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CyberLink PowerDirector Review | PCMag | Topdeblogs

Badge Art CyberLink’s PowerDirector video editing software bridges the gap between professional editing and consumer-friendliness. It has often been ahead of pro products with support for new formats and new technologies. It also loaded with tools that help you put together a compelling digital movie, complete with transitions, effects, and titles. Best of all, it’s easy to work with and fast at rendering. PowerDirector is the prosumer video editing software to beat.

As with Adobe’s Creative Cloud and Microsoft’s Office 365, new features now appear throughout the year for subscribers to the 365 version of PowerDirector and the larger Director Suite 365, which includes photo and audio software. CyberLink adds features, effects, and improvements at a dizzying pace, as you can see from PowerDirector’s new features page. The previous version saw a new vector shape designer, nested video capabilities, dual video preview, and support for pro video formats, among many other updates.

The latest major version of the video editor, PowerDirector 19, brings Photoshop-like selection tools to video, access to royalty-free stock video and images from Shutterstock, better color matching and keyframing, and a streamlined interface.

Earlier versions added a raft of 360-degree capabilities, including stabilization, motion tracking, titles, transitions, and View Designer for cool effects like Little Planet. Other standout features include LUT (lookup table) filter support (and many included LUT effect filters), split toning, HDR effects, animated picture-in-picture templates, and automatic audio ducking.

How Much Does PowerDirector Cost?

PowerDirector runs on Windows 7 through Windows 10, with 64-bit versions required; you’ll need a minimum of 4GB RAM and at least a 128 MB VGA VRAM graphics card. A macOS version arrived in 2021, which I discuss below; it requires OS X 10.14 or later and runs on both Intel and Apple Silicon M1-based Macs.

You can try out the software with a 30-day downloadable trial version that adds brand watermarks and doesn’t support 4K. Two editions of the standalone video editor are available, the $99.99 Ultra and the $129.99 Ultimate, reviewed here. (Note that those prices are often discounted.) Another option is to bundle it with CyberLink’s ColorDirector, AudioDirector, and PhotoDirector in the Director Suite bundle, which is only available as a subscription for $29.99 per month or $129.99 for a year. Finally, you can get PowerDirector alone as a $69.99-per-year or $19.99-per-month subscription (often discounted). Both subscriptions get you regular updates with new effects, plug-ins, and music samples.

The higher-end options add loads of third-party special effects from the likes of BorixFX, NewBlue, and proDAD. To see exactly which is in each edition, go to CyberLink’s comparison page. The pricing is competitive with that of Premiere Elements ($99.99), Corel VideoStudio ($99.99), and Magix Movie Studio ($79.99). A couple of annoyances are that the program adds lots of program icons to your start menu and that you can’t upgrade the free trial to the paid version—you must redownload and reinstall.

CyberLink Application Manager

Installing the program takes up over a gigabyte of your hard drive, so be sure to use a machine with room to spare. I tested the Ultimate edition on my Asus Zen AiO Pro Z240IC running 64-bit Windows 10 Pro. Director Suite 365 subscribers get the Application Manager applet shown above, which not only lets you install and update the suite apps, but also offers content packs like the new Bloggers Social Media pack, with new PiP, title, and particle templates.

After optionally signing in to a CyberLink online account, the program asks whether you want to optimize GPU hardware acceleration. I can’t think of any reason not to, unless you don’t want the program to work as quickly as possible! The startup splash screen (below) has been clarified, no longer including a beautiful but distracting image background. It does now offer alluring links to CyberLink’s Instagram posts.

Video Editing Interface

The program’s user interface is about as clear and simple as a program with such a vast number of options can be, but it can still get overwhelming when you’re deep in the weeds of fine-tuning video or audio effects. It’s not quite as simple and friendly as Adobe Premiere Elements or Ashampoo Movie Edit Pro, however, but that’s because it offers more capabilities. The latest version cuts down on clutter, for example, removing the Capture from a main mode button to a menu option. You can see a bunch more interface updates on CyberLink’s help site for the program.

