No matter if you're an amateur video editor, or an industry-leading video producer, you'll find DaVinci Resolve 18 to be one of the most comprehensive video editing suites out there. With the latest version of this software, you can now seamlessly collaborate with teams remotely, adding a completely new layer to the video editing process. However, in order to make the most of DaVinci Resolve 18, you're going to need to invest in a laptop that's capable of handling the resource-heavy software. In this guide, I'll be exploring the best laptops for DaVinci Resolve 18, breaking down all the important specs, and making some recommendations to help you make an informed decision. Let's get started!
Processor for DaVinci Resolve 18
Processor is not the most important spec for DaVinci Resolve 18. The most significant factor is RAM, and the second one is GPU. For the processor, you should only consider the latest Intel H-series CPUs or Ryzen processors if you have a professional laptop.
In terms of processor, the best DaVinci Resolve 18 laptops are based on Intel Core i7 H-series CPUs. But they are more expensive and they are not necessary. If you're in a budget, then I recommend AMD Ryzen 7 processors or AMD Ryzen 5/6 processors.
For budget laptops – I would go with AMD Ryzen 5 3500U or AMD Ryzen 3 3200U as the minimum requirement for DaVinci Resolve 18. If you're on a really tight budget – an Intel Core i3-8100U might be a good choice as well (not recommended).
If you want to use DaVinci Resolve 18 on high-end workstation laptops, then go with any of these three:
- Intel Core i5-10300H
- Intel Core i7-10750H
- Intel Core i7-11800H
- the best laptops for DaVinci Resolve 18 are based on Intel Core i7 H-series CPUs
- if you're on a budget, go with AMD Ryzen 5 3500U or AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
- if you want to use DaVinci Resolve 18 on high-end workstation laptops, then go with any of these three: Intel Core i5 10300H, Intel Core i7 10750H, Intel Core i7 11800H.
Nvidia continues to dominate the laptop GPU market. Nvidia recently released a few RTX 40 series cards, but these are not yet available on laptops (expected in 2023). Nvidia's latest notebook cards are in RTX 30 series (such as RTX 3070 Ti). Desktop GPUs are now a lot more power-hungry; thus, the gap between power-limited notebook graphics and desktop graphics cards has widened in the past few years. Nvidia has discontinued the Max-Q label for its RTX graphics cards. Now, an exact GPU wattage is determined by a laptop manufacturer (OEM). Unfortunately, that results in a wide variance in graphics performance even in laptops with the same GPU chipset.
Fortunately, Blackmagic has made it easy to choose a laptop for Resolve by only supporting Nvidia graphics. So, you can ignore AMD GPUs completely. The GPU is essential for rendering video in real time. If you're working with 4K footage or 8K RED RAW – you'll need a high-end graphics card. You can also use the GPU for other tasks beyond just rendering video, such as encoding or machine learning (ML). I use 3DMark to compare different GPUs because it's an industry-standard benchmark that measures the entire spectrum of GPU performance, from single-core to multi-core performance.
If you're looking for a high-end laptop with a long battery life – look for one with an Nvidia Max-Q chip instead of a full power chip; these chips are designed to deliver better performance while maintaining battery life, but they come at the cost of some performance (though not nearly as much as regular Nvidia chips).
How to choose a graphics card based on laptop price range
Low-cost laptops (under $1,000)
For low-cost laptops, you'll have to make do with entry-level GPUs such as the GTX 1650 or the MX330. These chips will allow you to do basic tasks such as video editing and color grading, but won't be suitable for any serious professional work.
Mid-range laptops ($1,000-$2,000)
At this price range, you can start considering some of the more powerful GPUs such as the RTX 2060 or the RTX 2070. These chips are more than powerful enough for professional work, allowing you to edit and color grade in 4K without any issues.
High-end laptops ($2,000 and above)
If you're looking for the best performance for your money, then look for laptops with RTX 3070 or RTX 3080 GPUs. These GPUs offer unparalleled performance, allowing you to work in 8K resolution with ease. Additionally, these GPUs will be more than powerful enough for any machine learning tasks you might have.
Recommended GPUs for each price bracket
Minimum: GTX 1650
Recommended: RTX 2060
High-end: RTX 3070
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 – 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.
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. 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
What laptop is best for DaVinci Resolve 18?
For minimum requirements, the Acer Swift X SFX14-42G-R607 or Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 15 are the best options, at the price of $880 each. If you have more money to spend, we recommend the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 or ASUS ROG Strix Scar, at $1,460 and $2,670, respectively. For higher performance, we recommend the Eluktronics MECH 15 G3R at $4,000 or the Dell XPS 15 9520 at $5,800.
How to choose a laptop for DaVinci Resolve 18?
It depends on your needs and budget. Generally speaking, the minimum requirements for DaVinci Resolve 18 include at least a 512GB SSD, a Ryzen 5 4600H or equivalent processor, and a GTX 1650 or RTX 2060 GPU. If you're looking for a laptop to run DaVinci Resolve 18 with maximum performance, you should be looking for a 2TB SSD, i9-11900H processor, and an RTX 3070 GPU.
What laptop specs do I need to run DaVinci Resolve 18?
Refer to the table of requirements. To run DaVinci Resolve 18 with minimum performance you need a 512GB SSD, a Ryzen 5 4600H or equivalent processor, and a GTX 1650 or RTX 2060 GPU. For maximum performance, you need a 2TB SSD, an i9-11900H processor, and an RTX 3070 GPU.
How much RAM is required for DaVinci Resolve 18?
DaVinci Resolve 18 requires a minimum of 8GB RAM. 16GB is recommended for most users, but for more complex projects and heavy-duty workflows, 32GB or more is recommended.
Is i7 enough to run DaVinci Resolve 18?
An i7 processor is enough to run DaVinci Resolve 18 at the minimum requirements, but it's not recommended for heavy-duty workflows or complex projects. For maximum performance, we recommend an i9 processor.
What laptops can run DaVinci Resolve 18?
Refer to the table of recommendations. We recommend the Acer Swift X SFX14-42G-R607 or Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 15 at the minimum requirements, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 or ASUS ROG Strix Scar for medium performance, and the Eluktronics MECH 15 G3R or Dell XPS 15 9520 for high performance.
Does DaVinci Resolve 18 run well on a laptop?
Yes, DaVinci Resolve 18 is designed to run on both laptops and desktop computers. It's important to note, however, that performance will vary depending on the specs of the laptop. If you need maximum performance for complex projects, we recommend getting a laptop with higher specs such as an i9 processor and an RTX 3070 GPU.
Is Nvidia GTX 1650 enough for DaVinci Resolve 18?
The GTX 1650 is the minimum requirement for running DaVinci Resolve 18. It should be enough for basic editing tasks, but for more complex projects and heavy-duty workflows an RTX 2060 or higher is recommended.
Does DaVinci Resolve 18 work on Macbook Pro?
Yes, DaVinci Resolve 18 will run on most Macbook Pros. However, it's important to note that the Macbook Pro's graphics card and processor will not provide the same level of performance as a dedicated gaming laptop with an RTX 3070 GPU and i9 processor.
Is 500 GB SSD enough for DaVinci Resolve 18?
500GB is the minimum recommended SSD size for running DaVinci Resolve 18, however for complex projects and heavy-duty workflows we recommend 1TB or more.
6 Best Laptops for DaVinci Resolve 18
Pros and cons
- Fair processor (Ryzen 7 5825U)
- Up to the mark graphics card (RTX 3050)
- Substandard memory amount (16GB)
- Up to scratch processor (Ryzen 5 5600H)
- Superb graphics card (RTX 3060)
- Unremarkable battery life (260min)
Pros and cons
- Featherweight (3.63 lbs)
- First-class battery life (572min)
- Substandard processor (Ryzen 9 5900HS)
- So-so graphics card (RTX 3060)
- Terrific processor (i7-12700H)
- Exceptional graphics card (RTX 3070 Ti)
- Run-of-the-mill battery life (305min)
Pros and cons
- Superb graphics card (RTX 3080)
- Sufficient display (15.6 IPS-level G-Sync)
- Unremarkable processor (Ryzen 9 5900HX)
- Splendid processor (i7-12800HX)
- Up to the mark graphics card (RTX 3070 Ti)
- Run-of-the-mill battery life (290min)
- Heavy (5.98 lbs)
Pros and cons
- Decent processor (i9-12900H)
- Decent graphics card (RTX 3080 Ti)
- Up to scratch processor (i9-12900H)
- Awesome display (15.6 OLED Touch)
- So-so graphics card (RTX 3060)
- Underwhelming memory amount (32GB)
Pros and cons
- Solid processor (i9-12900HK)
- Splendid display (15.6 OLED Touch)
- Average graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
- Ordinary memory amount (64GB)
- Terrific display (15.6 OLED Touch)
- Solid memory amount (128GB)
- Substandard processor (Xeon W-10855M)
Table of the Best Laptops for DaVinci Resolve 18
|Acer Swift X SFX14-42G-R607||$880|
|Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 15||$880|
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14||$1460|
|ASUS ROG Strix Scar||$2670|
|Eluktronics MECH 15 G3R||$4000|
|Dell XPS 15 9520||$5800|