Is a dedicated video card necessary?

Hi all. 

I'm up for a new laptop at work soon, and was thinking of requesting one with a dedicated video card. The main reason is to assist with editing of movies which I insert into Storyline2, but I think it would improve Storyline performance as well (currently some large files take minutes to save, but this may be more a RAM problem than a video one).

I have two questions:

1) Will a dedicated video card (as opposed to built in video processing) improve Storyline2 performance? (Will files save faster? Will video/audio editing in Storyline be glitch/delay free?)

2) Will gaming video cards (that's all that's available on the laptops I've been offered) help me with my video processing?

I'm using Cyberlink PowerDirector for video processing. The video card I'm being offered is in Dell computers. It's a NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 960M with 2GB GDDR5.

Thanks in advance.

2 Replies
Bob S

Hi Steven,

A dedicated video card and more RAM will absolutely improve video performance for editing and other media intensive tasks.

To prove this need to yourself, try your favorite NLE (non-linear editing) program of choice and make the preview window large enough to show full HD image. Then do a basic chroma key or multi-layer composite and watch what happens to the preview.  Now shrink the resolution of the preview pane to a low/med web resolution and try it again.... your stock onboard video card will almost keep up.

The higher resolution you edit in, the more card & RAM upgrades will help.... and as you know it's almost always best to edit, composite, chroma key, etc in the highest resolution/frame rate possible and then down-convert for distribution as needed.

And yes, gaming video cards with a GPU like the Nvidia's are fine. But don't forget it's usually RAM and a card in combo that make a big difference.


PS: If you want to get really geeky.... I think an AMD equivalent card might be even better for Cyberlink as it's Open CL.  Nvidia supports that but not as well as AMD/Radeon.  But we are splitting hairs here and either along with RAM will be a noticeable upgrade for you.