Is GPU performance relevant for Cubase?

I’m about to order my new PC and the remaining question is about GPU.
I’ve never had any need for a powerful GPU and did fine with the onboard graphics of my i5-3450 for the past 12 years.
As I want my new PC to be quiet, I plan for a passively cooled Gforce GT1030 (2GB).
Is there anything with Cubase or VST instruments where this card could be a limiting factor?
Other (louder and more expensive) options I could choose from are Gforce GTX 1650 (4GB) or RTX 4060 (8GB).
I’m not a gamer and I’m not into fancy videoediting. Just music and office applications.
The system will use an i7-1470 CPU with 64GB DDR5 and Windows 11 home.

First, tell us what version of Cubase you are planning to use on this new PC.

If it’s a version that includes SpectraLayers and you intend to do sound seperation (“stems”), then you should ensure your GPU has at least 4GB RAM.

Other than that, Cubase itself is not heavy on GPU, and onboard graphics are fine, however the same cannot be said for plug-ins, and depending on how much animated graphics they use, it may be advisable to consider discrete graphics – I’m sure any of the ones you listed would be fine, however you should install only the minimal driver and see this knowledgebase article for updates.

Everyone will have a different opinion of course, and anyone with problems is more likely to blame Cubase than their choice of (usually expensive) graphics card.

Buy a CPU with built-in graphics.
In the unlikely event that it won’t be enough you can always add discrete card later.

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Thanks for the advice.
Had to look up what SpectraLayers is and I will not use that. Still haven’t understood what stems are so I guess I won’t use that either.
I selected the basic card to free up the CPU and because I might do some very basic video editing later on.

Are you going for an Intel CPU? If it’s the 2GB 1030 you’re thinking of I’d advise you to save your money, as most video editing software can use modern Intel CPUs very efficiently, including for video encoding acceleration, and it won’t make any appreciable difference to Cubase. Only if later, as advised by @sempondr , if you identify a bottleneck, should you then look to expand with a discrete GPU. By that time you’ll have gained some experience and will know what to look for.

Are you planning to use Cubase 13 (the current version)?

Yes, I’ll use Cubase 13 with an i7-1470. I thought a dedicated GPU would take of heat from the Intel CPU thus decrease heat and fan noise.

The Intel i7-14700 has UHD Graphics 770 which is more than enough for both Cubase and basic video editing, That’ll be fine and future-proof.

Thanks. I’ll skip the dedicated graphics card for now and see how it works out.


That’s why I would choose less power hungry Ryzen 9 7900X or similar and get benefits of AM5 platform longevity as a bonus.

Cubase doesn’t need it, but come closer, children, and let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, way back when the world was young, I had a PC that served me just fine. Everything I wanted to do, I could do. It wasn’t powerful, but it served.
Then one day, Waves got rid of iLok and there was a mega sale on… I bought GTR and the usual 1176, 670, LA-2A compressors, and used them lots.
Bear with me, I’m getting to the point.
After a couple of weeks, using Cubase (I think it was 5 or 6, can’t remember), I loaded one more instance of a Waves plugin, and the interface was blank- no buttons, no graphics, no nothing. It worked, I could hear the difference when I muted it. I opened up several of the other instances of Waves plugins and they were all blank. I unloaded just one of them, and the interfaces appeared once more.
I bought the cheapest card I could find (about £35), and lo and behold, no more blank interfaces.
Make of that what you will.
Times have changed. But I’ve always made sure I had at least a mid-range GPU ever since.

I can’t speak for Intel on-board graphics as I went for AMD on a new PC build this time last year, but I had numerous issues getting what on paper should have been a top of the range PC to play nice with Cubase.

It isn’t documented by Steinberg fully, but a reasonable GPU does make a difference to how Cubase performs. I ended up buying a Nvidia card with 4GB RAM and it solved a LOT of my problems.

Just sayin’ …

Hello, can you please advise if Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 16ABR8, 82XY004QSC, AMD Ryzen 7 7730U, 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, AMD Radeon Graphics, Windows 11 Home, laptop will be capable to run Cubase 13 Pro smoothly? I’m planning to use it as a mobile unit.

It looks like a good specification on paper. I’d probaby suggest 32Gb RAM, but that very much depends on what sort of VST instruments you plan to use. The heavyweight symphonic type of instruments that rely on a lot of samples need a bit more RAM headroom, but soft synths and FX rely more on processing power, which you should have plenty of.

That laptop will definitely run CB13 without an issue, but as you’ll see after a quick browse through the forum, performance depends on many different variables, but you’ll be up and running on this specification.

Feel free to ask about any specific instruments you plan to use, or what you are using the laptop for in particular.