Gaming laptops can be an exceptional source for video editing and rendering. Generally speaking, a gaming laptop is designed with a gaming-first approach, as it should be. However, for those so inclined to dabble in some video editing, a gaming laptop should provide enough processing power to pull off basic to intermediate edits.
My name is Chris, and I’ve been a tech enthusiast for well over 10+ years and a gamer for over 30. I’ve got a firm grasp on most things game-related as almost all of my free time is spent engaging in the hobby. That, as well as editing videos for YouTube.
In this article, we’ll explore exactly what a gaming laptop is capable of based on its components. I’ll also dive into what you should be looking for in terms of a gaming laptop built for multitasking. The takeaway should provide necessary relief from all doubts and help to avoid buyer’s remorse.
So let’s get started.
Difference Between a Gaming Laptop and a Standard One
When it comes to gaming laptops versus standard laptops, the key difference is usually found with the GPU, or Graphics Processing Unit.
A gaming laptop needs to have the graphical processing power to pull off the top gaming titles. Other components, such as the CPU (Computer Processing Unit) and RAM (Random Access Memory) are also core to a solid gaming laptop. But the one that stands out is always the GPU.
A basic laptop will tend to focus on being more well-rounded with the power of its components. This also tends to keep regular laptops lighter and thinner than their gaming counterparts. Heat generation is also less of a problem for regular laptops as they need less juice than a gaming laptop demands.
Visually, a gaming laptop tends to be a bit bulkier as well as flashy. In addition to their general bulkiness, it’s not uncommon to find them lit up like a Christmas tree from all of the additional RGB lighting. This sort of thing is usually lauded in the gaming community, though not everyone will agree.
Are Gaming Laptops Good for Video Editing?
Gaming laptops come packed with a multitude of components. Most of which are also used in laptops specifically designed for video editing and rendering.
These components include higher RAM, a powerful CPU and GPU, multi threads and cores, a high clocking frequency, increased storage capacity at lightning speeds, and a far better visual display than your standard laptop.
So, to answer the question “are gaming laptops good for video editing?” I would say, yes. But don’t assume the editing power will be advanced.
A gaming laptop should be able to provide you with enough power to pull off basic to intermediate levels of video editing and rendering.
The Component Specifications You’re Looking for
A laptop has many components to it. Some of which are more important than others. We should begin with the priority placed on almost all gaming laptops, the GPU.
A top-of-the-line GPU is the central focus of many gaming laptops, regardless of make and model. Do you want to play the most visually demanding games at a high frame rate? Then you better have a GPU capable of pulling it off.
That being said, outside of gaming, The GPU has very minimal needs in your everyday laptop. However, since the topic is video editing, a solid GPU can only benefit you in your quest to pull off videos full of stunning visual effects and 3D modeling. The more you add to your video projects, the more demand there will be for a serious GPU.
Some editing software will even take advantage of specific perks that only some GPUs offer. Something like Adobe Premiere Pro will utilize Nvidia’s CUDA acceleration and AMD’s OpenCL in order to render scenes.
Currently, the GPU with the minimum amount of power you should be seeking in a gaming laptop would be either an Nvidia GTX 1060Ti or AMD Radeon RX 580. These are great for playing most games but will only provide low-quality editing power.
To really pull off both gaming and video editing at a higher quality will require an Nvidia RTX 3060 and above or AMD Radeon RX 6700 and above.
If you’re attempting to avoid lag during both gaming and editing, (which let’s be real, of course you are) then you’re going to need a solid CPU with plenty of processing power. Without one, your laptop is going to move at a snail’s pace while doing any task that requires a little oomph, like video editing.
Multi-core and multi-thread are your best friends when it comes to editing and rendering videos. The more the merrier and some software will look to take advantage of this to provide stellar performance during all editing tasks. A minimum of a quad-core CPU is good enough but to really push the limits you’ll want to reach 8 or more.
Look for an Intel Core i7 11th gen CPU and higher or the Ryzen 7 5800X from AMD.
Random Access Memory will store temporary data for faster retrieval making editing and rendering videos a lot smoother. This is important when it comes to how quickly you can pan through your video projects and how large the project itself is.
The larger the video project is in terms of how often you need to load up large files, perform timeline scrubs, add plugins and extensions, and preview all you’ve accomplished, the more RAM will come into play.
Though it’s not as important as some of the other components, it’s still pertinent to have enough, if not more than enough RAM for your gaming and video editing needs. Aiming for a minimum of 16GB of RAM is going to increase your laptop’s ability to handle larger projects.
However, I would still recommend you shoot for at least 32GB for a far smoother experience.
Storage is super important when it comes to both gaming and video editing. The more storage space you have, the more games and projects you can take on. Unlike RAM which deletes data once you shut down a program, storage device drives hold all data you save until you choose to delete it.
Space isn’t the only requirement you’ll want to look at when deciding on a storage drive. How quickly that data loads up is also very important. That’s where the choice between HDD and SSD comes into play.
For both gaming and video editing, the choice between an HDD (Hard Disk Drive) and SSD (Solid-State Drive) is an easy one. The benefits of an SSD are vast over those that an HDD can provide. Namely speed, the ability to handle higher forms of HD videos, and tend to be more durable over the long term.
These days, gaming laptops will likely come with both an SSD and HDD. But if you’re facing a potential purchase where you’ll need to choose, select the one with the SSD (at least 512GB) and just buy a large (1TB+) external HDD for additional data storage.
From what has been written you now know that gaming laptops are generally pretty decent at video editing by default. One thing not touched on was display size.
Depending on how bulky you’re willing to handle, when it comes to the screen, bigger is always better. So long as you’ve read the article, you should now be well-equipped to make the correct decision on your future gaming laptop that doubles as a video editor.