I think we can all agree that editing the videos is a headache. It's worth it in the end, though, if you want to immortalize an awesome experience. Assuming you're just a regular (though awesome) dude or dudette trying to record your activities with your Go Pro Hero 10 camera, you might be feeling stuck as far as what would make for the best laptop for go pro video editing is concerned.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through the core laptop requirements for editing GoPro videos and how I choose which ones fit the bill the best.
So don't hesitate, scroll down past my introduction to see which laptops are best for you!
The best processor for Go Pro video editing in 2022
It's now been almost a year since Apple's M1 system-on-chip module hit the market, and AMD has managed to capture a sizable chunk of the CPU market with its 6th generation Ryzen processors. However, Intel's 13th-gen processors are still yet to reach laptops; their latest model is the 12th generation. Both Apple and Intel have adopted the hybrid performance/efficiency core design (based on big.LITTLE). This means that while they offer excellent single-core performance, you're not going to get top of the line multi-core performance; this makes them a good choice if you need a laptop with good battery life.
When you're looking for the best possible processor for Go Pro video editing, it's important to keep in mind that you'll be dealing with 4K footage at least. If you need to edit footage shot at 4K 120 FPS, you'll need to go beyond a mid-range processor and look at more powerful hardware. If you want top of the line performance, you should look for an Apple M1 Pro or an H-series processor from AMD or Intel. Keep in mind though, that higher-end processors will produce more heat and require more cooling, so be sure to get a laptop that has good cooling if you go down this route.
To determine which processor is best for video editing, benchmarking is a must. We recommend using Cinebench R23 as it's one of the most popular benchmarks when comparing general performance. Media Encoder benchmark scores are also useful, though they might not give you an accurate picture due to Intel Quick Sync being used in certain scenarios.
Now, let's take a look at what to expect from different price ranges. If you want to go as low as possible, you can get a decent processor for around $300. At this price range, we recommend either an Intel i5-1240P or a Ryzen 5 6600U. If you're looking for something more powerful, we suggest considering an Intel i7-12650H or a Ryzen 7 6800H; this should be enough for editing standard 4K footage without any issues. For those looking for the very best performance, Intel's i9-12900H and AMD's Ryzen 9 6900HX are the way to go; however, these are on the pricey side.
To sum it up, if you're looking for a processor for Go Pro video editing, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. However, with some benchmarking and careful consideration of your needs and budget, you can find the right processor that will allow you to edit your videos with ease.
Picking a good graphics
With the ever-evolving GPU market, it can be difficult to decide on the right laptop Graphics card for Go Pro video editing. With Nvidia dominating the market, the RTX 30 series is the current standard for laptop GPUs, with the 40 series due to hit the market in 2023. Desktop GPUs are now more power-hungry and that gap has widened in recent years, but Nvidia's Max-Q label has been discontinued and power consumption is now determined by the laptop manufacturer.
Integrated graphics chips should only be used for hobbyist editing and anyone looking for professional options should get a dedicated GPU. Video editing applications heavily depend on a dedicated graphics card and thus a dedicated chip is practically mandatory for PC laptops. To decide on the best GPU specs, look at the laptop's model name and its benchmark scores in 3DMark and encoding/decoding times with various codecs such as H.264, H.265 and AV1.
When shopping for a laptop, consider the budget constraints – gaming laptops tend to be pricier with weaker CPU/GPU combos but offer better components if you're willing to spend more money. To help you decide on the right GPU for Go Pro video editing, we've put together a table of recommended GPUs with their median/average laptop prices based on PCMark benchmark scores.
Minimum: RTX 3060
Recommended: RTX 3070; RX 6800M
High-end: RTX 3080
|GPU||PCMark 10 Score (points)||Average Laptop Price|
How to choose the right memory for Go Pro video editing?
The minimum amount of RAM you should look for when buying a laptop for video editing is 16 GB, but for professional work 24 GB or more is recommended. For extremely demanding projects, such as those requiring 8K RAW files with deep color depth, you might want to look for laptops with 32 GB or more of RAM.
At the moment, laptops come with DDR4 or DDR5 RAM. While DDR5 RAM offers a slight performance boost over DDR4, it is still quite expensive and not worth the extra cost unless you are dealing with 4K footage regularly. If that's not the case, then the extra cost of DDR5 isn't really worth it – stick to DDR4.
To help you decide on the amount of RAM you need, here is a table that lists the recommended RAM amounts based on laptop price range:
|Price range||Recommended RAM|
Deciding on a storage
The storage market has changed significantly in the past couple of years. Gone are the days of HDDs and even SATA SSDs – nowadays, PCIe M.2 (usually NVMe) SSDs are the standard. Most budget laptops (<$900) come with 500 GB of storage, while mid-range ones will usually offer 1 TB and high-end ones (~$2k+) usually feature 2 TB.
Video editing is one of the few areas where storage performance still matters and the requirements are measured in TBs, not GBs. For most users, a single NVMe SSD will be more than enough for all their projects. However, if you have a lot of open projects or want to keep them open for days on end, consider getting two drives – one for the OS and applications and another one for your project files. When choosing an SSD, make sure to check the benchmarks if possible – if there's 0 information on the SSD model, that's a red flag. Additionally, having plenty of USB ports (4+) allows for external storage if necessary.
When it comes to the recommended storage configurations for video editing laptops, the minimum requirement is 1 TB and an upgrade option. For the most reliable performance, we recommend 2 TB of storage and a 4 TB setup with an external drive for the high-end range. Take your time to compare models and research the specs to get the best bang for your buck – don't settle for less than you need!
How to choose the right display for Go Pro video editing?
When it comes to video editing, the laptop display can be a make or break factor. You want something with good color accuracy, brightness, and contrast for optimal performance. So what type of display should you go for, and what specs should it have? Let's take a closer look!
The first thing to consider is the display size. The more area you have to work with, the easier it will be to edit your footage. Most 15-inch and larger laptops now come with 4K resolution displays, though some high-end models may even offer mini LED or OLED options. Meanwhile, smaller laptops like 13.3 inches usually feature Full HD resolution.
When it comes to panel types, you want to make sure to get an IPS or IPS-level screen at the very least. These provide superior color accuracy and clarity, making them ideal for video editing. You could also consider OLED displays, though they are still quite niche and expensive.
Other display features such as refresh rate may also come in handy. If you're into gaming and streaming, a high refresh rate will come in very handy. Lastly, if you're looking for a budget-friendly option, you may find some TN panels. However, these are not suitable for professional video editing due to their lower quality.
When it comes to color accuracy, you'll want to look for displays with at least 300 nits of brightness and 90% coverage of the Adobe RGB color gamut. This should cover most of your needs. If you're looking for something a bit more advanced, consider investing in an IPS mini LED or OLED panel with 400 nits of brightness and 95% or more of the P3 color gamut.
At the end of the day, the right display will depend on your budget and usage preferences. A minimum of 300 nits and 90% Adobe RGB should suffice for casual video editing, while high-end users can go for mini LED or OLED panels with 400 nits of brightness and 95% or more P3 color gamut coverage.
5 Best Laptops for Go Pro video editing
1.ASUS ZenbookPowerfully Slim and Sleek
Forgo the extra bulk for a slim and sleek laptop packed with performance power. The ASUS Zenbook 14 offers an incredibly light and thin chassis, yet with a fast processor and plenty of battery life. With its bright display, good sound, and a variety of ports, you can easily bring it with you on the go. Pros include its excellent battery life, portability, fast processor, and sleek design. However, there are some cons such as soldered RAM that cannot be upgraded, noisy fan, and weak Wi-Fi.
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 9i
2.GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4Powerful Video Editing with the GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4
- Responsive 165Hz panel
- Wide colour gamut
- Abundant storage options
- Thunderbolt 4 and Power Delivery
- No card reader
- Only one USB-A port
The GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4 is a great laptop for video editing, with its impressive performance and ability to accommodate two PCIe 4.0 SSDs. It features a highly responsive 165Hz panel, wide colour gamut, individual key lighting, Thunderbolt 4, and Power Delivery. However, it lacks a card reader and has only one USB-A port.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
- Powerful Ryzen 7 and RTX 3070 GPU
- Bright and crisp 16 QHD display
- Bulky design and heavy power brick
- Limited storage with only 512GB SSD
3.ASUS ROG Strix ScarThe Solid Performer for Professional Video Editing
- Solid build quality
- Fast Wi-Fi 6E
- Excellent response times with no PWM
- Dolby Vision support
- Limited display angle
- No biometric login
- Heavy SSD throttling during continuous reads
- High heat and noise emissions under load
The Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 offers a sturdy construction and reliable performance for video editing. It boasts fast Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, Dolby Vision support and no PWM for an outstanding image quality. On the downside, there is no biometric login or battery backup, and it tends to run hot and loud under load.
