I am about to upgrade my pc in which i use cp8. Now I have been browsing the forums and it seems that there is not an official reply in which is a best cpu (more cores/threads vs higher clock speed).
Should I go for an i5 (since I should disable HT?) or i7? I’m a bit confused here.
Please direct me to another thread if that has been already discussed, though I searched the forum.
Thanks in advance!
Well the general rule is go for the best CPU that you can afford. I have an i7 and I really would not want to use an i5 if I could afford the next step up. Again 6-8 cores and the clock speed according to affordability. I feel that it is best not to save money in these areas. Likewise with memory the more you can afford the better (32gig). I have hyper-threading on with no adverse effects. This of course all depends upon the kind of projects you will work upon.
It might be a good idea to ring up some of the companies that make music computers and ask them the questions that are concerning you as I have found most of them very helpful and straightforward. Actually I found this part of the process really educational as the world had moved on since my last machine.
No. Don’t disable hyper threading!
That’s for older setups. For anything current you will seriously degrade your performance.
Go for an i7 but remember that main board, memory combinations and timings and chipset play a huge role as well.
Maximum IO and available lanes will matter in a DAW.
If we take the criteria of being able to efficiently use the maximum number of VST fx and instruments on a large project then…
Best performing CPU is 5960x LGA 2011-v3, but it is expensive.
On a tuned machine You can effectively get 100 more instances of VST fx than the next best performing high price CPU the i7-4960x (but only when overclocked)
I7-5930k is overall best in mid priced performance.
i7-5820k is a very good compromise between price and performance.
To back those up you want DDR4 Memory, SSD in RAID0, and a good board like an x99 series.
Graphics cards can be problem!
You don’t want the huge performance and price of gaming cards as they use a lot of main board resources for no benefit in a DAW (unless you also intend to do Post production with the same machine then you may see some benefit at the expense of audio resources)
Where you would see an improvement using the new 6th gen i7 (6700 +) and z170 boards is if you are doing large multitrack recordings ( or video production) with your DAW… And I’m talking about regularly recording much more than 32 tracks simultaneously. (Like in a live arena situation)
5th gen i7s still beat them out easily in a MIX/master DAW situation.
XEON series CPU are actually lower performers in DAW usage than i7 but can be better in video rendering on a tuned machine.
Cooling your CPU and main board components is very important during those long mix sessions to avoid CPU temperature throttling. (Like happens on most macs and MacBooks… Fast when you turn them on but get slower as you work)
NOCTUA nh-d15 is a great quiet choice for fan radiator coolers and can even outperform lower end water coolers.
Hope that helps you OP.
Thank you for your contributions.
Yes they help me a lot!
EDIT I won’t be using my setup for live recordings. I use it mostly for composition and sound design (with or without video). Sometimes I mix or master but for personal tracks not for professional.