Windows 10: Support of older hardware

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Help Center Article

Windows 10: Support of older hardware

A Windows 10 upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 may sound tempting shortly before the end of the Windows 7 support lifecycle. However, please keep in mind that a DAW with Cubase or Nuendo relies on an officially supported system environment with supported components.

As Windows 10 develops and new updates are released frequently, it is obvious that the compatibility with older hardware becomes increasingly difficult - some hardware (e.g. AMD Radeon HD 6800 series) is certified for Windows 10, but only up to a certain OS revision (e.g. Redstone 2), meaning the latest available certified driver for some devices dates back to 2015, before important changes like the implementation of HiDPI support.

Cubase/Nuendo uses very recent Microsoft application programming interfaces (APIs) resulting in older drivers calling Shims or other ‘software interfaces’ to run that hardware. This can lead to a decreased reliability and performance.

We received support requests on Windows 10 systems that are not officially supported by hardware manufacturers anymore. Some examples:

  • Intel CPUs prior to the 3rd Intel Core generation (Ivy Bridge) are not supported.
  • Intel GPUs like the still wide spread Intel HD Graphics 3000 are not supported.
  • AMD HD 4000 or older are not officially compatible. Even the AMD HD 6000 is only compatible with an older build of Windows 10. Details...
  • Laptops that have been upgraded although the manufacturer never announced support for Windows 10. Drivers that are available online often are not officially certified and can cause issues in such a demanding environment.

Please do not try upgrading to Windows 10 manually if compatibility is not guaranteed.
If the option to upgrade is available, first check for official Windows 10 drivers for the components used. If there are none available, we cannot recommend proceeding with the upgrade.
Keep in mind that a DAW application has higher demands than a browser or a media player. And those need to be met!