7 Best CPU for Music Production

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If you are on your way to designing your personal music production studio, then you are precisely at the right place.

Computing power is one of the most important elements that go into music production. Virtual instruments take up a huge chunk of processing power which is why you must have the optimum processing specifics in order to get through your production projects.

This guide shines a light on some of the best CPU processors that are available out there and features a wide variety of them.

We understand that although the aim, of achieving the best possible production results, is the same for all the production enthusiasts, it is not necessary that a single device works best for them. This is why you will find versatility in this list.

The core count is an important factor that goes into choosing the right processor but unfortunately, most of the Modern Digital Audio workstations software is not optimized to take complete advantage of this. Processors with a single-thread performance more often than not deliver the most impressive results.

Keeping in mind all the details and specifications, let’s take a look at our top 7 picks for the best CPU for music production.

In a hurry? Here’s the overview table:

Best Overall ⭐

Sale
Intel Core i9-12900K Desktop Processor 16 (8P+8E) Cores up to 5.2 GHz Unlocked LGA1700 600 Series Chipset 125W
  • The processor features Socket LGA-1700 socket for installation on the PCB
  • 30 MB of L3 cache memory provides excellent hit rate in short access time enabling improved system performance
  • 10 nm enables improved performance per watt and micro architecture makes it power-efficient
  • Intel 7 Architecture enables improved performance per watt and micro architecture makes it power-efficient
Sale
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
  • The best processor for gamers meets the best processor for creators, with 16 cores and 32 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100 plus FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • Cooler not included, liquid cooler recommended
  • 4.9 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 72 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards
Sale
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
  • The world's most advanced processor in the desktop PC gaming segment
  • Can deliver ultra-fast 100+ FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • 6 cores and 12 processing threads bundled with the quiet AMD wraith stealth cooler max temps 95°C
  • 4 2 GHz max Boost unlocked for overclocking 35 MB of game Cache DDR4 3200 support
  • For the advanced socket AM4 platform can support PCIe 4 0 on x570 motherboards. OS Support-Windows 10 - 64-Bit Edition, RHEL x86 64-Bit, Ubuntu x86 64-Bit. Note-Operating System (OS) support will vary by manufacturer
Sale
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
  • AMD's fastest 6 core processor for mainstream desktop, with 12 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100 plus FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • Bundled with the quiet, capable AMD Wraith Stealth cooler. System Memory Type: DDR4
  • 4.6 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 35 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards
Sale
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler - YD270XBGAFBOX
  • 8 Cores/16 Threads Unlocked
  • Frequency: 4.3 GHz Max Boost. Base Clock 3.7GHz
  • Compatibility : Windows 10 64 Bit Edition , RHEL x86 64 Bit , Ubuntu x86 64 Bit
  • 20MB of Combined Cache
  • Socket AM4 Motherboard Required, Supports Windows 10 - 64-Bit Edition RHEL x86 64-Bit Ubuntu x86 64-Bit
Sale
Intel Core i5-12600K Desktop Processor 10 (6P+4E) Cores up to 4.9 GHz Unlocked  LGA1700 600 Series Chipset 125W
  • Intel® Core® i5 Deca-core (10 Core) 3.70 GHz processor offers hyper-threading architecture that delivers high performance for demanding applications with improved onboard graphics and turbo boost
  • The Socket LGA-1700 socket allows processor to be placed on the PCB without soldering
  • 16 MB of L3 cache rapidly retrieves the most used data available to improve system performance
  • Intel 7 Architecture enables improved performance per watt and micro architecture makes it power-efficient
  • Built-in Intel UHD Graphics controller for great graphics and visual quality
Intel Core i9-11900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.3 GHz Unlocked LGA1200 (Intel 500 Series & Select 400 Series Chipset) 125W
  • The processor features Socket LGA-1200 socket for installation on the PCB
  • 16 MB of L3 cache rapidly retrieves the most used data available to improve system performance
  • 14 nm design offers great efficiency for computing, delivers nimble processing with balanced cost, performance, and power
  • To boost graphics and visual quality, the chipset has a built in Intel UHD Graphics 750 controller. Supports up to 3 monitors.

7 Best CPU for Music Production

1. Intel Core i9 – 12900K

Sale
Intel Core i9-12900K Desktop Processor 16 (8P+8E) Cores up to 5.2 GHz Unlocked LGA1700 600 Series Chipset 125W
  • The processor features Socket LGA-1700 socket for installation on the PCB
  • 30 MB of L3 cache memory provides excellent hit rate in short access time enabling improved system performance
  • 10 nm enables improved performance per watt and micro architecture makes it power-efficient
  • Intel 7 Architecture enables improved performance per watt and micro architecture makes it power-efficient

CPU Features:

  • 30 MB of L3 cache memory
  • 10 nm
  • Socket LGA-1700 socket

Before explaining why this is the best CPU for music production, we must not take the brand for granted. Intel is the pioneer in making CPU processors and there is hardly anything that could go wrong with their CPUs.

Now the i9 is the best CPU for music production because of its high-end features. There is no other CPU currently available in the market that can match i9’s single-thread performance, even the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X.

