Recently, my brother has decided to go into Video Editing and Special Effects. He currently has a a laptop, with a Core i5-7300HQ, A GTX 1050 4GB, 8GB DDR3 and a 1 TB HDD. Now. while these specs are pretty decent for a mid range gaming laptop, I don't think it will cut it for using software like Premiere Pro and After Effects, as well as Final Cut Pro X.

From what he tells me, he says that the projects he is going to be working on will be "large" and "graphics intensive".

So I've decided to build him a desktop workstation with a budget of around $1000 USD. I've managed to source a Workstation (Brand new) with the following specifications -

  1. Xeon E5-1660 6C/12T CPU @ 3.30 GHz
  2. 32GB DDR3-1600MHz Non-ECC RAM in Quad Channel (4x8GB Sticks)
  3. Nvidia Quadro 2000 Graphics (I'm assuming this is a K2000 or something along those lines)
  4. A 425W PSU (Apparently 80+ Rated Platinum)
  5. 1 TB Hard Drive

Now, I've already made up my mind about the PSU and the Storage situation in this rig, as it stands. The PSU I am definitely throwing out, and swapping in with more rated output to support more recent PCI Cards. As for storage, I'm going to throw in a cheap 512 GB SATA SSD into the mix, as a boot drive as well as a dumping drive for all important projects.

This Workstation takes up $400 of my budget (including shipping). The PSU I want to swap in will cost around $100 shipped, and the SSD will cost around $100 as well, so I am already $600 USD deep into this video editing rig.

Now onto the question at hand, with the remaining budget at hand, I've narrowed my GPU options down to 3 potential candidates, namely the GTX 1070 8GB from Gigabyte, the Sapphire R9 Nano, and the Strix R9 Fury (NON-X). All of these graphics cards come in at the $400 mark, so price isn't an issue here.

I'm not too clued up on the ins and outs of video editing and special effects, so I am not sure what features to look out for when selecting a card for this type of use case. But from what I can tell by reading online forum threads, like on Reddit and Tom's Hardware, the AMD Cards suffer a lot when using these programs, as the OpenCL Support just isn't there, as opposed to the OpenCL Support on the GTX 10X Series.

I hope I am wrong, and that I have been reading rubbish.

My question is this, out of the three GPUs listed above, which is the best GPU to get for this use case and why?

If you have any other GPU recommendations, please don't hesitate to suggest them, any help would greatly be appreciated.

As always, thanks for viewing!


After watching videos on Youtube from LinusTechTips, HardwareCanucks and JayzTwoCents, I have concluded that the best GPU for this use case would be the GTX 1070 8GB, as it uses CUDA to encode and transcode footage using the OpenCL API. While the AMD cards do support OpenCL and Vulkan support, it just isn't as optimized as Nvidia's offerings at the same price point, meaning that video encoding and just in general editing will take longer when compared to a 10-series Pascal GPU.

This also boils down to driver optimization and feature support coming from each respective manufacturer. One thing to note is that Linus used the GTX 980 Ti as the high end Nvidia GPU at the time, so the performance of that card is very similar to a 1070, hence my decision. The GTX 980 Ti essentially mopped the floor with AMD's offerings, no matter how small the gain was over team red.

The 1070 also features lower power consumption and better performance when compared to the other 2 AMD cards I talked about in the original post, which is always ideal for any PC, whilst also allowing for some great 1080p gaming, or maybe even 1440p if we are feeling a bit adventurous.

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