Hi forum. I have to buy a new PC and Windows 11 seems the way forward. I have read that Cubase Elements 11 is compatible but just wanted to ask you guys out there for any suggestions as to what spec of PC to get for the job (which definitely works.)
Intel i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 (or i5 / Ryzen 5 if you’re definitely on a budget, but never go lower)
16 GB RAM is the bare minimum not only for Cubase but also for your whole PC.
The more RAM the better for larger projects with a lot of audio tracks. If you work on small projects or just make EDM with virtual instruments, then 16 GB is enough but I’ll personally go with 32 GB. Unless you’re doing very large orchestral pieces, 32 GB is more than enough for all of the common genres.
I suggest as always to look at audio pc makers. Either buy from them or use their spec to make one. They have tested how the components work together. I use SCAN in the UK.
if you press my username you’ll see computer specs that have worked wonderfully with Cubase 11 Pro, both on Windows 10 and 11.
Currently running Cubase 12 on windows 11. The OS is very stable but got some issues still with Cubase 12, hopefully be solved soon.
Exactly, the best is to build the PC by yourself.
You didn’t say if it is a Desktop or a Laptop.
Keep in mind that if it is a laptop, an i7 CPU will have much lower performance than a desktop i7 ! If you buy a laptop, go for i7, don’t buy an i5 (or AMD equivalent).
Also AMD GPUs show better performance in audio production than the Nvidia ones thanks to their “lighter” drivers.
Thanks so much for your input, guys. I’m much clearer now!
If we are talking about desktop PC I would recommend Intel 12th gen Alder Lake i5 (minimum) or i7 (best choice) or i9 (of course is top spec one), or AMD 5800x, 5900x and 5950x - those are all 2 years old now but still are considerable as great choice as multi core performance is excellent. Or you can wait for new AMD Zen4 platform which will implement DDR5 memory (but knowing all those chip shortages and increased price for DDR5 as a new technology it could be not best choice right now).
For CPUs like Alder Lake you will need good cooler as those chips are power hungry and are very hot.
Of course very important is PSU. I would recommend Corsair and Seasonic brands.
650-850W would be sweet spot 80+ Gold or Platinum ones (with japanese capacitors )
Motherboard needs to be not the cheapest one of course - as it is home for all your components and it must be good enough to have decent stability (something in budged around 200-400$)
RAM is very important. My advice is 32GB would be sweet spot or if possible 64GB for very heavy projects, video editing and future proof. Best money/performance value would be kits with 3200-3600MHz with optimal timings for DDR4. Or DDR5, but with DDR5 I cant recommend anything particular as right now this technology is in the very start of lifespan and units available now are pricey and not best ones (if you choose Alder Lake with DDR5 instead of DDR4).
NVME M2 SSD for OS - something like Samsung 980 or 980PRO.
Would be good to have large SSD for sample libraries too - as it will dramaticaly improve your Kontakt library loading times and response.
Windows 11 Pro will be best choice as OS.
If you dont game or edit videos then video card is not so important - Alder Lake Intel integrated graphics are very good btw.
All of the previous posts are very good advice. I am currently using my second desktop build for Cubase 11.x and Windows 11 for professional music production. One lesson I share is to spend a bit more and get a quiet desktop case. A standard case is too noisy if it is in the same room as either mix or recording. It will seem like a lot to spend for a case but it’s worth it… trust me. Good luck!
Also to have a more quiet experience:
- do not overspend on a (useless) GPU card. Use the built-in gfx from the CPU, or buy any recent fanless gpu card.
- get a quiet CPU fan.
- go for an Alder lake (or Raptor lake) Intel i7 that has “e-cores”. (These will be sufficient during recording sessions and may even run fanless.)
- avoid mechanical drives, use SSDs only.
- clean up your Windows install from useless bloatware that consume resources in the background.
- and +1 also on the PSU recommendations above. You can find a PSU able to completely stop its fan when running cool enough, especially if you oversize it a bit.
Also disable any hardware that could affect system DPC latency via the motherboards BIOS utility,. i.e. disable LAN, WiFi, Bluetooth if you’re not using them.
And try not to fall down the RGB Lighting rabbit hole - some of those drivers/system tray applications can cause issues with real-time applications like Cubase.
Sure, the E-Cores currently make Cubase perform worse when they are enabled…
That is the most important thing.
Never ever put classic HDD into your computer.
Some models are a tiny bit thicker than others and depending on the slots design of your case, the rubber won’t absorb the vibrations properly and it will make awful clicking noises every few seconds, even when they are not actively in use. Not only the clicking noises, but the spinning noise itself is louder than the fans at minimum rpm.
If you need large storage, buy a NAS and put it in another room.
lol, I took that personally
About E-Cores on Alder Lake. My experience is very good with CB11 Pro. I have 12700K and its runs huge projects without any issues (200-250 tracks, project uses around 25-30GB RAM). I think it could be very subjective and per user experience.
But I would like to share my experience with RAM upgrade which was kinda nightmare.
I built new PC couple of months ago (in March). And I had installed 32GB DDR4 G.Skill 4000MHz fast RAM ( F4-4000C17D-32GTZRB kit 2x16GB). All was smooth, XMP worked fine. But for me it was on the edge of max usage and I bought another same kit from G.Skill (exactly same kit F4-4000C17D-32GTZRB).
And after I installed it - first of all I was unable to set anymore XMP profiles, all time BSODS, Memtest86 showed lots of errors etc. And then I learned that System Agent voltage (VCSSA) is even more important to memory stability then DRAM voltage itself. 4 sticks of high capacity of fast RAM makes a lot more strain to the CPU MC (Memory Controller) and it is almost in all cases you will end with lowering your memory speeds and loosing timings to improve stability. But overall VCSSA voltage is a thing which is what could be a limiting factor for high memory speeds on 4 sticks RAM. I hope this will help someone who will need to upgrade RAM. But bare in mind that VCCSA voltage should be raised with care as too high voltage will degrade MC.
Of course, and that’s expected since they are “wimpy cores”.
The idea is that they can sometimes be sufficient for the smaller jobs, like a basic recording session. Since they consume only a few watts, if you do things right, you can have a completely fanless, hence silent, PC in the same room while you record…
I will disagree with all that said negative about E-Cores on Alder Lake above. First of all they are not some ‘‘little useless cores’’, and disabling them totally in BIOS you can see very big performance drops. And for example i7 and i9 are different mainly only by additional 4 E-Cores (8p/4e vs 8p/8e) (of course there is a little bit more cache too and i9 are better binned), but that performance difference which is around 15-18% is mainly due to additional 4 e-cores on 12900K. Overall that new technology was first mainly implemented on Apple silicon M1 chips with Big-Small core architecture and it shows that this technology will stay here and its really great invention. And btw one E-core is performing almost same as one 6700k core in performance scale. I am waiting Cubase 12.0.30 update to work in that, but even in Cubase 11 which was designed before Alder Lake architecture revealed - and it performs excellent. I understand that there are huge amount of different specs PC and its understandable that someone will have issues with those new Intel chips.
Fully agreed and thank you for posting.
Just one detail: this approach was not in invented by Apple with the M1, it was made public about 10 years before the M1 (and even predates the big.LITTLE branding by some years).