Every experienced video blogger or editor will say to you that video editing is a highly demanding task for computer hardware.
Your computer is just a simple hammer in this situation, but it needs to be a super-hammer to do the job successfully.
So you figure that it should be quite a great tool.
But what do you need to consider to find the best laptop or desktop computer to handle your professional video editing software?
Especially if you are a newbie, but you need a good machine to boost your video editing career?
In this article, we will introduce you to the basic things you need to look at in a computer while choosing your next PC or laptop.
Also, we will show you six excellent, and we can even say the best, computers for video editing to purchase in 2022. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?
The complicated process of choosing: What you need to know
So, what’s the most important thing for a video editor to look at their next computer?
Of course, it should be powerful enough to handle any, even very heavy and demanding, video editing software.
By this, we mean that even if you use high-maintenance professional tools like Adobe Premiere or Lightworks, or some amateur programs like WeVideo, Movavi, or VSDC, your computer should be able to run it without any freezes and lags.
It should be quick and do the operations with these programs in a matter of seconds because every saved moment here is your money.
There are four main factors that you should consider when choosing a video editing PC or laptop: a CPU, graphics card, and RAM.
Let’s start with the first one and learn what will be the best for you.
The right computer for you should have a really good and powerful brain or central processing unit (or, in short, CPU).
We have an entire article on what are the best processors for video editing. So maybe check on that one as well.
The most popular best-selling CPUs on the market belong to AMD and Intel, and we recommend you to choose one of them on your video editing computer.
The CPUs from these companies have everything you need for video editing purposes and an excellent reputation which ensures your CPU’s longevity and outstanding performance.
If we talk about Intel chips, their CPUs are called iCore + some number that means the CPU’s version.
The best and the newest at this time is iCore9, but you don’t need to purchase this exact CPU to have a powerful computer.
As it was mentioned in June’s “How to Choose the Right Laptop: A Step-by-Step Guide” “Wired” issue, you can start with Intel Core i5, and we absolutely agree with that.
If you prefer AMD CPUs, here you have many nice ones to choose from in 2021.
Just recently, the British “Techradar” announced their top 5 AMD processors of 2021, and every single one of the contestants can be an excellent choice for your video editing computer.
As for our personal favorite, we choose AMD Ryzen 5 3600X.
It is a reasonably priced choice, with superior performance and an in-built cooler, so it is even more affordable than others.
As for Apple computers, most of the older versions had Intel CPUs.
In 2020 Apple introduced their own chip, and now they use their brand new M1 chi. According to Apple studies, this CPU has the best per watt performance in the world, and numerous positive customer reviews prove this.
So if you have money to splurge on the 2020 or 2021 Mac, bring it on!
The next important part of your computer that should be chosen wisely is a graphics card. We recommend you to look at a nice professional graphics card from AMD or NVIDIA, two leading companies in the industry.
In the case of a graphics card, it is better to get the most powerful you can afford because a graphics card will play a huge role in the performance of your hefty video editing software.
As a starting point, we would like to suggest purchasing AMD Radeon RX 6800XT or Nvidia Quadro RTX 4000, but if you can, go higher!
Footages, unedited materials, and final high-quality videos can weigh a lot. That’s why an abundance of memory on SSD or HDD drives is crucial for every video editor.
As for choosing between these two, it is really up to your budget and needs. If you need a more affordable choice, an HDD drive with a lot of memory will be excellent for you. A good 8TB HDD drive will cost you around $100-200, and the same SDD will be not less than $800!
At the same time, SSDs are much faster than HDD drives and if you value speed over storage space, go for SSD. But on the other hand, no one can’t forbid you to have them both and enjoy both speed and endless space, right? So here the choice is yours completely!
And the more RAM, the better! You can successfully perform your video editing tasks on computers with only 6GB of RAM. However, investing money in more RAM will allow you to work faster and better, open multiple programs at one time, and not get lags and freezes. Thus do not be cheap on this part of your computer, because it is the money spent on your career.
As a general consensus, most companies recommend either 16GB or 32GB RAM for video editing computers, so stick to these figures when you go looking for your PC or a laptop.
Firstly we will look at the best laptop deals that will perfectly fit any of your editing needs. Due to their mobility, you can work for any outsource video editing company on one of these laptops on some island in the ocean and still be a fully equipped editor.
We couldn’t start without one of the best laptop brands, the Apple MacBook. And we don’t have an agenda here, no: it is just an outstanding, lightweight, and powerful laptop, perfect for video editing.
