Best Computer for Video Editing [2020 Guide]

CG Director Author Alex Glawion  by Alex Glawion   ⋮   ⋮   440 comments
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Best Computer for Video Editing [2020 Guide]

Video Editing – One of the most popular things you can do on a Computer or Workstation.

No wonder so many people are looking for the perfect Machine for their Video Editing needs. A specialized and optimized Computer for Video Editing can save you time, a lot of frustration and in the long run, lots of money.

The great thing about Video Editing is, it has become so accessible, that you can now even edit Videos on a Laptop.

Back in the old days, the only way you could edit your analog video, was by using cutting machines that were huge and heavy, and unbelievably expensive. You needed a team to operate all the Video Editing machinery.

Old Fashion video editing

Image-Source: rowlandediting.wordpress.com

With modern day computers, digital video and the speed at which Computer Technology is evolving, anyone can be a Video Editor, at least from a technological standpoint.

It doesn’t matter if you are editing your birthday video, a documentation for a local wildlife broadcaster, a commercial for the big Brand’s washing machine or edit huge Hollywood productions.

There’s a Computer and very specific kind of hardware components for anyone and every kind of budget.

The same can be applied to Video Editing Software. It does not matter if you are using Windows Movie Maker, Sony Vegas, Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid, Davinci Resolve or any other of the gazillion Video Editing Applications out there.

All of these run on a Computer that you can get off the shelf.

If you had to choose one: What is your main Video Editing Software?

And let me tell you this right now: The best Computers for Video Editing aren’t all that expensive anymore.

Not for Professionals – because they earn their money with it, and a great Computer is just worth every penny – and not for Video Editing Amateurs, because a Computer that you can edit a Home-Shoot Smartphone Video on, really doesn’t have to be expensive.

How does Video Editing utilize your Computer’s Hardware?

If we want to build the best Computer for Video Editing, the first step is to analyze what Hardware your Video Editing Software actually uses the most and in what way.

Now, there are so many different Video Editing Applications out there, but I will focus on one for now:

Adobe Premiere Pro. It is a very popular Video Editing Software, that many professionals and also amateurs edit in and is perfect for our analysis because lots of other Video Editing Apps use the Hardware in very similar ways.

Premiere Pro Video Editing Timeline

Let’s take a look at how I myself would Edit a Video in Premiere Pro, and we can go from there and take a closer look at what these steps imply, hardware-wise.

My typical Video-Editing workflow:

  • Load Footage into my Project
  • Create Sequences and rough cuts with this footage
  • Play-Back my timeline a lot of times, to be able to edit
  • Add Transitions, Effects, Titles
  • Add Sound Effects and Music
  • Render out my Timeline with the actual non-proxy footage

This is a very rough workflow of the basic steps a Video Editor would be doing throughout a typical day, nothing fancy.

If you think about it, Editing Video, from an underlying Hardware perspective is something that can be broken down into a few simple steps:

  1. The Software reads Data (the Footage) from your Storage Medium.
  2. Your Editing Software has to decode this footage.
  3. The Software then manipulates this Footage depending on the effects and color-grading you are using (if at all).
  4. This manipulated footage is then usually stored in the Memory (RAM), so you have a real-time experience when playing back the timeline.

When rendering out your final project, the only thing you add to this chain is:

  1. Encode the timeline into your desired codec and
  2. Save the finished encoded Data to the Storage Medium.

It is these 6 simple steps, that we will have to optimize as much as possible to build our Best Computer for Video Editing.

Let’s step through them one at a time as see what Hardware Part is responsible for speeding each of these up:

Reading / Loading of the Footage

This is an easy one: Your Storage Device and the transfer Bus are responsible for the speed at which your footage can be read from a Storage Medium.

There are three popular Storage types that you can choose from nowadays:

The Hard Drive (HDD)

The Hard Disc Drive is the slowest of these three options. Sequential Read speeds are usually around 150Mbyte/s. Random Read and Write is a multitude Slower.

Hard Drives have great Cost/GByte, but rank last place in speed.

Hard Drives are great for Archiving and Backing up large Data, that doesn’t have to be accessed all the time, but I would not recommend using an HDD as an active working Device for your Footage.

Good HDDs can usually be found from Seagate or Western Digital, such as the Seagate Barracuda Series or the Western Digital Blue or Red Series.

You can get HDDs in sizes up to 14TB, though the best price/GByte mark lies somewhere around 8TB.

seagate-barracuda HDD Overview

Image-Source: Seagate

Next up is the Solid State Drive (SSD)

A Solid State Drive (SATA) is usually about 4 Times faster than an HDD and will speed up the reading of your Footage a lot. SSDs aren’t all that expensive anymore and prices are coming down quite fast.

I recommend to minimally get an SSD as your active Footage Storage Medium.

The Samsung 860 EVO or PRO, that come at reasonable prices in sizes from 256GB up to 4TB is a great SSD with high-end performance.

Best Computer for Video Editing - SSD vs NVMe

Image-Source: atpinc.com

As Video Footage can become quite large, you will want a Storage Medium that has the maximum of Sequential Read and Write Speeds that you can get your hands on for a reasonable price, and that brings us to NVMe SSDs:

NVMe SSDs

NVMe SSD (Non-Volatile Memory Express) Solid State Drives, basically are SSDs on Steroids. They use a different Socket / Bus on the Mainboard and can reach much higher performance than a regular SATA SSD.

They can be over 5 Times faster than even SSDs at sequential read and write speeds and will make reading large Footage an easy task.

Although slightly more expensive than SSDs, they are definitely worth the money. Highly recommended!

Great NVMe SSDs that I can recommend are the Samsung 970 EVO PLUS and Samsung 970 PRO, that come in sizes from 250GB up to 2 TB.

samsung_970_evo

Image-Source: techlabor.com

NVMe SSDs will help you read even RAW Footage in 4K+ Resolutions in real time.

Let’s start with adding a Samsung 970 PRO 1TB to our Best Computer for Video Editing Build. That way we should already be able to rule out the Storage Medium as a bottleneck.

NVMe Drives are a critical performance factor in Video Editing and it makes sense to learn as much as you can about them. Our NVMe Guide should get you up to speed.

What’s next in our Video Editing Workflow?

Decoding the Footage

Now, reading alone usually won’t be enough to be able to see the footage, as almost every Footage is encoded in some way. If it’s encoded (usually mainly to save space) it has to be decoded before playback and viewing.

Decoding is something that is usually done by the Processor (CPU). Unfortunately, there is no one CPU that is best for all types of Footage “Codecs” or Video File types.

Let’s take a look at a performance overview:

Premiere Pro Live Playback Benchmark Score

Image-Credit: Pugetsystems

BUT. Of course, playing back the Footage gets us only half way there. We want to apply some Effects to our Footage!

Manipulating the Footage with Effects, Transitions, Trimming & Titles

If your Edits are Effects intensive, then you will want a maximum Core-Clock CPU.

Effects are calculated in hierarchical order and most can’t be outsourced to other cores, meaning one Core will be crunching all the numbers for all the Effects on that one Frame.

Let’s make an example:

Your Footage has the following Effects applied:

  • Time-Remap
  • Brightness / Contrast
  • Shoulder
  • Glow

Seems like a pretty basic setup. The thing is, you can’t have 4 Cores calculate these 4 Effects simultaneously on the same Frame because they are all dependent on each other.

You first have to Time-Remap your footage before you can edit the Brightness / Contrast and so on. This is one Core stepping hierarchically through the effects chain.

Sure, other cores can start working on the effects of other Frames, but some Effects aren’t just dependent on each other on a per frame basis, but in-between frames.

Such as the Time-Remap.

Having a high-clocked CPU will benefit you in Effects heavy Projects.

Good choices here are the i9 9900K with 5GHz Turbo Boost Clock, the AMD Ryzen 3950X (4,7GHz Turbo), or the AMD Ryzen 3900X with 4,6GHz Turbo Boost Clock.

But of course you have to take the type of footage you are using into account: If you are using hires RED Footage, you should use a high-Core-Count CPU for best decoding experience.

If you have both, RED Footage (or similar) AND heavy use of Effects, you will have to find a middle ground:

A fairly high clocking CPU with lots of Cores, such as the Threadripper 3960X. For NON-RED users, it seems the i9 9900K is currently the goto CPU for Video Editing.

It really is quite unpractical. Because CPUs have to stay inside specific thermal- and power-limits, there is no one CPU that has lots of cores AND a very high core clock. This would, of course, be optimally for Video Editing, and for many other use cases too, but we have to find the best middle ground for us here.

Now that we have found the CPU for our Footage-decoding and Effects-Calculations, the next step in our Editing Experience usually is:

Storing Cached Footage in RAM

This is usually done automatically by the Editing Software you are using.

The moment you either play back your timeline, scrub your timeline or manually press some kind of “calculate or prerender effects in timeline” button, the Software will:

  1. Read the Footage
  2. Calculate the Effects on the Footage
  3. Store the Result in your System Memory (RAM)

This is usually known as Caching. All cached Frames are saved, in your RAM, so the next time you want to view a frame or a sequence, the Software doesn’t have to calculate everything again, but can read the already calculated result from RAM, which is much faster.

When you play back the Timeline, usually the Editing Software looks ahead and calculates the frames to come.

Sometimes frames are calculated right away and others have more effects on them, this is why the Editing Software in a way “buffers” ahead, as not to interrupt your real-time playback experience.

Now, RAM is easy.

RAM is so fast, you could get the worst kind of RAM and it would still be fast enough for almost any of your Editing needs.

RAM Speed

The only important thing, when buying RAM for Video Editing, is getting enough. As we discussed above, the RAM has to be big enough to store the cached result.

If it is not large enough, the Software will Cache to your Disc, and that will slow things down a lot!

Check this in-depth article on how much RAM you should be getting.

These 3 Steps – Reading, Calculating, Caching – will be done again and again, during Video Editing Sessions.

When you are finished with the Edit or want to show the current status to a client, you will continue to the next step:

Rendering out the Project to a Video File

Rendering out your Timeline uses the same steps that we have already discussed above. You read your footage, apply the Effects and store the resulting frames into a Video File.

If the Timeline has already been cached, all the Video Editing Software has to do, is read the cached Frames from RAM and save them to the Video File.

Now, there is one more thing that is important in Rendering out your Video, namely the Encoding Stage.

You usually don’t just dump your calculated Frames onto your disc uncompressed but want to package and encode/compress the Frames into a File Format that:

  • Can be played back with your targeted System / Video Player
  • Is as small as possible without losing too much Quality

There are lots of different Codecs available for encoding. Some popular ones include H.264, H.265, WMV9, ProRes, DnxHD, Sorenson, Cinepak and many more.

Most of the more popular codecs use the possibility of saving only the difference between two frames instead of saving each frame in its entirety, as the difference between two frames is usually much smaller in file size. Others block Pixels together or reduce color and contrast information to save space.

But these are only some of many tricks how Codecs keep your Filesize low and provide a smooth playback experience.

To summarize the Video Rendering Process and the Hardware that is mainly responsible:

  • Read Footage (SSD)
  • Calculate / Apply Effects in your Timeline (CPU, GPU)
  • Store the Frames in RAM (RAM)
  • Read Frames from RAM (RAM)
  • Encode Frames (CPU)
  • Pack frames and Audio into a Video Container (CPU)
  • Save Video Result on Disc (SSD)

The SSD can usually be ruled out as a bottleneck in this Rendering /Encoding Process, as it is more than fast enough to save your resulting Video File UNLESS of course, you are rendering out uncompressed Videos, huge EXR Sequences or other very large Files (Think 100s of MBytes per Frame)

The RAM too should always be fast enough as to not slow down the rendering process. Of course, the RAM has to be large enough to fit the Frames that are being rendered.

Almost always, the CPU will be responsible for the performance in encoding your Frames. Let’s take a look at some Benchmarks:

Premiere Pro Export Score

Image-Credit: Pugetsystems

For Rendering out your projects, having higher core-counts is the way to go. But there seems to be an optimum around 24 / 32 Cores and a slightly higher Core-Clock than having double the Cores with a lower Core-Clock.

AMD’s 3rd Gen Threadripper CPUs (3960X, 3970X, 3990XReview here) have a very solid lead over the higher clocked but lower-core-number CPUs such as the i9 9900K.

This time the RED Media Results are comparable to the non-RED Media Performance.

Best Computer for Video Editing – The Hardware

What components do we need for a working Computer anyway? After this quite in-depth material, let’s break it down to some concrete Hardware Suggestions:

The Processor

Best performing CPU for Video Editing: AMD Threadripper 3960X & 3970X
Best CPU for Video Editing under 500$: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Take a look at the following Video Editing (Premiere Pro) CPU Benchmark Scores by Pugetsystems. This table shows the overall score across all kinds of CPU benchmarks based on several real-world Premiere Pro Projects:

CPU NameCoresGhzPremiere Pro ScorePrice $Value
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X83.9657399
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X123.8711499
AMD Threadripper 3960X243.810421350
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X63.8620249
Intel i9 10900X103.7689650
AMD Threadripper 3970X323.710671950
Intel i5 9600K63.7585262
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X83.7603251
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X63.6527149
Intel i9 9700K83.6670362
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X83.6673329
AMD Ryzen 5 360063.6572199
Intel i9 9900K83.6737550
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X163.5833750
AMD Threadripper 2950X163.5763729
Intel i9 10920X123.5748750
AMD Threadripper 2920X123.5691369
Intel i9 9900X103.5664989
Intel i9 9920X123.57311189
Intel i9 9940X143.37551387
Intel i9 10940X143.3775950
Intel i9 9960X163.18101684
AMD Threadripper 2970WX243.06791300
Intel i9 9980XE183.08251979
Intel i9 10980XE183.08511150
AMD Threadripper 2990WX323.06621699
AMD Threadripper 3990X642.910353990
CPU NameCoresGHzPremiere Pro ScorePrice $Value

The AMD Threadripper 3970X is the currently best performing CPU for Video Editing. It does cost a lot though and its overall value is lower than some of the competing CPUs.

If you are looking for a great CPU for Video Editing that costs less than 500$, there are two excellent options: The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and the Intel i9 9900K (slightly above 500$).

The i9 9900K especially has high Clocks (Up to 5GHz Turbo Boost on limited Cores) which is great for calculating your Timeline-Effects and it has 8 Cores / 16 Threads which seems to be high enough, to also be great in exporting and encoding / decoding your Video Files.

Best CPU for Video Editing - Core i9 9900KAMD Ryzen 9 3900X

The AMD Threadripper CPUs, especially the 3960X and 2950X are an excellent choice if you are handling RED Media more often and don’t quite want to spend what a 3970X or even 3990X costs.

Best Storage for Video Editing: Samsung 970 EVO / PRO

If you can spare the cash to get an NVMe SSD, this should be at the top of your buy list. These type of SSDs offer excellent speed, especially when you are working with large footage.

Get SATA SSDs for your OS and Software and HDDs for backing up your Data regularly and you should be all set, storage-wise.

Best SSD for Video Editing

Image-Source: Samsung

Best RAM for Video Editing

As discussed above, Video Editing is not very dependent on the performance of the RAM, but dependent on having enough of it.

Any DDR4 RAM will be more than enough for Video Editing, but be sure to get enough of it!

RAM for Computer for Video Editing

Image-Source: gskill

I would set 16GB of RAM as a baseline for small Projects with lower resolutions < 2K, but as soon as you get to larger Footage, that also has 2K or higher resolutions, you should be getting 32GB or more.

Especially with 10Bit Footage, RED Media, 4K, 8K Footage you’ll be happy to have 64+ GBytes of RAM.

As was benchmarked recently, Memory Clock Speeds and Memory Channels don’t impact performance all that much. You might gain 4% performance increase on optimal settings, but usually pay a large premium for doing so.

If you fear no extra costs and would still like to optimize your RAM as much as possible, the rule is as follows:

  • Look for High Clock Speeds, so say 3200Mhz is better than 2400Mhz
  • Look for Low CL Latency, so say CL14 is better than CL16
  • Go for higher number of Channels, so Quad Channel would be better than Single or Dual Channel. Usually, the amount of RAM Sticks define the Channel Width. 4 RAM Modules = Quad Channel RAM (2 = Dual, 1 = Single), but this can vary on different systems

Best GPU for Video Editing

We didn’t talk about Graphics Cards in Video Editing all that much yet.

The reason being, that GPUs still don’t have a huge impact on any kind of Performance improvement when Editing Videos.

Yes, there are the occasional Effects that might be GPU-Accelerated but as you can see in this Benchmark overview, the only real difference I can tell, is that AMD GPUs seem to be performing worse than Nvidia, at least in Premiere Pro:

Premiere Pro GPU Benchmark Score

Image-Credit: Pugetsystems

You might want to check with your particular Video Editing Software of choice, but what is usually the case, is that:

  • Nvidia GPUs perform better in Premiere Pro vs AMD GPUs
  • Nvidia GTX or RTX GPUs have a better price/performance ratio to Nvidia Quadro GPUs
  • and having a multi-GPU Setup does not benefit you in Video Editing.

If you are GPU Rendering in 3D then again, of course Multi-GPU setups will scale almost linearly!

I recommend an Nvidia RTX 2070 or 2060 Super, as this is a fairly strong GPU, that ranks top in price/performance in a multitude of Benchmarks across many different use cases.

Nvidia RTX 2070

Image-Source: Nvidia

Anything above an RTX 2070 will be much more expensive for just a very few extra performance points.

A note on Quadro though:

If you are dependent on driving 10bit displays, then, of course, having a Quadro might be mandatory for you, as GTX / RTX Cards will only output 8Bit to a monitor. But there is another way to drive 10Bit Monitors:

Blackmagic Decklink Cards

If you would like to go the GTX/RTX way for your standard workflow and Monitors, but would still like to output to a 10Bit Reference Monitor, you can get a Blackmagic Decklink Card.

Black Magic Decklink Card

Image-Source: Blackmagicdesign

These Cards are made for to HDMI / SDI in 10Bit, but beware, that your Monitor should support your Project Framerates.

Decklink Cards are also great for recording hires (4K or even 8K) 10Bit Video in Real-Time if that is something that you are planning on.

So a combination of GTX/RTX type of GPUs with such an additional PCI-E-Decklink Card might just do the trick for you and save you some money.

Best Mainboard for Video Editing

The Mainboard in itself should adapt to the other Hardware Components that we discussed above, as it is basically “just” the Hub that connects all of the components together.

After you have selected your desired CPU, you can already narrow down the number of compatible mainboards by choosing the right Socket that fits your CPU.

You will need a sTRX4 Socket for example, if you are planning on running a 3rd Gen Threadripper CPU, a Motherboard with an AM4 Socket for any Ryzen CPUs (e.g. 3900X, 3950X), a Motherboard with an LGA 1151 for an i7 9700K or i9 9900K CPU and a 2066 Socket for any type of Intel i9-X Series CPUs such as the i9 10980XE.

There really isn’t all that much that you can do wrong here:

Almost every ATX standard sized Motherboard has enough PCIe Slots for your GPU and (if you need them) additional Cards, plenty SATA Connectors for your drives and usually comes with 4-6 or more USB Ports for anything external you might need to plug in.

Best Mainboard for Video Editing

Image-Source: Asus

Most Motherboards nowadays have at least one M.2 slot for your NVMe SSDs, most have 2 or more.

One thing you should look out for if you are planning on using lots of GPUs, of course, is getting a CPU that has enough PCIe-Lanes to support these GPUs.

Also beware of M.2 cards sometimes sharing lanes with SATA Ports if you have too many of them running at a time: Say, you have 8 SATA SSDs hooked up, then your M.2 Slot will run in lower speeds or might not work at all, on some Mainboards.

But that is something you only have to worry about when you really want to have 8 Drives hooked up.

ATX is the most popular Mainboard Size and will fit into an ATX Sized Computer Case. It’s as easy as that!

Best Computer Case for Video Editing

Apart from the Monitor and Input devices, the Computer Case is the main Piece of “Furniture” that will be visible to you and clients or other visitors.

It is lots of fun to browse for just the right case with just the right combination of looks, functionality and noise features. As there are so many different Brands and case types out there, I’ll let you pick one for yourself. Be sure your case is big enough to fit your components, but if you don’t go overboard, any ATX Midi Tower or Big Tower will do the trick for you.

I often recommend the Corsair Carbide 400C because it is professional and minimalistic looking and has some noise dampening features, but you might prefer a different brand.

Corsair Case

Image-Source: Corsair

Power Supply for Video Editing

You’ll want to make sure your PC’s components, which can be quite expensive, are being taken care of. This includes buying a good power supply that will make sure they don’t die a premature death.

As is the case with the PC’s case, a PSU won’t impact your video editing performance at all, but it’s a necessity that you shouldn’t skimp on.

Because the inside of your case should be free of clutter as much as possible, I recommend getting a Modular Power Supply, which comes with the ability to detach any cables you don’t need.

Be sure to read our Modular PSU Guide (link), to get an idea of the type of Power Supply you need for your specific components.

Build your own Computer!

I recommend this in all of my articles and will say it again here – Building your own Computer has lots and lots of benefits:

  • You save a lot of money from getting individual parts.
  • You can get exactly the kind of parts and part combinations you want
  • You learn a lot about how a Computer works
  • You can upgrade your Computer yourself now
  • With all the extra Computer knowledge, you can fix problems that might arise later-on yourself
  • Assembling a Computer is easy, it’s basically just plugging different parts into each other
  • It’s fun!

Here’s a nice Step by Step Video showing you how easy it is to assemble a Computer. Follow this along and you will be done in less than 2 hours.

There is so much more I could discuss in this Article for finding the Best Computer for Video Editing but I think I have covered the basics and will now show you some finished Builds that you can use as inspiration. You can use the following Builds as-is or configure your own Video Editing PC, depending on your Budget:

Pre-selected PC-Builds at different budgets

Best Computer for Video Editing, AMD at ~1400$


This lower-end Build features the AMD 3600X, which is good for Effects Calculation but is surpassed by higher-core-count CPUs in Encoding / Decoding and overall Video Editing Speed.

16GB of RAM is quite good already, but feel free to add some more if you have the money.

The Storage System is split up between SSD for OS and Applications, NVMe for Footage and an HDD for Backup and Storage.

To save some more money, I added the Nvidia 1660Ti, but you can feel free to swap it with an RTX 2070 or higher, if you have the extra cash.

Best Computer for Video Editing, Intel at ~2200$

The i9 9900K is an excellent CPU for Video Editing. Although it doesn’t have as many Cores as an i9 9980XE or an AMD Threadripper, it has an extremely high Core-Clock, that makes up for the lack in Cores and speeds up Effects Calculation extremely well.

32GByte of RAM should set for quite some time. If you are only working on smaller-res Projects, you could save some money here and downgrade to 16GBytes, of course.

Same with extremely high-res Projects and large Footage Data 4K – 8K, you might want to upgrade your RAM to 64GByte.

BUT you will need a different CPU and Mainboard for that. Intel i9 9xxx-X Series (like the i9 9980XE) would be the way to go then on the 2066 Socket (Expect a heavy price increase though).

There are many RTX 2070 Versions and one of the main differences between some, is the cooling solution. If you plan on getting more than one GPU, you will have to stack them on top of each other. Here you should go for a blower style variant as this is fitted with a Cooler that performs well in these situations and blows the hot air out the back of the case, instead of inside it.

Go Open Air Cooling solution when you only use one GPU in your PC-Case.

Best Computer for Video Editing, AMD at ~2500$

This is an allrounder AMD build.

With its 16-Core 3950X CPU you’ll have great performance in both your active work / playback speed and exporting your projects with quite some effects applied. The 2060 Super GPU performs extremely well, given its price.

The beQuiet CPU Cooler keeps the CPU nice and cool while producing almost no noise unless you kick the build into sustained rendering.

The Storage is split up into 3 Drives for OS (SSD), your Footage on an NVMe Drive and the HDD for Backing up your Data.

If this price tier is a bit too much for you but would like to go with AMD Ryzen, you can always get an Ryzen 3900X and save some money, and also pass on some of the drives.

Best Computer for Video Editing, AMD Threadripper at ~6200$

Featuring the AMD Threadripper 3970x that already costs around ~1900$ in itself, this Build comes at a price but delivers great performance across all workloads in Video Editing.

You will get fast Encoding / Decoding, Live-Playback, Handling of all kinds of Footage Types and quick Effects Calculation. This build will give you pretty much the absolute best, money can buy for Video Editing on a Consumer Level.

Custom PC-Builder

If you want to get the best parts within your budget you should definitely have a look at the Web-Based PC-Builder Tool that I’ve created.

Select the main purpose that you’ll use the computer for and adjust your budget to create the perfect PC with part recommendations that will fit within your budget.

CGDirector PC-Builder Tool

PC-Builder Facebook Title Image

 

That’s about it! What Computer are you building?


Join the New CGDirector Forum! Expert Advice & PC-Build Planning with a warm and friendly Community! :)

Alex Glawion - post author

Hi, I’m Alex, a Freelance 3D Generalist, Motion Designer and Compositor.

I’ve built a multitude of Computers, Workstations and Renderfarms and love to optimize them as much as possible.

Feel free to comment and ask for suggestions on your PC-Build or 3D-related Problem, I’ll do my best to help out!

440
Comments
Also check out our Forum for feedback from our Expert Community.

Tuomas

Hi Alex,
I have almost exactly the same build as the ~1400$ one, with the exception of 32GB ram and some storages are different as well. I’m having issues with some games. When they start the sound starts stuttering and there are glitches that look kinda like Space Invaders or sometimes different glitchy colors. Eventually the picture pauses. Sometimes the whole system reboots by itself, sometimes I can force it to go back to Windows. One time everything was just fine, but I didn’t make any specific changes after that and then the same thing started again. Some 3D benchmark demos that use DirectX seem to run just fine as well as videos. I haven’t tried this with After Effects or alike yet. I have the latest Nvidia drivers installed. Is this an issue you’ve ran into and any ideas how to solve this?

Sunny

Hi Alex,

Great Info. Thanks. Now days one of the most required feature of video editing is HDR and confusing thing is to choose the right video card and monitor which can support it. What would be your recommendations for HDR10 / 1000 Nit 4K monitor and good video card to support it.

Thanks

Will

This is great info, I just preorder the Canon 5R which is 8k raw clog 4:2:2 10-bit. I’m looking for the best build I could possible get for under 7,000 I’m currently running on Imac 5k retina and it seems I have lots of trouble with the varying codex of BMPCC 6k 12 bit and H265 from my drones. Some guidance would be very helpful.
I edit mostly with Premiere Pro.
The specs on the struggling iMac are:
3.5 GHz intel core 5
32 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
AMD Radeon R9 M295x 4096 MB
I assume these are outdated by now?

Will

I was suggested this for a setup thoughts? or Things you would change to work better with adobe PP and cameras stated from before?

Board
Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS PRO WIFI

CPU
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X 3.8GHz 24 Core 280W

Ram
Samsung 128GB DDR4-2666 (4x32GB)

Video Card
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB Open Air

Integrated WiFi+Bluetooth

Storage
Samsung 970 Pro 1TB M.2 SSD
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB M.2 SS

Jeff

Hello CGDirector,

Any recommendations on a pre-built configuration for home camcorder (H.264) video rendering/production? My old AW M18xR2 is on its last leg and I’d prefer just buying pre-configured. Any recommendations?

Won Yoo

Hi Alex,

Thank you for your guide on building one’s own PC. I successfully built mine for Cinema 4D, and now I would like to build one for my sister who wants to use it for video editing. Could you please check if the parts are compatible, and if they are good enough?

CPU: 6-core AMD Ryzen 5 3600x
CPU cooler: included with CPU
Motherboard: Gigabyte x570 Aorus Elite ATX AM4
Graphic card: Hit xenon GTX 1660 Ti Storm X Dual OC D6 6GB White
Memory: G. Skill DDR4 32G PC4-25600 CL16 TRIDENT Z RGB (16Gx2)
SSD: Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 500GB
Power supply: Seasonic Focus Gold GX-750 Full modular
Case: Corsair carbide series 275Q

Many thanks,

Won Yoo

Won Yoo

corsair carbide 100r mid tower case w/side panel window – is this also compatible?

Tuomas

Hi,

The Nvidia GTX 1660TI 6GB – Gigabyte Windforce seems to be sold out locally. Could you please recommend any other GPUs in this price range (or max +$100) that are as good or better? I appreciate quiet performance as I do sound design as well.

Thanks in advance,
Tuomas

Carlos

Hi Alex,
I’m looking to build your recommended system of $2500 but the motherboard is not in stock at the moment. Do you have any suggestions to replace it? I’m looking at adding 32GB of ram (64GB in total) so please keep that in mind. Any other changes/additions you might suggest are also welcome. System would be mainly used for editing on Premiere and AE.
I’m copying your recommended system here:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5GHz 16-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 AM4
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 Gaming X ATX AM4
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2060 SUPER 8GB – MSI Gaming X
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16
Storage SSD: Crucial MX500 2TB 2.5″ Solid State Drive
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive
Storage HDD: Seagate BarraCuda Compute 4TB, 3.5″
Power Supply: Corsair RMx Series Platinum RM850x 850W Power Supply
Case: Fractal Design Define XL R2 Titanium Big Tower Case
Thanks in advance.
Carlos

Carlos

Forgot to say. Budget is around $2700. Thanks

Matteo

please helpo me build video editing pc
my budget is 1200€
thank yuou very much

Hey Matteo,

Thanks for asking!

€1,200 is around $1,360 and some change so here is a video editing build based on your budget:

CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=zq1whonghda

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X 3.9GHz 8-Core Processor ($328.98)
CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Prism Cooler (Included with CPU) (-)
Motherboard: ASUS Prime X570-P ATX AM4 ($249.00)
GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1660 6GB – EVGA XC Gaming ($234.72)
Memory: 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($73.99)
Storage SSD: Crucial MX500 1TB 2.5″ Solid State Drive ($114.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: WD Black 500GB M.2 Solid State Drive ($69.99)
Storage HDD: Seagate BarraCuda Compute 2TB, 3.5″ ($54.99)
Power Supply: be quiet! Straight Power 11 1000W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($145.27)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.99)

The build costs around $1,346.92 but you get a Ryzen 7 3800X CPU and 16GB of RAM and this combination ensures that your workflow is always fast and smooth. Also, this build features three separate storage options – a 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD for your OS and commonly-used programs and applications, a 1TB SATA SSD which you can use as a scratch disk, and a 2TB HDD for your other files. All in all, this build can be expected to have more than enough power to handle your video editing needs.

Cheers,
Alex

Adam

Which would be the best for handbrake x265 encoding? Threadripper or 9900k?

Ignacio Brown

Hi!

Thanks for all the info. I´ll be building my first computer soon and I need some advice. I´ll be using it primarily for 4k video editing (Premiere). After doing some research I came up with the following list

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor
Motherboard: ASUS TUF x570-Plus (Wifi) ATX AM4
GPU: MSI Radeon RX 570 8 GB ARMOR OC Video Card
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200
Storage SSD: Samsung 860 Evo 500 GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive
Power Supply: Corsair CXM 550 W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply

The list ends up in around $860. I already have a case and some ssd at home so I won’t be spending in storage anytime soon. I still have between $300-$400 to spend.

Where should I invest more? More Ram or a better gpu?
Is my build balanced or should I spend more/less in some components?
Any parts you can recommend?

Thanks in advance. It would really help knowing what you guys think.

Hey Ignacio,

Thanks for dropping a line!

Your list of components looks good but I don’t tend to recommend the use of Radeon GPUs. I usually recommend NVIDIA graphics cards because these GPUs support CUDA core acceleration. If you still have around $300-$400 to spend, I suggest that you invest in both GPU and RAM. For GPU, I suggest you take a look at the Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2060 OC which goes for around $309.99. You might also want to bump up your RAM to 32GB. While you can get away with just 16GB, it’s highly advisable to have more RAM if you’re working on large projects and complex scenes. The 32GB kit of the Corsair Vengeance LPX in a 2 x 16GB configuration with part number CMK32GX4M2B3200C16 costs $129.99 and should give you the headroom and make your build more future proof at the same time. Other than that, all’s good with your build.

Cheers,
Alex

Ignacio Brown

Thanks Alex!