PowerDirector Welcome Screen

You start off in a Welcome screen offering big button options of Full Mode, Storyboard Mode, and Slideshow Creator. Two additional choices include Auto Mode and Learning Center—all these modes are self-explanatory.

PowerDirector interface

If you don’t need or want all these choices every time you start the program, a simple Always Enter Full Mode checkbox is for you. On this welcome screen, you can also choose your video project’s aspect ratio—16:9, 4:3, and a 9:16 tall mode, since people still haven’t learned to hold their phones sideways for videos.

The PowerDirector editing interface maintains the traditional source and preview split panels on the top, with your track timeline along the whole width of the bottom of the screen. You can now have two video preview windows—one for the source and one for the movie, which saves you from having to switch a single preview window between those two functions.

The storyboard view is more than just clip thumbnails. You can drag transitions between clips, apply effects, and add audio clips without switching to timeline view. I like the search box for media and the buttons at the top of the source panel for showing just video, just photos, or just audio in the source panel. Buttons link to video tutorials that pop up in the upper-right corner based on your current activity.

Four mode choices line up at the top: Capture, Edit, Produce, and Create Disc. The timeline is easy to customize and navigate, with a button for adding tracks. You’re allowed up to 100 tracks. Vegas Movie Studio limits you to 10 tracks (200 if you upgrade to the Platinum level), which is already probably more than most people need, though not enough for high-end projects.

The Edit mode is where you spend most of your time, and you can drag media directly onto its source panel or even onto the timeline. You can tag media, and each project retains its own set of content, but you don’t get bins, which bring together all the assets for your project, including transitions and effects, as you do with the pro-level products and Pinnacle Studio. You can, however, pack project assets into a folder, and use the Nested Project capability, discussed below.

By default, you get three pairs of video and audio tracks with CyberLink, as well as effects, title, voice, and music tracks. You can switch the layer order of the tracks to your preference—in some video editing apps (including previous versions of PowerDirector), lower objects the timeline appear on top of higher tracks, and on others it’s just the opposite. For me, it does make sense to have what appears on top in the video above in the timeline. Now you can choose whichever you’re more comfortable with. You can also lock, disable/enable view, or rename tracks from the left track-info area, and you can even use drag and drop to move them up and down on the timeline. Zooming the timeline in and out is also a snap, either with Ctrl-Mouse wheel or a slider control.

PowerDirector for Mac

Users of Apples Mac computers can finally take advantage of a good amount of PowerDirector’s multitude of effects, editing tools, and format support. An annual subscription plan costs $69.99, which, just like the Windows version, is often discounted. Also as under Windows, you install the Application Manager app. Unfortunately it’s not available from the Mac App Store—you have to go to Cyberlink’s site. The software runs on macOS 10.14 and later and on both Intel and ARM-based Macs with Rosetta support.

PowerDirector for Mac

The interface is nearly identical with that of the Windows version, and you get a surprising number of editing and effect features. These include up to 100 tracks on the timeline, transitions, effects (including LUT support and lens profiles), speed changing, PiP Designer, Particles (think rain and falling leaves), and keyframe control. You get greenscreen chroma keying, voiceover recording, and titles and subtitles.

The Mac version does offer some color grading tools, but there’s no color matching or dedicated ColorDirector program. Nor do you get motion tracking, stabilization, 360-degree, 3D, or multicam capabilities.

Performance on my test 3.1GHz MacBook with Intel Core i5 and 8GB RAM gave me nothing to complain about. Adding long clips, applying transitions, and previewing everything went well, without any noticeable delays. Even a PiP sequence with four overlaid clips previewed smoothly.

