Best Computer for Video Editing (Updated)

Best Computer for Video Editing (Updated)

CG Director Author Alex  by Alex   ⋮   ⋮   174 comments
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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.

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.

Best Computer for Video Editing - Premiere Pro GUI

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.

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.

It seems to be as follows: RED Footage likes CPUs with lots of cores. The AMD Threadripper 2990WX is the best CPU for decoding and playing back RED Footage:

Video Editing CPU - RED Footage

Image-Source: pugetsystems.com

If you are using Cinema DNGs or other Image Sequences then it is usually the other way around: This type of Footage likes high Core-Clocks as in the Intel i7 8700K or the recently released i9 9900K.

Load Footage CinemaDNG - Video Editing Best CPU

Image-Source: pugetsystems.com

H.264, DNxHD /HR or ProRes Footage seems to be easy enough to decode, that almost all CPUs perform more or less the same here.

Or in other words: The Decoding part in these three Footage Types usually is not the bottleneck in a slow playback experience, as we can see in the following graphs by Pugetsystems.com:

Computer for Video Editing - H264 Performance

Image-Source: pugetsystems.com

To summarize: For a smooth playback experience only, we would have to know what type of Footage we usually use and depending on this, get the right CPU.

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:

You 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 3900X (4,6GHz Turbo), or the i7 8700K with 4,7GHz 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 Intel i9 9980XE. 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:

Video Rendering - CPU Benchmarks

Image-Source: pugetsystems.com

For Rendering out your projects, having higher core-counts is the way to go. But there seems to be an optimum around 16 / 18 Cores and a slightly higher Core-Clock than having double the Cores with a lower Core-Clock.

Both the AMD Threadrippers 16-Core and 32-Cores, as well as the Intel Core i9 16 and 18-Core CPUs have a solid lead over the higher clocked but lower-core-number CPUs such as the i7 8700K.

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: Intel i9 9980XE
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
CPU NameCoresGHzPremiere Pro ScorePrice $Value
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X83.9726399
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X63.8620249
Intel i9 9800X83.8627589
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X123.8779499
Intel i5 9600K63.7585262
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X83.7603251
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X63.6527149
AMD Ryzen 5 360063.6572199
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X83.6673329
Intel i9 9700K83.6696362
Intel i9 9900K83.6767488
AMD Threadripper 2950X163.5845729
Intel i9 9920X123.58151189
Intel i9 9900X103.5732989
AMD Threadripper 2920X123.5762369
Intel i9 9940X143.38461387
Intel i9 9820X103.3708889
Intel i9 9960X163.18961684
AMD Threadripper 2970WX243.07071300
AMD Threadripper 2990WX323.07011699
Intel i9 9980XE183.09161979

The i9 9980XE is the currently best performing CPU for Video Editing. It does cost a lot though and its value is quite low compared to many of the other 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

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 2990WX and 2950X are an excellent choice if you are handling RED Media more often.

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:

Best GPU for Video Editing

Image-Source: pugetsystems.com

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

  • Nvidia GPUs are superior to AMDs 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, 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 TR4 Socket for example, if you are planning on running a Threadripper CPU, a Mainboard with an LGA 1151 for an i7 8700K or i9 9900K CPU and a 2066 Socket for any type of i9-X type of Intel CPUs such as the i9 9980XE or i9 7890XE.

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

Almost every ATX standard sized mainboard has enough PCIe Slots for your GPU and potential additional Cards, enough SATA Connectors for your drives and usually come with 4-6 + 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

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 ~3000$

This is a high Core-count AMD build.

You could even bump up the CPU to a Threadripper 2990WX if you think you need double the cores for Video Editing or plan on using this Build for 3D CPU Rendering and other high-core-count optimized Workloads.

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

Best Computer for Video Editing, Intel at ~6000$

Featuring the Intel i9 9980XE that already costs around 2000$ 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. The AMD Threadripper Build above might handle RED Media a bit better and have a better Performance / Price Ratio, but apart from that, 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?


Alex from CGDirector - 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!

174
Comments

Josh

Thank you for taking the time to write these great posts, Alex. I was looking at the ASUS Prime Z390-A Motherboard LGA1151 you listed and saw that it has a ‘feature’ that automatically adjusts the gain on audio – that would be a nightmare for editing! Any idea if that can be disabled?

How Liu

hi Alex,

Im very happy with your great article. Percisely what I was searching for. thank you.
Only the case option I don’t fully understand.
Because if you want to use the motherboard connections in the front I miss the USB-C 3.1 gen?
The Front interface only supports 2 – USB 3.0, 2 – USB 2.0.

Do you know by chance which case does support MSI motherboard for the front interface?

William Norman

In your Reply to Maaroof, you mentioned trying out different RAM speeds on a Threadripper, with just a marginal difference in the benchmark. What about on a more modest Ryzen, like my 2600X? I’ve seen benchmarks (albeit geared toward gaming) that show Ryzen CPU performance is tied to RAM frequency via the “infinity fabric”.

rongcup

Hi alex,

Thanks for this awesome post and it helped me pick my parts for my now 3 months old PC which I primarily use for video editing, mostly full HD and 4K footage.

Below are my specs:
CPU: Ryzen 7 2700X (stock cooler, wraith prism)
MOBO: MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
GPU: GALAX GeForce® RTX 2060
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB (16×2) 3000 Mhz
SSD 1:Samsung – 500 GB (970 EVO Plus M.2) NVME
SSD 2: Samsung – 250 GB (860 EVO) SATA
HDD: Seagate 1TB
SMPS: Antec 550W
Case:NZXT – H700i

I wanted to ask about upgrading my system, I will be adding more ram so it gets to 64GB, but I also wanted to add more drive space esp nvme.
I noticed a huge difference while editing from the NVME drive, and currently I have only 500GB on it and I am regretting not putting 1TB or 2TB.
So far the system has been great, and this is my first PC, i’ve been on mac since last 10 years and this was a big switch for me.

My question is pretty much, is it advisable to add another NVME drive on the m.2 slot, maybe another 1 or 2 TB samsung evo plus? or will it affect the other drives connected via sata.

My motherboard (MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC) has two nvme slots, and the manual says something like
” SATA 5 and SATA 6 ports will be unavailable when installing a M.2 device in M2_1 slot”
So currently I have my main ssd (NVME) on M2_1, so i guess my SATA 5 & 6 are not available, which is fine.
I also learned that M2_1 supports PCIe 3.0 x4 (so i guess that means 4lanes)
and on the other hand I also read that the other M.2 slot (M2_2) supports PCIe 2.0 x4 2242/2260/2280 storage devices. (I didn’t quite understand this, but all i know is it doesn’t affect my sata outlets)

If I add another m.2 drive, will it affect the performance of my other drives?
I believe the speed won’t be the same since its PCIe 2.0 X 4… however, will there be an issue with my other drives?

Please suggest.
Thanks in advance.

Maaroof

3000$

CPU: AMD Threadripper 2950X 3.5GHz 16-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 TR4
Motherboard: Gigabyte X399 Designare EX ATX TR4
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2070 8GB – MSI Gaming
Memory: 64GB (4 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666 CL16
Storage SSD: Samsung 860 EVO 1TB 2.5″ Solid State Drive
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 PRO 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive
Storage HDD: Western Digital 4TB Blue, 3.5″
Power Supply: Corsair HX Series Platinum HX850 850W Power Supply
Case: Fractal Design Define XL R2 Titanium Big Tower Case

Why choose low frequency RAM and large capacity

Memory: 64GB (4 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666 CL16

Calvin

Thank you for a very informative read! I decided on getting a custom pre-built video editing-focused PC with the Ryzen 3900x as CPU, with Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD and 860 PRO SSD – the default mini-ITX motherboard was the ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming-ITX/ac, but I was wondering if I could get your opinion on whether it is really worth upgrading to the Auros Pro Wifi X750 for ~$80 more?

Lucas Young

Hey Alex

Thanks for this amazing guide!
I’m going with the $2200 build with a couple of tweaks: The Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 850W power supply instead of 650W, and the Corsair Carbide Case you recommended (it looks cooler!).
I was just wondering about the 3 types of drives in the machine. Would you put the OS/Software on the PCIe-SSD or SSD? And on the other drive what would you put – would it be a cache drive? Then with all the actual footage on the 4Tb Seagate?

Cheers

Lucas

Nikolaj pedersen

Hi Alex
Thanks for some very helpfull articles. I am building a editing Workstation to Run Premier Pro, after Effects and Photoshop simultaneously. This is what i am considering buying so far;

Processor: Ryzen 9 3900x
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X Glass
CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro H150i PRO RGB CPU Cooler
Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero, S-AM4
Ram: CMK16GX4M2Z3600C (4x16GB)
OS HD: Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB SSD
Working Video file storage: Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB SSD
Backup HD: Seagate Barracuda 4TB 3.5” HDD
Power: Seasonic Focus Plus 850 Gold
GPU: Radeon RX 5700 XT

Do you Think it Will do the trick? And do need to change anything before buying.

Best regards Nikolaj

Greg

Why wouldn’t you go with Adata SSDs instead of Samsung?

Nikolaj Pedersen

Should I go Adata SSD For the OS HD or video file storage HD or both ?
Is it the CPU Cooler or Motherboard you Think is a waste of money ?

Robert Jemison-Budd

I don’t have the technical expertise to build my own PC, but I’m looking for a fast, reliable, built PC for editing youtube videos & photos, and for watching and downloading videos. Can you recommend any good options on the cheaper end of the scale, say $750 to $1500? Or provide a link to a good place to buy from? Or a place to buy a custom PC? thanks. I appreciate any assistance you can offer!

Jorge

Hey Alex thanks a lot for your article, great info and very well explained!
Would you say that the “Best Computer for Video Editing, Intel at ~2200$” would be enough for fluid editing 4k 50fps 10bit 420 h265 (Fujifilm Xt3 files) on Adobe Premiere? I mean without using proxys, playback at full res without struggling / lagging?? Even after doing lumetri, transitions…