8 core real time performance

I’ve read some posts suggesting more cores will have worse real time performance (even if overclocked to the same speed) because of there being more cores to sync/divide tasks between.
Is this a factor between a 6 and 8 core CPU with Cubase?

This is one of the factors making me wonder if it’s worth it to get the Intel i7 6900k over the 6800K.
6900K( 8 core, 3.2ghz, 20mb cache) $1,099
6800K (6 core, 3.6ghz, 15mb cache) $429

Looks like around 33% more power for 2.5x the price right?
I will overclock these to 4.1ghz hopefully.

Does the 5mb extra cache on the 8 core 6900k help for a DAW?

Is it worth getting 128gb of ram? Will my Asio buffer or CPU crap out before I can utilize it?

My needs are diverse from using many plug-ins for mixing pop tracks to heavy VSTi sample streaming of orchestral libraries in Cubase 8.5 Windows 7 & 10. I’m coming from a i7 950 with 24gb ram at 4ghz.

So in summary I’m wondering if it’s worth the extra $1K between getting a 6800k/ 64gb ram over the 6900K/ 128gb ram.

Rest of the build:

MB - Asus x99-AII - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132830

COOLER - Noctua NH-D15 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608045

GRAPHICS - AMD Radeon 5450 2dvi, 1 HDMI falt screen - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814129261&cm_re=radeon_5450_visiontek--14-129-261--Product

CASE - Fractal Design Define XL R2 Full Tower - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352029

PSU -Seasonic SS-750KV3 750Watt - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151087

MEMORY - 64gb (4x16) or 128gb ddr4
Cass 16 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820232338&cm_re=ddr4_128gb--20-232-338--Product
Cass 14 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820232334&cm_re=ddr4_128gb--20-232-334--Product

2x Samsung Evo 2tb
2x Samsung Evo 500gb
1x 250gb Samsung Pro SSD for OS
2 X 6tb HHD for audio and extra samples.

RME 9652 HDSPe

Thanks in advance for any info and advice.

I think the negative syncing latency issue is more of a concern with multiple CPU’s rather than multiple cores.

Thanks Chilam.

Anybody have any other advice or experience with a build like this and Cubase 8.5?

Check these benches out-:



I’ve been running an i7 5820k (at 4.2ghz) in one of my rigs for about a year now, and it’s absolutely incredible. I’ve never had better Cubase performance. Conversely I have a 6700k in another rig and the performance is seriously lacking (in Windows only, when I install OSX on that computer it works amazingly well).

Overall that’s what I’ve been trying to figure out lately, Cubase performance in Windows and why it’s so much worse than OSX in Cubase 8.5. The 6 core 5820k comfortably outperforms the 4 core 6700k, so it would stand to reason that the more efficient 6800k should, in theory, outperform the 5820k by a similar margin. As far as real time performance goes I found that more cores seem to make a positive difference (at least in my case they do). On the 5820k I get next to no real time peak overloads where as the 6700k is pretty frequent.

The benchmarks that chilam posted are pretty consistent with my experience. I will say that one of the most important things is to research and find a motherboard that has low DPC latency, this is critical to your real time performance and real time performance is critical to almost everything Cubase does. This is just what I’ve observed over the years so I may be totally wrong, please bear that in mind.

Also I think if you’re going to be using a lot of sample libraries and whatnot then you will need at least 64gb of memory. Loading bigger templates into Kontakt feels good too, with SSDs and loads of memory you’ll find yourself loading up 40-50gb multi’s in less than 5-8 minutes, it’s great. And being able to load virtually any kind of ambience mix you want (stage/hall/surround/decca mics and all that) is great for rough “mixing” as you compose.

Tracker…what did you end up buying and how is the system performing?

Before you spend too much effort on the CPU, watch this video:

You may very well be wasting your time, effort and money chasing CPU benchmark performance numbers!

Actually in this case the better cpu the more headroom you will have for realtime… your not doing well at this whole forum thing dude… :neutral_face:

Thanks Andreas. So this looks good for the Asus X99-AII with a DPC latency of 77. - http://www.eteknix.com/asus-x99-ii-lga2011-3-motherboard-review/11/
Also, I’m wondering if by the time I’ve filled 128gb of memory with kontakt instances etc…my cpu or asio buffer will not be able to play them all so it will be a waste to get the 128gb. Any thoughts on this? How much memory are you using with your 5820?

