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Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 5:36 pm
by mbira
Hi folks,
I am currently running a 12 core 2012 Mac Pro tower with 64G of ram. The Main drive and main sample libraries are on SSD cards that are running on the PCI slot. So I think that computer is as fast as it is able to be.

I run projects with up to around 120 tracks and with up to 50+ synths and samplers and loads of VST plugins and lots of groups, etc. I never need to record multiple tracks at once and I'm almost exclusively inputting MIDI notes with the keyboard and quantizing so latency is not a concern for me at all. I have the buffer settings all the way up. My number one concern is getting as many tracks being able to play back without glitching out. I am currently having to constantly freeze and unfreeze tracks as I'm working and it is a total show killer towards the second half of my production. Ideally I'd like to be able to keep all my synths as instruments instead of bouncing down until I have completely finished production. Then I bounce down for the mix stage.

I would say I can get about 80% of the way through my production before my computer craps out and I need to start freezing stuff. I have VEP6, but I have found it to be incredibly unreliable. It crashes all the time and I also do a lot of automating the synth and VEP is a pain in the ass for that. It also doesn't let you easily render tracks with VEP and you can't freeze those tracks.

I'm considering building a new computer and even moving to a PC if this will make my workflow work out-but that is really a last resort. I've even considered the trashcan mac because I actually like to portability of it. I know there is a new mac pro supposedly coming in 2019, but I can't wait that long to get this sorted.

Are any of you running projects with 100-150 tracks with 50+ synths that are automated and tons of inserts? (NOT just orchestral sample projects but actual synths)?

Re: Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 8:54 pm
by AP
A new computer will not improve Cubase's performance actually cubase works equally well on a MBP or a fully loaded Mac Pro and if you move to PC you will be limited to about 100 VSTi / tracks...

Save your money... :geek:

Re: Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 9:22 pm
by mbira
AP wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:54 pm
A new computer will not improve Cubase's performance actually cubase works equally well on a MBP or a fully loaded Mac Pro and if you move to PC you will be limited to about 100 VSTi / tracks...

Save your money... :geek:
My Mac Pro easily does twice the tracks that my MBP does.

Re: Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 9:57 pm
by AP
Okay! But there are threads on this forum that say that the new fully loaded Mac Pro trash can doesn't improve Cubase's performance.

Re: Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 10:29 pm
by mbira
AP wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 9:57 pm
Okay! But there are threads on this forum that say that the new fully loaded Mac Pro trash can doesn't improve Cubase's performance.
Doesn't improve Cubase performance over what? I haven't seen those threads. Can you point to one? I saw the recent one of the guy with the new iMac that loves it, but nothing that is comparing old Mac Pros to new Mac Pros.

Re: Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 10:41 pm
by Romantique Tp
AP wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:54 pm
A new computer will not improve Cubase's performance actually cubase works equally well on a MBP or a fully loaded Mac Pro and if you move to PC you will be limited to about 100 VSTi / tracks...
That's misinformation. The faster your CPU, the more plugins you'll be able to load regardless of the platform. What a faster Mac wont do is massively improve Cubase's graphical responsiveness on Mac OS. That's something that will have to be addressed in future updates, along with Retina/HiDPI support.

If you need better performance now, I would recommend getting either an iMac Pro or a PC. PCs have the advantage of being cheaper and offering expandability, and the Windows version of Cubase feels significantly snappier and more responsive.

Even the cheapest iMac Pro outperforms the 2012 Mac Pro by quite a bit. I would recommend against getting a trashcan Mac since it's getting a little long in the tooth.

Re: Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 11:23 pm
by AP
mbira wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 10:29 pm
AP wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 9:57 pm
Okay! But there are threads on this forum that say that the new fully loaded Mac Pro trash can doesn't improve Cubase's performance.
Doesn't improve Cubase performance over what? I haven't seen those threads. Can you point to one? I saw the recent one of the guy with the new iMac that loves it, but nothing that is comparing old Mac Pros to new Mac Pros.

