Optimizing Microsoft Windows for use with SDR programs
(March 8 2010)
An SDR (software defined radio) that is implemented as a PC program to run under Microsoft Windows may suffer from occasional loss of data on both the input and the output side because the default settings that usually come with Windows installations are not intended for programs with near realtime requirements.

Visual Effects.

The visual effects might be very CPU intensive. Perhaps it depends on the amount of hardware support in the video system. Switch it of by asking for best performance in Control panel -> System -> Performance -> Visual effects.

USB power save.

Windows will switch of power to USB hubs to conserve energy. This may happen even while the USB port is in heavy use for e.g. a soundcard. Make sure it does not happen if any of your devices is on a USB port. Go to your Device Manager (Start->Settings->Control Panel->System->Hardware->Device Manager.) Click on the USB symbol to get a list of all USB hubs.

Double-click on each of the USB hubs in the list to bring up the 'Properties' window and make sure that under the Power Management tab for each one you turn off "Windows can power down this device" checkbox.

Soundcards and mixers.

Different sound systems have their own programs. Choosing one input/output rather than another seemingly equivalent one may have dramatic effects on performance. The input/output that is selected by default is usually the slow one. Those who do the setup want to have every possible extra function enabled and they do not care about realtime performance.

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