Potential Processor Issues?

I recently got a new computer, and have installed Cubase 6 Elements on it for some recording. I have, however, since run into a few issues. Whenever I get more 4/5 audio tracks running - either audio, with things like Guitar Rig on them, or some VST instrument tracks - the CPU usage gets to about 90% +, and the audio begins cutting out. My external sound card is a PreSonus Audiobox, and this is my computer spec:

Asus E35M1-M PRO Motherboard with EFI BIOS
1600 Mhz Dual Core CPU (512k cache x2)
4GB DDR3 (1x 4GB, 1 Slot free) operating at 1333Mhz, 1.5V
500GB SATA 2 Hard Drive
DVD-RW SATA Optical Drive
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 x64 bit edition - genuine DVD + COA
Gigabit Ethernet
6 USB 2 Ports
2 USB 3 Ports
6 SATA 3 Ports, 1 eSATA
PCI-E 16 x 1 (Operates at 4x)
PCI x 2
CPU Integrated Radeon 6310HD Graphics (512MB Shared) with DVI, HDMI and VGA outputs
APU = CPU+GPU has a total TDP of just 18 watts!
350 watt BeQuiet PSU - rated at 80%+ efficiency

These are the Windows Experience Index scores obtained by this system:
Processor: 3.9
Memory: 4.9
Aero Graphics: 4.1
Gaming Graphics: 5.6
Hard Drive: 5.9

I ran into the same issue when I briefly used PreSonus Studio One, whilst waiting for Cubase to arrive, so it’s not directly Cubase that is the issue. Does anyone know if this is caused by poor processors, or is it possible that the DAW is setup in a way that it has a very high CPU usage? I’d rather not buy a new P.C, and because of the intergrated Motherboard/processors, an upgrade on that front would be so expensive it’s only worth buying a new computer.

Also, I’m new here, so to briefly introduce myself, Hi, I’m Karl.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Try disabling all visual effects in Windows, because your CPU and GPU are sharing the same physical processor.

Hi, thanks for the reply.

Any chance you could explain how to do that please? I can be a bit of a novice sometimes :slight_smile:.

Also, is this likely to free up the CPU usage etc, enough for Cubase to run well, and have quite a few audio tracks running. If not, I think I may just have to go down the ‘new computer’ route. :confused:

The quick way is to go to rightclick on your desktop, click personalize and select one of the ‘basic and high contrast’ presets. Afterwards you can select your desktop image again etc, but those presets should disable all the fancy animations and transparent borders.

Your pc is not the best, but it should be able to run a fair amount of tracks. Try increasing the buffer size a little in your ASIO driver, to give your PC some more time to process the audio. Freeze tracks when you are done editing them. This renders the resulting audio to a file and disables the plugins on that track. You can’t edit a frozen track, but it saves on CPU. Just unfreeze the track again if you want to make edits to it.

Oh right, I’ll try that out, thanks.

The main problem is that that seems a pretty laborious thing to keep doing to keep doing to every track, especially if I’m still going to be unable to run a decent amount tracks. It seems quite inevitable that I should look for an upgrade.

Due to the fact that I thought that spec should be sufficient to run a DAW decently, I’m a bit stuck as to what spec I should be looking for. Any idea if it was just the processors holding me back? It definitely wasn’t the RAM or HDD rpm, so I can only assume it’s the DAW itself, of the processors.

Is this sort of spec good for DAW’s? Or do I need an even higher spec?

Processor Intel Core i5-2320

  • 3.0Ghz
  • Quad-Core
  • 6MB cache memory
    Operating System Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    RAM 4GB, DDR3, 1333MHz, Expandable up to 8GB
    Graphics card Intel HD 2000
    Hard drive 1TB, 7200rpm, SATA2


  • 3.0Ghz
  • Quad-Core
  • 6MB cache memory
    Operating System Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    RAM 4GB, DDR3, 1333MHz, Expandable up to 8GB
    Graphics card Intel HD 2000
    Hard drive 1TB, 7200rpm, SATA2

I have a similar spec machine to this (apart from the Intel graphics - I run NVidia)), and have very few performance problems running 44khz/24-bit arrangements with maybe -

40-60 tracks
approx 25% tracks MIDI with virtual instruments
approx 75% tracks audio with maybe 2 or3 VST effects often on most channels

So to answer your question, it seems like a reasonable spec.

Your Windows Experience Index cpu subscore of 3.9 is the problem.

My Asus 1201N netbook has a cpu subscore of 3.3. I can get Cubase 6 to run on the netbook and it will even run a couple of vsti tracks and audio tracks with crackles - but it’s not what I’d call a DAW.

My old AMD dual core desktop, not what you’d call a powerhouse these days, has a cpu subscore of 6.3. I suspect that your processor is very underpowered. The system specs you suggest with a quad core Intel will I’m sure be absolutely fine, and give you considerably more cpu power than you currently have.