In terms of the digital world, a computer does not offer a one-size-fits-all solution. For instance, gaming computers require a certain collection of components and capabilities, such as capable graphics cards. Complex medical and physical simulations require similar types of components as a gaming computer might, but they require more resources. For instance, they might need a network of graphics cards and processors. Additionally, AI is increasingly requiring graphics cards specifically designed for AI. Finally, video editors require the best computer for video editing, and these have a specific set of components.
Such things as graphics cards are important, but other features, such as memory and vast storage, are also important.
Important Features For The Best Computer For Video Editing
Computers use memory called RAM, and they use it on the fly. Because it is used on an as-needed basis, it is important for it to be available when necessary. However, because multiple programs also use RAM, when a video-editing suite, such as Adobe Premier Pro, requires RAM, there might not be much available. Consequently, the program will run slowly–at best. When selecting a computer for video editing, look for one with as much RAM as you can afford.
Both standard-quality and high-resolution video can take up a lot of space. If you are editing multiple files for a single project, the storage requirements can be significant. If you are editing video on a commercial basis, using different files for different clients, the storage requirements for your source video can be immense.
Additionally, video editing software programs, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas, and After Effects create native project files. These files can be massive. Finally, in addition to these native files, these programs also create backup files of video and audio source files.
In effect, to edit one source file, whatever the size of that file, you need quadruple the space to store all the associated editing files these programs will create. Needless to say, you should look for a system with as much hard drive space as you can afford. Having a hybrid is a good idea. Not a hybrid drive – though these are ok – but rather a hybrid system. What I mean here, is having a large HDD for storage, and a good solid state drive (SSD) for fast OS and software loading.
Many video-editing programs do not use a computer’s independent graphics card. However, many are starting to use the graphics card in favor over the CPU. As such, you should find a graphics card with as many CUDA cores as possible. Both AMD Radeon and NVidia Geforce GTX offer a wide range of cards, from low to high-end.
In contrast to the graphics card, many software-editing suites use a processor. Often, they use a combination of the graphics card and the processor. As such, you should find a system with the fastest processor. Processor speed is measured in GHz, so look for one with the highest GHz. Additionally, selecting a system capable of being overclocked will also provide additional speed. If going for Intel, then the Intel core i7 or core i9 would be your best choice. The equivalent from AMD would also be beneficial. Make sure you go for a processor with plenty of cores, a 4 core processor (quad core) at least.
There are those that swear by the macOS, those that swear by Windows 10, and those by Linux. In truth, all have their advantages, their shortcuts, software and tailored commands when it comes to video editing. The general rule when choosing the best computer for video editing, for you, is to go with what you know. Go with the system where you can pick up commands comfortably and confidently. If you’ve ever tried to use Excel on Mac and then on Windows, you will know what i mean. That even small, subtle differences in how to execute a command can be very frustrating to get to grips with. So go with what you know.
Best Computer For Video Editing Reviews
Apple iMac (21.5″ Retina 4K display, 3.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB) – Silver (Latest Model)
iMacs and the macOS operating system, are known for their video-editing capabilities and represent some of the most popular choices among graphic designers and videographers. This model offers a blazing-fast, 3.0 GHz CPU. It offers 8GB RAM, so it meets the minimum requirements for all the video-editing programs. Additionally, the i5 CPU is a solid-performing, mid-range CPU capable of delivering all the speed you will need for fast compositing, previewing, and final rendering.
In terms of storage, it offers a 1TB hard drive. A video project can range in size from 100MB to several gigabytes, depending on the complexity. Regardless of average project size, this hard drive will be able to store several hundreds of such projects.
Of course, Macs are all-in-one units, and this one delivers stunning, 4K resolution, enabling you to take advantage of the latest resolutions being delivered by DSLRs, prosumer cameras, and smart phones.
- 4K screen
- 8GB RAM is on the low side, best to bump it up to 16GB of RAM minimum.
