How to select the best graphics card for video editing that suits you?

There is nothing that makes life easier than a good graphic card for all the video editors out there. When you have a good graphics card, you can spend more time shooting content and building a portfolio, and less time editing. This guide will take you through different facets of graphics cards and help you identify which graphics card suits you best. It would be best to look at various aspects when selecting the best graphics card for video editing, and here we will talk about them in detail. 

best graphics card for video editing

Finding the best graphics card for video editing | How it all began! 

Back in the day, we used to depend completely on our computer’s CPU (Central Processing Unit). We depended on the CPU to export videos, process them, and even edit them. Nonetheless, video editing technology has evolved at a rapid speed. Therefore, even with eight or more cores, you cannot achieve the quality and power of a good graphics card. A good graphics card can have over a thousand processing cores. A good graphics card can export a video a lot quicker than a high-end Central Processing Unit. You do not have to ponder about the high-end graphics card for this matter. Even an average graphics card can give you an impressive speed boost compared to a CPU. 

Almost all editing packages support hardware video acceleration, and with graphics card hardware, you can upgrade it. It will save a huge amount of manpower and time for you and a performance boost in your video editing. However, picking the right graphics card depends on many important things such as your budget, your capacity, and the hardware. Finding the best graphics card for a video editing laptop is not possible. You can only upgrade the graphics card on your desktop computer. However, you can increase the graphics card’s performance on your laptop by adding an eGPU (External Graphics Card). You can attach the eGPU using a Thunderbolt. This is a standard graphics card that comes in a special enclosed space that powers up directly from the main outlet. It connects to your laptop through a Thunderbolt. 

Tech jargon in finding the best graphics card for video editing


best graphics card for video editing

If you are a new video editor, finding a good graphics card for video editing can be challenging. If you are new to the arena and are not familiar with the tech jargon related to the graphics card, it can look tough to select a good graphics card for you. Most people decide the quality of the graphics card they want to purchase by learning one main thing. That is, by learning how it performs on their favorite game. But if you are buying the best graphics card for video editing and rendering, then there is more to consider. 

First things first! – What is a Graphics Card?

A graphics card is computer hardware that helps you produce an array of images and display it on a computer. Every computer comes with a graphics card. It is impossible to run web browsers and word processors without a basic graphics card. You need a graphics card to run the basic applications with graphics on a computer. 

Types of graphics cards that you can commonly find in the market


There are two most common types of graphics cards that you can find in the market. Most of the computers come with an integrated graphics card that is on the same chip as the CPU (Central Processing Unit). An Integrated graphics card helps you watch videos, play games, edit photos and do other simple graphics work on your computer. Nonetheless, when the graphic card and the Central Processing Unit are on the same chip, it limits both capacities. Therefore, it slows the computer down because it requires extra time to perform tasks on one chip. 

The other most common type of graphics card is a dedicated graphics card. The best graphics card for 4k video editing is a dedicated graphics card. You can install it on your desktop computer and save a lot of time in editing. A good Dedicated graphics card will help you edit videos in a high resolution much faster by eliminating the time you spend on it. By doing so, you can spend more time shooting content. Another reason to install the best graphics card for video editing is, it will keep your computer from lagging. It can be really irritating when the computer starts lagging during video editing. Hence, installing a good graphics card can save you time and perhaps, your sanity too! 

best graphics card for video editing

With all of that being said, buying the right graphics card makes a good investment, depending on what tasks you do use that. If you are only doing basic photo editing, you can use the integrated graphics card that is on your computer. If you are a professional animator/ graphic designer, or a gamer, buying a graphics card will be a good investment. With a graphics card on your computer, you can easily do everyday video editing in a much speedy manner.  

What specs do I need for video editing? Factors to consider!

There are many models and features available in graphics cards in the market. But there are specifications that you need to consider when buying a graphics card that best fits your needs. You have to see the computer’s configuration too when buying a graphics card. Apart from that, below are some specs and factors to consider when buying a graphics card. 

Power Draw

You need to have a stable power source for your computer’s configuration. This is a crucial factor. A stable power draw will ensure that your computer would not have hardware malfunctions and crashes. The power usage differs from graphics cards’ model to model. It can have a range from 120 Watts up to 300 Watts. Some of the high-end graphics cards would demand power as much as all computer components combined. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your power supply can provide enough of it. 

Multi-card scaling

Your multi-card scaling option depends on the available space and size. If you connect more than one graphics card, it is going to consume a lot of space. For instance, here is a solution that you can take as an example. AMD and Nvidia are two you can connect successfully through CrossFire X or NVLink. But if your graphics cards have different architectures, you cannot pair the cards together.  



The most regular size of a graphics card is between 10.5 and 11 inches. In expansion slots, you can connect to two or three cards. This is a crucial factor to consider because you have to see how many expansion slots you have at hand. Not only that, but you also must check the size of the graphics card or cards you are buying. That will ensure if they can fit in your expansion slot. 


Overheating is a dangerous thing when it comes to graphics cards and computers. Overheating can cause irreversible damages to your graphics card and computer. Checking the cooling capacity of the graphics card you are buying is also an important factor. It would be for the best if you kept in your mind that most graphics cards come with cooling fans that make noise. Therefore, you have to find something that can work at low noise levels to avoid interruption. 

How to choose the right graphics card based on your computer? 

best graphics card for video editing

Choosing a graphics card for Mac

You can get a graphics card by AMD as long as you have a 2019 Mac Pro. But Nvidia would not work on Mac. macOS supports graphics cards made by AMD and not Nvidia. macOS Catalina and newer can support AMD’s graphics cards that are currently in the market. If you are utilizing Windows via Boot Camp on a Mac Pro 2019, you can get an Nvidia graphics card. 

Choosing a graphics card for a PC

You have a variety of choices when it comes to a PC. If you have a PC and want to get a graphics card, you can get one via Nvidia or AMD chipset because they both work fine on a PC. But first, let us have a glimpse of the below so that you won’t get disappointed after the purchase. 

– You must ensure that your desktop tower has enough space. Some graphics cards do not fit inside small tower cases because of the length of the graphics card. You will need a lot of space below the PCIe slot where you plug the graphics card because they come with a cooling heatsink and a cooling fan. 

– If you fit a high-powered graphics card, please ensure that you have a good power supply to the PC. You would not want your PC to result in a puff of smoke coming from the back of your computer with a crushed monitor. Modern graphics cards consume much less electricity compared to a few years back. Nonetheless, it is vital to ensure you have a good power supply. Graphics cards like GeForce RTX 3060 Ti draws 200W. If you have a decent speed of 500W PSU, it should be enough to whole the entire PC together. 


– How to know the best motherboard for video editing? You must make sure that your motherboard is compatible with the graphics card you are installing. Usually, all graphics cards have been using the same PCI Express with a 16x data connector for many years. So, your motherboard should be compatible unless it is older than the hills. 

What graphics card is best for video editing?

Usual video editing does not demand as much as professional rendering does. For instance, your consumer Nvidia with CUDA should be able to assist you with video editing without an issue. If you are a freelancer who does content creation for social media sites and Youtube, you can use a consumer GPU (graphics card) to edit the videos. Video editing and photo editing do not require high-end specifications and big price tags. You can just be fine with a lower-tier to mid-tier graphics card such as GeForce RTX. If you are into high-level/entrepreneur-level video editing with a lot of rendering, you may want to go for a higher-tier graphics card. 

best graphics card for video editing

What can you expect from a rendering graphics card? 

Especially for 3D rendering in a professional setting, you will need to demand a lot more than casual editing from your graphics card. Let us say your rendering engine is compatible with your rendering graphics card. If so, the biggest expectation here is to have the highest possible count of CUDA Cores and VRAM. The reason for this is the average time it takes to render a Frame. For instance, the time it takes to render an average Frame from your graphics card is adversely proportional to the number of CUDA Cores your graphics card has. If the 3D Scene Data fits into the graphics card’s VRAM, you can use it at its maximum capacity. 

For instance, if you have a lot of rendering and video editing with complex scenes, this information will come in handy. For complex scenes and many polygons and displacements, you will need a higher VRAM. Even for instance, with high-resolution textures, you will need a higher VRAM. If your video has fewer objects, then the level of VRAM and CUDA Cores should not be high. Most GeForce RTX graphics cards come with a good amount of VRAM. You will commonly find it between 8GB and 11GB. If your rendering is enterprise-level, you will need to go with something like a Quadro RTX graphics card which hikes up to 48GB VRAM! 


The best graphics card for video editing 4K

Technology has been growing at an incredible speed. Unlike the yesteryears, capturing a 4K resolution video is not a big deal. You do not necessarily have to have professional equipment for that. Most smartphones can capture 4K videos at 60fps. However, editing a video with high resolution can be a lagging task on your computer if the integrated graphics card is not up to the task. 

best graphics card for video editing

Video editing software products become more and more dependent on graphics cards rather than just the CPU. Graphics cards are becoming a vital component for video editing and rendering. Graphics cards are important if you want to shorten the time you take for video editing. If you also want to spend more time rendering 4K videos, you can find the best graphics card for video editing below.  