Alexfree - I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to spend the extra $1K to get 6900k and 128gb memory instead of the 6800k and 64gb memory.

I’ve got pretty much the same setup you suggest there, i.e. AsusX99 + 5960X 8Core + DDR4CAS15. Yes, it cost the best part of £1K for the processor alone but I took the decision to buy the best at the time (2015) so that it would last many years! I took the same decision in 2010 when I made my previous DAW PC and in that case got the latest 6 Core processor and that served me well for 5 years. I bought the ASUS mobo for overclocking (and DDR4 memory capability) and right now I over-clock the 8 core CPU at 4.5GHz as well, so I’ve got good speed and 16 hyperthreads.

I’ve not been disappointed at all because I can run my mixes which I’d say are fairly complex (40-60 tracks with loads of Waves + UAD2 + assorted FX + automation). Also I can track at 2ms latency (using MOTU), so it’s very stable (using latency compensation when the project gets complex!).

I’ve only got 16GB of memory, and I tend usually to be using VSTi’s which are synths rather than samplers (e.g. Arturia). Recently I was using the EW orchestral plugins and the memory was fine, no probs, but I’m not a heavy user.

One thing you might consider is swapping the Noctua cooler for a water cooler. I personally think that the Noctua is too loud even with the fans on slow, and also it doesn’t really take away the heat well enough. I’ve no direct experience with water coolers, but I’m seriously considering swapping because I believe they dissipate more heat (which means you can overclock more) and they’re about the same level of noise. I’d be interested in anyone else’s experience here for sure.

I think that benchmarks are fine to use as a rough idea of the speed of a DAW but each person uses their DAW for different things so it’s more of a guideline/lottery in practice. As said I invested in the best I could get at the time to attain good stability and to reduce any problems that I’d have over the next few years.

I replaced my 6 core system after 5 years because I was knocking on the 89-90% CPU load with pops and clicks and some general instability on most songs. With this 8 core system I’ve been served well over the last year with songs being around 30-40% with much reduced the latency for recording, and I’m also using almost entirely VSTI’s rather than outboard hardware synths.


GargoyleStudio - Thanks for the info on your experience with the 5960 it’s very helpful.
As for the Noctua I was going by this comparison review, but your experience makes me have doubts -


Very interesting read!

My direct experience is really only with the Noctua and other air-cooled heatsinks (in my previous studio PCs). I have though recently replaced a couple of water coolers in a couple of PCs that aren’t mine and I noticed that the ambient temp was very low, much lower than mine, but I didn’t have time to test with a loaded CPU so I don’t know how loud they were. They were certainly near silent when idle.

My PC with the Noctua sits at 45degrees - and is probably rather hotter than normal because I have 2 UAD2 cards just below the heatsink (they really run very hot!) and a fairly hefty graphics card, all providing heat which warms up the heatsink. Also I have the fan gradient at lowest speed, and they are silent in the studio room at this speed. I have two case fans, one in the middle behind the hard disks and one at the back level with the heatsink (this is a Noctua top quality fan so it’s near silent as well!). I have two fan holes at the top of my case so there’s also convection upwards. I have to say that the Noctua is a good solution, in that it is silent and when I load the CPU to extremes the fans will spin and make a whining noise but the temp never goes above 95degrees which means the processor is safe.

TBH I haven’t managed to get Cubase to load the CPU enough to make the fans spin more than one notch above the lowest. This is generally because the PC is fairly powerful so I’m usually running at about 50-60% by the time I’ve finished the mixing.

My theory on the water cooled device was that the processor would be cooler generally, and if Cubase can’t stress the CPU to much over 50% then the fans might not make so much noise… But it’s just a theory. If I had spare cash (and time!) I’d swap round to see which was best, or maybe I’ll try water in my next build… Could be a few years though!!


I have a Noctua D15 in my overclocked quad core setup. It is really quiet and cools really well. You will be hard pressed to find a watercooled system that is more silent.
It’s enormous, though. And fairly expensive. And well built.

Good to hear. I will be getting a Fractal design XL R2 or Be Quiet! 900 full tower so I will have room for that beast.

Is it worth getting an m.2 ssd drive for the OS over a regular ssd?

Thumbs up for Noctua NH-D15 here, I tried a couple of Antec water coolers but found Noctua quieter. I don’t have any problems with heat, even under heavy loads and OC’d (4.2GHz) CPU.