What size/scale of project(s) are intended? Lots of 3rd party plugins or sticking with what comes in Cubase with a few extras? Are your projects heavy with virtual instruments and what type of virtual instruments are they (heavy synth engines, or mostly sample based)? How many continuous audio tracks will you require?
I believe it depends on a number of factors, including the motherboard chip-set, memory size/type, storage type/speed, interfaces and other hardware you’ll be hooking to the system. All system drivers are not equal…sometimes hardware is fine but drivers that ship with it are garbage for a given platform…etc. In short, the CPU and motherboard chipset are only the beginning when it comes to a stable and high performing system.
These days I believe it’d be safe to say that Cubase performs well with any midrange or better offerings by BOTH AMD and Intel for the average user. Each platform has both pros and cons. The average home or small studio user probably won’t notice much if any difference in terms of ‘raw real time work flow performance’ that will be the ultimate fault/responsibility of the CPU.
For larger scale enterprise class projects/builds…of course it ALL DEPENDS on what is connected, how it’s connected, and how it gets pushed. It can also depend on what gear you might already have on hand and hope to keep using to full potential in a new rig. I.E. Intel CPUs and chipsets have perks when it comes to dealing with Thunderbolt devices. AMD has advantages when dealing with onboard NVMe storage. If using slotted SAS or Thunderbolt expansion cards for storage…the only way to truly know is to find someone with a test bed and have them try it out and do the benchmarks and other tests (benchmarks and real time use can be quite different as well, and sometimes bench marks reflect performance boosts or hits that rarely if ever pop up in real work flows).
I do small scale stuff in a home studio. I do more composing than mixing and mastering, so I’m good to keep things audio on 44.1, or 48k clocks, and recording/playing back resolution at 24bit (though I leave the DAW’s internal processing at its defaults…64bit floating I think?), and for my needs I rarely demand extremely tight latency on the audio interface (I haven’t pushed any limits to test what this rig can do there…just sticking with 512k asio buffers for now…very tolerable latency for composing mostly using the editors with occasional live playing through a keyboard or wind-jammer, but I suspect this rig can do much better there). My primary virtual instruments are HALion and Garritan/ARIA based (largely sample based so not much CPU use involved unless I really pile on a lot of complicated effects). In my case the ancient Phenom II 1090T was enough for my Cubase sessions (heavier on virtual instruments than audio tracks), but a bit sluggish with Dorico when scores grew larger than the maximum ram I could put on the old DDR2 motherboard (again, lack of memory rather than CPU power being my issue). The old motherboard finally gave up after something like 15 years of 24/7/365 powerup…so rather than hunting down an old motherboard that could take a Phenom II, I finally gave in and built a more modern rig.
I just installed Cubase 11 on a Ryzen 9 3900XT/X570/64gb DDR4 3200Mhz/Radeon R9 270 (It’s a terrible time to buy graphics cards, so I just stuck this old one back in). I’m running regular NVMe.M2 and SATA3 storage from the built in motherboard connectors (midrange consumer grade stuff, nothing enterprise class, no SAS nor Thunderbolt). I’m also running a very dated M-Audio Delta 1010 audio interface through a PCIeX1 to 2 PCI slot riser card. Out of the box, the motherboard I chose (AUSUS Crossfire VIII Hero) set things up with all 12 cores (24 threads) running a little above 4.2ghz. Another nice touch was that the built in audio of this particular motherboard seems to have native ASIO drivers (I have not tried using it yet, but seeing it show up as an ASIO compliant device was a pleasant surprise).
This thing doesn’t even break a sweat with my small scale projects in Cubase, nor Dorico. I’ve yet to see total CPU usage top 12%, and that’s with a bunch of other random things running in the OS along with Cubase (Sometimes Sibelius, Finale, or Dorico, plus browsers, tutorial videos, etc.)…the few spikes I’ve observed on individual threads has yet to top 40%.
Right now it would seem the main factors in choosing between the two platforms involve proprietary code (some titles are optimized a better for one platform or the other, or use specific CPU or chipset features that one or the other doesn’t have). It would seem to me that those things are mainly relevant to things like special encoders for video streaming/storage at ultra high resolutions, major 3d object/texture rendering, specialized server tasks involving specific models or proprietary enhanced-protocol complaint hardware, or attempting to implement really high resolution video monitors or virtual reality head-sets and so forth ($600 and up graphics cards usually involved). So unless you’re also doing video encoding/streaming, ultra high resolution gaming and or game development, or specialized file serving or streaming on the same rig as Cubase, I don’t think it matters much. If you’ve invested in a bunch of Thunderbolt storage devices and want motherboards with built-in support for that, and/or do work that can actually push the limits of that technology, you might want to research the pros and cons of going Intel over AMD, but otherwise…not convinced there would be much perceivable difference these days unless you just happen to have a bit of kit or software that doesn’t like one platform or the other. If you haven’t invested in thunderbolt…to me, AMD holds the edge with great performance to onboard NVMe M.2 media, which has a great price/performance ratio…not easily hot-swappable…but great for someone that just needs a modest system drive, and one larger drive to host audio files and samples. Bog standard SATA3, USB3 performs similarly on both platforms, and in my mind, if you need larger storage arrays with improved write transfer, SAS (which should perform about the same with either platform) is probably the way to go (over ‘intel favoring’ Thunderbird…but that’s just my opinion).
Yes, I could have come up with a considerably less expensive build that would have been well more than enough for my digital music needs, but I’m hoping this one will last 10+ years like the old Phenom II rig did, and it’ll be nice that I can multi-task more apps, and keep some things running in the background and not have to worry about it. I was too impatient to source a decent generic or OEM motherboard (without all the dazzle and flash of gaming motherboards aimed at system builders) known to handle the power requirements of the XT3900 well, so I went with one of the ‘touted to handle power reqirements of 12 and 16 core processors’ gaming models that includes of a bunch of overpriced stuff I could care less about (LED lighting features). I do appreciate the gobs of built in latest generation USB3 ports, SATA6 ports, USB2 headers, built in Ethernet/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth though, and I figured the X570 might be a little more future proof in terms of taking future generations of processors (doubt I’ll ever need it, but if I do, can get a cheaper MB for this R9 later, and put a newer CPU in this expensive class of motherboard).