A quick rendering test using the same media as I use for the Windows version (see Performance section below) took just 57 seconds on the Mac, compared with 1:32 (min:sec) on the PC. The same project took iMovie 1:26, though that program wouldn’t let me export my project to 1080p, only to 720p, so it’s not quite comparable. It’s a testament to CyberLink’s hardware acceleration chops that its software beats Apple’s own app even at higher-resolution output.

Output options are excellent, with support for HEVC, MKV, MP4, M2TS, and XAVC S, along with easy output formatting for YouTube and Vimeo. You get CyberLink’s fast video rendering technology with hardware acceleration, but there’s no DVD authoring or burning capabilities—things YouTubers could care less about, but wedding hobbyists may still want.

Basic Video Editing

As with most nonlinear video editing software, PowerDirector lets you join and trim clips on the timeline. If you drag a clip to the end of the timeline, it firmly snaps next to the existing clip. If you drag onto the middle of the movie, a you see a tooltip with five options: Overwrite, Insert, Insert and Move All Clips, Crossfade, and Replace. If you use the Insert button that appears below the source panel when you select a clip, you can get your clip lined up without any fuss.

CyberLink PowerDirector timeline

The Trim tool (opened with a scissors icon) allows precise control (down to the individual frame) with two sliders, and the multi-trim tool lets you mark several In and Out points on your clip—a useful tool for cutting out the chaff.

CyberLink PowerDirector trim tool

The Precut tool lets you work on source clips before you add them to the timeline, as you can in Final Cut Pro X and Premiere Pro. This is how pro editors work, so it’s good to see CyberLink add the capability. In previous versions, you couldn’t do trimming until after you dropped a clip onto the timeline, which left professionally trained editors scratching their heads. You can either do a simple in-and-out trim to create a single trimmed clip, or use PowerDirector’s wonderful Multi-Trim tool to create multiple Precut clips.

You use PowerDirector’s unique and intuitive selection cursor to split video and delete sections. Fix/Enhance options also include video denoise, audio denoise, and enhancements to punch up color and sharpness. PowerDirector also makes it easy to fix lighting and color. You can independently adjust the brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, sharpness, and white balance.

Assisted Movie Making

One of the best things to come to home video editors in recent years was pioneered by Apple with the Trailers feature of the Mac’s included iMovie app. Premiere Elements has a similar Video Story feature. With either of these, you fill templates in with video and photo content that meets the needs of a spot in the production, such as Group shot, close-up, or Action shot. These are elaborated with transitions and background music that match your chosen theme. PowerDirector has a similar tool, Express Project, which you can enter directly from the program startup panel.

Express Project joins another similar tool, the Magic Movie Wizard, which takes you through five steps: importing source content, adjusting that content, previewing, and producing. You can download nearly 50 Express Projects from, CyberLink’s Web resource site. Unlike the similar iMovie tool, PowerDirector requires you to add your own background music—there are no canned scores in the wizard or for Express Projects.

An Express Project only requires two steps: Dragging an Opening, Middle, and Ending onto the timeline, and filling the resulting clip tracks with your media. It’s nowhere near as intuitive or clear as Apple iTunes’ Trailers feature or Adobe Premiere Elements’ Video Story feature. But it does offer guidance in crafting a digital movie, it is actually more customizable, and the results look pretty cool.

Stock Material from ShutterStock

Shutterstock in CyberLink PowerDirector

Subscribers to PowerDirector 365 or Director Suite 365 (which CyberLink representatives told me account for the majority of customers now) can get professionally created video, photo, and audio content from well-known stock supplier ShutterStock. A Shutterstock thumbnail now appears in the source panel. Clicking on this opens the stock search window. You can use search terms to find an appropriate clip, picture, or sound sample. Clicking on the thumbnail of one you’re interested in opens the full (watermarked) image in your default web browser. Note that you don’t get the entire library of Shutterstock—a search for pizza only turned up 15 video clips, while the Shutterstock site has hundreds. Of course, you’d pay a lot more for access to the full selection. Shutterstock licenses start at $99 per month for use of just five clips.

