I’ve been playing with the new iMac Pro - 18 cores, 4TB SSD, 64GB RAM.
I tried something which I know would be very taxing for any computer - multiple instances of Ivory piano all playing simultaneously with a Nebula EMT reverb insert set to 5 seconds. Nebula is the real CPU killer there, especially with a long reverb.
I found that in Cubase 9.5 the maximum instances before audio breakup was 8, with the fan remaining silent.
That was better than 6 instances in Logic Pro X (so Cubase wins that battle!).
It also compared to 3 instances on my old 2014 5K iMac with Cubase 9.5 - and that quickly resulted in a loud fan.
SEPARATE MULTI-CORE USAGE TEST:
I found that with a very large taxing project all the cores were being used, so the load seemed to be spread well.
One old annoyance was jerky graphics on large projects. In comparison this is great. Large projects with a lot of visible waveforms scroll fine. You wouldn’t exactly call it buttery smooth but compared to the old iMac when it would slow to a crawl and break up the audio with a lot of parts and waveforms, it’s much better.
Another nice plus is its silence compared to the fans quickly firing up on heavy projects with the old iMac.
At least on this quick test the new computer has more than double the power of the old computer (2014 5K iMac) with CPU-heavy plugins. Also, Cubase 9.5 did better than Logic.
Note: they were all tested at 256 samples latency. For some reason on all tests the audio break-up was much worse either above or below 256 samples (maybe something to do with Nebula?).
Was it worth £10k+? Well, £2k is VAT which I’ll claim back, and if you think what the price of a 4TB 3GB/s SSD, 5K monitor, 18-core Xeon CPU and 64GB RAM would cost - you get what you pay for with this. Also, I’ll sell the old 5K iMac for more than £1k probably so the cost isn’t as bad as it sounds.
I could manage ok on the old computer but had to put up with a loud fan, a lot of track freezing and bad graphics performance in Cubase.
It’s not revolutionary - turns out heavy projects still need high latency and I’ll probably run into a need for track freezing once I have full orchestral hybrid projects running but well… it’s a solid upgrade and Cubase seems to be working well with it, touch wood!