Best Laptop for 8K Video Editing

Cameras like the Canon R5 and Sony a1 certainly changed the game for 8K video. Recording 8K is now more than just a dream for your everyday videographer or filmmaker. 8K is real. Well, mostly, the displays that can show off true 8K content are still expensive and rare in households.

Still, that doesn’t mean you won’t want to make use of 8K video in your editing and if you do you’ll likely find your aging laptop just isn’t up for the task. Are there even laptops out there that can handle 8K editing?

Filmmaker and travel vlogger Sawyer Hartman is on the hunt for a powerful laptop that can process the latest 8K files from the R5 as well as heavy 4K HQ formats that a ton of current camera models produce.

We all understand why people end up in this situation. That killer new camera is the flashy thing you impulsively thought to drop all your cash on and now you are finding out not every part of your workflow can sustain all of the sweet features. You might quickly recognize you are in need of a new computer if you see any of these things happen:

  1. Computer crashes doing “intensive” tasks, like video editing.
  2. Playback constantly drops frames or lags.
  3. Export and render times take far too long.
  4. Or, getting the spinning wheel of death.

Working with MSI, Hartman identified two laptops – for two different price tiers – that will work well for creators. Keep in mind, you don’t need an MSI laptop to get the job done, just make sure it has similar specs.

Number one is the MSI Creator 15, specifically the A10SGS-40 model, is “the beast” due to having a seriously powerful NVIDIA RTX 2080 SUPER MAX Q graphics card, 32GB RAM, 2TB storage, and 4K monitor. It’s still a laptop mind you.

The second laptop is also a Creator 15, this time the A10SFT-53. Still classified as a “beauty” by Hartman, this model has an RTX 2070 MAX Q graphics card, 16GB RAM, and a Full HD display. It’s even under $2,000.

But can they manage 8K workflows?

First tests used high-quality 4K, 4K 120p, and standard 4K video. You shouldn’t be too surprised by these results given the name of this post and video, but both laptops offer smooth playback with full-res 4K immediately after being dropped into Premiere. No rendering required. It even held up after some light color grading.

Now, moving on to 4K 60p playback – something that many PCs struggle with. Both laptops manage this no problem either, with some light pre-rendering. Pre-rendering is going to be a separator here as “the beast” handled the job in 45 seconds compared to the second laptop’s 60 seconds. You can save about 25% of your time with the more powerful laptop.

The real test is 8K. And both can handle 8K raw video in full resolution after pre-rendering. It is possible to edit 8K on a laptop today. The more powerful laptop did put in a much faster effort on the rendering, handling the 8K clip in 6 minutes – half the time it took “the beauty” or laptop B to handle.

That’s definitely something to note if you plan on serious 8K workflows. The A laptop also showed its power a bit more once some light edits were applied.

Laptop A earned its “beast” nickname here, though that extra power comes at a cost. Around $3200 at the time this video was made. If you haven’t quite gone to 8K the more affordable laptop B is well worth it at under $2000.

My take? If you need a laptop today and find one of these on sale feel free to jump. However, if you can wait, the latest laptops released at CES sport the even more powerful RTX 3000-series graphics cards which seem to be worth the wait.

Are you thinking of picking up an 8K camera and want to make sure the rest of your system is ready?

[source: sawyerhartman]

Order Links:

  • Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Camera (B&H, Amazon)
  • Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Camera (B&H, Amazon)
  • MSI Creator 15 A10SGS-40 Laptop (B&H, Amazon)
  • MSI Creator 15 A10SFT-53 Laptop (B&H, Amazon)

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