CPU update, will a newer i7 allow for lower buffer sizes? And cooling

With a modern low energy CPU i could agree, i don’t have one so I do not know on that front. But the 12900k is the biggest energy user Intel have made i think. So air cooling that comes with some concessions i would think. My worry would be performing an export and the temps shoot through the roof.

I have tried both for overclocking and air never worked for me. So for me its not been true.

Its might be fine for day to day run of the mill CPU but not for anything better than that.

Even the person way up in this post with the new build @Timo00 i think has had to disable turbo to keep the temps down for air cooling on the DAW machine they built to use Air.

Its so dependant on what someone is doing. Gaming it could be true, i have no idea.

I have wished that air cooling worked on high speed/high energy CPUs. I have tried the top end BeQuiet air cooler and it was pants. It will not keep 14 overclocked cores cool at all,

The difference between that and my radiator was my CPU idling at 29 degrees on water and with Air it was more like 40 degrees. Under load my CPU makes it to about 86 on water and on Air i had to turn the whole thing off quickly as it went past 95 with ease. I have a massive case that is 1 foot wide and about 3 foot long and about 3 foot high. So it was not because of cramped space.

There are air cooling external towers but anything other than that is not going to replace my radiator.

A general statement about air vs water cannot be made without some clarifications and caveats.

I would also say the off the shelf all in one radiators are not very good for my needs either.

Here is were i totally agree. When i see someone comparing some 8 core CPU on a tiny all in one radiator off the shelve VS some top of the range Nocuta air cooler.

I guess they are both equally inadequate so they may come out about equal.

I probably should have mentioned I have a 7940x

And Intel replaced it with the later versions handles the heat dissipation much better (10940x I think it was called)

The guy in the video has his at 4.3 Ghz I think but mine is at 4.6 ghz with no clocking down, so even hotter.

Air cooling on that things is like trying to bailing out the water from the titanic with a bucket. So mine is probably a rare case and need. Its a CPU Intel messed up on the heat front. I think some people have air cooled them but they had to seriously down tune their overclocks. I tried but it is very scary so I went back to a custom loop with the radiator outside of the case.

I think Air is better when it when it can be used. It’s silent for a start and that is excellent.

My CPU is probably an exception to the rule lol

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That’s quite a big difference !

Actually high-end radiators can have the same to slightly better performance under load compared to AIO, but I didn’t know there could be such a large difference at idle (edit : your post just above now explains this). My old Intel 3rd gen laptop from 2012 were at 43°C, but hey that’s a laptop, big desktop radiators should perform much better :thinking:

I currently have a Corsair H115i + i7 9700K and the idle temp is 33°C with room at 23°C and AC off. With AC on and cold air blowing toward the PC it goes down to ~30°C. Actually I’ve never had air cooled desktops so I can’t compare myself, but according to some videos and internet posts, if set up properly, air cooling is only a few degrees higher than AIO at idle (~35°C with Noctua NH-D15).
But, it obviously depends on many factors like if the thermal paste has been applied properly, bolts tightening, and room temp.

The following image actually shows better performance with air cooling under load, so has it been rigged, I don’t know :sweat_smile:
(Taken from Why you shouldn't water cool your PC - YouTube)

In short you will find on the Internet that Air cooling is made for mild usage and gaming, and Liquid cooling is optimized for high loads over long periods of time like 3D and video rendering, but in reality this isn’t the case, the performance is roughly the same and it’s not 3 more degrees that will make the CPU throttle…
The performance when using software will be exactly the same.

This topic have now drifted into another one, but here’s my personal opinion :

There is no need for liquid cooling on a machine that is exclusively used for audio production.
Cubase CPU load will never ever be as high as when gaming, which is itself already much less CPU intensive than doing 3D rendering.
Cubase load is highly fragmented, the constant load is relatively low even when working on rather large projects (much lower than gaming) and it won’t produce that much heat.
The only moment it can reach a higher load / higher temp is when rendering (not real-time), but again, the rendering will only take a few dozens of seconds for large projects, so the CPU has time to cool off when the rendering is over, and in any case it is nowhere near having the CPU running at 80°C for over two hours just to render a 20 seconds 3D animation.
For me personally, Cubase is generally around 40~45°C (not when rendering), and doesn’t exceed 65°C when rendering.

