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

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.

Any results that can be shared from Steinberg yet?

At 256 samples latency, according to ScanProAudio in SGA/DSP benchmarks, Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX is winning by far!
But they don’t say anything about which version of Cubase they are using - and not whether HT is enabled and/or other settings…

To the person who keeps losing audio in their project when they turn off hyperthreading - I’d be willing to bet this is a plugin authorisation issue (using any plugin alliance plugs by any chance?). If you have no audio at all, then one of those de-authorised plugins is probably on the master bus, and it won’t let you know until you open the plugin gui.

what is the perpous of using this type of high cpu can any one guide me about this

With what Motherboard, Graphics Card, and RAM?
O’clocked?

Would like to know too …
And what cooling used ?
I understood 9900K has not that good thermal figures.

FYI – 9900K still works beautifully, still better than my 10 core. Still better than my colleague’s 12-core. Still better than my other colleague’s 16-core. Still better than any Mac I ever owned, by far. That’s real-world, no synthetic benchmarks. Still the most enjoyable DAW hardware I’ve ever used. And I’m still surprised. The core count vs clock speed vs multithread profile of DAWs in general plus the cost factor, make this the current perfect sweet spot IMO. I think spending more money on a better CPU is counterproductive based on my experience and my unscientific tests so far, for very little gain, if any. And that applies to other DAW apps I use as well. And even for video editing, if you go look up real-world performance ratings, the 9900K is really only beat by spending significantly more money for very little gain. But what matters is your own usage profile, so I can’t speak to your specific needs. For me and my projects, it honestly beats anything else I’ve used. It’s been very surprising to me. Then you can spend the extra money on microphones and other goodies for your studio.

Anyway, to answer your question, motherboard is the Gigabyte Z390 Designare (I thought it had a great balance of features for a DAW and good price, plus Thunderbolt 3 in case I want to try it, which I haven’t), graphics card is currently GTX1080, 64GB RAM, all-SSD (6+TB of SSD total), and RME. No overclocking so far, no need, no desire to overclock. But good to know I can later if needed. I keep the OS clean, simple and optimized just for DAW use, didn’t need much tweaking. One of the easiest builds I’ve done in recent years, been nothing but surprised at how smooth things have been working so far. Who knows, maybe I got lucky, but this is a little golden machine IMO. Running Windows 10 Pro 1809. I was skeptical to go with Z390 chipset since I’ve been on Xeons for a while now, but this runs my DAW software better than any system I have ever owned or of people I know with far more expensive rigs, and it cost 1/2 or 1/3 of my last build. Hope that helps.

Thermals are absolutely fine in my situation. I stopped monitoring them after the first week of heavy use and crushing burn-in, so IMO issues with thermal figures are grossly exaggerated out there, or they must be excessively overclocking. My numbers were well within safe margins under heaviest burn-in load. Seriously, for stable DAW use, I see absolutely NO reason to overclock – it’s plenty fast as-is. I’m interested in 100% stability, so I’m not overclocking at all. (But good to know I can if I ever want a little more horsepower.)

I don’t like water cooling systems any more TBH, the last build I did was actually too noisy for me and the numbers weren’t that great… so this time I went with the NOCTUA NH-D15S air cooling. So far I’m happy with it. Note that this Noctua model is designed for high-compatibility with motherboards – the other version of this cooler, the NH-D15, doesn’t fit on some motherboards, but the NH-D15S has an interesting shift in the design that clears more space. Works great with the Gigabyte Z390 Designare.

I’m testing a 9900k, it runs fine @ 5ghz on all cores, using a Corsair water cooler.
But LOUD, the constant ramping up and down is really distracting.
@ 4.6ghz it stays at a more constant fan speed.
It is a hot cookie, temps @5ghz around 85c up to 98c under full load is normal.
For daw use the temps are a lot lower, and less noisy.