Four Things to Consider When Purchasing a Computer for Video Editing

In his book, “Essentialism,” Greg McKeown points out that since 1981, every film selected as Best Picture has also been nominated for Best Film at the Oscars.

Why is that the case?

McKeown argues that a “good editor is someone who uses deliberate subtraction to…add life to the ideas, setting, plot, and characters.”

At Vidionix, our video editing team plays an integral part in our day-to-day operations. Practically every service that we provide to our clients, whether it’s a commercial shoot, producing a virtual, hybrid, or in-person event, our editing team is always behind the scenes playing a significant role. Practically every service that we provide to our clients, whether it’s a commercial shoot, producing virtual, hybrid, or in-person events, our editing team is vital to the overall success of the project. But the reality is, you could have the best team of editors on the planet, but if they don’t have the proper technology to do their job, everything else goes out the window.

Here are 4 things we recommend considering before you purchase a computer for video editing:

1. Processor (CPU):

Video editing is a CPU-intensive task, so one of the first things we look for is the processor. When a task or applications (such as Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, or Camtasia) are CPU-intensive, meaning it requires the CPU (Central Processing Unit) to perform a large number of calculations or instructions in a short amount of time, which will cause the CPU to work very hard and will eventually slow down the overall performance of the computer, which is why we always look for multi-core processors.

Multi-core processors have multiple processing units (cores). Each core can perform calculations or instructions simultaneously, allowing the computer to handle multiple tasks at once without slowing down. It’s like having an assembly line, with each core doing their own jobs independently, leading to more efficient production.

No matter what editing you are doing, a quad core is the minimum recommended. For more complex video editing, we’d recommend 6-10 cores. Check out the AMD Ryzen 7000 Series Desktop Processor or the Intel Core i9-13900K Processor.

2. Random Access Memory (RAM):

RAM is the next thing you’ll want to consider. Video editing requires your computer to access a lot of data quickly. RAM provides a fast and temporary storage space for your computer to store and access data, so the more RAM you have, the faster your computer’s performance. In addition to having an impact on the overall performance, RAM will help with multitasking (using multiple tools simultaneously) without slowing down your computer. RAM also helps speed up the previewing and rendering process.

If you’re not planning to edit 8K files or work with motion graphics, 32GB is the optimal capacity of RAM a computer needs for video editing. 32GB will allow you do everything you need to edit videos, run multiple programs at once, all without slowing down your workflow.

3.Graphics card (GPU):

Everything has an acronym, right?

While video editing relies heavily on the CPU, a dedicated and powerful GPU can enhance your video editing experience in several ways, including:

Faster rendering
Because GPUs are specifically designed to process large amounts of data in parallel, they can render video files much faster than a CPU alone. Ultimately, this leads to less time waiting for your videos to finish rendering.

Real-time playback
A GPU enables smooth real-time playback of high-resolution and high-bitrate video files, preventing lag or stuttering during the editing process.

Effects and transitions
GPUs accelerate the computation of graphics-intensive tasks (visual effects, transitions, etc.) without slowing down your workflow.

Most consumer graphics cards these days have between 4 and 8 gigabytes of VRAM, with professional-grade cards often having even more. While 4GB is the minimum you should have, we’d recommend spending a little more money on the 8GB, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of editing and rendering. The two major graphics cards brands: Nvidia and AMD and their popularity is largely due in part to their CUDA technology, which is much faster in Adobe and other video editing programs.

4) Storage:

A minimum of 1TB of hard drive or SSD storage is recommended for video editing projects of any length and complexity. However, if you work with 8K resolution regularly, a larger drive will be necessary. While a 1TB storage device can accommodate up to 25 hours of 4K video, it may only hold around 83 minutes of 8K footage.

For Full HD video editing, 500GB of SSD storage (or HDD if speed improvement is not a priority) should suffice.

Fast storage is essential for video editing to allow quick access to large files and smooth playback. Use a combination of SSD (Solid State Drive) for your operating system, applications, and project files, and HDD (Hard Disk Drive) for storing raw footage and archived projects. Ensure there is enough storage capacity for your needs.

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