Part of what drove me to finally spend time trying to benchmark my system's performance was, as I already said, my own instrumental template growth and thus, Cubase's performance starting to show capacity issues I'd not experienced before. But another factor was a colleague (also Cubase user) reporting that even though he had just assembled a new Haswell i7 PC (upgrading from a first gen i7-900 series) with some of the bells and whistles you'd expect, he had been unable to see any important performance improvement as a result (which I found impossible to accept). But that's his reality, which I obviously don't doubt for a second.
It is curious to see somebody on one of the above references reporting basically the same experience with his new i7-4770 build. This would hint, to me, that there is something about Cubase's multiprocessing performance that is not yet up-to-par, close to being optimal. The fact that the coupling with VEP effectively enhances system performance substantially, reported by me and several other users, seems to support that notion. This is my first re-observation.
But something else I find worth clarifying is that, at no point have I been specifically concerned, or have uniquely questioned ASIO performance. Not at all. My concern is about my system's performance as a whole. Cubase is the centerpiece, but there are several factors that importantly influence its performance. One of them, the audio hardware interface, as many have mentioned. Having said that though, I feel I can somewhat safely leave that factor aside from my main concerns, since this is a fixed constrain in the system, a hardware latency, regardless of what DAW, VSTi's or plug-ins I use.
In other words, at my Mackie ONYX driver buffer size of 128, my ASIO performance will be what it is, what the hardware can handle, and however efficiently the driver has been written or not. In my case, theoretically a driver-reported 5.2ms latency (regardless of whether or not that is 100% accurate). But it is what it is, a fixed constant factor. So when dawbench.com tested audio interfaces, and they found ABC is more efficient than XYZ, and I happen to have XYZ, that just means that there are other interfaces with better electronics and drivers, that can process the ASIO audio flow faster. Thus able to handle more before drop-outs.
Point I'm trying to make, this is just one factor amongst many. And it is fixed. Something I have to live with.
Now, my real interest is in exploring the conditions, beyond the above, how my system performance reaches what I call "capacity" (defined on first post).