Video Editing GPU

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    • #80691



      I'm currently building a computer which is primarily going to be used for video editing and a little bit of image manipulation.


      I do know that the CPU and RAM is the most important part of such a build, but I'm wondering whether I should buy a fast graphics card or not.

      The information I've gathered so far is quite contradictory. Some recommend a workstation card like a Nvidia Quadro or at least a high end gamers card. Some, on the other hand, recommend using no graphics card at all. Some even claim that the integrated Intel HD graphic adapters are better than dedicated cards for the given tasks.


      The PC has 32 GB RAM with an Intel i7-4790K CPU.

      Which GPU would you recommend for video editing software like "Magix Pro X6" or "Sony Vegas Pro" and why?

    • #210924

      Hey Dawodo,

           If you have the money to spare, it is well worth it to go with a Quadro.  You can save a little money by going with a high-end GeForce, but you really are sacrificing performance.  Quadro cards are optimized for video editing, image manipulation, animation, etc.  GeForce cards are built around giving you a high frame rate in games, but at the sacrifice of accuracy in creation applications.  Quadro cards are built around accuracy and performance in applications like NLEs, compositing software, CAD, etc.

           As far as using iGPU for such applications, you won't get the same performance from your processor's core that is dedicated to graphics.  For one, the iGPU in most cases will not support OpenGL or OpenCL, which may be necessary for some plug-ins that you might want to use with your NLE of choice.  Usually, your iGPU is just an extra core on your processor that is set aside for processing graphics.  In a dedicated video card, like a Quadro, you will have many cores set aside for that purpose, as well as several GB of GDDR5 RAM on the card itself that are dedicated only to the processing of information for your NLE.  And, depending on your NLE, the cores and RAM on your video card can be used during the rendering of your videos in order to speed up and increase the accuracy of your renders.

    • #210927

      Forget the Quadro board for Sony Vegas as the cost isn't worth the limited benefits. Check out the official Sony Vegas forum and you'll find several discussions about various GPU setups. THe general consensus is an older (pre 600 series) Nvidia board or one of the new AMD Radeon boards.



    • #210993

      hmmmm…. here's a question— let's say you do amateur video but you're fussy and like to edit on a high end machine— if editing HD, how much memory do you need on the card? Is there a minimum that'll still do the job, if not as well?


      I have a 7 year old Dell with a video card which I think has only 256 megs but it still does the job using MS Movie Maker- and I have no trouble watching HD videos on the net— so, what's the need for a gig or 2 gigs or 4 gigs of video RAM? What's the relationship between the HD pixel count and what's need for the graphic card memory? I don't get it.


      Glad to see a positive message about the AMD Radeon boards- some of Dell's XPS models come with the AMD Radeon HD R9 270 2 GB GDDR5. Is that overkill for an amateur? What's all that RAM used for? Does it hold many frames- or is it about speed?




    • #210995

      Hey Joe,

           Watching video is not the same as manipulating and processing the creation thereof. On your 7-year-old computer, you would have problems manipulating HD video, as it may not have the power to process it very well. The RAM on the video card is used to buffer the information that the card is processing, in the case of video production, when showing a preview in your NLE or rendering the video that you've created in your NLE or compositing software. The amount of RAM determines how much data can be buffered at any given time. Obviously, the more you have, the more data that can be buffered, and the faster it can be processed. The speed of the video RAM is also an important factor in that equation. 

           As far as a minimum of RAM needed to edit HD video, that's a tough question to answer, as different applications will have differing requirements, and it also depends on what you're trying to accomplish in the video. The fact is that your computer may be able to render a video, but getting your project to a point where it is ready to be rendered can be cumbersome, if not nigh impossible, on an older older computer that doesn't have much processing power, as you need to be able to preview the video in your NLE in order to edit it. Without some power under the hood, your video preview may look like a sloppy mess of several-second-long still pictures instead of an actual video. I would say that 2GB of video RAM is a healthy number that should cover most applications. 

           I hope I've been helpful, Joe. Let me know if you have any other questions. 

    • #211062

      A great upgrade for an older system would be to swap out the harddrive for an SSD. I recently did that. Noticeable improvements. Definitely recommend. 

    • #211066

           An SSD would speed up accessing and writing data to the drive, but not rendering videos or previewing in your NLE, as that is done by the GPU, or CPU, depending on how your NLE is configured.

    • #211073

      Just curious but if you have a LOT of RAM on your PC, will that serve almost as well as a lot of RAM on your video card? Or, if the video is built into the MB- and you have loads of RAM, will this be almost as good as a good video card?


      I've decided to go for a new PC. Proably the Dell XPS 8700 Special Edition (;5827~A7578685) and load it with 24 G of RAM, it comes with a Radeon card with 2 G on it, I'll get the fastest CPU, the 24" monitor with 1920×1200 res., a 256 G SSD boot drive and a 2 or 3 G second drive— and, I think, Windows 8.1. So far I haven't heard any complications with that OS regarding video editing, though it'll take me awhile to get used to a very different OS. This is pushing my budget- but looking at it as a multi year item, it's not so bad. I'm just playing around with video, since '08- still a rank amateur, but I might get inspired with a hot PC that can handle HD editing.


    • #211074


           System RAM does not do the same job as video RAM.  System RAM is used by the processor to temporarily store data that the application knows that it will be using later.  Video RAM is used as a high-throughput buffer for the GPU on the video card.  While system RAM does not take the place of video RAM in the case of an integrated video adaptor, on many low-end computers the system RAM is "shared" as video RAM.  In other words, the System may have 8 GB of RAM, and 2 of those 8 GB may be robbed from the system for the integrated GPU to use as video RAM.  But adding more RAM to the system does not give you any more video RAM.

           The computer that your link takes me to seems like a fairly decent system.  However, it doesn't match the specs that you described.  Keep in mind that the vodeo card quoted, while it's a nice card for gaming, it is just that:  a card for gaming.  It will probably provide you what you need for now, but it can't be looked at as a "multi year item."  As time goes on, and as you get more advanced, you'll find that this card lags and you'll be wanting something else, something that is taylored for processing video.  The Quadro line of nVidia cards are meant for graphic design and video creation.  The AMD equivelant would be the Fire Pro line of cards, however nVidia is the way I would go.  These cards cost a little more, but they are meant to do what video editors want them to.  As far as RAM goes, 16 GB is quoted in the link you provided.  That's actually plenty.  Despite popular belief, more RAM does not necessary equal more speed or more power.  It simply means that you can have more applications open at one time that require more system RAM.  However, if you're editing video, it's recommended that you don't do other things simultaneously that require lots of system resources.  So 16 GB of system RAM should give you more than enough to do what you want to.

    • #211075

      mcrockett, I mistakenly gave the wrong URL- it should be: which includes the specs I mentioned- I had this mistaken URL on my PC desktop and didn't realize it was the wrong one


      great comments here, thanks!


    • #211076
    • #211084

      "I do know that the CPU and RAM is the most important part of such a build…" Practically, the CPU and RAM are NOT the only most important parts in a dedicated video editing PC. These days the graphics card and GPU play very important roles as well if you intend to install and use the latest professional editing programs. So look at those areas as well.


    • #211085


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