Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

I think you mean hyperthreading, right? I’m jealous of your setup!

I have a similar setup… it’s just a little older but with a little bit more RAM. Since you have HyperThreading disabled and a similar setup, I have a question.

When I had HyperThreading disabled, I had an unexpected side effect… the current project had no audio anymore. There is nothing reaching the Standard-Out. New projects worked as expected but the old ones don’t. As soon as HT was enabled again everything worked as expected. This audio issue is on my system reproducible and is only related to HT.

Did you (or somebody else) encounter a similar behavior when HT get’s deactivated?

As soon as I am done with this project I will also deactivate HT since the Cubase performance boost is just unbelievable!

I hope that Steinberg keeps working on the workload topic. I like working with this DAW, but the fact that Cubase 10.0.10 introduced a fix so that only 28 real time threads (14 cores) get used, is hopefully just a workaround. The ASIO-Guard is in my opinion as well a workaround related to hardware. The above mentioned performance-boost could be related to the workload preparation that is not ideal. My above mentioned Cubase 10.0.15 behavior points out that low-level workload information get stored in the project and in summary I have the impression that the Cubase workload management suffers from a legacy software architecture.

Regarding this topic I am currently not happy with Cubase, because my hardware is not fully supported,… but the good news is… there is room for improvement!

Yeah hyperthreading is what I meant. As to the other questions, I’m using a Noctua NH-C14S air cooler which fits my 4 unit rack case. It’s idling around 52°C package temp with so far up to ~50-60% CPU use and zero noticeable fan noise while the lid is on. If I take the lid off the temp drops to the high 40s. All of these are comfortable temperatures for me.

At least from my use there’s no reason to get a water cooler. Especially in a studio where you need silence this works just fine.

Regarding hyperthreading disabled - I have observed no abnormal behavior with hyperthreading disabled. I would want hyperthreading disabled regardless as some of my synths use a very large amount of CPU in a single thread and I need each thread as strong as possible.

On topic for the thread I will continue to stress my projects a bit more but I don’t think I will use much more CPU overall in any practical sense. I’d have to create a torture test project to go much higher and I don’t see the point. From what I can tell everything is working fine.

This is definitely from my experience a very good CPU for audio and it’s taken any stress of running out of CPU away from my mind. Most people will never need this much CPU ever for any reason. I will update if I run into any trouble.

fwiw, I have the 7900x running all 10 cores at 4.3 ghz, and I have noticed that hyperthreading is actually pretty effective in Cubase 10. I tried disabling it, and it appears to drastically increase CPU load and “average load” in the ASIO monitor. With hyperthreading on, the cpu load is lower and it seems to have a lot more headroom, and is utilizing the threads in such a way that it’s acting sort of like 20 cores.

I keep hyperthreading on because it actually seems to benefit cubase 10 in my experience. Granted, these are just test sessions and I haven’t tried a massive project yet. The results of that have yet to be seen.

This is strange… that is the exact opposite experience of mine. I try to find a pattern but the only difference I see so far is that you have less than 14 cores… but does that really matter that much?

I hope you can test it on a normal project and that you post your experience.

Hyperthreading should be On.
If that somehow decreases performance, then something somewhere is wrong.
From my own tests and from what I can read on some of the more well known DAW computer manufacturers. A gain in performance around 40% up to 70% is not uncommon.
I would be looking at bios updates, drivers or even a fresh OS install if I had worse performance with Hyperthreading ON.

Hyperthreading should be On.
If that somehow decreases performance, then something somewhere is wrong.

Unfortunately, it’s not so simple. It depends on what you understand for “better performance”. If you disable Hyperthreading you give more time to the different cores to synchronize their threads, so it’s very likely that you get better ASIO performance (less clicks) at very low latencies, especially when playing VST instruments. However, if you’re at the mixing stage and higher latencies aren’t a problem, then yes, Hyperthreading can give you a boost in performance, usually no more than 20% in my experience.

Yes if you want to run at extremely low latency, HT off might get you room for a few more vst instruments.
But then I would suggest a low latency audio card like a RME would make a bigger impact.
YMMW.

So is it safe to go with a 9980XE now? @mikejm’s experience seems positive, but hyper threading is disabled. Is that still necessary for C10 to work properly? I’m planning a new PC build for my main midi composing workstation and would like to go with the 9980XE but want to make sure that Cubase will take full advantage of the new hardware.

No… Cubase does (currently) not take full advantage of the hardware. Not if you have more that 14 cores. Never the less this CPU has so much power, so that your bottleneck(s) will be else where. I have a better Cubase performance once HyperThreading is disabled, but it’s more than sufficient if HT is enabled. Working with that power is very nice.

But if you build a new PC and you only care about Cubase, then 14 cores is the limit. If possible choose a CPU that has a high frequency (and choose a silent water cooling.) In the german forum somebody has posted his hardware https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=217&t=152122. That could be interesting for you, since the onboard Graphic-Chip is sufficient enough. If money is an issue, then his setup seems to be an excellent choice.