It is occupied with the latest DDR5 RAM and one of the finest architectural designs for a CPU. Intel i9 is a great choice if you are a professional music producer with a good amount of experience because it is important that you know the power you possess with the i9 and to make the most out of it.

My Pros With This CPU:

  • Ideal for professional producers
  • DDR5 RAM
  • Excellent processing speed
  • Unmatchable single-threaded performance

My Cons With This CPU:

  • It needs to LGA1700 motherboard to deliver its best performance

Also checkout it’s prices on Walmart and Best Buy.

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2. AMD Ryzen 5950X

Sale
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
  • The best processor for gamers meets the best processor for creators, with 16 cores and 32 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100 plus FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • Cooler not included, liquid cooler recommended
  • 4.9 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 72 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards

CPU Features:

  • Best processor for Gamers
  • 100+ FPS performance
  • 4.9 GHz Max Boost

As we mentioned at the top of this article the importance and role that cores play in giving a boost to the overall processing power, the AMD Ryzen is the perfect example of that.

This processor comes with 16 cores which is a very big number when it comes to cores. Another important factor that goes into boosting the speed of processors is the clock speed of the CPU. The AMD Ryzen features 4.9GHz of clock speed.

It possesses the power of making any audio or video DAW projects seemingly effortless. If you wish to make a one-time investment then AMD Ryzen is the way to go.

My Pros With This CPU:

  • The most number of cores
  • Excellent processing power
  • Excellent clock speed

My Cons With This CPU:

  • It does not feature an in-built bundle cooler

Also checkout it’s prices on Walmart and Best Buy.

→ Jump Back to Table

3. AMD Ryzen 53600

Sale
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
  • The world's most advanced processor in the desktop PC gaming segment
  • Can deliver ultra-fast 100+ FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • 6 cores and 12 processing threads bundled with the quiet AMD wraith stealth cooler max temps 95°C
  • 4 2 GHz max Boost unlocked for overclocking 35 MB of game Cache DDR4 3200 support
  • For the advanced socket AM4 platform can support PCIe 4 0 on x570 motherboards. OS Support-Windows 10 - 64-Bit Edition, RHEL x86 64-Bit, Ubuntu x86 64-Bit. Note-Operating System (OS) support will vary by manufacturer

CPU Features:

  • 6 cores and 12 processing threads
  • 4 2 GHz max Boost unlocked for overclocking 35 MB of game Cache DDR4 3200 support

The AMD Ryzen is an entry that may feel a little odd to be found at this point in the list but it has made it here due to its budget-friendly nature and powerful performance.

It is also highly recommended if have just stepped into the music production industry and are looking for your first dedicated CPU. In addition, it features a highly efficient cooling system which is enough to keep it from overheating while working at its best.

The Turbo speed delivered from AMD is 4.2GHz and the clock speed is 3.8GHz.

My Pros With This CPU:

  • Works efficiently with DAW
  • High PErformance
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Features a built-in cooling system

My Cons With This CPU:

  • There is no con considering the price point but this is not the best CPU on the list in general.

Also checkout it’s prices on Walmart and Best Buy.

→ Jump Back to Table

4. AMD Ryzen 5 5600

Sale
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
  • AMD's fastest 6 core processor for mainstream desktop, with 12 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100 plus FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • Bundled with the quiet, capable AMD Wraith Stealth cooler. System Memory Type: DDR4
  • 4.6 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 35 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards

CPU Features:

  • 12 processing threads
  • 4.6 GHz Max Boost
  • 35 MB of cache

Although the main concern is to secure a very high performance with various audio workstations, it is equally important that the above is offered at a sensible price point.

The AMD Ryzen 5600 is an example of that. This computer features 6 cores and doubles the number of threads. When we load heavy DAWs and make complicated audio renders, the CPU is working on its maximum to reduce the time complexity of all these tasks.

In this process, the CPU heats itself out. This particular CPU however features an efficient cooling system labeled as the “Wraith Stealth Cooler”. This cooling system ensures that the CPU has greater durability. In addition, this CPU has a high clock speed of 4.6GHz accompanied by 35MB of cache memory, both of which are clear signs of a fast and proficient computer.

The interface standard that this CPU is based on is PCIe 4.0 which we know is not the latest but is a very successful version.

My Pros With This CPU:

  • Ideal for beginners
  • Excellent specifications in general
  • Features 6 cores
  • Excellent Cooling system
  • 35MB Cache

My Cons With This CPU:

  • Prices in comparison with other AMD Ryzen’s fluctuate

Also checkout it’s prices on Walmart and Best Buy.

