Upgrading GPU for Cubase 9

I have the ATI HD7750 video card which you can’t really do much gaming with it, I’m thinking of upgrading to GTX 1050 ti.
Do you think I could expect much performance increase with Cubase running smoothly and of course better gaming experience, or should I pass on that upgrade?

Given the 7750 ref, this is on Mac OS I assume (?) In any case, my experience on OS Sierra & Windows 10 is that GPUs make bugger-all difference to music apps, they simply drive the VDU(s). There was some talk a few years ago about Logic X being developed to offload processing power to the GPU, but have seen no development around this for any DAW. If running a video file within a DAW for music-to-picture, the GPU may be a little helpful, depending …

Mac OS does not natively support Nvidia & so downloading drivers is necessary (and that changes for each and every OS or security update); similarly, Nvidia will not support the mac EFI unless you have a flashed version of the card. So, no boot screen or command keys without this. You’ll be needing to do some background on that re. various mac /Nvidia GPU threads, e.g.: https://forums.macrumors.com/forums/mac-pro.1/ Buying a flashed for mac card is easiest, but a little more expensive. Usually a few always on eBay, or from MacVid Cards, http://www.macvidcards.com

In other apps like NLEs, video plugins and for gaming, the applications variously & actively use GPU Cuda or OpenCL for processing, and in tandem with the number of CPU cores and Ram - those later aspects can also have a dramatic impact on overall performance (not just the GPU).

I have heard of ‘some’ issues with Cubase and Nvidia cards. e.g.:

However, my Titan X runs fine with Cubase Pro 9 both on Sierra & Win10. FYI, I use the card etc for NLEs - FCPX on Mac OS & DaVinci Resolve on Win. Hope that helps.

[MacPro 5,1 /48GB /12 core 3.33Ghz /Nividia Titan X 12 GB (Maxwell)/dual 4k VDUs]

If you are on windows, this will not help your cubase experience. I have run cubase from anything from aHD3450 (slow and passive) to medium end gaming cards and there is no difference. Cubase runs fine on all here. If you want to run multiple 4k monitors then you need a little more power.
Do you have issues now?

Although I’ve also run Cubase with low- to mid-range GPU for years (had a HD6750 until one month ago when I flashed in a HD7850 I had hanging around), it does make a difference now, also on Windows. This is due to switching to the MS APIs and the reason behind the Aero (and DirectX 10) requirement. Also remember that some plug-ins make use of OpenGL, so people running a different software environment might run into graphics limitations earlier than others.

A fast, high-end card is definitely not needed (and some times can actually decrease real-time performance due to the priority of various graphic processes), but I would not buy anything less than a 2GB, fairly recent, perhaps not excessively fast GPU these days. The HD7750 is still a decent GPU for DAW work.

This is probably not the reply the OP is looking for, but I personally use two different systems for DAW work and Gaming - despite the fact both PCs are suitable for either tasks, they need to be set in slightly different ways (i.e. I absolutely need Catalyst on the Gaming machine, but only install the video driver and nothing else on the DAW).

Sorry if I missed some details:
I’m on Windows 10, I’m planning to do 10%-20% gaming with this PC, the rest will go to music productions, so obviously it’s the most important to me.
Like I said I’m not a gamer but I want to play occasionally and not to optimize my PC for gaming or losing performance with my DAW , Thats why I said I’m still considering. My worst fear is I’ll get performance drop with the GTX 1050 ti
from your experience I should be asking for trouble?

Go for an Asus Strix Nvidia card. Some Strix cards, only engage the fan when the temperature goes above 65°C. So in most DAW application the fan is disengaged.

I think most of the cards today are working like this, the Asus seems “longer then the other” and I have a mess in my case and a big card can’t fit there. do you get good performance from your card?

Yeah, the card powers three 24" screens and does not to much additional power needed. Performance wise, it does the job for me well.

you dont need to update your Graphic card for working with Cubase. You will not receive any profit.

