Post-production of video and film is some of the most demanding work a computer can be called on to perform. Whether it is adding special effects and CGI, editing timelines and cropping footage, or rendering finished video to different formats, these creative endeavors really put computer hardware to the test. It is essential that your editing workstation is able to handle that load. Your time is money, and any time your workstation is down for repairs is costly. We understand that, and value the quality and reliability of our PCs above all else!
Building For Speed
No matter what software you are using, a fast processor is critical to your video editing computer. Memory is also important, though exactly how much you need depends heavily on your software and the size of projects you work on. Many editing suites are also shifting toward using the previously untapped potential in high-end graphics cards to accelerate the editing and rendering processes. These are a lot of factors to balance, and we can help you tune the configuration of your workstation to your unique needs.
Understanding Disk Usage
The final factor, which too many people overlook, is the drive setup. When working on video you want to have a separate editing drive – keeping the access of those files isolated from the constant input that the operating system and applications have where they are installed. Solid-state drives and the speed they offer are tempting, but have to be weighed against their cost. Traditional hard drives are much less expensive for the amount of storage space they provide, and for large file transfers can still be quite speedy. Arrays of drives can also be employed if necessary for more size and speed. For rendering in particular it may be beneficial to use three drives: one of the OS/applications, one for source video, and one for the finished product.
For Video Editing The Processor Is King
The last place you want to short yourself on your photo editing build is the processor. That being said you don’t have to purchase the most expensive processor in order to take advantage of most of the benefits. The i7-5820k would be a good example of high processing power with a more moderate price. It offers 6 core processing power with hyper-threading which allows it to operate as up to 12 cores. This is a huge benefit when it comes to rendering.
How Much Ram Should I Use?
For amateur video editors, I’d recommend 16GB. This tends to be enough to get the job done when editing HD video. For professionals, I’d recommend going with 32GB to start and upgrading from there if you find that you’re using the full amount. If you plan on upgrading in the future, then you’ll want to start with a motherboard which can support beyond this amount.
If you plan on overclocking your ram or purchasing high-speed ram, then be sure to check to make sure your motherboard is compatible with higher speeds than what you’ve purchased.
Choosing Your Motherboard
If you’ve never built a computer before it’s important to realize that whatever processor you choose corresponds with which motherboards are compatible with it. For example if you go with the i7-4930k which is a LGA 2011 socket processor, then you’ll need a compatible socket 2011 motherboard. It’s easy enough to find what socket motherboard you have and need in the product description for the CPU.
Is A GPU Important For Video Editing?
The graphics card has historically never been the most important part of an editing computer since the process of rendering is mainly a CPU-intensive task. However, there are some GPU-accelerated tasks that use the GPU, and having a good GPU means that the PC can be used for editing and gaming also if you wish.
Additionally, modern editing programs have begun to leverage GPU performance for real-time rendering applications, such as Adobe Premiere’s Mercury Playback Engine, which has a huge impact on editing smoothness.