It's another Reaper vs. Cubase CPU use thread.

Since I’ve been off of Cubase for new projects until the Mac GUI problem is fixed, I’ve been mostly back on Pro Tools reluctantly, but have also been checking out Reaper again. I was noticing again that Reaper seemed to be using a lot less CPU than Cubase in my testing sessions, so I recreated an exact mix setup that was very complicated and brought Cubase completely to its knees (maxed out CPU, constant dropouts) – Reaper was sailing happily at only about 70% CPU. This is using the exact same VSTs from the exact same folder as Cubase. I recreated precisely the same routing, inserts, and audio (no VSTi’s in this session, it was just a mix). This happened when I was trying out Reaper about a year ago as well. Reaper was and is between 20 - 35% or so better with CPU efficiency than Cubase in my direct comparison testing. Both Reaper and Cubase were at 512 buffer size (ASIO Guard on high for Cubase, which is the best combination for CPU use on my setup) in this particular test. Pro Tools is also more CPU efficient than Cubase in my extensive use of it but it uses a different plugin type, which shouldn’t matter, but does in conducting the most accurate comparison test possible.

I know this has been discussed here in depth, with no solid answer as far as I’ve seen…but I’m hoping that a mod might step in and explain why this is still the case with C9? I exported both the Reaper mix and the Cubase mix (Cubase worked when exporting offline), and there is no discernible difference at all audio-wise between the two (they don’t null each other completely, but almost) – they both sound as huge, wide, and dynamic as the other. So we can take “Cubase sounds better!” out of the equation. :wink:

I’m not crying here, am just wondering why I can get so much more horsepower from these other two DAWs even on the latest flagship version of Cubase (same thing with Nuendo when I recently tried it)?

The age is showing, cubase and co. I think would need rewrite from the core up.
But they decided against it and added asio guard as a Band-Aid.

I can guarantee you won’t get an answer from Steinberg on this. (Why would they come on here and create a big discussion about an alleged advantage one of their rivals has?)

You really need to look at the wider picture. Maybe Reaper allows you to run more plugins. Great. But maybe you love Variaudio or Control Room or whatever other feature Cubase has. Add in all the various factors and select the DAW that works best for you.

What would make a difference to me, also as addon - make freeze visible so you get audio to look at from a freeze!!!
As of now I use render-in-place instead which is a bit more cumbersome.
Just looking at muted/dimmed midi does not cut it.

Sonar do it right - freeze just create audio on all vst instrument outs in project windows - just how I think it should be.
And you use it like any other audio if you like, add insert effects do sends and whatnot.

So Cubase using more resources than some - you use freeze more often and earlier.
Make that as easy as a button push back and forth - and it really helps.

A very good point – I wish it were that easy a choice! To me, if Cubase got its CPU efficiency better (probably does require a core re-write, just like PT and some others have done, with much better results afterwards) then it would be the best choice for me. Well, that and actually being able to use it with the Mac GUI issue gone. :slight_smile:

But isn’t Cubase undergoing a major rewrite ?
They are just doing it on a running platform bit by bit, instead of starting from scratch.
New mixer here, new Window management there, I sometimes wonder how they manage to keep it running.
Cubase 9 has been a good experience for me, I’m not complaining.
But I do fear a little what the future brings, I’m looking forward to the next version to see what direction Steinberg will be going.

I don’t know if it’s undergoing a major rewrite, but I do know that something like CPU efficiency requires a major core refresh. When Pro Tools did this (I think it was version 11?), the CPU efficiency got a pretty huge boost. If C9.5 doesn’t at the very least remedy the Mac GUI issue then I’ll need to stop using it completely at that point…let’s hope they can fix it so I can use it for new projects again.

But it does get frustrating when you can have a significantly bigger project/mix on these other platforms than you can on Cubase because of CPU efficiency, so I’m also hoping that that’s a big focus for them. To me it’s a core issue, and if they would only focus on those, and refinements/finishing of current features, for the next .5 version instead of any brand new features pasted on, I believe that most of the customer base would be quite happy…though I’m just speaking for myself, of course. :slight_smile: