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Best Graphics Card For Video Editing

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If you’re into streaming on Twitch, chances are you’ll also be into video editing, and to do that you’ll need a good graphics card. However, you will quickly find that the prices can range from a few hundred to more than a thousand euros. For this reason, we invite you to first discover our selection of the best GPUs for video editing , then the buying guide to help in the decision-making process in a second step.

Comparison of the best graphics cards for video editing

1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

Let’s be clear: this latest generation GPU offers exceptional performance, but it’s a disproportionate purchase for “just” video editing. Indeed, this is a particularly expensive graphics card whose price easily reaches 900 euros . So make the choice if – and only – if you plan to indulge in gaming at the same time. The power of the GPU will allow you to play in 4K with ray tracingactivated. There are very few criticisms to be made against this model; however, be sure to have a large case, as the GPU is particularly large. This is also essential with regard to cooling, otherwise noise pollution can quickly become unbearable. Knowing that not all RTX 3080 models are created equal, I have made a top of the best RTX 3080s on the market .

The +:

  • Allows 4K gaming with ray tracing enabled
  • DLSS technology for 60 FPS in 4K
  • Rich connectivity

The – :

  • Large dimensions
  • High price

2. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

Always at a very high level, the manufacturer with the green logo never ceases to impress us. The card here seems to succeed on all counts: performance , cooling efficiency , subtle noise pollution… Consumer comments also value the speed of processing complex tasks, such as video editing. This is undoubtedly a solid machine, but which now suffers from the comparison with its little sister that we presented previously. The price at which it is found can actually be higher even though the performance is not as high. However, it will be able to convince you with its smaller dimensions and its preserved power ( 4K game at 60 FPS , as before).

The +:

  • Excellent for video editing AND gaming
  • Efficient and quiet cooling
  • Large amount of memory (11 GB)

The – :

  • Price still high…

3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super

In comparison to the two previous models, let’s now consider a slightly more affordable model, which is easily around 450-500 euros . The clock frequency boosted to 1650 MHz unfolds sacred performance, which will serve you for video editing and gaming in WQHD resolution . The amount of memory certainly remains lower than the previous machine, at 8 Gb, but the processing speed during complex tasks is still just as satisfactory. Given the value for money that the RTX 2060 Super reveals to us, we can only recommend it. This, especially since the difference in pricing with the standard 2060 remains limited even though in terms of performance, the Super largely wins.

The +:

  • Game in WQHD with ray tracing
  • Video processing speed
  • A good compromise for the price

The – :

  • Ventilation active at rest

4. AMD Radeon RX 580 Graphics

What will certainly convince you the most with this model is its affordable price compared to the great performance that the device deploys. For some 200 euros , you can take advantage of a graphics card allowing the editing of video in 4K . It can, to do so, count on a frequency of 1425 MHz after overclocking . The amount of memory is also honorable, with 8 GB dedicated; GDDR5 technology is certainly not the most recent, but remains quite relevant. The little extra that would have allowed the model to stand out more? Smaller dimensions, allowing it to fit into more towers.

The +:

  • Very suitable for 4K video editing
  • Overclocking possibilities
  • Competetive price
  • Wealth of connections

The – :

  • Bulky design
  • Not for DaVinci Resolve

4. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super

Now let’s go back to the American manufacturer with the green logo which, decidedly, dominates the ranking. Faced with the particularly expensive devices that were presented to you at the top, we are considering something much more affordable here. You will be able to find it at just over 200 euros and, for performance, it is definitely one of the most attractive value for money that is deployed here. However, you will have to make some concessions: for example, it is not the best choice for video editing in 4K, nor for the use of DaVinci Resolve software. On the other hand, with its frequency of 1530 MHz , it will be perfectly convincing for editing in WQHD or for gaming in full HD.. However, it suffers from the comparison with the previous model from AMD, which is slightly more expensive but allows him to edit 4K video in complete fluidity.

The +:

  • Very interesting price
  • Reduced dimensions
  • Balanced performance

The – :

  • Unsuitable for Davinci Resolve software
  • Too low for 4K editing

Video Editing Graphics Card Buying Guide

You have seen through the comparison that the ranges extend and the prices can be explosive. Therefore, it is essential to clearly identify your needs in order to know the right model to turn to. We also discuss the different selection criteria.

AMD or Nvidia GPUs: which to choose?

These are actually the two manufacturers that stand out on the market. Until then, Nvidia ‘s technology allowed it to keep a real lead. This was especially the case when it came to thermal performance . Meanwhile, AMD was focusing on the entry and mid-range. Things have changed since then, and this last manufacturer is able to offer products with an attractive price-quality ratio , for quite honorable performance.

