Cubase 8.5 Mac - CPU overload on MBP 15" Retina

Hello. Good day.

1 - Downloaded Cubase pro 8.5 (Mac) from my steinberg account;
2 - Installed Cubase pro 8.5
3 - Plugged in usb licenser (previously loaded with activation key on windows)
4 - Launched Cubase 8.5
5 - Downloaded demo song “eight reasons” (from steinberg website) and started playing;

  • Result: macbook started to become very hot and fan kicked on overdrive in less than 30 second of play.

6 - Launched activity monitor;
5 - CPU readings were as high as 121%;
7 - The difference between activity monitor reading with and without AC is around 10-20%.

  • When checking readings from performance meter inside Cubase i could notice only almost 20% (max) load while the activity monitor as giving 120%. Meaning to say i still needed to duplicate 3 times the same arrangement(tracks plus effects) so i could overload the performance meter in cubase.

8 - Further notes:
The computer only does that when I run Cubase pro 8.5;
I tried with trial version of cubase elements 8 and no issue like that occurred;

10 - This scenario involved following 4 products:
a) Apple products:

  • Macbook pro retina 15" (mid 2015), intel quad i7, 2.5 GHZ, 16GB, 500GB SSD, 2GB video card.
  • OS X El Captain version 10.11.3

b) Steinberg products:

  • Cubase Pro 8.5; and
  • Usb elicenser;

Please help me because I have used the same software on Asus with windows 10 and no apparent issue occured.

Thank you

I’m quite disappointed with the very same issues - cubase seems to run quite bad on my MacBook Pro retina too - hoping for some kind of fix. It seems graphic related to me. People I talk to say logic and pro tools run very good on the same machine. Sorry but yeah it’s the same here.


Same issue here, but with PC. CPU overload in cubase 8.5 Pro. Very disappointing.

I am also experiencing this issue, especially when graphic intensive stuff on the screen.

Same on mac, doesnt appear to be anything to do with graphics, just random spikes

If this is indeed the same problem I’ve been having, I may have just fixed it by putting Disk Streaming one notch towards RAM in Halion preferences…

Try it see if it works.

Along with upgrading ram to 8GB… its reduced the problem. Not totally solved it but it happens a little less…

I have the same problem with IMac 2015 retina
32gb of ram I7 quad core

Activity monitor suggests That Cubase is only utilising a tiny amount of the power available.

4 Gb ram and 10 % of CPU

Im having to run at 512 on RME MadiE to stop pops and clicks.

I only have a hand full of plugins and about 4 VIs the worst thing is the surges and CPU spikes.

I contacted support weeks ago not even a reply.

It’s nearly unusable . I’m considering logic as I’m spending more time managing performance than making music, something I haven’t had to do in 5 years with a Mac half the power.

Hi there,

New user here, well I have just downloaded a demo of Cubase Pro 8.5.

I would be interested to know if your still having these problems. I have ben using Logic since 2009 and there is a bug in that that has been present since about 2011 i think and i get bad CPU spikes in certain situations when using a VST instrument as a mult out instrument. I have a very powerful mac though only get one core (thread) spiking when pretty much all others are nearly idle or at very low usage, the problem is become such a pain I have started to look else where. I have tried to find the demo song that was listed in this thread to try myself but I can not seem to find where I download them from, so was wondering if you still are having these problems as they sound similar to what I have in Logic.



I found the solution for your problem yesterday. Go to application, find cubase icon and right click on it. Select get info from the menu. Once a windows pops up select “low resolution”. I have been able to run huge projects at 32 samples and 48khz after doing this. And also no more CPU performance spikes.
At 96khz I could run at 64 samples. I was using a Motu audio express with firewire cable and thunderbolt adapter to connect to the mac.