What are the tradeoffs between these CPUs

I’m starting to look at replacing my PC. Given the CPU options below I was wondering what folks thought were the tradeoffs between them? I’m under the impression that Cubase can only effectively use a limited number of cores.


The place to go for your kind of info is probably Gearspace.com. There are people posting on that site who build music computers for a living. But, these days, they MIGHT be somewhat prejudiced towards AMD, just so you know.

Thanks for the reply & link. But I’m not really trying to sort out which CPUs in general are better for Cubase. I mean between these specific choices.

These are all basically the same device with different numbers of cores. So I guess the real question is - are more cores always better or is there a drop-off in improvement as the number increases. And if there is, then which of these would fit that tradeoff best.

Well, I don’t know what to tell you. I see discussions about just your sort of topic take place on GS all of the time, particularly on the music computers forum. Why not post your question on GS and see what happens? I don’t see how you could possibly do any worse than you’re doing here. It’s up to you, of course.


I’ve since done some additional google searching on “cpu cores cubase.” Three or four years ago there were lots of folks advising against getting more than 12 (I think) cores. But more recently lots of folks are running way above that without issue. The impression I got is that the changes in both Windows & Cubase removed the limitation.

Over the past 5-6 years or so, my personal experience has been that all my audio software (Cubase, WaveLab, Reaper, RX, Melodyne etc.) works better with higher CPU than with more cores, e.g. 2GHz+ base frequency plus 3.5-4GHz “boost”/“turbo” preferable to more cores – and I also no longer want “hype”-r threading (the clue is in the name).

good one.

So regarding the list I first posted, your point suggests that the first option (10 Cores @ 3.7GHz) is likely a better choice than the last option (18 Cores @ 3.0GHz) and a bunch cheaper too.

Yes, I’d be inclined towards the higher clock speed; Steinberg now also recommend disabling hyperthreading (under “Tweaking the computer”).

Worth checking also the requirements of your favorite instruments.
Multithreading is a tricky thing for these, and some software developers avoid it.

For example, I use UVI Falcon which is not multithreaded so it certainly only benefits from higher clock speeds (but, of course, using more instances on more tracks will benefit from multi-threading, so choose your priorities).

Another example: I was checking the docs for MSoundFactory and, while it does support multi-threading, the developer advises that activating it can sometimes result in degraded performance, instead of improved. Tricky stuff indeed.

That’s not really what they’re saying though:

"Modern systems with a fully updated Windows 10 should not need any of the default settings to be modified. However, if certain drivers are not fully optimized and you experience audio drop-outs, it is worth having a closer look. "

So it’s a possibility that if people have problems then it makes sense to troubleshoot and try to increase performance. It’s not necessarily true that it makes sense for all people on all modern computers in all cases.

I really don’t think it’s that simple. The problem we had with Cubase/Nuendo earlier at least was that as the amount of threads went above (I think) 14 things got weird. Steinberg said they ‘improved’ that behavior. I’m not sure if it’s completely solved or mostly solved. So that’s the thing about the actual ‘problem’. And mind you that 14 threads when using hyperthreading means half the amount of cores, which in turn means it used to be a problem with any CPU with 8 cores and up, which in turn means that even if you choose a 10 core CPU today if the improvement isn’t there you’d have a problem with 18 and only 10 cores (unless you turn off multi-threading).

And then I agree with digitallysane that it’s worth checking requirements. It’s possible I think to have a project where you create a long chain of heavy processing where if it lands on a single core you reach a bottleneck unless the core is fast enough. But it’s also possible to have chains that are ‘less heavy’, but sessions that are ‘wider’ with more tracks, and in those cases it’s likely that more cores are better even if they’re slower.

It might be worth it to get a few more cores if the price is right, meaning that you might not be in trouble just because the all-core base clock is 200Mhz slower because you’d simultaneously gain by having 2 or 4 more cores. Also, the turbo is only a 100MHz difference which I guess applies if you leave the CPU at stock.

Thanks @MattiasNYC that helps clarify how the tradeoffs interact.

Well the price seems to be $100 & 200Mhz for 2 cores

You might want to read this article for some insight:

Higher speed always worked for me. For the love of god stay away from gearsluts. lol The worst mods in history of the net on that shite.

good luck

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