Is Graphics Card Necessary for Video Editing

The GPU consumption for video editing is significantly lesser than for gaming.

It’s not because that video editing requires no power but because today’s CPUs have become so powerful that they can handle video editing.

But there are limitations that you must know if you are planning to buy a new laptop or build a PC for video editing.

So, Is a graphics card necessary for video editing? If yes, then how much graphics card do you need? Let’s find it out.

What is more important for video editing, processor or graphics card?

There have been a lot of debates on CPU vs GPU for video editing. Some say the CPU is the most important, and some say GPU is the most important component for video editing.

Major video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro relies on CPU, but now, the software gives the option to choose between CPU and GPU for editing and rendering.

It means you can transfer the workload to GPU, and the CPU won’t have to do much.

However, that doesn’t mean you should entirely underestimate CPU. 

As far as our experience with video editing on Premiere Pro, both the CPU and GPU are necessary, but the GPU is the most important component for video editing.

But again, you have to maintain a balance between the CPU and GPU.

A decent CPU with a powerful GPU works great for video editing. But note that the CPU should also be decently powerful.

Is GPU necessary for video editing?

Is GPU Necessary for Video Editing

There are two scenarios where you might or might not need a GPU for video editing.

Scenario 1: You edit FHD videos occasionally, and that too, with normal 2-3 layers, a few effects, and some color grading. In this case, you don’t need a dedicated GPU because today’s integrated GPUs are powerful enough to handle such levels of editing.

Scenario 2: You are a professional video editor who keeps editing videos most times of the day. You use a lot of layers, filters, color grading, effects, and whatnot. In this case, you absolutely need a dedicated graphics card because internal GPUs can’t handle this much stress.

Lastly, video rendering (the time taken to export a video) will be much faster on a dedicated GPU. Internal GPU takes a lot of time for that.

So if you ask us, then yes, a graphics card is necessary for video editing. However, for basic video editing, you don’t need one.

The same applies to laptops also. In fact, the requirement for a GPU is higher on laptops because laptop CPUs are not as powerful as PC CPUs.

And that’s why your laptop should have a dedicated GPU for video editing.

You can check these powerful laptops that handle video editing just fine.

Can you do video editing without graphics card?

If you have a fairly new processor, then you can do video editing without a GPU because new CPUs can handle the heavy stress of video editing. In fact, you can also do some 4k video editing if you have a flagship CPU.

But things turn around when you add a lot of animations on multiple layers with numerous effects. Now, the CPU usage will bump up to 95 to 100%, which results in heat. Due to this, your CPU might throttle.

In order to keep the temperature in control, the CPU will slow down every process, resulting in lag and stuttering in real-time editing.

The rendering will take a significant time further.

We have done a basic level of video editing multiple times on an older laptop without any dedicated GPU.

So based on our experience, we can say that you can do video editing without a graphics card, but only to a limited extent. After that, you will need a graphics card.

If you have a budget problem, then you can check these laptops that can handle video editing just fine.

How much graphics card do you need for video editing?

How much graphics card do you need for video editing?

Till now, we are repeatedly saying that a dedicated GPU is required for professional video editing. But the question is, how much?

Is 2GB graphics card enough?

As we said earlier, integrated GPUs can do FHD video editing with limited animations and effects.

Now, if you add a 2GB graphics card, you can play with more settings, effects, layers, and filters seamlessly.

It means you have more flexibility to edit FHD videos seamlessly with multiple effects and animations with a 2GB graphics card.

What about 4K?

For 4K video editing, a 2GB graphics card won’t be enough.

Is a 4GB graphics card enough for video editing?

Video editing is not all about the size of VRAM. Yes, memory size matters, but what matters the most is the power of the GPU.

Before deciding if you need a 4GB GPU or not, there are two things you should keep in mind.

  • Nowadays, budget GPUs come with 4GB VRAM.
  • Mid-range and high-end GPUs come with at least 6GB VRAM or more.

So technically, 4GB GPUs use less powerful architecture compared to 6GB or 8GB GPUs.

What it means is that you can edit FHD videos seamlessly on a 4GB graphics card. Furthermore, you can also edit 4K videos, but the experience won’t be as seamless as on FHD editing.

As most content creators shoot in FHD resolution, a 4GB graphics card is more than enough for them.

If you get a powerful laptop with a 4GB graphics card, you can also do FHD video editing seamlessly. But proper 4K video editing might not be the best experience on such a laptop.

Is a 4GB graphics card enough for FHD and 4K video editing?

For FHD video editing, a 4GB graphics card is more than enough. But for 4K, you might not get the best experience.

If you edit a 4K video with minimum animations and effects, the 4GB GPU can handle it.

But the moment you add multiple layers, effects, and animations to a 4K video, the GPU with 4GB VRAM will start to struggle.

So overall, for professional 4K video editing, a 4GB graphics card is not enough, and you should go with at least a 6GB VRAM option.

Final Verdict

It’s not compulsory that everyone must have a dedicated GPU for video editing.

If it’s your hobby and you are doing it occasionally, then you don’t need to buy a dedicated GPU.

However, if you want to take video editing to a professional level, you must have a dedicated GPU.

Depending on your requirements, you have to decide whether you need a dedicated GPU for video editing.

You might also like these professional-looking gaming laptops.

So, Is a graphics card necessary for video editing? We hope you know the answer now.

If you still have any confusion, feel free to ask us in the comment section.

Also, share your thoughts if you agree or disagree with the points mentioned above.

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