When I’ll have my studio (construction probably starting in 2023 if everything goes well) I’ll build a second PC dedicated for studio use, and I will put an air cooler with a flat fan curve at minimum rpm across all the temperature range. Because of the reasons explained above there is absolutely no need to increase the fan speed when working on a DAW.
Additionally, liquid coolers are controlled by USB/software which increases the number of interrupts for sensor fetching and sending data to the fans and pump.
I really felt the need to point that out because my current build is full of Corsair stuff (yes full, including mouse, keyboard, wireless headset, AIO cooler, RGB RAM, fan hub and RGB hub) and that poop iCue program (sorry for the word lol) is permanently taking 3% CPU to control everything, and not only that, but it also introduces micro CPU spikes that the new Cubase 12 Performance Meter is able to pick up.
So yes, my next PC will have a radiator with all the fans directly controlled from the BIOS.
No more bloatware.


@Louis_R I have mine working from the bios which is great. I did have a fan controller and software but i didn’t like it, plus the bios runs it all quieter after tuning the fans.

I have tried a few off the shelve corsair and a coolmaster etc but the custom loop is way cooler temp wise. I think i even had the icue software at one point too lol.

So went with these: https://www.aquatuning.co.uk/

I have dual boot on mine so i use it for database programming too. I think if i was building a pure DAW machine i would have not built the one i did (or maybe i would have, it was fun at the time). I would have not overclocked it so much and tried to get it on air. I tried with the overclock and it was an epic fail for me.

I do like the radiator on the outside and i have joins in the hoses so i can take it off when i want yo move it all. Thats kind of nifty. No water loss either, i just unplug the hoses.

Maybe water and air might yield closer temps on sensible computers, mines just not sensible lol

If your building a studio space then maybe consider a server room next to where you need the computer. Then you never need to hear the computer again, and you can have air-con pumped into the server space!

I have an M1 pro macbook now so my desktop is mostly not used that much anymore. So finally I am on air cooling i guess.

I do hope your next PC on air works out great, I’m sure it will. Like you say, it doesn’t need to be a silly 14 core Goliath to run a DAW, mine is just too much. :slight_smile:

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I will upgrade to the new 13th gen anyway (probably a 13700k), my plan is to run it with air cooling. I’ll let you know then :wink:
But I don’t expect any surprises. Just built another 12700k video editing PC lately for a friend, the temps are around 78° under heavy load (when rendering), 30°-40° when idle and somewhere in the middle when working inside Davinci (we have also a bit hotter temperatures here in general in Italy though).


@Tj99 yes in the UK its usually quite cool which has advantages for PC cooling :slight_smile:

Air cooling for a DAW has to be the way forward. The thing I hate most about my desktop is that fan and pump noise.

Let us know how it works out :slight_smile:

Agree, noise from the PC is very annoying. But the PC I was talking about before is dead silent if you’re not rendering. But even then it is not that loud. Also you cannot work in your DAW when rendering anyway, so that would not be an issue (for me).

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@RTT1 I agree with the custom loop being cooler (in every way, cooler temps and cooler looking), but most people won’t feel the need for this because : 1. it’s more expensive, 2. it takes time to build, and 3. there’s no real advantage for the average machine, apart from making it look way cooler indeed :slightly_smiling_face:
It must be good for very big setups with dual CPU and multi-GPU so that the heat doesn’t build up over time, but like you said, the pump makes noise and when working on audio you just don’t want a constant bzzzzz. :laughing:

I have thought about this, but I want the computer to be accessible. I don’t really imagine running 10 meters long USB and DisplayPort cables. However I will put a NAS in the “access” space with network cables going to the back wall of the studio, but right now the most important thing I’m trying to figure out is how I will ventilate the studio. Stale air will be evacuated to the living room but I don’t know if I put the AC directly on the intake or simply put no intake and put a small mobile AC directly inside the studio instead. When I’m not working I’ll let the doors open to let the air cycle anyway.

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As @RTT1 says: “If you’re building a studio space then maybe consider a server room next to where you need the computer”

That’s exactly what I did - all noisy gear (NAS, UPS, even the power conditioning which emits a weird whine) is in a dedicated server closet on the other side of the studio wall, with Ethernet ports on the other side of the wall to connect things.

I only use fanless PCs (like these Fanless PC) in my studio because, as @Louis_R points out, I also need access to the actual PC, and having a fanless one means I don’t have to compromise the finely tuned acoustics of the mixing room.

The performance of these fanless PCs is more than adequate, the only “compromise” is that you have to turn off Turbo Mode, but that really doesn’t matter, these PCs are plenty fast to run large Cubase projects, so you can have it all - performance and a whisper-quiet studio :slight_smile:


@Timo00 and @Louis_R and @Tj99 Yes i totally agree. Ive been convinced :slight_smile: My computer was not originally to be my DAW machine so it’s not a good example at all.

But that is what inspired me to get the M1 pro. Ive never had a mac before and even simple things like cut and paste seem hidden lol

But i am addicted to the silence with M1 so i get why fan-less is so nice to have. I don’t think I would have a DAW with anything else now now, unless i had a server room of course :slight_smile:

When i turn on my desktop on now I wonder how i managed to mix anything with the noise of a pump and fans, quiet as they maybe.

Once you try a silent computer nothing else will really do :slight_smile:

I know, I know, i bough a Mac so I paid far more than i needed to get there haha.


Glad we converted you to the fanless cult :slight_smile: Kidding aside, yes, if you’re going to do any sort of critical listening, fan noise just isn’t an option.


@Timo00 Or just build an enclosure with plywood and some rock wool on the inside and holes in the front and back panels :grinning:

Actually BeQuiet already make insulated cases with minimal air gaps and acoustic material, so with one of these I don’t think the noise would be that loud anyway.
A single HDD already makes much more noise than a few fans at 700 rpm.

I have a Corsair Obsidian 500D with lateral doors that have a 1 cm gap on every side, and the noise of spinning HDDs is absolutely terrible and I’m not even talking about all the clicks they make.
When I enable sleep for the disks, the second they stop spinning you won’t believe how much the noise level is improved, considering I have all 9 fans spinning at minimum rpm (3 front, 2 cooler, 1 back, 1 psu and 2 gpu). And the same applies to the pump, which makes a high pitched noise when set to “fast”.
When the HDDs stop spinning it really is a true relief, and I have done the test in disabling all fans except the 2 for the cooler which cannot be turned off :
→ The difference between all 9 fans and only 2 fans was so slight that it wasn’t of any noticeable improvement.

It is not the number of fans that spin at the same time that makes more noise, but their speed. If only I got an insulated case, the noise would become almost inaudible.
So from what I’ve learned, it is safe to add more fans for better air flow and more effective cooling, while keeping their speed at minimum in order to reduce noise.

Oh, I’d never have spinning hard disks in the studio, SSDs all the way for the fanless systems. My NAS is loaded with spinning drives, but that’s stashed away in the server closet.

But such an insulated case seems like a great idea if for whatever reason you just must have HDDs in your studio :slight_smile:

I like to insert EQ and Compression during recording, to have a better ‘‘picture’’ of the vocals, bass, guitars, drums or solo instruments, sitting in the mix and it s also helpful for the singer and the player. I know it’s wrong but if the singer is good and he knows what he wants, I use compressor inserted it the input of cubase. It’s committing I know, but tis API-2500 cutting 1-2 dbs at loudest parts, just brings the vocals ahead…