I built a new Windows 10 based Cubase 10.5 DAW. Here’s the hardware, BIOS and OS settings.
First the Hardware
I would’ve used PC Partpicker but they don’t have all of these parts available.
ASUS ThunderboltEX 3-TR Expansion Card for Z490
(For connecting an Apollo | Twin from Universal Audio)
VENGEANCE® LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 DRAM 3000MHz
(This was old RAM I had already, and I suggest getting better and newer RAM)
In order to fully utilize the CPU you need to change a few things in the BIOS. Prior to changing the settings I was able to only run 47 simultaneous instances of Serum in Cubase 10.5. After changing the BIOS settings I could run 256 instances of Serum playing back midi notes at the same time. I also tried maxing out the amount of Repro-5’s with the HQ setting enabled, and I ended up with 26 simultaneously playing Repro-5’s before the system starting crackling @ 64 Samples.
BIOS -> Advanced -> CPU Configuration
Hyper Threading [Disabled]
CPU Power Management
Boot Performance Mode [Turbo Performance]
Intel Speedstep [Disabled]
Intel Speed Shift [Disabled]
Turbo Mode [Enabled]
CPU C States [Disabled]
I also enabled Thunderbolt 3 in the BIOS. Even though the Thunderbolt was psychically connected to the motherboard when I built the machine, it still needs to be enabled in the BIOS in order for Windows to see it.
Windows 10 Pro
During the install I made sure to not use an online Microsoft account as the operating system account. You can do this either by not allowing a network connection at first, or by choosing to “Join a Domain”. You won’t join a domain at first, but create a local account. Ignore that Windows tells you using a Microsoft Account is “even better”, cause it’s really not.
I then used this guide here to not have a fucked up Windows update scheme.
Additionally, in the Group Policy Editor, I made sure it’s not allowed to use a Microsoft Account on the system to avoid the trickster of software that is Microsoft to enable it anyway.
In advanced system settings I made sure that “Adjust for best performance: is set to “Background Services”.
In Device Manager I made sure that the Thunderbolt cannot be turned off by Windows to conserve power, as this will sometimes make the UAD Apollo unavailable, and it will not be woken up automatically.
Power Settings are of course set to High Performance.