Upgrading MOBO and CPU for film scoring, 2600 or wait for BD

Hey all,

Film scoring has been very difficult lately with my current system, so I need to upgrade before I can dish out thousands upon thousands for my dream 12 core mac.
I’d also like to state that I’m very aware that SSD for sample streaming is essential, especially libraries like HW strings, but it’s not on the list right now, I’m focusing on a mobo and cpu to hold me off.

Current Specs:

Cubase 6 64x
Windows 7 ultimate 64x
cpu: Phenom ll X3 720 tri core, 2.8ghz
memory: 16 gigs of ram, gskill 1600
mobo: ma790xt ud4p BE
two 1tb drives 7200 RPM


  1. Should I upgrade to the 2600k instead of the Bulldozer? I feel bulldozer will still not be as powerful, though logically 8 true cores are better than 4 true/4 logical cores.
    The sandy can be OCd to 4gz easily, and I’m assuming the 8 core BD will be able to be OC’s to at least 5 on air.

  2. Would it be more versatile to get an intel mobo? That way I could get a 2600k and possibly a hexa core in the future, or the Ivy E bridge.

    I kind of feel if I get an amd AMD+ mobo, I’m stuck with them, and will have to hope for the best in the future.

Now if AMD was making regular consumer dual bulldozer server cpus, with same clock speeds, my mind would be made up!
The new amd server cpu’s aren’t ideal for music.

  1. what makes you think a 12 core mac is the ideal answer? trust me its not (unless you are using Logic)
  2. SSD is NOT essential not even close. whilst nice to have its not a requirement. better to split your libraies over a few drives.
  3. more cores is also NOT better in many cases GHz is king on most respects, particularly VSTi

you are asking about bulldozer when we have nothing to go by (benchmarks) based on previous AMD performance i doubt it will be close to Intel offers. dont forget as soon as AMD launches Intel is right behind with the newer Sandy Bridge E. so AMD will absoultely not be the right choice.

with all that said the best present processor is the 2600k running @ 4.5GHz+

the only downside is the limit of 16gig. while good for many it may not be enough for film composing.
there is now 8 gig sticks DDR3 but they are not cheap (yet) ($430 for 16gig)

the upcoming bulldozer and Sandy E will have the same issues.
while there are some boards showing 8 slots of ram for Sandy E all that remains to be seen as working.

if you can wait Nov should be interesting.

Why Logic only? Doesn’t cubase 6 now support up to 12 cores?
The most important thing about the 12 core is how it’s dual cpu, which is great for avoiding multiple slave computers.

Also those 8gig ram sticks are not 1600 yet, and when they finally are they will be even more expensive. I also don’t like kingston, one of the only providers right now.

I guess I’ll be waiting for this, but I think it will be around when sandybridge E is here:

Also does cubase work better with HT or true cores?
You say the 2600 will probably be better than the 8core BD, but what about strictly in cubase?

When it comes out, I doubt anyone using cubase will even run tests or buy the thing.

I guess I should wait for this, and then upgrade from the 2600k to the Sandy E’s


you are under the assumtion that more cores is better than more GHz. yes Cubase supports many cores.

  1. All cross platform software particularly Cubase preform better on windows than OSX. this is a fact.
    so that makes Apple a non starter unles you like paying more $ for less performance.

  2. dual processor does not mean 2 x the power more like 25-40% depending on the app.

  3. it takes at least dual 2.8 to 2.93GHz Dual 12 cores to beat a SINGLE 2600 or 980/990. and that system will be more than 2 x the cost. sounds like stupid spending to me… better off to buy 2 2600 systems and slave 1

  4. for VSTi GHz is better than core count.

there is most certainly 8 gig 1600
not that i trust Adata… but at least its out now… will be seeing much more of it coming out with sandy E being released shortly

Thanks for clearing that up!

But here is where I’m really torn…

I’m looking at the 2600k and Asus P8P67 pro, this combo would run me around $600, and I would have to wait a couple years to upgrade to 32 gigs of ram when more practical.


The x79 and Core i7-3930K is looking really sexy, and with 8 dimm slots I can get away with 32 gigs, 8 x 4gb.
Intel says November for this cpu chip and Mobo, and this combo will likely be around $1100, estimating the mobo will be around $500.

Should I wait? These new chips may OC well above 5gz with the new technology, and of course an extra 2 cores with HT.

I also heard speculation of an 8 core of the Sandy E, you mentioned this leap wouldn’t be beneficial, and I don’t see an 8 core listed here:


Would love your thoughts, and if you think performance factor will be worth an extra 600 dollars.!

i have 2 of the new processors right now but no Mobo to tet with yet argghh…

from what i have read on the interweb the performance gains are not that much over present sandy.
but i have to take that with a grain of salt as often my tests for audio/video do not equal what is posted in hardware review sites.
but based on 2600,vs 980,vs the newer 6 core i am not all that excited
but it was also expected. the Sandy E are not NEW (as in architecture) processors they are just bigger brothers to what we have now (2600)

the thing to be noticing however is the quad memory bandwidth its a much bigger jump than i was expecting vs tri channel.
this part will be good for film scoring.

with that said considering the very slow system you are on now the 2600 would be a light yr jump
and the 2 month wait and price difference why wait

Well I have to wait until November regardless for the mobo.
I also use a lot of FX, sends, and massive synth libraries like spectrasonics.
I was expecting the 6 core OC’d to 5 to be a great improvement from a quad Sandy OC’s to 4.5.