Best Graphics Card for Video Editing & Rendering in 2018 [4K & 1080p]

Video Editing and Video Rendering used to be completely processor or CPU dependent tasks, but nowadays with modern video editing softwares taking advantage of the latest GPU technologies, the role of graphics card has become much greater in video editing / rendering. This means you cannot neglect the importance of a graphics card in this era when it comes with video editing, especially with top video editing softwares like Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects CC or  with other popular video editing softwares include Adobe Premiere Elements, Corel VideoStudio, Filmora, Pinnacle Studio.

For HD or Full HD video editing a good budget graphics card with 2GB VRAM is enough but for 4K video editing you do need a decent mid-range to high-end graphics card having minimum of 4GB Video Memory or VRAM. Modern video editing softwares like Adobe Premiere Pro CC supports GPGPU (General-purpose computing on graphics processing units) that allows them to use graphics card for their various complex computational tasks along with CPU. This is known as GPU acceleration and it enables faster processing in video editing and video rendering. So, here in this post I am going to list down only the best graphics cards for 1080p and 4K video editing from both Nvidia and AMD.

Nvidia or AMD GPU for Video Editing?

Most of the popular video editing softwares like Adobe Premiere Pro support CUDA or OpenCL frameworks (or both) for GPU acceleration. CUDA is Nvidia’s proprietary parallel computing platform and programming model for Nvidia graphics cards. On the other hand, AMD uses OpenCL (Open Computing Language) which is an open source parallel programming framework. Nvidia also supports OpenCL but it is not as good and efficient when it comes to OpenCL computations compared to AMD GPUs. So, if you are getting a graphics card for video editing purpose especially for softwares like Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects then Nvidia Graphics Cards will perform a bit better than the AMD ones. However, for applications using only OpenCL framework, AMD graphics cards may perform better than Nvidia ones.

cuda-opencl

Some examples of Video Editing, Photo Editing and other Professional Graphics Softwares that support GPGPU framework (CUDA / OpenCL or both) are Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects CC, Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe SpeedGrade CC, Autodesk Maya, Avid Media Composer, Avid Motion Graphics, Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve, RED REDCINE-X, RED Giant Magic Bullet Looks, SONY Vegas Pro, The Foundry HIERO, The Foundry NUKE & NUKEX, The Foundry Mari, Final Cut Pro X (Mac).

Note: You will require a powerful CPU, SSD and lots of RAM (minimum 16GB) for 4K video editing. Workstation graphics card do perform a bit better than gaming graphics cards in video editing or rendering but they are very expensive and not really worth the price you pay for video editing tasks. However, if you want the best of quality (studio quality work) then it is better go for workstation graphics cards because Nvidia Quadro cards support 10-bit color while the GeForce ones support 8-bit color only.

Best Budget Video Editing Graphics Cards [1080p]

Here are the best budget graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD for video editing. These graphics cards are capable for HD (720p) / Full HD (1080p) video editing and comes with 2GB VRAM (Video Memory).

Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 OC 2G

GeForce GT 1030 is an entry-level graphics card in the GeForce 10 series from Nvidia. This is the best cheapest video editing graphics card that you get and it offers very good performance for the price. The card comes with 384 CUDA Cores and is based on the Pascal GPU architecture from Nvidia. It is available in both 2GB DDR4 and GDDR5 variant but the DDR4 variant is almost half as powerful as the GDDR5 one.

Gigabyte-GeForce-GT-1030-OC-2G

Here we have Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 OC 2G which is an Overclocked or OC version of GT 1030 and comes with 2GB GDDR5 memory (64-bit). The card comes with a single 80mm fan for cooling and aluminum heatsink beneath it. It is one of the best GT 1030 cards out there and is great for video editing, HTPC and playing games on medium graphics settings at 900p or 1080p resolution. The card has lower power consumption as it does not require external power connectors and needs only a decent 300W power supply for its working. It includes DVI and HDMI ports on the rear for connectivity. You can get this graphics card under 100 dollars.

