Cubase version vs core number and CPU use info request

Hi all running Cubase 9.0.2 here and it works flawlessly. Projects are starting to get a little close to 80pct ASIO at times on ymy exosting I7 7700 4 core, so I start to consider upgrades.

I am thinking Intel 12900K 16 cores and wonder how my old version of Cubase might work with it. (if its code can in fact use 16 cores/24 threads properly) and/or whether the latest version of Cubase would be required.

Many thanks.

CB9 is already able to use multiple cores, that should not be an issue (may depend also on some plugins used).
However, the 12 cores (not 16) of the 12700K are not all identical. You have 8 “usual” cores (called P-core), plus 4 “atom” cores (called E-core).
Arbitration and load-balancing between those cores needs help from the O/S to be optimal, so you may need to upgrade to Windows 11, but I expect you could keep your CB9 for another few years.
My personal intention is to wait a year for the RaptorLake (13th) generation. This will give time to Win11 to stabilize. Just to avoid the initial growing pains of this new P+E architecture and have a more stable machine with less effort… call me lazy…
Other incentive to wait: let time for the cost of DDR5 to get more reasonable…

If you can tolerate your existing machine, I’d do the same. Otherwise, this CPU is a great choice. Be sure to select a stable motherboard from a reputable vendor, give it 16GB DDR5 and a reliable SSD. If not a gaming machine, just get a basic but recent and pref. fanless GPU card.

Suggestion: To give a new life to you current machine, invest into an SSD (if not done already??), and clean up your install of all unnecessary bloatware, automatic updates, and other parasitic tasks eating your CPU cycles in the background. (use Task Manager)

Many thanks Y-D for the comprehensive reply. The machine in question is audio specific and set up solely for mastering purposes only, no unrelated software on the machine at all. It was the Intel 12900K I was initially looking at and I am fairly sure it mentioned 16 cores and yes I do see 8 performance and 8 so called efficiency cores.

I was also refreshing my mind on cores vs track count and inserts vs busses /sends etc. And it seems chains of inserts tend to “load up” on one core thus potentially showing high ASIO use even though some cores may be free or relatively free.

I dropped the 2 CPU’s in this website for a rough comparison :
I imagine the comparison cannot be very precise due to chipsets, motherboard and memory differences. On a thread at least the new CPU I mention appears roughly double the performance no. provided. Though I am not entirely sure what that means relative to stacks of processes on a single core which may be how the machine gets used rather than 100 tracks of softsynths and audio.

I have always been rather underwhlemed when I upgrade a PC always not quite achieving the performance I might expect for a variety of reasons I am sure. (Usually this comes with new OS/new DAW update, new updates of software plug in etc.)

It is always a slightly daunting experience especially when used in a professional context. Anyway thought I would get my feet wet with it all again even if I do not take the plunge quite yet.

(Just to add I do have a music making production machine i7 2600 using Cubase 9.0.2 also which is very old indeed. It always surprises me how many soft synths it can run and process/effects plug ins, often 80-100 tracks per tune. I suspect the way that CPU load is distributed across many 10’s of tracks is very different than running some very serious single hog plug ins in a chain.)

Interesting and slightly daunting in equal measure. Seems most studios / audio people have to to come around to this every 5 years or so. I like to plan a good way in advance in general and run the new machine in tandem for many months so I know I can fully rely on it when it goes into service. That approach has always worked well so far.

I see now you were clear about the 12900K… I don’t know why my mind got stuck on the 12700K? I just don’t dream big enough I guess…

Good plan to work both machines in parallel for a while, esp. if you upgrade to Win11 at the same time.

Quite time-consuming and underwhelming experience indeed… that’s probably why I keep postponing it to “next year”… but I think the RaptorLake will be it in 2023 for me.

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No worries Y-D, I appreciate the response. Whilst there is a little technical excitement attributed to new PC time I tend to find that short lived. It’s gargantuan task of administering and QCing the system, albeit essential. I will research and think it all through for a while.

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I thought I would follow up. I am typing on the new 16 core SCAN machine i9 12900 right now. I have just bought the update to Cubase 12. I have always loved Cubase. I just love the work flow and have been astounded by the stability of 9.0.2 for 5 years.

This will be a very slow and cautious migration to this new machine. In fact I purchased it with the view that I have it just sitting here ready to go which is a business security issue as well. Basic planning. No rush to install it all but I do look forwards to the move to the new DAW PC in 12-18 months. New RME interface installed to run my Crane Song converters.

I also managed to claw back some CPU overhead (20pct approx which is great) on my existing machine by installing a few updates to some of the heavier CPU usage plug ins. And some of them really are heavy duty.

In reality with the new i9 I estimate I will only double CPU horsepower given mastering routing tends to load up single cores rather than effectively spread the load. That’s life I guess, there are worse problems to have for sure.

Anyway looking forwards to a slow and sensible planned move over in due course.
If in the event of a catastrophic failure (very unlikely) I have the new machine ready to “power install” over a weekend if such emergency arises.

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how much of performance improvement are you noticing between C9 and C12? Just curious.

Hi there nitrateaudio… I have not set up and migrated as yet. This was just an update and confirmation of a plan in progress. I have merely downloaded the update/installer onto the new machine using the download assistant in readiness. I am estimating a doubling of CPU power approx which seems relatively small. That is how serial processing in DAW loads up 1 core in the main so serves as the performance bottleneck.

By the time I move over there may be further incremental VST plug in updates that further optimize CPU usage on a few hog plugs so the gains may increase a little.