Some tips for musicians working with Windows

I haven’t done much on Windows the last 20 years or so, but through a thread post on I stumbled upon Pete Brown’s “Unofficial Windows 10 Audio Workstation build and tweak guide” which I found nice, and which could be helpful for those who make music and try to record themselves using machines with Windows 10 or 11.

I knew for instance that the Cubase support staff recommends to switch off the so-called “E” (for “efficiency”) cores on newer (12th gen and up) Intel processors, but that’s true only for Windows 10, not 11, as the commenter on the thread also wrote:

“Steinberg empfiehlt an anderer Stelle auch, die E-Cores zu deaktivieren, mit dem Argument, der Audio-Thread würde als “Hintergrund-Thread” sonst am Ende dort landen. Für Windows 10, dessen Task-Scheduler noch nichts von der P-/E-Core-Architektur von Intel weiß, mag das sogar einen gewissen Sinn haben. Bei Windows 11 ist das aber auch auch Bullshit, denn der Audio-Thread ist eben KEIN Hintergrund-Thread und als Vordergrund Task mit hoher Priority landet der IMMER auf einem P-Core. Unter Windows 11 die E-Cores zu deaktivieren bringt nur Einbußen, weil man einen großen Teil der CPU-Ressourcen schlicht lahmlegt.”

Pete from Microsoft explains that in more detail, so have a look at his 3-part guide which started on my birthday in 2021 and was finished in December. Pete’s history, of which he spoke a bit in the first embedded video there, ran parallel to my own one for a while – like him, I also started with a Commodore C64, and later had an Intel 286 processor in my first “real” PC, first with DOS, and later with Windows 286, a predecessor of Windows 3 (and the better known 3.11). But I gave up on all that while he joined Microsoft to work on their audio-related components, which is much more than the “pro audio” stuff we musicians care and think about.

Interesting guy, and I hope that these links are helpful for some of you.

And like always, thanks for reading.