[LAU] Lenovo w540 with Impact Twin performance results

Moshe Werner moshwe at gmail.com
Tue May 5 21:57:46 UTC 2015

Hi all,

ever again someone comes up with a question regarding what AI works with
what laptop, so I just thought I would share my results.

Last September I bought a Lenovo w540 laptop, spec'd with
i7 4700mq processor
1TB Samsung Evo 850 SSD system drive
500 GB HDD in Optical drive caddy
I configured it to dual boot Windows 8.1 (for my wife;) and kxstudio.
kxstudio runs with the lowlatency 3.13 kernel.
I already owned a TC Impact Twin Firewire interface that I intended to try
out on Linux.

I only just now got to connect the two, the w540 doesn't have Firewire
onboard so I bought a 2 port express card for 20 Euros (brand is inLine,
chipset VIA VT6315).

I can now happily report back that I'm running the TC Impat Twin with ffado
and Jack at 64 frames, 2 buffers, with 2.6msec latency, and it's very
stable till now. That is with HT turned on (I did not yet try it with HT
turned off). At 32 frames I immediately get hundrets of xruns.

The ffado mixer doesn't offer control over the Impact Twin, except for the
sample rate and clock master. That means neither configuring the TC for
standalone operation, nor zerolatency operation will work on Linux (for
In Jack all 14 I/O and the Midi ports of the interface are shown correctly.

I launched a ~50 track ardour 3 project with various LV2 Plugins (IR, Calf
reverbs EQs and Compressors, Invada stuff, Linuxdsp stuff etc.) and got no
xruns at all.

All in all I'm very happy, and I want to thank all the amazing folks out
there that are working hard to make Pro audio work on Linux possible. I'm
only a semi pro "user" (supporting financially a few projects, where I
can), but started out with Linux audio work in 2004, and  it is remarkable
where this amazing community got in those 10 years.


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