Setting up a PC for ProTools can be a Daunting task for someone with a limited knowledge of PC’s but with the advancements in the windows platform and also within the protools platform, especially the protools 10 platform, going from mac to pc is not the huge leap it once was. Along with saving you some cash, not a lot if you buy quality parts but a saving nonetheless, it can be a blessing in disguise.
The protools 9 and 10 software no longer require any hardware to be able to run except an iLok with the appropriate license. This sounds amazing, but for PC users … well it requires 3rd party software called Asio4all, in place of the Core audio Manager provided by mac. This software is free and a necessity if you don’t have an interface.
First off we are going to start with some system settings that you should use for optimal performance in protools.
- First you will need to click the Start button
- Find control panel and open it
- Click on System and security
- Click on Power Options
- Change your power plan to High performance if you haven’t already
- Click change plan settings
- Click change advanced power settings
- Click on the ”+” next to USB settings
- Set the USB selective suspend setting to disabled
- Click the” +” next to Hard Disk
- On the option to ”turn hard disk off after” type in “never”
- Click the” +” next to Processor Power Management
- Click the” +” next to Minimum Processor State
- Set the Minimum Processor state to 100%
Windows key + “R” will open up the run dialog box in there type msconfig and in the dialog box that follows go into the startup tab and remove the software that you don’t need at the startup of your machine this might kill 2 birds with 1 stone considering you will probably have to close the excess processes anyways to get your system to reach its full potential this way just stops them from initialising when the system starts allowing you reach faster boot times and a more stable windows experience generally speaking.
- Open the Start menu.
- Right-click on Computer and click Properties.
- Click on Device Manager in the upper left corner.
- In the Device Manager window, double-click on Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
- Double-click on all USB Root Hubs.
- Click on the Power Management tab.
- Uncheck the box that says “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”
Firstly to ensure the health of your Hard drive I STRONGLY recommend installing Defraggler and then scheduling defraggler to run once a day, in a professional studio environment, but I would recommend at least once a week to keep things running smoothly in a project/home studio. I would also personally recommend setting defraggler to shut down your machine after it is done so make the schedule time in any slot of downtime. I.E when the studio is closed.
You should also right click on your audio drive(s) and go into its properties and uncheck the two checkboxes “Compress this drive to save disk space” and “Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed.”
If you are already running a SSD (Solid State Drive) DO NOT DEFRAGMENT the drive as it is bad for it due to a number of reasons one of them being the fact that SSD’s have a fixed or limited number of Write Cycles. The write cycle (how many times data can be written on and erased) count matters and furthermore the number of write cycles decreases with the amount of layers your SSD has. Most of the SSD’s on the market nowadays have built in firmware to “spread” the data evenly amongst all the chips within the drive thus ensuring your drive can reach a high write cycle life span by reducing the amount of write cycles per chip this having been said, below are the current write cycle values of the respected build make-up’s of various SSD’s.
- Single Layer SSD: 50000 – 100000 Write Cycles
- Multi layered SSD: 5000-10000 Write Cycles
- Triple Layered SSD: 1000-500 Write Cycles
Disable Turbo Boost (or any other Dynamic Throttling protocol) in the bios
The Turbo Boost software is used to boost the CPU’s clock speed when needed (called throttling) thus causing fluctuations in the power output usually resulting in errors from protools.
Useful 3rd Party software