Uhhhh... crap? New OS updates may kill processor speed by 30%?!


My eyes glazed over a little reading this, it’s a lot to digest. Will it affect DAWs and music production I wonder.


Its too early to tell for sure what the impact of this might be. It’s certainly not good and there will be some performance hit.

As far as Cantabile is concerned I don’t think it will be too bad. From what I can understand the impact will be on kernel mode calls and Cantabile’s audio engine is already very lean in this respect - it makes practically no kernel mode calls from the audio thread.

The bigger question might be the impact on plugins - depending how well the plugins are engineered and what synchronization and locking mechanisms they use the impact could be considerable. I would expect though most quality plugins do that same as Cantabile and avoid blocking kernel mode calls as much as possible.

Still on the audio engine other probably impacted areas:

  1. Waking the audio thread on interrupt from audio driver. I suspect this will certainly be impacted but I wouldn’t imagine the impact to be huge - this is outside Cantabiles control and comes down to the driver mostly.
  2. ISR and DPC - these will almost certainly be impacted and it might require disabling more devices while performing live.

Outside the audio engine I wouldn’t be too concerned - unless your machine is already running at 100% CPU all the time I doubt you’ll notice much difference.

I mentioned Cantabile makes practically no kernel mode API calls - the main exception is when running in multi-core mode where:

  1. it uses a critical section lock to synchronize access to a work item queue - but it has spin count on it and in theory shouldn’t ever hit the kernel.
  2. it signals one event at the start of the audio cycle to wake the worker threads.

TL;DR: it’s certainly not good but I’m only slightly concerned. It might mean increasing buffer sizes slightly and perhaps some other tweaks. It might also highlight some badly written plugins. Fingers crossed - I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Disclaimer: everything above is one big guess.


and by soon enough - I mean today:

Windows 10 will be automatically updated today.


Another good reason to stick with Win7 perhaps…


It’s a hardware issue, doesn’t matter what OS you run.


I think Fred’s point was that Win7 won’t force an update on you, so if you’re happy to take the risk of continuing to run a system that’s been shown to be insecure, you can avoid the potential CPU speed drop. This might be a good option for those who don’t use their music computers online much/ever, and don’t install much new software.



Windows 7 will be updated automatically next Tuesday (aka Microsoft patch Tuesday). Windows 10 will be updated today with an out-of-cycle patch. Personally I would not install the patch until we know fully what the impact will be, and even then probably not install it because my machine never connects to the internet.



Here is an article that seems non-emotive in describing the issue,

And reading the article linked by Brad, its sounds like modern systems will not see much of a performance hit. I hope so!


Neal’s right. It’s easier to keep Win7 from auto updating. Win10 it’s nigh impossible (even though I try and keep it off the web as much as possible.


I went for WIN10 Pro for my new gig computer as you get control back on when to update. But Sticking with WIN7 is also a good move!


Speaking of OS’s, what is the minimum system requirement for Cantabile (for both PC and Mac)? I’ve looked everywhere for it but it does not seem to be posted. I got to Cantabile after trying Midi Guitar 2 with an XP machine – big fail. I had to upgrade to Windows 10 AND it had to have an i5(rated) dual core processor or better. I know Cantabile is not that demanding, but still curious. NOTE: I say (rated) because all iN chips are i7’s but if some transistors are faulty, they get called i5, and if still more transistors are bypassed then they get called i3. Interesting.


Hi @RonArt

Builds before 3500 will work on Windows XP SP3 and later. Builds 3500+ require Windows Vista or later.

As for machine spec - Cantabile will run on just about anything. The bigger question is what plugins you’ll be using. Check the plugin’s requirements.



Hi All,

I have let all 3 of my music computers accept the patch with no affect on C3 performance. Have been testing since Thursday on all 3 and little if any change in resource meter in C3. I am running all on WIN 10 Pro and with Cantabile 35XX FWIW.




For anyone interested in how the “Meltdown” CPU vulnerability works, I’ve written a simplified explanation here:


Interesting summary, Brad :slight_smile:

Just right for somebody who has a short attention span these days! :wink:


Great article - just enough tech detail to describe the problem.


Okay, It’s time to get serious about dumping Microsoft. No long story, you know them already. I’ve also heard some bad stuff about Apple. Linux? Anybody have a story to share? How does Cantabile do with that OS (specific version number please)?


The “fix” is meant to circumvent a problem with all Intel, AMD and ARM processors before recently which had an exploit built-in which “cheated” a bit to increase the speed of the processor. No matter what operating system you use, this exploit exists for those older processors as it is within the processor instruction set itself. Changing operating systems will not solve it as all of them had to address this.



Oh, Cantabile runs wonderfully on all versions of Win10, if that was your concern.

I would NOT say it is time to dump Microsoft at all.