If you have a small form factor slim PC case and need a low-profile GT 1030 card then you can get Zotac GeForce GT 1030 2GB GDDR5. It is also a single slot GT 1030 card and comes with reference clock speeds of GeForce GT 1030. And if you want a passive graphics card then you can go for Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 Silent Low Profile 2G.

Check out: Best GT 1030 Cards for Gaming & Video Editing

Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 OC 2G Specifications
CUDA Cores 384
GPU Clock 1290 / 1544 MHz (OC Mode)
Memory Clock 6008 MHz
Memory Size 2GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 64-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
Output Ports DVI, HDMI

Buy Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 OC 2G

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Mini

If you want to go a notch further up then GeForce GTX 1050 makes much better sense. It is a budget mid-range graphics card based on the Pascal GPU architecture and is much more powerful than the GT 1030. The card comes with 640 CUDA cores and 2GB GDDR5 memory having 128-bit interface. It is a budget mid-range graphics card and is great for 1080p gaming at high settings, Video editing and building a powerful HTPC. The card is powerful enough for 4K video editing on budget but I would rather prefer 4GB of VRAM to be on the safer side.

ZOTAC-GeForce-GTX-1050-Mini

Here we have ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Mini which is a compact GTX 1050 card and can be used in small form factor mini-ITX cases. The card is only 145mm in length and can fit in almost 99% of computer cases. It comes with a single 90mm fan and aluminum heatsink for cooling. It runs on stock frequencies but you may overclock it further using good overclocking utilities. The card does not require PCIe power connectors and only a 300W PSU is needed for its working. It includes DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort for connectivity. You can get this graphics card under 150 dollars.

Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Mini Specifications
CUDA Cores 640
GPU Clock 1354 / 1455 MHz (Base/Boost)
Memory Clock 7 GHz
Memory Size 2GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
Output Ports DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

 

Buy ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Mini

Other GeForce GTX 1050 Recommendations:

Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 D5 2G

If you want a budget video editing graphics card from AMD then Radeon RX 550 fits the bill perfectly. RX 550 is an entry level graphics card in the Polaris GPU lineup from AMD. The card comes with 512 Stream Processors and 2GB / 4GB GDDR5 video memory having 128-bit interface. This is a pretty powerful budget graphics card and is great for eSports gaming, Video Editing, HTPC and for setting up multiple monitors. It is a bit faster than the GeForce GT 1030 when it comes to gaming, and it also comes with AMD FreeSync technology to reduce screen tearing in games.

Gigabyte-Radeon-RX-550-D5-2G

Here we have Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 D5 2G which is an OC variant of RX 550 and comes with 2GB GDDR5 memory. The card comes with 90mm fan for cooling and has got dual slot design. The card features one-clock overclocking via AORUS Graphics Engine utility. The power consumption of this card is on the lower side as it does not require external power connectors from the PSU. The recommended power supply for this card is 400W. For connectivity, it includes all the major display connectors which are DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort.

Check out: Best RX 550 Cards for Gaming & Video Editing

AMD Radeon RX 550 D5 2G Specifications
Stream Processors 512
GPU Clock 1195 MHz (OC Mode)
Memory Clock 7000 MHz
Memory Size 2 GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
Output Ports DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

Buy Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 D5 2G

Radeon RX 550 Cards with 4GB GDDR5 Video Memory:

Best Budget 4K Video Editing Graphics Cards

Here are the best budget 4K video editing graphics cards and they come with 4GB Video Memory.

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mini

GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is probably the best budget 4K video editing graphics card. It is a mid-range graphics card based on the Pascal GPU architecture and is around 25% more powerful than the GTX 1050. It also comes with more CUDA cores and memory compared to the GTX 1050, and is thus more future proof. The card comes with 768 CUDA Cores and 4GB GDDR5 video memory with 128-bit memory interface. The card can run latest games on high to very high graphics settings at 1080p resolution and is a great graphics card for building a budget 4K video editing PC .

