Whether you are making videos casually for social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram, or you work as a video editor professionally, it is quite important to have the right tools. This not only includes the required video editing programs but also includes a powerful computer.
Without a powerful computer, editing high-resolution footage can be quite laggy with very long render times. Even though most people do pick powerful processors for video editing, many skip on a good graphics card. And to help you in choosing the right one, we are here with the complete guide on how to pick a dedicated graphics card for video editing as shown here:
Benefits of using Dedicated Graphics Cards for Video Editing
Before taking a look at the various factors to consider while choosing the right graphics for your computer, it is quite important to know the benefits of using one. While you may think of a graphics card as a component only for graphic rendering, most video editors can also use your PC’s dedicated graphics card.
Whether it’s rendering or scrubbing through the timeline, having a graphics card can be quite helpful. In most cases, the dedicated graphics card of your computer will assist the processor and make the whole video editing process much faster.
Another benefit of going with a dedicated graphics card for video editing is that you can use a wide range of plug-ins and effects that only work with graphics cards.
Also check: Our list of Best Laptops for Video Editing.
Nvidia vs AMD Graphics Cards
Even though the hardware specifications of your graphics card certainly play a huge role in terms of the performance numbers that it will offer, it is also quite important to check the graphics card manufacturer. This is due to the reason that different GPU brands use different firmwares that offer different compatibility with operating systems as well as video editing programs. While both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards are compatible with all video editing programs, the same cannot be said about operating systems.
This is due to the reason that if you are using a computer with macOS in it, you can only use an AMD graphics card with it. On the other hand, if you have a Windows computer, then you can use either an Nvidia or AMD graphics card.
In some cases, Nvidia graphics cards offer better compatibility in terms of the plug-ins that you can use with it. Because of this,
AMD is the better option for macOS systems and Nvidia is the better option for Windows systems.
Graphics Card Chipset
Coming to the hardware specifications of the various graphics cards available out there, you should first check the graphics card chipset or the graphics card model. This is due to the reason that even if two graphics cards have the same amount of VRAM, they might offer completely different performance based on their chipset.
For example, even though a GTX 1080 and an RTX 3070 have the same 8 GB VRAM, the RTX 3070 offers much better performance with its newer chipset. In other words, you should always go with a graphics card with a newer model and a higher-end graphics card chipset to get better performance out of it.
Graphics Card VRAM
If you are looking for a dedicated graphics card for your video editing needs, then it is most likely that you usually work on high-resolution footage. Not only that but if you are also using a lot of effects and plug-ins, they can also be quite heavy. To handle all such high bitrate media files and heavy effects, your graphics card needs to have a lot of VRAM. Similar to the RAM of your computer, the VRAM is responsible for handling all such media files.
As a result, it is recommended to get a graphics card with 8 gigs of VRAM or higher if you want a great video editing experience. Other than the capacity, the speed of the VRAM used by your graphics card can also affect its performance as GDDR6X offers much better performance than GDDR6 and GDDR5X VRAM.
Graphics Card Clock Speed
Similar to the processor of your computer, a graphics card also has a clock speed rating which tells you about the number of instructions it can handle every second. Because of this, a graphics card that has a higher clock speed is most likely going to offer better performance than one with lower clock speeds.
Another similarity between CPUs and GPUs is that both of them have base clock speeds as well as boost clock speeds. While the base clock speed tells you about the minimum performance you can expect at all times, the boost clock speed is the maximum performance you can expect in certain scenarios.
As for the clock speed options, you will find out there, most common clock speeds range between 1.6 GHz to 2.0 GHz. And out of this range, a higher clock speed is always going to be better for video editing. With a higher clock speed, you can expect faster render times and a smoother video editing experience in general.
Even though the power consumption rating of your graphics card does not affect its performance directly, it is still quite important to check the same. Whether you are building a new computer or getting a graphics card update for your existing one, it is quite important to check its power consumption rating.
This is to ensure that your power supply can handle the power required by your graphics card. Most graphics cards will come with a power rating like 200 watts or 300 watts along with a recommended PSU rating. If you have a PSU with 750-800 watts of power rating, it can easily handle even high-end graphics cards that you may use for video editing.
Now that you have checked the various factors related to the graphics card stated above, choosing the right dedicated graphics card for video editing should be quite easy. A dedicated GPU can make your render times much faster and allow you to easily use heavy plugins and effects in your preferred video editor. If you want to save time while editing videos, choosing the right graphics card can definitely help with that.