Does GPU matter for music production?

When building a dedicated PC workstation for music production, a lot of money goes into CPU, RAM, SSD, motherboard, etc. But what about GPU? Do we need an expensive one? Does GPU even matter for music production? Let’s find out how important is the role of GPU for music production.

Role of GPU in music production

Out of all the PC components, GPU plays the least significant role in music production. But remember, nothing on the display would be viewable without GPU. It’s just there to calculate and output the image data on the display monitor.

Do we need an expensive GPU for music production?

Since DAW and plugins don’t require faster refresh rates, ray tracing capabilities, and other fancy features that are required for gaming and video editing, a low-budget GPU (eg. RTX 3060 12GB) would be sufficient to get the job done.

How about APU or iGPU?

We all know how bad is the GPU market right now. The prices are almost double or even triple at a lot of stores. Even worse, at most stores, GPUs are totally out of stock. This is forcing people to invest temporarily or permanently in an APU or iGPU.

Most of the CPUs with integrated GPU are quite weak to provide a smooth flow for music production. Fortunately, AMD has some robust offerings in this segment, for example:

The 6-core Ryzen 5 5600G comes with 7 Graphics Compute Units clocking at up to 1.9 GHz whereas the 8-core Ryzen 7 5800G hosts 8 Graphics Compute Units clocking at up to 2.0 GHz.

For optimum performance, I’d advise you to stick with 1080p displays with these APUs for music production.

Quick Links for GPU availability tracking:

GPU ModelStore links to check availability
RTX 3060Amazon / Newegg
RTX 3060 TiAmazon / Newegg
RTX 3070Amazon / Newegg
RTX 3070 TiAmazon / Newegg
RTX 3080Amazon / Newegg
RTX 3080 TiAmazon / Newegg
RTX 3090Amazon / Newegg
NVIDIA RTX GPU Availability Tracking Links

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Ishaan Sarna

Founder of Soundelicit.com, Technoiser.com, and Isolapse.com. Music Producer by profession and also a Tech Enthusiast.