If you’re looking to buy the best computer for video editing (and more), you’ve arrived in the right place, as today’s article will provide you detailed “intel” about how to choose a top-notch rig that will make your job and your life easier. On top of that, you’ll get a few buying suggestions, to suit every budget and all that. Basically, we’ve done the research and combed Amazon for the best deals, so you won’t have to.
How to Choose the Best PC for Video Editing
Choosing the best tool for the job is quite important, especially if we’re talking about the best computer for gaming and video editing. Just as it’s the case with gaming rigs, video-editing leans heavily on the GPU, hence besides the most powerful CPU you can afford, you must not skimp on GPU quality.
Why Desktop PC and not a Laptop?
That’s a good question actually, and the answer is a well-built desktop PC will give you more bang for the proverbial buck than any laptop. Or to put it in a different way, you’ll get more computing power for less money in a desktop PC compared to a “portable”. And power is everything when choosing the best computer for video editing. We are aware of the fact that there are many cool laptops for video editing out there, but the budget is always an issue in the real world, else we’d all driving Ferraris.
Universal Hardware Requirements for Professional Video Editing
This is another important issue when it comes to getting the right tool for the job, and speaking of video-editing, the software you’re going to use is almost as important as the rig itself. However, in order to keep things simple, when buying the best pc for video editing, you must concentrate on 4 key specifications.
CPU is king, as it does most of the processing work, in “collusion” with the GPU in our particular case, hence try to go for the latest gen quad-hexa-octa-core high-end CPUs (read I7/I9 from Intel) for optimal performance in video editing tasks.
The amount of RAM is also paramount in heavy video editing jobs; whether you have DDR4/DDR5, it’s not the type of RAM, but the quantity, which in this case supersedes quality. The bare minimum for a workstation would be 8 GB of, but 16GB and above would be best. The more, the merrier.
Most importantly, when choosing the best computer for video editing (or a gaming PC by that matter), pay extra attention to the GPU, which is going to be the actual work-horse on your system. Even if some may say you can run video-editing software like Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, After Effects etc. using the GPU integrated into your CPU (the HD thing in Intel CPUs), you should consider a dedicated graphics card if you want to get the most of your PC. Read along the lines of the NVIDIA Quadro series, which are specifically designed for professional video-editing software. Else, you can choose anything from Nvidia or AMD, provided it has at least 4 GB of VRAM.
We live in a day and age when 1 TB SSDS are relatively affordable. And SSDs are way faster than HDDs, hence if you’re going to work with big media files and you want to save time and nerves in the process, a large capacity SSD would be best, provided you can afford it. However, a SSD/HDD combo would also work great, especially in terms of value for money, provided the HDD is spinning fast enough (7200 RPM).
Video-editing implies you’re going to move around giant video files, from various devices to your PC to store them and/or modify them. Here the USB connection comes into play. Stay away from USB 2.0, as it’s painstakingly slow compared to the “standard” 3.0, not to mention latest USB 3.1 Gen 2 with a data rate of 10 GB/s. The point being, you want to get the fastest data rate possible on a video editing PC, so choose carefully.
Things change fast in the tech world, both in terms of software and hardware, hence it would be a good idea to get a computer with expandability that would keep up with the times 3 years from now, i.e. a rig that allows you to upgrade its internal components with ease, things like adding more RAM, a beefier HDD/SSD or even a CPU/GPU upgrade.
6 Best Computers for Video Editing in 2020
Apple iMac Pro
The Best Desktop Computer for Video Editing
The Apple iMac Pro is arguably one of the best PCs for video editing out there, but high quality and stellar performance comes at a price. In this case, a hefty one. However, if you’re looking for the ultimate all-in-one rig, aimed at professionals first and foremost, the iMac Pro should rank high on your shopping list provided you’ve got them “minerals”. Another thing to keep in mind is that the current-gen iMac Pro makes for the most powerful Mac ever, and we mean that literally.
Under the hood you’ll find a 3.2GHz 8-core Intel Xeon W processor, 32GB 2666MHz ECC memory, configurable up to 256GB, 1TB SSD storage and finally, the cherry on top, a Radeon Pro Vega 56 GPU with 8GB HBM2 memory. All these high-end components are perfectly in-sync with the software, hence you’ll benefit from autistic levels of performance. And speaking of professional tools here’s what you get connectivity-wise: 3.5mm headphone jack, SDXC card slot, 4 full-size USB 3.0 ports, 4 Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports and a 10Gb Ethernet.
Furthermore, since we’re talking about the ultimate “all in one” PC, which is arguably the best computer for video editing and multimedia, don’t forget the amazing 27-inch Retina 5K 5120-by-2880 P3 display, which is professionally calibrated by the good people at Apple. To make a long story short, if you can live with the price tag, it doesn’t get any better than that.
- workstation tier hardware
- premium look and feel
- amazing build quality
- iconic razor-thin design
- stays cool under “fire”
- ideal for architects, game designers or professional photographers
- highly configurable
- best ever Retina display with 500 nits of brightness
- impressive 5,120 x 2,880 resolution
- above average quality Keyboard and Mouse included in the package
- crazy expensive
- cannot be upgraded
CORSAIR ONE i140
The Final Boss of Video Editing
The CORSAIR ONE i140 is marketed as a gaming-centric compact desktop PC, and if you take a look at what’s under the hood, you’ll see why this fancy little thing also makes for one hell of a rig for video editing. To begin with, we have a strong Intel Core i7-9700K eight-core CPU, working in tandem with a top-notch NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPU, and on top of that, plenty of high-quality RAM: CORSAIR 32GB DDR4 memory.
