Choosing The Best Computer For Video Editing

If you're in the market for a video editing computer, there are some important specifications you need to pay attention to. A video editing computer needs more computing power than an average desktop computer.

For example, the CPU needs to be faster, there needs to be more RAM and more disk space to handle processing of large video files.

The problem for many newbies is the vast number of choices out in the market. Which video editing computer do you choose?

Well, help is here! I'm going to give you seven tips for choosing the best computer for your video editing needs. Read on and find out more!

1. Get A Desktop

Here's the first piece of advice I'll need to give. If you want to get into professional video editing, go purchase a desktop computer. Some people will say that laptops are more mobile and easier to use when editing video on the go.

Go with a desktop for video editing

That is true, but as video editing professional, you'll usually want a huge amount of computer power, disk space and a large monitor to view and process your videos. In general, for the same price, a desktop is generally more powerful than a laptop and are great value for money.

The brands I tend to trust are HP, Dell and Apple. Yes, there are many other brands out there but usually I'd recommend you go with the better known brands like the three above.

2. Best CPUs

The best computer for video editing usually should come with a powerful CPU. The latest CPUs from Intel - the Intel Core i7 processors are powerful enough to process / encode huge amounts of video files without blinking.

The Intel Core i7 processor

Yes, although there are AMD CPU fans out there, for me - I'd go with Intel these days. I find them dollar for dollar, better CPUs overall. There was a time AMD was nearly catching up or surpassing Intel, but these days Intel is back in front of the CPU game.

3. Motherboards

The word "motherboard" confuses many of my friends. To explain it in layman terms, a motherboard is a huge circuit board in a computer that connects the various components (e.g. CPU, RAM, ports, power supply) together. Each motherboard is designed according to a specific chipset and the best brands are ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte.

If you're building a computer on your own, go for these brands which I've used for years. A motherboard, as you can imagine, is a critical piece of computer hardware - carefully selected, your computer's performance will scream when you edit video or play games.

4. Good Graphics Card

An important component for a video editing computer is a good graphics card. If you're using a professional level video editing software like Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas, a good graphics card (along with a good CPU and lots of RAM) is very important for good performance.

I'd usually go with the nVidia brand of graphics cards (models like the GTX470/570+ or a Quadro 2000/4000 would be good).

A nVidia graphics card from Gigabyte

If you're using your computer more for home video editing, you may be installing software like Pinnacle Studio or Corel VideoStudio. For these computers, an ATI or nVidia graphics card with 768+ megs RAM or more will do. Make sure you download the latest graphics drivers for your card and install them for best results.

5. Memory

The amount of RAM in your computer is an important determinant of video editing performance. If you're running Windows 7 64-bit as your operating system, you need a minimum of 4GB RAM.

Ideally, you should be running with at least 8GB to 12GB to really ensure seamless, fluid video when doing your post-processing. Go for it, these days memory is cheap and injecting RAM into your otherwise slow machine will make a lot of difference.

6. Data Storage

The size of video files you store in your computer can grow very quickly. Finalizing a full length DVD quality movie can take up many gigabytes of storage. What you need is a big, fast hard disk drive (e.g. 1TB or more) to contain all that video.

These days, there are also solid state drives - they are very speedy but tend to be expensive.

7. Blu-ray or DVD burner

Finally, the best computer for the video enthusiast must be equipped with a good Blu-ray or DVD burner. I'd encourage you to go Blu-ray since they are pretty afforable now and are backward compatible with DVDs.

Blu-ray discs can store 25GB of video per disc as opposed to 4GB in DVDs. They are also great for backing up and archiving.

Wrapping Up ...

I hope the above has helped you understand your options for a video editing computer. When I hunt for such computers, I usually place a lot of emphasis on the CPU, RAM, graphics card and data storage.

Remember to do some research on these components before you head out to buy your computer!