Thanks for the info! Is Cubase unstable with your CPU with hyper threading enabled? Or is it stable but just doesn’t take advantage of all of the cores? If Cubase is stable then another option for me would be to use VE Pro to host sample libraries outside of Cubase.

No no… that has nothing to do with stability at all. Cubase 10.0.15 can only use 14 cores due to a change of the Windows 10 Multimedia Class Scheduler Service (MMCSS). Cubase 10.0.15 runs super fast and stable on my system!

In a project that has around 70 tracks my realtime load is lower than 5% with an average load of 50%. Occasionally I might have a realtime CPU peak. Once I turn HyperThreading off the average load drops to 25%… but honestly I can not explain why.

With the new processor the performance will be even better, since the new Intel Core i9 XE has a higher base frequency… but the Intel Core i9 XE processor is way too expensive.

Ok, good to know that C10 is fast and stable on your system. In the 70 track project that you mentioned, are those instrument tracks with VI’s/samples loaded? Or audio with plugins etc?

I agree that the i9 XE is expensive, but the rest of the build is going to cost a lot so it’ll be worth the premium for the 9980XE for me.

Hello,

this is information is only correct up to Cubase 9.5.
This very thread was started to collect impressions on how Cubase 10 works on machines with 14+ cores, as it no longer addresses resources like 9.5 and earlier did.

The article dealing with the MMCSS issue has been also updated with the sentence quoted below: https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-us/articles/115000535804-Windows-10-audio-dropouts-on-multi-core-CPU-setups

Dear Mr. Bartolini

I keep reading the official article but I don not find any Information that say something different as the one I posted.

Why do you write that the information is only correct up to Cubase 9.5? Some lines further down you write that Cubase 10 is automatically adapting to the amount of real-time-threads… that is max 28 … and that is equals 14 cores. This behavior is not limited up to Cubase 9.5!

Therefore… if somebody is evaluating a new Workstation optimized for Cubase only, then everything above 14 cores is optional.

Never the less… my workstation and Cubase 10.0.15 is stable and fast so that working is a joy. I am a happy Cubase user!

Hello,

the article was written when Cubase 9/9.5 were current, so the info contained reflects that - we only updated it with the change in Cubase 10: please see the first sentence below the article’s title, quoted above:

This article refers to Cubase versions prior to Cubase 10 only.
Cubase 10 is automatically adapting the amount of real-time threads to the system.
<<<

Besides what’s written there, the Audio Engine in Cubase 10 spawns threads and allocates resources in a different way and won’t be limited to using 14 logical cores.
(please also see the opening post of this thread: https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=283&t=147175#p791679)

Great to hear you are a happy user :slight_smile:

This is excellent news…why don’t you make it public in big fat letters?

According to the other forum thread Cubase 10.x seems to use the Microsoft proposed Windows Real-Time Work Queue API, right?

In this case the important Information for your developers is, that:
HyperThreading might be a topic since I see an enormous performance boost once HT is turned off… but it does not affect the software stability.

With the assumption that Windows 10 v1809 still has a 32 real-time-process limit and the MMCSS is trigged via Windows Real-Time Work Queue API, the observed performance behavior regarding HyperThreading on/off is explainable by the internal Real-Time Work Queue management.

I will turn HyperThreading off, as soon as my current projects are done… said this the following experience might be interesting:

If I turn HT off there is a funny (reproducable) side effect. My current projects have no sound traveling to the Standart-Out anymore. Only new created projects work. The meters show audio until group-tracks… but no audio goes into the Standart-Out and no audio reaches the audio interface. Yes that’s a little strange and also hard to believe. As long HT is turned off, nothing helped e.g. reinstalling drivers and/or Cubase. In order to make the current projects work, I had to create a new project and import all tracks from the old one. As soon as HT is turned back on… everything works fine again.

This observed behavior is - in my current situation - absolutely not important… but maybe it is for other users and/or for your developers.

Well then… thank you very much for your infos and I hope that I was able to provide usable Input for an upcoming developer meeting.

Kind regards
a even happier Cubase user :smiley:

This is my experience as well. Running a 9920X @ 4.7GHZ on all cores. If I turn off HT, my average CPU usage in Cubase goes up 15-20% and peak usage goes up 25-30%. I am keeping HT enabled now. Motherboard is Asus WS X299 SAGE with latest 0905 BIOS, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations 1809 with latest updates.

What you observe is exactly what I expect to happen. HypterThreading should increase the system performance. That’s what it’s build for!

If I looked it up correctly the 9920X has 12 cores. Therefore you’ll not get into additional real-time thread management because of to the Windows 10 MMCSS limit… and that could theoretically be the explanation of a different system behavior with Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores).

As soon as I find time, I will deactivate 4 cores, run some tests and verify this theory.

I just tested the performance behavior with 4 deactivated cores…

… and It had no effect what so ever. The same project had the exact same workload by just using 14 cores.

Whatever is causing a performance-boost once HyperThreading is deactivated (in my system) will remain a mystery. I can not investigate this issue further.