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Can you use a gaming laptop for video editing?

by Matthew Mister, on Sep 9, 2019 10:58:24 AM

Do you have a gaming laptop but are considering doing some video editing on the side? If so, you've probably wondered if you can use the same computer for both tasks. 

The short answer is yes, but there are several differences between the requirements of a gaming laptop and a video editing workstation that need to be considered before using your workstation for both your gaming and video editing projects.

What's the difference between a gaming laptop and a video editing workstation?

When most people think of video editing, the first thoughts are typically workstations such as a MacBook Pro, Dell Precision or Lenovo ThinkPad. These workstations typically are available in 15-17 inch sizes and are packed with powerful processors, loads of RAM and high powered GPU's. Video editing workstations are built with accuracy and stability in mind so their processors run at a lower clock speeds than a gaming laptop will.

Gaming laptops on the other hand are built with speed and performance at the forefront. These computers are loaded with powerful specs, complete with added features to control fan speed, clock speed and power output.

CPU and RAM's impact on gaming vs. video editing

When you are editing video, your workstation's CPU is going to be processing a load of information which your workstation needs to be able to handle. As you start rendering, the processor needs to be able to process data fast enough that there's no noticeable latency issues. That being said, the more cores your processor has, the faster it will be able to complete the job. 

Gaming computers are equipped with multicore processors so they can handle the processing load. However, since they are built for speed and performance they typically have higher clock speed and have overclocking abilities. which video workstations lack due to thermal constraints. 

RAM also plays huge roll in both video editing and gaming. For video, RAM is where your system previews and caches video data before processing. That being said, the more RAM you have, the more video data your workstation can process.  Workstations are also equipped with a special type of memory called ECC (error-correcting code) which minimizes errors by detecting and fixing data corruption. This is important for making sure you have a perfect render.

GPU differences in gaming and video editing computers

When you are editing video, your system's graphics card will take some of the workload off your processor. It's critical that you have a workstation with powerful enough GPU to handle that task.

Since video editing is focused on precision over speed, video editing workstations tend to have lower clock speeds than a gaming computer. This makes them stable enough to process 10-bit color and render video. Some video editing softwares have recommended GPUs for you to consider as well.

So can I edit video on a gaming computer?

Yes, you can edit video on a gaming computer. However, you need to remember that it is optimized for gaming so you may encounter some issues with rendering or other video processing tasks that you would not experience on a workstation optimized for video editing.



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