Best Laptop for DaVinci Resolve 17 – Requirements & Reviews (2022)

DaVinci Resolve 17 Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve, though clearly professional-level video editing software, is a longtime favorite among ambitious enthusiasts because of its capable free version and the ease of use it offers—after a considerable initial investment of time learning this huge, complex software.

What laptop should you use for video editing with DaVinci Resolve? Well, in this post I’ll go over what laptop specs you need for DaVinci Resolve, along with a few laptops that are an absolute beast with Resolve. I’m only going to touch on three basic laptop specifications – the processor, graphics card, and RAM – because those are the most important things when choosing a laptop for video editing. Read on!

TL;DR
  • DaVinci Resolve is a capable free video editing software
  • enthusiasts often use it because of its easy learning curve and high quality output
  • 3 important laptop specs for video editing with DaVinci Resolve are processor, graphics card, and RAM
  • powerful laptops with these specs are recommended in this post

Requirements for a DaVinci Resolve 17 laptop

Major Choosing a memory

Minimum (8 GB)

RAM stick orange

8 GB is the minimum RAM capacity for DaVinci Resolve 17. That means that it will work on an 8 GB laptop, but you’re compromising on performance. I’ve never run it on 8 GB, so I don’t know how it performs with such a low amount of memory.

But, unless you’re a hobbyist, 8 GB is not enough for most professionals.

Recommended (16 GB)

I recommend 16 GB as the standard for most laptops that cost under $2k and are aimed at professionals. Though, if you’re looking to invest in a brand new computer – it’s probably worth investing in 32 GB instead of 16 GB, even if you can’t afford it now.

Best (32 GB)

I recommend 32 GB as the best option for most professionals and people who plan to keep their laptop for the long haul.

If you’re looking to invest in a brand new computer – it’s probably worth investing in 32 GB instead of 16GB, even if you can’t afford it now.

Though, as we’ve seen from my own experience with memory-hungry applications like SolidWorks 2021 and DaVinci Resolve 17 – more than 32GB doesn’t necessarily mean more performance and future-proofing your laptop isn’t necessary by any standard; we need to focus on other components like CPU or SSD.

TL;DR
  • 8GB is not enough, get 16GB if you’re a professional, but 32GB if you’re going to be using your laptop for the long haul
  • 32GB is enough for most professionals, but if you’re looking to invest in a brand new computer – it’s probably worth investing in 32 GB instead of 16 GB, even if you can’t afford it now.

Major Deciding on a graphics card

Entry-level graphics

GPU orange

Entry-level graphics are the cheapest option. However, they are not ideal for DaVinci Resolve due to their lower performance.

An RTX 3050 card will be the most cost-effective choice, but if you can afford it, I recommend an RTX 3070 or higher. You might notice the occasional lag in processing, but that should be fine for smaller projects.

Recommended graphics ($1000 – $2000)

If you’re working on smaller projects or want to work on multiple videos at once – you can get away with a midrange graphics card. These cards are more expensive than entry-level cards, but cheaper than high-end cards. These are perfect for DaVinci Resolve 17 due to their slightly better performance. For this price range, I recommend an RTX 3060 or RTX 2070.

The best options are RTX 3070 and RTX 3080. I would recommend them over other cards if you have a budget of ~$2,000+. You’ll have no issues with DaVinci Resolve 17 at this level and won’t need to worry about lags or crashes that come with low-performance GPUs (though keep in mind that GPU isn’t the only factor in rendering).

Major The right processor

CPU orange

While DaVinci Resolve can utilize your CPU to some extent, it relies more on the performance of your GPU. And, when it comes to the best laptop processors for DaVinci Resolve 17, you want to find one with a fast GPU.

Requirements

It’s hard to choose the best processor for DaVinci Resolve 17 since they’re all in different categories. If you’re just using DaVinci Resolve for editing footage, then you don’t need a top-of-the-line CPU. But if you plan on editing in real time, you’ll need a CPU that is designed for it. So in short – know what you want from your laptop and get the appropriate one.

