Best Graphics Cards for 4K Video Editing and Rendering in 2021
Jun 24, 2021• Proven solutions
In 2021, capturing videos in 4K resolution no longer requires you to have professional equipment, since even action cameras and Smartphones can record videos in 4K and at 60fps. Editing such high-resolution video content can be a slow and time-consuming process if your computer’s graphics card isn’t up to this challenging task.
As more and more video editing software products shift from being solely CPU dependent towards utilizing GPU, graphics cards are becoming increasingly important during the video editing and rendering process. You’ve come to the right place if you are looking for a way to eliminate choppy playback of the 4K videos you edit or if you would like to shorten the amount of time you have to spend on rendering 4K footage because in this article we are going to take you through some of the best graphic cards for 4K video editing and rendering.
Top 5 Graphics Cards for 4K Video Editing and Rendering
There are just two major brands to choose from on the graphics cards market, so you can either go for an AMD or Nvidia graphics card. In the past, Nvidia was a clear choice for video editors who were working with large high-resolution video files, but in recent years AMD has released a number of graphics card models that are capable of great performances. So let's have a look at five best graphics cards for 4K video editing and rendering in 2021.
Price on Amazon: $424.99
- Equipped with 8GB GDDR6 memory
- Supports 4K H264 decoding and encoding rendering formats
- Features a VR ready premium solution
- Utilizes an intelligent sharpening technology
- Underwhelming overclocking potential
This AMD’s graphics card was designed to help gamers, animators or video editors to maximize the quality of the video output their computers can produce. The card’s 7nm RDNA architecture has 40 compute units that reduce the latency and improve the gaming experience. Moreover, the RDNA architecture enhances the Radeon Image Sharpening, VR and FidelityFX technologies which ensure that each detail in a 4K video is displayed accurately.
The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT lets you connect up to six monitors and play video games in 8K resolution at 60fps or display 5K visuals at 120fps. This graphics card features 4.0 express PCI that provides the bandwidth that is as much as two times wider than those you can find on graphics cards that support PCI 3.0 express.
Price on Amazon: $449.99
- 1TB memory bandwidth
- Excellent overclocking capabilities
- Equipped with 4096-bit width memory
- Suitable for both 4K and 8K monitors
- Consumes 300 Watts of power
If you are editing the footage captured in 4K or 8K resolution, AMD Radeon VII is probably the best graphics card you can get in 2020. This VR ready graphics card has 16GB of VRAM as well as a high boost clock that operates at 1,800MHz. Its 7nm architecture increases the card’s performance by 25%, which enables you to perform even the most demanding video editing tasks or play any video game you want. Despite the fact that Radeon VII doesn’t have ray tracing cores, AMD’s model performs admirably in the gaming department. Even though the third generation of Ryzen processors offers support for PCIe 4.0 technology, Radeon VII features only the PCIe 3.0 connector that somewhat limits the throughput of connected devices.
Price on Amazon: $589.55
- Real-time ray tracing
- Noiseless dual HDB fans
- 8192 MB of GDDR6 memory
- 1770 MHz boost clock
- Features only PCIe 3.0 connector
RTX 2070 Super reduces the amount of time you will have to spend on rendering your 4K videos, provides all the support you are going to need for 3D animation and enables you to play the latest video games in real-time. The Nvidia Turing GPU architecture runs on an advanced AI that enhances the graphic card’s performance up to six times. In addition, dedicated RT cores provide up to 10 Giga Rays per second while concurrent processing capabilities enable the card’s AI to manage heavy workloads. The memory’s speed is 14Gbps, which vouches for the smooth playback of 4K videos, and fast rendering speeds of large video files. Moreover, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super features a hardware encoder that enables you to broadcast live streams of the video games without lagging.
