Cubase 8.5 (32bit) on i7-6700k or i7-5820k ?

I7-6700k is 4 core 4ghz
I7-5820k is 6 core 3. 3ghz

Does it make sense to get the slightly more expensive 5820k when working on 32bit version. Will it improve performance a bit?

Thanks and sorry for the naïve question

Cubase is known not to make full use of multi-core systems above quad-core. Do a google search and you’ll find plenty of evidence that it isn’t as efficient as other DAWs at utilising the full power of systems with high core counts… of course there are many other things that Cubase does better than other DAWs so I’d never switch, but I would stick with the 4 core system with the higher processor speed. I’d say it would run Cubase just as good as the 6 core, maybe even better!

Now I have a question for you sir/madame… why, in 2016, are you still on a 32-bit system? Particularly if you’re so concerned about performance!


Correct ha… after reading about it, I’m about to switch to 64bit!!!

I just read that cubase is great with more then 4 multiple cores. Any more opinions ?

I personally splashed out for the 8 core Intel processor on the basis that I use a lot of effects + VSTi’s and these would benefit from extra cores rather than clock speed. But I have been watching the various discussions about how well cubase uses cores and I have to say that I’m not convinced either way, and I’ve not got any evidence either way from my own system so I can’t really comment! My other reason for splashing out is that I wanted to overclock and so I’m overclocking to 4.5MHz, which hopefully gives my the benefit of fast processor as well as 8 cores - so I cover all bases :slight_smile: The processor alone cost £850 (Core i7 5960X), but I’m fairly sure it will still be able to deliver enough power in 3 years, so the cost is worthwhile in my opinion. Before that I had a 6 core for a similar price, similar reason, and I was starting to max it out. However, the new system’s power is not just to do with the CPU clock or the number of cores because from what I’ve observed it would seem that the latest memory and the latest chipsets/mobos really provide more performance than just the CPU can, so there’s a lot more going on under the hood I’d say. In other words my new PC is way more powerful than the clock speed or the extra cores would imply… My general philosophy is to pay up front for something powerful that will give me headroom for next few years, so I purchase the best I can and it has served me well over the years.


Not sure what you were trying to say here with that typo. If you mean you read that Cubase can run great with one 4 core processor, then yes, I agree. I’ve had a 3.8 ghz 4 core processor for 5 years now and never had any problems, but like GargoyleStudio said above, there are many things that can effect your performance, such as RAM amount, the speed of that RAM, the motherboard you choose, whether you to choose to overclock your CPU or not. Personally I prefer to stay safe and stable and not overclock, but different strokes for different folks!

Definitely upgrade to 64-bit! Cubase 8.5 will be the last version to support 32-bit computers anyway…

Keep your audio recordings on a 2nd drive, and your samples on a 3rd drive, so everything’s separated from your system drive. Don’t use 32-bit plugins in Cubase 64-bit, even though VSTbridge allows you to, it often can result in crashes and instability. Consider using SSD drives instead of normal hard drives. Use Windows 10 - it’s definitely the most DAW friendly operating system from Microsoft so far! Keep Windows as dedicated to music production as you can, so don’t be installing games, programs and drivers that clutter the system up over time. Disable any unnecessary background services you don’t need by running ‘services.msc’. Happy music making! :slight_smile:

Hi! Interesting topic.
Please, which unnecessary background services would you recommend me to disable?

Thanks so much!!

I can’t believe I didn’t go 64bit… pure laziness and not knowing (stopped reading forums and concentrated on making music). I have 16gig of memory. NOT USED!!! WOW… i did produce 6 albums this way the last 2 years. One that won an award… haha!

Now my question is if more than 4 cores is worth it. But I guess for future sake it is. Who knows how cubase 9 will take them…

+1 for the 5820. They overclock well.


Steinberg have released a statement explaining why Cubase doesn’t make full use of systems with more than 4 cores…

“This is why systems with more than four cores do not achieve the expected performance increase, especially at low latencies.”

…and that hasn’t changed much since Cubase 5. The same advise is also applicable to 6 core systems, it’s just when Steinberg released that statement 6 cores systems were not available yet. Dual 4 core systems were available before 6 core systems.

So if I were you I’d get the fastest 4 core system you can afford.

Regarding plectrumboy’s comment, maybe the 5820 does overclock well, but there’s no point getting it and overclocking it if Cubase doesn’t make full use of it.

There are many things you can do to fully optimise your system. Some good places to start would be these links…


Mhhh interesting… Thanks!

Cubase 5 is from 2011… But no info about this for cubase 8.5 on win 10? Makes sense cpu needs a little more power to sync up the different core calculations… But an “ASIO latency setting of at least 6ms” that steinberg recommends for setups with more than 4 cores, is not a huge problem for me… Mhhhhh

Going by what other users have reported on the forum since 2011 there hasn’t been the expected performances increases with 6 and 8 core systems, whether on Cubase 5, 6, 7, 8.5, or Windows 7, 8, or 10. Windows 10, in my opinion, offers much in terms of stability, window handling, faster OS boot times, and just all round ‘zippy-ness’ but it doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of how many plugins you can load.

There are some DAWbench tests run on Cubase posted at GS that have 6 cores doing well.
New 10 core looks like a monster if you really want to push the envelope (and maybe not be able to eat for a year or two)

For reference 5820 is about 5% under the 5930k listed so would put it just over halfway between the 6700 and 5930 figures. Not a great difference at stock but remember that 5820 is a very easy multiplier overclock…keep it conservative and use the right components and it will be 100% stable.

Bottom line is that if you’re on something 5 or 6 years old (or more) then any of the current processors will be a great upgrade.

5820 has been a massive increase for me, the chipset (x99) and decent firewire means that 32 and 64 sample latencies are easy

That is old information, much have changed in the audio engine since then. However, the information provided there is not that Cubase and Nuendo cannot make use of multiple cores, but that efficiency might drop at very low latency due to the added synchronisation overhead - Sound On Sound tested Cubase multi-core processing even before that article, with decent results for that time:

However, even if Cubase can spread across multiple cores, the outcome depends on several factors some of which are listed here: Specifically to virtual threads:
The video posted here also relates to this topic:

Kind regards,

I stand corrected so! Thanks Fabio for updating us. :slight_smile:

Oh, well, not that synchronisation and core-count can be disregarded altogether, more an addition than a correction :slight_smile:
It’s still worth considering this, as well as memory configuration / type / latency, for example. Surely it could be slightly more difficult to properly configure/tune a system with a higher core-count.

I saw a good piece of advice from Pete Kaine who is a system builder at Scan computers re: memory on the X99 platform.
He says that faster memory is actually more prone to cause problems and using 2133 will not be noticeably slower or lacking performance in a DAW environment.

I always read Pete’s (and Scott at ADK) posts / information with interest!
There is also an interesting article about memory performance on the Crucial website:
Then one may need to consider how this all applies to a specific chipset, the CPU memory channels and bandwidth and so forth.

By the way, I totally agree with this:

When I switched from my old i5-750 to an i5-4690K the difference in performance was huge, much more than I would have expected ‘on paper’. I still can’t see how I could max it out in a project (no orchestral templates or hundreds VSTi instances here, though, YMMV).

Faster memory is just unnecessary - the tiny performance gain it offers is moot with digital audio, there are other bottlenecks that contribute to latency in much more meaningful ways. Virtual instruments and effects are interested in processor power and cache speed more than the relatively slow main memory.