Multi-core....multi-CPU

Hi,

Could someone just clarify if I understand the topic of Multi-core processing in Cubase correctly please?
Firstly, my take on it is:-

  1. Cubase 6 will support multi-core processors,
  2. Cubase 6 will support multi-CPU platforms,
  3. However, Cubase 6 does not support Hyper-threading.

Assuming those statements are correct, can I assume that a normal home-PC with a dual or quad-core processor will be recognised and utilised efficiently across the two/four-cores when running Cubase, without doing any set-up changes?

If I go to Tools > Devices > Device Setup, and then click on “VST Audio System”, there is a tick-box for ‘Multi-processing’ in Advanced Options. Looking at the help function, it states “…this option is only available if there is more than one CPU in the computer. If activated, Cubase will distribute the processing evenly between all CPUs…”

So, is this purely for platforms with two physical CPUs, where each CPU might be dual/quad/six-core. Or, is it a bit mis-leading and is actually for multi-core processing from one physical CPU? :nerd:

Regards,

Neil.

…I think that tick-box in the “Device Setup” screen is for multi-core processing, and not just multi-CPU.

I’ve never ticked it before as I only have one CPU (4-cores though), but it does appear that when ticked, things get better!!!

I just set-up a simple 4-bar track with Drums from HALion 4 and a bass-line from Zeta+ and a bit of reverb and stuff to get the CPU moving. Un-ticked, my VST Performance meter was at 30-35%, so I’m guessing that was just one-core being utilised.
Ticking the box, allowing the work to be spread across the four-cores, drops the CPU/VST Performance meter to just 10-15%…Result!!!

Neil. :smiley:

From software’s point of view multiple cores are multiple processors. Cubase has no way to know, if it’s running on quad-core system of quad-processor system.

Cubase didn’t play well with the old HT technology, but benchmarks show it benefits from the new.

Yes - certainly true.
I’ve never played with this tick-box, assuming it was for multi-CPUs…I always thought “physical” CPUs, but I huess one-core = one CPU in that sense.

Cheers,

Neil.

I have an i7-860 quad core and got mixed results with hyper-threading. On a high load test (http://www.dawbench.com/benchmarks.htm) I was able to run much more with h-t on but when I’m just doing my normal stuff, on a typical load of 15%-ish, h-t increases the load a bit and makes it spike slightly. It’s marginal but noticeable.

In short, do your own testing.

Btw, you are using Steinberg Audio Power option in that same dialog, aren’t you? That will also increase your stability and performance.

Hi Crotchety,

My next thread was going to be about “Steinberg Audio Power”. What does it do exactly? Does it force one or two cores to process the audio directly rather than spreading the load around?

Personally, I’m more VSTi based and don’t really record audio, so I’d be interested to know if it affects me as such. From my quick test earlier, I could not really see a difference if it was on or off to be honest.

2012 will see me build a better DAW with either a P67 or Z68 based mobo with i7-2600K and another good Solid State drive inside my PC.

Neil.

You know, I have never clicked this ‘Steinberg Audio Power’ on because a window opens and spouts some dire warning about taxing your CPU. :cry: So I have now tried it, leaving the C6 CPU monitor up in an active project and it makes no difference that I can see visually. Why is this an option? Is it for older processors or what exactly? Anybody know?

Right. It’s a while since I’ve been through this so bear with.

PCs (I can’t talk about Macs) these days have a whole host of power-saving features built in and by default - i.e. out of the box - they are enabled (or always seem to be going by the posts). The big performance killer was Processor Power Management, as it is termed in Power Options. This includes Min and Max settings, which my Dell defaulted to 5% and 100%, and the PC varies its clock in between these two extremes, to suit the job. You can see this in Resource Monitor (just type this into the Start Menu to find it, the CPU speed is the blue line)

This does not suit Cubase because changing the speed takes time, of which you have none to spare. Once this had been realised (because back then no one knew what the hell was going on) Steinberg came up with Steinberg Audio Power, which creates a Power Profile of this name and runs it while Cubase is running. It is based on whatever Power Scheme you run normally and returns to this when you quit. It’s neat and you absolutely do need it.

