Does GPU Matter?

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
twitewhite
KVRist
77 posts since 8 Mar, 2018

Post Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:23 pm

I'm looking to buy a new computer for making music and possibly video, and I'm wondering if GPU would be beneficial for these uses. I know a lot of software can use the GPU for more heavy processing, but I'm not sure if DAWs/VSTs would be able to do so.

Would having a decent GPU benefit me, or should I just put all my money into having a more powerful CPU? Thanks.

PeterP_swe
KVRist
67 posts since 13 Aug, 2017 from Gothenburg

Re: Does GPU Matter?

Post Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:20 am

An integrated GPU will steal some or your RAM, so make sure you take that in consideration. Probably only 2-4gb unless you run multiple 4k screens.

Some VSTs and DAWs do benefit from a GPU when drawing the UI and it will free up your CPU for more audio processing.

You don't need a beefy gamer GPU, but a nice medium price/performance one is worth it in my opinion.
Last edited by PeterP_swe on Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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BertKoor
KVRAF
11119 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Does GPU Matter?

Post Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:28 am

In my experience no DAW and not a lot of plugins use the GPU for audio processing. So any decent simple GPU (even integrated in the CPU) will fit the bill.

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Reefius
KVRian
663 posts since 7 Dec, 2013 from Belgium

Re: Does GPU Matter?

Post Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:04 am

On my old DAW PC I used the onboard graphics (Intel 2500) for a long time and often had problems with FabFilter Pro. I could only use the smallest window size or the audio would start to stutter.
I then bought a cheap nVidia GT710 card and the problems were gone.

Bottom line: GPU does matter a bit but you definitely don't need an expensive gaming card.

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pekbro
KVRAF
2692 posts since 29 Sep, 2010 from Maui

Re: Does GPU Matter?

Post Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:09 am

They don't use the gpu to process audio, but most of the modern DAWs, can use them to
help draw the UI, many plugins too, anything using opengl I believe.

Kaine
KVRAF
1892 posts since 4 Nov, 2004 from Manchester

Re: Does GPU Matter?

Post Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:20 am

Old onboard GPU's were pretty poor, but the current generation is fine for a couple of screens running up to about 6K between them. Yes, it'll eat some memory, although adding in more memory these days is probably still cheaper than picking up a basic GPU.

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Skupje
KVRist
220 posts since 26 Oct, 2018

Re: Does GPU Matter?

Post Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:44 am

Think a lot of plugins use direct draw, so it gets handeled by the processor. For some it definitely makes a difference using Open GL or DirectX. Direct draw is sloow if you let it.

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Forgotten
KVRian
1118 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: Does GPU Matter?

Post Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:43 am

Skupje wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:44 am
Think a lot of plugins use direct draw, so it gets handeled by the processor. For some it definitely makes a difference using Open GL or DirectX. Direct draw is sloow if you let it.
That's only true for Windows though, as OpenGL has been deprecated for newer Macs in favor of Metal.

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fmr
KVRAF
8771 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Re: Does GPU Matter?

Post Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:01 am

Forgotten wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:43 am
Skupje wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:44 am
Think a lot of plugins use direct draw, so it gets handeled by the processor. For some it definitely makes a difference using Open GL or DirectX. Direct draw is sloow if you let it.
That's only true for Windows though, as OpenGL has been deprecated for newer Macs in favor of Metal.
The fact that OpenGL has been deprecated, doesn't mean it isn't being used yet. AFAIK, the vast majority of developers still use OpenGL, because it is cross-platform.

Anyway, this discussion only makes sens for Windows, since most of the time you don't really have a choice about which graphics card should you use in Mac computers.
Fernando (FMR)

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Forgotten
KVRian
1118 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: Does GPU Matter?

Post Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:18 am

fmr wrote:The fact that OpenGL has been deprecated, doesn't mean it isn't being used yet. AFAIK, the vast majority of developers still use OpenGL, because it is cross-platform.

Anyway, this discussion only makes sens for Windows, since most of the time you don't really have a choice about which graphics card should you use in Mac computers.
Right, but I think after Mojave it's not supported. Not sure if Vulkan is supported on Macs though to be honest.

You can upgrade the GPU on Macs, but most people opt for an external GPU if they upgrade.

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lnikj
KVRAF
2084 posts since 23 May, 2005 from the North Cornwall coast

Re: Does GPU Matter?

Post Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:26 am

If you have any interest in running VCV Rack you will need a discrete GPU.

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Skupje
KVRist
220 posts since 26 Oct, 2018

Re: Does GPU Matter?

Post Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:22 am

Forgotten wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:43 am
Skupje wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:44 am
Think a lot of plugins use direct draw, so it gets handeled by the processor. For some it definitely makes a difference using Open GL or DirectX. Direct draw is sloow if you let it.
That's only true for Windows though, as OpenGL has been deprecated for newer Macs in favor of Metal.
Probably.. I rather just avoid UI programming, and focus on the DSP instead. It would be cool using .obj. Maybe Python / VST.

Dasheesh
KVRAF
3454 posts since 22 Nov, 2012

Re: Does GPU Matter?

Post Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:37 am

in today's world almost all software dumps some processing off to the gpu. for 2 reasons. 1: they are making the cpus quicker, but less and less powerful 2: gpu's handle these floating point (powerful) processes better. gpu matters, it's not everything and you have to way the ram costs, but usually 8 gigs is enough for everything. a lot of gpu has onboard memory to.

metamorphosis
KVRAF
3814 posts since 8 Jan, 2005 from Hamilton, New Zealand

Re: Does GPU Matter?

Post Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:36 pm

PeterP_swe wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:20 am
An integrated GPU will steal some or your RAM, so make sure you take that in consideration. Probably only 2-4gb unless you run multiple 4k screens.
The most an integrated GPU tends to steal is about 32mb, but they do ram sharing up to 256MB when needed.
There is no integrated GPU on the planet that uses GBs of ram.
A single 4k 32-bit frame uses 32mb of ram, so at most your setup would use 96MB if you were playing videos and triple-buffering was enabled somehow.
But your DAW won't use that.

Integrated GPUs used to be shite, but they're actually far beyond the needs of the average consumer nowadays, and certainly good enough for any DAW or non-game product. I wouldn't bother.
Dasheesh wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:37 am
in today's world almost all software dumps some processing off to the gpu. for 2 reasons. 1: they are making the cpus quicker, but less and less powerful 2: gpu's handle these floating point (powerful) processes better. gpu matters, it's not everything and you have to way the ram costs, but usually 8 gigs is enough for everything. a lot of gpu has onboard memory to.

Virtually no software offloads processing to GPUs for the simple fact that they're not that good for processing most types of data due to the latency of transferring data from memory to VRAM and back again. A lot of software will use the hardware acceleration of the graphics card for blitting the buffers to screen, but that's standard, and nothing to do with GPUs.
Last edited by metamorphosis on Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

metamorphosis
KVRAF
3814 posts since 8 Jan, 2005 from Hamilton, New Zealand

Re: Does GPU Matter?

Post Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:40 pm

lnikj wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:26 am
If you have any interest in running VCV Rack you will need a discrete GPU.
Also not true. It requires OpenGL 2 capability, which almost all integrated GPUs support nowadays. You have to go back about 10 years to find one which doesn't - or to a very obscure one.

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