The Dell XPS7760 is a premium computer designed specifically for such things as video editing. Toward that end, it offers a 512GB SSD, which will provide enough space for video projects and enough speed for multi-tasking between video programs. In terms of processor speed, the i7 CPU will meet your needs–and them some.
In terms of SSDs, it is important to note just how good this option is. SSDs usually come in smaller sizes of 128GB or 256GB, and these smaller sizes do not allow for much storage. However, the 512GB SSD allows enough space for the computer’s core programs and enough space for video projects that are in process. Using the SSD for in-process projects will result in faster performance as SSDs are much faster than standard, mechanical hard drives.
The Dell XPS7760, however, maintains additional bragging rights. The 16GB RAM, for instance, is the ideal amount for people seeking a blend between performance and price. With 16GB RAM, you will have all the room you need–especially if you access the video-editing program’s preferences menu and set the memory allocation to 12GB. With this preference set, you will most likely never run out of memory.
Finally, the 4K touchscreen monitor offers beautiful resolution, a perfect capstone to an already excellent system.
- ideal blend of storage, memory, and monitor
- high-capacity SSD
- no secondary hard drive for archival storage
Of course, not all video-editing production computers come with high price tags. For instance, the Lenovo Ideacentre is an all-in-one capable of meeting your general-use video needs. For instance, 8GB RAM will meet the minimum requirements for such software packages as Premier Pro, and the 1TB hard drive will suffice as a program hard drive and storage drive.
The 10-point touch-enabled monitor allows you an intuitive method for maneuvering through programs and windows. Additionally, the Radeon R7 is a high-speed, generic-class graphics processing unit capable of providing high performance without becoming cost prohibitive. In terms of performance, the Radeon R7 is often compared with the Nvidia 1050, itself, a top-performing GPU.
Finally, the 2.7 GHz CPU will power you through all the stages of your editing needs.
- a solid, entry-level system
- all-in-one unit
- 8GB RAM might be slow for some projects
For video-editing professionals, it will be difficult finding a production computer more capable than the CPU Solutions Video Editing PC.
With 4TB storage capacity, this machine will provide ample room for some of the most complicated projects, involving multiple source recordings. Additionally, for in-process jobs, the 500GB NVMe SSD provides plenty of speed and storage. The Quadro RTX 4000 outclasses all other graphics processors below the Nvidia 1080–which means it outclasses most graphics cards in existence.
That said, with professional-class video projects comes the need for massive amounts of RAM–which is what this system delivers. With 32GB RAM, you will be able to edit complex, non-linear projects that involve a variety of special effects. Additionally, this system will allow you to easily edit 360-degree, virtual-reality videos–no problem.
Finally, to ensure you have enough processing power, this system comes with the Intel i9 CPU, the newest edition of Intel’s popular processors.
- professional-grade system
- 500GB NVMe SSD
- 4TB mechanical drive
- Quadro RTX 4000
- i9 CPU
- cost might be prohibitive for some users
The Adamant is another professional-grade, video-editing system. However, where others provide lots of components for traditional editing, the Adamant system offers everything you need for traditional and complex 3D-rendered videos.
3D rendering programs rely on the power of your graphics card. In this case, you can enjoy the RTX 2080ti–the fastest card on the planet.
Powering the graphics card is Intel’s i9 9900K 3.6 GHz processor. Again, this thing is fast. To ensure you have plenty of random-access memory, you start out with 32GB. However, this is upgradeable, should your needs dictate. Finally, your system is equipped with a 512GB SSD and a 5TB standard hard drive.
Okay, you can stop drooling.
- RTX 2080ti
- 512GB SSD
- 5TB standard drive
- i9 CPU
Note: large hard drives are tempting. However, it is often best to use two smaller ones. The reason two smaller ones are a better option is twofold. First, in terms of backup, your system files on one drive are safe should something happen to the other. Second, if you must rebuild your hard drive, formatting or backing up data for a 5TB drive can take a long time. With a smaller drive, you cut the time in half–or more.
