Windows 11 PCs are getting a free video editing upgrade

Windows 11 unveils new video editing possibilities

Windows 11
(Image credit: Windows)

Microsoft has this week announced some good news for video editors who work on Windows machines. That’s because the company has just unveiled a new API that enables video encoding in DirectX 12 on Windows 11.

The API, which is now available in preview for Windows developers, has the potential to increase the speed of video encoding by letting users leverage the raw, unbridled power of GPU accelerated video engines.

Microsoft confirmed the new DirectX 12 APIs in its official changelog (opens in new tab). Native to the Windows 11 platform, the APIs will deliver GPU acceleration for a number of video apps using Video Processing, Video Decoding, and Motion estimation, according to WinBuzzer (opens in new tab). If you're wondering why this new API is big news, then it's because, currently, the best laptop devices that run Windows OS more often than not find themselves overlooked when it comes to video editing. 

For users that have entry-level video editing work to do (and beyond), a Mac is almost always better than a PC out of the box – something that's become even more evident following the launch of the eye-searingly powerful Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch & 16-inch (2021). These new juiced-up MacBook Pros offer unparalleled power, with Apple ProRes codecs providing an unmatched combination of multistream, real-time video editing performance. Currently, the ability to edit professional-level video on the fly on these devices surpasses that of Windows machines.

Windows 11’s video encoding upgrade eligibility

But with the new DirectX 12 Video Encode feature in Windows 11, Microsoft says that PCs running Windows 11 will receive a boost to their video editing abilities. And that they will: The feature supports the popular HVEC and H264 codecs, which means Windows 11-powered PCs should be vastly more capable when it comes to handling pro-level video editing work. 

The feature is currently sat in preview and most modern graphics cards are supported. This includes GPUs and processors from AMD, Intel, and Nvidia. If you have an AMD device, you "will need Radeon RX 5000 series, Ryzen 2XXX series or greater to support Windows 11’s upgraded video encoding feature. If you’ve Intel hardware, you will need Tiger Lake, Ice Lake, and Alder Lake GPUs." Microsoft has the full breakdown on the changelog page linked above. 

Luke is a former news writer at T3 who covered all things tech at T3. Disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors (when not indoors messing around with gadgets), Luke wrote about a wide-array of subjects for T3.com, including Android Auto, WhatsApp, Sky, Virgin Media, Amazon Kindle, Windows 11, Chromebooks, iPhones and much more, too.