If you working now on ATI HD7750 and when switch to GTX 1050 - it didn’t increase any performance or make cubase GUI works more smooth or fast.
i was in exactly the same situation(my integrated GPU was Intel HD 4600) And I thought that buying a new GPU (1050Ti 4GB) would help. Result - it doesen’t

your problem not in your GPU, its already known problem withh all cubase version.

I recommend you wait for upgrade your GPU until Cubase 9.0.20. Steinberg already knows about this problem & we all waiting for fix.

You can check simmiliar forum topics like: Slow GUI, GUI bus, not Smooth interface & etc. you will find exactly same problems on Windows & MacOS.

Actually I’m interesting in a mid level gaming card, what problem do you think I’m referring (because I posted an issue at a different section) my only concern is drop in performance if I would upgrade to an 1050 or 1060 card, understand?

@djgraver: Sorry, I have to disagree. Especially on Windows, GUI issues affect a percentage of the user-base so small it is even difficult to calculate - and are usually ‘easy’ to solve. Despite the improvements in 9.0.20 will also affect Windows, it is the Mac platform having known problems.

@kfir26: the problem here is that most often with nVidia cards is necessary to only install the video driver, without the additional packages. In case you need to do this, you’d find yourself with a Gaming Card with trimmed down gaming performance due to not installing PhysX, 3DVision, etc. You can disregard this if doing a dual boot, one for DAW and one for games. Historically, nVidia gives a little more headaches than AMD (especially in combination with Core Parking or 6/12 cores CPU), there are quite a few threads on this forum posted along the years that you might want to check out.
In general, I’d say you will be able to successfully use any, provided you want to spend some time in tuning the machine.

Fabio, I did a fast check with my HD5750. 2 HD monitors full screen project window and full screen mixer with 7 plugin windows open. HWmonitor32 reports a max GPU load of 20%. Most of the time with reduces speed (can go from 400-700). Memory load is also only a few 100mbs (under 300). There are absolutely no peaks in the usage, really below 20% all the time mostly around 10%. Of course 2 4k monitors might be a different story…

Hi Fabio,

this is interesting, could you please elaborate? Cubase in theory could use OpenGL in its UI because it’s made with QT which supports it, but ProcessExplorer under Windows shows absolutely no connection to any OpenGLxx.dll component / API. Cubase’s internal plugins use VSTGui which isn’t accelerated either AFAIR. Where in the application - except from the menu bar which surely won’t make your graphics adapter sweat - is any kind of hw acceleration happening? Of course there may be third party plugins, I’m just talking about Cubase and its components itself. I assume Cubase under Windows uses very simple GDI, in very best case GDI+ to draw its UI, but I doubt the latter. And GDI drawing isn’t accelerated by your graphics card - MS never implemented it.

I think it’s nice of you to post your experience, but a word or two of a developer would be quite useful in this case IMO. For example, the whole Aero UI under Windows thing seems to have only one reason: The developer who decided to realize the menu bar inside the top UI bar (in Mac style because he likes it, not because it fullfills any Windows design convention), out of the 4 or 5 possible solutions, especially used an Aero / Direct2D mechanism to do it. Firefox for example displays its browser tabs in the top bar, too, but runs fine without Aero because it uses a different mechanism. So it seems to me, the app menu under Windows is the very only part of this huge Cubase application that gets accelerated at all - under Windows. And btw the only part that’s responsible for the Aero enforcement that made many Windows users angry since Cubase 8 arrived.

If it’s correct what I wrote, the very only reason you could feel a faster system after changing your graphics adapter is its better 2D performance. And I doubt that you can really feel the difference, because in the last 10 years, AMD cards - unlike in the 3D sector - haven’t really improved a lot (compare the HD4800 and the HD6000 series here, and please note that even a very latest RX460 simply doubled that seven years old HD6xxx 2D performance). I doubt anyone could recognize a difference between HD7850 and HD6750, so either you are very very sensitive (congrats!), or the placebo effect did in fact get you.

best regards

it is really interesting, thank you for this.
But, if it not so populated isssue, maybe (if it possible) you can give some advice/guide how to tweak/setup your system (GPU,Drivers etc) to solve this problem on Windows.

