PC Specs For Video Editing; A Comprehensive Guide

In Editing by Jacob GrozotisLeave a Comment

PC for video editing

PCs are the kings of video editing. Shopping for a PC for video editing can be hectic. On one hand, some people say that just about any Pc can do video editing. On the other, you might also be wary of speeds, and the fact that some video editing software run on heavy PC power. To cut you the chase, and give you a way forward, we have prepared this special and highly comprehensive guide on which specs to look out for when choosing your video editing workstation.

What are the best specs for a good PC for video editing? The minimum PC specs for video editing depends on the mode of editing you intend to use, and the type of editing software you have in mind.  However, for both online editing and, you need a minimum of the following specs

  • Operating system- Windows 7, 8 or 10. Linux
  • CPU Processor- Intel Core i7 2.3Ghz Quadcore or AMD Ryzen 5
  • RAM- At least 8GB
  • Storage capacity- At least 500 GB HDD capacity. More often, SSD is preferable due to faster running speeds.
  • Video Card-  It varies depending on the editing software in use. However, both NVIDIA GT750 and AMD work well.
  • Motherboard- While most stock PC motherboards don’t support third-party cards, some of them( especially those manufactured by Asus, Supermicro or Gigabyte) do
  • Screen size- For laptop PCS, anything between 13inches to 16 inches will do. For desktop PCs, taking a bigger monitor screen helps a lot
  • Screen resolution- 4K screens only. 1080p is about to be forgotten.

Despite all these specs, choosing a PC for video editing almost always comes down to your tastes.  Personal taste is the only reason why some people prefer PCs over Macs or vice versa. While talking of PCs and Macs, how about getting an in-depth assessment of how the two compare to each other here?

A Guide on The Best PCs For Video Editing

Specs tell half the story on what PCs are good for video editing. They should be the pivot upon which you base your choice of PC. However, talking about what specs are good for video editing, and which ones do not require us to go deeper into the personal PC territory.

First off, let’s get the gist, shall we?

Stock PC or Personal Build?

Stock PCs are our everyday Personal Computers. They are not any different. They look mundane if they are entry-level, and highly sophisticated if they are from higher up the price list.

A personal Personal build is a reserve of the guys with good technical know-how. If you know the most recent version of the NVIDIA Geoforce graphics card, you might fall through the cracks into this special cabal. A personally built PC will give you more space and power. Moreover, building one means that you know your way around your computer. Therefore, the fact that custom-built public computers are more powerful than your normal off the shelf laptop should be a no-brainer.

While I’m no expert in building my computers, I have seen quite a few great custom-built PCs. At the least, they are three times more powerful than my stock editing PC. They render heavy videos faster, have better cuts and generally outperform a stock PC on every other front. Besides that, building a PC from scratch might be cheaper than buying a stock piece.

The process of building a PC is a complicated one. You can check up some of the build components on this post here. For a standard build, you need time and a good budget. Some of the accessories don’t come cheap. However, patience pays off. A personally build PC is a powerhouse for video editors.

Things To Look Out For When Buying  A PC for Video Editing.

Storage

Nothing beats a good amount of storage capacity. Come to think of it, you can never have too much storage on a PC. However, the opposite is a reality. A small amount of storage will hurt your video editing. Moreover, it might also be more expensive in the long run, because you might buy more external storage to boost up what you have.

For most video editors, a minimum of 500GB of internal storage capacity should be adequate. This doesn’t mean, for anything, that 500GB is optimum. If you have the finances to support a larger storage space, I would advise you to skip the 500GB for something bigger. After all, having more storage space simply implies more space to store more videos, doesn’t it?

While space can be an issue, the mode of an issue can be a bigger one. For a good PC for video editing, using solid-state memory( SDD) rather than the conventional HDD hard disk is better. I won’t go into the storage and retrieval speed razzmatazz. For the short of it, SDD storage works faster than HDD. Under optimum conditions, SDD laptops run four times faster than HDD. Moreover, SDD storage has lower chances of crashing. In my time, I have had four HDD laptops crash on me, and only one SDD in comparison. Given the running power involved in video editing, it would be wiser to buy a PC with SDD storage, rather than HDD.

CPU

When we use the word, CPU, you might think this article is dedicated to desktop PCs. I couldn’t find a better word to use as a replacement for the  word”processor.” In any case, laptops have CPUs too, don’t they?

