Sonar X1 On Windows 8 – Faster, But No ARM Tablet Action

Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8, which will offer a new user interface optimized for tablets, may be a little faster than Windows 7 for digital audio workstation work, according to Cakewalk.

In preliminary testing with Sonar X1, Cakewalk found improved performance in three areas:

  • Better load balancing. Based on their testing, they concluded that workload is distributed more evenly across all cores.
  • Faster bounce times. Cakewalk tested exporting a project, multiple times, on both Windows 7 and Windows 8. Bounce times were roughly 25% faster.
  • Better memory usage. They also found that memory usage is lower on Windows 8. The task manager also shows that there is more available RAM in Windows 8, vs Windows 7.

If Cakewalks’s early testing holds up, these improvements will be great news for musicians  based on WIndows.

Cakewalk On Windows 8 Tablets

While Cakewalks’ testing bodes well for traditional Windows users, what does it mean for people interested in Windows tablets?

Users that think that Windows 8 is going to give existing music apps a multitouch makeover are going to be disappointed.

“Classic Windows desktop applications, built using the Win32 API, will only run in desktop mode and only on AMD and Intel x86 processors, not ARM devices,” notes Cakewalk’s Willy Jones.

In other words, Sonar X1 should run great in desktop mode, but not in the new ‘Metro’ tablet interface and not at all on ARM tablets.

Cakewalk notes:

To support ARM, applications will need to be specifically written as Metro style apps, using the new WinRT API.

WinRT is a new API, completely different from the classic WIN32 API that all Windows desktop applications use, and is not backwards compatible with the older Windows framework. As a result DLL’s such as VST’s cannot be loaded from Metro apps. It is also designed more with mobile devices in mind and lacks some of the power of the classic Win32 Windows API currently.

Don’t expect your favorite music apps to be optimized for Windows 8 tablets when they ship. Music app vendors are more likely to test the waters with some basic Metro-style apps, before they consider DAW rewrites.

That doesn’t mean that Windows 8 won’t offer benefits for Intel WIndows tablet owners, though. While they won’t get the ‘sizzle’ of Microsoft’s new Windows 8 Metro UI, they should get the ‘steak’ of better performance and lower memory use.

8 thoughts on “Sonar X1 On Windows 8 – Faster, But No ARM Tablet Action

  1. Does anyone have a thought on what Microsoft is thinking here?

    At this point in the tech world, isn’t splitting your code base the very opposite thing companies are doing?

    Isn’t the trend to simplify and make things easier on the user by having everything run everything?

    Is Microsoft trying to push people away to Apple?

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 4
    1. I know Apple has iOS and OSX, but they are based on similar code and, gradually, coming together. Apple seems to be doing the right thing. Microsoft seems to be going in the opposite direction, spliting Windows apart.

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 5
      1. ARM processors cannot run programs made for X86, but X86 code can run on ARM. Microsoft isn’t “splitting Windows apart”, it just has different layers for ARM code and X86 code.

        IOS and OSX are based on the same kernel, but they use different shells and libraries, and would be prone to the same problems with X86 code on ARM, hence why you cannot run OSX code in IOS.

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  2. Microsoft is nuts with this Windows approach. You can see the user frustration coming from a mile away. So many people think “Windows on a tablet” will let them do all their desktop stuff, and it won’t… it’s a whole different operating system that just shares a name. Windows on a tablet only guarantees that Microsoft will have the slowest and most expensive tablet, while also having the worst battery life and the least amount of apps available.

    And the metro UI sucks. The Xbox 360 updated to that a few months ago, and it’s a travesty of UI design, filled with advertising. Real basic UI stuff was ignored… like you can’t see the description or order of Netflix movies until after you start streaming them! Most tasks that used to take 3 to 4 clicks now take around 9 to 13! Good luck using that crap UI to do anything truly task based.

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    1. What are you talking about? X86 tablets will have the complete traditional desktop, Metro is merely a start menu.

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  3. Ow,sorry !
    I posted also something with hookers on a newer post.
    Sorry for that also.
    I will take care of my (expresion ) language in the future.
    But Sonar!
    Grrrrrr!!!!!

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