When looking for a laptop suited for higher-maintenance activities like gaming or video editing, there is a lot more to look at than simply finding one for everyday use. Both of these activities require specific needs to perform at top-notch quality. The question is: is a laptop that’s good for gaming also good for video editing?
A gaming laptop is good for video editing because both require similar high-functioning specifications to produce desirable results. The greater the storage space, RAM, GPU, processing, monitor quality, and design comfort a laptop has, the better it will be for both gaming and editing videos.
The needs of a gamer and a video editor are quite transferable when it comes to laptops. We’ll take you through the qualities of a good laptop for both of these uses, as well as some extra add-ons that can come in handy when editing videos.
What Makes a Gaming Laptop Good for Video Editing?
There are tons of specifications that make a high-functioning computer what it is. From storage to processing to monitor quality, here are all of the reasons why a laptop that’s built for gaming will also meet your video editing needs:
Lots of Storage
If you have limited storage capacity, your computer won’t have room to load files or run applications necessary for video editing. The same problem exists for gaming: if you have insufficient storage, you won’t be able to install your games. That’s one reason why a gaming laptop is also great for video editing: they both require a high space capacity.
The amount of storage required for popular gaming programs are as follows:
|Final Fantasy XV||148GB|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops III||113GB|
|Destiny 2: Shadowkeep||165GB|
As you can see, a lot of space is needed for some games. If a laptop can handle that, it can definitely handle some high definition video editing and the programs you’ll need to install as well.
On the other hand, 3.75GB is needed for every 10 minutes of footage in 4K quality. So while you still need your laptop to be able to hold a good amount of data, most projects probably won’t come close to the numbers needed for gaming; you’ll still need quite a bit of space.
There are two types of hard drives related to computer storage: internal and external. Internal storage, or the amount that can be stored on your computer’s hard drive itself, dictates your laptop’s performance. On the other hand, external storage is a device that connects to your laptop to provide additional space.
While external storage drives such as flash drives or external hard drives are great options if you run out of room on your laptop itself, it will be more efficient for your computer to access data that is stored internally. For this reason, a laptop with higher internal storage (look for this marked in GB) functions better for both gaming and video editing.
Gaming laptops need great graphics processing units, or GPUs, to display and process data as rapidly as possible. Likewise, any good video editing laptop needs these as well to keep up with the resolution, speed, and overall display quality of your content.
GPUs are responsible for image processing by quickly changing the computer’s memory to generate graphics at lightning speed. Without a high GPU, your computer will display your videos in poorer resolution. Its lower framerates, or frames per second, can cause freezing, higher buffering times, and overall weaker efficiency.
If you’re doing anything on a computer at a fast space, you need to have a high-functioning graphics processing unit, especially if you’re working with video. With greater GPU, you’ll experience greater video processing and rendering times. You’ll also benefit from smoother transitions and limited amounts of lag.
A good graphics processing unit is one of the most important things to have in a laptop used for gaming or video editing.
Multiple Cooling Systems
When your laptop is running at high speed—which it will be when gaming or video editing—it’s vital that it’s kept cool. Cooling systems in computers prevent them from overheating while they work. This ensures that excess heat won’t harm the device or you.
Laptops designed for gaming have multiple cooling systems to stop this from happening. The higher the speed the computer runs at, the hotter it’s going to get. This is especially true if it’s working at this pace for an extended period.
When video editing, your laptop is doing a lot of work: from running applications to important files to rendering your videos. Gaming laptops are going to be working at a similar level, so they are made to keep your computer operating at a reasonable and safe temperature.
Both gamers and video editors spend hours and hours on end staring at a screen. If you have the wrong equipment, this can be extremely hard on your body and make you want to throw in the towel earlier than you’d like to.
A good gaming computer is designed for you to spend a long time camped out in front of it. The same goes for video editing. Ideal laptops for this will be made ergonomically. In terms of technology, this means they’ll come with features for maximum comfort.
Backlit keyboards allow for increased visibility, especially in the dark. While you might not be doing excessive amounts of typing while you edit videos, you might be surprised at the amount of keyboard shortcuts you actually use. Having this extra visibility helps ensure that you’re hitting the right buttons when you want to, especially if you find yourself working in dark or dimly lit conditions.
Some other keyboard-related factors include the spacing between keys, whether or not there is a number pad, and how responsive the touchpad is.
The quality of the screen itself has a lot to do with your desire to sit in front of it as well. A sharp, clear screen not only allows you to do your best work, but it also may help prevent you from developing eye problems or headaches. This is of the utmost importance when you’re spending extended periods in front of your monitor.
Great Monitor Quality
Editing is all about the details. If you can’t see them, how will you produce high-quality work? That’s another reason why laptops designed for gaming are also fantastic for video editing: monitor quality.
The last thing you want as a gamer is a low-resolution screen that barely allows you to see anything. The same logic follows for video editing. As an editor, you need to know that the videos you’re creating are top-notch. That means no pixelation, no out of focus shots, and no poor resolution. When you’re keeping a keen eye out for these aspects, you need to be able to rely on a monitor that allows you to notice these things.
This is especially true if you’re creating content for bigger screens. On most laptops, it’s hard to tell if the quality of what you’re viewing will translate onto a flatscreen television. Gaming laptops, however, have reliable monitor quality, so you’ll never have to second-guess yourself anymore.
High Refresh Rate
The refresh rate of a computer is the number of times a screen updates itself every second. Even though you may not realize this process is happening, it constantly is. Your screen is constantly producing new images every second.
If it wasn’t for this secretly happening seemingly without us noticing, we would notice if our laptop’s refresh rate was low. In this case, the displays we see on our monitor would be more choppy with greater blur.
That’s why a high refresh rate is important for gaming: the visuals you see are smoother and more realistic as the pixels on the screen update more frequently.
The same logic follows for video editing. An increased refresh rate will allow you to edit with ease. For smoother transitions and more accurate cuts, the high refresh rate that comes with a gaming laptop will be your friend.
Like monitor quality, the color display and balance on your laptop is a key detail. With such depth and contrast in modern gaming visuals, it’d be a shame not to be able to appreciate them. That’s where HDR, or high dynamic range, comes into play.
HDR is responsible for delivering vibrancy color accuracy among pixels on a screen. A good gaming laptop won’t compromise on this front, and that translates beautifully in terms of video editing.
The laptop you upload your footage onto to then edit needs to be capable of providing you with fantastic colors that are vibrant, true, and exist in a range. Without this, how will you know that what you see on your screen is what others will see?
From brilliant blue skies contrasted with light white clouds to tiny details in the shadow of your screen, HDR lets you see everything for what it is. You need to be able to trust that what’s on your monitor is accurate, so the superior color quality that a gaming laptop gives you will be ideal for video editing as well.
Multicore Processing Systems
Multicore processing allows the central processing unit (CPU) to run as if it had many processing cores. Cores act as the brain of the CPU by receiving, performing, and directing operations within the computer. Having multiple cores means the computer can act faster with higher efficiency since these tasks are now distributed and can work simultaneously.
Gaming technology is famous for being incredibly fast with high processing speeds. This is necessary when you need to react to other players’ actions in real-time and for your laptop to keep up with your fast pace in general. Multicore processing makes this happen.
In different ways, video editing greatly benefits from this as well. When running multiple software programs, plug-ins, or playback, multicore processing systems are your friends. Another great benefit of multicore processing is that they allow for greater performance with lower energy consumption. If you’re ever out and running your laptop on its battery instead of being plugged in, this can be a huge advantage for you.
RAM is essentially your computer’s short term memory. In fact, it actually does stand for Random Access Memory. What RAM does is allow you to retrieve information off of the hard drive quickly. The more RAM you have, the better your laptop will be at multitasking.
When editing high-quality footage, a good amount of RAM is absolutely critical. This allows you to manipulate different information simultaneously—and do it quickly.
If you don’t have a sufficient amount of RAM, you may be prone to something called bottlenecking. This happens when you have one weaker component that results in the backing up of information.
With limited RAM, the pace that your laptop operates at can be significantly slowed down, even if your computer has other high functioning aspects like CPU and memory.
Additional Products to Improve Your Experience
Now you have the perfect computer, but you surely want to make your editing experience the best you possibly can. Here are some additional products to aid in your work even more:
We’ve talked a lot about visuals, but there’s another crucial aspect of video editing that cannot be overlooked: audio. Video editing is just as much about sound as it is about the image, so it shouldn’t be put on the back burner.
A solid pair of headphones is necessary when working with video. Plus, when you’re working on a laptop, it might make more sense to invest in portable headphones rather than a static speaker system. Or maybe you need both!
Now, we aren’t just talking about your basic earbuds here—you need to be able to hear everything. And you need to hear it all at a high quality. On-ear headphones that surround the entire ear produce better sound than those inserted directly into the ear. Though on-ear headphones may be a bit bulkier, they will deliver the greater quality that you need.
Another choice you have when it comes to headphones is wireless or wired. Lots of people would agree that a cordless pair is more convenient most of the time. They never get tangled, you’re never stuck in one place, and there are no wires that can break. However, Bluetooth headphones can have a delay, and that’s not something you’ll want when you’re creating content. In this case, sticking with a wired pair is the best option.
