i5-9600kf to i9-9900 cubase performance

Hi. I’m mulling over upgrading my CPU to an i9 as I’m starting to hit processing limits in some mixes I’m working on. I’m on a Z390 mobo with an i5-9600kf at the moment. I’ve been looking at some of those comparison websites, and from what I can see there doesnt seem to be a huge difference in processing power. They could be misleading, and they aren’t comparing DAW performance of course, so I thought I’d ask in here if an i9 will have a decent real world impact on Cubase performance, or not.

Appreciate any comments/advice before I drop any cash!

The extra cores/threads should make a considerable difference. But, it really comes down to knowing why you are currently hitting limits in projects.

If single core load is causing you to dropout, then the i9 won’t help as it’s strength is multi-core ability. So, in this case you’d be better off reviewing your workflow so that you’re not overloading too many plugins per track - i.e. utilise groups and sends better to distribute the load of plugins in a way that Cubase can manage better.

Ideally, you need to watch your CPU meters and determine if this is the case or not. (i.e. you could be at 50% capacity of your total multi-core capacity, but if one core is overwhelmed it will cause dropouts).

If you’re dropping out and you see something like this across 4 cores (For example):-

CPU1: 30%
CPU2: 90%
CPU3: 20%
CPU4: 30%

That shows that you need to distribute the load better in your project. It’s an over-simplified exampled purely to help explain it.

Thanks for the reply.

I had a quick look at the Windows resource monitor. In my current mix, cubase is using 108 threads, with the load evenly spread across all cores, total cpu is averaging 85-90%. This is after I rendered a bunch of stuff as well. Cubase is stable and not locking up, but before I rendered a bunch of tracks it was locking up all the time. This leaves me to believe single core isnt the issue here and an i9 might well help out.

Looking at user benchmarks as a taster:-


Single core seems on par, which is good as sometimes when you increase the core/thread count then the single core ability can suffer due to thermals/power.

But if you’re at 85-90% now, you would expect that same project should easily be around the 50-60% mark looking at those figures. It may not sound much, but that’s a significant improvement to my mind.

It’s odd though, because the i9 has 16 logical cores (8x2 threads), whereas the i5 you have shows 6 logical- Meaning the i5 doesn’t have hyper threading. so that’s where the i9 gains will be.

However, i have seen many people on here complain of the hyperthreading performance of Cubase, and even some recommending to disable it. If that was the case you’d only be moving from a 6 logical core CPU to an 8 - and seeing much less benefit.

Hopefully someone with experience of that chip can shed some light in that regard. As i can’t, sorry.

Thanks for that, I’d fogotten about hyperthreading. I seem to remember I specifically chose my current CPU to avoid dealing with any potential problems around it. Will have to do some digging and see what the score is. Appreciate the responses dude :wink:

Hello everyone, some issue is coming that I’m able to work on heavy project in cubase but issue that’s coming is whenever i insert the Black Box plugin by Plugin Alliance is shows that Audio performance meter is overloaded,infact if there is not any single plugin in the session and only one plugin which i mentioned above is which i insert, I don’t know what’s the issue can anyone help me:)
My system specs
i5 10 th generation 3.6ghz
8 gb ram
512 ssd

I have the same Mobo Z390-P, also interested in this as future proof investment. What i9 CPU can you fit in this mobo?

All the way up to an i9-9900kf

Still unsure if it’s a potential good upgrade. I’m still reading through various forums on the hyperthreading issue.


I have the 9900 and have no problems with hyperthreading enabled

I guess question is how well the load spreads across those cores, have you ever checked?

Yes I have checked and it’s pretty even. I’ll take a look tomorrow with a test track

Ok so I used a test track today and the 16 cores are spread out like
cpu core 0 and core 2 50 to 60%
core 5 7 9 11 13 15 about 40%
The rest hovering around 10 to 20%

Not totally even but none wildly different. This is with low buffers and no asio guard on a test track which shows the performance meter hitting peaks in the red. No glitches and track plays out fine. In fact messing with it I still can’t get it to glitch unless I lower buffers below 64

Awesome, thanks for posting that @mkok

Thanks for the info mkok, looks like it’s probably a worthwhile upgrade then.