PANELS

CPU & Memory Panel

The CPU & Memory Panel displays the CPU, polyphony & memory usage for the project. See the CPU Panel videos here.

  1. CPU Bar Graph - The CPU Meter shows the approximate percentage of CPU capacity used by the audio generation/mixing processes and correlates with underruns. When this meter nears 100%, the real-time audio will break up and crackle. For tips on reducing CPU usage see the Troubleshooting section. To increase the refresh rate, Right-click the view to open an options menu.
  2. Memory Usage Meter - The options for this meter depend on which version of FL Studio you are using. NOTE: See the section 'RAM vs Address Space' below.
  3. CPU Meter Graph - Shows the CPU usage as a running graph, so that you can track changes and observe spikes. Right-click to change the update speed. NOTE: See the section 'Multicore CPUs' below.
  4. Polyphony - Shows number of voices (independent sounds) being mixed at the same time.

RAM vs Address Space

The amount of physical RAM your PC has does not restrict how much memory programs have access to. Each program is allocated working memory address space by the operating system where it can save and retrieve working data. 32 Bit programs max out at 4 GB per program (although there are workarounds, see 'FL Studio 32 Bit Memory Management' below). 64 Bit programs can access up to 512 GB. If there are 4 programs running, there could be 16 GB (32 Bit) to 2 Tb (64 Bit) of memory address space in use between them. As noted, the amount of RAM your PC has does not influence these allocations, with one caveat:

If there is not enough physical RAM to accommodate the working memory allocations, the Operating System shares the RAM among the active programs and makes up for any shortfall with a special file on the hard drive acting as an extension to the RAM. This means the working memory addresses for a program (FL Studio for example) may point to data on your physical RAM (winner!), the hard-drive Page File (loser) or a combination of the two (win some lose some). It should be clear that the more physical RAM you have, the more likely it is that the total address space in use will be less than the size of your RAM. This mean programs will always win the RAM allocation 'lottery' and have all working data stored there. As physical RAM is much faster than the hard-drive, programs run faster. In the case of FL Studio, this means you are less likely to experience buffer underruns as audio data is swapped (slowly) off the hard-disk.

Multicore CPUs

If you open the Windows Task Manager and examine the number of cores used and their relative loading, this is under the control of Windows. This may come as a surprise since marketing departments make a lot of noise about their multi-threading 'optimizations'. Really, all programs do is publish at least as many threads (independent processes), as there are cores available. FL Studio does that, but, it's the Windows Scheduler that is largely responsible for the core assignment. To complicate matters even single-threaded application may use several cores if Windows decides to flip core assignments at some point, and it often does. So what matters? - If you are testing and comparing CPU loads it is the number of plugins and/or effects that can be processed without buffer underruns and the FL Studio internal CPU meter. This is the real-world measure you should use. Don't obsess about how cores are used, particularly at low CPU levels, since the Scheduler will even out this distribution as CPU load approaches 100%. Registered users can see some graphs testing FL Studio core usage here.

See the tutorial video here.

FL Studio 32 Bit Memory Management

If you are using the 32 Bit version of FL Studio, these options will allow you to use more than 4 GB of memory, depending on your Windows version. There are three options:

1. Remove samples & instruments from FL Studio 32 Bit memory allocation

'Keep on disk' and 'Bridged mode' will significantly lower the memory required by FL Studio. Together they will allow you to run projects to the limits of your PC's capability and operating system (32 or 64 Bit).

2. Increase FL Studio 32 Bit working memory allocation

Increasing FL Studio working memory allocation - There is an 'FL.exe' file in the FL Studio installation directory. Using this to start FL Studio after making the following changes to your Windows operating system will give FL Studio access to 3 GB or 4 GB (up from 2 GB) depending on your OS:

NOTE: From FL Studio 11 onward the 'FL (extended memory).exe' has been renamed 'FL.exe' and is the default executable after installation.

3. Use the FL Studio 64 Bit version

Open the ..\FL Studio\FL64.exe executable file and load your project. The 64 Bit version of FL Studio has no memory limitations, apart from those that apply to 64 Bit Windows. 32 Bit plugins will be automatically bridged to 64 Bit, although we recommend using 64 Bit versions of plugins in the 64 Bit version of FL Studio, where possible. NOTE: If you are using Windows 32 Bit then FL Studio 64 Bit won't run on your computer.

FL Studio 64 Bit Memory Management

To use the 64 Bit version of FL Studio, run the ..\FL Studio\FL64.exe executable file. We recommend using the 64 Bit version of FL Studio if you have made the switch to a 64 Bit VST library and or you have projects using more than 4 GB.

NOTE: You must be using Windows 64 Bit to run FL64.exe. The 64 Bit executable is installed to '..\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio\FL64.exe' rather than '..\Program Files\Image-Line\FL Studio\FL64.exe' as is usually the case for 64 Bit programs.