Best CPU for GP, i5 or i7?

I’m looking to get a more powerful PC for live use as my laptop is getting old. I will probably go for a HP EliteDesk 800 G8 Desktop Mini. I’ve heard that GP uses only one core, so theoretically the below i5 would be better than the below i7.
Intel Core i5- 11600T 3200MHz 1.70G 12MB 6 cores
Intel Core i7- 11700T 3200MHz 1.40G 16MB 8 cores
Would you agree?

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If GP uses just one core then yes, raw clock speed is better than multiple cores.

However, more RAM now, assuming you can’t update it later, is a wise idea. I’d make sure you have a TB of SSD in that computer so you have plenty of overhead and can record from GP if desired.

I run on a HP Zbook, just a four core single threaded Xeon @ 3.10 GhZ with 32 GB RAM and I’m running a very low buffer size of 128 samples with some pretty heavy VSTs with no issues. If I run into glitches, I increase samples but I like to keep it as low as possible.

In my above setup, I’m typically only using ~15% of my computers CPU although GP reports that I am using 38% of my CPU. I am using about 32% of my memory.

Once GP reports closer to 42%… I start to hear glitches and either need to increase samples or turn off one my VSTs.

I’m using IK’s B3-X which is a resource hog (but sounds so damn good) and a few other fairly heavy VSTs.


One of my favorite topics. GP will not be your bottleneck - it will be the number of plugins and other audio software you use in conjunction with GP.

Audio processing is unique and often misunderstood, and what makes a good audio processing device is vastly different than other computational intensive applications. The number of cores and number of threads the device has is secondary to the raw computational power of the CPU, fast disk access is critical, and huge, fast memory a must. The article linked HERE has some good coverage of the topic and various recommended computer builds. A web search will provide a number of companies that build/offer computers (workstations and laptops) with various capabilities and price points and well worth looking at to get an idea of where the industry user demand is currently at. It should provide some guideposts for what you would want to be looking for I think. They typically lag behind the technology curve though, so I just finished building my own Windows 10 rig with the following specs:

  1. z590 mini-ITX motherboard
  2. 11th Gen Intel(R) Core™ i9-11900K @ 3.50GHz 3.50 GHz CPU
  3. 64mb F4-4600 DDR4 memory
  4. Two NVMe M.2 2TB SSDs
  5. Jammed into an 11 liter mini case

It’s not everyone’s ideal device, but a mini form factor computer works better for me than a laptop and building it myself insures I am ahead of most manufacturer’s offerings by a year or more. With displays being what they are these days and the fact that consistent power is a must or you can’t perform anyway, not having a laptop is a viable alternative for me.

My personal advise is to get as close to the latest CPU Intel is offering, choose a model just below the “enthusiast” level CPU, as much fast memory that you can afford, at least one 2TB SSD hard drive (my NI installation alone is over 1TB), and one of the latest motherboard chipsets available. Of course you know your own requirements best, but a Core i7 and 16mb (or less) to me would have problems (wouldn’t) even running my configuration.


You can run multiple instances of GP in parallel, so number of cores can still be a consideration.