Best perf/price cpu and ram for cubase

hello.

I am building a friend’s pc setup. initially for the budget he had and for his use of cubase I started with a 12600k.
he has just told me that his budget has increased slightly.
not knowing well the capacities of the software to exploit the cpu I turn to users who know it.

which would be the most relevant choice between a 12600k, a 12700k, a 5800x or a 5900x?

I also have a question about RAM: I started with 3600cl18, for this software it is better to start with high frequencies or reduced latency?

Thank you for your answers.

All good processors in that list, and unless your friend is running large/heavy projects, he’s unlikely to notice a (tangible) difference. That said… here’s my 2-cent.

Regarding AMD:
I had too many bad experiences / disappointments to consider them. I’ll let others praise their glory, but for me, they are now just black-listed, no more debates about it, sorry.

Regarding Intel:
Do not target the “K” versions of i7 that are meant for over-clockers. They run warmer (…noisier) with little/no value if you don’t actually over-clock them, which I do not recommend for a Cubase workhorse.
(Slightly different story for i5 line though, since the “K” version also brings four “e-cores” to the i5 - well worth it then.)

Also look for the models with the “F” suffix that do not have the iGfx GPU, and use a separate basic NVidia GPU card (pref. fanless). The “F” versions will also save you about $25… (if you can find them in store…)

So, the (non-K) i7-12700F ends up about $100 cheaper than the 12700K, it’s about 2% slower but runs much cooler. Running cooler means slower fan (sometimes no fan at all!), which is great in a studio, esp. if you record in the same room!

In a similar line of thinking, consider even the 12700T, if you value silence over top performance.

Regarding Memory:
Since these processors support 4800MT/s DDR5… go for it!!
I would actually put my money there way before upgrading the i5-12600KF to any i7.

Actually, before talking i7 upgrades, I would even invest in a quieter chassis and PSU (a reliable high-eff. model capable of stopping its fan when running cool).

more CPU info here:
https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/compare.html?productIds=134594,134589,134590,134592,134595,134596

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Thank you for your answer.

no worries I’m aware of the benefits of different CPUs doing OC on my CPUs, I don’t take F (my first choice basically) because it won’t take GPUs until later, so an IGP is necessary. so I’m going to direct it to a 12600k in this case. I was afraid to offer him a cpu that lacks power for this software.

I have already taken a 750W gold power supply from seasonic with a fanless mode and to cool an NHD15 (no water cooling for it), when it comes to the case, if you don’t inflate the cpu you might as well take a better one.

for the RAM I will look into it to see if a DDR5 kit passes.

Thanks to you.

Take a look at the audio computers at SCAN or CCLONLINE these have been tested for working well with audio. The websites show what components are used.

What better way to spec out a build? None.

All of Y-D recommendations are spot on. I’ll add a few more considerations for you:

  1. If his Audio Interface connects via TB, make sure the Motherboard has a dedicated TB connection on the board. You can get away with using a PCIe TB Card but a Motherboard with integrated TB will be much better.

  2. You will need to consider Hard Drive type/speed as well. In the Workstation I built a couple years ago I went with 3 NVMe M.2 SSD Drives ( 2 - 512GB’s one for OS and DAW SW, the other for Projects) and (1 - 1TB drive for Sample Libraries and all Audio loop files). Just like the TB connection it would be best to get a Motherboard that has NVMe M.2 connections on the board so each Drive will have a dedicated Bus to the CPU.

I learned form my mistakes with my first Workstation build, used these as my priorities:

  • CPU single core speed is more important than number of Cores, a lot of the CPU’s with high Core counts run at much slower single core speeds. Unlike Gaming machines that benefit from overclocking DAWs perform much better with all Cores running at the same speed. The total aggregate single core speed in good 8 Core CPU’s are sometimes higher than ones with 16 Cores.

  • Fast Hard Drives that have dedicated Bus’s to the CPU improved performance greatly. My first Workstation had 3 SSD’s but they all single threaded through the same PCIe bus.

  • A Good Power Supply that is low noise and has more power that you currently need. Added Headroom will come in handy for any future Workstation upgrades. You mentioned a Gold Rated Seasonic, they are very good PSUs.

-RAM, whatever the best type/speed the Motherboard can handle will work, just install as much as the budget will allow (32GB isn’t much more money than 16GB).

  • Quiet/Efficient Case and CPU Heat Sink Fans (Noctura’s are excellent).

Hope this helps, good luck!