Best graphics card for Photoshop and video editing

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Video editing is one of the most arduous tasks a computer user can work on it. But while the central part of the job requires a powerful processor, you’ll need a high-performance graphics card to speed up certain effects, transitions, and 3D rendering tasks. You don’t need the most powerful GPU in the world for most jobs, but you do need – at least – some of the best graphics cards for video editing to help improve the rendering experience.
The following are the best graphics processing units (GPUs) for their specific category, and they should be generous with most editing software. However, some video editing programs work better with certain brands of graphics cards than others. Check the specifications of your preferred product before purchasing to make sure it is the right GPU for you and give you the best results.
Best graphics card for overall video editing: AMD RX 5500 XT
AMD’s next-gen Navi graphics cards have proven to be exceptionally competitive with Nvidia’s best entry-level and mid-range alternatives, making them an excellent video editing choice. The RX 5500 XT isn’t a monstrously powerful GPU when it comes to gaming, but it is quite capable, and most importantly, for our use here, it has 8GB of GDDR6 memory.

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best graphics card for Photoshop and video editing

Best budget graphics card used for video editing: AMD RX 570

Even though it debuted in 2017, AMD’s Polaris graphics card still represents excellent value for money, especially as prices keep dropping. Now easily outmatched by the new RX 5000 series, these cards are cheaper than ever, which makes the RX 570, with 8GB of memory capacity, a great entry-level video editing card. It has more than enough power for almost all video editing needs, and at around $ 150 for the 8GB version ($ 130 for the less recommended 4GB alternative), it’s a great buy.

You’ll undoubtedly get more and better performance with our recommendation for the best graphics card, and for just $ 30 more, you might want to go for that one. But if the budget matters, the RX 570 is a great option. It’s noticeably more powerful than Nvidia’s GTX 1650, despite being cheaper, but it may not be around forever on the market. As inventory depletes and AMD shifts to its RDNA architecture, these cards can start to run out. Get one while you can.

Compact computers are fun to play in smaller physical spaces, but with fewer options to show off their components at LAN parties, they can be build even in smaller sizes. The Nvidia GTX 1650 Mini ITX is an excellent option for that segment. It may only have 4GB of memory, but it doesn’t need external power cables, it’s less than 6 inches long, and it’s very quiet due to its low thermal and power demands. This card is more expensive than our budget option and will not work as well, but it is small and would fit perfectly in mini-ITX computers or other ultra-compact versions. Although it lags behind some of its contemporaries in performance, that doesn’t mean this card isn’t capable. If it were cheaper than our budget option, we would have chosen it for that too.

The benefits of using Photoshop

Working with Photoshop requires a lot of memory; the more, the larger the images you open. 4 GB is a fair amount to start with, but when opening images in high resolution, it is advisable to equip the computer with 8 or 12 GB. Because it is inexpensive and dramatically improves performance, it is always more convenient to overshoot than to fall short.

Remember that equipping your computer with more than 2 GB of memory and not using a 64-bit operating system means that all memory above 2 GB is waste. The solution: switch to a 64-bit operating system. Regarding the type of memory, nowadays, one of the DDR types of speed (which is measured in megahertz) is used according to that of the motherboard (defined by the chipset it has). DDR2 and DDR3 are common. In many cases, it is convenient to put the modules in pairs.

Graphics card

Contrary to popular belief, a card with many RAM is not beneficial in Photoshop (unless you enable OpenGL acceleration). So paying more for a card of say 512MB or 1GB means that all of that memory is wasting in Photoshop. Except for about 16 MB that is necessary to present the screen’s image, the rest is only using for 3D calculations in games or 3D design programs. Even Adobe clearly explains in the CS2 requirements that it is unnecessary to have more than 8MB to display the screen’s image.

Of course, if you have a graphics card with a powerful GPU (graphics processing unit) and use Photoshop CS4 or later, you can activate the OpenGL graphic acceleration, which will allow you to increase the speed astonishingly with operations such as zooming and scrolling.

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Video Editing Tips and Techniques

Editing videos for Youtube is neither more difficult nor more expensive than editing a video for any other video display platform. As in any other case, you will need to make a good video and edit it well. Hence, the first thing to do is to choose a good video editing program. Since then, the result obtained will be positioned in place with many possible visits, unless the edition is of quality. If you have access to Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro, great, but there are also cheap or free ones that can produce good results if you have the patience and skill required. For Pc, we recommend the Movie Maker and for Mac iMovie.

Try to create a video with a good narrative that makes your message easily understandable. To do this, you must offer a chronological view in which you will insert all the individual shots previously taken. Most editing programs have this option.

Once you have edited all the shots in the video timeline, you can highlight it with special effects, for example, by adding a text layer to place your website or contact information.

