Best Computers for Video Editing

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Ben Jacklin Edited by Ben Jacklin

Want to up your video editing game, perhaps by integrating 4K videos into the mix? To do that, you'll need to find the best PC for video editing. At the same time, you want something that isn't going to break your budget. Finding the best cheap computer that can handle your multimedia needs well isn't easy, given the sheer number of choices available and varying capabilities of each. In this post, we'll break down our list of top PCs to take your video editing to the next level without breaking the bank or requiring you to build a custom computer from scratch. Each of them will give you all the power you need to grow your YouTube channel.

The list below is presented in no particular order. Since each of the computers has made the list, you can assume that each of them would make a great choice. Which one you choose will ultimately depend on your own personal needs and how the computer in question fits with those.

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Finding the best PC for video editing

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SPECIFICATIONS

Display: 24in. 4.5K retina display (23.5in. actual diagonal screen size)

CPU: Apple M1 chip; 8-core CPU

GPU: Apple M1 chip; offers both 7-core or 8-core GPU

RAM: 8 GB unified memory; upgradeable to 16 GB

Storage: Available from 256 GB to 2 TB

REASONS TO BUY:

  • Tons of ports and storage options

  • Large display and sleek design

  • Secure system

  • Solid mic, speakers, and camera built-in

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • Expensive

  • Limited upgrade options

  • Requires Mac-compatible software

Apple products have long been the choice of video editing and graphic design professionals. While the Mac Pro is a fairly expensive computer, the all-in-one iMac is certainly more affordable and still possesses the power required for video editing. The new iMacs are available in 4K and 5K display resolutions, ensuring that you'll be able to meet the demands of today's video consumer. The high contrast and densely packed pixels on these displays also make them a joy to look at.

If you opt for the 4K or 5K models, you'll get a powerful Radeon Pro graphics card with up to 8 GB of VRAM to power all of those pixels, and your video-editing software. As for the CPU, you can go as high as a 3.1 GHz 6-core i5 processor. Starting with the 4K models, the option for Apple's fusion drive is available. Fusion drives contain a solid-state storage portion, so your most frequently accessed files load quicker.

Apple products, of course, run Apple's macOS operating system. If you are more comfortable with Windows, then this is something you should consider. The macOS interface is clean and easy to use, so you needn't fear the switch if you find the Apple product more appealing.

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SPECIFICATIONS

Display: 27in. 4K UHD

CPU: 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 or i7 up to 3.6GHz

GPU: ‎AMD Radeon R9 M470X

RAM: 4 DIMM slots that hold up to 32 GB of memory

Storage: 3 total HD slots

REASONS TO BUY:

  • Stunning display

  • Has ten speakers with fantastic audio

  • Capable as a gaming system

  • Superfast processor

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • Expensive

  • Heavy

  • Difficult to access ports

If you love sound, then the best-in-class sound of the Dell XPS 27 all-in-one may just be your favorite of the group. The computer features a soundbar with 10 speakers and 50 watts of power, making it sound a step above other all-in-one options. Of course, this is a video production list and not a sound production list, so Dell has some other great features as well.

Like the iMac, the Dell computer has a 4K display. In this case, though, the 4K option is standard. The optional Radeon RX 570 graphics card will give you more than enough power to push all 4K of those pixels towards whatever video-editing task you ask of it, as well as run the latest games at decent settings or power your VR headset.

The XPS also features a microphone array and far-field speech capabilities to power Microsoft's Cortana and turn your computer into a virtual assistant that you can control just by talking to it. This feature works from up to 13 feet away from the computer.

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SPECIFICATIONS

Display: 28” PixelSense™ Display with 4500 × 3000 (192 PPI) resolution, 3:2 aspect ratio, and 10 point multitouch

CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-7820HQ

GPU: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 6 GB GDDR5 memory (with i7/16/1 TB configuration) or NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 8 GB GDDR5 memory (with i7/32/1 TB and i7/32/2 TB configurations)

RAM: 16 GB – 32 GB (DDR4)

Storage: 1 TB – 2 TB solid-state drive (SSD)

REASONS TO BUY:

  • Fast performance for editing

  • Highly accurate touch screen that includes a surface pen

  • Super-thin display

  • Innovative, sleek design

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • Could use a little more power on the CPU

  • Inconvenient port locations with no Thunderbolt 3 support

  • Expensive

Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is one of the more expensive options on the list, but the price gets you a computer that packs a powerful punch. The Studio is Microsoft's all-in-one desktop solution for their Surface-branded computers and tablets. The base model comes with the powerful Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card with 6 GB of VRAM, but that can be upgraded to the GTX 1070 and 8 GB of VRAM. This will allow it to run almost all modern games at the highest quality settings possible. Which, of course, gives it plenty of power to push your video projects ahead.

The display on the Surface Studio 2 is a rather unique, 4500 × 3000 pixels. The computer also comes with up to 16 GB of RAM and up to a 1 TB SSD drive.

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SPECIFICATIONS

Display: 21.5 or 24in. FHD (1920 × 1080) color, WVA, LED backlight, anti-glare, 16:9 aspect ratio, borderless, or 27in. Quad HD (2560 × 1440) color, WVA, LED backlight, anti-glare, 16:9 aspect ratio, borderless.

