Quad Core or Six Core. How is C7 optimized?


I want to know if there is a big advantage in having a 6 core processor vs a quad-core when it comes to Cubase 7.

The two processors in question are:

Intel Core i7-4930K Ivy Bridge-E 3.4GHz LGA 2011 130W Six-Core

& the Haswell:

Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5GHz LGA 1150 84W Quad-Core

I would like to know if Cubase will benefit a lot from another 2 cores or not for my next PC build


Aloha S, and here we go again.

When it comes to DAW use, is it more cores or more speed?
Or both?

Over the years I have read articles supporting both (or all three) positions.

Interested to see how this current discussion ‘shakes out’.


I don’t know the answer to your question but I think more frequency means better ASIO performance.

Haswell will do great and at 84watts it will be very quiet indeed if you spend a little on some nice cooling.
You might even get it semi Passive.

I have an iMac with a 3770 and its remarkable how the whole system only has one fan.

I payed handsomely for a 6 core extreme processor a few years back… It was way more than double the cost of the quad core, but I thought I’d take a punt. Although I can’t put any metrics to my statements, it does run very smoothly even when I’m loading heavily in a complex project. Plugins are generally spread evenly throughout the cores because parallel processing works well in the DAW environment, so this really does give you another 2 processors to run plugins. I think that delivers a significant increase in CPU power worth having if you want to pay the extra money. I run mine in hyperthreading mode too, so that’s 12 processors available, but I’ve never bothered to check if that’s really worthwhile or not :slight_smile:


hi, i been using a 6 core 2010 mac for 2 years now and found that your core audio /asio can max out long before the 6 processors get fully used, i have had the asio meter clipping on a project with 512 samples using mr816x .checked the
activity monitor and I’m using only 30% of my processors. but thats all down to what plugins you use also as i have has a project where i got higher cpu usage without asio overload. but the 6 core is the one to have as its the most cores per cpu .

I use MACosx 10.8.4 running a 3930k overclocked to 4.2Ghz. 64Gb Ram, and 4 x 6Gbs SSDs. Those three elements give me blistering performance using only VST instruments.

I also work at 96khz / 24bit which drives my latency down to around 2ms. I’m tracking with direct monitoring off using Waves channels strip plugins and Rverb which add just 1 sample of latency. Very stable too.

My advice, if it’s your passion/business or whatever life is short! Buy the fastest system you can afford. Use SSDs (especially for samples/VSTis if you can only afford one). Get as much RAM as possible).

Hope this helps.

If you have a sound card with a good driver like rme, it will use all 6 cores fully.

I don’t think a 6-core is worth the extra price. If you need extra power, simply buy two quad-core machines and sync them via Vienna Ensemble Pro (no need to buy an extra copy of Cubase and no need to buy a second audio interface, all you need is a $5 network cable and you’re good to go.)

The two computers + VEP will cost you roughly like a 6-core machine (assuming you’re capable of self-building, with today’s easy-snap components, even a trained monkey could do it…), but the sum of the two will be MUCH more powerful than a single 6-core. I have four machines on my VEP network, but in truth I rarely use more than two, even if my demands are pretty steep (orchestral mockups for film music.)

Only good for MIDI.

What about audio?
I run at 192k on an i920 and it does not get very far with CPU-intensive plugins. All SSDs means Cubase’s disk meter doesn’t show any activity.

I am considering going for a dual E5-2687W system, using one CPU initially to increase capacity for immediate needs, but add the other for future capacity or even concurrent video recording.

Since version 5, VEP works with audio too, through the audio/event input plugin.

How much latency does it add across GbE?

I am on 1ms+ for record and 2.5ms for playback at this time.

There is no discernible latency. VEP has some kind of compensation mechanism.