Lungs? Kidneys?

Must decide which organ is a GPU… first, both lungs and kidneys are (usually) coupled in human beings (and other mammals), so, maybe, I must be forced to use two GPUs…


Now, let be (a bit more) serious, and try to find out which GPU would be better to use for this creature; as the main mission would be to perform various tasks to manipulate movies audio and video tracks, we must discover first which kind of graphic cards would be better to use – I mean, mainstream or professional? Would cheapest ones work as well, or do I need the most powerful ones?

I made a lot of research – I will spare you the details, and go to the final considerations: mainstream GPUs are good enough to perform video editing; sure, professional ones would do probably a better job, but I think nobody would choose to spend two or three times the cost of a “normal” gaming card, to get just a one figure percentage speed increase – I guess… said so, video editing programs (and not only them) like to consume a lot of memory, so I discovered the minimum requirement is 4GB; but, to say the truth, the advice is to go with 8GB for 4K/UHD, and 12GB or more for 6K/8K; to be safe for a while, I decided to consider GPUs with no less than 8GB.

For the brain, I had to decide between AMD and Intel; now, for the – what, lungs? kidneys? the choice is between AMD and Nvidia. Sadly, lately AMD did not produced many models, while Nvidia has a lot more models available; it seemed that Nvidia would be the best choice, right? Well, yes and no. Why? As written before, the more memory, the better, and Nvidia biggest memory (at human prices) is 11GB – beware, it is a quite huge amount of memory, more than what UHD editing requires, but I wanted that to be as much future proof as possible, so I started to watch around for cards with more than 11GB… and discovered there are few Nvidia models with 12GB – namely, the Titan X, Xp, V; still, their price is double the GTX 1080ti with 11GB… not even talking about the Titan RTX!

Then, I thought to take a look at the professional AMD models, and there are some with 16GB, yet they are quite expensive… then, I discovered there was a special edition (kinda) of the Vega 64, the Vega Frontier Edition, with 16GB, at an human price! Even if many thinks it’s more or less on par with Nvidia GTX 1080, I must add that for non-gamers, it is a very interesting choice; not only thanks to its 16GB HBM2 memory, but also because its great computational power!

After that, I found that a new generation was released, the Radeon VII, which is basically a Vega FE with a 7nm chip (the first of its kind) instead of the old 12nm; with a price comparable to an Nvidia GTX 2080, it is possible to get a very good GPU with 16GB; sure, no TensorFlow or real time ray tracing, but those features are not (yet?) implemented in video editing softwares, so bigger (and faster) memory is more important, IMHO.

So, the following video cards could be useful for video editing purposes IMHO:
RX 570 8GB, RX 580 8GB, RX 590, Vega 56, Vega 64, Vega FE, Radeon VII
GTX 1070, GTX 1070ti, GTX 1080, GTX 1080ti, RTX 2070, RTX 2080, RTX 2080ti

As you can see, using DaVinci Resolve as video editing software, the best choice is the AMD Radeon VII, that has a hair better performance than the Nvidia GTX 2080ti – where two of the latter beat two of the former, though!

So, the GPU race winner is:


with the Vega FE close second, albeit less powerful, still with the same great HBM2 16GB memory; also, GTX 1080ti and GTX 2080ti are very good candidates, but with only 11GB and prices higher than respectively Vega FE and Radeon VII, are a less convincing choices for video editing.

Last words: using more than one GPU with DaVinci Resolve is beneficial; sure, it will be quite expensive, yet it will cost less to add a second (third, fourth) GPU to gain some speed, instead of buying a completely new computer. Note: using more than two GPUs – c’mon, who had not thought about this? – it will be better to have a blower version (or liquid cooled), to let heat be expelled out of the case; they are AMD Vega 56, 64, Frontier Edition, and Nvidia Founder Edition.


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