The new 2021 MacBooks generation has a new M1 chip and 10-core or 16-core CPU that will handle any program you need.
The laptop has excellent battery life and a high-quality Liquid Retina XDR display with amazing speakers to give you the best experience during the editing.
Yes, this one is on the pricier side, but it is a good investment for professional use.
This laptop is not messing around with you: it is a truly professional machine that will handle any serious video editing task.
It has a powerful 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor, which can be upgraded to i9 in the advanced model; amazing NVIDIA graphics card, 32GB RAM (and it is upgradable to 64GB!), and an excellent 4K OLED display in one lovely packaging.
Razer Blade 15 is the hardware for a seasoned professional, and it is impossible to be disappointed by it.
However, it can be an overwhelming choice for newbies and middle specialists, even though many reviewers love this laptop.
Since it is quite expensive, think thoroughly before buying it if you are on the first level of a video editing career.
Dell XPS 15 is the perfect choice for high-end design projects and 4K video editing.
This laptop is more affordable than the previous two, and it undoubtedly has the best value for its money.
This machine with an 11th generation Intel Core i7 processor is the best choice for busy editors, who spend many hours at their laptop and just want it to work smoothly.
It has a nice FHD screen, 16GB of RAM, and a great NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card.
This is a good powerful machine that can perform many different tasks, and after a long day of editing, you can enjoy some high-end games on it too.
Now let’s move on to the desktop computers and see the best three of them that will be able to run both your Adobe Photoshop Pro with all plugins and filters on and high-end and demanding games like Red Dead Redemption 2 on ultra settings.
This computer has one of the best CPUs available on the market, Intel Core i9, and a professional NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card. As you can imagine, nothing is a challenge for this monster.
As HP states, this is a PC created for high-end gaming. But it can do so much more! Thanks to excellent hardware and performance, it will also handle the most demanding video editing software. Yes, you will get a perfect gaming computer and an excellent work tool in one lovely package!
HP offers many variations of Omen 30L, and you’ve got many opportunities for upgrading in the future if you need to. But even in the most basic version, HP Omen 30L has amazing performance in any task. Just so you know, in a basic version, it has double more RAM than Adobe Premiere needs.
Lenovo ThinkStation P620 is a good, long-term investment that will be paid off by countless productive times spent working at this powerful machine.
It is a petit computer with a huge power inside: AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3955WX CPU with 16 cores and NVIDIA Quadro RTX4000.
The CPU is the beautiful fruit of collaboration between AMD and Lenovo, and its performance just blows our minds.
Considering this computer’s possibilities, we find that it is a very reasonably priced machine. It is a very flexible PC, and you can upgrade and expand it many times to prolong its life.
Since you can constantly upgrade it, this investment makes sense both for beginners in video editing and experienced professionals.
We will finish just like we started: with the Apple computer, but now we want to offer you iMac 2021, one of the best computers for video editors overall.
Every penny that you will spend on this excellent machine will be worth it.
It is an elegant and powerful gear that takes next to nothing space but contains a huge amount of possibilities inside.
Not to mention seven vibrant colors this iMac has to choose from, which is not essential for video editing but still can be a significant motivating and inspirational factor.
iMac has a super thin and compact impressive 4,5K Retina display and excellent sound system.
Inside the machine, you will find a fantastic graphics card and already mentioned (and still very cool) super-powerful M1 chip.
Isn’t it just everything you may possibly need to edit videos comfortably?
iMacs are famous for their very smooth performance and longevity of the machines.
If you value these two things, this Apple computer should be your №1 choice.
And that’s our top!
Yes, we chose only six computers to choose from, but still, these are powerful, excellent machines, and one of them absolutely can become your best video editing friend.
Every one of them will do the job perfectly, so it is only for you to decide what will win your video editor’s heart!
Choosing a computer for video editing can be even harder than actually editing a 4K blockbuster.
You put a lot of money into this machine, and you expect it to work flawlessly.
Many video editors and professional designers even go further than the long process of choosing one great computer and start building their video editing computer from scratch.
If you didn’t find the one for you after reading our top, use the first part of the article to choose the right hardware and make your own personal super-machine.
But if this way is not for you, choose one of the six excellent computers we recommend to you, and you will not have any blue days with any of them.
Our final advice will be this: be reasonable, but not cheap because it is an investment in your career.
Cristian Stanciu is a freelance video editor, owner, and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media – a company offering video editing services to videographers, marketing agencies, video production studios, or brands all over the globe.