Video editing technology has come a long way in recent years, and Shotcut 22 is a testament to that. Free and feature-packed, this open-source non-linear editor (NLE) has been changing the landscape of high-end video editing on a budget.
But the real question remains – what laptop do you need to make the most of Shotcut 22?
We'll cover all aspects of picking a suitable laptop for Shotcut 22, but the two most important things you need to know is how to determine the right hardware, and then how to find a laptop that fits your budget. We'll also be emphasizing value-for-money. To do this, I'll be breaking down each laptop spec, how it works with Shotcut 22, and what you should look for when shopping around. We'll begin with the all-important laptop requirements.
With the release of Apple's ARM-based M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max and M2 system-on-chip modules, there is no doubt that the silicon landscape has changed – offering exceptional single-core performance and battery life. AMD has also managed to take 20% of the CPU market with their 6th generation Ryzen processors, while Intel's 13th-gen processors have yet to reach laptops, with the 12th generation being Intel's latest. Both Intel's and Apple's silicon chips adopted a hybrid performance/efficiency core design, based on big.LITTLE. Ryzen models are the go-to option if you need a good battery life in a PC laptop.
However, if you're looking for a MacBook – you can skip this entire section, as it's easy to find out which MacBook models are suitable for video editing – those that have a "U" in their name.
When it comes to video editing, it is an intensive task, so we need a fast CPU to keep up with the demands of real-time effects and 4K footage; meanwhile, most other components (including the GPU) are often bottlenecked by the CPU.
There are two main types of processors: AMD and Intel. While there are some differences between these two manufacturers' chips, they're not significant enough to warrant an entire section on its own. Instead, I'll focus on the processor series, which is more important than the brand (Intel vs AMD).
For testing, I use Cinebench R23 to compare different processors since it's one of the most popular benchmarks for video editing; however, if you're on a budget – look for laptops with high scores in PassMark or PCMark benchmarks; these give a good indication of how well your laptop will perform when dealing with regular tasks such as browsing the web or writing documents.
If you're looking for an all-around laptop that can handle video editing and other demanding tasks – consider getting one with an H-series processor (from either brand) as these tend to be more energy efficient while delivering similar performance to U-series chips; however, they don't come cheap.
Here are some recommendations for processors that should give you good performance when it comes to video editing:
Minimum: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
These processors can be found in laptops ranging from budget to mid-range to high-end, so you should be able to find something that suits your needs and budget.
Graphics Card: Unlocking Visual Power
The laptop graphics card market continues to be dominated by Nvidia, with the recently released RTX 40 series cards not yet available on laptops (expected in 2023). Instead, the current lineup of cards are in the RTX 30 series, such as the RTX 3070 Ti.
Desktop GPUs are increasingly power-hungry, widening the gap between the power-limited notebook graphics and desktop graphics cards. Another change is that Nvidia has discontinued the Max-Q label for its RTX graphics cards. Now, a laptop manufacturer (OEM) determines an exact wattage for the GPU, resulting in a wide variance in graphics performance even in laptops with the same GPU chipset.
So if you're looking for a MacBook, there's no need to worry about the GPU – Apple has done a great job of optimizing their integrated graphics for video editing tasks. For laptops with dedicated GPUs, there are now enough models available for every budget.
An important point to consider is that a fast GPU is not needed for Shotcut (or any video editing app). In fact, the maximum benefit you can get from a GPU is usually gained with a midrange model. If you're doing GPU rendering, however, then a fast graphics card is essential. To assess a card's suitability for gaming, and thus its VRAM requirements, you can use Cinebench R23 as a benchmark.
Here's a list of recommended GPUs for Shotcut grouped by price bracket:
Minimum: Iris Xe Graphics G7
Recommended: Quadro T500
High-end: GeForce MX550
The amount of RAM you need to edit videos in Shotcut 22 depends on the size and complexity of the projects you're working on. For most projects, 8GB of RAM is more than enough. However, if you're working with 4K footage or editing longer-form projects, you should consider getting 16GB or even 32GB.
When it comes to RAM type and speed, mid-range laptops usually come with 16GB of DDR4, while high-end models have 32GB or more of DDR4. Intel and AMD CPUs are now supporting DDR5, however, it's still quite expensive and needs more time to mature as a technology.
In terms of specs, the CL (cas latency) and frequency (MHz) are also important. The higher the frequency, the faster the RAM. It's best to get the fastest RAM that your budget allows. However, bear in mind that RAM speed is not as important as your CPU or GPU when it comes to video editing.
Here's what to expect at various price levels:
|Price Range||Minimum RAM (GB)||Recommended RAM (GB)||High-End RAM (GB)|
6 Best Laptops for Shotcut 22
Pros and cons
- Lightweight and Compact Design
- High-Performance Processing
- Weak Hinges
- Audio Jack Requires Adapter
- Low price
- Varied CPU options
- Battery life is lacking
- Subpar GPU performance
Pros and cons
- Bright, color-accurate 120 Hz QHD display
- Lightweight and compact case with good-looking design elements
- 8GB VRAM may not be enough for some high-end tasks
- Performance may vary in Performance mode
- Sleek, Modern Design
- Fast 165 Hz 16:10 IPS Display
- Low Resolution Webcam
- Poor Battery Life
Pros and cons
- Robust build quality
- Blazing-fast Wi-Fi 6E
- Limited viewing angle
- No biometric authentication
- Ultra-fast processor for demanding workloads
- Vibrant, full-color display with smooth refresh rate
- RAM and SSD are not upgradable
- Fan noise can be loud under heavy load
Pros and cons
- Impressively thin, elegant design
- Refined two-screen layout
- High cost
- Limited keyboard size
- Unparalleled durability and reliability
- Abundance of ports for external devices
- May run hotter and louder than the competition
- No physical trackpad buttons for navigation
Table of the Best Laptops for Shotcut 22
|HP Chromebook 14||$240|
|ASUS ZenBook 13 UX325EA-EH71||$730|
|Acer Predator Triton 500||$1300|
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14||$1320|
|ASUS ROG Strix Scar||$2310|
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo||$3820|