Crowdsourcing: Which Laptop is Best for Using Shotcut?

OK guys, I’m crowdsourcing here. I’m starting to edit more 2K and 4K video and my old gaming laptop isn’t cutting it anymore…even with Proxy mode. I think I’m due for a new laptop. For reference, I’d been using an Acer Nitro 5 with an AMD 5 2500U with a Radeon Vega Mobile GFX 2.00 Ghz, 32 GB RAM.
Now, it’s chugging away so slowly, that I want to upgrade.

Here are what’s currently sitting on my Amazon shopping cart. Which one would you get for Shotcut and why?:

I’m actually starting to receive sponsorship work using Shotcut so a computer optimized for Shotcut would really help a ton. I appreciate anyone’s input.

Thank you


Wow, it’s spectacular Bentacular. How lovely to see you back on here. Brilliant that you are getting some sponsorship work. :+1: :smile:


I have no idea what laptop you should choose. I just stopped by to congratulate you also on getting sponsorship :+1:

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Thank you!

Thank you always

Hey @bentacular, congrats on the sponsorship!

If I were buying a laptop based solely on the performance specs, I’d lean heavily towards the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro. Here’s the breakdown in the same order as your list:

Laptop Model Processor Cores P-Threads Base GHz Turbo GHz
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro i7-1260P 4 8 ? 4.7
Acer Swift X Ryzen 7 5800U 8 16 1.9 4.4
Acer Swift X Ryzen 7 5825U 8 16 2.0 4.5
ASUS ROG M16 i7-11800H 8 16 2.3 4.6
ASUS ROG G15 Ryzen 7 4800H 8 16 2.9 4.2
Lenovo Legion 5 i7-10750H 6 12 2.6 5.0
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Ryzen 7 5800H 8 16 3.2 4.4
MSI Creator M16 i7-12650H 6 12 ? 4.7
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 i9-11900H 8 16 2.5 4.9

When choosing hardware for Shotcut, my priorities are in the following order:

  • Highest processor base frequency
  • 32 GB RAM minimum for 4K
  • 8+ fast threads (ideally 12+)

Since Shotcut does all processing in the CPU, the high base frequency is what provides raw performance, especially if a single-threaded filter happens to get in the chain. A processor with 48 cores at 2.0 GHz will likely be slower than the Lenovo because Shotcut will not actually thread out to use all 48 cores, and the cores that do get used will be half the speed of the Lenovo’s cores. Shotcut typically uses 8-12 cores efficiently, so make those 8-12 cores fast since the rest will probably sit idle or maybe get picked up by a software encoder.

You may have noticed that the graphics card is not stated on my priorities list. Shotcut does not use GPU processing for preview or export. What little GPU it uses for the UI elements can be easily handled by Intel integrated graphics. The only thing an RTX card brings extra to the table is hardware encoding. If you plan to use hardware encoding, the Lenovo has you well-covered with the RTX 3070.

Basically, the Lenovo checks all the boxes for Shotcut performance. I can’t speak to other deciding factors such as build quality, battery life, heat dissipation, screen calibration, ports, etc. since I’ve done no further research on it. But at least you have a background on what matters regarding a spec sheet. For instance, the Acer Swift X would probably be no faster than your current laptop because its base frequency is only 1.9 GHz. That’s barely over half the total GHz available on the Lenovo.

For reference, I bought a refurbished Dell OptiPlex 7020 off of Amazon for $270. It has an Intel i7-4770 which is 4 core/8 thread at 3.40 GHz base and 3.90 GHz turbo. Came with 32 GB RAM and an SSD. This is half the core count of the Lenovo, yet this Dell is able to preview 10 tracks (with opacity filters) when using 360p proxies and 360p preview scaling over a 4K 29.97fps timeline. (A 60fps timeline would obviously cut performance and track count in half.) It can do more than 10 tracks since CPU hadn’t even hit 50% yet, but I got tired of adding tracks to test. High base frequency and Preview Scaling make this possible. That Dell tower is incredibly hard to beat on performance-to-price ratio.

Dell link for those interested in a cheap monster Shotcut workstation:

Between that reference point and past i7-7700K benchmarks I’ve shared, I feel pretty good saying the Lenovo would serve you well. Best of luck to you!


Dude, you are amazing man! Thank you!