You can choose between .AVI, MP4, or .WMA formats to upload to YouTube since almost all editing programs accept these. One last tip, try to use a 16: 9 screen resolution format and render your file in 720P or 1080i high definition so that users who watch the video can see it on the big screen or a high definition television. So you can give them a satisfactory resolution.

It is a video editor especially aimed at Windows PC, free and easy to use. Very versatile and with a large number of predefined options that allow carrying out exciting jobs.

Does the graphics card affect video editing?

It’s impossible not to talk about graphics cards, connectors, and cables when advising on buying your photo or video editing screen. Which graphics card should I buy to display colors correctly? Which card and which connectors should I buy to display 4K? Are all cables the same? Is it better to use an HDMI, Display Port, or USB-C cable? Let’s see this together.

The first thing we ask of a graphics card is to display our beautiful photos or videos correctly. It is the minimum! The choice should, therefore, be straightforward. A card with 1 or 2 GB of RAM will suffice – even for 4K on a single screen – and therefore, one has the real impression of being spoiled for choice, but that would then be forgetting what is not. Not at all a detail: its connection and incidentally its cable! How, to choose between a graphics card with DVI, HDMI (1.4 to 2.1), or even Display Port (1.2 and 1.4) or USB-C but of the same power? And what to choose with 5K, 6K, and soon 8K screens?

The graphics card: just a display business? 

NVidia Quadra graphics card, let’s start with the most important! Many of you will ask me for advice about your future graphics card and ask me if the graphics card influences photos and colors? Well, let’s start by twisting the neck of a fantasy:

Essential! No, the display quality of the colors – their precision – does not depend on the graphics card’s quality but only on the quality of the screen and the ICC profile you have created.

An RGB signal always has the same values regardless of the quality of the graphics card. So on what criteria to choose your graphics card? Let’s see them now together because they are still significant and more numerous than one might think.

Which graphics card is best for Photoshop?

There are currently MAC PRO solutions that work well in Full HD resolutions, but it has hardware from 2013, and at this point, they fall short enough to render video in 4K (we hope that a competent option will come out in 2019). For this reason, we recommend purchasing desktop PCs with Windows 10 operating system, which cost the same or half and have up to three times more power.

Rendering video demands many resources from both the processor and the graphics card, especially the latter. They are much faster and have a greater power capacity than our processor. The graphics cards that we recommend for these purposes are:

NVidia’s RTX 2080 SUPER or RTX 2080Ti. The new NVidia graphics that render offer practically the same performance as the 1080Ti, which does not compensate so much for its high price.

NVidia RTX 2070 SUPER or RX 5700XT. It is using by many you tubers and professionals in the sector. They are very popular to play in 4K, although they are a great alternative to the NVidia Quadra or Radeon PRO that have a much higher cost.

NVidia RTX 2060 SUPER or RTX 2060 (also the latter to play). Somewhat cheaper and widely used. The plain RTX 2060 is a great option right now.

NVidia GTX 1660 Ti / GTX 1660 SUPER / GTX 1660. It would be the one that we consider as the minimum requirement for these tasks, any of the options works for us, and we recommend the cheapest one because we would have enough for our tasks. AMD Radeon RX 5700. When drivers are optimized, they will be a highly recommended option. The editor will resolve our tests with adobe premiere pro but nothing problematic in the next few months. The price is exceptional, a great buy for gaming and design.

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Graphic Cards Comparison 

Let’s start by making a global comparison regardless of the assembler and just looking to see if the graphics card has an AMD or NVIDIA GPU. In this comparison, the following graphics card models have been taken into account:

  • AMD: Radeon RX 5700 XT, RX 5700, RX 5600 XT and RX 5500 XT.
  • NVIDIA : GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080 SUPER, RTX 2080, RTX 2070 SUPER, RTX 2070, RTX 2060 SUPER, RTX 2060, and GTX 1660 Ti.

best graphics card for Photoshop and video editing

Which graphics card is best for video editing?

Video editing, especially if you work with high settings, requires a powerful computer. Even more so than for other demanding tasks like playing in high quality. Therefore, and to not discover in a short time that our team has fallen short, it is essential to carefully choose all the components and make sure that we get the best possible PC for video editing.

Graphics card

The graphics card is another important component used in our configurations, although, as we have seen, it will be the processor that will take the most generous part of our budget. When choosing a card, we must pay attention to the calculation architecture that each model incorporates. In this sense, Nvidia cards have a particular advantage over AMD, as they use CUDA parallel processing, which many software benefits from. On the part of AMD, we find the OpenCL protocol, which works similarly, although the programs tend to show higher performance when working with CUDA.


RAM is the third most important element when building a PC to work with videos. Although the memory we choose will not play a fundamental role in our system’s performance, at least we must make sure that it is compatible with our motherboard and our processor. If we opt for the most modern components, the RAM must be of the DDR4 type. As for the capacity, it will not determine our computer’s performance, as long as it is not too small. And how much is that? The minimum we must have is 8 GB, and depending on the size and resolution of the videos with which we are going to work, they can be 16 GB or 32 GB.

