The best graphics cards for video editing in 2022

Updated on April 25, 2022

best graphics cards for video editing

Are you looking for the best video editing graphics cards? In this guide, we’ll clarify the terminology and help you get the best deal on the card that’s suitable for you.

As of Q1 2022, all graphics card models are in low supply due to a combination of production bottlenecks and rising demand from gamers and crypto currency miners. Nvidia’s RTX 30-series cards are hard to come by, and the ones that do may be marked up well above their true value. To be sure you’re getting the greatest bargain possible, keep an eye on the prices listed below, which come directly from our trusted affiliate sellers.

The processing and export of video in video editing software used to be entirely dependent on the central processor (CPU) of your computer. Nevertheless, even with a quad-core CPU and a graphics card with thousands of working cores, the CPU still falls short of a graphics card’s tremendous power. It’s a little more complicated than that, but the final result is that a graphics card can export video a lot faster than even the most powerful CPU.

In addition, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on the finest graphics card to achieve better encoding performance. Even a mid-range video card will provide your editing machine a significant speed increase, with more expensive cards providing only marginally better results. You can get a significant performance improvement with a new graphics card if your editing software supports hardware video acceleration (which is the case with most of the most popular editing programmes, including DaVinci Resolve).

Choosing the best video card for your budget and the type of computer you’ll be replacing is obviously dependent on these factors. To begin with, a laptop’s graphics card cannot be upgraded; only a desktop computer’s can. An external graphics card (eGPU) connected via Thunderbolt can boost a laptop’s graphics performance. Electronic graphics cards (eGPUs) are basically a normal internal graphics card housed in a Thunderbolt-enabled shell that can be powered directly from a mains outlet. However, only desktop computers’ internal graphics cards are discussed in this book.

Choosing the right graphics card

The 2019 Mac Pro is required for editing, as as an AMD graphics card rather than an Nvidia one. This is due to the fact that only macOS Big Sur 11.4 and newer support AMD’s current RX 6×00-series graphics cards. On a 2019 Mac Pro, an Nvidia graphics card can be installed if you’re willing to run Windows via Boot Camp.

On a PC, you have more options for graphics cards. Nvidia and AMD-based graphics cards should work correctly if they meet the following criteria:

1: Check to see if your desktop tower has adequate room. The length of high-end graphics cards means that they may not be compatible with smaller tower cases. The heatsink and fan assembly that comes with these cards can take up quite a bit of room just below the PCIe slot into which the card is inserted.

Second, check to see if your PC’s power supply is up to the task. Graphics cards that require large amounts of power can strain a weak power supply, leading to system crashes or, at worst, smoke coming out the back of your computer and a blank screen. Today’s graphics cards consume far less electricity than they did just five or six years ago, when you needed an enormous 1000-watt power supply to run a high-end graphics card. GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is rated to draw 200W of power, so a decent quality 500W PSU should be plenty to power the entire PC.. A somewhat higher PSU wattage is required for AMD cards, which are less power efficient.

Most graphics cards are powered by a 6-pin, 8-pin, or twin 6-pin connector on the side or back of the card. Since most modern power supplies already have the plugs necessary to accommodate all of these connector variations, your graphics card will most likely arrive with an adapter.

3: Check to see if the motherboard in your PC is compatible. As far as I can see, this should be alright. If your motherboard isn’t too old, you should be able to put in a current graphics card without any problems, provided that you follow the first and second points in the guide above, respectively.

For the video encoding performance numbers we use in this buyer’s guide, we give credit to Puget Systems(opens in new tab). We appreciate Puget’s detailed and up-to-date review of graphics card performance when accelerating picture and video editing tools because graphics cards are generally typically assessed only on their gaming performance.

The best graphics cards for video editing in 2022

(Image credit: Nvidia)

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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

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Excellent performance

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Reasonable power consumption

REASONS TO AVOID

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

Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti follows on from the previous GeForce 1060 and 2060 models as the price/performance sweet spot in the GeForce range.

