I7 930@4Ghz->Xeon x5660@3.8Ghz, will Cubase 9 Pro benefit?

I’m considering upgrading my i7 930@4Ghz to Xeon x5660@3.8Ghz, however I would like to know whether I would benefit from doing so?

I am looking for more power for VSTi’s and VST’s @256/512 sample latency in Cubase Pro 9 (Windows 10).

I have an MSI x58 Pro-e motherboard, and after doing some research I came to the conclusion that it will allow the Xeon to be OC’d to @3.8 for sure, greater OC will depend on my luck, as the support for Xeon seems to be half baked with this mobo, whilst i7 930 can be set @4GHZ.

Here are some specs:

  • CPU: Xeon x5660 vs I7 930

frequency: 2.8 Ghz vs 2.8 Ghz

CPU OC’d: 3.8Ghz vs 4Ghz

Cores: 6 vs 4

Cache: 12 vs 8

(Watts): 95 vs 130

process: 32m vs 45nm

I did some research on CPU speed vs numbers of cores, but it still isn’t clear for me whether the upgrade makes sense with this particular setup. I would appreciate your opinions on this matter.

I’m using Kaby Lake 7500U with a 930MX, works quite well with low CPU usage.

My opinion: get the latest CPU/GPU combination since the instruction set (CPU) will always run programs like Cubase much better than older systems.

Thanks for your reply. Both the Xeon and I7 are from the 1st quarter of 2010, so neither is really newer.

Yes greatly
Do not hesitate
The best bang for buck upgrade you can make without a new rig

I have tests and figures for that very same upgrade

Expect at least 50% improvement in everything Cubase except latency which will slightly increase.
Best low latency performance is got by using the 6 cores without hyper threading switched on and still a 50% gain


Ive just looked up my figures
The test is my own but it is a consistent reference
4 core at 4 Gig scored 86
6 core at 4 gig scored 148
Both at 256 latency


I reread the OP, but must ask why you would want an OC’d rig for Cubase?

Rule of thumb: if you need to OC your system is too slow.

Everything else Hippo said

You don’t mention what audio interface you are using. A good low latency performing audio card… think RME or Lynx can significantly improve your asio performance especially at low latencies. This could be a nice boost on top of a CPU upgrade.

The audio cards just tinkers with the edges of DAW performance compared to going from a i7 9xx 4 core to a xeon x65xx 6 core.
Trust me I’ve been there.
My X58 2010 rig with and o/c x6570 is not much different in Cubase performance with the main rig 6800k at stock

Not bad for a £50 upgrade to a 7 year old machine