Does groove agent 5 se use significant cpu ?

Also which is the most cpu efficient but best sounding reverb, either stock cubase or third party ?

Yes. GA5se is a CPU hog, especially with small buffer sizes. Like all products that base on the Halion engine.

Valhalla Vintage Verb sounds excellent and is very efficient. And cheap (50 bucks). And it has a very user friendly copy protection (Serial).

Thanks for the recommendation I’ll check that out.

So do most people only use one GA instance per track as a rule of thumb ? I’m currently using three and I think that even my brand new MacBook Pro 16 is heating up like crazy in running them, despite the audio performance metre showing barely anything

I do not think 3 instances of groove agent is needed.
Since in one you have multiple pads for samples on them, have multiple outputs, and multiple midi inputs.
For me i do not see the need the use 3 times groove agent.
Also 1 instance is not a CPU hog at all, set for >1500mb ram and try as less reading of the disk.