Best Laptop for DaVinci Resolve 17

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.

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 going to touch on five basic laptop specifications – the processor, graphics card, RAM, storage and display – because those are the most important things when choosing a laptop for video editing. Read on!

TL;DR
  • there is free version of DaVinci Resolve
  • 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, RAM and storage
  • powerful laptops with these specs are recommended in this post

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

Deciding on a graphics card

Entry-level graphics

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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).

Choosing a memory

Minimum (8 GB)

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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.

Picking a good storage

Finding the right size

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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

Deciding on a display

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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)

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FAQ

What laptop is best for DaVinci Resolve?

It depends on your budget and what you want to achieve. For entry-level editing, a laptop with a Ryzen 5 3500U, GTX 1650, 8 GB RAM, FHD TN display, and a 256 GB SSD would suffice. For more intensive projects, something with a i5-10300H, RTX 3060, 16 GB RAM, FHD IPS display and 512 GB SSD should do the job. For the best performance possible, look into getting a laptop with a Ryzen 7 4800H, RTX 3070, 32 GB RAM, FHD IPS high refresh rate display and a 1 TB SSD.

What specs do I need to run DaVinci Resolve 17?

At the very least, you will need a laptop with a Ryzen 5 3500U processor, GTX 1650 graphics card, 8 GB of RAM, an FHD TN display and a 256 GB SSD. If you want to edit 4K video on it, you should get something with a i5-10300H processor, RTX 3060 graphics card, 16 GB of RAM, an FHD IPS display and a 512 GB SSD or higher. For the best performance possible, you will need a laptop with a Ryzen 7 4800H processor, RTX 3070 graphics card, 32 GB of RAM, an FHD IPS high refresh rate display and a 1 TB SSD or higher.

How to choose a laptop for DaVinci Resolve 17?

To choose the right laptop for DaVinci Resolve 17, consider your budget and what you want to achieve. Check out the recommendations table above for laptops that will perform optimally with DaVinci Resolve 17. Additionally, keep in mind that for 4K video editing you will need at least a i5-10300H processor, RTX 3060 graphics card, 16 GB of RAM, an FHD IPS display and a 512 GB SSD or higher.

Is RTX 3060 suitable for DaVinci Resolve 17?

Absolutely! The RTX 3060 can handle up to 4K video editing in DaVinci Resolve 17 and is suitable for most mid-level editing tasks. However, if you are looking for the best performance possible, you should look into getting a laptop with a RTX 3070 graphics card.

Can you edit 4K video on a laptop?

Yes! To edit 4K video on a laptop you will need at least a i5-10300H processor, RTX 3060 graphics card, 16 GB of RAM, an FHD IPS display and a 512 GB SSD or higher.

What laptops can run DaVinci Resolve 17?

Any laptop that meets the requirements listed in the table can run DaVinci Resolve 17. Additionally, check out the recommendations table above for laptops that will perform optimally with DaVinci Resolve 17.

Is AMD Ryzen 7 good for DaVinci Resolve 17?

Absolutely! Ryzen 7 processors are powerful enough to handle most mid-level editing tasks in DaVinci Resolve 17. However, if you are looking for the best performance possible, you should look into getting a laptop with a Ryzen 7 4800H processor.

How much RAM does DaVinci Resolve 17 require?

At the very least, you will need 8GB of RAM to run DaVinci Resolve 17. However, if you are looking to edit 4K video on it, you should get something with 16GB of RAM or higher.

Does DaVinci Resolve 17 run well on a laptop?

Yes! Any laptop that meets the requirements listed in the table can run DaVinci Resolve 17 smoothly. Additionally, check out the recommendations table above for laptops that will perform optimally with DaVinci Resolve 17.

Is 500GB SSD enough for DaVinci Resolve 17?

Yes, 500GB SSD should be enough for most mid-level editing tasks in DaVinci Resolve 17. However, if you are looking to edit 4K video on it, you should get something with at least 512GB SSD or higher.

6 Best Laptops for DaVinci Resolve 17

ASUS Zenbook

1
A Sleek and Powerful Tool for DaVinci Resolve 17
Price
$610
Ryzen 5 5500U | MX450 | 8 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 14″ IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Fast processor for smooth performance
  • Bright display for clear visuals
Cons
  • Soldered RAM cant be expanded
  • Some fan noise during heavy loads
Alternatives
$790
GIGABYTE A5 K1
Pros
  • Up to three mass storage devices for efficient storage solutions
  • Battery accessible from outside for quick replacements
Cons
  • Poor cooling capabilities due to thin case
  • No card reader for media transfers
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MSI Summit E13

2
Stylish and Powerful, with Caveats
Price
$1140
i7-1280P | Iris Xe | 16 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 13.4″ IPS Touch; 1920×1200
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Powerfully efficient CPU and GPU performance
  • Up to date ports, including 2x Thunderbolt 4, 3x USB-C
Cons
  • Display response times and ghosting
  • High core temperatures when under load
Alternatives
$1,090
Dell G15
Pros
  • 120-Hz display for smooth editing
  • High performance CPU
Cons
  • No frame to install a second SSD
  • No Thunderbolt
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Acer Predator Triton 500

3
Powerful Performer for DaVinci Resolve
Price
$1200
i7-12700H | RTX 3060 | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 16″ IPS G-Sync; 2560×1600
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Bright 240-Hz Display for vibrant visuals
  • Robust aluminum case for durability
Cons
  • Soldered-in RAM limits expandability
  • Inaccessible SSD for custom upgrades
Alternatives
$1,460
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14
Pros
  • Bright and Colorful 120 Hz QHD display
  • Lightweight and Portable Design
Cons
  • 8 GB VRAM may not be enough for high-end GPU tasks
  • Performance varies in performance mode
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ASUS ROG Strix Scar

4
A Powerful and Reliable Companion for Professional Creators
Price
$2670
Ryzen 9 5900HX | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 4000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS-level G-Sync; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Unhindered performance with Core i9-12900H and RTX 3070 Ti
  • Wide color gamut coverage with Dolby Vision support
Cons
  • Limited display angle
  • No biometric login
Alternatives
$2,930
Acer Predator Triton 500
Pros
  • Bright and fast 240-Hz display perfect for editing DaVinci Resolve 17
  • Robust aluminum case for long-term protection
Cons
  • Soldered RAM limits future expansion
  • Inaccessible SSD requires professional installation
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MSI Titan GT77

5
High-Performance for Video Editing
Price
$2940
i9-12900HX | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 17.3″ IPS; 3840×2160
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Robust performance for video editing
  • Keyboard is responsive with Cherry MX mechanical keys
Cons
  • Expensive price tag
  • High heat and noise emissions
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Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4

6
High-Quality Beast for DaVinci Resolve 17
Price
$3650
i9-11950H | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 16″ IPS HDR; 3840×2400
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Sturdy and stable housing
  • High-resolution WQUXGA LCD
Cons
  • No SmartCard reader
  • No WWAN (WiFi or Cellular)
Alternatives
$4,790
MSI Titan GT77 12UHS
Pros
  • Bright 4K Display with Good Colour Coverage
  • High System Performance and RAM Transfer Rates
Cons
  • Bulky and Heavy
  • Expensive
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Table of the Best Laptops for DaVinci Resolve 17

LaptopPrice (approx)
ASUS Zenbook$610
MSI Summit E13$1140
Acer Predator Triton 500$1200
ASUS ROG Strix Scar$2670
MSI Titan GT77$2940
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4$3650

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