Upgrades to eliminate clicks and pops

I am currently using an HP Omen laptop with the following specs:

|Device name|DESKTOP-C41TDGA|

|Processor|Intel(R) Core™ i7-7700HQ CPU @ 2.80GHz 2.81 GHz|
|Installed RAM|8.00 GB (7.89 GB usable)|
|Device ID|50023FA3-CFFA-481B-B493-F7C9FE7A2B16|
|Product ID|00326-10000-00000-AA429|
|System type|64-bit operating system, x64-based processor|
|Pen and touch|No pen or touch input is available for this display|

I have a Focusrite 2i4 audio interface and use Kontakt Complete 11, Spitfire LABS, Hybrid AIR, and other misc. VSTs. I regularly layer multiple VSTs within one rack space.

Sample Rate: 44100
Buffer Size: 512

If I use anything less than 512, I get significant clicks and pops in my audio.

To improve this, will increasing RAM help? I believe that I can upgrade to a total of 64g. But if my issue is likely more related to processor speed or audio interface, I don’t want to spend the money and not have it resolve my issue.

I have gone through the optimization guide that is referenced here in the community, so I’m pretty sure that it’s not simply a Windows setup issue.

Thank you for your patience with me - this a side of audio tech that I’m not that familiar with.

Any advice is welcome.

How many in one rackspace?
What does GP’s CPU meter say?
What device driver are you using for the focusrite?

How many in one rackspace?
3-4 is common, occasionally 1-2 more
What does GP’s CPU meter say?
between 30-35%
What device driver are you using for the focusrite?
I’m using the Focusrite driver

It does seem to be some of the Absynth pads that are the worst offenders.

Does the number stay up there even when you’re not making any sounds?

No, it sits around 9-11%…but if I play too many notes, it will jump as high as 70+%

Some rack spaces will drop to 3-4%.

And I’m noticing that even at 512 as my buffer, it will start cracking with lots of notes.

Could you please make us a screenshot of your audio settings in GP?

This is only my anecdotal experience but I had a similar issue with an iConnectaudio4 audio interface. I upgraded to a MOTU M6, problem was solved. Might be worth trying another interface if you can borrow one for testing purposes. I think some companies just make better/ more optimized audio drivers that others. I also use a Windows PC.


This is also my suggestion.

I would be curious to know what LatencyMon tells us about your PC, because you should at least be able to work at 256s with this kind of audio interface. Did you test it?


In your place i would first try to upgrade the RAM… 8GB is actually not very much… double it or better, make it 32GB.
And even if it turns out that you yet had to buy another interface i wouldn’t consider it as “wasted money”, because no matter what you are about to do wtih that laptop: 8GB is too little to be “good”.

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Here is my take, someone please correct me if I’m talking nonsense:

You have an Intel processor with 4 physical cores. Each physical core has a virtual core, which can handle a separate thread when the main thread of the physical core is stalled (waiting for data for instance). This is called hyperthreading, and it makes the computer think there are 8 cores available to handle threads. When your computer is running 4 intensive threads on the 4 main cores, your task manager will show you that the CPU is performing at 50%. The remaining 50% however has to be executed by the virtual cores and since these virtual cores only can use the ‘spare’ time of the main cores, it will be much less efficient.

Bottom line: With Intel hyperthreading processors, try to stay safely below 50% CPU performance, since the range from 50% to 100% is less efficient and unpredictable.

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And I agree with @schamass - upgrading to 16GB or more is definitely not wasted!

You should try playing while bypassing one plugin at a time and see what impact it has on that number. It may be that one specific plugin, or even a particular patch of one of your plugins, is responsible for that high number,

That said, the suggestion to try a better audio interface might be worthwhile. Also, if you are using plugins that require a large number of samples, then 8G might not be enough, causing swapping, which would also impact things.

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For me (Windows 11) it makes a huge difference which power plan I use. You say you followed the optimization guide. I’ll take it that also includes creating a new power plan of the type ‘high performance’?


It is really not the same as modifying an existing power plan!
I found throttle stop very useful: Another Laptop Spec Question - #43 by Frank1119

Of course, when your plugins need more than your cpu can do, then this won’t help

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I think the gamut of ideas have been covered above, but I’ll add a couple thoughts that might help assess whether expanding your RAM or changing your audio interface will help.

The audio glitches are ultimately a CPU issue. The RAM issue only creeps in when you’re trying to use more RAM than you have and the computer has to swap things it wants to have in RAM out onto the drives. That’s going to cause glitching because the CPU gets tied up managing swap processes.

So I’d start with an empty Gigfile and add a few non-sample VSTs and see how far you can go before you glitch. I can’t comment on Absynth as I’ve never used it, but there are VSTs that are CPU light and others that are CPU heavy. If you’re trying to use three or four CPU heavy VSTs it could be more than your processor can handle.

To diagnose the situation, bring up the task manager and see what your memory usage looks like when running GP but without any big sample libraries loaded. To do that, hit Cntr-Alt-Delete, pick Task Manager, then click on Performance on the left side and then Memory in the center part of the screen. That screen should look something like this:

If you’re already over 100% RAM use then your RAM is likely to be a limitation. As you can see on mine, I’m over 8gb and the only thing I have running (when that snapshot was taken) was a web browser.

After that I’d switch the view to the CPU chart and keep that window up and start playing in GP. Watch how the CPU graphs go, and if any of them are hitting 100% then you’re going to run into problems. You want the CPU graph view that looks like this:

In that view there is a different graph for each “logical processor”. If you are only seeing one graph you can right click on the graph and “Change to graph to → Logical processors”.

If you get to a place where your RAM use is ok but your CPU is still hitting 100% then it’s either A) your VSTs are too CPU heavy for your processor, or B) windows is throttling your CPU [either because you don’t have it set to run 100% all the time, or it’s actually being thermally throttled because it’s running too hot.]

If you’re going to get that machine to a usable state I suspect you’ll need more RAM. But before investing in the RAM it’s worth checking the CPU load as well, because if that’s running high even without sample-heavy VSTs loaded then RAM probably isn’t going to make that go away.

A different audio interface might help somewhat, but it’s definitely not going to address a RAM issue and it’s not going to work magic on CPU load either.


Hmmm - nothing dramatic here…

I’d leave it to run at least 10 minutes, not 29 seconds.


Here’s 15+ minutes with no programs running.

Here’s a second screen shot while GP is running and me playing.