DAW Bench anyone? CPU and music production

Hey all,


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This is something I've always wondered about as my (cough) faithful Athlon 640 enters the twilight of its life. I'm planning a new build that needs to wear a few hats more or less equally: music production, matlab and MRI/MEG image processing, gaming, and TV/music.

Gaming benchmarks are ubiquitous. Compute benchmarks exist if you factor in synthetics and the odd publication from computational process groups (which usually skip many generations of hardware because research funding is a thing). However after many hours of intense research an occasional Google search I finally found something that appears to be benchmarks for CPU performance in digital audio workstations. Since there are musical undercurrents here on le Tek, I wondered if anyone might want to see this, or know of other and better benchmarks. Or if when the lads get a new CPU and platform they could run some tests in this vein. Or if anyone cares at all.

Seems like every CPU review that comes out in the mainstream hardware community is full of synthetic benchmarks that come with some variation on the following disclaimer, "These numbers don't correspond to real world experience. I have no idea why we still do these. Gaming benchmarks overleaf."

Well, DAW Bench and the like are numbers I would like to see. I'll be damned if I run out of ASIO when I just need that 11th instance of Kontakt.

Thank you, and sorry.
A Canadian.

I would imagine that the majority of music production suites have some sort of system requirement page that could be used as a point of reference for what type of hardware you would be looking for. Or if not I'm sure that there is discussion on a number of forums about minimum and or optimal specs for running certain music production software. I have never really heard of music production being particularly intensive for modern hardware but I may just be ill informed. I would think that any modern quad core processor and 8-16GB of ram would be more than enough for any music editing program but I could be wrong.

Well it definitely depends on the type of projects as well. Your modern DJ EDM types can get away with the minimum specs, whereas movie score composers require cluster computing, presumably to have enough CPU to run the VSTI's. On the desktop computers I've worked on I've managed to max out resource utilization by the time I've got a reasonable mix running. There are software workarounds such as freezing instruments and tracks but lets be honest, we all want cake in both eaten and yet to be eaten forms.

I've made my own hardware choices already. I thought the world might be interested to know that these benchmarks exist, and I for one would certainly like to see them featured in your garden variety CPU review benchmark suite.