Visited dawbench recently

and was appalled that there is still SUCH a performance gap between Windows and OS X.
The test was done with 5.5 but this was the version to bring major performance improvements/multi core utilization to OS X.

I don’t want to whine but just ask:
Why is there still such a big difference? Will it ever improve or was that it?


Yes, a PC with Windows 7 are more powerful (AND cheaper) than a Mac with MacOS. Even though they have the same hardware specifications. Someone might call that a reason not to get a Mac if you are in need in as much processing power you can get right now for your software (I use 90-95% CPU in most projects).

They could do with picking better colours for their graphs!

I know that a PC is better for Cubase but my point is: SO much? After the so called optimizations?


We use both Macs and PCs in our large television productions. It’s been my experience that Nuendo is badly optimized for multicore. Pull up Activity Monitor with the CPU window showing all cores - on our 4 core systems with HT the eight virtual cores are badly utilized with only the odd numbered cores actually getting much use. Core 1 is utilized more than any others by a substantial amount. Our 6 core and 12 core systems are even worse.
I’m well familiar with the multicore issues and scaling but it’s simple to see in OSX it’s not done well. I know it CAN be done better as there are some other near-real-time applications under OSX that do it well. There are differences between Windows and OSX but Nuendo performance in OSX is not as good as it could be compared to Nuendo performance in Windows.

This is separate from the low-latency discussions where the difference becomes even worse - CoreAudio has issues with very low latencies.

We’‘ve used Nuendo ever since it came out for the Mac and I appreciate it very much, it’s generated us much income and satisfaction in a job done well. Therefore my criticism is about improvement. It’s my opinion that the optimizations necessary for any dsp app in any OS are better done for Windows than in OSX. It’s been the complaint among Mac users for many years that Nuendo is “PC-centric”, whatever that really means, and while I don’t tend to use vague terms it sort of describes the underlying dsp optimizations done for Windows that are not as familiar to Steinberg under OSX. OSX may not meet Windows’ performance, but it’s better than Nuendo currently indicates.

My opinions after many years using everything,

HI Hugh,

actually if you look at your PCs vs your Apples you will see a far better load balance of multithreading on the windows systems.
this is NOT due to Steinberg coding (or inability to code) but Win vs OSX and how they thread. i bet your older apples do better as well

i can see the same issue acrross mulitple software for both audio and video.
video shows the worst (more demanding and will use more cores)

case in point Apple Pre nahamlem dual Xeon vs nehalem (when HT was introduced again)
Adobe ran better on 8 cores of an older slower system than 16(8 "HT"ed cores) on a newer faster system

OSX had no clue what to do with all those cores…
while improved its still true even with Lion.

That’s interesting. So it’s a matter of OS X then? It lacks best possible utilization of cores? Lion did not improve a lot, did it? I’m still on 10.6

But doesn’t that mean that Apple is incapable to code?
So no further performance boosts for Cubase and the other video/audio apps until Apple solves it. And shouldn’t they have a very high interest in doing so? Obviously not if they continue to focus more and more on consumers and iOS. I like OS X, but…

Hello Scott,
Thanks for the information, I thought there were some near real time apps that multithreaded well on OSX, I may be mistaken.