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I have heard that video editing uses the processor, while gaming uses the graphics card, and the more RAM the better for both. Is this true, and is it different for certain operations, like rendering and effects?

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this question is extremely vague. Can you be much more specific about what you want to do, and the software you want to use? – Jeff Atwood Oct 23 '09 at 10:06 was pretty much a general question about whether it was true that graphics cards are more important for gaming, less so for video in, if I were looking at specs for a computer, with the intention of doing video editing in Final Cut or Premiere, should the processor be more of a determining factor then the graphics card. If you would like to enlighten me on how the different editing software would use CPU and GPU, please do. I am assuming anything an editing platform could do should be taken into consideration, such as rendering and effects... – Kato Oct 23 '09 at 11:02
Does it help if I word it this way: if I had to UPGRADE either one, say, during an ordering process, would upgrading to a better graphics card or processor be more beneficial???? – Kato Oct 23 '09 at 12:21
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There were some specialized cards, most notably by Matrox, that were able to preview render video in real-time. This needed support by the editing application as well, though.

I think such things can be accelerated by GPUs nowadays, at least for normal video resolutions it shouldn't be too taxing for the hardware (Premiere Pro allows for GPU-accelerated rendering since version 2). But final render to output or file and complex effects (such as in After Effects or similar) are very likely still rendered on the CPU.

More RAM always helps, of course. Back when I did such things it wasn't uncommon to have applications for video editing, image editing and DVD authoring all running at the same time. More memory doesn't hurt there :-)

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Aside from the graphics card and RAM, you would also want to have a huge hard disk space. RAW videos eat a lot of hard disk space.

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And a processor ofcourse! ;) – Aaaaaaaaaha ERLEBNIS Oct 23 '09 at 8:43
@AaaaaaaaahaERLEBNIS Yes, you definitely need a processor to run your OS. Most modern day operating systems require a CPU. – Mateen Ulhaq Nov 2 '11 at 2:12

You should have the fastest hard drives possible and have a separate drive for the application and OS and for your video projects. Some form of FAST RAID would be a big help as well. RAM helps but disk IO is critical. As mentioned by others, there are many cards that can assist in processing but there are many read/writes and that can create a real bottleneck

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