Updated on April 24, 2022
(Image credit: Future)
Are you looking for the best video editing graphics cards? Look no further. In this guide, we’ll clarify the terminology and help you get the best deal on the card that’s suitable for you.
Update – Q1 2022: Graphics cards of all types are currently hard to come by due to a lack of manufacturing capacity and an enormous surge in demand from gamers and crypto currency miners. It’s possible that Nvidia’s RTX 30-series GPUs are being overpriced because they’re so hard to come by. We recommend checking back frequently to guarantee you’re getting the best price from our trusted affiliates.
The processing and export of video in video editing software used to be entirely dependent on the central processor (CPU) of your computer. But even with four, six, or even eight cores, a CPU can’t match the amazing power of a graphics card, which can have thousands of processing cores. Even a top-of-the-line CPU can’t match the performance of a graphics card when it comes to video export.
In addition, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on the finest graphics card to achieve better encoding performance. Even a lower-midrange video card can significantly speed up your editing workstation, whereas more expensive video cards only offer marginally better performance. Video editing can benefit greatly from an upgraded graphics card on your computer if your software supports hardware acceleration (almost all major editing packages do, with apps like DaVinci Resolve largely relying on graphics card technology).
Your budget and the type of computer you plan to upgrade will both have an impact on your decision about a video card. For starters, a laptop’s graphics card cannot be upgraded like it can on a desktop. An external graphics card (eGPU) connected via Thunderbolt can boost a laptop’s graphics performance. With an eGPU, you’re essentially getting an inside graphics card that can be powered by a standard wall outlet and connected to your computer through Thunderbolt instead of a proprietary container. However, in this post, we’ll solely be discussing desktop computer graphics card upgrades.
Choosing the right graphics card
When editing on a Mac, the 2019 Mac Pro and an AMD graphics card are the only possibilities. The newest RX 6×00-series of AMD graphics cards are only supported by macOS Big Sur 11.4 and newer. MacOS only supports AMD GPUs. If you’re prepared to run Windows via Boot Camp, an Nvidia graphics card can be installed on a 2019 Mac Pro.
Because of the greater variety, selecting a graphics card for PC editing is significantly simpler. As long as you first check the following conditions, any Nvidia or AMD chipset graphics card should work perfectly:
Ensure that your desktop tower has sufficient space. Because of their length, high-end graphics cards may not be able to fit in small tower cases. These cards need a lot of space below the PCIe slot they’re inserted into because of the huge heatsink and fan assembly they have.
You should also make sure that your computer’s power supply unit (PSU) is sufficient for the task. When a powerful graphics card is installed, it is possible to overrun a computer’s power supply, resulting in a smoke plume and a blank screen. In the past few years, a 1000 watt power supply was required to operate a high-end graphics card, however today’s graphics cards utilise significantly less electricity. Modern graphics cards like the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti require up to 200 watts of power. To run the entire PC at maximum speed, a high-quality 500W power supply should suffice Due to AMD cards’ lower power efficiency, a larger PSU wattage is necessary.
A 6-pin, 8-pin, or dual 6-pin connector can be found on the side or back of most graphics cards for powering them up. Your graphics card may already come with an adapter, as most modern PSUs have the necessary ports for all of these connection options.
It is imperative that your PC’s motherboard is up to date and compatible with the newest version of the programme. This will almost certainly work out. As long as you follow the first and second stages in this guide, you should have no trouble installing a new graphics card in your computer if your motherboard is not too old.
This buyer’s guide would not be possible without the help of Puget Systems, which provided us with the video encoding performance data we use. Our team appreciates Puget’s thorough and up-to-date evaluation of the performance of graphics cards when accelerating photo and video editing software.