CPU advice


Can Cubase 9 make use of 8 cores ? Will Intel I7 6900K with 8 cores be a good choice for a new PC ? Acoording to this article http://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/intels-latest-cpus-which-ones-best-audio it has a very good DAW performance.

At Steinbergs article on DAW Components https://www.steinberg.net/en/support/steinberg_support_daw.html it says “The more cores are available, the more thread synchronization is required. This can lead to a reduced processing power and slow down the system after all” .

Hans Henrik

I think that what Steinberg writes could be literally true, but it could also be somewhat poorly stated. Without seeing the data or talking to the people doing the testing it’s hard to tell (I’m referring to the “synchronization” sentence now).

The thing to consider I think is that the 6900k is on the x99 platform. It’s a proven platform but you should remember that Intel probably won’t produce any more CPUs for it. The newer x299 platform is out, and it’s probably too new to invest in ‘safely’ right now.

I would recommend sitting down at your current computer and opening up a bunch of projects and literally write down what type of work you’re doing, and how high the workload is. How many tracks are playing back, how many plugins are you using, how many VSTi, how processor-intensive are they? How many tracks are you recording? Are you recording with all of the other stuff running at the same time and with low latency?

Then you can look at the test data and get an idea of what a good solution is. I for example do pretty much only editing and mixing for post production in Nuendo, and my buffer size is probably 512 samples (I can’t remember right now). So for my type of work an AMD Ryzen 1700 would probably give me the best value right now. It’s cheap, it’s by now proven as a CPU, it outperforms a lot of the more expensive Intel chips, and it performs really well on the type of workloads I do.

@Hans: Cubase can use up to 32 cores at the moment. The only limitation is on Windows 10: https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-us/articles/115000535804-Windows-10-audio-dropouts-on-multi-core-CPU-setups
(note that the i7-6900K is affected, so you either need to use the properties file linked or disable hyper-threading for the time being - Win 7 and 8 are not affected).

If it can help to clear any doubts, (thread) synchronisation is explained shortly here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronization_(computer_science)#Thread_or_process_synchronization

The i7-6900K is a very good performer (http://www.scanproaudio.info/2016/06/28/intel-broadwell-e-the-new-audio-system-cpu-of-choice/), but the Ryzen is pretty good, too (http://www.scanproaudio.info/2017/03/02/amd-ryzen-first-look-for-audio/). I don’t know how it would compare against your current CPU, though. If it’s not a very old generation, the improvement may be minimal.

Thank you for the answers.

If the x99 platform is on the way out I will wait. I need to run many big sample librarys t.ex . Omnisphere. But I have one major challenge, I have Lynx Two PCI soundcard and a PowerCore MKII PCI. And there is only one Asus mobo with the new socket and with one PCI for 500 euros. I am not ready to say goodbye to my Lynx Two soundcard.