Cubase 10 new build - I7 or I9?

Just about to build a new PC using C10. Would a I9 or I7 be best? Top end i7 or lowish end i9



What is a lowish end I9?

I would get the I9-9900K.

I think that’s the one (I9-9900K) he mentioned with “lowish end”.
I also want to build a new computer dedicated for Cubase and I’m thinking about the I9-9900K as well. Because of the 2 threads per core, what I guess is beneficial for parallel audio processing.
However, I’m waiting until Jan when the availability is better and hopefully the prices will get down.

In this day and age it really doesn’t matter.
In recent years you could ask any i7 to do any audio task and it would happily carry it out.
Your CPU needs to be strong if you plan on using many effects and many instruments etc but even on an i7 (3770 variant from 2012) CPU never goes above 20% usage.
Invest in really fast storage if your using sample instruments and make sure you get a tonne of ram. I have 16 but sometimes struggle with that. 24 would be just about enough, 32 is headroom for the next half decade and more…

Yes, I agree.
I use many soft synths and effects. My current laptop with an i7-4700MQ@2.40GHz with 16GB RAM can’t handle my projects anymore.
Freezing tracks all the time slows my workflow down…

For you that is thinking of upgrading your daws maybe this can be helpful reading

My advice – get the most powerful CPU you can afford, BUT make sure you consider overall balance in your budget. Simple as that. Just take into account that there are numerous other factors and your studio (and DAW specifically) is really limited by the weakest link in the pipeline. If you’ve spent all your money on the CPU and not given yourself the benefit of plenty of SSD storage, then you’re out of balance. If you’ve spent all your money on your DAW but you have an audio interface that has lousy driver performance, then you’re out of balance. If you’ve spent all your money on your DAW and audio interface, but you have lousy monitors or lousy room treatment, or… you get the point. Just balance your studio and you’ll be better off overall. A modern i7 or i9 with lots of RAM and SSD space plus great audio i/o with low latency drivers is a miracle machine.

It’s worth noting that i9s are just the cream of the crop i7 chips anyway.

The new i7’s do not have HT anymore.
i9 is really the only way to go, something like the 7920 should also be considered imho

Thank you for The replies. I have decided to go with the 8700k and leave the i9. I shall invest the savings in a Samsung pro M2 for windows and maybe get more RAM
I am now checking mobos. Probably I shall go for a Asus ROG with 390 chipset.

That’s a great CPU and a good value too… with some good SSD storage, plenty of RAM and a good low-latency audio interface, that should handle complex Cubase projects with ease.

Have a look at the Gigabyte Z390-Designare mother board if you’re interested in Thunderbolt. This MOBO has the Thunderbolt hardware bolted to the board and does not require the use of a PCI card. Among other nice attributes.

Thank you all for the replies. I am now on a mobo hunt. I have narrowed down to an Asus ROG but there are so many models to chose from and it’s hard distinguishing the features. So far I have not found a comparison site.
I will buy a 390 chipset board but even this narrowing down leaves about 8 boards to choose from. I have no interest in games this is a music PC. I have an external Sound device. I run two 49" TVs as monitors.
There is some new Intel tech called Optane, which is integrated into some new high end boards. It’s a cache which accelerates drives by copying the frequently used code into its fast non volatile memory which then is fed faster into the CPU. So far I have understood that it can significantyl speed up Windows and large HHD drives but because I shall be using the faster NVME M2 and SSD drives, I am not sure these drives will increase in speed. Also, because the tech works by copying the most used code into the (faster) cache - from the HHD drive, I am not sure if this will work with samples as they are typically not used on a frequnt basis - more ‘one off’.
For those that are interested, you need a generation 7 or 8 mobo, often an updated BIOS and if your MOBO does not have Optane integrated, it can be purchased on M2 - cheaply (circa £30)


Currently I am thinking of a Samsung M2 NVME 500gig for Windows probably Evo, Then three SSDs one tiny one for writing projects and 2 Samsung Evos for samples 1 tb and 1.5 tb
Hopefully this should near max the system. I am a bit unsure about what busses might be shared.

Would love some feedback from Cubase Gurus


Hi zerozero,
got an 8700K for a year with an asus prime-a board (its z370). Overclocked on all cores to 4,7GHz - temps idle 34 - load 65-70.
Very good board concerning latency - no spikes - just make music.

About to pounce on this board

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming LGA 1151 (300 Series) Intel Z390 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX Intel Motherboard

You missed out on Amazon sale yesta. I picked up a Samsung M.2 NVME Pro. The Evos’ didn’t even stay on promo for their allotted time.

edit: The Pro is still on offer. The main advantage of the PRO model is it has double the predicted lifetime, Tb writes. Worth it as we’re constantly rewritinting, bouncing samples, rendering etc. The Evo uses Turbo Write Cache to cheat it’s way to the top speeds, however, it’s so big you’ll never out do it. The older models had more differences between the Pro Evo. It’s also worth pointing out, if you buy the bigger drive, the Turbo Cache is bigger and the lifetime matches the smaller Pro, due to it being larger.

Here’s a few helpful links for MB… I’m currently deciding. Awaiting crazy sales. z390 is the choice, it’s what z370 should of been.

Shows us the Gigabyte in 1 page

Use this for reference the spec

Unfortunately we can’t do the same with links for Asus Rog.

As for chips, i5 9600k, i7 9700k… should be the choice over 8th gen. Real cores beat fake cores and the heatspreader is directly soldered now. That’s more stable result locking the OC.

For the time being I’d steer clear of the ASUS Z390 boards if you’re going to use 9900k, especially if thinking about overclocking as they cheaped out on the VRMs.

At this point Gigabyte has the best VRMs, meaning they stay cooler, which means VRMs will throttle less and can support better overclocking.

Other than that take look at ASRock if youre really hate the Gigabyte BIOS.

Ive built this now, I am happy enough but I do get your point. I used an 8700k. Next time it will be a gigabyte as Asus support is really poor

Actually gigabyte has poor support compared to Asus regarding bios updates.
I would not worry, Gigabyte, Asus, MSI and even Asrock make great boards these days.

Without wishing to offend the poster I wish to correct this statement:

Real core vs hyper threading - This statement is overly simplified and incorrect when it comes to VSTi performance - the i7-8700k will out perform an i7-9700k on VSTi low latency loads. This is evidenced in the scanproaudio DAWBench VSTi results which are mentioned elsewhere in this thread an others. It’s an excellent article and well worth a read.

Benchmarks against actual loads are more important for real-time applications than the intricacies of how the different hardware components work. Whilst real cores do perform better than logical cores (so indicated by the poster), it is, as the benchmarks show, true that more logical cores output perform fewer actual cores. Similarly, more cores and heat with lower clock speed perform worse than fewer cores, less heat and higher clock speed - for real time VSTi loads in many cases (though even this statement is slowly shifting as things like Cubase 10 and Windows 10 improve threading).

I don’t want to start an argument, nor offend the original poster who is under many circumstances correct. It’s simply a case that highly multithreaded real time applications and multi-core processors are not easily simplified which is why we should be grateful that folks like scanproaudio take the time and energy to do a thorough benchmark and write it up for us. Thanks folks!