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What features should I look for to get the best performance out of Shotcut?

CPU, Memory, Cache, GPU etc.


John, this won’t exactly answer your question, but may be relevant:

I recently bought a new laptop, and was aiming for something that would be relatively affordable but still give me better performance with Shotcut along with some other software.

What I upgraded from: a Dell laptop with an i5-7xxx CPU with 2 cores / 4 threads, 16GB RAM, and a 1TB SATA SSD. This ran Shotcut without trouble, but was not particularly speedy on rendering videos.

What I upgraded to: an HP “gaming” laptop with an i5-9300H with 4 cores/ 8 threads, plus an NVidia GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile GPU. The laptop came with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD, but it was upgradeable (I made sure of that before I bought it), so I put in an additional 8GB of RAM. Interestingly, this laptop has both an M.2 slot AND a SATA slot, so I left the existing 256GB SSD in the M.2 slot and added the 1TB SATA SSD from the Dell.

The results have been good but not in quite the way I expected. There is a marked improvement in performance for the new laptop - I ran some side-by-side tests, and don’t remember the exact amount, but the new laptop is something like 50% faster. I thought that would be mostly due to the GPU - I bought the laptop specifically for this feature - but it turns out that the GPU makes only a small difference in the rendering speed. Rendering is only a few seconds faster (<10 seconds difference) with the Hardware Encoder enabled.

So, my conclusion is that the increased performance of this new laptop has more to do with the additional cores in the CPU, possibly the new type of RAM, possibly the M.2 interface for the SSD.

Again, the above doesn’t directly address your question, but it may provide some indirect answers. For me, I would consider 16GB of RAM and an SSD drive to be absolutely essential; based on this experience, I would also go for a 4- or more core CPU, but wouldn’t necessarily worry about getting an additional GPU.

See the FAQ for why this is and also how Shotcut makes use of multiple CPUs.

Your explanation is still vague,

It totally depends on your work, if you do office stuff and edit normal HD or 4k videos, then something around 12GB to 16GB is best, because it could also handle heavy HD projects if needed, you don’t need too much cores, something around 8 or 16 is fine, because video editing takes not more than that in most cases, if you are doing 3D stuff, then you should probably get a PC with more cores.

A mobile GPU for a laptop is not a good idea, because there are lot of program which do not work on arc64 architecture (mobile architecture) in windows, including shotcut. And windows itself is not yet optimized for arc64. A cheap GPU, or APU (comes with AMD) would work for most cases in office stuff, if you are doing heavy stuff, then I recommend you a rtx with at least 2-4GB vRAM.

As I already told that your post is vague, we are not able to assure that this is the best system.

You should explain what work you want to do, so we give you better ideas.

Thanks for all of the responses so far. Very helpful.

I plan to create 4K videos that range in length from just a few minutes to as long as 30 minutes.

Then around 16-22GB is just perfect, GPU is good for exporting faster, and mobile GPU are not that good because they have very less power compared to a PC GPU.

Also you should get a decent CPU which has almost 8-16 cores, to work good.

Thanks for your reply!

So far I’ve purchased a Ryzen 7 3700 (8 cores) and I’m starting with 16GB. Still looking for a good, available GPU

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Here you need to remember that you need to get a 4k GPU, not a GPU which costs lower (because there are chances that it would not support 4k), because a 4k GPU is hard to get on cheap prices, these are some 4k ones which cost reasonably:-

  1. RTX 3080 TI FOUNDERS EDITION. $1199
  2. EVGA Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super. $569
  3. GIGABYTE AMD Radeon VII. $449
  4. Asus AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT. $425 (Cheapest)

Nice. Thanks for recommendations.

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Remember that for Nvidia cards, encoding with NVENC is done with dedicated circuitry which has (almost) nothing to do with how much RAM or CUDA cores or anything else the GPU has. So for the purposes of hardware encoding, an RTX 3080 won’t give you anything that a GTX 1650 Super couldn’t do… except a $900 hole in your wallet.

Look at the Nvidia Support Matrix linked below, open up the “NVENC - Encoding” section, and look for a card that has 7th generation NVENC or later if you want the best encoding quality. All of the other specs are irrelevant to encoding. Things like RAM and CUDA are used by 3D renderers, and GPU-optimized filters for programs like DaVinci Resolve. But Shotcut does not use them currently. Granted, if you’re doing something like that and want a high-end card, then go for it. But don’t expect an RTX 3080 to make Shotcut do anything better than cheaper 7th gen cards.

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