Why does Reaper use ( roundabout ) half the CPU Cubase does?

Hi there,

Why does Reaper use Half the CPU Cubase Does?

Asking bc I just read from ex Cubase users that Reaper uses about half of the CPU on heavy projects that Cubase ( or other DAW s do )

Example from a well known Producer who switched to Reaper ( in part ) because of this


Not sure! I used to use Reaper a bit (with the exact same VSTs that I use in Cubase) and come from being a heavy Pro Tools user, both of which are very noticeably better with CPU usage than Cubase. It’s a bummer, but hopefully they’ll get it up to par soon. The size of sessions I can do in Cubase is quite a bit smaller than the other two DAWs before CPU overload. Overall I like Cubase as a DAW more than the other two, but it lags behind noticeably in this important department. This has been talked about a lot here, and there seem to be some theories…but only Steinberg knows what it will take to get CPU on par with DAWs like Reaper.

Reaper is mono only :wink:

I’m demoing reaper right now due to cubase is laggy GUI. Reaper is coded really really well. No gimmicks.

Because Reaper is capable of about half of what Cubase can do. If you don’t need the features Cubase offers and don’t have a viable computer to run it, then by all means go cheap.

I have many friends that use Reaper at their home bedroom studio. All good. I record their bands when they get serious about recording. Just saying…


So nothing to do with your engineering skills, your recording space and your equipment?
Must be very disheartening :wink:

Reaper is extremely ugly, the code has to work faster :slight_smile:


Well, much to do with that actually…

love it… its always the simple ones that kill me.!! :smiley:

It sure is but that program flys.

ugly !! you can setup reaper to look like pro tools,cubase, logic. I use it for audiowarp because it’s better for me than cubase. it’s plugins are ok routing and muso’s cue mixes are easy to setup to. cubase great for midi and audio sweetening.you can do tempo detection in reaper but not as easy as cubase. all daw’s are tools, use the one that get’s it done.


Desktop dual core 1.6 nvidia gpu 4gig ram

Not my experience. Cubase could handle a little more Diva instances than Reaper.

At the moment I am torn between Reaper and Cubase. I have used both for years, but usually end up using Reaper more because of it modular approach, simple and capable routing, superior customization, compactness and speed.

However, Cubase has a lot of useful tools, particularly for the composing, recording and comping stages, that I like very much. Nevertheless in my experience I get cpu overload in Cubase when Reaper in a similar setup would run at only 25% of cpu usage.

I have tried to figure out why. Maybe it has to do with the real time audio? Reaper sometimes uses a lot of cpu too. For instance if you insert heavy plugins in the master channel or enable record from a track that goes through a lot of heavy plugins.

In Cubase it makes no difference if you move plugins from the master channel and route the through a final group track. Record enabling tracks makes no difference either. Maybe this could be because Cubase always uses these resources to stay ready and hence is always ready for recording etc. without changing cpu usage?

Others claim that Reaper has some sort of anticipation of plugin usage that minimizes cpu usage. Of course, this same anticipation would increase cpu usage as soon as you record enable tracks with live fx added supposed to go through real time audio.

If you wonder why. Real time audio can only use one core in the cpu. There is a great Youtube video explaining this. There was a link in this forum some time ago.

That was a good one, lol. Reaper is fully customisable, with a slick codebase and is snappy as hell. The community added scripts and extensions give you loads of features, like a clip player ( see Ableton ), there’s some kind of a chord assistant, there’s amazing MIDI editing capabilities and best of all clip effects. I doubt that Cubase will ever see the latter, given its ugly performance. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to love about Cubase, but it’s technical foundation is apparently riddled by marketing people demanding new features every year thus rendering the software partly unusable for a wide user base, furthermore causing basically good features to be poorly implemented. There’s little excuse as to why the software dramatically underperforms in comparison to other DAWs, with Reaper being the best example. Laggy GUI’s? Yo, wake up it’s not the 90s anymore :slight_smile:

Oh hi Reaper fanboy. :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s good that you found a DAW you like, but I’ve heard enough people switching from Reaper that described it as a relief. You might like the MIDI editing in Reaper more, but I’ve heard multiple Reaper users say Cubase (and Digital Performer) are way ahead.

I like some stuff about it too but if you ask me, Reaper is pretty bare bones and I dislike piecing user extensions together to get the basic functionality I want.

No doubt about it, Reaper requires extensive customisation to become usable, and by that I mean scripting, custom skinning it yourself, based upon a workflow that you designed yourself. If you do enjoy this, and your time isn’t too expensive it’ll save you quite some money as well, with regards to the cheeky Steinberg beta-subscription program. Furthermore, you get away with less powerful hardware, so more bang for the buck is the bottom line. Obviously, Cubase is ahead in certain areas, but what’s the point if its technical performance as well as reliability is unsatisfying. Freezes, corrupted prefs and projects, UI elements that do not work as they should…I’ve seen most of it, and my setup is paca, none of all this in other DAWs. To be fair, I think there’s some effort visible to address these issues, and therefore I’ll give it a few more releases. If it doesn’t improve, then sod it and > Creeper.

Reaper can be customized and skinned for sure, but the general look and feel of it doesn’t change too much. You’re still locked into its fundamental design scheme which is pretty ugly. It reminds me of Microsoft Flight Simulator… :frowning:

Still, I love Reaper and use it alongside Cubase for all kinds of great things that Cubase will never do (proper mastering and the ridiculously overpowered batch processor).

I’ve said it time and time again, I do not expect Cubase to ever catch up in terms of performance, right now it has the edge in terms of workflow, but as soon as Reaper or StudioOne reach Cubase I will uninstall it and never look back. Most of the musicians in my circle use Cubase and they are all just waiting to jump ship.

Either that or someone makes a Reaper skin that makes it look and behave exactly like modern Cubase and I’ll be happy.

That’s interesting – the fellow working producers and composers here in L.A. that I know who use Cubase (very few that I know do, though) have said exactly the same when we talk about it. I came over to Cubase from PT a few months ago and feel that way already! PT became a letdown for me because of how they’re so rooted in their past and don’t look to the future in some key ways.

It’s not just niggling little things with Cubase that every DAW has – there are some major issues that need attention (all of which have been mentioned to death here and in so many other threads and forums, so there’s no need for me to re-post them). Let’s hope Steinberg gets their game up soon so we can all stay with it even when DAWs like Studio One and Reaper reach Cubase in the ways they will at some point. Cubase leads the way overall with features and certain workflow elements, but falls far behind in things like CPU efficiency, long save times on larger projects, and a good amount of basic GUI workflow issues. For me it’s mostly stable, though, and I never have lost preferences, etc.

I’m really liking reaper right now. Love cubase too. Cubase might have to sit on the bench for awhile do to reaper slick coding and speed. No GUI lag

The GUI at least is so bare bones though…