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Angelo DiBraccio

Is my GPU adequate for Cakewalk

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Posted (edited)

Hi

I'm not a big gamer... occasionally

I went to https://pc-builds.com/calculator "bottleneck calculator" and it reported:

"Your graphic card is too weak for this processor. We recommend you to replace NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 5GB with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti"

Could my GTX 1050 GPU cause any performance  issues in Cakewalk because it is under-powered?

Thank you for any ideas.

My System:

CPU:  i7 8700k, 32 GB ram,  GPU: GTX 1050 ti (4gb ram) driving 43" Samsung Smart TV and 22" ASUS Monitor, SSD system drive

 

Edited by Angelo DiBraccio

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Posted (edited)
Quote

Could my GTX 1050 GPU cause any performance  issues in Cakewalk because it is under-powered?

 

The simple answer is, NO!

Though I’m sure someone will soon be here to provide greater detail on why thats the case. Cakewalk is not a graphics intensive program nor does it offload audio threads to the GPU.

The single most significant bottleneck, all other things being OK, is, CPU speed. Audio does not lend itself to multithreaded processing so benefits more from processor speed than thread numbers. There is a recommended PC spec (Check the Reference Manual) that Cakewalk issues and it usually identifies a very modest GPU. Hope that helps.

Edited by Michael Vogel ( MUDGEL)
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I've been using a GeForce GT 640 (2 GB RAM) for years, and it's now on its third computer, with no noticeable problems. Of course, I don't play video games or do anything that might require a beefier GPU. I checked out that page you linked to and noticed this:

"This result is based on average CPU and GPU usage from different programs and games. It changes based on operating system, background processes activity and targeted applications. This result is not universal and changes based on differences in hardware and software enviroments. Please do not use this calculator primary as decision maker than as helping tool to understand performance correlations between different components.

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With your system, you wouldn't need to use a graphics card at all to run Cakewalk on 2 screens easily. The onboard graphics would be more than adequate. I have usually run my dedicated DAW's like that, only got a card for Hitfilm and Davinci editing. But if your an occasional gamer then I guess a dedicated card would be better. Whether you have a card at all or not won't worry Cakewalk.

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5 hours ago, Michael Vogel ( MUDGEL) said:

 

 Audio does not lend itself to multithreaded processing so benefits more from processor speed than thread numbers.

Intel propaganda unfortunately. (IMHO).

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Running Cakewalk with GTX 1050 is more than enough, even with 2 screens on 4K resolution.
My third PC -which is my video editing PC- is running GTX1050 without any problem doing home video editing.
My main DAW is running GT 730 with 2 screens for like 3 years now. All is cool.

GTX 1080Ti is famous to play graphic heavy games or serious video editing programs.

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6 hours ago, Jeff Bowman said:

Intel propaganda unfortunately. (IMHO).

Right this is incorrect information. Of course audio benefits from multiprocessing. Turn off the multiprocessing engine and run a moderately large project and see what happens :)

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Get a bare minimum GPU that will work for CW but not good enough for gaming and you'll spend more time making music and less time gaming! 😉

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On 6/11/2020 at 6:30 AM, Tezza said:

only got a card for Hitfilm and Davinci editing

Okay, Tezza, this topic is pertinent to one of my biggest frustrations when trying to put together good components for a workstation. Since gaming drives the GPU market, it is virtually impossible to find specifications or benchmarking for a graphics card's 2-D performance, yet I know for a fact that they can't all have the same performance.

Hitfilm and DaVinci are 2-D applications, if they use the GPU it's only during rendering, please correct me if I'm wrong. Vegas Pro, which I use, is like that. It comes with CODECS that can use my CUDA processors at render time. I would like to get a video card that would allow me to work in Vegas as smoothly as possible but I don't want to pay for 3-D performance I'm not going to use since I'm not interested in gaming these days (used to enjoy it, just not currently). I also sometimes have the video window open in Cakewalk and Mixcraft, so I would like that 2-D use to be smooth as well.

What did you base your card purchase on for your video editing use? Do you know of benchmarking software for 2-D performance? When I search on video editing forums for "best video card for Vegas" I get results that say things like "pretty much any card," but I know that the faster the memory the faster they can display, and my cards are over 10 years old. Their memory is slower than the later ones, and since it was more expensive, they have less of it. That at least must make a difference?

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Posted (edited)

Vegas is about CPU, ram and hard disk management, the card isn't that relevant because Vegas runs without hardware GPU acceleration support just fine and from my experience runs better with hardware acceleration switched off.  That's how I've used it in the past. Vegas's implementation of using the GPU for hardware acceleration has a dodgy history and it depends on what version you are using. For 17, the official recommendations are:

NVIDIA

For hardware rendering (NVEnc):
NVIDIA® GeForce 9XX series or higher with 4 GB

AMD/ATI

AMD/ATI® Radeon with 4 GB and VCE 3.0 or higher (Radeon Pro series with 8 GB for HDR and 32 bit projects)

Intel

Intel® GPU HD Graphics 530 series or higher

Some claim that AMD cards work better because their Open CL implementation is better.  I've read all the same forum posts as you probably have, "this card works" and "this one doesn't". It appears that GPU ram may have become more important with Vegas and depending on what codecs you are using might do final renders faster on certain cards. Perhaps this has become more important with 4k work which I don't do.

With Vegas, I just leave GPU hardware acceleration switched off. As you have mentioned it, I might switch it on to see what happens.

Hitfilm loves a big fat gaming card and is very reliant on the GPU for it's effects and compositing, it also has a 3d working space in compositing if you want, so needs a 3d card, I think the only NLE that can do this. Davinci also likes lots of GPU RAM. I would say that these days, a card with at least 4g GPU ram would be a good starting point for a video workstation. But if you are using Vegas and plan to use that only, it's probably the quickest to use out there with a crap card and hardware acceleration turned off.

2d performance is not that relevant these days since all cards have great 2d performance.

I use a Nvidia GTX 1060 with 6gb ram but that's mainly because the guy down the road had one for sale and I partly swapped something for it so it was a cheap addition as these cards can become quite expensive. Don't need to upgrade the card for what I do. It was also the turbo version which is really quiet at low use, I've yet to hear it really rev up. I was hesitant to put it in because of noise but it's been fine, still can use DAW with no noise, it's only when under pressure that there may be a murmur but that never happens when using the computer as a DAW. I had planned on getting a 3 - 4 gig card because that was what I worked out the sweet spot was for my finances and meeting the requirements for Davinci and Hitfilm. Also, Gamers are always updating so these cards are plentiful and available second hand on Ebay or Gumtree for cheaper.

I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about it, just get a 4gig Nvidia or AMD gaming card with a nice fan that's not too noisy at low use and you should be right. That will mean you can try out any NLE you want if you decide to try other NLE's. If you can get a bigger one do that. If you are trying to match specific codecs that you use with either Nvidia's CUDA/Open GL or AMD's Open CL/Open GL technology then follow the necessary path, I don't know that there will be a massive difference though unless the specific codec you want to use absolutely will not work with a particular technology, that is sometimes the case.

These cards are big so you will need a full tower case to house them.

 

Edited by Tezza

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On 6/12/2020 at 6:35 AM, Noel Borthwick said:

Right this is incorrect information. Of course audio benefits from multiprocessing. Turn off the multiprocessing engine and run a moderately large project and see what happens :)

Sorry for my poor explanation. I’ll try again and hopefully do it right. 
 

Often times the subject of what is better, CPU speed versus number of CPU cores comes up and from what I understand, CPU speed wins out over number of cores.  

My original comment, corrected in bold  

Audio does not lend itself to multi core processing so benefits more from processor speed than core numbers.

Please re-educate me if necessary. Thanks. 

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On 6/11/2020 at 10:27 AM, Michael Vogel ( MUDGEL) said:

 

The simple answer is, NO!

Though I’m sure someone will soon be here to provide greater detail on why thats the case. Cakewalk is not a graphics intensive program nor does it offload audio threads to the GPU.

The single most significant bottleneck, all other things being OK, is, CPU speed. Audio does not lend itself to multithreaded processing so benefits more from processor speed than thread numbers. There is a recommended PC spec (Check the Reference Manual) that Cakewalk issues and it usually identifies a very modest GPU. Hope that helps.

I totally agree with you! But I would also add that additional memory can also make a huge difference if you avoid/reduce memory swap to disk.

Multithread processing: This does only help if there is anything that can be done in parallel, but working in a DAW has 2 important areas that have to be serialized: The audio interface connection and the user graphics. So for many operations in a DAW multithread processing does not improve the performance substantially!

Generally I think that sophisticated technics are used by the developers nowadays to compensate the performance waste generated by "modern" developing tools. For a counterexample look at the small executable of Reaper, its huge functionality and you will understand the advantage of traditional, more native programming in contrast of using "modern" tools !!! It runs super efficient even on "smaller" systems (even Windows XP). 😉

Furthermore, the sophisticated technics mentioned above lead to a lot of bugs and problems. I had tried a lot of years to explain developers multithread processing and fixed their bugs in relation to it.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/12/2020 at 10:26 PM, Michael Vogel ( MUDGEL) said:

Sorry for my poor explanation. I’ll try again and hopefully do it right. 
 

Often times the subject of what is better, CPU speed versus number of CPU cores comes up and from what I understand, CPU speed wins out over number of cores.  

My original comment, corrected in bold  

Audio does not lend itself to multi core processing so benefits more from processor speed than core numbers.

Please re-educate me if necessary. Thanks. 

Try the test that @Noel Borthwick suggested to re-educate yourself.

Edited by Bill Phillips
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Posted (edited)
On 6/11/2020 at 3:48 AM, Angelo DiBraccio said:

Hi

I'm not a big gamer... occasionally

I went to https://pc-builds.com/calculator "bottleneck calculator" and it reported:

"Your graphic card is too weak for this processor. We recommend you to replace NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 5GB with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti"

Could my GTX 1050 GPU cause any performance  issues in Cakewalk because it is under-powered?

Thank you for any ideas.

My System:

CPU:  i7 8700k, 32 GB ram,  GPU: GTX 1050 ti (4gb ram) driving 43" Samsung Smart TV and 22" ASUS Monitor, SSD system drive

 

I don't think that Cakewalk uses GPU processing, but some VST plugins use OpenGL, particularly for sophisticated graphical audio data displays. In my case my CPU is an older i7-6850K with 6 cores and 12 threads. I had an older AMD R7-250 video card. I use the iZotope Music Production Suite which has, what I consider, an awesome user interface using lots of sophisticated graphics. I've also verified that iZotope plugins use OpenGL.

With my existing R7-250 video card I would get lots of pops and cracks anytime I opened certain iZotope plugins. Opening several iZotope plugins and interacting with the graphic displays would cause playback to stop even at the highest audio interface buffer size. I could see that the problem wasn't driving up or overloading my CPU and decided to upgrade my graphics card to a RX 580 to make more OpenGL processing capacity available for iZotope and any other processes that could use it. The result was a night and day improvement allowing me to drastically reduce audio interface buffer size in some situations and allowing Cakewalk to use more of my CPU's processing capacity.

Here's a thread to the SoundonSound forum I used to get advice in addressing the OpenGL problem. The advice I received helped me understand the problem and select a replacement graphics card.

At the end of the thread, I posted a summary of my conclusions from the graphics card upgrade. Hope you can open the link and read the thread. And I hope it's useful to you.

Edited by Bill Phillips
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My laptop gives me the choice of using its NVIDIA graphics card, or the onboard Intel graphics adapter.

Due to problems with some plugins, I've set Cakewalk to only use the Intel graphics adapter.

In theory the NVIDIA should give better performance, but I've found the Intel to be far slicker within Cakewalk.

Also given that most plugins will only use the 2D features of OpenGL, I doubt if using a separate graphics card gives you any real benefit.

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16 hours ago, msmcleod said:

My laptop gives me the choice of using its NVIDIA graphics card, or the onboard Intel graphics adapter.

Due to problems with some plugins, I've set Cakewalk to only use the Intel graphics adapter.

In theory the NVIDIA should give better performance, but I've found the Intel to be far slicker within Cakewalk.

Also given that most plugins will only use the 2D features of OpenGL, I doubt if using a separate graphics card gives you any real benefit.

I too had to switch some months ago to the onboard Intel GPU because some plugins crash using the Nvidia driver (it happens in every daw, not only CbB).

Cakewalk still works perfectly and I never noticed any difference between the onboard intel adapter and the more powerful GTX950M

I think a GTX 1050 is more than adequate for CbB. The only problem could be the bug I mentioned above in the Nvidia game driver. It's a known bug but not solved yet. However it doesn't affect every system.

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