Acer Predator Triton 500
- High performance for video editing
- Clear and bright display
- Soldered-in RAM
- Inaccessible SSD
4.Lenovo ThinkPad P16A Powerful, Portable Editing Partner
- Strong performance for video editing
- Easy to service and upgrade
- Removable GPU for additional flexibility
- WWAN ready for on-the-go editing
- Cannot charge and run high loads at the same time
- Moderate backlight bleeding
- Slow SD card reader
- Thick and heavy
The Lenovo ThinkPad P16 G1 is an excellent choice for pro video editors, boasting above average CPU and GPU performance, a removable GPU, and WWAN compatibility. However, the laptop is thick and heavy, and cannot charge and run high loads simultaneously.
Lenovo ThinkPad P16
5.Dell XPS 17 9720A High-Performance Video Editing Workhorse
- Excellent 4K display with AdobeRGB
- High-quality case and fast card reader
- Thunderbolt 4 and PCIe 4.0 support
- Powerful system performance
- Not Wi-Fi 6E compatible
- 720p webcam
The Dell XPS 17 9720 is the perfect choice for pro video editors who demand performance and power. This laptop is equipped with a sharp 4K display and supports both Thunderbolt 4 and PCIe 4.0, making it capable of handling the most demanding tasks. Its high-quality case and fast card reader ensure that it runs fast and smooth.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5
- Fast Alder Lake CPU GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics
- 4K touch screen with full AdobeRGB coverage
- High cost of purchase
- Poor battery life
Table of the Best Laptops for Go Pro video editing
|GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4|
|ASUS ROG Strix Scar|
|Lenovo ThinkPad P16|
|Dell XPS 17 9720|
9 thoughts on “10 Best laptop solutions for Go Pro video editing in 2023 (March edition) ($640-$6,000)”
Hello! Thank you so much for your research! I’m looking for the best, smallest laptop. According to your survey the smaller screen laptops didn’t fare too well with the exception of the Dell XPS 13 9350 SLV – I think it lost points due to the high price.
Any reason why Macbook doesn’t appear in your list?
Hello! Thank you for your kind words!
Sadly, I didn’t have that many 13″ laptops documented with all their benchmarks at the time of writing the article.
Actually, I have very recently added MacBooks to my list but I have not updated the GoPro spreadsheet.
The reason why I did not include them at the time I was writing this guide was very simple – usually, most people are already set in their way of either buying a MacBook or a Windows laptop. Majority of my visitors come looking for a Windows laptop and that’s why I decided to keep my focus on them.
But you’re right – I should have included at least 1 MacBook in my list, if not in my Top 3 recommendations. After your comment, I added 2 Apple MacBook Pro models (which are still best MacBooks for professionals in my opinion) to the comparison with their benchmarks. In that case, Apple MacBook Pro 13″ is the best 13″ laptop for GoPro editing and Apple MacBook Pro 15″ is a great option if you prefer MacOS to Windows and you can pay ~$200 extra for it.
Thank you for the article it answered most of the questions I had about the MSI GL62-6QF with the i5 6300HQ, GTX 960m, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD and an empty M.2 slot PCI-E gen 3 SSD that’s ready to rock with 512 Samsung 950 pro I picked up recently (super stoked) and I’m also adding 8GB more RAM total 16GB. So I bought it mainly for audio recording on the go and gigs, maybe I’ll even try some games but I’ve been wanting to get into editing video. Is my new notebook around your articles mid-level tier system? Can it hang alright editing 4k?
As to the previous comment, I just want to say I was glad not to see anything Apple related, I’m done with them. I am an MSI guy now! Their top level stuff workstation and or gaming series is hard to beat from what I’ve seen.
Excellent article with all the minor details. Specially love the Explanation of CUDA vs CL
Thanks for going to that level of depth.
Not the most clued on with this sort of thing but can you tell me an up to date opinion of the best laptop for Gopro 5 black editing 4K footage. with a price range of less than 1700
What are your thoughts on the asus q534?
I see that this article is two years old. We recently got a GoPro Hero 5 Black. Recommendations for a computer and accessories to go with it?
Hello! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful detail about video editing laptops! I love your review about MSI GE62 Apache Pro, it’s really good.
Thanks for putting this together and providing the data behind your recommendations. So many of these reviews leave out the data – and I’m just supposed to trust without verification.