This post is a little old and I think it was with an older cubase version...

viewtopic.php?f=226&t=90765


As for the PC VST count limit here's the link:

viewtopic.php?f=250&t=123768

Re: Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 11:52 pm
by Steve Helstrip
My Hackintosh runs heavy projects as you describe without breaking a sweat (specs in sig). Built it for under £900. I still need to render some of the heavy synths, such as Diva, but easily done. No need to freeze since we got render in place. Just disable the instrument track after rip & hide with a macro.

Re: Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 12:15 am
by mbira
Steve Helstrip wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 11:52 pm
My Hackintosh runs heavy projects as you describe without breaking a sweat (specs in sig). Built it for under £900. I still need to render some of the heavy synths, such as Diva, but easily done. No need to freeze since we got render in place. Just disable the instrument track after rip & hide with a macro.
Right on. I want to avoid rendering until I reach mixdown stage if possible. That thread was interesting in that the 6 core seems to be better than 12 core.

Re: Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 10:24 am
by Steve Helstrip
mbira wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:15 am
Steve Helstrip wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 11:52 pm
My Hackintosh runs heavy projects as you describe without breaking a sweat (specs in sig). Built it for under £900. I still need to render some of the heavy synths, such as Diva, but easily done. No need to freeze since we got render in place. Just disable the instrument track after rip & hide with a macro.
Right on. I want to avoid rendering until I reach mixdown stage if possible. That thread was interesting in that the 6 core seems to be better than 12 core.
From what I understand, both from Steinberg and user reports, is that Cubase doesn't benefit above 7 active cores, and can in some situations be slowed down by using more. I also have a much higher clock speed on a more up-to-date CPU.

I also have VEP6 running on the same system and get even better performance off-loading some heavy plug-ins in respect to core distribution.

Re: Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 6:36 pm
by mbira
Steve Helstrip wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 10:24 am
mbira wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:15 am
Steve Helstrip wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 11:52 pm
My Hackintosh runs heavy projects as you describe without breaking a sweat (specs in sig). Built it for under £900. I still need to render some of the heavy synths, such as Diva, but easily done. No need to freeze since we got render in place. Just disable the instrument track after rip & hide with a macro.
Right on. I want to avoid rendering until I reach mixdown stage if possible. That thread was interesting in that the 6 core seems to be better than 12 core.
From what I understand, both from Steinberg and user reports, is that Cubase doesn't benefit above 7 active cores, and can in some situations be slowed down by using more. I also have a much higher clock speed on a more up-to-date CPU.

I also have VEP6 running on the same system and get even better performance off-loading some heavy plug-ins in respect to core distribution.
I have a love/hate relationship with VEP6....definitely way more toward hate. Automating multiple parameters on synths that are inside VEP6 quickly becomes a nightmare. It's always fun to start VEP and see what plugins it will decide it doesn't recognize for that day lol....

Re: Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 11:58 pm
by mixtur
AP wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:54 pm
A new computer will not improve Cubase's performance actually cubase works equally well on a MBP or a fully loaded Mac Pro and if you move to PC you will be limited to about 100 VSTi / tracks...

Save your money... :geek:
That´s not true at all. First of all, Cubase project runs better on a faster computer and there is no such limit for PC:s.

MAC:S and PC:s are virtually the same from a processing power perspective (all things equal), but you can however in theory build a far more powerful PC than any available MAC model due to the wide range of hardware options available.

I installed my first Cubase on a PC 1996, and I can assure you that it runs much better on my latest build.
I´ve also used MAC over the years. Whether you choose mac or pc is strictly down to preference.

Re: Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 12:11 am
by mixtur
mbira wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 5:36 pm
Hi folks,
I am currently running a 12 core 2012 Mac Pro tower with 64G of ram. The Main drive and main sample libraries are on SSD cards that are running on the PCI slot. So I think that computer is as fast as it is able to be.

I run projects with up to around 120 tracks and with up to 50+ synths and samplers and loads of VST plugins and lots of groups, etc. I never need to record multiple tracks at once and I'm almost exclusively inputting MIDI notes with the keyboard and quantizing so latency is not a concern for me at all. I have the buffer settings all the way up. My number one concern is getting as many tracks being able to play back without glitching out. I am currently having to constantly freeze and unfreeze tracks as I'm working and it is a total show killer towards the second half of my production. Ideally I'd like to be able to keep all my synths as instruments instead of bouncing down until I have completely finished production. Then I bounce down for the mix stage.