- Provides DLSS for games that are not yet released
- Excellent cooling system
- Offers superb ray tracing capabilities
- High refresh rates
- More expensive than similar models
Editing the 4K footage captured on Smartphones, action or professional video cameras is going to be much smoother if you choose the GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition graphics card. Besides the 8GB GDDR6 VRAM, the card’s Turing architecture offers 1800MHz boost clock and 2944 CUDA cores. The maximum digital resolution supported by GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition is 7680x4320 which means that you can play both 4K and 8K videos if you add this dedicated graphics card to your computer’s configuration. This card features standard display, HDMI, and USB Type-C ports so that you can pair it easily with multiple graphics cards and enhance your computer’s 4K video editing performance even further.
- Excellent overclocking potential
- Features 3072 CUDA cores
- Offers the possibility of connecting up to four monitors
- Low power consumption
- Aimed only at video editing professionals and gamers
If you are looking for a graphics card that supports 8K video playback and makes editing 4K videos look easy, then you should look no further. Like all models from the Nvidia’s RTX Super Series, GeForce RTX 2080 delivers stunning performances even while you are editing large numbers of 4K video files or rendering large 3D animations.
The card’s real-time ray tracing capabilities make it a perfect choice for gaming and streaming, as you can play all the latest video games at max settings if you opt for GeForce RTX 2080. Furthermore, this model is also VR ready and it comes with game ready drivers that allow you to start a new gaming session as soon as you install this graphics card on your computer.
Background Information about Graphics Cards
How much time it is going to take to complete a project you shot in 4K, depends on the configuration of the computer you are using to edit the footage. Even though CPU still plays a large role in how smoothly your computer displays the videos in the video editing software, the computer’s GPU can decrease the rendering times or enhance the playback of large 4K files significantly. So, here are some background information on graphics cards.
What is a Graphics Card?
A graphics card or a video card is a piece of computer hardware that produces the steam of output images you can see on a computer’s monitor or any other display device. All computers feature a graphics card because without them it would be impossible to run even the most basic applications like word processors or web browsers.
What are the Most Common Types of Graphics Cards?
There are two common types of graphics cards. Most computers have an integrated graphics card that is located on the same chip as the CPU, which enables you to edit photos, watch and edit videos or play video games. However, GPUs and CPUs that are located on the same chip often limit each other’s capabilities, and as a result, the computer needs more time to perform demanding tasks.
Installing a dedicated graphics card to your computer will eliminate lagging and it will allow you to edit videos in high resolution faster or reduce the amount of time that is required to render a 4K video. All dedicated graphics cards come with a separate chip and a separate RAM that reduces the strain of a computer’s CPU and minimizes the lagging of the footage during the video editing process.
Whether or not getting a dedicated graphics card will prove to be a good investment depends on the tasks you perform regularly on your computer. If you only edit photos and videos at a basic level, then the integrated graphics card is all you need.
Nonetheless, if you are a professional animator, video editor or simply want to play all the latest games in maximum resolution, a dedicated graphics card is going to make routine tasks you perform on your computer every day much easier and faster.
Which Factors to Consider While Choosing a Graphics Card?
Currently, there are hundreds of different dedicated graphics card models on the market, and finding the one that is the best fit for your computer’s configuration can take some time and research. Besides checking your computer’s specifications there are a few more aspects you must consider before you purchase a dedicated graphics card.
1. Power draw
A stable power source is important for all computer configurations, as it helps you avoid system crashes and hardware malfunctions. The power usage of dedicated graphics cards varies from model to model and it can range from just 120 Watts to 300 Watts. In fact, high-end graphics cards consume as much power as all other computer components combined, and you must ensure that your computer’s power supply can provide enough power.
Overheating can cause irreparable damage to the graphics card and to your computer, so checking the cooling capabilities of the card you would like to get can help you reduce the risk of failure in the long run. Furthermore, cooling fans on dedicated graphics cards can produce noise, and you must check if the model you’re interested in can operate at low noise levels.
The length of most high-end dedicated graphics cards is between 10.5 and 11-inches, which can occupy two or three expansion slots. That is why you must check how many expansion slots you have at your disposal and check the size of the graphics card before you purchase it.
4. Multi-card scaling
The available space and the size can also impact your multi-card scaling options, since connecting two or more graphics cards can take a lot of space. AMD and Nvidia can be connected via CrossFire X or NVLink, but pairing graphics cards that have different architectures is not possible.