1 (edited by ramses 2019-05-20 19:22:17)

Topic: Upgrade from Win7 to Win10 with least effort (177 Apps, 550 GB in 3h)

Shall somebody also need to upgrade from Win7 to Win10 very quickly without loosing the Win7 installation.
Get a 2nd SSD and here we go ...

Last Sunday I performed an upgrade installation from Win7 to Win10 very quickly. Not only upgrade installation, cloning of this installation to 2nd SSD and restoring my Win7 installation to 1st disk.
177 Applications are installed on my PC, 550 GB in total on an 1TB SSD.

HW: 2 SSDs
- Samsung SSD 860 EVO Win7 (550 GB: OS, Apps, Samplelibs)
- Samsung SSD 850 EVO *empty* -> Upgrade Installation from Win7 to Win10 1809

Prep Work:
- Use MediaCreationTool" to prepare Win10 USB3 stick: https://www.microsoft.com/de-de/softwar … /windows10
- Backup Task: Disk Image of Win7 disk (for me it was only a quick incremental backup)

Timeline:
13:30 Under Win7: start the Upgrade from USB3 stick. Several reboots.
14:15 selection of new Win10 privacy options
14:20 Kaspersky KIS needs upgrade to support Win10
14:30 Configuration of Win10 upgrade to install also updates for other Microsoft products, quick upgrade
14:36 -16:20 Clone Win10 from primary to secondary SSD (564 GB) with Macrium Reflect
16:25 Restore Win7 on 850 EVO (primary) with Macrium reflect in only 4:15 minutes (Rapid Delta Restore feature)

3h to upgrade to Win10 1809, clone to second SSD, restore Win7 on 1st SSD !!! In contrast to that a complete new installation of all applications (177 programs) would have required roughly a full weekend and some days on top.

Another 1h15 to create a disk image of the Win10 Upgrade installation on 2nd disk.

The good things:

1. I can still work with Win7 and boot Win10 to test with exactly the same applications.
2. all applications and sample libraries (lots !) are ready for test or use under Win10

Restwork - Bring Win10 into shape:
- O&O Shutup 10 for Administrator and my account (use per account): https://www.oo-software.com/de/shutup10
- deactivate Live Apps in Win10 Startmenu
- installation of 8Gadgets and the gadgets which I typically use: https://8gadgetpack.net/
- installation of "Open Shell Menu" (old classic shell, further developed): https://open-shell.github.io/Open-Shell-Menu/

Macrium Reflect helped a lot to perform reliable backups, restores and disk images to archive a new installation: https://www.macrium.com/products/home

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Upgrade from Win7 to Win10 with least effort (177 Apps, 550 GB in 3h)

So, ramses, what are your impressions over the windows 10?
Is it faster than Win7 ? If you had to choose just one to work with cubase 10 which one should be?

Re: Upgrade from Win7 to Win10 with least effort (177 Apps, 550 GB in 3h)

Win7 is still my preferred working environment.
The Win10 installation I simply use to see whats going on in Win10 territory.

I am still very dissatisfied by the level of spying in Win10 and also collection of biometrical user data from what you could read in the press. This goes definitively too far for my taste and I am not really convinced, that tools like O&O really turn this all off. So .. This leaves still a bitter taste. This is the number one reason, why I still do not upgrade. The rest differences would not be so tragic.

What still nerves with Win10 is:
a) Upgrade frequency, instabilities after upgrade
b) bad mix of new and old style admin menues, changes for really no reason, which do not give a better overview, but which keeps you searching what is where. And the new menues have too big fonts and seem to be optimized for tablet still.
c) startup of all applications after login feels slower under Win10 compared to Win7, which makes you think somethig with Win10 is less efficient. All the icons in the lower right notification tray start up significantly faster under Win7 compared to Win10. Also the gadgets on screen which I still like very much build up significantly slower. But this could also be related to the fact, that Gadgets are not integrated into Windows anymore and are started by a different application now.

In regards to a) Microsoft plans to change this, but the details are for me still a bit vague and it didn't sound that the old way of Win7 is being restored, because at a certain point they force you to upgrade again. Only the interval might be a bit longer.

So .. with Win10 you will definitively need a proven / tested backup/restore procedure or you might fail completely.

Back to Cubase

Currently I use only Cubase 9.5.50, not 10. They introduced some high White/Dark contrasts on the GUI which irritate my eyes and which makes it to my (and some other persons) a little uncomfortably to work with Cubase 10.
But as soon as ARA will come (maybe with Cubase 10.5) I think I need to bite into this "lemon".

I will check something for you later today and tell you the rendering times for my 400 tracks test project.
In this project I have
- 400 tracks of a Lee Ritenour song
- each track has 2 VSTs loaded

There I can tell you the load time, memory consumption and the time to render this project (downmix).

I think this gives you the best overview what you can expect from Win10 performance and Cubase 9.5.50 is not that old ..

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

4 (edited by ramses 2019-06-06 10:22:35)

Re: Upgrade from Win7 to Win10 with least effort (177 Apps, 550 GB in 3h)

Here we go...

