graphics card

I haven’t seen much discussion about graphics cards since the introduction of 2.0, but I was wondering if it’s worth investing in a graphics card. I am currently using the onboard graphics of my motherboard. Would a (gaming) card improve performance, scrolling speed, or the general experience of Racking?

realistically it would depend on the rest of your current hardware. what are you currently running?

A 1GB graphics card in a good computer should be enough to use Rack without any problems. Obviously, the better the components, the more the maximum number of usable modules extends, but you don’t need 6-8-16gb graphics cards, you would never be able to exploit all the potential and the expense would be “useless”

Yes, of course. I’ve got a win10 system, i7-8700 cpu MSI MPG Z390 motherboard, don’t know what the onboard graphics are, but in device manager it says Intel UHD Graphics 630

what’s your frame-rate, what’s your screen resolution? it depends on both


In my opinion it’s always preferable to go with the external gpu rather then the onboard for so many reasons. But you can do things like observe what modules use how much ram/cpu or gpu and make a decision on what needs a buff.

1 Like

The screen is 2560x1080 @ 60 Hz, and I set the Rack frame rate to 10 Hz.

I would invest in a decent graphics card.

1 Like

Thanks. I will do just that. Now I will need to put some time into finding out which one would be that decent one. I sort of lost track of all the developments.

I run a GeForce GT 710 on 3440 x 1440 px at 50 Hz and it’s just enough. I paid about 50 bucks for this card.

Essentially every gaming graphics card you can buy right now is a scam. They are massively overpriced and/or not available due to the “chip shortage”. If you know someone who had build a new PC in the last two or three years, ask him if he still got his old card. Whatever that may be, it will be enough for VCV.

And don’t try to buy used from ebay, that’s the same story. Just have a look for a Geforce GTX 970 for example, they were released in 2014 for a MSRP of 329$ - that is 8 years ago and 4 generations old.


Yes. Especially given that you’re now running graphics at 10hz. How it works is that when the weak GPU cannot handle the graphics duties properly the CPU takes over from it for the graphics, which means that now that CPU power cannot be used for your patch and the max. size of patches you can run will be smaller. So yes, definately a decent dedicated/discrete GPU for Rack, like it says in the manual. Doesn’t have to be superduper, expensive and fancy, just decent. The M1 Apple computers are the exception here.

There are also non-graphics factors to consider for a “Graphics card”…

The CPU (Central Processing Unit) can potentially offload/delegate work to the GPU (Graphic Processing Unit). Especially for paralell processing. Especially usefull for real-time applications like realtime audio synthesis (DSP, Digital Signal Processing).

Basically the GPU is good at SIMD operations. Single Instruction Multiple Data (“parallel processing”)

The “application” developer can use these “SIMD” “instructions” in the sourcecode. To execute multiple parallel “tasks” or “data operations” in “one step”.

Obviously, for all this to work, the CPU/GPU must support this…and that’s a hardware thing…

For CPU: think of the MMX/AVX “SIMD” instruction set extensions for CPU’s

For GPU: think of OpenCL


I’m probably cutting many corners with the descriptions above. But the general considerations are valid…

1 Like

Here’s a related question that I’ve had a hard time answering myself:

I have a Ryzen 5700G. It comes with a fairly powerful integrated GPU, able to handle most things I throw at it at 1080p with no problems. However, as I understand it, VCVRack does not seem to utilize integrated GPUs particularly well.

I also have an old GTX 760 2GB card lying around. Would VCVRack perform better or worse if were to install the graphics card? If so, would it come at a cost to how the system performs in other areas?

Sure, a few specialized applications can, but Rack can’t, at least not yet and I don’t see that coming anytime soon.

Well, Rack needs a certain minimum amount of “GPU power” for its graphics rendering and builtin graphics are notoriously weak (except Apple M1 machines). Whether the old GTX 760 2GB card is better I couldn’t say.

If it works better for Rack it’ll work better for everything else, I can’t see why not.

On Performance and the issue of the “external” GPU not being used.

Copied from another thread/question

1 Like

It doesn’t even run all too bad on my 12 y/o Thinkpad x201.

I agree that iGPUs are notoriously weak normally, but these Ryzen “G” series processors are a bit of an exception. The iGPU is about as powerful as a GT 1030, which should really be more than enough to run VCVRack, but it just seems like it ignores the existance of the iGPU.

It could be that it there are some settings that are stopping it from using it. I will look into this.

I’m not following you. I think you said you have integrated graphics and then an old card “lying around”, i.e. outside the compter. So if there’s only one GPU in your computer, the integrated one, the computer can’t really ignore it. Do you have two GPU’s in the machine?

Audio processing in the gpu has a very high latency. It would never work for VCV which processes one sample at a time.

1 Like