Cubase 8.5 & 'Off The Shelf' HP Desktop Pcs

Hi everyone,

Just a quick question for any of you that have purchased an ‘off the shelf’ HP PC recently. Particularly
an i5-6400 or i7-6700.

How do you find your PC runs with Cubase 8.5. What processor are you using? Are things stable?

I’ve been making music for around 10 years, and have always purchased off the shelf HP desktop PCs that I use for the task. This is mainly because I have no idea when it comes to building my own setup, but it’s also down to the fact that I find the systems very fast and stable with Cubase (once I’ve uninstalled the extra bundled software) and they’re also very upgradable in respect to RAM/Processors etc.

In the past I’ve always gone for the best HP PC that I could afford – usually one that was aimed at gaming/graphics.

This is the spec of my current PC (purchased in 2010) that is now struggling:

HP Pavilion Elite 475uk Desktop Spec - Once Fully Upgraded
Windows 7 64 bit
2 x 1 TB WD Black HHD 7200 rpm (One for OS, one for samples)
Motherboard MS-7613 (Iona-GL8E)
Intel® Core™ 650 3.20 GHz (up to 3.4 GHz turbo) 2 Cores
2 x 1 TB WD Black HHD 7200 rpm (One for OS, one for samples)
16 GB DDR3-1333 RAM
Nvidia GT420 2GB Graphics

This PC has been my workhorse up until this year, but upgrading to Cubase 8.5 and buying a few newer CPU hungry plugins (U-HE, better effects and Kontakt libraries etc) has really taken its toll and my usual workarounds (upping buffers/bouncing and freezing tracks)are starting to slow me down and….not to mention causing Cubase to ‘stop responding’ and spike constantly under the load.

Sooo, I’m looking a new purchase again. From at looks of things, I will need to be spending between £800-£1100, which is kinda scary with all the talk of problems on here lately.
I work ITB with mainly VST instruments (N.I Komplete 10, U-HE etc) with projects ranging from 5-15 tracks with lots of automation.

These are the two computers I’ve been looking at and wondered what your thoughts were:

HP OMEN 870-010na Gaming @£899
Windows 10 Home 64
Intel® Core™ i5-6400 (2.7 GHz, up to 3.3 GHz, 6 MB cache, 4 cores)
8 GB DDR4-2133 SDRAM (2 x 4 GB)
1 x 128 GB SATA SSD
1 x 2 TB 7200 rpm SATA
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 970 (4 GB GDDR5 dedicated)

HP OMEN 870-040na Gaming PC with Gaming Mouse @£1170
Windows 10 Home 64
Intel® Core™ i7-6700 (3.4 GHz, up to 4 GHz, 8 MB cache, 4 cores)
16 GB DDR4-2133 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB)
1 x 256 GB SATA SSD
1 x 2 TB 7200 rpm SATA
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 970 (4 GB GDDR5 dedicated)

Thanks for reading!

Both are good spec but the 128gb SSD dfive can get used up very quickly with Windows and Cubase and plugins installed on it. If you can afford the 870-04na you shouldn’t have any problems.

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it :slight_smile:
After reading though the forums a little, and after experiencing CPU spikes myself, I’m wondering if I’d be best to get an optimised PC from an audio specialist this time…

It is easier if you chose the parts you want, let a company where you buy the parts build it and then you tweaked it on your own…very easy, very fast and best price

I recently ordered one:
Asus Z170-A motherboard
Corsair 32Gb DDR4 CL 13 RAM
i7 6700K
Noctua Processor Fan and Fractual Design chassi
1xSSD Samsung 500GB with Win 10 Home
2x2TB Barracuda Seagate for storage/programs
Asus DVD writer
installation and test

Yes, I think you are right…thanks for replying!

If you don’t mind me asking, how are you finding that particular setup? Are you using Cubase 8.5? Do you use a lot of virtual/sampled instruments?


Building your own DAW, or choosing the parts, can cause many issues if you are not proficient with computer parts. For example; what audio interface do you use? USB? Which version of USB…2? 3? 3.1? This can be huge as some USB3 controllers are not properly backwards compatible so your Mb can actually not be able to connect to your expensive USB2 audio card…

You can do it anyways, but if you are really into having a super stable DAW, get some expert help. Otherwise, a lesser config can work for you too. Have you considered a Mac? Most are already well balanced for DAW work, straight off the shelve.

BTW, I am not trying to sell you something, as I do not have a MAC myself (no fanboy) and I build my DAW myself too…

My 2 cts…

Very true…though I would never consider building my own PC. I just don’t have the knowledge or the skill to work things out if it goes wrong.

I have been looking at 2 companies here in the UK - and Inta-audio. They seem to offer semi custom builds that are optimised for music making. Once I’ve checked them out, I may look at going down that route. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the advice!

I treated myself last year to a Scan built desktop, after putting together my own machines on a budget for several years. It’s s near silent, stable, and works well with Cubase - although as others have pointed out in different threads, given the order of magnitude increase in power from my last desktop, it hasn’t multiplied its power in the running of Cubase to the same degree. Still, it runs Cubase well and I’m very happy with it.


That’s very encouraging to hear! Good to know everything seems stable too.

I’m going to call both Scan and Inta-Audio tomorrow to have a chat. Hopefully they can nudge me in the right direction spec wise for my modest set up.

Thanks for your input! I really appreciate it :slight_smile: