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Are the NVIDIA RTX video cards good for video editing?

Written on October 1, 2018 by Matt Bach

The new RTX series from NVIDIA are not very exciting for Adobe applications, but they are great for DaVinci Resolve giving up to 20% higher performance than the GTX 1080 Ti. These cards are also very interesting cards for the future due to the addition of two major new features: Tensor cores and RT cores.

Are Tensor Cores used in video editing?

While already available on the more expensive Titan V GPU, the RTX line introduces tensor cores at a more reasonable price point. These tensor cores operate alongside the normal CUDA cores that traditionally do the heavy lifting, but are designed specifically for machine learning inference (running already created and trained machine learning models). Blackmagic has already announced that they will be using these cores in DaVinci Resolve 15 to "accelerate AI inferencing for graphics enhancement", but so far there has been no word from Adobe. Even if implemented fully, these cores will likely not improve things like live playback FPS or export times, but they will be used for things like shot color matching, denoiser, or automatic masking.

Are RT Cores used in video editing?

RT cores are brand new in this generation of graphics cards, and are specialized for a single type of operation: ray tracing. It is possible that these cores may be used in VFX or motion graphics, but if or when they will take advantage of is currently unknown.

These new features are primarily what you are paying for with the new RTX cards, so the primary reason to purchase them is to future proof your workstation so it will be able to take advantage of the tensor and RT cores in/when the future if the developers add support for them. It is currently unknown exactly how these cores will be utilized by Adobe or Blackmagic, or the kind of performance gains we may see once they are. However, we have already looked at how the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti perform in a number of video editing applications as they are today:

Is the RTX 2080 8GB worth it for video editing?

In most video editing applications, you are unlikely to notice a difference between the RTX 2080 and a similarly priced 1000-series GTX card. In fact, you should get more VRAM from an older GTX card which makes the RTX 2080 slightly worse for 6K+ workflows. The main reason to invest in the RTX 2080 is to future proof your system in the hope that the new Tensor and RT cores will be leveraged in the future. Blackmagic has already announced that Resolve 15 will take advantage of tensor cores in the future, but Adobe has not yet announced their plans for these cores.

Is the RTX 2080 Ti 11GB worth it for video editing?

For Adobe applications, you are unlikely to notice a difference between the RTX 2080 and a similarly priced 1000-series GTX card. However, in DaVinci Resolve the RTX 2080 Ti performs on par with the much more expensive Titan V. For most users, however, the main reason to invest in the RTX 2080 is to future proof your system in the hope that the new Tensor and RT cores will be leveraged in the future. Blackmagic has already announced that Resolve 15 will take advantage of tensor cores in the future, but Adobe has not yet announced their plans for these cores.

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Tags: Premiere Pro, After Effects, DaVinci Resolve, RTX, 2080, 2080 Ti


"Provides the optimal gaming experience with support for the Windows 10 October 2018 Update including the public release of DirectX Raytracing (DXR)"

Nvidia GeForce 416.16 WHQL driver released.

Posted on 2018-10-04 13:26:40

Nice! I don't think this will affect video editing too much since even most 3D rendering apps use OpenCL or CUDA, but it is a pretty big deal for game development and other real-time visualization applications. If anyone comes across this comment and doesn't know what this is, this is a pretty good breakdown: https://blogs.msdn.microsof...

Posted on 2018-10-04 16:21:34

Could you please comment on lesser applications (for the masses) like Cyberlink Power Director (just to name one) and the advantage or otherwise of using even a GTX1080 let alone an RTX2080. Will such powerful GAMING cards help much in video software other than the Adobes and DaVincis that you always talk about? Hard to find this info on the web - thank you very much.

Posted on 2018-10-08 15:01:17

Our focus is on workstations for professionals (or hobbiests looking to break into the professional space), so we typically spend our time on the more popular applications used in those fields. For software like Power Director, we really can't say since we haven't benchmarked these cards in that software. Some might make great use of the GPU so the RTX cards will be great, but smaller editing software tends to lag behind a bit in terms of taking advantage of hardware so in most cases by bet is that these GPUs won't really give you that much.

