Another item you’ll find in the best laptops for video editing is a dedicated graphics card, or GPU. Some more affordable computers process graphics using a graphics card that’s integrated with the CPU, while more powerful laptops used for gaming or project creation often boast a separate GPU with its own memory for powerful imagery processing (VRAM, or video random access memory). If you can, aim for four to eight gigabytes of dedicated VRAM.
“The biggest piece people always forget about is the graphics card,” says Flom. “They think that if you shove a computer full of memory, you’re good to go. But your graphics card is processing all the images, creating the proxy files, everything else. Boost up that graphics card.”
Chances are, if you want to invest in a high-quality machine, part of what you’ll pay extra for is a strong graphics card. But if you work on a laptop without a dedicated GPU, you can purchase an external GPU (eGPU) and plug it into your Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C port.
Nvidia is known for its line of gaming laptops, which use the company’s trademarked Max-Q technology to fit a lot of power into a small machine. The company also creates the advanced graphics cards inside several laptops made for video editing and design by companies like Asus, Acer, Dell, and Microsoft. Some examples include the Nvidia GeForce GTX and Nvidia Quadro RTX. The AMD Radeon Pro is another GPU featured in high-powered machines, such as the MacBook Pro.