What are Graphics Cards Used for Other Than Gaming?

Grabbing graphics card out of the box

You probably clicked on this article because you’re thinking of building a computer and aren’t sure whether to buy a graphics card or not.

Or you might’ve already bought a high end RTX 3090 and realized you don’t play video games that much.

It can be surprising to many people that the graphics card has many different uses other than gaming, and in some industries it is actually very important to have a high end graphics card in order to do your job.

So, I have comprised a list of things a graphics card is used for other than gaming.

1. Improves The Video Editing Process

Video editing has become a very popular thing to do and is done by thousands of people everyday.

Dual monitor setup showing video editing on screen

The graphics card allows for a smooth editing experience and will speed up the video editing process. Your graphics card helps load in and render SFX, transitions, words on the screen, adjustments, and corrects.

Without your graphics card, your CPU will be bottlenecked with information and you will spend a lot of your video editing time waiting for the program to load in.

Not only that but when you’re in the midst of editing a video, you most likely want to view the changes you made. That way you can check to see if all the transitions you added are smooth and all the effects are working properly.

The graphics card is what can load and allow you to watch the video while being edited and before it’s rendered. Most video editing software allows you to change the quality of the video when you’re in preview mode, and if you have a higher-end graphics card you will be able to preview your edits in a higher resolution.

When previewing your video without the use of a good graphics card, you may experience a very choppy and slow preview. That means you won’t be able to see if your transitions are smooth or if the audio is synced up until after you’ve rendered the video.

Having a good graphics card will allow you to view a smooth preview and will allow you to see what the finished product might look like before it’s even finished.

Finally, your video might contain graphic card heavy effects, that would give you an easier experience of editing with the use of a good graphics card. Things, like 3D text, and color correction or just some examples of some graphics card-heavy effects.

2. Speeds up Rendering Time

You might be thinking that video rendering is mostly a CPU intensive task, and that’s true.

Video rendering is mostly done by the CPU and the process can be sped up by having a good quality 8-core CPU. When rendering a video you can see that your CPU usage is very high and your GPU/graphics card usage is pretty low.

This is because the CPU is bottlenecking, and having a good graphics card to help render more GPU-oriented tasks will take less load off of your CPU and speed up the rendering process.

In doing so, your graphics card and CPU will be able to split up some of the rendering processes. Not only that but, certain frame adjustments, and effects that need to be rendered should be rendered with the graphics card. Without the graphics card, it can take a long time for the CPU to render those parts in, or it might not even render them properly.

Many video editing software has also been made to increase the GPU usage in your computer. Companies implement the use of CUDA and OpenCL to improve graphics card usage. Basically what these programs do, is move a lot of the C and C++ code onto your graphics card so it can load and render those effects of the video. That’s what we mean when we say GPU intensive effects.

To learn more about CUDA and OpenCL click here.

3. Play Higher Resolution Videos

Showing 4k resolution on a computer
4K Digital Entertainment Media Streaming Tv Concept

It comes to no surprise that your graphics card is what makes renders all the colors and actions onto your computer screen, so it should be no surprise to you that a better graphics card can play higher resolution videos.

As you might’ve noticed in the past few years, the quality of video has increased tremendously, from 1080p being the standard only a couple of years ago, and now the use of 4k and even 8k being very common in most households nowadays.

Do you know the reason for this?

This is due to the performance increase of the graphics cards made today. If you were to get an old graphics card from say 10 years ago. I doubt it would be able to play a video at 8k resolution higher than 20FPS.

So, if you’re a person who wants to be able to enjoy their favorite shows at very high quality on your computer, then that’s just another reason for you to get your hands on a high-quality graphics card.

4. You Might Need One to Startup Your Computer

Not all, but most computers need a graphics card in order to function because the graphics card is what puts the images onto your screen. Unless you have integrated graphics on your CPU.

Basically, integrated graphics is putting a small graphics card into your CPU, but doing this will slow down your CPU and take some features away from it.

Click here to learn more about integrated graphics and what CPUs support integrated graphics.

5. Software Development/Coding

Many jobs modern day jobs involve some sort of coding and/or software development, whether it’s building a website, making a games, or programming a robot. Chances are you’re probably using something that was made with the use of coding right now.

Coding itself isn’t using very much of the graphics card except for your screens display, but if your ready to test your code to see if it works, you’ll need your graphics card.

Just like video editing your graphics card is going to be used to preview any programs and changes you have done with your code.

Especially if you’re making a game from scratch it is very important to have a good graphics card to optimize your game quality for other people who might want to play your game as well.

6. Using Adobe Products

Showing the adobe symbol of a screen

Many adobe products need the use of a good graphics card in order to function smoothly. This is because many renders and graphical changes are happening all the time in these programs.

In order to reduce the lag and loading times of these programs it is best to have a good graphics card to help this.

7. CryptoCurrency and Bitcoin Mining

cryptocurrency mining rig with graphics cards

In recent times Cryptocurrency mining has become very popular amongst gamers. As a matter of fact the most efficient way of cryptocurrency mining is to use a gamers best friend. The graphics card.

Mining cryptocurrency on a graphics card is made very efficient do to the high hash rates certain graphics cards are able to reach.

If you’re looking to use your computer to make a little cash while you work. Using your graphics card to mine in the background while you do your work, sleep, or play video games is not a bad idea.

8. Creating and Using Animation Software

The last thing on the list is using your graphics card to make animation, specifically 3D animation. Programs like blender which allow you to create 3D objects and animate them can become very slow without the use of a good graphics card.

Whether you’re making characters for games, or just doing it for fun it should be a good idea to invest in a good graphics card in order for things to run smoothly and to allow for you to render your objects faster. That way you can spend less time waiting and more time animating.

Lucas Coulson

I first got into building my own computer when I was around 12 or 13. The first computer I had ever built didn't work. So I kept researching to figure what I did wrong. I really enjoyed researching, learning, and building computers, so I decided to turn it into an online business, and here I am.

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