Planning an high performance VST setup - looks good?

Hi everyone.

I’m planning to upgrade hardware around next summer and thought it’s better to plan in advance.
Is there something I should keep in mind here when building a high performance setup? Any tips are more than welcome.

I was planning on building the setup in roughly these specs:

CPU: Intel 8 physical core (or better) processor (Ice Lake?) - K-model (or similar) that is overclockable
RAM: 64GB DDR4 (3200MHz or better)
OS / DAW SSD: Intel Optane SSD (PCI-E) for Windows, DAWs and Plugins (.dlls)
Main Library SSD: 2-4TB of M.2 SSD (Eg. Samsung 960) for performance hungry libraries
Library/Sample/Loop SSD: 2-4TB of “budget” SSD for less performance hungry libraries and assets

Your computer will be monster beast at performance but it doesnt mean 100% it will run as a charm with Cubase.
Edit: check and see commun builds and how they eprform then compare these info to your knowledge of how Cubase is built to work and you will be fine.

Just bought i7 8700k 3.7ghz overclock at 4.9ghz stable with 2x8gb ram at 3200mhz with pcie nvme m.2 1to drive with also an other normal ssd. Asus z370 prime A motherboard.

The audio performance is better than my 5 years old i7 2600 3.4ghz 2x4gb ram at 1333mhz and a Asus P8P67LE something motherboard…

My new beast installed windows 10 in like 10 minutes and runs faster than i can give it tasks to do but with Cubase it seemed nothing changed for the better!! - Until I swap my SSD from the old to thenew computer and make elaborate tests!!!

I found that with the new computer I can run a song at 32 buffer size with the same firewire 10 years old audio interface. I get 3 ms total latency!
I also found that I can export twice as fast at the audio mixdown stage on minimum and maximum buffer sizes.

Soon, I will post a detailed video series on YouTube to publish those useful Audio Performance Tests between the old and new computer in Cubase 9.5

I never buy ASUS boards again. They have always got audio performance and Spike issues. I used them for over 20 years, always thought they were the benchmark, the one to beat, but it seems they are not.
I had many and opened many “latency problem, spikes” topics, once tried MSI, everything just ram buttery smooth.
There is something in their biosses that goesn’t fare well with high end realtime stuff.

I think some builders have had quite the opposite experience with ASUS though. If I remember correctly there’s at least one on Gearslutz that said that. It could be that there’s some other common denominator (a card/driver perhaps?) that gives people problems. Or a particular use-case.

That aside, on the Intel platform I’d urge builders to pay attention to the layout of PCIe-lanes. On AMD’s new platform’s there are more lanes going straight into the CPU, especially on Threadripper, whereas on Intel’s “consumer” platforms a lot of the peripherals go through the chipset which is limited to x4. So someone building with multiple m.2 nvme drives and thunderbolt and sata for example might end up not being able to theoretically use all of the bandwidth of each individual device at the same time, because (again theoretically) a single m.2 nvme drive can saturate that one connection to the CPU.

I would build x299 / i9 only, shoots AMD straight out of the water multicore performance wise. Quad channel memory too.
But AMD is great at it’s pricepoint

Well, if the budget is low-end i9 x299 I think Threadripper does better, possibly with the one exception of VSTi instrument use at 128 sample buffers or lower, which in many cases probably doesn’t matter at all.

hey guys, I edited my first post because I spoke too quickly last time. I made elaborate etsts to compare a 5+ years old i7 2600 to a new i7 8700k PC and came up with surprising good news.

MSI stuff is usually built to “off-the-shelf” reference designs, ie they don’t fart around with design specs looking for headline figures - they build the hardware as per the original design standards - not surprising as their main business is making OEM boards and boxes.