Basically, this compact and pretty expensive gaming desktop PC checks all the important boxes we told you in the preamble of the article, including plenty of storage, via a 480GB M.2 SSD,2TB HDD combo. Okay, the price is a little steep, to say the least, but you’ll get high-end specs and top-notch design for a fraction of the price compared to a Mac.
- quiet high-end performance
- amazing build quality
- the case is made from bead blasted aluminum, 2mm thick
- minimalist and compact design
- supports up to 3 4K displays with NVIDIA G-SYNC, VR and HDR
- comes with built-in RGB light pipes
- innovative and efficient convection liquid cooling system
- no VirtualLink/USB-C port
- virtually non-upgradable
The Best Computer for Video Editing and Multimedia
Next in line, we have the CUK Stratos, which makes for a VR ready liquid-cooled gaming-centric rig, which comes with impressive specs and a hefty price tag. However, if you’re looking for a true powerhouse, this machine comes with all the bells and whistles one can ask for in the current year, including the latest-gen Intel i9-9900K CPU, a high-end GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB GPU, plenty of RAM (32 GB) and an excellent 1TB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD combo. Basically, the CUK Stratos meets all the essential requirements we told you about in the preamble of the article, hence if you’re looking for the best computer for gaming and video editing money can buy, this baby should be on your short list.
On top of impressive hardware specs, the Stratos boasts 7 x 120mm Single Ring LED Lotus Fans, but unfortunately, they’re not controlled by software, but via remote control only.
- workstation-tier tech specs
- runs like a dream, incredibly fast
- super-silent stays cool under load
- ideal for both resource-intensive video editing and heavy gaming on the side
- impressive wire management, professionally built
- great design
- top notch customer support
- amazing value for money
- easily upgradable
- none really at this price
CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Supreme Liquid Cool
Good Value for Money with an Excellent Cable Management
As soon as you read the “gamer supreme” thing, you know you’re in for a real treat, because we’re all gamers here; rant aside, the improbably named CYBERPOWERPC is a very interesting option if you’re looking for a solid PC for video editing. Why? Well, this beast is built for heavy gaming, which means it offers massive processing power via its latest-gen Intel Core i7-9700K CPU clocked at 3.6 GHz. On top of that, you’ll get a more than decent NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB GPU, 16 GB of RAM and a lightning-fast 1TB PCI-E NVMe SSD.
Since what’s under the hood matters most in video-editing environments, you can rest assured: CYBERPOWERPC got all their basis covered. But it gets even better: we all know that power is nothing without proper means to dissipate heat, and here the high performance liquid cooling system comes into play, i.e. your system will never experience throttling issues, regardless of what you throw at it.
- solid hardware for video editing and gaming on the side
- good value for money
- very powerful and yet whisper-quiet even under load
- excellent cable management
- requires a firmware update to run properly
Alienware Aurora R8
The Alienware Aurora R8 is a technological powerhouse, and by powerhouse we mean that literally: this beast comes with a 9th gen (octa-core) Intel Core i7 9700 CPU running the show, plus a strong NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (8 GB DDR6/overclockable) GPU and 16 GB of RAM (DDR4/2666MHz), plus a dual HDD/SSD storage option (7200 RPM 2TB HDD + a 256 GB SSD). Judging from the specs, the Aurora R8 landed on Amazon directly from Area 51 via drone delivery, and surprisingly enough, the price is pretty good considering the specs, even if we’re talking Alienware here.
We know, some hardcore gamers reading this would regard R8’s GeForce RTX 2070 GPU as an “entry-level” solution for high-end gaming, but in the world of video editing, this baby is basically overkill. However, if you’re working with a generous budget and you’re looking for a desktop computer packed to the brim with the latest and greatest from both Nvidia and Intel, everything tucked into a futuristic yet elegant desktop case, it doesn’t get much better than the Alienware Aurora R8.
- tons of computing power in a UFO-like chassis
- easy to move around (comes with built-in carry handle)
- all the ports in the world
- good value for money
- easy to upgrade, i.e. supports 2 GPUs/more RAM
- kind of bulky and heavy
- fans can get noisy (requires BIOS update to solve the issue)
Desktop Battle Station
The Origin Millennium makes for an interesting video-editing desktop battle station which allows crazy levels of customization. Being a gaming-centric rig, the Millennium is built to be a true computing powerhouse, and due to its state of the art design, which features 3mm tinted tempered glass or 3mm aluminum side panels, it’s very easy to customize and/or upgrade. If you’re looking for one of the best custom-desktops for video editing money can buy, Origin Millennium should be on your short list. Just to give you a hint, their top-notch battle station sells north of $5k and features a Core i9-9900K CPU and dual Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti video cards.
It’s worth mentioning that Origin is one of the first companies to offer high-end custom PCs for gaming aficionados, and their chassis are made of steel, while most surfaces are either aluminum or glass, i.e. quality is king in these rigs. If you’re looking for a custom made desktop for video-editing, there’s little competition from other builders at the same price-point/quality.
- impeccable workmanship and build quality
- endless customization options
- easy to upgrade
- solid hardware
- top notch performance
- unique design
- good value for money
- none really