→ Jump Back to Table

5. AMD Ryzen 7 2700X

Sale
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler - YD270XBGAFBOX
  • 8 Cores/16 Threads Unlocked
  • Frequency: 4.3 GHz Max Boost. Base Clock 3.7GHz
  • Compatibility : Windows 10 64 Bit Edition , RHEL x86 64 Bit , Ubuntu x86 64 Bit
  • 20MB of Combined Cache
  • Socket AM4 Motherboard Required, Supports Windows 10 - 64-Bit Edition RHEL x86 64-Bit Ubuntu x86 64-Bit

CPU Features:

  • 8 Cores
  • 16 Threads Unlocked
  • 4.3 GHz Max Boost
  • Base Clock 3.7GHz
  • 20MB of Combined Cache

WE understand that this is the third time you found an AMD Ryzen in this list but there the performance speaks for itself and there is not much we can do about it. AMD claims that this computer is bound to deliver the greatest multiprocessing speed a desktop PC can.

This CPU features 8 cores and 16 threads which amplifies its processing speed. In addition, it has a clock speed of 4.3GHz. Another great thing about this CPU is its wide compatibility range with various operating systems which opens up a lot of musical possibilities.

It includes Windows 10 and Ubuntu x86. Furthermore, the cache memory size is 20Mb which may not be the greatest but is enough for a computer of its kind.

My Pros With This CPU:

  • Compatible with various Operating Systems
  • 16GB RAM
  • 20MB Cache Speed
  • Wraith Prism LED Cooler
  • Labeled as the company’s best take on mainstream computers yet

My Cons With This CPU:

  • The overclocking headroom is very limiting

Also checkout it’s prices on Walmart

→ Jump Back to Table

6. Intel Core i5 12600K

Sale
Intel Core i5-12600K Desktop Processor 10 (6P+4E) Cores up to 4.9 GHz Unlocked  LGA1700 600 Series Chipset 125W
  • Intel® Core® i5 Deca-core (10 Core) 3.70 GHz processor offers hyper-threading architecture that delivers high performance for demanding applications with improved onboard graphics and turbo boost
  • The Socket LGA-1700 socket allows processor to be placed on the PCB without soldering
  • 16 MB of L3 cache rapidly retrieves the most used data available to improve system performance
  • Intel 7 Architecture enables improved performance per watt and micro architecture makes it power-efficient
  • Built-in Intel UHD Graphics controller for great graphics and visual quality

CPU Features:

  • Intel® Core® i5 Deca-core (10 Core) 3.70 GHz processor
  • 16 MB of L3 cache
  • Built-in Intel UHD Graphics controller

Now that we are back at intel, here is something more suited for the beginner and intermediate level producers. The i5 12600K is a deca-core beast. It has a variety in its cores as it features 4 efficient cores accompanied by 6 power cores.

Thanks to this versatility in processors, the system overall is less power-hungry. However,  it requires the Z690 motherboard to deliver its maximum performance.

It features 16Mb of Cache memory which is sufficient for most DAW tasks. Other than music production, this CPU is quite appealing in terms of video gaming as well due to its built-in UHD graphics. The CPU speed is surprising 4.9GHz.

My Pros With This CPU:

  • Excellent price to performance ratio
  • Multiple cores
  • Efficient cores
  • Built-in graphics
  • 4.9GHz CPU speed

My Cons With This CPU:

  • Not very efficient cooling system

Also checkout it’s prices on Walmart

→ Jump Back to Table

7. Intel Core i9 – 11900K

Intel Core i9-11900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.3 GHz Unlocked LGA1200 (Intel 500 Series & Select 400 Series Chipset) 125W
  • The processor features Socket LGA-1200 socket for installation on the PCB
  • 16 MB of L3 cache rapidly retrieves the most used data available to improve system performance
  • 14 nm design offers great efficiency for computing, delivers nimble processing with balanced cost, performance, and power
  • To boost graphics and visual quality, the chipset has a built in Intel UHD Graphics 750 controller. Supports up to 3 monitors.

CPU Features:

  • 16 MB of L3 cache
  • 14 nm design
  • Built in Intel UHD Graphics 750 controller

Rounding off the list with yet another intel i9 but this time the 11900K, Why makes it the best CPU for music production? Computer scientists would call this CPU beautiful. Starting off with its comptability with the intel 500 and 400 series chipsets.

It cuts off the extra amount and keeps every component on the same page. Moving on to the cores, we find 8 intel cores, which means twice the threads.

The 16MB of cache memory is not the greatest but is very smartly programmed.

While we are addressing memory, the 11900k features memory support designed by intel. At last, we get to have the perks of the intel turbo boost 3.0 technology which adds on to its already pacy performance.

My Pros With This CPU:

  • Ideal as an upgrade
  • Ideal for a home arrangement
  • Smart Cache
  • Turbo Boost Techolnology
  • 8 cores
  • A great CPU for gaming as well

My Cons With This CPU:

  • The cooling system has room for improvement. You might feel the need to get a different cooling system installed.

Also checkout it’s prices on Walmart and Best Buy.

→ Jump Back to Table

Great Music producers have made it to the top of the tier with huge help from their machines. The fact that CPUs make it so easy to basically convert any idea into reality in a matter of minutes is musically exciting.

If you have only started out or you are an established producer looking to upgrade your computer, there are not many better devices than those mentioned above to help you advance production wise. Wether its Intel or AMD, based on your needs all these devices will tune your CPU a whole step up.

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