Will an eGPU improve the performance of your music production?

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jbehrmusic
KVRist
88 posts since 26 Mar, 2019

Post Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:08 am

I created a video, showcasing the results of installing an eGPU, and the effect it has on CPU usage within your DAW. Let me know if you have any questions!

https://youtu.be/NPonn8rMXCA

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whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
27753 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Re: Will an eGPU improve the performance of your music production?

Post Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:14 am

YT;DW.
"The bearer of this signature is a genuine and authorised pope."

jbehrmusic
KVRist
88 posts since 26 Mar, 2019

Re: Will an eGPU improve the performance of your music production?

Post Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:29 am

whyterabbyt wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:14 am
YT;DW.
Not sure why that's necessary? But anyway. If you don't care to watch it, here's a link to the final results of my testing: https://jbehrmusic.com/links/egpu

enroe
KVRian
1115 posts since 19 Mar, 2008 from germany

Re: Will an eGPU improve the performance of your music production?

Post Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:20 am

jbehrmusic wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:29 am
whyterabbyt wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:14 am
YT;DW.
Not sure why that's necessary? But anyway. If you don't care to watch it,
here's a link to the final results of my testing: https://jbehrmusic.com/links/egpu
If this is so important for you, why don't you tell us by using normal
words right here? :?:
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs + weird stuff: enroe.de

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antic604
KVRAF
3346 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Re: Will an eGPU improve the performance of your music production?

Post Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:26 pm

No. All you need is a properly set up setup ;)

Here's a Live 10.1 Suite running in 1080p on a embedded GPU of my laptop (Lenovo Y730, i7-8750h):

Live 10.1 GPU acceleration.png
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Last edited by antic604 on Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bitwig 3.1 // Reason 11.1 // Studio One 4.6 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604
other stuff - Psytrance in Bitwig Studio tutorial

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BertKoor
KVRAF
11431 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Will an eGPU improve the performance of your music production?

Post Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:31 pm

The link redirects to a dropbox folder.
I see some bar charts in pdf's and an excel sheet.

No words :shrug:
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!

jbehrmusic
KVRist
88 posts since 26 Mar, 2019

Re: Will an eGPU improve the performance of your music production?

Post Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:07 pm

enroe wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:20 am
If this is so important for you, why don't you tell us by using normal
words right here? :?:
Not sure what you're talking about? Normal words? I linked that as a direct response to the guy who said he didn't want to watch the video, so I linked to the end result, which does have some explanation on the left side of the graphs.
antic604 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:26 pm
No. All you need is a properly set up setup ;)
Here's a Live 10.1 Suite running in 1080p on a embedded GPU of my laptop (Lenovo Y730, i7-8750h):
Are you using an external monitor, or only your built-in LCD? Also, are you using any cpu hungry plugins, aside from the stock ones (which are more cpu efficient)? An eGPU is not needed for all setups, as it depends on what you're using and how you want to work. For example, I am coming out with a part 2 of this test, which shows how much of an improvement an eGPU can make if you want to stream while making music. Try running OBS and live stream while running a larger ableton project with multiple synths and 3rd party plugins. An eGPU also helps with temperature regulation. And I almost forgot, what buffer size are you running at?
BertKoor wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:31 pm
The link redirects to a dropbox folder.
I see some bar charts in pdf's and an excel sheet.

No words :shrug:
That's a bit strange, because when I click the link myself, I see words on the left (explaining which plugins I used, the buffer size, etc...) - But that link was directed toward the person who said they didn't want to watch the video, so I just showed them the end results.
Last edited by jbehrmusic on Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

jbehrmusic
KVRist
88 posts since 26 Mar, 2019

Re: Will an eGPU improve the performance of your music production?

Post Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:57 am

antic604 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:26 pm
Here's a Live 10.1 Suite running in 1080p on a embedded GPU of my laptop (Lenovo Y730, i7-8750h):
Although it looks like you’re using the integrated GPU, I also just noticed, you said you're using a Lenovo Y730. These laptops come with their own dedicated GPU, specifically the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. Which is insanely better than the integrated GPU I was using in my Mac Mini. But even so, pushing a 1080p screen is going to net better results than my Mac mini, which is pushing two external 2k screens.

See a comparison below of my built-in GPU, vs yours.

https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/I ... 7vsm223242

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BertKoor
KVRAF
11431 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Will an eGPU improve the performance of your music production?

Post Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:28 am

I understand "yt;dw" very well. The hassle of digging out earphones, the comments I get from my wife because I'm isolating myself... not worth it. I rather read flat text.

Also we get some wanna-be influencers here, just dropping some YT clickbait and not getting involved at all in this community.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!

Kongru
KVRian
807 posts since 23 Feb, 2017

Re: Will an eGPU improve the performance of your music production?

Post Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:35 am

whyterabbyt wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:14 am
YT;DW.
Signatures are so early 2000s.

jbehrmusic
KVRist
88 posts since 26 Mar, 2019

Re: Will an eGPU improve the performance of your music production?

Post Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:43 am

BertKoor wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:28 am
I understand "yt;dw" very well. The hassle of digging out earphones, the comments I get from my wife because I'm isolating myself... not worth it. I rather read flat text.

Also we get some wanna-be influencers here, just dropping some YT clickbait and not getting involved at all in this community.
I joined KVR last year, mainly for the buy/sell section for 2nd plugins. I've bought some and sold some over the past year. I've also gotten involved in a few threads separate from the buy/sell section.

As far as clickbait goes, I think my video is far from it. I could write up a document on my website, or a plain text document in dropbox, but my time is somewhat limited. I always leave timestamps in my YouTube videos, which allows people to skip around so they don't have to waste time hearing something they aren't interested in or already know about.

As stated before, I am coming out with an updated video of this topic in the next day or two, which addresses many issues/complains I've received on reddit and on other forums like this one.

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antic604
KVRAF
3346 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Re: Will an eGPU improve the performance of your music production?

Post Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:06 am

jbehrmusic wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:57 am
antic604 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:26 pm
Here's a Live 10.1 Suite running in 1080p on a embedded GPU of my laptop (Lenovo Y730, i7-8750h):
Although it looks like you’re using the integrated GPU, I also just noticed, you said you're using a Lenovo Y730. These laptops come with their own dedicated GPU, specifically the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. Which is insanely better than the integrated GPU I was using in my Mac Mini. But even so, pushing a 1080p screen is going to net better results than my Mac mini, which is pushing two external 2k screens.

See a comparison below of my built-in GPU, vs yours.

https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/I ... 7vsm223242
Yes, but I "told" Live on purpose to run off of the embedded GPU, to show that 1080p screen takes less than 1/4 of its performance, thus suggesting that buying a much more beefy eGPU doesn't really make sense, unless you run several 4K screens with dozens of GPU "intensive" plugins open at the same time.

And BTW with regards to plugins - they need to specifically have options for GPU acceleration (like Fabfilter or Unfiltered Audio) to take advantage of the GPU.

Anyway, if it works for you - great. But I don't think the premise of your video is valid for everyone and in particular not for Windows users. Even worse - you say "DAW" as if it didn't matter which DAW, because for example Reason or Bitwig will always render on CPU no matter how much GPUs you have and how you set up your system. GPU acceleration needs to be built-in into the DAW and what you're left with is choice of GPU to use, if your system allows it. As I said on Reddit, I simply think your Mac and/or version of OS forbids live from using GPU inside it, so it runs off of the CPU and that's why you're seeing the boost.
Bitwig 3.1 // Reason 11.1 // Studio One 4.6 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604
other stuff - Psytrance in Bitwig Studio tutorial

jbehrmusic
KVRist
88 posts since 26 Mar, 2019

Re: Will an eGPU improve the performance of your music production?

Post Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:43 am

antic604 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:06 am
Yes, but I "told" Live on purpose to run off of the embedded GPU, to show that 1080p screen takes less than 1/4 of its performance, thus suggesting that buying a much more beefy eGPU doesn't really make sense, unless you run several 4K screens with dozens of GPU "intensive" plugins open at the same time.
You didn't clarify whether you're running off the internal LCD, or an external 1080p monitor?
antic604 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:06 am
And BTW with regards to plugins - they need to specifically have options for GPU acceleration (like Fabfilter or Unfiltered Audio) to take advantage of the GPU.
I'm aware that some plugins aren't built for GPU acceleration. But if you have a case of the mac mini, where there is no internal LCD, in which an external monitor is the only option, an eGPU will help with all plugins/daws, since the video/picture is being rendered only through the eGPU (and not some internal LCD display, which laptops have). This allows the CPU to NOT share memory with the internal GPU, which in turn is more efficient. This also would apply to Reason and Bitwig.
antic604 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:06 am
Anyway, if it works for you - great. But I don't think the premise of your video is valid for everyone and in particular not for Windows users. Even worse - you say "DAW" as if it didn't matter which DAW, because for example Reason or Bitwig will always render on CPU no matter how much GPUs you have and how you set up your system. GPU acceleration needs to be built-in into the DAW and what you're left with is choice of GPU to use, if your system allows it. As I said on Reddit, I simply think your Mac and/or version of OS forbids live from using GPU inside it, so it runs off of the CPU and that's why you're seeing the boost.
I never said it was valid for everyone. I specifically said it depends on your hardware setup. Most gaming laptops won't benefit. Pretty much every macbook pro from 2015 will benefit. All-in-one PC's, Intel NUC, laptops like the Lenovo X1 Carbon, etc... But one area that will benefit for sure, is streaming/recording through OBS. If people are interested in that, it expands the customer base quite a bit. Not mention, as you stated, running 4k monitors, especially in dual setups. That also expands the customer base.

As I have said before. If you want to save me the $400 I just spent on this eGPU setup, I'd be happy to understand what I am missing, if I am actually setting up live/plugins improperly. I'd love to get the same performance out of my internal GPU, as well as the same temps (which are less using the eGPU).

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antic604
KVRAF
3346 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Re: Will an eGPU improve the performance of your music production?

Post Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:04 am

jbehrmusic wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:43 am
You didn't clarify whether you're running off the internal LCD, or an external 1080p monitor?

I'm aware that some plugins aren't built for GPU acceleration. But if you have a case of the mac mini, where there is no internal LCD, in which an external monitor is the only option, an eGPU will help with all plugins/daws, since the video/picture is being rendered only through the eGPU (and not some internal LCD display, which laptops have). This allows the CPU to NOT share memory with the internal GPU, which in turn is more efficient. This also would apply to Reason and Bitwig.
Indeed, sorry. Yes, I'm using the native LCD screen of the laptop. But I'm fairly certain it doesn't matter for the performance whether I'm displaying Live on laptop's LCD or - by cloning the image, not using extended desktop - external monitor. There's no additional processing happening there, just signal doubling. The connection doesn't dictate which GPU is used. If I had a desktop with an external monitor connected to the GPU card BUT have Live set to be rendered using the embedded GPU, the external GPU would only pass the final, already composited image to the screen. Its job would be akin to displaying a bitmap picture, because all the "heavy" drawing, texturing & rendering would be already done by the embedded GPU. Not to mention the amount of data required to render DAW screen is NO WHERE NEAR to amount of data required by games that the GPUs - even embedded ones - were designed to work with: games use texture data exceeding the screen resolution several times, with multiple layers (color, depth, PBR properties (rughness, specularity), shadow maps, etc.) not to mention everything needs to be scaled & wrapped around 3D objects and then post-processed (color grading, alpha-effects (transluency, water, smoke, etc.)). Drawing a DAW screen even with lots of moving graphs is piece of cake even for embedded GPU.

Also, using external monitor connected to GPU card / eGPU would in no way improve rendering for Bitwig or Reason.
jbehrmusic wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:43 am
I never said it was valid for everyone. I specifically said it depends on your hardware setup.
You imply it in video's title by NOT narrowing it down to Live running on Mac OS. I genuinely wonder if the impact would be anything like you show for Logic Pro?
Bitwig 3.1 // Reason 11.1 // Studio One 4.6 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604
other stuff - Psytrance in Bitwig Studio tutorial

jbehrmusic
KVRist
88 posts since 26 Mar, 2019

Re: Will an eGPU improve the performance of your music production?

Post Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:38 am

antic604 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:04 am
Indeed, sorry. Yes, I'm using the native LCD screen of the laptop. But I'm fairly certain it doesn't matter for the performance whether I'm displaying Live on laptop's LCD or - by cloning the image, not using extended desktop - external monitor....
Maybe you're a bit confused here, or it could be partially my fault in my explanation. So there are two types of eGPU's. Ones that just work as an external processor, with no inputs available for external monitors. And there are ones that work as both, which is what I have. On the back of my eGPU, I can plug my two monitors into it, versus plugging them directly into my Mac Mini. This has improved performance quite a bit, up to 70% in some cases (at lower buffer sizes) and during OBS streaming.

To address your internal lcd scenario. I'd urge you to plugin an external monitor (extended, NOT cloned), and run the numbers again. I doubt they will remain the same.
antic604 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:04 am
Also, using external monitor connected to GPU card / eGPU would in no way improve rendering for Bitwig or Reason.
I'm not sure what you mean by "rendering"? But I have Reason and I will install it tomorrow and run the test as well.
antic604 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:04 am
You imply it in video's title by NOT narrowing it down to Live running on Mac OS. I genuinely wonder if the impact would be anything like you show for Logic Pro?
That's true, I think the title may be a bit misleading. I may re-name the title, as well as create an updated video that shows a more broad range of laptops/macbooks.

As for your Logic Pro question, here's a thread just from a quick google search: https://www.reddit.com/r/Logic_Studio/c ... gic_pro_x/

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