Recommendations

If you are editing footage, I recommend at least an Intel Core i5-1135G7 or AMD Ryzen 7 5800H. If you are planning on editing in real time, I recommend at least an Intel Core i9-11900H or AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS.

TL;DR
  • for editing footage, use at least an Intel Core i5-1135G7 or AMD Ryzen 7 5800H
  • for real time editing, use at least an Intel Core i9-11900H or AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS

Optional requirements for a DaVinci Resolve 17 laptop

Optional Picking a good storage

Finding the right size

SSD orange

Your storage requirements are fairly low. The recommended free space for DaVinci Resolve 17 is 30 GB. If you have that, then a laptop with 128 GB SSD should suffice. If not, then I recommend 256 GB SSDs. That’s enough to install and run the software, plus install any additional applications you need, plus leave some overhead for downloads and personal files. You can get a 256 GB SSD for anywhere between $500 to $1,870. A laptop with 256 GB SSD would cost between $850 and $2,340 on average.

A 512 GB SSD is recommended for most people – it’s enough to work with DaVinci Resolve 17 in peace while leaving room for other programs or samples. You can find laptops with 512 GB SSDs in the $650 – $2,340 range with a median price of $1,400.

For professionals that know they’ll need more space – I recommend going up to 1 TB (or more). On the other hand, if you’re working with multiple CAD and 3D modeling applications, then shelling out ~$2,200 for a brand new laptop with a 1 TB SSD shouldn’t shock you.

Upgrading

Laptops come pre-installed with an M.2 SATA drive or NVMe slot depending on what the OEM deems best for the device. If you’re looking at budget laptops – there’s no telling what kind of drive will be inside it (and don’t expect an NVMe slot). On the other hand, if you’re considering higher-end laptops then chances are that they come pre-installed with an NVMe drive slot (or one can be easily added by installing an M.2 SATA drive).

TL;DR
  • get at least 30 GB of free space if you want to install DaVinci Resolve 17 on your laptop
  • 128 GB SSD is recommended for most people, unless you know you’ll need more space for other programs or samples
  • 256 GB SSD is enough for working with Resolve 17 in peace while leaving room for other programs or samples
  • 512 GB is recommended for most people, unless you know you’ll need more space for other programs or samples
  • 1 TB (or more) SSD is recommended for professionals that know they’ll need more space, or if you’re working with multiple CAD and 3D modeling applications

Optional Deciding on a display

display orange

When it comes to choosing the best laptop display for DaVinci Resolve 17, you have a wide range of options. In fact, when I started researching this topic, I found that LCD monitors are a much more popular choice for video editing workstations than even pro-grade color-calibrated monitors.

Display basics

  • resolution – no matter what resolution you’re looking for, it’s going to be a good match for DaVinci Resolve 17. Though, I’d still recommend that you go with a 4K or UHD display. This way, you’ll get enough screen real estate for high-quality video editing and your graphics card will have enough headroom to do all the heavy lifting without becoming too power hungry.
  • panel type – there are two main types of panels: TN and IPS/PLS. TN is the cheapest and most common panel type found in entry-level laptops. IPS/PLS is more expensive and more common in mid-range and premium laptops. It’s not critical to choose an IPS panel – but it’s certainly something worth considering if you’re also editing videos on your laptop (or if you want better viewing angles). And if you’re not planning on editing videos on your laptop – then just get a TN panel since it’s cheaper and faster than an IPS panel.
  • brightness – brightness is hard to measure objectively and should be ignored in most cases when shopping for displays. But if we’re talking about video editing – then we need a display that can keep up with what DaVinci Resolve 17 demands: at least 250 cd/sq. m brightness (you can find laptops with 300 cd/sq. m brightness). This is not something we should consider when looking at entry-level laptops (since TN panels don’t come with such high brightness levels).
  • contrast ratio – not really something we care about in this case (since DaVinci Resolve 17 doesn’t demand such high contrast ratios).
TL;DR
  • get a laptop with a 4K/UHD display if you’re also editing videos on your laptop (or if you want better viewing angles)
  • get a TN panel if you’re not planning on editing videos on your laptop (since it’s cheaper and faster than an IPS panel)

5 Best Laptops for DaVinci Resolve 17

HP Pavilion 16 PC

1
Fantastic value
Price
$770
i7-10750H | GTX 1660 Ti | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 16.1″ IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Decent processor (i7-10750H)
  • Awesome graphics card (GTX 1660 Ti)
Cons
  • Heavy (4.8 lbs)
Alternatives
$680
MSI GF63035
Pros
  • Adequate processor (i5-10200H)
  • Fair graphics card (RTX 3050)
Cons
  • Ordinary memory amount (8GB)
$740
HP Pavilion 15
Pros
  • Great processor (Ryzen 5 4600H)
  • Numpad
Cons
  • Ordinary memory amount (8GB)
  • Bulky (4.4 lbs)
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Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6

2
Laptop with insane price and performance ratio
Price
$930
Ryzen 7 5800U | RTX 3050 Ti | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 14″ IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Fair processor (Ryzen 7 5800U)
  • Competent graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
Cons
  • Underwhelming memory amount (16GB)
Alternatives
$1,150
MSI Sword
Pros
  • Awesome processor (i7-11800H)
  • Competent graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
Cons
  • Mediocre memory amount (16GB)
  • Bulky (4.6 lbs)
$1,050
ASUS TUF FX706 VR
Pros
  • Great processor (i5-11260H)
  • Splendid display (17.3 144Hz IPS)
Cons
  • Garden-variety memory amount (16GB)
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ASUS ROG Zephyrus

3
DaVinci Resolve 17 laptop under $1500
Price
$1740
Ryzen 9 5900HS | RTX 3070 | 16 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 165Hz IPS-level; 2560×1440
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Superb processor (Ryzen 9 5900HS)
  • Solid graphics card (RTX 3070)
Cons
  • Unremarkable memory amount (16GB)
  • Heavy (4.2 lbs)
Alternatives
$1,440
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Pros
  • Awesome processor (Ryzen 9 5900HS)
  • Sufficient graphics card (RTX 3060)
Cons
  • Underwhelming memory amount (16GB)
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Acer Predator Helios 300

4
Great value
Price
$2070
i7-11800H | RTX 3060 | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD; 1000 GB HDD | 15.6″ 144Hz IPS G-Sync; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Exceptional processor (i7-11800H)
  • Sufficient graphics card (RTX 3060)
Cons
  • Heavy (5.1 lbs)
Alternatives
$2,350
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15
Pros
  • Awesome processor (Ryzen 9 5900HS)
  • Great graphics card (RTX 3080)
Cons
  • Unexceptional memory amount (16GB)
$2,550
ASUS ROG Strix Scar
Pros
  • Good processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)
  • First-class graphics card (RTX 3080)
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Eluktronics MECH-15

5
DaVinci Resolve 17 laptop under $5000
Price
$3200
i7-11800H | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 165Hz IPS; 2560×1440
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Very good processor (Ryzen 9 5900HX)
  • Great graphics card (RTX 3080)
Alternatives
$3,600
Eluktronics Prometheus XVII
Pros
  • Exceptional processor (i7-11800H)
  • Great graphics card (RTX 3080)
$3,700
Eluktronics MAX 17
Pros
  • Awesome memory amount (64GB)
  • Featherweight (5 lbs)
Cons
  • Middle-of-the-road processor (i7-11800H)
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Take a look at our other reviews:

Table of Best Laptops for DaVinci Resolve 17

LaptopPrice (approx)
HP Pavilion 16 PC$770
Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6$930
ASUS ROG Zephyrus$1740
Acer Predator Helios 300$2070
Eluktronics MECH-15$3200

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