Laptop Optimisation!

  • Hey guys, In april i bought my self a brand new powerhouse of a laptop.

    Its been awesomely quiet, but i notice now its becoming very loud (fan). Its 4GB ram and the new i5 processor. Any tips for optimisation for the future?

    It seems to be after installing some vst's etc, even when ableton isnt open though? Cheers as always.

    Your friendly neighbourhood scotsman.


  • Dont know how to suggest optimising your laptop, but I can recommend you raise your laptop off the table a little. I VJ alot and do this in performance and when working at home and I find it reduces fan use very successfully . . For the supports I just use three miniDV tape boxes. Simple and Effective.

    Good luck with it

  • cheers mate, i actually do this, i raise it with a "Jack The Ripper: A Modern Day Investigation" awesome book with two uses haha.

  • what OS? there a a tonne of stuff you should do with windows xp/vista to improve performance, turn off auto updates, indexing, battery performance tweaks, apps running in the background/on start up, etc etc etc.

  • @ootini im using windows 7 buddy

  • i've heard good things about gamebooster. it basically shuts down (temporarily) a whole load of unnecessary services. its mainly designed to get better gaming performance, but it should work just as well for music optimisation.

  • turn off power saving mode. should boost performance significantly, but will drain battery power faster.

  • get a mac book

  • not a sufficent answer there, macs have plenty of background services and indexing defaults that can get in the way of audio production. Turn off the airport, bluetooth, screensaver, disable or pair the remote, turn off spotlight indexing, etc. etc. The cpu heat issue is just as big a problem if not more so on the mac side, especially with the gpu running away.

  • Buy Tune Up Utilities. Or download Crap Cleaner for free.

    Tune Up Util will help you monitor background services/processes in full, do some neat and quick optimization and has a 'Turbo' mode which you can turn on/off easily (I don't work for them).

    If the fan is becoming "louder" or on more (?) it means it's working harder. Maybe you need to gently check for dust at the vents?

  • And do you mind me asking how much you paid? And for what? I'm thinking about lashing out on something tasty.

  • I've had my macbook pro get so hot you could cook a ramen noodle on it.

    I definitely would have sprung for a solidstate hard drive if I had the coin.

    Haven't had any live problems yet though.

  • yea, solidstates are grand... i wish i could've gotten one, too.
    every mac i've ever bought has a hard drive crash(i think they make/use the worst harddrives ever!), it feels like a con when it becomes a given...

    but for mac, these guys make good optimization software(i think Onyx also lets you control the fan):

    i wish i knew of something similar for Windows(but i'm sure, just like everything on windows, it's just a matter of figuring out all the little details for your own customization)... or sounds like tuneup/crapcleaner are the equivalent.

  • i hope you found my comment funny dean?

  • execute 'msconfig', then under Services and Startup uncheck the stuff you won't need. but BE CAREFUL because some of them might be essential to running Windows. just google the services if you ain't sure.

  • there's a check box for hiding essential windows stuff in msconfig. hit that and you can pretty safely uncheck anything thats left...

  • @Pete i was laughing hard at that comment, simplistic humour. It wouldnt have been funny if it came from anyone else though mind. By the way did you get my text the other day?

    @Screechy i have the Dell Inspiron 1764 - was £600 but awesome, its on windows 7, the screen it brilliant and one of my favourite parts.

    @Pirx & oootini thanks guys ill check msconfig tonight.

  • IMHO, it sounds to me like your disk is getting fragmented, which forces the computer to work harder for all tasks. You may want to look at its fragmentation. Here are a few tips for running a smooth OS.

    Windows & OSX:
    • partition your hard drive or record to a secondary drive. never record audio to your system drive, for a number of reasons. this is the most important maintenance rule of doing digital audio.
    • Turn off extra utilities when doing audio, like wifi, bluetooth, etc.
    • Use fan control application (OSX:, Windows: IDK )
    • Clear your undo history in ableton live every month or so.
    • put laptop on fan bed
    • try not to watch to many video, or use video editing software. a dedicated machine is best for this, as video is very computer intensive.
    • dont surf torrents or porn, if you do clean up your spyware, cache, flashcache, etc.

    • you may need to defrag every month or two.
    • regularly run spyware, anti virus, etc. if you surf porn or torrents you almost guaranteed have some shady stuff installed in your OS that you are not aware of.

    • repair permissions every month or two. (Onyx is great, disk utility works too).
    • if you have to force quit Live, restart computer.

  • @ n1n0 - thanks very much for the list, i do most of these - my main disk space is 50gb and theres a secondary partition which is 450gb(audio drive).

    I fragment every fortnight along with virus scan, i might do a spyware scan though. Any advice on registry fixers?

    Also can it be that the primary 50gb drive is almost full? is there anyway to extend this using some of the memory from the secondry partition? Cheers.

  • you can right click on a drive to see how full it is. (right click -> properties).

    glary utilities is a good free pc spring cleaner.

  • @ootini sorry ive not explained it well - the C: drive IS almost full, would this still put pressure on things, even though the D: drive has 100's of GB left?

    Dont get me wrong im quite experienced with computers, just somethings im unsure about and dont wanna tamper with until i get someone more knowledgeable to comment on :P.

  • how do you turn off spotlight indexing?

  • Some of these tips would help:

    Mac HD -> System -> Library -> CoreServices, and taking out search.bundle kills spotlight after a restart if I remember correctly. Save it somewhere on your computer if you want to have it back sometime though.

  • yeah, you want about 10% of your primary hard drive free. plus 50 gigs is tiny these days, do they still make harddrives that small? you certainly should have a larger one on a "powerhouse" of a machine!
    i recommend installing and running malwareBytes anti-malware tool. then install firefox if you haven't already and install noScript. at first this is a bitch because you have to manually allow every script that runs on your computer. but once you add youtube and all the other stuff to your automatically accept list, your computer will never again get viruses or spyware unless *you* specifically allow a malicious script to run. i've yet to have any problems on my latest computer with this setup (in fact, i've never even had malwareBytes find anything on this computer, but i know from my previous computer that it is an awesome program).

    the combo of these two tools is the best way to protect a windows computer from web threats.

  • dean, just keep the C for all your program folders, and move all the data (music, docs, ableton song/set files, etc etc to the d drive?

    I'm pretty sure a full hardrive will cause things to get a bit sluggish.

  • @salamander - its a partition on the drive thats this small. I dont have a 50gig hardrive :P.

    @ootini - thats the way it is, still to no avail, im trying little things here and there and there slowly making a small difference.

  • funnily enough, my work laptop is a fairly new dell and has a 50g partition on the c drive as well. must be a standard windoze thing.

  • the reason we don't want c: filling up is because that's where the swap file is by default.. hmm but if your os starts swapping then that can't be good either..