5 minute read

Top 10 GPUs for video editing in 2024

Emmanuel Ohiri

Emmanuel Ohiri

The visual effects (VFX) industry's relentless pursuit of higher resolutions like 4K and beyond is pushing traditional CPUs to their breaking point. While CPUs are adept at handling complex calculations, they often choke on the massive memory demands of high-resolution video files. This bottleneck creates a frustrating slowdown in editing workflows, leaving VFX artists searching for solutions.

This is why video editors now rely on Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). Unlike CPUs with a smaller number of high-performance cores, GPUs boast numerous Stream Processors (or Shader Cores) specifically designed for parallel processing. This architecture allows GPUs to efficiently break down large video editing jobs into smaller chunks and process them simultaneously, leading to significant performance gains.

Furthermore, newer video editing software leans on GPU acceleration through technologies like OpenCL or CUDA, enabling hardware acceleration for specific tasks like encoding and decoding video using specialized codecs, applying noise reduction filters, or performing complex color grading tasks. This hardware acceleration dramatically improves rendering speeds and a smoother overall editing experience.

This article assesses the top ten GPUs and video cards for video editing in 2024, discussing their specifications, performance metrics, and advanced video editing software compatibility.

Why Modern GPUs Excel at High-Resolution Editing

Building on the strengths of GPUs for parallel processing, let's delve deeper into specific features of modern GPUs that make them particularly adept at handling these demanding workloads.

VRAM

Unlike the system RAM used for general tasks, Video Random Access Memory (VRAM) is specifically designed for storing graphical data at high speeds. Modern GPUs have ample VRAM capacities, often exceeding 8GB or even 16GB, allowing video editors to work seamlessly with high-resolution footage without encountering memory bottlenecks that would slow down editing and playback.

Here's why: High-resolution video footage, particularly 4K and beyond, contains massive amounts of texture data. Textures are essentially digital images that define the surface details of objects within a scene. For example, a high-resolution wood texture for a table in a video would require significantly more VRAM compared to a low-resolution version.

VRAM's high bandwidth allows for faster access to these textures, minimizing delays when loading and manipulating high-resolution video frames during editing and playback. Insufficient VRAM can lead to bottlenecks, forcing the system to rely on slower system RAM for texture storage, resulting in sluggish performance and dropped frames.

Ray Tracing

Ray tracing is a rendering technique that mimics the physical behavior of light. Unlike traditional rendering methods that rely on pre-baked lighting information, ray tracing simulates the path of light rays bouncing off objects in a scene, creating incredibly realistic lighting effects, shadows, and reflections.

This technique becomes more important with high-resolution video editing as those footage captures finer details, making the need for realistic lighting even more critical. For instance, when working with a close-up shot of a character's face in 4K, traditional rendering might struggle to accurately depict the subtle interplay of light and shadow on the skin. Ray tracing, however, can simulate these nuances with remarkable fidelity.

However, ray tracing calculations are computationally demanding. Previously, real-time ray tracing was only feasible on high-powered workstations. Advancements in GPU technology, particularly the inclusion of specialized ray tracing cores, have made real-time ray tracing more accessible on modern GPUs, allows VFX artists to work more efficiently, previewing and editing scenes with stunningly realistic lighting within the video editing software itself.

Now that we understand how modern GPUs speeds up high-resolution editing, let's explore the top contenders in 2024.

What are the PC requirements for video editing in 2024?

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For video editing in 2024, a powerful CPU (like Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7) and a capable GPU (Nvidia RTX 3060 or AMD RX 6600) are essential. 16GB of RAM is a minimum, but 32GB is recommended for smoother multitasking and handling larger projects. A fast SSD for storage ensures quick file access and responsiveness.

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Top 10 GPUs for Video Editing in 2024

Choosing the right GPU for video editing is crucial in 2024, especially with the rise of high-resolution formats like 8K. This list explores the top 10 contenders, catering to a range of budgets and editing needs.

This list is curated for both beginners and experienced editors. For beginners, consider factors like performance for common editing tasks and budget. Experienced editors might prioritize features like high VRAM for complex projects or ray tracing for advanced visual effects.

