C9.5 and future GUI performance on Mac/iMac compared to PC

Hi there,

This is a question for the SB development team I guess.

But it would be really good to have some clear info on what we as users can expect GUI performance wise on the Mac in future releases.
I have been on the Mac for the last few years, which I vastly prefer as a platform in general.
However, Cubase and Nuendo’s graphical performance has been very disappointing, and tests with other DAW’s have shown this to be mainly a coding issue.
9.5 improved a bit, but on larger templates with higher cpu loads (i.e 300-400+tracks and 50%+ cpu use) the interface still gets very sluggish on the Mac.
On the same machine, running Windows 10 on Bootcamp, C9.5 is significantly faster and smoother.

I appreciate SB is trying to improve the GUI performance on the Mac, but what I’d really like to know is what kind of performance increases we can realistically expect; especially as in the coming months I have to decide whether to invest in a new iMac Pro or stay on the PC.

Is the Mac version ever going to be on a par with the PC on a similar spec machine, or is this a fantasty?

Yes, Cubase 9.5 (the most recent update) is definitely still laggy and slow on Mac compared to Windows in ways, despite the improvements. The improvements did help with some issues, but there’s a lot of work still to make it as crisp-moving and fast as it is on Windows. I would like to know the answer to your post as well.

I might switch over to Windows if I stick with Cubase, though my previous experience with Windows was very unpleasant compared to Mac. Not sure what to do at this point.

I wouldn’t expect anyone from Steinberg to admit here that it will never be on par, though. I’m afraid we won’t get an answer here.

The same sluggishness on 9.5 over here. I specifically upgraded to get a faster UI. It is a bit better but when will this problem finally be solved? I’m hoping soon, but suspect never :neutral_face:

I’m a very longtime Mac and Cubase/Nuendo user, and can testify that performance on OS X has gone steadily downhill.

I’m running Cubase/Nuendo on a Mac Pro Dual 2.66GHz Xeon (12-core) with 32G of RAM and it’s sluggish. Scrolling, zooming, opening and closing windows (especially the Mixer) feels like you’re working underwater.

I built a similar Windows 10 machine, dual 3.2 GHz Xeon (8-core) with only 8Gb RAM. The difference is night and day. The Windows machine flies and the GUI feels as smooth as an iPhone. Instantaneous window opens/closes, buttery zooming, etc.

I have them side-by-side and there is no comparison. If I want to feel comfortable with an old friend, I work on the OS X machine. If I want to get work done as quickly as possible without the Cubase UI getting in the way, I work on the Windows 10 machine.

In short: I am faster than the Cubase GUI on the Mac, but the Cubase GUI on Windows is faster than me. Your tools should not lag your brain and hands.

Here’s a traitorous idea that I would never have imagined saying a few years ago:

If it’s such a problem over there to make two platforms work right, > abandon the Mac > and make Windows Cubase/Nuendo the fastest, most rock solid, feature-filled DAW in the world. Put all the developers into one basket, make the best DAW ever and commit to frequent bug fixes, especially of all the long-standing, low-hanging fruit that drives workflow crazy. How about markers in the Key Editor, for example.

Then, take some of the extra time and manpower to > upgrade the customer service experience> . Help us get work done. We’ll pay for it.

That’s my two cents. I’m grudgingly on Windows, but it’s way more productive. And, by the way, the Windows version rarely crashes, compared to 5+ crashes per day on the Mac.

However, that all said, I’ll leave you with this. Reaper outruns Cubase and Nuendo on both Mac and Windows. If C_ockos can do it, surely Steinberg can, too.


  • Jason

Oddly, Steinberg uses Mac when they’re at NAMM, etc. When I was there last year I saw that they were having similar GUI lag in their demonstrations.

I would possibly and highly grudgingly switch to Windows if necessary, but if Reaper, Logic, Studio One, and Pro Tools (and others I’d bet) can do fast professional GUI speed on Mac, there’s not a single reason why Steinberg shouldn’t be able to. I sincerely hope this is still at the very front of their priority list for Mac, because it’s still a very major issue. Some things have definitely been improved for sure, and there is definitely more work to be done to get it up the standard of these others.

I wish Steinberg would take Reaper apart to see what makes it tick.