Posted on 2018-10-08 16:34:58

What rig would be recommended for After Effects .PNG image sequences/comps at or around 110 Megapixels? Yes, you read that right.

Posted on 2018-10-13 06:05:34

It depends on how much Ram you want for RAM previews and how much RAM something like that needs in the first place since I'm really not sure. Highest per-core performance on the CPU is best (currently that would be the i7 8700k) but if you need more than 64GB of RAM then you might need to settle for something like the i7 7820x. GPU shouldn't matter much, just get a mid-range NVIDIA like a GTX 1060/1070.

Storage is something to consider as well. I'm not sure what the effective bitrate is with that kind of sequence, but I have a hard time believing that you won't simply be CPU bottleneck so I doubt using a NVMe drive over a normal SSD will make that much of a difference beyond disk cache write speed.

Keep in mind that the Intel 9th Gen CPUs have been announced and we will have benchmarks up on Oct 19th for AE and other software. Intel has also announced the new X-series CPUs, but I don't think a launch date has been publicly announced

Posted on 2018-10-13 06:14:52

Thanks a ton for the quick reply! I've been struggling to find a reasonable rig to manage this massive project even with 1/16th scaling. I parted out a $6,000 rig on Newegg and an $8,000 Puget Systems rig but don't have much confidence that After Effects will even see a massive gain in render times proportionate to a price like that compared to the rig we have.

Currently the best rig we tried is:

i7-3930k @ 4.3GHz (which in the benchmarks I've seen isn't leaps and bounds slower than an i9-7900x or i7-8700k in single thread performance).
16GB DDR3 @ 1866 (trying to get at least 64GB installed but I don't have high hopes for improving render times, After Effects encoder reports average of 5 frames per second)
Samsung Evo SSD Scratch
Samsung Evo SSD Read
RTX 2080Ti

After Effects takes 1 hour to render 10 seconds to our needed FlexRes Performance container.

Posted on 2018-10-13 06:23:13

If I had to guess, I think a 8700k would render about 40% faster than a 3930k in After Effects. That's a pretty good speedup really and might get even better with something like the new i9-9900k.

Something else you might consider looking into is network rendering. We haven't done too much with it quite yet, but it is on our to-do list. It wouldn't help with RAM Preview, but if you want to cut down on final render times, splitting it up across multiple machines is likely going to be the only way to make big improvements to your render times.

Posted on 2018-10-13 16:38:57

I use Davinci Resolve and will be building a new computer very soon. From various articles I've read I'm steering towards a 2080 8GB card over the older 1080Ti 11 GB as they are similarly priced in the UK (although 1080Ti seems to be harder to find in stock now) and I will only be working on 4k video or lower. What I'm confused about is if there are better variants of the 2080 8GB card for editing? A lot of the variants of 2080 8GB graphics cards seem to be marketed towards gaming and I don't really know how that relates to editing experience, for example some have higher boast performance, some 3 fans instead of 2, some with OC in the name etc. I'm confused.

Posted on 2018-12-03 12:41:13

Pretty much all GPUs these days (outside of the workstation Quadro/Radeon Pro) will have all those different types. The ones with bigger heatsink and more fans are just designed to run cooler and quieter, OC (should be the same as the ones with higher boost clocks) are set to run above NVIDIA's official specifications in order to get higher performance. Personally, if this is going into a system that is designed to get work done, I would shy away from the fancy cards and stick with something as close to stock as possible. So, dual fan, not OC if you can help it. In apps like Resolve, those features aren't going to make a big difference, but the cards tend to be less stable. To me, I would much rather have a GPU that is less likely to give me any problems than one that is theoretically a few percent faster.

Posted on 2018-12-03 17:19:53
George Drake

Will you guys be updating this with the new Titan RTX? I am in the middle of trying to do a new Resolve build and thinking of going all in of future proofing by purchasing the Titan RTX. Also, slightly off topic... I find myself doing much more in the fusion tab and using OFX from Boris and my timeline is being bogged down. Do you know what I need to upgrade to have performance in that area? My current machine is pretty old but still gets the job done. i7-6900K, Titan X, 64 gigs of RAM. I was considering the 18 core i9 until I just looked at your review of it.