Working With 360-Degree Footage

When you add a 360-degree clip to your project, PowerDirector pops up a dialog box asking whether you want your output to be 360 or 2D. If you choose the latter, the View Designer window opens, which let you choose the resulting movie’s point of view. You can move the angle around in this window’s preview in three axes (x, y, and z) with the mouse pointer.

360 degree editing inCyberLink PowerDirector

Clicking on up, down, left, or right arrow alters your point of view, and clicking the center of the arrow control snaps the view to straight on. You can zoom the view, and very usefully, use keyframes to automatically switch from one viewpoint to another. That last option can take advantage of the Ease In option, which makes the motion more naturally accelerate and decelerate, rather than happening mechanically.

A cool effect I first saw on Vimeo, is produced by the Little Planet dropdown in the View Designer. This takes 360-degree content and realigns it so that the ground is shaped like a ball that any people in the video are walking around. Drag on the image downward and you can create the opposite type of world, sometimes called a rabbit hole in which the inhabitants are on the inside of a sphere. A cool option is to use keyframes to rotate the world smoothly.

tiny planet in CyberLink PowerDirector

Stabilization and, remarkably, motion tracking can also be applied to your 360-degree videos. CyberLink has really pushed the envelope with these first-mover features. When I tested 360 stabilization in the last version, I could not get good stabilization results in footage from my Samsung Gear 360, but when I tried sample shaky footage from CyberLink’s Steven Lien, the feature worked well. The program’s Enhanced VR Stabilizer gives you even more controls to adjust the stabilization effect.

For projects that you intend to output in 360-degree format, you can still use the basic trimming, splitting, and joining editing tools, but there are a bunch of PowerDirector features you cannot use: Magic Movie, video cropping (think about it), and content-aware editing. You also cannot successfully mix non-360 content into a 360 project.

Once you’ve edited the content to taste, you output to H.264 AVC .MP4 format, and H.265 HEVC. Alternatively, you can upload directly to Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo.

Action Camera Tools

Action Camera tools in CyberLink PowerDirector

PowerDirector can of course import and edit footage from GoPro cameras, as well as from other action cameras from the likes of Sony, Kodak, and Ion. The dedicated Action Camera Center under the Designer button menu appears when you select a clip. This offers effects like camera-profile-based corrections for fisheye distortion, vignette, camera shake, and color. It also includes effects favored by action cam users, such as freeze-frame and time-shifts like slowdowns, speedups, and replays.

Motion Tracking

Motion tracking lets an object, text, or effect follow around something moving in your video. You pick the Motion Tracker choice from the same Tools menu as the Action Camera, after selecting a clip in the timeline. The tool makes tracking an object and adding a title, effect, or even another media clip a simple three-step process. You start by positioning a target box on the object you want tracked, then press the Track button, which runs through the video while following your boxed object. And then you choose what you want to follow the tracked object.

The tracker lost track of my subject’s face when he turned around, a common limitation in such tools. I fixed this pretty easily by stopping the tracking, realigning the box, and starting tracking again. It’s easier to get a track correct than in Corel VideoStudio. Adobe Premiere Elements’ motion tracking tool also lost track of a skateboarder in my test footage when he passed behind a pole.

Motion Tracking in CyberLink PowerDirector

For attaching text to motion-tracked objects in PowerDirector, you can easily attach a mosaic, spotlight, or blur effect, and you get a good choice of many fonts, colors, and sizes. You can even rotate the text with a handle. One thing I’d like to be able to add, however, is a speech bubble, something offered by Adobe and Corel.

Color Tools

The included Color Match option is important for movies shot at different angles with different equipment and lighting. It appears when you have two clips selected. You scrub to the frame in each that you want to match. It did a spotty job in my tests with scenery and décor, sometimes not applying a darker look when my source clip was darker than my target. The tool could benefit from face detection, as it didn’t match skin tones between clips very well. Thankfully, CyberLink adds the ability to adjust matched colors in the latest release, version 19. Color matching is apparently hard to do; when Final Cut Pro X first introduced the feature, it was similarly deficient, later to be greatly improved.