HW:
- Xeon E5-1650v3, Supermicro X10SRi-F server board, 32 GB ECC DRAM
- Win7   - on Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB
- Win10 - on Samsung SSD 850 EVO 1TB (Upgrade Installation)
- Cubase Projects - on other drive: Samsung SSD 850 Pro 512 GB

Comment to CPU Clock:
It is normally constant at 3.6 GHz and the newer E5-1650v4 would even run at 3.8 GHz (~6% faster).
But Cubase uses AVX CPU instructions which are more complex, produce a little more heat, therefore Intel has decided to throttle CPU clock down to 3.5 GHz when running AVX instructions on a core.
When rendering a file, then all cores/threads run AVX instructions, then all cores are throttled down to 3.5 GHz.
It's a little bit questionable, why the more heat efficient v4 version of the CPU is also throttled down to the same 3.5 GHz, maybe something that Intel overlooked, who knows.
So if you get a CPU, do not expect the clock to be at minimum the base clock, you need to make a big dive into Intel documents, and you will find that Intel does not make it easy for you. For some CPUs they document the Clock when executing AVX instructions and for some products they do not document it.

SSD Driver/ Windows Settings:
- Samsung Magician: Rapid Mode ("RAM DISK") enabled in Win7 and Win10
- Windows Indexer Prozess stopped.

Recording related parameters:
- UFX+ connected via USB3, 44.1 kHz, ASIO buffersize: 32 (minimum)
- MADIface driver 0.9681
- Cubase Pro 9.5.50 (with the Cubase performance energy profile activated)
- 400 Tracks test project as described in this blog article: https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … cks-de-en/

The comparison

1. Windows Boot until GUI:
Win7   : 15 s
Win10 : 15 s equal (earlier Microsoft claims, Win10 would boot faster is not true)

2. Login and wait until all applications loaded incl. all icons in the task bar:
Win7   : 16s
Win10 : 35s (+118%) much slower, Win7 in some situation feels more agile to the user.

3. Cubase startup time including loading the 400 Tracks Performance Test (by doubleclicking to the cubase .cpr file):
Win7   : 01:07
Win10 : 00:59 (-12%) faster

4. Time to downmix/render the 400 tracks to compressed FLAC file, maximum compression:
Win7   : 06:56
Win10 : 07:34 (+9%) slower

5. Memory utilization with loaded 400 tracks project
Win7   : 13918072K / 1024 = 13592MB
Win10 : 13585MB same

Findings in regards to Cubase Performance under Win7 vs Win10:
Project load time is ~12% faster under Win10.
Downmix/Rendering time is ~9% slower under Win10.

Personal Conclusions

At the end of the day it appears to me that Win10 has nothing, that brought real advantages to the user. Claims from Microsoft, that Win10 shall be better and more performant can not be seen.

In contradiction to that the Windows 10 Memory Management systems was in the 1st years even significant worse in its performance until Windows 10 1709 has been introducted in Sept. 2017.

Also Microsoft didn't communicate important changes to library calls to developers which lead to significant audio loss under Win10.  Root cause was that Microsoft did neither communicate nor document important changes to important library functions. Therefore the memory management routines did not work fast for audio applications that have near-realtime performance. I question myself why they introduced something like this. It makes no sense to have memory management being performed fast or slow. Those basic functions simply need to perform. From my perspective a design flaw and Microsoft should have informed the developers on such drastic unexpected changes.

This to major gotchas and their impact I documented already in this blog article: https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … s-7-EN-DE/

Microsoft forces the users to accept the changed EULA (end user license agreement) which grants Microsoft extensive rights to collect, market and disclose data, including personal and biometric data, to third parties.

The Windows 10 Update process does not allow anymore customization to install i.e. only important and security patches.
The rapid upgrade intervals and the amount changes being introduced leads to quality flaws.
Several times users had severe Problems with their systems after upgrades. Like i.e. not working SSDs with 1803 up to a complete loss of user data, if you didn't store your data on a separate partition.
This happened last recently with the 1st release of the 1809 version in September 2018.

All that I can say .. be prepared when using Win10 !

Ensure that you have a good working backup tool with tested desaster recorvery procedures. My recommendation is to use Macium Reflect for this, a backup tool based on making Disk Images of the system. Good quality, very fast due to Rapid Delta Restore Mechanism, which only changes the data on disk that need to be changed on a full restore. This makes a full restore to the last week possible withing less than 10Min for a >600 GB filled SSD. This also reduces the wear on your SSD.

Final word:

Win10 is usable but has some downsides:
- rapid changes
- risk of issues after upgrades
- privacy issues

We need to learn to live with a few disadvantages. The intention of this article was to show, how quick you can even create a dual boot / Win10 test environment by performing a Windows upgrade installation.

And again: a working backup / recovery procedures is even more mandatory than ever, because also Microsoft is overstrained to keep a certain quality at these rapid upgrade cycles of ~6 months.

They promised to change this in the near future, so that you can delay upgrade for longer, but at a certain point they need  to force you to upgrade, if i.e. the support for earlier versions is over.
And then you have even a higher risk, as much more changes because you delayed upgrades for a longer period of time.
So do yourself a favour and introduce working / tested backup and restore procedures for Windows and your data.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB