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 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!
- 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 18 laptop
Major Processor for DaVinci Resolve 18
Once you’ve prioritized your GPU, the CPU is also a very important component for using DaVinci Resolve.
A general rule of thumb is to have a minimum of 4 cores, and the more cores, the better the performance—if your budget allows it. The 4 core minimum will be fine if you’re doing simple editing such as cuts, but if you will be using DaVinci Resolve with Neural AI and Fusion then go for a CPU with as many cores as you can afford.
If you’re looking for a powerful CPU, Intel Core i9-11900H is a great option with 8 cores and 16 threads. It’s pricey but will outperform other CPUs in many ways. If you want to keep your costs down, consider Ryzen 7 5800U. It’s not as powerful as the Intel Core i9-11900H, but it’s more affordable option with 8 cores. The budget recommendation would be Ryzen 5 4600H and it still has a number of cores above the requirements (6 cores and 12 threads).
- choose a CPU based on what GPU you have, but if you can afford it, get a 8 core CPU with 16 threads
- for a simple editing workflow, get an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H
- if you want to edit on the go, get an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
- if you have more money to spend, get an Intel i9-11900H
Major How to choose the right memory for DaVinci Resolve 18?
Minimum (16 GB)
16GB RAM is good for basic video editing and color correction, but you might find yourself struggling with Fusion when trying to do more complex tasks.
Recommended (32 GB)
Adding 32GB of RAM to your computer will help you edit 4K videos and run Fusion more comfortably on an HD project.
Best (64 GB)
If you want to be able to edit video in high resolution (more than 4K), plus do some heavy-duty color grading, we’d recommend at least 64GB of RAM. Think about the kinds of projects you will be working on and aim for something within your budget that will be useful to you. DDR3 and DDR4 are the two most popular types of RAM. DDR4 will provide better performance than DDR3, but DaVinci Resolve does not require it, so you should only choose this if your budget allows for it.
- 16GB of RAM is enough for basic video editing and color correction
- 32GB of RAM is recommended for video editing and color correction
- 64GB of RAM is needed for editing 4K videos and running Fusion on an HD project, plus doing some heavy-duty color grading
Major Picking a good graphics card
Fusion, color grading, effects, and the Neural AI engine are all heavy graphics-related features and simply won’t be able to manage if your computer has an inadequate GPU. To manage these heavy graphics-related features I would recommend looking for a GPU with at least 4GB dedicated memory. Anyway, our budget GPU recommendation already have 4GB VRAM, so you shouldn’t be worried about it.
If you’re hobbist and your budget is tight – go with GTX 1650. But if you have a few more hundred in your pocket – go with a mid-range GPU like the RTX 2060. As a professional, I would recommend going with an Nvidia RTX 3070 or 3080. RTX 3080 has 16GB VRAM in top laptops, while RTX 3070 has 8GB VRAM. That’s why RTX 3080 has a greater advantage in larger video editing projects (6k, 8k videos). When we are talking about 4k videos – there is not much performance difference between RTX 3070 and RTX 3080. But you should keep in mind that a laptop with RTX 3080 might cost $500-$800 more than a laptop with RTX 3070. Anyway, if you do professional video editing where you get paid for your services then the RTX 3080 is probably worth it. The faster performance will mean:
- More time saved per project
- More video editing projects completed in a shorter time
- Less time working / less time waiting / more free time for you
- Fusion, color grading, effects, and the Neural AI engine are all heavy graphics-related features that require powerful graphics cards.
- Go with the best graphics card your budget can afford.
- For hobbists I recommend the RTX 1650.
- For professionals I recommend the Nvidia RTX 3070 or 3080.
Optional requirements for a DaVinci Resolve 18 laptop
Optional Choosing the right storage for DaVinci Resolve 18
Different types of SSDs
In general, most laptops come with an SSD nowadays. The only time you’ll find a hard drive is on budget laptops. And, even then, it’s a rarity.
Laptops with [SSDs offer an improved experience in many ways](a list of benefits of ssds) – like booting up and launching applications more quickly. [And if you’re into photography or video editing, then you should know that SSDs make those operations much faster too](a list of benefits of ssds for photographers and video editors).
If you want to optimize performance, seek out an NVMe SSD which regularly far outperforms cheaper mechanical drives and SSDs.
NVMe SSDs are usually found in more expensive laptops, but [they are becoming more commonplace](a chart of most common laptops). And it’s a great idea to upgrade your laptop with an NVMe SSD if you can.
The good news is that NVMe SSDs are easy to upgrade. They come with their own slot, so all you need to do is remove a few screws and install the new one. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
- if you can afford it, buy an NVMe SSD for better performance
- NVMe SSDs are typically found in more expensive laptops
- upgrading an NVMe SSD is easy
5 Best Laptops for DaVinci Resolve 18
Pros and cons
- Exceptional processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)
- Great memory amount (128GB)
- Heavy (5.4 lbs)
- No IPS Panel (worse contrast)
Table of Best Laptops for DaVinci Resolve 18
|HP Victus 16||$880|
|Dell XPS 9710||$1410|
|Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen||$3650|
|ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro||$5000|