The support for LUTs, or lookup tables, can give your movie a uniform look by applying a color mood like those you see in the cinema—for example, the cool blue look of The Revenant. PowerDirector uses the alternate acronym in its interface—CLUT, for color lookup table. The program supports a healthy number of file formats, including 3DL, CSP, CUBE, M3D, MGA, RV3DLUT, and VF. CyberLink now offers a decent selection of LUT packs, so you’re no longer on your own in finding them. I was successfully able to test LUT support using Kodak film-style and day-for-night LUTs from Adobe Premiere Pro.

3D lighting effects in CyberLink PowerDirector

For a higher level of color grading, use the Director Suite’s included ColorDirector application. This now lets you do cool effects like shining a light source from a 3D point of your choice (see above), in addition to standard color grading functions.

Multicam Editing

With so many people shooting events simultaneously with their HD camera phones, multicam is no longer just for professionals. PowerDirector allows up to 100 multicam tracks, but what this really means is that you can sync that many tracks by audio in the main timeline. The actual multicam-switching interface still just has four video sources.

For synchronization, you get a choice of Audio Analysis (the best choice for amateurs), Manual, Timecodes, File Created Time, and Markers on Clips. When I used Audio Analysis, my two clips synced perfectly. The program lets you choose which track’s audio should be used, or you can import a separate audio track. Hitting Record played all angles synchronized, letting me switch among them. The tool creates sub-clips labeled 1 to 4 for the camera angles, with adjustable split points.

When you’re done cutting, the clip sequence appears on the regular timeline. Subclips are in separate tracks, but you can’t adjust the cut points there without losing footage and messing up the synchronization. The multicam designer itself lets you adjust these. Thankfully, you can also reopen a multicam sequence in the designer after you’ve sent it to the timeline. In all, it’s a well-done and powerful tool.

Near-Pro Video Editing

Nested Projects

Both Adobe Premiere Pro an Apple Final Cut Pro X let you combine edited groups of clips and move them around as a unit. PowerDirector’s Nested Projects feature adds this capability. To use it, you simply create a new project, and drop an existing one onto the timeline. This creates a tabbed interface above the timeline, which lets you edit the nested project separately from within the new main project. You can also treat an inserted nested project as a PiP.

Keyframes, Effects, and Transitions

Keyframes in CyberLink PowerDirector

If you’re into keyframe editing (which allows precise control over when effects begin and end based on exact frames you choose) PowerDirector is there for you. It offers picture-in-picture (PiP), overlays, motion, cropping, and time codes. All effects and adjustments can be pegged to keyframes. New for version 19 is the ability to edit the anchor point and to use Hold mode, which stops the progression temporarily for a jumpy effect.

You also get more than 100 transitions and special effects to choose from, including ten from NewBlue. And the app lets you install third-party effect plug-ins from Pixelan and ProDAD. CyberLink often adds hot new transitions, the latest being shape, distortion, and glitch transitions.

Transitions are easy to add, and the program can decide what material before and after to use when you drop this kind of effect to a join line between clips. A search box lets you find a specific type, like Page Curl. And you can even create custom transitions using your images with the Alpha set of transitions, which rely on masking and transparency. It’s fun to make a transition out of a friend’s head, as shown below.

Custom mask transitions in CyberLink PowerDirector

Chroma Keying

PowerDirector’s chroma-key tool lets you shoot someone with solid-color backgrounds (usually green) and create the appearance that they’re in an exotic scene by choosing a different background. CyberLink has simplified the controls from four to two: Now there are just Color Range and Denoise controls. You can now add more than one color key, too. I tried this with an orange and gray background and with a yellow and gray background. These color choices showed me why pros use green: The orange background keyed out my subject’s lips, and it was harder to get the correct mask.