The Pavilion Flagship by HP offers everything you need to edit video in standard programs, such as Premier Pro or Sony Vegas–without having to sacrifice your mortgage payment. The six-core, i5 CPU provides all the muscle most projects require, and the 8GB RAM can be upgraded to 16GB. This system can house an SSD of any capacity between 128GB and 1TB.
The Optane memory offers a sort of memory buffer that keeps video projects, settings, and your most frequently accessed files at the ready. Doing so helps reduce access time and buffer issues.
The 27-inch monitor is 1920 x 1080 resolution, which is high enough for you to see the smallest of detail. Additionally, high-resolution video on a 1920 x 1080 screen will look good on a variety of devices, such as phones, televisions, and even projector screens.
- lots of memory options
- Optane memory
- i5 CPU slower than some of the newer processors
Another top-tier system, the Apple iMac Pro offers premier video-editing solutions for serious editors. As opposed to consumer-grade processors, the eight-core XEON processor is a production processor. As such, it is designed for longer, more consistent run times and performance, respectively. Combined with a top-notch monitor and ample storage and memory, this system is a video-editing haven.
Technology is advancing, and the 5K, retina display proves this. While most machines are still quietly taking advantage of their 2K capabilities and others have progressed to 4K, this one is capable of working with video shot at the highest resolutions available.
In terms of memory, typically, 32GB RAM is the minimum amount necessary for professional production computers, making this system perfect for professional production. Additionally, it offers a 1TB SSD, the most longed-after SSD on the market. Finally, it comes with an additional processor, providing enough speed for any project in your queue.
- 5K monitor
- 32GB RAM
- 1TB RAM
- no backup SSD or standard drive
It might seem odd that a gaming laptop can double as a video-editing computer. However, this one is decked out with all the required components, allowing you to edit as you travel or while you are away at school. For instance, the Nvidia GTX 1060 is a top-tier graphics card capable of rending traditional 2D graphics as well as 3D renderings.
Additionally, the 16GB RAM provides enough room for previewing effects and outputting the final renders. Combined with the aforementioned 1060, you will be able to edit a variety of traditional video and virtual-reality video.
Finally, the six-core i7 will allow you to easily multi-task between video and sound-editing software as you complete your composites.
The GTX 1060 offers 1280 CUDA cores, and it is easily capable of rendering panoramic, virtual-reality video. The 256GB SSD accompanies a 2TB hard drive, providing all the storage needs your projects demand.
- additional hard drive options
- memory upgradeable to 32GB RAM
- 256GB SSD will need to be increased to 512GB for better storage and performance
For a compact, versatile video-editing solution, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 will not disappoint. Where many systems are designed for complex 3D projects, the Surface Pro 6 is designed more for video destined for social media. Such projects need to quickly accommodate smart-phone video footage and render the final video just as quickly. With all the minimum system requirements ready to go, this system is designed to do just that.
8GB RAM ensures your simple projects have all the space they need. Additionally, the i5 CPU is fast enough for basic multitasking. If the 128GB hard drive is not enough, additional options are available. For displaying your final output, the laptop easily converts into a table-top, full-screen viewer.
- upgradeable system
- i7 CPU option available
- versatile build
- portable editing system for social media
- no secondary hard drive
The ThinkPad Edge E580 is another portable video-editing solution, but its onboard features rival those of traditional desktops. For instance, the 500GB SSD is accompanied by a whopping 32GB RAM and a four-core i7 CPU.
Of course, the default components for this Lenovo are capable. However, perhaps the best thing about the Lenovo is that you can customize it pre-order. You can mix and max options, for instance, including RAM, CPU speed, and storage. The end result is a system that meets your production and price requirements.
- highly customizable
- 32GB RAM, default
- 500GB SSD, default
- i9 CPU not available
- GTX graphics card not available