Key Features:

  • GDDR6/X Memory: This is the high-speed memory on the GPU used to store graphical data. More VRAM allows for smoother editing of high-resolution footage.
  • CUDA Cores (Nvidia) / Stream Processors (AMD): These are specialized processors within the GPU that handle video editing tasks. More cores generally translate to faster performance.
  • NVLink (Nvidia): This technology allows connecting multiple Nvidia GPUs for even higher performance, ideal for professional setups.
  • Smart Access Memory (AMD): This feature improves communication between the CPU and GPU for potentially better performance (requires compatible AMD CPU and motherboard).

Which GPU is best for video editing?

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The best GPU for video editing depends on your budget and editing needs. Top contenders include Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 for high-end tasks, RTX 3090 for overall editing, RTX 3080 for value, and RTX 3060 Ti for budget-friendly editing. Explore the full list for specific needs and comparisons!

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Here are the top 10 GPUs for video editing in 2024:

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090:

Source: NVIDIA

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090: A top performer for professional video editing, the RTX 4090 handles 8K footage, intricate effects, and AI-powered tasks with exceptional speed. Its 24GB VRAM ensures smooth playback and responsiveness. Though expensive, it's a worthy investment for demanding workflows and future-proofing your setup.

  • Nvidia RTX A6000:

Source: NVIDIA

Designed for professional use, the RTX A6000 excels at video editing and other demanding tasks. Its large 48GB VRAM allows it to manage complex projects and large datasets easily.

  • Nvidia RTX A5000

Source: NVIDIA

A strong GPU for professional video editing, the RTX A5000 offers excellent performance for demanding workloads. Its 24GB VRAM ensures smooth handling of large projects, and hardware acceleration improves rendering times.

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090:

Source: NVIDIA

A powerful choice for 4K and 8K video editing, the RTX 3090 delivers impressive performance and features 24GB of VRAM for handling large projects. Its hardware-accelerated encoding and decoding contribute to faster rendering times.

  • AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX

Source: AMD

This is a high-performance GPU that is excellent for video editing, particularly in compute-intensive tasks. Its 24GB VRAM ensures the smooth handling of large projects. It offers a competitive alternative to the RTX 4090 in terms of both performance and price.

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080:

Source: Amazon

An excellent choice for 4K video editing, the RTX 3080 offers a good balance between performance and price. Its 10GB VRAM is sufficient for most 4K projects, and hardware acceleration for encoding and decoding improves efficiency.

Software Compatibility: While most GPUs on this list work with various editing programs, professional workstation cards (A6000 & A5000) might have specific driver optimizations for certain editing applications. It's recommended to check software compatibility before purchasing.

  • AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT:

Source: AMD

A capable card for 4K video editing, the RX 6900 XT provides strong performance for its price. Its 16GB VRAM may require careful management for larger projects.

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070

Source: NVIDIA

A suitable option for 1440p and 4K video editing, the RTX 3070 delivers a smooth editing experience for most users. Its 8GB VRAM may be a limitation for 8K workflows or extremely complex projects.

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti:

Source: NVIDIA

A budget-friendly option for 1080p and 1440p video editing, the RTX 3060 Ti performs surprisingly well for the price. Its 8GB VRAM is adequate for less demanding projects.

  • AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT

Source: Amazon

A good choice for 1440p and 4K video editing, the RX 6800 XT provides competitive performance for its price. Its 16GB VRAM is ample for most projects.

Related: Is Buying a GPU Better than Using Cloud Services?

Use Cloud GPUs for Video Editing

While a powerful GPU is essential, the editing process can be expensive when factoring in the initial cost of buying a GPU. Here's where cloud-based solutions like CUDO Compute can help. We eliminate the need for high-end hardware on each user's end, making it more cost-effective and accessible for both individuals and studios.

Our platform provides a cloud-based platform that supports video editing and rendering with software like DaVinci Resolve, allowing multiple users to work simultaneously on different aspects of a project, enhancing collaboration and speeding up the editing process.

Furthermore, using Virtual Machines (VMs) for video editing in the cloud is becoming an increasingly viable option, even for solo freelancers. VMs allow for robust, scalable computing resources accessible from any location, providing flexibility and mobility without expensive, high-end hardware.

Users looking to use the best of Nvidia's GPUs can have access to both A5000 and A6000 GPUs within our cloud platform. These high-performance GPUs are specifically designed for professional creative applications and boast impressive capabilities for video editing, rendering, and other demanding tasks.

Whether you're a budding creator or a seasoned pro, the right combination of a powerful GPU and a cloud-based solution like CUDO Compute can unlock your creative potential and streamline your editing workflow for unmatched efficiency.

Learn more: LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Get in touch.

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