Posted on 2018-12-29 14:27:12

Yes, we will. We just got our hands on our first Titan RTX, and should start doing some testing here pretty soon. However, keep in mind that the Titan RTX only comes in the dual fan design which is not ideal for multi-GPU configurations. So if you ever think you will have more than one (or maybe two) cards, the Titan RTX will likely throttle to speeds lower than a 2080 Ti that has the proper rear exhaust type of cooling. You can see how big of a deal it can be in one of our posts: https://www.pugetsystems.co...

Fusion doesn't really use the GPU all that much compared to the rest of Resolve, so in most cases you are going to be limited by the single-core performance of your CPU. Check out https://www.pugetsystems.co... and https://www.pugetsystems.co... if you haven't already. If fusion if your primary worry, the i9 9900K is currently the best CPU you can get since it has terrific single core performance. The 18 core i9 9980XE is going to be somewhere around 20% slower than the 9900K.

The biggest issue with the 9900K is really the 64GB of RAM limitation. Especially in Fusion, having more RAM can make a big difference since Fusion stores already rendered frames in RAM. If you run out, it simply overwrites old frames which means the system has to completely re-render those frames from scratch if you play through it again. I would check out task manager to see how much RAM you end up using. If you are anywhere around 55GB or so used, you would probably see a pretty noticeable boost in performance with more RAM. It won't help the first time you play through a Fusion project, but it can really add up as you keep working.

Posted on 2019-01-02 20:11:34
Nikki Bellefire

hi i've been looking for some research now as i can only afford the rtx 2060, is it good enough for video editing, 3d modelling? for video editing i use AE an Sony vegas. for 3d modelling... let's just say i'm still about to learn it.

this is the specs i have:
Core i7-8700
Asus ROG Strix H370-F
16GB [2xGB] Team Nighthawk RAM
Crucial BX500 480GB SSD
1TB WD Caviar HD
Corsai 80+ 650w power supply
palit rtx 2060

Posted on 2019-02-13 16:56:27

For After Effects and 3D modeling a RTX 2060 should be just fine. Only thing to be aware of there is if you end up using any AutoDesk products (3DS Max or Maya primarily) since they officially only certify the Quadro/Radeon Pro line of GPUs. That said, we've never encountered issues with the GeForce cards in those software packages so it is more a case of it being something AutoDesk support could potentially blame as the culprit if you ever have a problem with their software.

Posted on 2019-02-13 17:26:37
Nikki Bellefire

Thank you for your reply. Is Blender program a good to go for rtx 2060?

Posted on 2019-02-13 18:27:07

Yep, Blender should work just fine with the RTX 2060!

Posted on 2019-02-13 18:38:05
Nikki Bellefire

Thank you Sir Matt. I’m relief to hear that and finally my concerns were answered.

Posted on 2019-02-13 18:57:03
James Nielson

I hear the 2060 Super provides some significant gains, if you can go up a price notch.

Posted on 2020-01-25 18:39:32

What about avid media composer. Is it worth to invest extra money into for example RTX 2070 over GTX 1060 and save money on getting i7 8700 and not i9 9900K or should I get rather better processor for better results ?

Posted on 2019-02-16 17:16:42

Hi! I am building a workstation for 4k+ video editing and post-production (Avid Media Composer; Adobe Premier; Davinci Resolve; Adobe After effects). My budget can accommodate Nvidia Geforce rtx 2080 ti or alternatively a quadro rtx 4000 (unfortunately not higher for a quadro). Loads of different opinions online, and still not sure which to go for (I'm advised to go for the quadro, but I am doubting that, especially that the quadro rtx 4000 seems to be at the lower end of quadro requirements for these programmes? And I cannot afford quadro rtx 6000...) Any help here is highly appreciated!