ZOTAC-GeForce-GTX-1050-Ti-Mini-4GB-GDDR5Here we have ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mini which is an SFF card and can fit in any mini-ITX case or small form factor computer cases. It is only 145mm long which makes it an ideal card for use in PC cases that are compact and have less headroom to fit a longer graphics card. For cooling, the card comes with a 90mm fan and aluminum heatsink and runs on stock frequencies. However, you may overclock this card a bit further if you want to get the most out of it. It is a low power card and it draws all its power from the PCIe x16 slot only. The card requires only a 300W power supply for its working. Connectivity options for this card include DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. You can get this graphics card under 200 dollars.

Check out: Best GTX 1050 Ti Graphics Cards for 1080p Gaming

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mini Specifications
CUDA Cores 768
GPU Clock 1303 / 1417 MHz
Memory Clock 7 GHz
Memory Size 2GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
Output Ports DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

Buy ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mini

Other GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Recommendations:

MSI Radeon RX 560 AERO ITX 4G OC

If you want a budget AMD graphics card for 4K video editing the Radeon RX 560 is a perfect choice.  It is not as powerful as the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti but it is cheaper and performs very good in both games and other applications. The card is based on the Polaris GPU architecture from AMD and comes with 1024 Stream Processors and 4GB GDDR5 RAM having 128-bit bus width. The card is capable of running latest games on medium to high graphics setting at 1080p and for 4K video editing and rendering. It is also a great card for eSports gaming and for building a powerful HTPC.

MSI-Radeon-RX-560-AERO-ITX-4G-OC

The card here we have is MSI Radeon RX 560 AERO ITX 4G OC which is an OC and compact RX 560 card. It is only 155mm long and is perfect for use in small form factor builds. You can overclock, change or tweak various settings for this card using MSI Afterburner Overclocking Utility. The card has maximum power consumption of 60W and requires a 400W PSU. It does not need any PCIe power connectors and for connectivity it includes DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort.

Check out: Best RX 560 Graphics Cards for eSports Gaming

MSI Radeon RX 560 AERO ITX 4G OC Specifications
Stream Processors 1024
GPU Clock 1196 MHz
Memory Clock 7000 MHz
Memory Size 4GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
Output Ports DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

Buy MSI Radeon RX 560 AERO ITX 4G OC

Other Radeon RX 560 Recommendations:

Best Graphics Cards for 4K Video Editing

Here are the best graphics cards for 4K video editing. These video cards come with 6GB to 8GB of Video memory.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC GAMING [6GB GDDR5]

GeForce GTX 1060 is a powerful mid-range graphics card that is built on the Pascal GPU architecture from Nvidia. The card comes in 3GB and 6GB GDDR5 variants. The 6GB one is more powerful as it comes with 1280 CUDA cores while the 3GB one has only 1152 CUDA Cores. However, both these variants are very powerful but getting the 6GB model makes much more sense because of the extra video memory and more CUDA cores. The card is powerful enough to run latest games on very high graphics settings at 1440p and 1080p with comfortable frame rates. For 4K Video Editing and Rendering purpose also, this is a great card and can produce faster results in softwares such Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects etc.

EVGA-GeForce-GTX-1060-GAMING-6GB-GDDR5Here we have EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC GAMING which in overclocked version of GTX 1060 and comes with 6GB Video Memory with 192-bit interface. It is a pretty compact GTX 1060 card and comes with single fan and aluminum heatsink with heatpipes for cooling. The card has got dual slot design and requires a single 6-pin PCI-E power connector for its working. The power consumption of this card stands at 120 Watts and recommended PSU for it is 400W. Connectivity options at the rear included one DVI, two HDMI and two DisplayPort. Overall, a great card that offers great performance for the value.