Chroma Key in CyberLink PowerDirector

With a greenscreen, the keying worked well. Even in the default mode, I noticed none of the green halo I sometimes see around test subjects in other programs.

Video Masks

Video Masks in CyberLink PowerDirector

The Mask Designer lets you add transparency to mask objects (including your own images) and text. The tool receives a big update in version 19, with new tools for creating a mask with a brush or by defining vertex selection points. A feather feature lets you blend the mask into the background video for a ghostlike effect. These are fun effects, and as with just about all the others, you can use keyframes to gradually ease in and out of these mask effects. But you can’t use them for motion tracking, as you can with Adobe Premiere Elements’ new masking tool.


Motion titles in CyberLink PowerDirector

Beyond simple static text, the Title Designer offers custom and preset motion possibilities. You get fire, electric waves, and neon, along with a good selection of fly-in animations. Two-color gradients, lighting, and glow are at your disposal. These can give those weekend trip videos George Lucas-style blockbuster opening credits. You can also put boxes around text to get a button, which you could use as your Subscribe button on online media. New for version 19 is the ability to edit the colors in motion title templates, and even use an eyedropper to match a color, for example, of a logo.

Picture-in-Picture Editing

Picture-in-picture in CyberLInk PowerDirector

The program offers preset PiP grids—from 2 by 2 to 10 by 10—and your clip tracks snap to fill the resulting spaces. The PiP Designer window makes creating PiP movies simpler than in any competing app. Some competitors can only preview these types of movies with stop-and-start, jerky playback.

An easier way to create PiP effects is with the Video Collage tool. You access the Video Collage Designer from the Plug-ins menu item. This opens a new window that shows templates with your clips on the side. You simply drag and drop the latter into the former, and you get a nifty styled and animated picture-in-picture.

Another PiP-ish feature is the Shape Designer, which you get to via the Video Overlay (PiP Objects) Room. This lets you customize shapes starting from squares, ovals, or speech bubbles. But it doesn’t let you draw a shape in freehand. For that, you can use the program’s Paint Designer, which shows your painting, animated.

Screen Capture

PowerDirector includes a powerful screen capture tool

PowerDirector includes a powerful screen capture tool that lets you include a picture-in-picture view of simultaneous webcam recordings. You can size the resulting PiP image to taste and lock it to an app window. The utility’s Game mode will appeal to YouTubers who want to show off their skills. A Time Limit option makes sure you don’t record until your hard disk overflows with video data.

AI Styles

AI painting style filters were popularized by the iPhone app called Prisma. PowerDirector offers plugins that perform similar magic on you video clips. Four packs of these AI styles are included: Chinese Painting, Van Gogh, Impressionists 1 (Manet), and Impressionists 2 (Monet). CyberLink plans to produce new AI packs on a monthly basis for subscribers. Note that they’re not small, some at over a gigabyte download size.

You don’t get to these styles from the Effects tab, but from the Plugins menu choice. (Effects already include non-AI Chinese Painting). The styles open a new window, where you need to open the clip for the effect again. So it’s not really integrated into the editor as the old Effects are, which work right on timeline clips selected.

PowerDirector AI Styles

The effects, like those from Prisma, are quite entrancing and beautiful. I do wish you could adjust their strength with a slider, but I guess that’s up to the AI, rather than my inferior intelligence. You can trim the clip you’re applying the effect to, and then you hit the Transform button. It’s not superfast: A 16-second clip took 2 minutes to transform.

4K Video Editing

PowerDirector supports 4K video content. The software supports XAVC-S standard of 4K and HD videos used in Sony cameras and camcorders. This joins support for Canon 1DC, JVC HMQ-10, and GoPro Hero3 4K content.

