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Old 09-02-2019, 06:51 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Near a big lake
Posts: 2,664

That's just CPU frequency (CPU frequency governor setting). Leaving it set higher (at "Performance") is fine. It'll only be a problem if you're using a laptop on battery power, since that'll mean your battery will deplete faster. One of the first things in setting up a DAW on any OS is to disable the CPU frequency "throttling" to ensure the smoothest performance under high and/or changing CPU load. In Windows you'd do this under control panel, power settings (you've probably seen this advice given many times on DAW forums). Linux is the same in that regard, but you won't find that setting in the same place of course.

Perhaps you'd had your distro's CPU frequency governor setting at "Performance" without realizing it (maybe some DAW software changed this setting for you, such as how QjackCtl can add your user to a "realtime" group automatically during install). I don't use your distro so I didn't have the same experience as you. The CPU frequency governor was set to "Powersave" by default unless I changed it myself.

Your CPU meter can only tell you what percentage of the "current ability" of your CPU is being used. So if you see 15% of your CPU being used when it's operating at 800 MHz (my current CPU's frequency in "Powersave"), it seems like a lot but it really isn't. When at 3.8 GHz (my current CPU's frequency in "Performance") that CPU % number will scale accordingly, more like 3%. Also depending on how many frequency "steps" your CPU can use, this number will vary. The more you demand of your CPU, the higher the CPU frequency governor will go. So unless there are sudden CPU level changes in your project, you might be able to leave the CPU frequency governor set to "Powersave" and everything will work fine. Add more plugins, the CPU will throttle up. You get the idea. But a sudden change of CPU might cause a short dropout/crackle (such as when the play cursor passes over items with FX on them, or quickly navigating the project with lots of plugins active).

I added indicator-cpufreq to the panel so that I can quickly change the setting to "Performance" if I'm running a project with lots of plugins. It's usually fine set to "Powersave" though. Just don't let those % numbers freak you out, if you're leaving it set to "Powersave".
Using REAPER for Linux
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