I’d like to upgrade my DAW computer. I’m actually using an i7 6700K with z170 motherboard (1151 socket)
I think I’m going for a 2011-v3 socket as i saw it’s compatible with the i7-6950x https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/94456/intel-core-i7-6950x-processor-extreme-edition-25m-cache-up-to-3-50-ghz.html who looks like a huge upgrade compared to my actual setup, and can be found at a very decent price on ebay.
According to the benchmark on soundonsound https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/intels-latest-cpus-which-ones-best-audio, it is the best of its generation, but then I started to investigate all the xeons processors that use the same socket. As they are not designed for consumer PC, they seem more reliable, have better life span and can be found as well at very decent prices as they are 4 years old and many firms have already upgraded (and I like the idea to recycle). I’m considering a single CPU, not dual.
There are a lot of different versions with very nice specs. In general the more cores, the less core speed, crazy amounts of cache memory.
So as I was scrolling through the different versions, I realized I’d have to make a compromise between those specs.
I have 3 examples :
- Intel Xeon E5-2697A v4 16-Core 2.60GHz 40 MB L3 cache
- Intel Xeon E5-2687W v4 12-Core 3.0GHz 30 MB L3 cache
- Intel Core i7 6950x 10-Core 3.0GHz 25MB L3 cache
I’d like to know if someone has been using those CPU with Cubase and which gave the best results.
I’m using Cubase for producing, mixing and mastering. I like to do it all in the same session, all VST active (frozen when I have no choice), sometimes big chains (on vocals for example), a lot of groups like for example lead vocal with parallel processing and sends that all go into the lead vocal bus with more processing, then to the vocal bus, going then into my premaster bus with mastering chain, etc… same with vsts, processing on the track then into the instrument bus where more processing occurs, sidechaining, etc… what’s more I’m starting to use very demanding plug-ins like Acustica and my meter frequently goes red even with maximum buffer size.
For my kind of workflow, I’d like to know if Cubase would benefit from more cores (is there a limitation ? ) or more core speed, how important is cache memory ?
I’ve read this article on Steinberg’s site https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-us/articles/206929270-DAW-Components :
Processors with faster cores are preferable to a higher core count for real-time audio performance.
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.
A higher core count might require a different RAM configuration (dual channel, quad channel) for optimal performance.
A higher amount of CPU cache (L2, L3) can have a positive impact on the real-time processing.
so it seems faster cores is still preferable, but will the next Cubase updates or versions will take into account multicores better ? Real-time audio performance is more important to me than offline processing.
Any advice you could give would be much appreciated !