The best graphics cards for video editing in 2022

Updated on April 1, 2022

best graphics cards for video editing

(Image credit: Future)

You’re seeking for the finest graphics cards for video editing. With the help of this guide, you’ll understand the jargon and find a credit card that’s right for you.

For the past few months, demand for graphics cards from gamers and cryptocurrency miners has soared, resulting in a decrease in supply. Nvidia’s RTX 30-series GPUs may be selling for excessive prices since they are so rare. Use these prices as a guide to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. They come directly from our trusted affiliate merchants.

It used to be that video editing software relied solely on a computer’s central processing unit (CPU) for processing and exporting video. Regardless of how many cores your computer has, it cannot compete with a graphics card that has thousands of processing cores. It’s impossible for a CPU to compete with a graphics card when it comes to video export performance.

To get the most from your graphics card, you don’t need to spend a lot of money. Even the most basic graphics cards will have a significant impact on the performance of your editing system, while the most expensive cards only offer marginal improvements. If your video editing programme supports hardware video acceleration, you may see a noticeable performance boost from upgrading your computer’s graphics card (almost all popular editing packages do, with apps like DaVinci Resolve significantly relying on graphics card technology).

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Considering your budget and the type of computer you’ll be replacing will help you narrow down your options for a new video card. Laptops cannot have their graphics cards upgraded, only desktops can. A laptop’s graphics performance can be improved by using an eGPU (external graphics card) connected via Thunderbolt. If the phrase “eGPU” conjures up images of a conventional internal graphics card encased in a special shell and connected to your computer through Thunderbolt, you’re definitely thinking of the latter. This article focuses on desktop computers and their internal graphics card upgrades.

Choosing the right graphics card

The 2019 Mac Pro and an AMD graphics card are the only options if you’re editing on a Mac. Due to AMD’s RX 6×00-series graphics cards only being supported by macOS Big Sur 11.4 and newer, macOS only works with AMD cards. When using Boot Camp on a 2019 Mac Pro, an Nvidia graphics card can be installed, but not in PCIe expansion slot 2 as previously stated.

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. Smaller tower cases may be unable to accommodate high-end graphics cards. A large cooling heatsink and fan assembly is also common, requiring a large amount of space just below the PCIe slot.

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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. Since the previous generation of graphics cards required a massive 1000 watt power source to adequately power a high-end graphics card, the new generation uses a lot less electricity. There are now cards that can draw up to 200W of power and a decent quality 500W PSU should be enough to run the entire PC. A somewhat larger power supply wattage is needed for AMD graphics cards because they are less energy 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. There is a good chance that your graphics card will come with an adapter, as most modern PSUs come equipped with the connections needed to accommodate all of these connectivity variations.

Make sure your PC’s motherboard is compatible with the new software. Most likely, everything will turn out just great. 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.

Finally, we’d like to thank Puget Systems for the video encoding performance figures that we utilise in this buyer guide. To Puget’s credit, which is updated on a regular basis, their graphics card performance when used to speed up graphics-intensive picture and video editing software is rarely considered.

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The best graphics cards for video editing in 2022

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 said, the RTX 3060 Ti now fetches a hefty price for what is still a mid-range card, thanks to Nvidia’s continued price increases with the launch of each new generation of GeForce cards (as well as continuous chip supply problems restricting production volume). But if you want rapid export speeds, you have no alternative but to grit your teeth and pay this inflated price because AMD’s graphics cards fall short in video editing capabilities.

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 the 3060 Ti launched, few manufacturers have been able to meet demand, and stock is extremely restricted.

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. 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 10-20 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 great deal. High-performance GPUs will have a substantial advantage while editing 8K and high frame rate 4K footage because the system has “only” 6GB of video RAM.

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

If you’re a serious gamer, the RTX 3080’s enormous power will let you play the newest AAA titles at 4K resolution with minimal stuttering. RTX 3080 is just about 10% faster than RTX 3070 in a typical Premiere Pro project, so the extra oomph won’t make much of a difference in export speeds compared to utilising a more modest graphics card.

However, if you’re using many GPU-accelerated effects, the difference will be more noticeable. Davinci Resolve, which depends more heavily on your graphics card than most other editing tools, takes advantage of the additional capability of the RTX 3080. As a result, you may expect up to a 50% boost in Davinci Resolve performance over 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. For video editing, we simply cannot suggest the RTX 3090 because it costs twice as much as the already ridiculously costly RTX 3080 and offers only marginally better encoding performance in practically 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

Nvidia leads the graphics card industry, both for gaming and video editing. Video editing on AMD cards is continuously slower than Nvidia cards, with even the latest RX 6800 and 6800 XT versions falling short of equivalently priced Nvidia cards. 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 are all supported with Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro.

In a Mac Pro, the top-of-the-line 6900XT offers somewhat better encoding performance than the 6800XT, but at a much higher cost. 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)
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

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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. Quadro cards, on the other hand, are designed primarily for professional applications such as scientific computation, 3D rendering, and video editing, to a lesser extent.

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. However, due to the present overvaluation of GeForce cards, the price difference between the two cards is actually much smaller than you might expect. Even so, what’s the point of shelling out extra cash for a Quadro? Most people will be OK with a GeForce GPU for video editing. Scientific and 3D rendering applications can benefit from Quadro’s numerous processing advantages, but the key benefit for video editing is Quadro-specific video card drivers tailored for popular video editing tools to assure the highest level of reliability and efficiency.

This is a great graphics card if you’re going to be working with mission-critical material, and it’s actually rather affordable for a Quadro card (flagship Quadro cards may cost more than $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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