Whether you’re using a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, video production is fast becoming a popular pastime.

If you are a beginner or editing videos like a pro a powerful machine is nearly prerequisite for video production. In this article, I’ll talk about what to look out for when building a video editing PC build, as well as the best machine you can build right now.

PC Building 101: choosing parts for a video editor

Before making a purchasing decision, it is important to consider your requirements. Is video editing just a hobby now, or would you like to do it professionally in the future? Will you be editing 4K footage from multiple cameras or working on your family’s home video?

One of the most important factors in determining your editing needs is the codec. The vast majority of consumer camcorders, and even professional grade DSLRs such as the Canon 5D, record video in a highly compressed format such as H.264 . This format is amazing for reducing the size of your files, but is very difficult to edit with computers because the file must first be decompressed on the fly.

Professional codecs like Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD require much less system resources to edit, but the file sizes are much larger and not many consumer grade cameras can record in this format.

Generally, you want to purchase the best processor and graphics card. Sufficient amount of RAM and a fast hard drive are desirable, but they are not as important as the CPU and GPU.

The system recommended below is suitable for 4K video editing (this is the future), but you can change it depending on your needs. Our guide to building your own PC may come in handy if you are not practicing or starting to build a computer.

Motherboard and processor for 4K video

The motherboard is the heart of your computer. While it is unlikely that significant performance gains can be achieved from different models, it is important to have the correct specifications for your requirements and the appropriate socket for your processor.

best video editing 4k pc build motherboard

Let’s start with the processor. Once selected, it is easy to choose the right motherboard.

In video editing, more processor cores typically result in greater performance gains compared to faster single cores. Historically I’m an Intel fan, but I recommend an AMD Ryzen 5 1500X processor bundled with an Asus motherboard.

Although it’s not the best processor, its 4 cores and 8 threads running at 3.5GHz is more than enough for most editing tasks. Throw in 65 watts of power and you’re a real winner.

If you feel like splashing out, you can use Ryzen 7, but it’s not necessary for all but the most demanding tasks. Read our guide to what makes Ryzen so good. if you need more persuasiveness.

The bundled Asus ROG STRIX B350-F motherboard is another reliable manufacturer. It can handle up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, comes with PCIe 3.0 and USB 3.1, and supports M.2 SSDs for ultra-fast storage!

PC build RAM

Any decent editing rig needs a lot of RAM The motherboard supports DDR4 at frequencies up to 2666 MHz — and this is before overclocking.

Fits 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM. You can upgrade to 32GB if you like, but don’t drop it to 8GB, especially if you’re going to be editing 4K videos.

Hard drives and solid state drives for storage

A large hard drive is essential for killer video editing. Fast drives are required for heavy editing sessions, but large capacity is also needed. What solution?

Enter: M.2 SSD.

best video editor 4k pc build hdd

M.2 NVME SSD are some of the fastest solid state drives you can buy. Although the Samsung 960 series are considered kings, they very expensive and they will really eat into your budget.

The Western Digital 512GB NVME SSD is incredibly fast and won’t break the bank. You can always upgrade later or use a NAS like if you need more storage space.

Graphics card for PC build

The graphics card is a pretty important part of your editing setup. While you may not notice this when cutting and grading, you really notice this when rendering, or when working with compositions in After Effects, such as motion-tracked text.

best video editor 4k pc build gpu

The EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is a great performer with 4GB of GDDR5 RAM. Like the rest of the components, this isn’t the fastest card available — you could use a 1070 or 1080 instead, but they’re sure to eat into your $1,000 budget.

Other computer components

Once all the main components are selected, you will be left with $150 for miscellaneous components such as the power supply, the block, and the operating system.

If you want to be very frugal, you can install Linux and start editing with Davinci Resolve. While this non-linear editor is a great performer, it still lacks some features on Linux, but this free OS and professional grade video editor is not to be laughed at!

If you’re not a Linux fan or prefer editing in Adobe products, then Windows 10 Professional Edition is a good choice, although it consumes a good deal of the remaining budget.

For a 600W EVGA B1 PSU, it’s a great budget choice and delivers more than enough power. If you plan to upgrade components later or have replaced some components for higher wattage components, then read our PSU buying guide first.

And finally add a case like the Corsair Carbide Series and you’re done!

What did you choose?

All of these components add up to a montage monster, but on a $1,000 budget! Replacing components with faster or better parts will certainly increase performance, but this may not always be necessary.

If you need some practice building your computer, don’t forget to check out our handy video guide:

If you are not into video editing, have you read our guide to building an energy efficient Ethereum mining rig ?

Whatever you build, let us know in the comments below — and share your finished videos, we’d love to see them!

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