I would say I can get about 80% of the way through my production before my computer craps out and I need to start freezing stuff. I have VEP6, but I have found it to be incredibly unreliable. It crashes all the time and I also do a lot of automating the synth and VEP is a pain in the ass for that. It also doesn't let you easily render tracks with VEP and you can't freeze those tracks.

I'm considering building a new computer and even moving to a PC if this will make my workflow work out-but that is really a last resort. I've even considered the trashcan mac because I actually like to portability of it. I know there is a new mac pro supposedly coming in 2019, but I can't wait that long to get this sorted.

Are any of you running projects with 100-150 tracks with 50+ synths that are automated and tons of inserts? (NOT just orchestral sample projects but actual synths)?
You will arguably get much better bang for the buck with a PC. I´m on a 64gb system, 1TB SSD and a 6 Core processor workstation myself and it can take anything I throw at it. Please note that desktops are typically much faster than laptops at the same budget.

Upgrading your hardware will have a huge positive impact if done right. Ex, you should invest in a fast drive for sample libraries, and buy a lot of RAM (configure your VSTi to use it), if you´re running huge sample libraries. Audio plugins and virtual instruments will however mostly benefit from more CPU and so on.

There are some real powerhouse MAC:s out there too, but they unfortunately cost a fortune. People tend to compare $3,000 MAC books with $600 PC-laptops. The Macbooks are clearly amazing in many ways if money is no issue though.

Re: Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 5:20 pm
by AP
mixtur wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:58 pm
AP wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:54 pm
A new computer will not improve Cubase's performance actually cubase works equally well on a MBP or a fully loaded Mac Pro and if you move to PC you will be limited to about 100 VSTi / tracks...

Save your money... :geek:
That´s not true at all. First of all, Cubase project runs better on a faster computer and there is no such limit for PC:s.

MAC:S and PC:s are virtually the same from a processing power perspective (all things equal), but you can however in theory build a far more powerful PC than any available MAC model due to the wide range of hardware options available.

I installed my first Cubase on a PC 1996, and I can assure you that it runs much better on my latest build.
I´ve also used MAC over the years. Whether you choose mac or pc is strictly down to preference.

What about this post?

viewtopic.php?f=250&t=123768&start=25#p688357

Re: Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 5:44 pm
by Romantique Tp
The limit on Windows is of about 100 UNIQUE plugins, and this depends on the manufacturer. For example, you can have 1000 instances of every Native Instruments plugin in Komplete and you would still be using only 2 FLS slots. Seriously!

Most plugins only use 1 or 2 slots, for the first instance only. This isn't really a problem for most people besides UAD users, because UAD plugins use an unreasonable amount of slots.

Note that this problem isn't exclusive to Cubase, but Steinberg is making changes that will allow you to load even more unique plugins at once in the future.
Steve Helstrip wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 11:52 pm
No need to freeze since we got render in place. Just disable the instrument track after rip & hide with a macro.
This Macro isn't really needed. Just deselect all events and a different version of the Render in Place menu will appear, allowing you to disable and/or hide the source track with a single click, along with a bunch of other options.

Re: Will a new computer greatly improve performance?

Posted: Wed May 09, 2018 4:42 pm
by Steve Helstrip
Romantique Tp wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 5:44 pm
The limit on Windows is of about 100 UNIQUE plugins, and this depends on the manufacturer. For example, you can have 1000 instances of every Native Instruments plugin in Komplete and you would still be using only 2 FLS slots. Seriously!

Most plugins only use 1 or 2 slots, for the first instance only. This isn't really a problem for most people besides UAD users, because UAD plugins use an unreasonable amount of slots.

Note that this problem isn't exclusive to Cubase, but Steinberg is making changes that will allow you to load even more unique plugins at once in the future.
Steve Helstrip wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 11:52 pm
No need to freeze since we got render in place. Just disable the instrument track after rip & hide with a macro.
This Macro isn't really needed. Just deselect all events and a different version of the Render in Place menu will appear, allowing you to disable and/or hide the source track with a single click, along with a bunch of other options.
That involves going into the menu with the mouse! Far quicker to have a single keystroked that takes care of it all for me ;-)