In spite of this, the RTX 3060 Ti is still a mid-range card, but Nvidia has raised the price of its GeForce cards with each successive generation of cards (as well as persistent chip supply constraints that are limiting production volume) so much that the price has skyrocketed. With AMD graphics cards lacking in video editing capability, you’ll have no choice but to cough up the inflated prices to get fast export times.

There are numerous card manufacturers making the RTX 3060 Ti, many sporting a slight performance overclock to make them marginally faster than standard. 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)

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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

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Very accessible price

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Respectable performance for the money

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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. Even though it’s not the most affordable model in the current GeForce lineup, buying a card with a low-end specification is a waste of money. If you can afford to spend a little more money, you’ll receive a graphics card that will last much longer, which means that you won’t have to buy a new one as frequently. There will be a 10-15% drop in video export speeds compared to the more complex GeForce RTX-series cards, but the 1660 Super should cost at least half as much. 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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A factory overclocked version of the GTX 1660 Super isn’t worth the extra money unless you’re after every last frame per second in gaming performance, which is the case with practically all graphics cards. You may be able to obtain the GTX 1660 Super with a smaller board design, making it more suitable for tiny PC cases, but the cooling heatsink and fan assembly will still require two expansion slots on your motherboard.

 

(Image credit: Nvidia)

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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

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Blazing fast

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Superb for high-res gaming as well as video

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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. If you’re using Premiere Pro, the RTX 3080 may only be 10% faster than the RTX 3070 in terms of export timings, so don’t expect it to make a significant difference in your video editing workflow.

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, compared to an RTX 3070, you may experience up to a 50% increase in Davinci Resolve performance. 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)

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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

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Excellent choice for 2019 Mac Pro

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Great for gaming

REASONS TO AVOID

Very expensive

Relatively power-hungry

Even if you don’t like it, Nvidia leads the graphics card market in both gaming and video editing performance. Even AMD’s latest RX 6800 and 6800 XT models, which are meant to be Nvidia’s archrivals, are slower than Nvidia’s equivalents in most video editing workloads. As a result, AMD graphics cards are not recommended for PC video editing.

Even if you have a 2019 Mac Pro tower, AMD is your sole option for a new graphics card for macOS. Currently, AMD’s RX 6800, RX 6800XT and RX 6900XT graphics cards have been supported in Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro since the release of macOS 11.4 in September 2018.

In order to get slightly more encoding performance out of a Mac Pro, you’ll have to pay a lot more for the top-of-the-line 6900XT. Therefore, the price gap is difficult to justify until the availability of GPUs improves and prices return to a reasonable level.

To ensure compatibility with a 2019 Mac Pro, make sure the exact RX 6800 XT you purchase is physically shorter than the maximum length allowed by the machine.

 

(Image credit: Nvidia)

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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

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Designed for top stability

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Very fast

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Slim single-slot cooler

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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

Nvidia’s graphics card offerings extend beyond the GeForce line to include the Quadro line as well. In contrast to GeForce cards, Quadro cards are built particularly for professional applications such as scientific computation, 3D rendering, and video editing.

It’s hard to believe that the Quadro A4000’s graphics card technology is nearly comparable to the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, which has an MSRP that’s about 40% less than the A4000. GeForce cards have been overpriced, therefore the pricing differential between the two cards has decreased somewhat. Even so, why spend extra money on a Quadro? GeForce cards are sufficient for the great majority of users when it comes to video editing. Aside from the Quadro range’s many processing advantages, the key benefit of the Quadro range for video editing is the Quadro-specific video card drivers tailored for popular video editing programmes.

Quadro RTX A4000 is an outstanding graphics card and it’s actually extremely reasonably priced for a Quadro card (flagship Quadro cards may cost over $10,000!). Aside from that, the cheaper and faster GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is still the superior option if you don’t need 100% driver reliability.

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