Need new CPU for DAW....multi-cores or higher GHZ???

I’m thinking about upgrading my recent DAW that I built about a year ago.

Its an AMD Phenom II x2 560 Black 3.3Ghz (AM3 socket). Since I’ve put it together, a lot has changed (as it always does) and I’m afraid to say, I may have forgotten some things that I’ve learned along the way.

Is it true, for DAWs, that multi-cores aren’t even really ideal, and that higher ghz’s are what we’re looking for? I remember reading about that before. I see all these affordable AMD x6 and x8 cores and wonder if I should even bother going that route.

Two things:

  1. Is the “multi-core support” option in “Devices” legit and all I need to take advantages of multiple cores?

  2. I use AMD’s “multi-core enhancer” or whatever…dl’d soon after I put this DAW together.

Some advise? I guess my budgets around $150…not even sure if it would be a significant upgrade over my 560, but some sales over at Newegg and TigerDirect just got me kinda thinkin about it.

THANKS!!! :smiley:

You’d be far better with an Intel than AMD.

Gimme a break…I dont want to get into an argument over Intel vs AMD (esp with a grand senior member). But saying that I’d be “far better with an Intel” is so stupid. I’ve had two AMD DAW’s and one Intel. They all performed great for what I needed them to do…and guess what? The AMD’s were CHEAPER. I think Intel’s are great, but bang-for-buck wise? I don’t know.

And u really think I’m gonna just tear my whole rig apart and go Intel…just cause u said that? I guess it’s cause u don’t know the answer to the question that u didn’t just answer it.

I wonder if Intel fan-boys have even used an AMD setup sometimes.

Sorry I’m so mad.:blush: :cry:

Anyways…so what I’ve learned on my own is that the answer is…“it depends” lol.

I just see some x4 3.5ghz cores and some x6 3.1ghz cores and can’t help but wonder.

bang for buck you can’t beat Intel I’m afraid, it’s nothing to do with being a fanboy as you say.

I’ve been building DAW’s for over 10 years and apart from the AMD opteron days Intel have been head and shoudlers ahead of the game.

AMD processors are fine but as things stand at the moment the i7 2600k is king of the hill bang for buck.


Many of them have. I’ve not used them in DAW world, but in my previous work all systems were AMD because our hardware manager’s decision system was:

  1. If at this specific moment AMD gives you more bang for the $$$ … we’ll by AMD.
  2. If at this specific moment Intel gives you more bang for the $$$ … there’s something better coming from AMD real soon now … so we should wait and not buy anything.

I appreciate ur advise and didnt really wanna lose my cool like that…sorry :unamused:

Anyhow, I wish my budget allowed $300 just for a cpu. And perhaps my next DAW will be Intel again this time. If my memory serves me somewhat correctly then, perhaps AMD has better offerings in the lower budget range ($150 and below)? Maybe that’s what I meant, as opposed to “bang-for-buck”. I know things in the CPU world change SO quickly, that’s just how I remembered it.

So, putting the AMD vs Intel debate aside…there really is no answer to my original question right? And I’m assuming that Cubase’s “multi-core support” does a good job?


Yes … it depends. Computer performance analysis is an art by itself. It always depends on what is your “workload” (the tasks your computer is running) and what what parts of different computer systems becomes a bottleneck while running this specific workload.

In this case I would go for x6 cores, if they are the same processor architecture as x4 cores AND memory access bandwith isn’t the bottleneck of your “workload” … but unfortunately that’s something we don’t know unless we try your your workload in the both systems. But I could make a bet (of 1 dime) x6 would be better for you.


Oh…and lol @…Saeco Odea Giro Espresso machine | BMW Z3 roadster | American Pit Bull Terrier

If you think the responses here are rough you could always post in the proper hardware forum and have Scott from ADK rip you a new one! :astonished:

As for more cores vs. more speed … why not both? Oh yeah, $150 budget.

Come on! Those are the most important things on making my music…
Espresso machine: Keeps me awake during my creative moment.
Z3: Let’s me to “drive off into the sunset” and listen to the melodies coming out of my head while wind is blowing in my ears.
The AD/HD Pit Bull: Well … She’s the one who tells me I’m a great guy whenever I feel depressed.

Jings, that was over the top!!! I was honestly saying that the latest Intel chips beat the AMDs hands down.

Sorry if that upset you!

Yeah I’m sorry too. Im at work and it’s been a slow day…shouldn’t even be posting on forums anyways LOL :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you everyone! :smiley:

Here, passmark is pretty much the only benchmark that matters for processors anymore.

Who cares about branding?
Depending on your budget range, AMD may be a better buy than Intel. If the sky’s the limit, Intel is the only answer.

Buffers size is the limit :wink:
When I max out my ASIO buffers size @ 64 samples my CPU hardly runs at 60%

Just built a new machine with this processor running Win 7 64 and 16 gig of memory with a SATA 3 SSD. Boots up in about 5-7 seconds and shuts down in about 3-5 seconds. NEVER seen anything this fast. This processor is a little more the OP wants to pay, but if it were me, knowing what I know now, I’d save the money until I could afford it.
It is king.


Agreed. I’ve had the i7 for 2 years now and this is the 1st PC in the 20 years I’ve used computers that was, and still is, able to easily do anything I throw at it. And since both the software and hardware development speed is finally slowing down (Moore’s Law is dead until we switch to quantum computing), buying a fast PC today is worth a lot more than buying one 5-10 years ago. And it lasts a lot longer.

So save your money, and buy a PC worthy of the name: Digital Audio Workstation :wink:

I’ll never buy Intel for DAW use because the sockets always change and I ain’t gonna throw good money after bad and rip up my motherboard every year or so, plus AMD always support the latest instruction sets so you’ll always get better performance overall when you look at what you actually spend on outlays and upgrades over time.

Hint: save your money for Steinberg :stuck_out_tongue:

Well I bit the bullet and bought a DAW put together by Rain Computers. It’s an AMD Phenom
6 core, 3.3ghz, 16g ram, Win7 64bit, etc.
So far it’s been stellar.

Still on a Phenom 9750, more than adequate for sequencing and triggering samples.