Using a gaming laptop in video editing is common due to better performance over regular laptops. Recent developments in smaller form factor technology have allowed the latest hardware releases from Nvidia, Intel, and AMD to create the newest generation of laptops capable of accomplishing workloads like video editing at significantly faster speeds rivaling desktop PCs.
Gaming laptops can video edit with a dedicated CPU and GPU configuration. However, they fall short in the available external hardware like SD card readers to better facilitate cameras, type-C lightning bolts for faster transfer speeds, and dependency on slightly shorter battery life.
This article provides insight into the advantages and hurdles of using a gaming laptop for video editing.
Using a Gaming Laptop for Video Editing
When using your video editing software, it's essential to ensure your laptop has the CPU required to run it efficiently. Most laptops released in the last few years can handle the system requirements. Still, there are specific elements you need to look for for a hybrid gaming and video editing experience.
Specs for a Video Editing Laptop
Here are the exact specifications for a modern laptop to handle video editing and have the proper hardware to read SD cards and transfer data faster with USB type-C.
A good CPU for video editing is either a Ryzen 7 or an I7 variant from AMD or Intel. Video editing benefits from having a higher core count due to multicore processes involved with scheduling tasks for the GPU to encode.
AMD Recommended CPU: Ryzen 7 5800x
Intel Recommended CPU: i7 12700 K or H
Having an optimized GPU for NVEC or OpenCL encoding is important for video previews and exporting content. If you go with AMD or Nvidia driver, performance may vary depending on your video format for mobile solutions.
The driver type used is the first mistake contributing to the instability of Nvidia GPUs when video editing. Every Nvidia GPU has two optimized drivers, one for video games that are “game ready” and one for programs like Premiere for “studio” use. Using one for the other gives way to instability and crashes and can easily be avoided. You can check between the two by going to their support site and seeing the difference between GRD and SD.
AMD does not have this issue but differs in its driver support from program to program.
AMD Recommended GPU Radeon 7 6500XT
Nvidia Recommended GPU GTX 1660 Super
The best RAM for video editing on a laptop at the time of writing is still DDR4. Most DDR4 RAM runs at default speeds and has no XMP options, with exceptions for expensive consumer laptops.
The amount on a laptop should be 32GB at 3000-3200Mhz for a responsive experience during video editing. RAM is generally the first to hit limitations when working on a large project with transitions, voiceovers, key frame edits, and multiple other effects.
The need for responsive storage when dealing with media files is necessary for video editing. M.2 is the most recent small form factor storage solution compared to hard drives and M.SATA SSDs.
The two options shipping with today's laptops is Gen 3. Other solutions like Gen 4 are available in higher costing models. Gen 3 speeds are between 1500-3500MB/s while Gen 4 doubles that speed at 4500-6500MB/s. Higher speeds for both internal and external drives make a difference when waiting for files to transfer. So going with the high read and write speeds is a decent option.
For a decent screen, there are two things to consider, native resolution and refresh rate. Resolution works by pixel density and the length of an ISP (In-Plane Switching) panel native to a computer monitor.
Most manufacturers go with a 1080p resolution screen. Other options include 1440p screens, which cost significantly more.
Differences Between a Gaming Laptop & a Video Editing Laptop
The main difference between gaming and editing laptops is the hardware connections. Cheaper gaming laptops will prioritize essential ports over others. It is common to leave out media-oriented connections like an SD Card reader, USB 3.2 port, and, most importantly, a type-C thunderbolt port.
Editing video on the go requires the ability to slot in an SD card or type-C storage for faster transfer rates than conditional USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports.
Creator Laptops vs. Gaming Laptops
Using a tablet-like laptop if you are a 3D artist with a need for a stylus-compatible laptop like a Surface Pro from Microsoft or an ASUS Zenbook. Depending on a user's needs, these laptops fold into different configurations offering more versatility.
Gaming laptops run more demanding games that may not run on these tablet-like laptops.
Peripherals for a Gaming & Editing Laptop
The best gaming and editing laptop peripherals for on-the-go performance are a mouse, portable storage solutions for games and media, and a stylus pad for an accurate drawing tool for 2D designers.
Image Credit: Corsair
Having a practical, lightweight mouse for mobility and responsiveness is essential for most creative users and gamers. Some features like addressable DPI, performance weights, and controllable macros or hotkeys.
Large and small brands have included software or hardware on the mouse for quick DPI changes for intensive FPS shooters at a higher DPI vs. the navigation of a canvas and color pallet at a significantly lower DPI.
Having an external storage solution is a great way to keep copies of media files. For games, download and install storage drives directly on your PC, not external drives, due to performance and stability.
The best external drives a type-C connection for the fastest transfer rates, up to 3.5GB a second! If you're looking for a cheap data storage solution, the ADATA EC700G is a container where you can insert your own NVMe to achieve higher transfer speeds using type-C. I use it all the time with a spare NVMe to store office work.
Finding a Gaming Laptop to Also Edit Videos
Finding a gaming laptop for your video editing and content creation needs is daunting in today's market. That is why Apex Gaming PCs come equipped with our laptop line featuring the RTX 3060 to a 3080ti with Intel 11th gen CPUs. All of our X series laptops have thunderbolt type-C connections and SD card readers, perfect for editing and creating on the go.
In addition to our QC process for laptops, we optimize each component to avoid thermal throttling while gaming or rendering, making our X series of laptops an excellent deal for video editing and gaming. Whatever your editing or gaming needs, we hope to be of service at Apex!
Written By William Wilson
Photo Credits: Pavan Bhakta & Corsair