The best graphics cards for video editing in 2022

Updated on April 24, 2022

best graphics cards for video editing

(Image credit: Future)

VIDEO EDITING GUIDES

• Download Adobe Premiere Pro
• The best video editing software
• Best free video editing software
• Best laptops for video editing
• How to edit videos: video editing tips

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:

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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.

The best graphics cards for video editing in 2022

(Image credit: Nvidia)
The best graphics card for video editing, if you can find one!

SPECIFICATIONS

Memory (VRAM): 8GB
Memory bandwidth: 448GB/s
Boost clock: 1670MHz
Shader processors: 4864
Power consumption: 200w

REASONS TO BUY

+

Excellent performance

+

Reasonable power consumption

REASONS TO AVOID

Hugely expensive for a mid-range card, especially in the UK

GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, like the GeForce 1060 and 2060, is Nvidia’s answer to AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series.

That being said, the RTX 3060 Ti is still a mid-range card thanks to Nvidia’s price hikes with each new generation of GeForce cards (and ongoing chip supply constraints, which are limiting production volume) as well as continuous chip supply shortages. But with AMD’s graphics cards lacking in video editing capability, if you want rapid export times, you’ll have no choice but to pay this exorbitant price.

The RTX 3060 Ti is available from a wide range of card manufacturers, several of whom have given their cards a modest performance boost to make them slightly quicker than the original model. Since debut, only a few manufacturers have been able to keep up with demand, and as a result, the 3060 Ti’s supply has been severely restricted.

 

(Image credit: EVGA)
The best budget graphics card for video editing

SPECIFICATIONS

Memory (VRAM): 6GB
Memory bandwidth: 336GB/s
Boost clock: 1785MHz
Shader processors: 1408
Power consumption: 125w

REASONS TO BUY

+

Very accessible price

+

Respectable performance for the money

+

Available to suit smaller PC towers

REASONS TO AVOID

Not great for 4K or 8K footage, or with Davinci Resolve

When it comes to budget-friendly video editing graphics cards, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1660 Super remains the top pick. Although it isn’t exactly inexpensive, it isn’t a bad option if you don’t mind spending a little more. Because the GTX 1660 Super is more powerful than the GTX 1660, you won’t have to change your graphics card as frequently, which saves you money in the long run. There will be a 10-20 percent performance hit when exporting videos compared to the more exotic GeForce RTX-series cards, but the 1660 Super should be half the price, making it a decent deal. If you’re working with 8K and high-frame-rate 4K footage, you’ll notice a big difference in performance between the two cards.

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Like other graphics cards, the GTX 1660 Super has its own variants from multiple manufacturers, and paying extra money on a factory overclocked version is unnecessary unless you’re looking for every single frame-per-second in gaming performance. As an entry-level graphics card, the GTX 1660 Super can be found with a physically shorter board design, allowing it to fit into smaller PC cases. However, the cooling heatsink and fan assembly normally demand the space of two expansion bays on your motherboard.

 

(Image credit: Nvidia)
The ultimate, money-no-object card for video editing and gaming

SPECIFICATIONS

Memory (VRAM): 10GB
Memory bandwidth: 760GB/s
Boost clock: 1710MHz
Shader processors: 8704
Power consumption: 320w

REASONS TO BUY

+

Blazing fast

+

Superb for high-res gaming as well as video

+

Good future-proofing

REASONS TO AVOID

Extremely expensive

Not much faster for video editing than cheaper cards

Thirsty 320w power draw

You’ll have no problem playing the most recent AAA games at 4K with smooth frame rates on the powerful RTX 3080. In terms of video editing, the RTX 3080 may only be roughly 10% faster than the RTX 3070 for an average Premiere Pro project, so the extra oomph won’t make such a big impact in export speeds.

When using numerous GPU-accelerated effects, the difference becomes more apparent. For Davinci Resolve, which is a heavy reliance on your graphics card, the additional power of the RTX 3080 is also much more effectively exploited. As a result, Davinci Resolve may run up to 50% faster than on an RTX 3070. Editing 8K and 4K footage at high frame rates will benefit from the RTX 3080’s massive 10GB of video memory.

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090 is currently the fastest graphics card on the market, beating out the RTX 3080. We can’t suggest the RTX 3090 for video editing because it’s twice as expensive as the already outrageously priced RTX 3080 and offers only marginally better encoding performance in virtually all cases.

(Image credit: AMD)
The best graphics card for a 2019 Mac Pro

SPECIFICATIONS

Memory (VRAM): 16GB
Memory bandwidth: 512GB/s
Boost clock: 2250MHz
Shader processors: 4608
Power consumption: 300w

REASONS TO BUY

+

Excellent choice for 2019 Mac Pro

+

Great for gaming

REASONS TO AVOID

Very expensive

Relatively power-hungry

Even if you don’t like it, Nvidia dominates the graphics card market, both for gaming and video editing. Video editing on AMD cards is consistently slower than Nvidia cards, with even the latest RX 6800 and 6800 XT versions falling short of Nvidia cards in most tasks. As a result, AMD graphics cards for PC video editing are not recommended.

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Even if you have a 2019 Mac Pro tower, AMD is your sole option for a new graphics card for macOS. AMD’s current RX 6800, RX 6800XT, and RX 6900XT graphics cards have been supported in the 2019 Mac Pro since the release of macOS 11.4 earlier this month.

The 6900XT, Apple’s most expensive Mac Pro encoding processor, is marginally faster than the 6800XT, but its price tag is much more than that of the already pricey 6800XT. Because of this, it’s difficult to explain the price difference, at least until GPU availability and cost increases again.

In order to fit inside a 2019 Mac Pro, you must make sure that your chosen brand variant of the RX 6800XT is shorter than 310mm.

(Image credit: Nvidia)
The best video editing graphics card for reliabliity

SPECIFICATIONS

Memory (VRAM): 16GB
Memory bandwidth: 448GB/s
Boost clock: 1560MHz
Shader processors: 6144
Power consumption: 140w

REASONS TO BUY

+

Designed for top stability

+

Very fast

+

Slim single-slot cooler

+

Super energy-efficient

REASONS TO AVOID

Pricier than equivalent GeForce card

Slower than equivalent GeForce card

Extra software reliability not really necessary for most users

Not only does Nvidia have a wide selection of GeForce graphics cards, but it also has a series of Quadro graphics cards. When it comes to gaming, GeForce graphics cards are created for fun, whereas Quadro graphics cards are made for serious work like 3D rendering and scientific computation.

The Quadro A4000’s graphics card hardware is nearly identical to that of the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, which has a lower MSRP than the A4000. GeForce cards have been overpriced, therefore the pricing differential between the two cards has decreased somewhat. Even so, what’s the point of shelling out extra cash for a Quadro? A GeForce card is sufficient for the great majority of video editors. The key benefit for video editors of Quadro-specific video card drivers is that they have been thoroughly optimised for popular video editing programmes in order to assure top-notch stability. These features are most useful for scientific and 3D rendering work.

The Quadro RTX A4000 is a great graphics card for editing mission-critical footage, and it’s also surprisingly affordable for a Quadro card (flagship Quadro cards may cost over $10,000!). When it comes to performance, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is still the better and more affordable option.

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