System/CPU Performance of N7 vs N8

Hi all. Starting a new thread to have a look at this, scientifically, since there are many changes between N7 and N8 and their updates, especially on OSX.

So I invite any interested to report the findings on their system(s). I would request a more definitive report than “the meter seems higher” if possible. Here is my experience today:

Just ran some pretty comprehensive tests with heavy loads comparing Nuendo 7.1.30 to Nuendo 8.1.10.

On my system (specs in sig) I pulled up a 210 track session with heavy plugin use. I added an additional 240 instances of BX Digital V3 to increase the load to approx 66% mark on the VST Performance Average indicator. Running RME MADI at 128 samples at 48K. All settings in Device Setup were identical including ASIO-Guard Level, etc. Same identical session compared on both. Keep in mind I run 32 Stereo and 64 Mono physical Output Busses and that presents additional VST load that most would not have in a standard setup.

On my system, N8 performed 5-10% better than N7:

  1. VST Performance Average was close to the same for both (poor graduations on that indicator, no?).
  2. VST Performance Realtime (spikes) was lower and less “bouncy” on N8.
  3. Overall CPU usage (8 core Intel I-5960X with 16 threads) in Windows Task Manager was approx 5-7% lower on N8 with less variations.
  4. Use of CPU cores was even with both, except for one core higher on obviously single threaded processes, but both the same there as well.
  5. Most tellingly, I looped the most demanding 64 bars of the song (heavier Virtual Inst use). N8 was able to loop that without ever spiking into red or any audio artifacts. N7 was not and would spike into red on about every other pass with a complete momentary dropout at that point.

On my system, N8 is definitely better than N7 on VST/audio performance. By 5-10% repeatably. I would encourage those concerned to load a large session and push it to the brink on N7 and then check the performance on N8. Add plugins until one version begins to dropout then save and open that same session on the other Nuendo version. That is the only real way to know, since the VST Performance metering is variable and not so precise.

I also repeated the same test comparing HDD vs SSD based drive as the project folder (audio source) just to check on that variable. The test I list above was with HHD. Switching to SSD, N7 no longer spiked into red or had audio dropouts. The spikes on N7 were still a good bit higher than N8 but now low enough not to cause complete dropout, so obviously the session was on the edge of the system’s capacity at than latency. N8 definitely had lower spikes when playing from SSD as well. Not too surprising but my point is there are many variables to consider even on the same system. For instance, all else being equal, an SSD will yield better Nuendo performance, depending on audio track count.

Of course, different types of projects (for instance more or less virtual instruments vs audio plugins or HDD vs SSD) may obviously have different results. But you will only really know by pushing the system to the edge and and then seeing which Nuendo version survives the heaviest load. For me, that is N8 under a controlled test.

Anybody else ready to geek out enough to test and report?

Quick update:

Left N7 vs N8 looping for an hour each on the SSD version. N7 eventually dropped out. N8 never did. Ultimately, that is the acid test, is it not?

Again, this is on my system, which is admittedly not the norm. it would be good to get more cases and especially from OSX since those users are probably the most impacted by the update, in terms of performance.