Cubase, HALion and graphics cards

Hi all,

Just a question about the use of PCIe gfx cards in a DAW. My general question is - are they required these days?
Years ago, they were deemed necessary, but now that we have Intel i5 & i7 CPUs with decent on-board gfx capabilities in the CPU itself, do you need an external card at all, if you are just running a DAW?
I’m not a gamer, so have no use for a high-end card in reality.

Anyone using Cubase 9 or 10 and/or Halion 6 successfully using just the CPU’s on-board graphics?



PCIe GFX - Necessary - No, not at all necessary for a DAW.

Only exceptions to that are:

  1. You want to run a multi monitor setup with more monitors than your integrated gfx will handle
  2. You want to run a high DPI monitor setup with higher resolution than you integrated gfx will handle
  3. Your doing video and want to off load the decoding to the gfx card or work with video editor software (in which case the integrated gfx will work but only up to a point)
  4. Your a gamer

For what its worth I’ve used both PCI gfx and integrated gfx successfully to run 6 monitors on my 3rd Gen i7 (same as yours) integrated graphics (2 monitors) and an NVIDIA GFX card ( 4 monitors currently a 970 but prior versions also). From the DAW perspective there is no difference in performance between them. However my 3rd Gen i7 doesn’t really go so well with my hidpi monitor (drives 2 full HDs just fine).

Your signature doesn’t list a graphics card, presumably then you have this working just fine now. Are you experiencing a problem of just curious?

Hi Robw,

Many thanks for your reply.
I was thinking all of what you wrote, so that’s good. I just have a simple nVidia GT630 card which is fine at the moment - no problems at all.
I was just thinking about upgrading my mobo/CPU/RAM and when I looked at the current i5/i7 specs, it started me thinking as to whether I actually need a separate gfx card too. Sounds like I don’t, which is good!! I don’t do any gaming whatsoever.