One last recommendation is to buy memory modules in packs of two or four, but never opt for individual modules. This is because RAM works best on Dual-Channel or Quad-Channel. If we are going to install 16 GB of memory, it is better to buy two sticks of 8 GB each (bought together, with the same specifications) than one of only 16 GB.

best graphics card for Photoshop and video editing

Is the graphics card important for Photoshop?

Having a compatible graphics card or graphics processor is essential as it gives you better performance when used with Photoshop. You even take advantage of the additional features it offers. In this article, we will discuss graphics card requirements and how to improve Photoshop editing performance.

When do you need a graphics card?

The graphics card will surely enrich your editing experience. Graphics card or GPU is used to maintain image quality standards, for editing large RAW or TIFF formats using Photoshop. A RAW image from the camera can easily use a lot of MB of memory, sometimes over a GB in edit mode, which can take a lot of RAM on your computer, making it slow. The graphics card with additional memory allows you to refresh the imaging screen faster without consuming RAM and CPU on the computer. In other words, without a graphics card, it would take longer to send data if you are editing a large image file.

These Photoshop features don’t work without the graphics processor – 3D, Oil Painting, Scrubby Zoom, Render – Picture Frame, Flame and Tree, Flick Panning, and Smooth Brush Resize.

Basic Display and GPU Configuration

For a decent display, you need a minimum display of 1024 × 768 against the recommended requirement is 1280 × 800. And 16-bit color a 512MB VRAM. To access OpenGL acceleration, the computer must support Shade Model 3.0 or later and OpenGL v2.0. For Opens acceleration, the computer must support Opens v1.1 or higher.

Using two or more graphics cards or a graphics processor

Currently, Photoshop does not use more than one GPU. Whether you use one or more, Photoshop performance will remain the same. In fact, using multiple GPUs with different drivers can cause issues with GPU accelerated functions in Photoshop. If you are looking for a better result, you can connect two or more display screens to a graphics card.

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How important is a graphics card for video editing?  

When we do professional work on our PC, it is necessary to have specially designed hardware to enhance the equipment’s performance and obtain optimal results and a professional-quality product.

Graphic designers and audio and video editors and musicians and creators of multimedia applications and 3D animations require unique video cards or cards, which allow them to perceive the images, videos, and animations they are creating with great detail, which is why it is critically important to choose the right devices to obtain outstanding results.

Desirable features of a professional video card

Among the main characteristics to consider when purchasing a professional video card is its ability to support high-speed 3D graphics. Another important point is high digital signage, which will allow executing vector drawing and editing programs with surprising depth and realism. These cards must have a large amount of memory; they should have at least 512MB internal memory and a great cooling system.

Besides, they must have working support for multiple displays and synchronize output from various systems and support for editing equipment and high-definition multimedia equipment, such as HD camcorders.

How to choose a professional video card

To prefer a professional video card, it is necessary to consider what type of work we will do since some graphic design tasks do not require high-end cards, and we could use a mid-range one with enough RAM and an OK disk Lasted.

Certain considerations that need to be factored in when we are going to choose a professional video card are the following:

  • Verify compatibility with the PC motherboard and power source.
  • The proper functioning of the cooling systems.
  • Choose a card with good internal memory.
  • We must verify that it supports the external editing equipment that we use in our editing work.
  • Take into account the performance/price factor.


Making a PC setup for design differs greatly from a gaming PC in terms of priorities. Besides, the needs vary greatly depending on whether you will dedicate yourself to photo editing, video editing, or graphic design.

For example, while the graphics card is irrelevant in applications that have to do with photography, it can become crucial and allow significant savings in rendering times in video editing. The CPU is a more complicated case and difficult to summarize because too many aspects come into play. But, it is vital to invest in one of sufficient quality and with decent mono and multicore performances in both cases.

Regarding RAM, we consistently see how 16GB is enough for all uses if there is no great demand, while in more demanding cases or to ensure good multitasking, we should start looking at 32GB. We always have to bet on memories with a reasonable speed, with dual-channel and good quality modules. In short, a PC configuration for design is quite a complicated process, so we hope this article has helped you to clarify our ideas. If not, you can always go to our official forum and request a custom PC configuration. Thanks for reading!

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Luis Gillman
Luis Gillman

Hi, I Am Luis Gillman CA (SA), ACMA
I am a Chartered Accountant (SA) and CIMA (SA) and author of Due Diligence: A strategic and Financial Approach.

The book was published by Lexis Nexis on 2001. In 2010, I wrote the second edition. Much of this website is derived from these two books.

In addition I have published an article entitled the Link Between Due Diligence and Valautions.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate, the author and owners of this website take no responsibility  for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relience upon the information contained therein.  Furthermore the bulk of the information is derived from information in 2018 and use therefore is at your on risk. In addition you should consult professional advice if required.