Video editing needs good processing power. Heavy processing power is a product of two things

  • RAM power- Which is all about your computer’s running speeds- For video editing, 8GB of RAM should work as a benchmark. However, going higher has more advantages. For instance, a PC with 16GB of RAM will do rendering at more than 1.5 times that with 8GB.
  • Processing power-  This is the crux of any computer. For video editing, you need anything above a Core i7 Quadcore processor( four processors) to manage the running of the heavy editing software. While some editing franchises would accept the use of Core i5 as a lower option, you might notice a general lack of speed while using a PC with such a processor. A minimum of 2.3Ghz processing speeds is also a requirement for most of the editing software.

If you engage in media editing, standard CPU power won’t cut it for you. In fact, using a CPU with the benchmark amount of power for editing might be detrimental to the whole of your work. For such work, get a CPU with running power that’s actually above what we gave here.

Screen size and Resolution

Most media screens today can easily support 1080p resolution.  However, I’m afraid that it doesn’t cut it when it comes to video editing.

First, more videos are shot in 4k as of today. While we have a higher number of 1080p videos in circulation, most people find it better to shoot in 4k, then cut down the resolution to 1080p while editing. I explained the whole 1080p vs 4k idea in this post.

4k editing needs a screen that can support 4k vision.  For laptops, finding a screen that supports 4k resolution is a straightforward thing. After all, any laptop with the specs to support video editing will also come with the screen to support the same. However, it gets a little complicated when you think about desktop PCs.

Most standard PC screens are cut from normal screens. This implies that they are scions of the 1080p generation. However, you should shop around for a different screen, until you find a good 4K monitor.

Size also matters in video editing. A bigger screen gives you more surface to play around with a different perspective. However, a video editor who’s always on the move would prefer a laptop with a 14-inch screen, because it means less weight and easier packing. On the other hand, bigger screens show the video in more resolution. There’s also more surface for color concentration on bigger screens.

Personal hack- Whenever I need to use a bigger screen for editing, I simply connect my laptop to a 4K television. TVs are built to provide more resolution because media editing does not cover for the small scale issues. You should try it. However, this will mean that you have to get a quality HDMI cable to connect your laptop to the TV, or a good remote connection.

Graphics Card

professional gaming graphic card, white background

More often than not, we forget to talk about the place of a great graphics card when guiding someone on what PC to take. While it’s not much of a crucial thing, a video card is sometimes the line between flawless rendering and multiple scuttled efforts at doing it.

There are only two options when talking about graphics cards. You either are a member of the NVIDIA Geoforce band, or you are a fan of AMD.

In the past, NVIDIA was the definite king of the graphics streets. The Geoforce cards powered a whole lot of PCs. This dominance was more or less based on the use of the CUDA acceleration system. However, AMD caught up with the NVIDIA dominance after a while.

While choosing graphics cards, the choice of video editing software should be at the top of your mind. For instance, Adobe and its affiliate Software has a slight leaning towards the use of NVIDIA cards. This means that you might get better service from Adobe if you choose a PC with NVIDIA rather than AMG.

If you’re doing heavy editing,  you should also think about getting a more powerful graphics card. Here’s the thing; stock graphics cards are not as powerful as they are made to appear. They end up struggling with heavy rendering. However, upgrading from the stock card is a great idea. Though powerful cards like the RTX 2080 Ti will cost you more cash, they will also help you achieve better edits in the long run.

Battery Power

You won’t see this as part of the introductory slug for several reasons. Here are a handful of them

  • Batteries don’t actually affect your editing. They are more of accessory parties to the whole job.
  • I thought about desktops, which have no batteries.

When talking about battery power, it essentially means that we have to go in for a laptop PC, doesn’t it? I prefer them to desktops because laptops can be thrust into a backpack, and hauled around. Any kind of editing will drain away from your battery power. In fact, editing does more harm to your battery power than brute-force coding. For this reason, you need a battery that can hold on for as long as you’re editing, or longer if need be.

The Five Best Stock  Laptop PCs for Video Editing

Since more than 80% of your normal video producers do not know to roll up their sleeves and build their PCs for Video Editing, showing them a few examples of the best stock PCs for video editing should be a good idea.

You could also buy a prebuilt desktop PC, but you will have to also add the cost of a good screen (for accurate color) and keyboard + mouse.

Outside of Macs, the following Laptops are good enough for video editing :

Acer Predator Helios

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" Full HD IPS, Intel i7 CPU, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, GeForce GTX 1060-6GB, VR Ready, Red Backlit KB, Metal Chassis, Windows 10 64-bit, G3-571-77QK

I had this at the top of my list for the same reason as any other photographer. It’s the laptop at the top of my bucket list. While it’s dubbed as a premium gaming laptop, it does equally well with video editing.

