Sitting tight till the 26th was just not on the cards, especially after more recent bouts of testing with the pre-release build of 8 within the UK which seemed to turn out results that were disappointing to say the least. More to the point windows 8 release preview whilst testing it outside of the UK seemed to work without a single flaw on a standard 2.5 inch 7200RPM spinning platter hard drive for Ableton DAW purposes. During those tests in S.E.Asia not a single audio drop or pause occurred when using W8RP with the Z4, video rendering of the 4 track Ableton and channel ASIO work space was also smooth at full 1920x1200 in 32bit colour mode with Aero on! This was something that was just impossible to do under Windows 7. 


The difference back in the UK was apparent…

Could it be the weather? Was my laptop feeling down or something??! Who knows, but for a computer to have such temperamental tendencies is certainly not a good thing. Basically whilst back in the UK the same exact W8RP build of the OS on the exact same machine was now starting to perform just as badly as Windows 7 was under the exact same setup. That is to say Windows 7 was performing badly for Ableton DAW use whether I was in the UK, Cambodia or France. The only thing that I managed to get W8RP to kind of redeem itself on whilst testing it again in the UK was with visual rendering, however I had to drop W8RP into basic none Aero visual mode to get it to run smoothly like it had done in Cambodia, meaning Aero was just a no go for the same hardware setup whilst in the UK.


Back to Windows 7 

It seemed stupid to have to spend more money on a new OS when the current W7 OS should in reality be able to handle Ableton and the Z4 under the exact same hardware configuration. So I decided to give Windows 7 another try despite pretty much expecting for it not to function as I needed it to. Maybe this was a last ditch attempt, I just couldn't understand why Windows 7 had become so bad at handling the same task that it used to handle near the beginning of its release without even breaking a sweat. What made it even worse was the fact that I had actually upgraded the system RAM from 4 to 12GB and also the processor, meaning that with no further increase in local system resource requirements (i.e. on my laptop) the system should have performed even better with all the upgrades.


Inevitability...

Predictably it just didn't work. Windows 7 with a 4 track and 4 ASIO configuration in combo with the Z4 was still audio dropping its way through every single attempt at using my Ableton DAW system. The only thing that I'd managed to get to run super smooth was video rendering. However to achieve this in windows 7 the visuals first had to be dropped down to basic none Aero mode to then be dropped even further from 32-bit colour mode to 16-bit colour mode. This in effect made the visuals super smooth and fast with full frame rendering at 1920x1200 resolution. With the fresh re-install of W7 now on the machine back in the UK, it was now also scoring my system as 3.8 due to the lowest score of processor rating. Previously it would always score 5.9 on processor rating with the exact same copy of windows 7 and on the exact same hardware setup prior to this.

Even with the crappier system rating on the exact same hardware the only real problem that remained was the main issue of actual sound. No amount of tweaking was going to fix it in its current state.