Several criteria will have to be observed, such as the editing software you will use. Typically, Adobe is more optimized for Nvidia than its competitor. The price difference may tip the scales in AMD’s favor, however, especially since you don’t necessarily have to get the more powerful models.

Do you need a powerful GPU for video editing?

Since we are talking about video, one might be tempted to believe that graphic resources are what matter most. However, a large majority of video editing software requires much more the processor than the graphics card.

So, although the choice of the GPU is not to be neglected, that of the CPU is even more important . We therefore invite you to find our comparison of the best processors for video editing .

What video editing software to use?

The choice of software solution will mainly depend on your operating system.

  • For Windows

It is typically the most used operating system in the world, and which logically offers the greatest compatibility with the various software solutions. Among the most complete and intended for professionals, we particularly recommend Adobe Premiere Pro CC and DaVinci Resolve. However, if you are a beginner in this field and do not want to spend so much, EaseUS Video Editor and Magix Video Deluxe are much more appropriate.

  • For macOS

Similar to Windows OS, DaVinci Resolve is also compatible with Apple devices. Other software is also available, such as VSDC Free Editor (available for free) or Final Cut Pro X (the equivalent of Adobe Premiere Pro CC).

How to choose your graphics card for video editing?

Now let’s move on to the different parameters that you must observe, not only with regard to the technical characteristics of the machine, but also the performance you expect from it according to your needs.

Use

First think about the goals you want to achieve: is it just to do video editing  ? Or do you also want to use the card to play  ? In the case of the stream , it is often due to your configuration. For example, in the case of a config with 2 PCs, the computer managing the assembly, the video edition and the encoding does not need a GPU as powerful as for a config with 1 PC having to manage at both the game and the stream. It is therefore necessary to estimate precisely what you will use the GPU for in order to invest in suitable hardware, both in terms of budget and in terms of your expectations.

The resolution

This is certainly one of the factors that will play the most in choosing the right equipment for video editing. You won’t actually need the same GPU depending on whether you’re editing in full HD, WQHD, 4K, 6K … and up to 8K HDR  ! Take into account your current config, but also the potential short and medium term changes. If you are called upon to change screens for a higher resolution, it may be in good taste to opt directly for a high-performance GPU, in anticipation.

Compatibility

Several parameters must be taken into question in order to ensure, quite simply, that the graphics card can be used with your current config (or future config). Pay particular attention to these three criteria:

  • Dimensions : large GPUs will not be able to fit into mini-cases; they will also require a fairly wide tower in order to benefit from optimal ventilation
  • The socket : this designates the connectors allowing the connection to the motherboard; check that it can be connected to the desired GPU
  • The power of the PSU  : you should focus on the TDP (Thermal Power Design) of the graphics card and opt for a sufficiently powerful PSU

Ray tracing: a necessity?

This is one of the great promises of Nvidia, namely a more realistic management of shadows and light for a spectacular rendering. This is the announcement on paper, but what about in practice? Until recently, visibility on raytracing was still limited: in question, not Nvidia’s technology, but the games, not yet supporting it. However, as the releases progress, this display technology is set to become a real standard (witness the Xbox Series X and the PS5, both of which support it). We can therefore see much more progress in raytracing today, especially with the latest generation of RTX 3080 and 3090 cards. In any case, for viewers, raytracing is a real pleasure for peepers!

Ventilation and noise

In order for your equipment to avoid overheating and have good durability, it is essential that the ventilation is adequate. Whether you opt for the fans provided by the manufacturer or for a separate purchase ( fans or AIO watercooling ), these must be chosen in line with the performance of the GPU. Indeed, the more powerful it will be, the more its heat release will be important. It is therefore important to invest in an efficient system for good heat dissipation. In addition to cooling performance , also pay attention to noise pollution . Fans can actually get a lot louder s when the GPU is pushed to its limits, as with gaming.

  • Our purchase advice if you opt for separate cooling: BeQuiet fans! are particularly renowned for their quiet operation. If you play without headphones and you can’t stand the noise of the fans, then this is a perfect choice!

Overclocking

It is a process applicable to computer components and aimed at pushing them beyond their basic performance. In the case of the graphics card and the processor, for example, this consists in particular of boosting the clock frequency while optimizing the fans. If originally the process allowed sacred gains in performance, however, it presented risks at the same time. Risk of overheating, more pronounced wear, failure or breakdown  : manufacturers had to react. With factory overclocking, these therefore limit the possibilities left to users. You still have some leeway to boost the GPU though, but be careful not to take it too far.

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Justin Silva

Fan of video games and new technologies, I have been an editor in this field for several years now. I like to share my passion through news, tests, and other files. I also love wrestling and Harry Potter (and cats of course!)

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