If Macs are the Lamborghinis of the video editing computers, the Acer Predator Helios should be the Bughattis. They are powerful, good looking. The Helios has 16GB of RAM. It also runs on an eighth-generation Core i7 quadcore processor with 2.9Ghz of processing power.

One good thing about this laptop is the storage capacity. 2 Terrabytes of SSD memory is way beyond what we wanted for a good PC for video editing, isn’t it? However, you can get laptops with lower amounts of storage space should your budget call for it.

For screen resolution, more recent productions support 4k. However, the older more common versions can only hold full 1080p. Given the 15.6 inches screen size, the 1080p resolution is still good enough for continuous editing and rendering.

Lenovo Yoga

Lenovo Yoga 730 13 - 13.3" Touch FHD - i5-8250u - 8GB - 256GB SSD - Platinum

We all know how good the Lenovo Yoga is.  Someone said that Yoga is a good laptop undergoing some form of an identity crisis. It doesn’t know whether it should be a high-end and extremely powerful laptop, or it should remain as a laptop by word.

All that said, this laptop is probably one of the best touchscreen laptops ever produced. Come to think of it, it probably provides real value for all the money you fork out to purchase it. With its slim 15 inch screen, it provides quality HD video definition without losing the chic look that makes it a constant among highly-priced Dells, Macs and Windows laptop Pcs

The Lenovo Yoga is super light.  This is the reason why I would recommend it for a videographer who considers themselves as digital nomads. In case you want to carry enough power to render an hour’s worth of videos without feeling the weight in your backpack, get the Lenovo Yoga by all means.

Dell XPS 16

Dell XPS 15 15.6-Inch Full HD Laptop (Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core Processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB Solid State Drive, Windows 10 Home)

This laptop is not famous for video editing. In fact, the only relationship it has to video editing is the fact that video editors seem to have stolen it from gamers and country-hopping CEOS. In retrospect, the Dell XPS is a perfect laptop for that lifestyle. It’s super slim, super chic and extremely powerful.

While it’s price will make you gawk if you’re not making enough money to compete with PewDiePie or Ben Brown, it provides enough value for the price to be forgotten somewhere along the way.

With its extreme screen size to body ratio(95%), you will be a point of focus among groups of people whenever you pull it out to work. However, the slim shape shouldn’t lie to you. Beneath the aluminum body is enough processing power( 10th Gen Core 17) and a large space to store your videos.

Asus ROG Zephyrus

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 Gaming Laptop, 17.3” 144Hz Pantone Validated Full HD IPS, GeForce RTX 2080, Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 16GB DDR4, 1TB PCIe NVME SSD Hyper Drive, Windows 10 Pro-GX701GX-XS76

Asus has always been the rogue gatecrasher in PC circles. Whenever the rest produce laptops, which they presume are cutting edge, Asus comes around and throws the whole hype under the bus with a better version of the same.

primarily, the ROG Zephyrus is a gaming laptop. Though its a recent entrant into the market, it has certainly made enough fans to qualify into any list where gaming laptops are involved. Since gaming laptops are often the most powerful options in the market, they also easily conquer the rest when it comes to video editing.

The main reason for the inclusion of the Asus Zephyrus here is its cooling properties. I think the laptop packs the fans of a refrigerator below its hood. Even under long, strenuous editing and rendering, the bottom layer of the laptop does not get warm. It literally defines the word “Cool.”

Besides the cooling properties, it also has amazing power, great processing speed, and a huge storage space in case you decide to share the laptop with hardcore gamers.

HP Envy 2019

HP ENVY 13 Inch Thin Laptop w/ Fingerprint Reader, 4K Touchscreen, Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250 Graphics, 16GB SDRAM, 512GB SSD, Windows 10 Home (13-aq0044nr, Natural Silver)

We can’t have a conversation about Laptop Pcs without throwing in the world’s biggest PC producer, can we? Although it doesn’t raise the amount of furor and admiration which the rest draw, the HP envy packs just enough power to do everything that the rest do, without calling for exorbitant prices during the purchasing stage. The current HP Envy has an elegant design, great storage capacity, and moderately good processing speeds. More importantly, it can be your fallback option if your pockets can’t support all the other four high-end options.

Wrap Up

PC specs are crucial when choosing a PC. The specs are what engine capacities and top speeds are to cars. Before taking out money to purchase a PC, check the specs to confirm whether it will manage all your video editing. However, Now that we know how to go about shopping for a good PC for video editing, it shouldn’t be hard to choose. After all, you know what to look out for.

Nice PC shopping.

About the Author

Jacob Grozotis

Jake(me) is a fan of photography, traveling writing, and free food. He has been behind the camera for more than ten years of his 29-years of life.

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