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Navcharan singh
Navcharan singh

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Advantages of using GPUs for Video Rendering and Processing

Video rendering, editing and processing are commonplace today. Though businesses are extensively using video broadcasts to showcase their products and services, they were late to join the bandwagon. The proliferation of content streaming and social media services gave humanity the first collective taste of the power of video editing and processing. Over the years, continuous technological advancements have led to notable improvements in the quality of video rendering. The virtual processing market was pegged at USD 2.1 billion in 2023 and is poised to expand at ~20% CAGR from 2023 to 2030.

Enterprises/ individuals may use Central Processing Units (CPUs) or Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) for their video rendering and processing workloads. The choice between these depends not only on individual preferences and requirements, but also on these hardware’s capabilities, efficiencies and pricing. However, as the name suggests, GPUs were conceived for video processing/ rendering and handling complex graphical elements. This article will help you figure out the advantages of deploying GPU rather than CPUs for video rendering. But first the basics.

What is Video Rendering?

Video rendering refers to the transformation of digital data by compute systems/ streaming services into finished videos that can be viewed on supported devices such as televisions, computer monitors, smartphones, projectors, etc. The rendering process combines visual elements such as image sequences, footage, special effects, animations, subtitles and other text overlays into a single video file. Additionally, video rendering encompasses both video encoding and decoding processes.

Video rendering is widely regarded as the most hardware-intensive process in computing.

What is Video Processing?

Video processing involves the editing of video clips, image frames and the sound recorded in video files. Video editors and VFX engineers utilize specialized software and peripheral video editing equipment to carry out video processing tasks.

What are the Advantages of Using GPUs for Video Rendering and Processing?

GPUs have witnessed unprecedented demand in recent years given their extraordinary contribution to the interlinked fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). Prior to this, their sales received tremendous boost because of the notorious proliferation of cryptocurrency mining. However, rendering high-quality graphics and professional video content remains the arena where GPUs remain inalienable. This is because of several reasons –

Superior performance:

Whether video rendering or processing, GPUs have always set the benchmark. Depending on the generation, a single GPU can deliver 5-20 times faster performance compared to traditional CPU-based rendering. This is because GPU are architected to incorporate a significantly higher number of processing cores which can parallelly execute identical tasks, thereby achieving greater throughput and reduced latency in video editing or rendering. Thus, a graphics designer/ video content creator can seamlessly load heavy graphics without lag or stutter.

Cost efficiency:

The adoption of GPUs has considerably reduced the expenditure incurred in generating high-end graphics/ videos. Given that a GPU can process a workload several times faster than a CPU, there is sizeable difference in the total time to market, thereby saving many man-hours. This is especially relevant to animation studios and the VFX industry where this aggregate difference in output will be substantial. Furthermore, GPUs are more energy-efficient vis-a-vis CPUs. Lower operating time + Reduced power consumption = Lower Total Cost of Ownership.


This is applicable mostly when utilizing GPU resources via Cloud services. Using Cloud GPUs for video rendering/ processing confers two distinct advantages over CPUs – (i) effortless scale-up wherein enterprises can subscribe to additional GPUs when adding more manpower/ taking up additional business, and (ii) seamless flexibility when individual users wish to switch between GPUs depending on their use case. Moreover, video editors and render engines can also access multiple GPUs running on a single physical CPU/ virtual instance for additional firepower when working on exceedingly detailed projects.

Dedicated cores:

Whereas all GPUs come equipped with hundreds of processing cores that can simultaneously take up complex mathematical calculations involved in image/ frame rendering, many GPUs now come with dedicated Tensor cores and Raytracing cores which excel at handling video workloads such as photorealistic 3D visualization, shadows and light bounce effects, etc. Moreover, utilizing dedicated cores for design and rendering of graphics frees up CPU resources for routine backend jobs such as OS control, firewall management, etc., thereby reducing context-switching latency which creeps in when exclusively utilizing CPU resources for video editing.

Software support:

Most video processing software such as Adobe After Effects, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premiere Pro, D5 Render, Cinema 4D, etc. can be further optimized through GPU acceleration and feature native and third-party support for GPU integration to enhance performance.

Which Domains Benefit from Using GPUs for Video Rendering & Processing?

GPU manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD are at the forefront of a relentless pursuit to streamline video processing while ensuring accuracy and maximizing graphics quality. Key areas where GPUs have proven their competency include:

Video encoding:

Video encoding involves compressing and altering video content format to reduce its digital footprint. Encoding is especially crucial for streaming/ sharing video content to multiple subscribers/ devices. Video encoding using GPUs is significantly faster, and content creators can export high-resolution ultra-HD videos using H.264 or H.265/ HEVC codecs up to five times faster than CPU-encoding. Reduced encoding time equals efficient video editing workflow equals disbursement of more content to subscribers.

3D graphics rendering:

Modern film industry, digital marketing executives and video game developers have embraced 3D graphics and VFX as a means of enhancing engagement with viewers/ gamers. Pokemon Go owes its immense popularity to having brought augmented reality to the real world without requiring specialized hardware. Creating commercial-quality 3D graphics, realistic visual effects and enhanced realty modules necessitates the usage of GPUs to accelerate the design, development and deployment process.

Creating 3D video content and game graphics is extremely compute-intensive and time consuming. Hence, various video editing software suites and game engines heavily rely on GPUs.

AI-assisted content creation:

Artificial Intelligence is a transformative force that has brought paradigm shift across domains, including the video industry. Various new-age companies like Blackmagic Design are collaborating with GPU manufacturers like Nvidia to integrate AI capabilities into video editing software. AI techniques allow for depth mapping in images and videos, surface tracking in image objects, object mask tracking, and more. These advancements in video rendering leverage color grading, color scoping, etc. which can be significantly sped up via GPUs.


In this article, we’ve underscored the suitability of GPUs as prime hardware for accelerating video rendering tasks. But we understand that the sheer number of GPUs available in the market can bewilder anyone who is not a tech enthusiast. Moreover, the potential and processing capabilities of GPUs improve with each new generation. Any video content creator/ gamer/ streamer worth her salt would bet on the inalienability of GPUs and yet be confused when it comes to recommending ideal GPUs for their domain. Afterall, so many parameters must be weighed – processor cores, shader count, raytracing support, memory bandwidth, VRAM, price-performance ratio, benchmark performance, etc.

We love talking about GPUs, especially Cloud GPUs, and would be thrilled to discuss how we can help optimize your video rendering/ editing process.

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