Is i7-4770K integrated graphics enough for Cubase?

Just wondering… Is i7-4770K integrated graphics enough for Cubase?
I’m running it now on 2 screens @1920x1200 and it seems ok, but after updating to 7.5.30 I started wondering, maybe… Do I need something more powerful?
I don’t want to just go and buy some sparkly gaming monster with turbine ventilators, just to be safe, if it is overkill. Are there any guidelines regarding GPUs and Cubase 7, and possibly future Cubase 8 too? Possibly Cubase will use GPU power more and more, is it so?
Any recommendations from Steinberg on this?

Integrated video should be sufficient. But for the record, the latest crop of high-end GPU’s is in fact VERY quiet. I use an nVidia GTX 780 ti (not the most expensive you can buy, but still around $750) because I do a lot of video editing and occasionally gaming. My Antec Sonata III case completely kills any fan noise. You’d have to put your ear directly to case to hear anything. And even without a noise-abating case, the 780 ti is still whisper-quiet.

I’m running an i7-4771 with an integrated Intel 4600 graphics chip using 2 monitors and it works great. I don’t use video in Cubase, so I’m not sure how that would impact things. But for audio/midi work Cubase isn’t particularly graphics intensive. The attached screen capture shows my performance ratings and what MS thinks you need for different types of applications. I suspect that for graphics Cubase is fairly close to what’s needed for Office stuff. My DAW was built by ADK Pro Audio and while discussing configurations they were fine with the integrated graphics unless I wanted more than 2 monitors since the integrated graphics would only do 2 max.

Spend your money on an SSD, new plug-ins, or some headphones :sunglasses: or even better a bottle of good whiskey :smiley:

Are there any of these mo-bo’s that have 2 HDMI outputs?

Or do you use one DVI-D + one HDMI? Or the displayport?

I am planning a new DAW only computer, and if I get by without an added graphic card it would be nice.

Thanks in advance.

onboard video should work fine, it really depends on the mobo vendor if you get HDMI, DVI, Displayport, Thunderbolt or a combination of any of the above.

I’ve only seen (which does not imply any kind of comprehensive understanding) MB’s that have one each of different flavors of ports and only allow 1 or 2 of them to be active at a time. I suppose the assumption would be that anyone that would want something more complex than that would go with a separate card.

For my mobo it says:

Integrated Graphics Processor
Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DVI/RGB ports

  • Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
  • Supports DVI with max. resolution 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
  • Supports RGB with max. resolution 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
    Maximum shared memory of 1024 MB
    Supports Intel® InTru™ 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider™
    Supports up to 3 displays simultaneously

Didn’t even know I can run 3 screens on it. :astonished: I will hook up the third one over hdmi and see how it works.

Yeah, but there are limitations. For example, you can’t use three HDMI ports at the same time, or three DVI’s, or two HDMI’s and one DVI or two DVI’s and one HDMI. One of the ports HAS to be a DP. Also, there are limits on the resolution. HDMI and DVI can’t support more than 1920x1200 @ 60 Hz, unless you have a dual-link and in that case you can go up to 2560x1600. The ideal setup would have three DP ports, but there are very few mobos that come with three DP’s, and those tend to be expensive. Also, you can’t expect a great performance when you run three screens on integrated graphics. That’s why they invented GPU’s… :wink:

A question pertinent to this thread, if I may:

I am planning to update my system, moving from a P5Q-E/Q6600 to a 4790(K?)-driven system, looking at a few mainboards right now.

Currently I run two 8600GT silent graphic cards
driving 4 monitors, a number I intend to keep.

The Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H, one of the contenders I am looking at (I need a PCI port for my RME 9632), has this to say about on board graphics

Š" Integrated Graphics Processor:

  • 1 x D-Sub port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200@60Hz
  • 1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200@60Hz
  • The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by adapter.
  • 1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160@24Hz or
  • Support for HDMI 1.4a version.
  • Support for up to 3 displays at the same time
  • Maximum shared memory of 1 GB"

Stupid question, how does that relate to the CPUs integrated graphics (Intel HD Graphics 4600 in the case of the 4790k)? - is that an additional offering? rendering decicated graphics cards unnecessary in my case? (I don’t game, nor do I do fancy video processing)

Also, how is the system taxed by using these integrated/onboard offerings? Is processing power required for audio chores rechanneled at the expense of latency and/or other parameters, in ways not seen with a dedicated card?


CPU’s integrated graphics will give you up to 3 displays. It is not on expense of latency. It is as if you had dedicated graphic card, only this time it is already built in the CPU.
In your case, with 4 screens, you could run 2 screens from internal HD 4600, and two from your single 8600GT.

if you don’t work with video then your integrated graphics will be good enough

if you work for film and television get a decent card

Thanks, and just so I understand- how does a CPU w/ integrated graphics relate to a MB with on board graphics?

Back in the day, some motherboards would come with an integrated GPU into the south bridge chipset, usually a very basic intel or amd or nvidia one. It would allow surfing and that was it. it was mostly for people who didn’t have a GPU.

Eventually they started to add GPU’s right to the CPU to make whats called an APU. This allows the graphics to run better since they are right with the CPU, they can share the memory controller at the lowest level, send info back to the CPU the fastest possible way, etc. Intel has it in their latest i3/i5/i7 series of chips, usually being the 2000/3000/4000 series with respect to better chips have a better GPU. The intel ones allow for HD video, HD youtube, etc and that’s about it. They are still no good for gaming.

AMD has their APU series, the A4, A6, A8, A10 series. Their built on GPU is far better than intels. AMD is a graphics card company and has the experience to add it to the CPU and you can actually do some basic gaming on them as well as full HD video, etc. For a basic PC that is going to be surfing, online video, watching , etc, I like the AMD A-series chips. I’ve built about a dozen of them for older people, basic surfing users, etc and none of them have had any problems with the use they use it for. A few were even surpirsed when their kids or grandkids wanted to use the PC and play a game or two and it played and they only bought a basic system.

Thanks for the explanation/quote, although I’m not sure- if the board does not have integrated graphics, but the CPU does, how are the monitors connected? or is the APU just “firing” the MoBo Onboard Graphics? (“empowering” it)

There are regular connectors on the mobo. Just like with integrated graphics.

understood, but does the graphic processing power of the CPU depend/draw on the motherboards GPU, or does their respective graphic processing power add up (processing- and connector-wise)
IOW, if the CPU is advertized as driving two monitors at a given res./frequency, and the MB as driving 3 monitors at their own res./refresh rate, does that mean I can drive 5 monitors without dedicated card in this setup (aware this is just a hypothetical question)

thanks for your patience and sorry for my illiteracy on this

In your hypothetical setup, it is true, you could drive 5 monitors. But I don’t think i7 MB has additional onboard GPU. At least my ASUS doesn’t. Those connectors on the back od i7 MBs are for CPU integrated GPU. Best check chipset details for your MB.

DVI and HDMI use EXACTLY the same electrical and timing protocols, except that DVI doesn’t have sound, so all you need is a DVI to HDMI adaptor or cable. My video card has two HDMI and two DVI, but I needed three HDMI (one 4K), so I had to put one of the smaller screens on a DVI via an adaptor.

The mb manual should indicate what connections are sharing the same PCIe channels. PC Thunderbolt mbs often share [some of] the TB channels with the video ports, so that you have to carefully select your device balance between them.

I found that when I was looking at the first of the dual TB mbs (TB at the time only being available on chips with onboard video), using too many of the video ports severely hobbled the connectivity options on the TB ports. As I tend to use a lot of video connections, using one of those mbs meant that it was useless to have the second TB port! Mb manufacturers are not ready to bet the farm on all TB just yet!