CPU: Intel Core i7-7700T @ 2.9GHz, Pentium 4415U 2 / 4 2.3 GHz, i3-6006U 2 / 4 2.0 GHz, i3-7020U 2 / 4 2.3 GHz, i5-7200U 2 / 4 2.5 GHz, i5-8250U 4 / 8 1.6 GHz / 3.4 GHz

GPU: Intel HD Graphics 520 / 610 / 620, Intel UHD Graphics 620 in processor, AMD Radeon™ 530, 2 GB GDDR5, DirectX® 12 (only in 21.5 and 24in. models)

RAM: Up to 16 GB DDR

Storage: 128 GB – 2 TB. 

Models include: SATA 6.0Gb/s, 3.5" wide, 7200 rpm, M.2 SSD / PCIe NVMe, PCIe 3.0 x 4 (e.g. 256 GB SSD M.2 PCIe NVMe), M.2 SSD / PCIe NVMe, PCIe 3.0 x 2 (e.g. 128 GB SSD M.2 PCIe NVMe), Intel Optane™ Memory, M.2

REASONS TO BUY:

  • Solid design; nice to look at

  • Fantastic touch screen (if purchased)

  • Outstanding audio with ports available to enhance

  • i7 models are super fast

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • Loud cooling fan

  • Unable to access the interior of the system for maintenance or repair

  • Poorly placed ports

If you do not have a 4K camera, then perhaps a 4K monitor is overkill for your needs. In that case, your money is better spent increasing the specs that you will make use of. The Lenovo IdeaCentre 520 is the first, and only, Full HD option on the list. The less advanced monitor makes it one of the more affordable options on the list, but it still has the power needed for editing on its 1080p display.

The IdeaCentre has 16 GB of RAM standard, along with a 256 GB SSD drive and a 1 TB hard drive. Its 6-core i5 Intel Core processor is good for up to 3.3 GHz. The 23.8-inch touchscreen display is powered by an Intel UHD Graphics 630 chip that shares its memory with the system RAM. The Lenovo computer is powered by Windows 10 Home 64-bit edition.

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SPECIFICATIONS

Display: Tower only; display not included but has support for dual display.

CPU: Intel Core i7-8700 (Coffee Lake) (35 W) 3.2 GHz, Intel Core i7+ 8700 (Core i7 and 16 GB Intel Optane memory) (35 W) 2.4 GHz, Intel Core i5-8400 (Coffee Lake) (35 W) 2.8 GHz, Intel Core i5+ 8400 (Core i5 and 16 GB Intel Optane memory) (35 W) 1.7 GHz

GPU: Intel® UHD Graphics 630 or AMD Radeon RX 580 FH (8 GB), AMD Radeon RX 550, NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 – 1050 (2 GB GDDR5 dedicated), NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4 GB GDDR5 dedicated), NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (3 GB – 6 GB GDDR5 dedicated), NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 – 1080 (8 GB GDDR5X dedicated)

RAM: 8 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM (upgradable to 64 GB)

Storage: 128 GB – 4 TB

REASONS TO BUY:

  • Powerful CPU and graphics processors

  • Excellent support from HP

  • Lots of storage options

  • Supports dual display

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • Upgrade assembly can be difficult

  • Loud fans

  • Not powerful enough to double for developers or gamers

Moving away from all-in-one computers, the HP Envy 795 is the only tower on the list. This means that you will have to purchase a monitor for it separately. The computer's specs are more than capable of handling a 4K monitor, though. In this case, it has a powerful Radeon RX 580 FH card with a whopping 8 GB of VRAM. Combine that with the 16 GB of system RAM and you have a system that will easily handle your video-editing needs. Combined with a 4K monitor, it easily competes with the all-in-ones for the title of best desktop for video editing.

The Envy comes with an Intel Core i7 6-Core processor that clocks in at 3.2 GHz with a turboboost rating of up to 4.6 GHz. It has both a 128 GB solid-state drive and a 2 TB hard drive to give you a nice trade-off between fast loading and maximum storage space.

Although it doesn't come with a monitor, you will get a keyboard and mouse with the Envy. Like most modern computers, HP has packed in their wireless keyboard and mouse options to keep your desktop free from the clutter of wires.

Summary

After you've found the best computer for video editing, you'll want to pair it with the perfect software. There are a lot of options out there, and they too can be hard to sort through. Movavi Video Editor Plus has a ton of great features with a focus on being easy to use, so you can be creative without restraint. We want you to spend your time fulfilling your creative vision, not reading instructions on how to do so. We invite you to download a free trial of Movavi Video Editor Plus so that you can see for yourself how much it will raise the production quality of your videos. It is available for both Mac and Windows computers and is suitable for amateur and professional content creators alike.

Frequently asked questions

What does a video-editing computer need?

Specifications regarding processing speeds, storage space, and RAM increase every year – sometimes in less time. The generic answer to this question is, “You need hardware that can handle both the quality of the video you intend to edit and the software you’ll use to edit it.” Opt for processing speeds (CPU, GPU, and RAM) and storage space capacity that go one step above the recommended specifications, and you should be able to edit and run everything with ease.

How do we test the best laptops for video editing?

Evaluating the performance of a video-editing laptop requires the use of a variety of benchmark software. Each program tests the strengths and weaknesses of different components within the system – CPU, memory subsystems, graphics card, storage, etc. We also put to test real-world applications of various editing programs and rate their viability on the system.

Is a gaming PC good at video editing?

Although you’ll need to review the recommended specifications to run your editing software and playback, most gaming PCs are capable of high-quality video editing. They typically have both the processing, graphics, and RAM capabilities to access and edit video files with ease.

Have questions?

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