Will this spec work for large plugin-heavy projects?

Hi Everyone,

I am building a new studio computer. I wanted to get a gut-check to see if what I am building is likely to serve my needs.

My goals is to be able to run a 20 - 40 track project where each track could have an SSL-E channel strip from waves and potentially 3 - 4 additional plugins. I want to mix entirely in the box, using (Cubase 9.5) with the exception of guitar/bass tones (using Axe FX). I use Superior Drummer for drums and want to be able to use EastWest orchestral tracks if needed.

So, with fairly heavy needs, this is what I am speccing:

  • i7-8700K at 3.7ghz (6 cores, 12 threads) - max turbo frequency is 4.7ghz
  • 32GB DDR4 RAM (not sure about speed yet)
  • 1TB SSD
  • ASRock Z370 Extreme4 motherboard
  • BeQuiet case, PSU, and CPU coolers
  • I will also use a decent graphics card (likely a mid-range gaming card) - I will be dual screen

Do you think this kind of spec would be able to allow me to run large projects with so many plugins?

Also, I read about Windows 10 having some limitations with multi-core processors due to a limited amount of logical cores. Would the i7-8700K be affected by this?

Thanks, all!

I would use a ASUS board instead, they seem to have better DPC performance in general.
Only one drive ?
I would use a
512Gb M.2 drive for OS
1 Tb SATA SSD for samples.
256Gb SATA SSD for recording
4Tb SATA rust drive for storing/backup
Depends on your needs, im not a heavy VSTi user but have enough sample based instruments to fill up a 1Tb drive.
I use a 256Gb drive for recording, when I’m done with the project I dump it to my storage drive.
Don’t think you can use more than one M.2 drive on that chipset, even if there a more M.2 slots they start sharing connections and that leads to bottlenecks, or even worse dropouts.
Just something I would research before buying.

I agree with motherboard but not only ASUS but also Gigabyte and MSI are good boards. For general computer usage, best RAM speed considering performance vs cost will be around 3000 or 3200MHz, however for DAW usage it won’t really matter anything. Make sure to get a good quality PSU though.
The 8700K will be fine and doesn’t have enough cores to be affected by the issue you have heard about, if it is an issue at all.

Yes, you have to be really careful in choosing a board and chipset when you’re planning to use more than one m.2 drive. The Asrock X299 Taichi for instance has 3 slots but you loose expansion slots and sata ports when you do. First decide what you need and download the manual(s) and investigate this before buying.

For massive I/O with fewer conflicts Threadripper is clearly better. I doubt that will be needed here though, and my hunch tells me the 8700k will be fine.

I think the 8700K will be just fine. Just investigate first as suggested by others. Consider that you will need one of the more expensive motherboards and also consider that you probably wont mind loosing a few sata ports and pcie slots as you won’t be using them all anyway.