Check out: Best GTX 1060 Cards for 1080p & 1440p Gaming

EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC GAMING Specifications
CUDA Cores 1280
GPU Clock 1607 / 1835 MHz
Memory Clock 8008 MHz
Memory Size 6GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 192-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
Output Ports DVI, HDMI x 2, DisplayPort x 2

Buy EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC GAMING

Other GeForce GTX 1060 Recommendations:

XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition

Radeon RX 580 is the most powerful gaming graphics card based on the Polaris GPU architecture. It is a direct competitor of GeForce GTX 1060 and offers similar or better performance in some cases. However, it consumes a bit more power than the GTX 1060. Radeon RX 580 comes with 2304 Stream Processors and 8GB GDDR5 memory having 256-bit interface. It can run latest games on very high graphics settings at 1440p with 40 – 60 FPS and is a great card for cryptocurrency mining and 4K video editing / rendering. The card can surely give you tremendous performance boost in video editing or graphics applications using OpenCL framework.

XFX-Radeon-RX-580-GTX-Black-Core-Edition

Here we have XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition which overclocked and high-performance edition RX 580 graphics card from XFX. The card comes with dual fans and heatsink equipped with copper heat pipes for better dissipation of heat. The back of the card has got aluminum backplate that keeps the card strong and gives it rigidity. This is a VR ready graphics card and supports FreeSync 2 which is the latest version of the screen tearing prevention technology for gaming. The card is solidly built and supports CrossFire multi-GPU configuration. This RX 580 card requires one 8-pin PCI-E external power connector for its working and a 500W PSU.  It has got multiple display connectivity options that include one DVI, one HDMI and three DisplayPort.

Check out: Best RX 580 Graphics Cards for Gaming and Mining

XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition Specifications
Stream Processors 2304
GPU Clock 1386 MHz (OC)
Memory Clock 8100 MHz (OC)
Memory Size 8 GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 256-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
Output Ports DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort x 3

Buy XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition

Other Radeon RX 580 Recommendations:

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 Mini

If you want something more powerful than GTX 1060 and RX 580 then you should get GeForce GTX 1070. It is a high-end graphics card in the Pascal GPU family and it comes with 1920 CUDA Cores and 8GB GDDR5 video memory with 256-bit interface. The card can run latest games on max or ultra-graphics settings at 1440p with playable frame rates. Also, if you are building a VR or 4K video editing PC then you will be amazed by the performance of this card.

ZOTAC-GeForce-GTX-1070-Mini

Here we have ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 Mini which is a small form factor and compact GTX 1070 graphics card. It comes with dual fans and heatsink with copper heat pipes for better cooling. Due to its smaller size it can be used in mini-ITX builds too. The card supports SLI multi-GPU setup and G-Sync. It has power consumption of 150W and requires one 8-pin PCI-E power connector from the PSU. The recommended power supply to run this card is 500W. Connectivity options include one DVI, two HDMI and two DisplayPort.

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 Mini Specifications
CUDA Cores 1920
GPU Clock 1518 / 1708 MHz
Memory Clock 8000 GHz
Memory Size 8 GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 256-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
Output Ports DVI, HDMI x 2, DisplayPort x 2

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 Mini

Other GeForce GTX 1070 Recommendations:

Other High-end Graphics Cards for Video Editing at 4K and higher

There are some more powerful graphics cards too above GeForce GTX 1070 but according to me they are not worth getting especially for video editing purpose as the above-mentioned cards are enough for your requirements and needs. You can instead save money and buy a powerful processor rather than buying a top-end flagship card that is more powerful than GTX 1070. Graphics Cards that are more powerful than GTX 1070 are GeForce GTX 1080, GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, Radeon RX Vega 64, Nvidia Titan Xp.

Final Words

At the end I would like to say that video editing / rendering is still much of a CPU bound task but a decent graphics card can really contribute in some cases and make it faster. There is really no point of getting an super expensive graphics card for video editing as a good mid-range graphics card would be sufficient even for 4K video editing. The cards that I have listed above for video editing and video rendering will provide you very good performance in CUDA and OpenCL frameworks. If you have any doubts regarding on which graphics card to get for your video editing needs then please ask me your queries by leaving a comment below.

Leave a Reply