Posted on 2019-05-02 17:22:49

What you get out of Quadro is really three things:

1) Reliability - Quadro is definitely a bit more reliable. Over the last three years, Quadro cards are about 60% more reliable overall (including DOA and failures in the field).
2) Higher VRAM capacity - not actually a factor for you since the RTX 4000 only has 8GB of VRAM versus the 11GB on the 2080 Ti, but the hgiher-end Quadros have a ton of VRAM for people working with 8K footage or lots of noise reduction in Resolve.
3) 10-bit display support - Unlike the GeForce or Radeon cards, Quadro cards can output 10-bit video signals in OpenGL applications like DaVinci Resolve. However, if color accuracy is a concern, you likely should invest in a video monitoring card like the Blackmagic Decklink series as they will output a more accurate signal than what GPUs are currently capable of.
4) Technically better support from NVIDIA and software developers. This is challenged a bit right now since NVIDIA released their "Creator Ready" drivers for GeForce. In our experience, we haven't really seen better or worse support by using GeForce, although Avid is the most likely to give you trouble.

Really, just use the RTX 2080 Ti. 99% of the time, we recommend and sell GeForce cards in our video editing workstations. The people who get Quadro are generally those who have very large budgets where the slightly higher reliability is worth any amount of money.

Posted on 2019-05-09 18:22:32
Thomas Logan

Matt, have read about 500 pages of text online to try and help with my Quadro/Radeon Pro workstation card issue. I'm a "photographer" no video, no science or 3D... I just want 10-bit out, and "think" I want 16 gigs of VRAM. I work with huge pano files that run into "gigs" in size. The info I cannot seem to find anywhere is whether or not I want or need to worry about the RTX tech... so is Radeon Pro just as good for a photographer? And, is 16 gigs for a still photographer way too much? Everything I read says 8 gigs is just skippy for "most" applications, but nobody seems to have a clue beyond that wild guess. From what I can tell, the RTX technology seems to have less than zero benefit for a still photographer, but--I know nothing. I'd love to buy a Quadro RTX 5000 and just not have to worry about anything, but I don't have that kind of money for a GPU. And, I am clueless as to whether or not the RTX 4000 is enough, way too much, just okay, not good enough, etc.? Thanks for your help.

Posted on 2019-06-26 19:50:16

Photography apps (whether it is Lightroom, Photoshop, Capture One, etc.) tend to not be very heavy on the GPU. Even dealing with huge resolution images tends to be a bigger load on the system memory rather than on VRAM, so I would be a bit surprised if you needed more than 8GB on the GPU. That said, there are always exceptions so you may be one of those that does need 16GB of VRAM. However, I think it is more likely that what you are reading is mixing up system memory (RAM) and video memory (VRAM). 8GB of system memory is definitely not enough - we tend to start out at 32GB these days, and from the sounds of what you are working with, 64GB may be a better target.

As far as RTX goes, that likely won't impact you at all. The RT cores for ray-tracing are really only used in 3D visualization whether it is realtime like games, or rendering of 3D scenes for video. There are what are called "Tensor Cores" that should help speed up AI-based tasks, but I haven't heard about that being used yet in Adobe or other photo applications. There is a chance that it may speed up things like content-aware fill in the future, but I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Most likely, the RTX 4000 should be plenty for you, and it would get you the 10-bit display support you need. In fact, that is one of the more common cards we sell to photographers that are in your exact situation. Radeon Pro is also probably just fine, to be honest. In our experience, NVIDIA is a bit pricier for the performance you get, but the cards and drivers are overall more stable (which is why we tend to lean in that direction).

Posted on 2019-06-26 20:03:57

Is the ~2% faster increase with Creator Drivers or Game Ready? Can you run the test of each?

Posted on 2019-06-19 18:29:35

This is from before Creator (now called Studio) drivers were a thing. However, we did testing when the first Creator driver came out, and the driver version makes almost no difference in terms of performance in Premiere Pro: https://www.pugetsystems.co...

Sometimes new drivers can give a performance boost in professional apps, but most of the time it is about stability.

Posted on 2019-06-19 18:40:53
ReturnoftheBrotha .

