HP Z800 series , the older beasts of beasts QUESTION

Moneys tight at the moment and i’m looking to upgrade my old 3770k , will i see much of an improvement performance wise if i bought one of the older Z 800 series load wise because as it stands i have to bounce( like an old 4 track) quite often to save resources . I know they are not going be fantastic by todays standards but would it be worth it ?

The HP Z machines are great workhorses. Can’t speak about the 800s but they are the top shelf models. I have been using a Z220 with a quad core i7 and 32gb of ram and it has been stellar for me .

1 Like

I’m using a Z600 with twin Xeon X5675 CPUs upgrade and 24 GB RAM, and I am able to run tons of VST + Acustica Audio plugins with no problems. It has been my main workstation for the last 10 years.

1 Like

I think the Z800 did exist in a few incarnations and could be configured with many different CPU’s. But still, I don’t think cubase can utilize more than 14 cores. To get the best out of them you need to have all memory buses used and that helps even with a low core count as 16.

1 Like

No this is the answer i was looking for , my main grip is AA plugin’s so if it’s going to be a vast improvement then i think a Z800 is the way forward until the prices of new machines settle back down again in 2024 :+1:

Just looked at benchmarks of your current i7.

Be sure to take a Z800 machine with a dual processor motherboard and at least quad-core Xeon X5570 processors, preferably hexa-core Xeon X5675 or you won’t see much of an improvement. The twin CPU setup is crucial here. You can get two hexa-core Xeon X5675 CPUs on eBay for cheap.

1 Like

This is exactly what i’m looking at , i can see the E version single processors but as you have mentioned it is the dual i’m interested in , it’s only a stop gap machine but i need to step up a little from the old 3770k

Ah, one more thing - keep in mind that these server CPUs don’t have the AVX instruction set so you won’t be able to run NI Massive X synth (more info).

1 Like

Ni ? never heard of them :joy: im a hardware guy , the only VSTi’s i run are Padshop and Halion 6 so no problem there .
I know Steinberg recommended the Z800 series as they were their top test bench workhorses at the same time the 3770k came about , just out of interest how many instancing of AA’s do you think you can get away with without stressing the Z600 out too much ?

I can get with 40 instances of Cream with preamp engaged in REAPER:

And 9 instances of the same in Cubase 11:

1 Like

Jesus , that’s a big difference , thanks for the info i can run 3 instances of Cream at the moment so it’s triple anyway ,so it’s certainly worth thinking about . Cheers for taking the time and testing , Lets see how many C12 can handle with no dongle :wink:

1 Like

This might have something to do with how Cubase assigns CPU threads per track.

Try spreading out the Cubase version across more tracks and see if it makes a difference.


I started that thread, so I’ll chime in, My guess is that if he does as you say, it will allow a bit more than twice the instances, so still half of what he reports with Reaper.

I will also guess at what is happening in the code. This is ONLY just a guess. The difference at the coding level likely has nothing to do with whether those plugins are on different threads. Instead it might be that Reaper is not taking the multi-threading into what I would call appropriate consideration to keep every sample (bit or block level) in synch, and that Cubase is.

We do know Cubase is.

If this is correct then Reaper, under moderate heavy load, might not glitch, and you might not hear it right away, but there would be something about what you hear that is just not the same as what you would expect. (It would get “mushy” or out of tune.). Under heavy load it would be obviously out of time, and this is consistent with various discussions one can google.

Fun fact: Strawberry Switchblade did not use Reaper on their last album.