Top Graphics Cards for 4K Video Editing and Rendering | best graphics card for video editing 4k 2020

If you are looking for a graphics card to make your life easier, there are two major brands you can choose from. They are AMD and Nvidia. In the past years, Nvidia was a clear-cut choice to many video editors because these graphics cards could help you work with a lot of videos in high resolution. In the recent past, AMD has come up with a few models of graphics cards. These actually have blown the minds of many editors because they are capable of a lot of things when it comes to rendering. Let us have a look at which graphics card is better for video editing?

Asus AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT- A top-notched best graphics card for video editing

This is a graphics card that AMD manufactures to help animators, gamers, and video editors. This graphics card help maximize the quality of the output of their video editing. It is the best graphics card for video editing and gaming. It has around 40 compute units that can improve your gaming and animating experience. Above all, it has an RDNA architecture and FidelityFX technology that ensures every detail in the 4K video is visible. It comes with 8GB memory and supports 4K decoding and encoding rendering formats. This graphics card utilizes intelligent sharpening technology, which is amazing for 4K video editors. With this graphics card, you can connect to six monitors. It is the best budget graphics card for video editing in the market with a capacity like this.


EVGA Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super

This graphics card mainly focuses on reducing the time you have to spend on rendering, especially 4K videos. It lets you to play video games in real-time. Advantages of this graphics card include noiseless dual HDB fans and real-time ray tracing. It also has a 1770 MHz boost clock. Moreover, it has a memory speed of 14Gbps which ensures smooth playback of your videos and fast rendering of video files. It has advanced Artificial Intelligence that enables it to perform six times faster. 

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition

While it can be slightly more expensive than similar models in the market, it has a superb cooling system and offers excellent ray tracing. With this graphics card, you can edit videos captured from Smartphones and professional video cameras. Besides its amazing 8GB VRAM, it has a whopping 1800MHz boost clock. Let us not forget the 2944 CUDA cores that would enable you to maximize your rendering at an unbelievable speed. You can easily pair this graphics card with multiple GPUs and further enhance the 4K video editing capacity. You can call it the best graphics card for photo and video editing if you plan to spend some bucks! 

What is the difference between Pro Vs. Consumer Graphics Card?

If you are juvenile to video editing and rendering, you are most likely to do it using the integrated graphics card on your computer. A GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is what we call a graphics card. That comes as an expansion to your computer, and you can have more than one GPU plugged in. There are two types of GPUs in the market: Pro and Consumer GPU. 

Consumer graphics cards such as AMD’s Radeon VII and Titan line from Nvidia almost look and does the same things as a professional GPU. So, what is the actual difference between these consumer GeForce graphics cards and Pro Quadro RTX cards? Most of these consumer GPUs are similar, and only Quadros are several times pricy. Let us see the difference between them. 

best graphics card for video editing

Pro graphics cards

AMD and Nvidia manufacture pro GPUs such as Quadro and FirePro. They are specifically designed to optimize compatibility among leading video editing applications. They are also a long-term investment because their life span is quite longer than consumer GPUs. Pro graphics cards can last for years compared to consumer graphics cards. Pro graphics cards drivers optimize their speed to run at their best on industry-level applications. One of the grand-schemed industry applications is CAD-Application. And this application has special features such as RealView in Solidworks. This feature, for instance, works only if you have a Pro GPU.

Another thing to remember is, certain software vendors will only render support if you have a workstation with a pro GPU. This is a crucial factor if you have a large company where you need the server to be up and running. It ensures that PCs are functional at any given time. In short, pro GPUs such as Quadro or FirePro are for companies that function on a larger scale because they have equipment that only a pro GPU can support. 

A pro graphics card, usually, is not so good at gaming. These graphics cards are specially for editing, rendering, and any related professional-level task. But the price comes much higher for pro GPUs compared to consumer GPUs. 

Consumer graphics cards 

As the name goes, consumer GPUs are great for gamers and consumer editing applications. They are also excellent for photo and video editing. Some consumer GPUs such as Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti are over-qualified for consumer applications, even though they fall under the consumer category. 

best graphics card for video editing

How important is a graphics card for video editing?

Even at a consumer’s level, having a GPU can take you a long way. Especially if you are a freelancer, you will surely enjoy the blessing of a consumer GPU because they are great for editing and rendering. If the software you use does not demand a pro graphics card or a huge amount of VRAM, you can get a consumer GPU, which is always a better choice.

Wrapping up: The best graphics card for video editing depends on your choice! 

While there can be many opinions about the graphics card, they type, brands, and prices, it is you who will know!

You will know the best graphics card for video editing. It depends on what PC you have, what work you do, how much you can spend on it, etc. Frankly speaking, if your editing software does not require a specific type of graphics card, it is best to buy a lower-tier or mid-tier graphics card for your editing purposes. In the end, they all will boost your rendering speed, and you will spend less time editing the videos! 

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