@djgraver, I’m going to reply on the other thread where you posted the image with the scissor tool

@Timo, I can’t reply to all the points you brought up, as I’m unaware of the technicalities of the implementation.
However, I only quoted OpenGL because used by some third-parties, Cubase does not use it anywhere, IIRC. Qt is only used in a few components (again IIRC, the eLC and VST Connect, please take this with a grain of salt).

Also, I don’t see any improvement in the UI performance after switching card: ‘it does make a difference, even on Wndows’ was a general consideration. Specifically to my system, I replaced the card due to a couple hard crashes I’ve seen when loading many OpenGL plug-ins during a stress-test (with Editor/GUI set to open automatically, hundreds of instances, it could just not cope with that). Not really a real-world scenario, but I decided to have a ‘safety margin’. The 1GB 6570 was more than enough during normal usage (even the 5450 did its job decently actually)

@vinark, that looks normal, and I do agree with you. But I fancy it is not hard to find people using a HDPi monitor plus a HD one, with a busy project window, slices, hitpoints, a very active MixConsole and perhaps 20 or more plug-in GUIs using OpenGL, transparency layers and whatnot (add to that people doing other tasks that can affect UI performance / use GPU memory)

Just a couple considerations, nothing is set in stone :wink:

Hi Fabio,

thanks for your clarification. I just wanted to prevent hundreds of Cubase users from entering the local shops to buy louder, faster, better, hotter graphics adapters, just because the Steinberg support recommended it, finding out afterwards that when using Cubase they are … well, louder and hotter.

The actual problems in graphics performance while using Cubase surely has not much to do with weak graphics cards. It may be the framework that is used, or the kind the UI is designed, or the lack of use of modern acceleration techniques, or the price for the platform compatibility, or a mixture of all these things.

It not only affects Mac computers, djw clearly showed that it can hit Windows users just as well, but a bit later. There’s some more riddles around all this to solve. For example if you switch to inverted mouse cursor scheme on Windows (black arrow etc.) the performance improves drastically and the stuttering is gone, even with really many objects on screen. Why on earth does the mouse cursor color influence the performance of an application like Cubase? It shouldn’t, that’s for sure.

I really respect the way you try to find solutions - especially for the poor Mac users - from the support point of view, but it’s development who can solve this, not support. And they are the only ones who can solve this. Switching framework, using a different UI design, make use of modern acceleration techniques - that’s dev jobs for sure. All you can do is make them interested in doing this, anything else is tilting at windmills.

best regards

I see we have almost the exact same specs, did you see a drop in performance after switching to the 1050ti? are you using latest nvidia drivers? like I said I want to do some gaming and even go for an GTX 1060 but worried about decreased performance in Cubase which is working very good now.

no, performance stay at same position. yes, im using lastest drivers, but i install only driver (without Nvidia trash)
I buy MSI 1050Ti 4G Gaming X because coolers not start up if temperature lower 50° degreese. Thats mean this Card absolutely silent.
1050Ti 4G ok for this days games

Absolutely, if you check my older comments, you’ll see I often recommended passive, low to mid-end GPUs.
It’s just that depending on the stuff used, UI memory can go up. Nothing a passive , entry level, 2GB R5 / R7 or equivalent could cope with.


For sure some Win users have issues as well, I replied to djw as well. That we could not repro, but there is a known issue in combination with the warp algos and another DAW, the mouse pointer you mention (I’m pretty sure this is going to be fixed by the re-drawing optimisation coming in 9.020, but could require more work on the ‘suggestion pop-ups’ - these influence the performance, but here again, it is highly system-specific).

Of course it is up to the developers to work on it - but you see, without support checking out the whole palette of cases, and separating actual issues from resolvable issues, they would hardly find something to work on :wink:

You convinced me to stay with my HD7750 :smiley: just one question, I opened the ATI catalyst program and went to gaming and saw some optioned that can’t sure of to change them, can you help me out?