So much for the history lesson. Try the manual for more details about what it changes.

There are other power-saving features, depending on BIOS, which you should try one at a time to see what happens.

Crotchety et all - Well, that box is not a good thing for me to check it turns out. I checked it and ran a project. What I noticed quickly is that, as I moved the curser back to a position with a mouse click on the bar header, I had audio clicks. Too, as I pressed the space bar to begin playback there was a click again.

So I unchecked the box and everything was good again. ??? It seems weird to know that some of you are checking this box and running with this feature when it is definitely not a good thing for my system. But I guess this is why it is an option. I’ll be moving into Win7 this next month and maybe this is geared for a different OS than XP? I’ll find out I guess…

It could be that Cubase 6 was simply not designed for XP. I ran it under XP like you, for several months, and have just jumped ship to W7. It sounds like it is more geared for laptops than desktops, but I make sure that in the BIOS, my “Intel Speedstep” feature is OFF, making sure that my 2.4GHz processor runs at 2.4GHz. When idling, it would clock-back to 1.6GHz. Sounds like the Steinberg Audio Power prevents this changing which would definitely induce audio-clicks.
Anyway, I’ll leave mine switched on for now.

Thanks for the replies. Good info.

Neil.

Yes, that is odd - or so I thought until you mentioned XP. C6 is indeed designed for W7, as is this feature. If XP Power Profiles allow you to change the CPU Min setting then you can do this but don’t expect C6 to do it automatically. You will have to remember to switch profiles manually.

Can I take this opportunity to talk about W7, seeing as you’re taking the plunge?

  1. Go for the Home Premium edition, you won’t need the networking extras that Pro gives you and, indeed, Pro seems to cause more problems, if anything.
  2. Go 64-bit. There are still some outstanding issues with some plugins and ReWire but they will not last forever and the benefit of having effectively unlimited RAM outweighs all other considerations for me. You can install both 64 and 32-bit versions of Cubase on a W7-64 and edit the same project on either, so that should get you round any plugin issues if the VST Bridge or JBridge don’t get you there. But VariAudio will kill 32-bit Cubase - can’t access enough RAM. It can struggle even on 64-bit.

On the second point, yes, +1. On the first though I have to disagree. I’ve not encountered any problems or read about ‘more problems’ whatsoever. On the other hand Pro has support for two physical CPUs, and Home Pre for one. Also, max RAM in Home Pre is 16 GB and 192 GB in Pro, further Pro has the backup to network service (useful when having a NAS), and is supported by MS until 2020 - five years longer than Home Pre. Check the comparison chart here at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7_versions

Luck, Arjan

Steinberg Audio Power also turns off core parking as well as speed step and power management for multicore cpus.

Hippo

Well, if that’s what you found then so be it, I am happy to stand corrected. It was an impression I had gathered from others’ posts on both XP and W7 but maybe it was coincidental. I didn’t realise Home was so restricted wrt RAM and CPUs but I’m not anywhere close to hitting those limits and I suppose I just wanted to make the point that HP has been perfectly good here. People have a tendency to rush out and buy stuff they don’t need.

Cheers,
C

Well thanks for the HP and 64 bit suggestions and I have already commited to it - because my current MB will only hold 8G of ram. And I do think it chicken shite of MS to limit the use of the OS to 1 or 2 computers, BTW, but OK. If I do pick up an i7 core desktop in the future I should be more than happy with 16G of ram for what I do, no worries.

My MB/Bios/OS has already been setup for no idling and no power saving features. Which means that Steinberg feature is definitely not for XP if it creates the issue it did. Kinda funny actually. But you know, it is kind of comforting to know that there are some definite Win7 features within C6. And, too, it is nice to actually see something in the software that would not be geared for XP - because up till now - I haven’t seen anything really. Oh well.