So far, I’ve always used a dedicated GPU on my music PC, as the last time I upgraded my whole machine the best CPUs were ones without integrated graphics. But now (8 years after my last major upgrade) there are a ton of good CPUs with integrated graphics. I am pretty tech-savvy, but I am wondering if any Cubase users have experience and can offer some opinions on the subject. Specifically:
With a dedicated GPU, you have to deal with the potential for more PCI bus contention, fan noise (I have used passively cooled cards in my last two builds, but they are hard to find) and more frequent (and potentially less stable) driver updates since they are usually trying to keep pace with the latest games.
With integrated, you have the obvious benefits of fewer cards and better potential airflow, fewer noise issues, but do the integrated graphics use up a lot of CPU resources when just running basic tasks, enough to have a noticeable effect on audio performance?
I use a lot of plugins and soft synths, and am currently about to max out my old i7-980 six core CPU on my latest track. I already had to remove my master limiter/compression on the main stereo bus because I was hitting the limit. I know that even the current CPUs will offer more than double my current CPU power, but I’d like to get the longest lifetime that I can. Should I go for a CPU with integrated graphics and slim down the system with my next upgrade, or keep with my dedicated GPU?