ThreadRipper or an Intel 8+ core can outperform the GPU now. That is without hyper-threading. That is - non-4K.

Posted on 2019-07-12 00:16:02

I'm not sure what you mean - the CPU and GPU are used for different tasks in various editing applications so it really isn't a matter of CPU vs GPU. You can set some applications like Premiere Pro to use the CPU instead of the GPU for many accelerated effects (Mercury Playback in Software-only mode versus CUDA/OpenCL), but performance is going to be several times worse compared to a GPU even with the fastest CPUs available.

In most situations, it isn't a matter of whether a CPU or GPU is faster - you need both.

Posted on 2019-07-12 17:46:40
ReturnoftheBrotha .

I only have an Intel 9800X and that upgrade from a 6-core Intel actually rendered video faster than my GTX 1070 Ti, whereas the Ti rendered faster than the 6-core that I had (7800X). This is using Vegas, since that is what I used since it was Video Factory. Premiere does not seem to have many options and the speed is not there for me. Power Director may not be the most professional, but when it comes to pure GPU speed - they seem to be in charge.

Posted on 2019-07-13 01:19:09

I'm building my first desktop and I'm trying to o figure out what card to get. My main uses will be 4k editing in Premiere Pro and After Effects, but I also game on the side, with the possibility of starting to stream soon. I'm stuck between the RTX 2070 and the 2060. Is there a noticeable difference between the two in terms of video production?

Posted on 2019-08-08 11:27:34
Jody Layne

Hi Matt
would the following entry level spec allow me to edit video , render and export video and 3d graphics :
AMD Ryzen 5 2400G 3.9ghz ,
RTX 2060
16G Ram (2 x 8G DDR4 2666)

Posted on 2019-08-15 07:22:38
Louis Jones

Hi, I'm currently looking at building a workstation for editing 4k-6k video footage on mostly Premiere (however, I am learning more about resolve for grading and sometimes use after effects for certain projects). I've so far been thinking of going for an intel i9 9900k & 64GB RAM, however, I'm still very unsure as to what card i should pick up... I often do a little bit of gaming in my free time, as well as lay around with certain plugins such as element 3d so i was thinking that the tensor cores on the RTX 2080 Super could be a good option, but then I'm not sure whether that, or the Quadro RTX 4000 would be a better option. If you could offer me some support that would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Posted on 2019-10-24 23:56:07

The Quadro RTX 4000 is going to be equivalent to something like a RTX 2070 in terms of performance. So if you want performance for your dollar, stick with GeForce. The main reasons we recommend Quadro is for the higher reliability (~15% more reliable from our stats) or the higher VRAM capability on the higher-end models. There are some applications (mainly CAD, but many Autodesk apps as well) where Quadro cards are the only ones qualified, but in the video editing space we rarely use Quadro unless it is a mission-critical system where cost is not a concern.

Posted on 2019-10-25 00:12:52
I am the smrt

i have an Aorus7 WA laptop with these specs:

9th Gen. Intel® Core™ i7-9750H Processor(2.6GHz-4.5GHz)
GTX 2060 Graphic Card
6TB made up of 2x 2TB M2 SSD drives and 1 x 2TB SATA 3 SSD Drive

Shouldn't this have no problem running adobe premiere? i am not doing super heavy stuff on this either.

Posted on 2020-04-07 18:24:06

The CPU is going to be what holds you back, but if you are editing HD media and careful of the codec it should be OK. Most likely, you are going to want to use proxies unless the media is either relatively low bitrate H.264 CFR (VFR from phones or most screen capture is always really hard) or something more suitable for editing like ProRes 422.

One thing you can do to get an idea of how it will perform versus a desktop is to run our Premiere Pro benchmark http://puget.systems/go/PRb... . We also just launched a result browser yesterday, so you can compare the results to what we already have uploaded: https://www.pugetsystems.co... . There is already one 9750H result uploaded, and while it does have a lower-end GPU and less RAM, it performed about 1/3 of what a 9900K desktop would give you.

Posted on 2020-04-07 18:51:09