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Not sure your budget, etc, but last year I grabbed an Asus StudioBook Pro 17.

NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 Max-Q 6GB
Upgraded to dual 4TB SSD
17" display, 97%DCI-P3 gamut; Pantone Validated (this was important for me to get the best color possible)
1x ThunderBolt 3 USB-C (40 Gbps), 3x USB 3.1 gen 2

This thing has been pretty rock-solid to date.

Just my $0.02

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Wow. That one looks like a beast

Wow, @austin, that is so helpful. Have bookmarked your post for future reference!


Me three!

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By the way, the new Asus 16" OLED StudioBook looks like a sweet machine!!

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@Austin thank you for reminding me that Shot is configured differently than other video-editing tools. It’s deceiving when these vloggers come up with their top 10 lists of best video editing laptops, because they most likely are focused solely on using Adobe Premiere or DaVinci Resolve.

I now am reminded that I need to focus more on CPU rather than GPU.

What do you think of this laptop?

That’s a really good-looking option at a great price! Performance-wise, this is as good as the Lenovo minus the RAM difference.

Quick observations:

  • The listing doesn’t say if the RAM can be upgraded to 32 GB by adding one more 16 GB stick, or whether it’s necessary to replace all existing sticks with new larger sticks. That would be important to know for calculating the final price after memory upgrade. While Shotcut can technically export a simple 4K project with 16 GB RAM, newer editions of Windows keep hogging more RAM for themselves, and also let’s be realistic… we know you got Photoshop and 14 web browser tabs open in the background. :grin:

  • RTX 3060 is sweet enough to run Premiere if you want.

  • The listing says a Windows 11 upgrade is not supported. I don’t know if there is a hardware reason for that or if it’s an OEM software license limitation. The i7-4770 tower I listed earlier does not support Windows 11 either because the TPM version is too old. But that doesn’t bother me because I run Linux Mint which doesn’t require the latest TPM. However, for your use case, perhaps Windows 11 will become important to have several years from now. A quick check of the Windows 11 CPU compatibility matrix from Microsoft says that the Ryzen 7 5800H is supported. The TPM on the laptop motherboard is the only other thing likely to fail compatibility, but that’s hard to imagine. So perhaps the worst case scenario is that a full version of Windows 11 would have to be purchased rather than getting a free upgrade from Windows 10.

Windows 11 CPU compatibility list:

If anybody else knows why this laptop wouldn’t be compatible with Windows 11, I’m all ears.

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Since my last laptop is also a Nitro 5, I’m actually hoping that I can lift the ram from that previous laptop to upgrade this new one. I’m just hoping they’re both the same kind of ram.

RAM has a different operating frequency. The RAM from an old laptop may have a lower frequency of operation, which can slow down a new laptop a little. Just keep that in mind.

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@bentacular - just to mention screen size - I work on a 17" laptop and if I was upgrading I would consider keeping the 17" screen size if possible especially for video work. Might not be an issue if you are used to a smaller screen though.

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I encounter some problems using Shotcut, yet I think I bought a fairly powerful computer, what do you think of this laptop:
Assus 17 ‘’, Rog Strix, Ryzen 9/32 gb Ram, Rtx 3090, which does not give me complete satisfaction in the use of Shocut which tends to saturate during a rush or a sophisticated clip.
Do you have an opinion on this?
For this laptop what is the best parameter to check: OpenGl, Directx(Angle) or automatic as for Software(mesa) I don’t know what it is.
Thank you for your opinion for a simple user.

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What operating system? Windows? Then I recommend installing DirectX. I recently tested these modes at my place, when using DirectX - lower processor load when playing clips on the timeline, but slightly higher load on the video core. OpenGL gives higher load on the processor and lower on the video core. Since shotcut almost does not use video card resources, it is logical to use DirectX to offload the processor a little, but this difference is not very large and almost imperceptible to the eye, it can only be seen in the task manager. Software(mesa) - when this mode is selected, shotcut does not start for me and I have to change the mode through shotcut.ini (I use windows 10).

Yes, Mesa is a software implementation that, unlike OpenGL and DirectX, does not use the graphics hardware. I advised a user whose laptop continually stuttered using Shotcut with Mesa to use OpenGL/DirectX and that solved his problem - see here: