More cores or more GHz for Cubase

For those that might have experience with both situations, which do you think Cubase prefers?

For example, I am looking at these two processors. Which do you think might work better with Cubase?

To be more specific, I need to do both Kontack and other virtual instruments, as well as mixing sessions with plugins, and run sessions at at least 48K.

My 4 core i7-6700K just isn’t cutting it. Thanks!


I just went through the same quest. My 6700K was strugling to keep up aswell. My DSP keept it alive.

I ended up with this setup.

I9 - 10900K
Rog Maximus XII Hero (wi-fi)
Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO DDR4 3600MHz 16GB x2 (32gb)
Corsair iCUE H115i RGB PRO XT
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1tb, 2 tb and a 500 gb.
I use a platinium 750W power supply
GPU is 1070 gtx
ASUS ThunderboltEX 3 TR

This system is a major upgrade from the old 6700K.

I removed the C-states, Throttling and locked all cores and kept the turbo tech running. This put the Cpu in a 4,9ghz all core locked mode. Wich runs great. Easy to setup if you are not so familiar with OC. I also had a run at custom OC and had no problems getting stable OC at 5.2 ghz all cores with the cooler I have. But at 5.3-5.4 It was not enough to keep up with the heat. So I figured I just go with Intels own OC.
Wich runs nice at full load.

I also took of the wi-fi/bluetooth and set up the M.2 slots, so I can use all of them loosing a 4x pcie slot and two sata connections. Wich leaves the MB left with 4 sata connections and 5 Pcie slots 1x, 16/8x, 1x, 8/4x4x and 1x.

Having all data running on M.2 pcie 4x, also gave me a huge boost in preformance. The ram Is quick, So loading 10gb of samples in to the ram is done in a few seconds.

I was thinking of going AMD this time, but my UAD setup made it a bit of a hassle to make ends meet.
But going from 4 cores OC to 4.7ghz to 10 cores OC 4.9ghz, is such a big step in preformance, that the WOW factor is going to stay with me for a loong time :slight_smile:

Thanks Reflection. That is very helpful. Too bad the 10900K cpus are being scalped for big prices. I hear a 10850 might be due out soon.

I am thinking that for DAW work the single core performance is more important than multicore, as an audio stream wouldn’t be split among processors. But for higher track counts maybe more cores (AMD Ryzen 3950x for example) would make a difference. I’m not sure.

Yes, more compute intensive plugins/instruments puts a heavier load on a core. Also a longer plugin chain places a higher demand on low latency.

More parallel processing and parallel tracks benefits from more cores.

The price is a bit crazy given the great competiton from amd. But Intel and Asus are the big boys in gaming. So the price will stay high on intels premium gaming cpu’s. Until amd takes over the Fps lead. Asus can charge crazy price on their OC gaming boards on both platforms.

The 10850K is a great deal for the budjet build. It seams that it is basicly the same cpu as the 10900K, just set with a few limits, almost same preformance. Only thing that will be interesting to know, is if the “silicon and thermal” is the same design on both cpu’s. If it is as easy to cool as the 10900K, Then there is not much reason to go for the 10900K.

My build/upgrade was expensive this time. But saying that the 3 M.2 drives I bought was almost 40% of the upgrade cost. So high speed storage is still expensive. But it saves me the extra cost of maxing out the RAM. Streaming samples from drive, is a big budjet saver.

Single core and multicore are both important given the use. In Cubase you benefit from having both. Realtime audio, tracking, mixing, long vst chains and Vsti with heavy polys all benefit from high single core preformance and also given how many tracks and plugins, multicore plays a big part of pulling off the project. It is user indepentend what is best for you. If you like putting plugins in the mixer and track to the project mixer while having your favourit mastering chain going out from the project mixer. then you want that crazy clock speed single preformance. If you like having your favourit tape/console plugin on all tracks, then you like the multicore. It is the sum of things. Cubase still have a way to go with multicore processing. some tasks still just tasks a single core, while it could task multicores doing the task.

My best tip is to monitor the cpu cores while you work with Cubase. Do all the typical tasks you do, and see where the bottlenecks are. Just see how cubase use your 6700K with things like loading in project, offline plugin processing, bouncing, time warp, trackfreeze…

You get a picture just by looking at the 4 cores you have.

I know I need a combo of both single and multicore preformance. I also know I need enough Mobo/cpu lanes to run my hw setup, and I need driver and components that are compatible with my equipment and future equipment. My DSP will save the day for me in any case. But the cost of DSP is the time it itakes to bounce and render. On some projects I just want speed through the whole project. Paid by the houre is a different story :wink:

Cubase as most software working realtime audio, can’t handle CPU powersavings and throttling. So throttling and C-states are not important looking for your next CPU. So things like 2-4 cores boost tech to XX-ghz are not interesting at all. You simply want to look at preformance with all cores locked.

Yes. Thanks @Reflection.

What I was referring to regarding the 10900 price was that the issue MSRP was about $488, but as I understand it some people bought them all up to sell at a higher price. I still see some lower prices shown on some sites but “out of stock.”

Here in Canada the i9 10900K just became available at $748 CDN- 12 August 2020, so after
comparing Intel and AMD systems for almost a year, I decided to go with the i9 10900K and the Rog Maximus XII Hero.
For the hardware I have, and the performance I am after, it’s the best choice in my opinion.