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What Video Cards Do You Recommend  



Hi all,

I'm considering buying a video card in the hopes that it will improve my editing performance.  I have an old HP workstation with 32GB of ram and a Xeon e5-2690.  Not sure what I would have to spend to get something worthwhile.  Used would be fine with me.  I run AVLinux.  Thanks in advance.


6 Answers

I strongly advise against the latest AMD cards (Navi10), their support is still premature. I'm having constant problems. However, in my opinion, CinGG doesn't use the GPU very much, so even older and modest cards are more than fine (good OpenGL support is enough). Nvidia xx60 or xx70, more than fine (970/1060/2060, etc). Or AMD Radeon 570 or 580. On ebay they are found used. Otherwise, since you have a workstation (with ECC RAM), you might try to find used Nvidia Quadro or AMD WX cards. I don't know them and can't recommend them, but make sure they come from the series written above (nvidia xx60/70 or amd rx 560/570/580). Others are too old and I don't know if they are worth it; or they are too expensive.


Hi Andrea, at least on Mint 19.3 and kernel 5.3 there is a problem, kernel 5.0 seems OK.

You might want to try the latest firmware, see the install/rollback instructions at , the post by thx-1138 .


Regarding AMD cards, if you are on AVLinux, that kernel is at 4.16.12 if I recall correctly. That might be a problem supporting newer AMD cards. The AMD drivers for Linux you can find via , the latest is version 19.50 from December 2019. These are (like NVidia's) proprietary drivers. Otherwise the open source amdgpu driver is fine for OpenGL and vaapi (video encoding/decoding), but which cards it supports depends on the kernel. I don't know how much use Cinelerra can make of OpenCL. I'm not sure how much Cinelerra/ffmpeg makes use of GPU memory, but modern AMD cards have 8G RAM for less than a 4G NVidia card. E.g. an RX570 with 8G here goes for 131 euro.

You might find the Phoronix site useful, even though it doesn't test for video editing. For instance:



I just booted AVLinux, full updated. It does not recognise my AMG Ryzen 2200G with built-in GPU, so the video encoding/decoding capabilities are not usable, but they are usable in the same multi-boot system using Mint 19.3 XFCE. For effects it is not going to make much difference I think, but for playback and rendering it makes a big difference, less so if you have a lot of effects. If you're not tied to the real-time capabilities of AVLinux or other AV programs it has,  you might be better of switching to another distro, so you can use hardware-supported decoding/encoding. The program vainfo will show what hardware support is available for Intel and AMG GPUs, don't know about Nvidia.

Obviously, keep in mind the physical interface available in your workstation, connector/space/power.

@matn @dankinzelman


AV Linux has it's own kernel repository with newer kernels and it also has the repository for liquorix kernels included for alternate kernels. I'm actually replacing my 12 year old desktop this week and I have bought an AMD 570 vid card and will post how it goes..

As was said Cinelerra really only requires smooth 2D playback and the system CPU not the Video card GPU doing most of the lifting so an expensive gaming card with 3D compositing capabilities is not really going to show much benefit (unless you're using Blender  as well).


It might be that ffmpeg can use the GPU for some effects, I have not been able to test.

I did test with a normal and a realtime kernel on Mint 19.2, and there was no noticeable time different in rendering a 1080p50 with the Color3Way effect on it.

The liquorix kernel seems unstable if I look at the posts. For AVLinux I'll stick with the default provided.


Thanks Glenn,

Please do let me know the results of your video card swap.  Would one of the other kernels likely work much better with Cinelerra in your opinion?  I am getting what I presume to be very slow renders considering my system specs - 4-6 times slower than real time on 1080p with not many effects active.  Also timeline scrubbing performance is poor. 

This is mainly an audio workstation, but low-latency audio performance is not important since I just do mixing on this computer.




Did you ever try Cinelerra with the fancy video card?  Let us know.


Hi @dankinzelman!

Sorry it's been a busy couple of weeks offline...

I have assembled my new "AV Linux Mama" system (amd Ryzen threadripper 2790WX...24 cores 48 threads + 64gb RAM!!) and I went with an amd RX570 video chip on a Gigabyte card... the 570 chipset can be found on cards by many manufacturers (amd, msi, gigabyte) and I was pleased to find that AV Linux (the next 2020 build) booted and installed with no UEFI hiccups and the video card is supported by the Xorg "amdgpu" drivers.

Since I am 75% finished the next AVL release on my current old faithful desktop I haven't moved my drives and data into the new machine yet so I haven't done any video editing but obviously jumping from 4 to 24 cores is going to make a much more pronounced difference than the video card. I picked up 2 Akaso 4K GoPro knock off cameras so I'm hungry to try my first 4K project with Cin-GG soon! 🙂 

I think you could be confident that the amd 570 would be a good balance of power, price and good Linux support, as @MatN said the cutting edge stuff often lags in Linux support.. things change... a few years ago you couldn't pay me enough to have an ATi/AMD video card on Linux, the support was very spotty but the 570 gets a lot of good reports all over the net.

PS my card was about $200 CDN, not sure how that compares..