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