PC build for Cubase advice

Hi All,

My Dad has asked me to build him a PC for Cubase - around £1k budget.
I’m good with gaming PC specs - but is there anything i need to look out for with a Cubase-aimed machine?
for example - is it more Processor-heavy or RAM-heavy?
and - is it more about Single-core speed or Core-count?
Finally - is there a particular soundcard-range to go for? - i guess on-board sound won’t really cut it? (whereas for games/films/other uses on-board is usually fine).
Anything else i should think about?
He currently has my old PC (i5 3something, 8gb ddr3) linked up to some kind of Yamaha piano-thingy - but its only USB so don’t need midi as far as i’m aware.

Thanks in advance guys :smiley:

Hi Shokizm

Since you are in the UK, then try to visit https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/pro-audio-computers/

Here you can configure your PC to what ever you want. The DAW 100 is a good bid. Though I would ditch the spinning drive and replace it with a 1 TB samsung 970 EVO NVME.

As for sound card? Is that within the 1000 pounds budget? Because this is what makes the entire difference.

You can buy soundcards from about 100 pounds for some realy cheap stuff (that sounds like crap) up to Prism Sound that are expensive but sounds like a dream.

Regards

Many thanks :slight_smile:

I have the 9th gen i7 9700K 8c/8t , it’s a really good CPU for low latency workloads 8 real cores all running at 5Ghz …
Some folks mentioned that 8 gen 8700k 6c/12t is also a really good choice.

Hi
Just went through the excercise with some DAW-aware computer techies.
First, study this video…‘CPU Performance vs. Real-Time Performance in Digital Audio Workstations (DAW)’
at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUsLLEkswzE

The main issue with DAW PC’s is VST latency - you need to be able to lay down new tracks while your DAW is listening to lots of existing audio + VST instruments AND manages to keep the audio latence low enough not to drive you crazy. A system that’s good for gaming or video rendering will not necessarily be so great for a DAW.

What throws most computer experts off the mark is, most ‘powerful’ systems are good for heavy lifting (ie, rendering - think: Semi-trailer!), whilst a powerful system for a DAW needs a different kind of power - speed! (Think - Ferrari! V12) The holy grail for DAW systems is keeping the buffers low on your audio input whilst staying well short of any kind of VST clipping.

In practical terms, I found the i7 8700K with a Samsung M.2 Drive + 32GIG of ram (With extra money spent on getting a better quality motherboard & ample powersupply) did the trick. Win 10 is NOT DAW ready but with a good few hours of work can be made nimble, stable, spike-free and non-intrusive. (See my other recent post for details on how to fix win10, and lock it down so that Microsoft will not be able to undo all your good work with the next unnecessary upgarde).

Good luck

I built my signature for just over £900. My main goal was speed when preset browsing and silent operation.

Hi - digging this thread up again - #Maha I can’t find your post on making Windows 10 stable and DAW ready. Would you be so kind as to repost or PM me the link. Thanks G

WIndows 10 Pro is DAW ready. I just completed a season of TV shows on it so it’s fine.

If you feel the need to tweak anything the only things that are fairly easy and clear are:

  • Set the correct power plan for your computer (don’t let screens / drives go to sleep etc)
  • Defer feature updates by a year, defer ‘quality’ updates by a month, and trigger updates manually.

If you have problems with glitches or something then on the Windows side you can try to disable something like a built-in WiFi component (on the motherboard). There have been mentions also about gaming-specific ethernet controllers messing with audio.

But other than that there’s nothing to do to tweak the OS. It works fine. Spending an hour or more with some extensive list of tweaks isn’t going to improve things that much and you might end up with a system that’s actually less stable over time as a result.

Hi, I put my learning of building a DAW recently together in this video:
https://youtu.be/fiSGHWFVBnE