laptop is more than powerful enough. I just want insurance against those hiccups.

Thanks for your consideration and any help!

Edit: if anyone knows how to change my profile name, that would also be awesome. I don't remember making this account, but it was already tied to my e-mail with my name as my username. Because anonymity, I guess. 🤷‍♂️
Perhaps make your startup group skinny.
Then look at task scheduler and make that skinny.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Per @Mandark

I will add the suggestion to use Task Manager and Resource Monitory to observe what all is running in the background.

Use both tools but only one tool at a time. Either one or both may capture what is happening when the hiccups occur.

Watch for some change in any monitored parameter: what changes, how much, what process etc. causes the change.

RAM usage, some background program trying to launch, backup, update, or simply trying to "phone home". Watch what the CPU is doing or trying to do.

Windows has another tool that could also help: Process Explorer (Microsoft, free).

However, you will probably need to download that from Microsoft's website.

Just FYI:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/process-explorer

Something for later if necessary.

May be a bit tricky at first to learn how to use either of the tools but there is no immediate rush. Very likely you will be able to narrow down the possibilities and then focus accordingly on specifics.

Key is to first just watch and not make any immediate changes. Then if changes are warranted then change only one thing at a time. Keep notes on what you change, where you changed it, along with the original setting/value and then the "new" setting/value. Just in case you need to undo some change.

Or, before making immediate changes, simply post anything that captures your attention and/or otherwise raises questions.

May or may not be relevant but no harm in asking. Someone may well spot the culprit as a result.
 

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