OneOdio’s Pro-10 Headphones provide you with everything you need. While the crystal clear audio sells itself, these are also designed ergonomically for optimal comfort while you listen for hours and come with a coiled 9.8 foot (3 meters) cable so you can even listen from across the room.
Video editing is a big work. Along with it comes big projects, big files, and maybe some big deadlines. The last thing you need when you’re putting your heart and soul into your content is for your computer to glitch and fail on you. If you don’t have enough GPU power, this could be your fate.
So how can you tell if your display card is sufficient or not before it comes to that? Some signs that it might be lacking include screen glitches—some in which distorted colors or shapes may appear—stuttering, and a high fan speed despite your computer remaining pretty stagnant. If you notice any or all of these warning signs, you might not have a sufficient amount of GPU.
In the case that your laptop doesn’t have enough GPU for your liking, you’re in luck. External graphics processing units or eGPUs are cards that plug into your laptop to provide you with elevated graphics performance. Adding on one of these can create a smoother overall experience.
There are a number of eGPUs out there, but the XFX Radeon RX 580 is highly rated for its 8GB of graphics, performance optimization, and enhanced cooling technology. It’s easy to install and one of the best graphics cards on the market.
When it comes to working for long periods, mice are both more comfortable and user-friendly than trackpads. When it comes to editing in particular, more often than not, mice allow for a degree of accuracy that you just can’t access otherwise.
On top of this, it’s also possible to program multiple mice to have different functions. You can have one mouse whose clicker acts normally, but you can add in a second or third mouse as well. This mouse’s function can be reassigned so that it performs specific tasks or shortcuts.
For example, mouse number three can be set so that right-clicking it will be a shortcut for the paste command, or left-clicking mouse number two will magnify the screen.
Having these additional functions available literally at the click of a button can cut down on time and let you work with more ease.
The Jelly Comb MS001 Wireless Mouse comes without the annoying cables but operates lag-free so you can see immediate results. It’s also known to be good for at least 5 million clicks—and it has 18-month battery life. Plus, its sleek design comes in various colors, so you never have to guess which mouse does what!
It’s no secret that you will have to charge it a lot when you have a highly functioning laptop. When you’re at home, it’s easiest to simply position yourself within range of an outlet and do your work there. But, with the mobility of a laptop, you might not always find yourself at home.
Portable chargers that are strong enough to charge a laptop can be a bit clunky, but that’s not an issue with the compact build of the HALO Bolt 58830. This charger weighs in at under 2 pounds (.91 kilograms) while remaining strong enough to power your laptop for 11 extra hours when you’re on the go. You can even use it to jumpstart your car!
There are tons of similarities between the specs of a good gaming laptop and a video editing one. Since gaming and video editing both require great graphics, ample storage, superior monitor quality, and ergonomic design that lets you spend hours in front of the screen, any laptop that works well for gaming will also be great for video editing.
My Current Video Editing Setup and Favorite Products
Apple MacBook Air M1 512GB Ram (Waiting for the new 16in pro)
LG 27MK400H-B Full HD Monitor with FreeSync 27″ (I literally have 4 of these)
Razer Holiday Bundle Cynosa Chroma Gaming Keyboard, Abyssus Gaming Mouse, Goliathus Chroma Mousepad
KTRIO Large Gaming Mouse Pad with Stitched Edges
Panasonic LUMIX G7 Digital Camera – Great Entry Camera for Shooting and Streaming
Neewer Ring Light Kit — A Must Have
Emart Green Screen Backdrop with Stand Kit – Affordable and Lots of Uses!
Elgato Stream Deck Mini – I only need the 6 keys
- Wikipedia: Graphics processing unit
- Android Guys: What is the GPU, and why is it important?
- Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog: How Do Internal And External Hard Drives Differ?
- Tech User’s Guide: How Much Storage Should A Gaming Laptop Have? (6 Things To Consider)
- Consumer Reports: How to Shop for a More Ergonomic Laptop
- Computer Hope: Core
- Search Data Center: multicore processor
- Game Rant: 10 Biggest PC Games By File Size, Ranked
- Logical Increments: How to Build the Best PC for Video Editing
- PC Builds: Bottleneck Calculator
- Geeks on Site: How Do I Know If My Video Card is Failing?
- Make Use Of: 7 Things You Need to Know About External GPUs
- BGR: How many minutes of 4K video will it take to fill up your 16GB iPhone?
- The Optimal Choice: Types of modern headphones and their main features
- Laptop: How to Choose the Best Laptop Screen for You
- Best Buy: Buying Guide: PC gaming
- Desktop Documentaries: Choosing A Computer for Video Editing
- Laptop Mag: Can You Use Your Gaming Laptop for Video Editing?