In editing Go Pro 4K footage, performance is better than I expected, not even slowing down with complex transitions. Being first with 4K capability is a real feather in CyberLink’s cap, but most competing products, such as Corel VideoStudio, also now support 4K. New for version 18 is the ability to actually preview in 4K, as opposed to viewing a reduced resolutions to speed up editing. You’d only want to do this if your PC has high-spec components and a lot of RAM, however.


Audio tracks in the timeline by default show waveform lines, and you can turn up and down volume by grabbing and dragging them. The sound plays as you scrub in the timeline, which is helpful for locating a part of your movie based on acoustic events. The Audio Room, a simple track-volume mixer, features Normalize buttons for each track to even out clip sound levels.

It’s also easy to create voiceovers with the Voice-Over Recording Room, accessible from a tab sporting a microphone icon. The included Audio Editor lets you correct distortion, equalize, generate reverb, and apply a few special effects. It also includes VST plug-in support for third-party effects.


You get loads of canned background music, and the standard video editor includes beat detection, which puts markers on the timeline at music beats so you can synchronize clip action.

For advanced mixing, recording, syncing, cleaning, and restoration, there’s AudioDirector (included with the Ultimate Suite edition). With this separate app offers round-trip editing from PowerDirector. It lets you easily apply effects and fixes that are preserved when you later open them in PowerDirector. New for the latest version is the impressive ability to remove vocals from music and apply de-reverb. You can also change pitch and remove wind noise—a common need for amateur video.

Auto Remix fits soundtrack music to your video length. It can take any song, analyze it, and often convincingly shorten or lengthen it. But you need to manually enter the new length time; it doesn’t bring your movie in for automatic fitting. You can see where the edit occurred with a squiggly line. Listening to the result, I couldn’t tell that the music had been cut at that point.

Automatic ducking doesn’t add quacks to your soundtrack. Instead, it automatically lowers background audio during dialog on another track. It didn’t do much for a loud concert video on top of an interview but worked better with a standard background track.


CyberLink’s investment in 64-bit optimizations and graphics hardware acceleration has paid off. Other speed-boosters include OpenCL (Open Computing Language) support and intelligent SVRT, which determines how your clips should be rendered for the best-quality output and fastest editing. In my latest round of performance testing, the program remains faster than any other consumer video editing software I’ve reviewed.

We test rendering time by creating a movie consisting of five clips of mixed types (some 1080p, some SD, some 4K) with a standard set of transitions and rendering it to 1080p30 MPEG-4 at 15.5Mbps, H.264 High Profile. Audio is set to MPEG AAC Audio: 384 Kbps. I tested on my home workstation, a PC with a 3.4GHz Core i7 6700 CPU, 16GB RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB GDDR5 RAM, running 64-bit Windows 10 Pro.

The test movie (whose duration is just under 5 minutes) took just 1:32 (minutes:seconds) for PowerDirector to render. Pinnacle Studio took 1:45, and Adobe Premiere Elements held up the rear with 4:01. That’s even after I switched my graphics card to one that Premiere Elements explicitly supports. I’ll update this with more comparisons as I perform new tests on the work-from-home system. During rendering, PowerDirector also shows you the time elapsed, time remaining, and the frame in the movie the process is currently rendering, a great help if you want to know how long a job to expect.

Real Power for Your Video Editing

PowerDirector continues to lead the way among consumer video editing software. It continues to get closer to the pro-level software. There isn’t room here to discuss the entire vast feature set, including slideshows, disc menus, 3D editing, screen recording, content-aware features, and animated object design tools to name just a few. Its wealth of powerful tools would be enough to earn it a strong recommendation, but the combination of that with the fastest rendering speed really give it the upper hand. A new macOS version is yet another feather in its cap. CyberLink PowerDirector 19 Ultimate remains PCMag’s Editors’ Choice for enthusiast-level video-editing software, along with Corel VideoStudio and, for Mac users, Apple Final Cut Pro X.

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