Which computer (VEP slave) should be most powerful?

Hi everyone.

I currently have a Cubase/VEP5 machine consisting of a 5930K, Win7_64 bit with 64 Gigs of Ram (overclocked to a stable 4.5GHz air cooled) running 12 Hyperthreads (6 cores).

I use VEP5 which is loaded with several hundred instances of PLAY, Halion and other instruments.

When connected to my master Cubase template (with an Instrument track connected to each instance within the VEP5 server), VEP5 is between 70-80 percent of the CPU, (and is around 45Gigs in size), while Cubase 8.5Pro is between 14 and 20 percent of the CPU (and is around 10 Gigs in size). You guessed it - outta CPU! Now I would never play this number of VST’s, but I want to use the big Cubase template to be able to open and remove unneeded instrument when I am working on a new score. Each Instrument Track MIDI lane plays the lowest/highest note for the VST, as well as all Key Switches available for the VST, and also all multi timber notes via Midi-Channels (think vocal articulations like ah, ee, ooo, oh, etc). Doing this gives immediate information within Cubase as to what any given VST has to offer.

I am looking for advice on what to buy for a slave, and which machine to run Cubase on?
My thoughts are a 5960X with 8 cores, 64 Gigs of DDR4 (but have concerns about the lower base clock and possible lower overclocking), versus something like the 6700K with 64 Gigs of DDR4, which has half the cores but has a higher base clock and probably a better long term life with overclocking. I believe the 6700K has smaller L1, L2 and L3 caches but don’t know how much that would matter? Since the motherboard for either has more PCI lanes that the X79 board that I currently have I am wondering which machine should run Cubase, and which machine should run VEP5 Server.

Any thoughts/comments would be very highly appreciated!
This is a machine that I have been saving for the better of 2 years and I want to get it right.
Thank you in advance for any help you can toss my way!

You could have the most powerful PC in the universe - if Cubase doesn’t like it - it’ll run like a dog.

How do you tell if Cubase likes it? Who knows. Some machines have no problems other seemingly more powerful machines are unusable due to CPU spiking. Given the finicky (quite frankly flaky) nature of Cubase it’s about time Steinberg issued an authorised hardware list - ie a setup they qualify is being 100% compatible with Cubase - I’d buy the setup like a shot. My PC isn’t the last word in performance - but it’s decent enough and runs largish projects on Mixbus 3 and Reaper like a dream with the PC hardly breaking a sweat. Unfortunately - you guessed it - my preferred DAW doesn’t like my machine and I have regular fights with stutters, clicks, pops and CPU overloads during export. This situation has got steadily worse since 7.5. Although I must say, I have seen an improvement with 8.5.10 - the first step in the right direction (for me, CPU wise) since Cubase 6.

I’m in a similar situation. I’ve been running a VEP template and Cubase on the same system. Doesn’t seem to matter if I use VEP or use Cubase, either way I’m up against the wall, running at 2048 sample buffer and getting dropouts periodically. Maybe I need to roll back to Windows Vista and Cubase 6.

If I do decide to get a slave, the i7 2600 or 2600k looks promising and seems to be a good bang for the buck in terms of CPU. I am doubtful about getting a slave though, because any of this could change with software updates and new releases. And each day I wait, PCs get faster and cheaper.

I can only speak for PC, Unfortunately it isn’t as predictable simple nor easy to gage PC over PC performance increase with Cubase x.x as it use to be in my experience for some of the reasons listed by other replies, Cubase 7x vs 8.x vs the next iteration show swings in behavior. I found out the hard way and had to send back my haswell computers. In all fairness Some of this is due to PC’ s are now much more complex with more options and variables, back in the day it was as simple as knowing the increase in the Intel chips performance benchmark.

I would go with the fastest CPU , highest CPU bus and motherboard throughput and fast SSD drives you can afford. Less emphasis on how many cores.

Use a vendor with a 30 day return policy.