Mac Metal GPU Acceleration Clarification

I’m excited that Steinberg has adopted Metal for the macOS platform. I am hoping this will make the program run more “snappily” and stably.
However, Metal could be used for anything, from rendering to compute. May I have clarification of how GPU acceleration with Metal is actually used in Cubase 11? What are the specific improvements and use cases? I assume you replace OpenGL entirely with Metal, which should in general yield better performance in multiple areas, depending on how well it was used.

Thanks!

Hi, Metal is used to render the UI.
It should feel much more “snappy” now.

That’s good. I remember there was always a perceptible delay between clicking a ui button or the menu bar and receiving the visual feedback – since version 8 or so. Hopefully this is part of the “snappiness.”

Hi Arne,

I just upgraded to C11, some areas of the graphics are much snappier and responsive but it seems like some areas have a lot more lag. For instance when editing the volume on a clip or the volume on a segment in variaudio, it isn’t smooth at all; but very laggy and jerky; and borderline unusable. The same, but not as severe for editing the midi CC bezier curves. Now, I understand that this could be the video card since it only has 2GB of ram (GTX770); but is there any way to get the recommended spec for the gpu/gpu ram requirement for cubase 11 (on mac); as there isn’t any requirement written in the requirements?

Thanks in advance!

As we have totally rewritten the graphics backend, we may have not found all bottlenecks yet. We will have a look at your use-cases and try to reproduce these. And maybe it’s just something we have to fix.

Arne, I have 3 monitors (24"/27"/24") connected to my video card which is a gtx770 w/ only 2gb of VRAM. I disconnected the two 24" monitors and now everything is very responsive for those features I had lag issues with. The video card is older and somewhat underpowered in comparison to what comes with most systems, however; Steinberg may way want to explore the idea of having a recommended minimum video card spec for good performance on their requirements. This may clear up some graphics performance issues which are due to underpowered gpu’s.

Regards, and thank you for your reply!

OK, 3 monitors on this card with this this low amount of VRAM is indeed too much for our implementation. I think your GPU is very well capable to run one HD screen. Thus if you want to work with three screens you should get a GPU with more memory.

I assume you’re going to want to support Apple Silicon eventually as well. On that platform, Metal has a lot more optimizations and techniques available that you’ll probably want to look into. e.g. tile rendering.

Arne,

I upgraded to a Vega 64 card, and while much of the program is much snappier :slight_smile:, I am still finding that there is considerable amount of lag/jumping/jitter when adjusting things such as straighten curve (in variaudio), or when adding and adjusting volume points on audio events in the arrange window. It seems to be that this occurs when dealing with waveforms. I can only assume that there is something occurring when cubase has to adjust/redraw anything do with waveform graphics. Are the waveform graphics generally gpu intensive objects?

Can you create a screenrecording showing this issue?