How to build a computer for 4K Video Editing

Learn how to build a computer for video editing. Select the rights components for to get the maximum performance for 4K video editing within your budget.

We build a new 4K video editing  computer for the office which took a month of research. With so many different graphics cards, CPU’s and other components on the market it was hard to chose. So we started from the fundamental question: what does a video editing computer need?

Some people will tell you it’s the graphics card, but in reality you want to spend most of your budget on the CPU. Having multiple cores will increase your rendering power as well. The graphics card is less important as it’s not used that much by your typical editing software. Premiere Pro does use the CUDA cores from Nvidias cards which will help in both playback and rendering.

Memory is also very important for video editing machines. Definitely if you’re working with 4K footage. We’re suggesting a minimum of 16 GB, but if you can please think about going to 32GB or even 64GB if you wich to stay away from the limits.

And finally is the storage. No, you don’t need super fast storage for video editing. It will only help with booting your PC and opening programs. But for storing your video files, even a normal hard drive would be enough. But if your budget allows it, consider a SATA SSD.

Our Video Editing Computer

The new 4k video editing PC in the office rocks with the new Intel i7 6900k. An 8 core running at 4.3Ghz (overclocked). For the graphics card we chose to go for the Nvidia GTX1080, which might be a little over-kill but it’s nice to have a future proof system. Furthermore it has 64GB of DDR4 memory at 2400Mhz and a PCIe SSD for the Windows 10 operating system and my Adobe apps.

Render Test

From the download button above you can find an After Effects and Premiere Pro project file with some generated effects. We rendered this though the applications itself and Adobe Media Encoder to find out the render speeds. If you’d like you can render them yourself to compare the results to our old and new machine.

OLD Computer (mid 2012)

  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 580 – 3GB VRAM
  • CPU: Intel Core I7 3930K – 3.8Ghz – 6 core (overclocked)
  • RAM: DDR3 1600Mhz 32GB
  • STORAGE: Samsung EVO 512GB SATA600 SSD

NEW Computer (mid 2016)

  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1080 – 8GB VRAM
  • CPU: Intel Core I7 6900K – 4.3Ghz – 8 core (overclocked)
  • RAM: DDR4 2400Mhz 64GB
  • STORAGE: Samsung SM951 NVMe 512GB PCIe SSD

6 thoughts on “How to build a computer for 4K Video Editing”

  1. Dear Cinecom.net,

    I am using Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects. I’m your biggest Fan. I have subscribed your channel as well. I wanted to buy the same laptop or desktop you use. As I want to edit like you. I request you, so please tell which one you use.
    I would be the happiest person if I receive a response from you.😊

    Thanks,
    Regards,
    Pranay Awasthi

    Reply
  2. how about a I7-7700K+ nvidia 1060 3GB + 16GB@2400 RAM + 250GB ssd

    Will this able to handle 4k video editing? especially 4k footage from 5dmk4 with is of huge size.

    Reply
  3. Hi Jordy,
    Do you build computers for your subscribers? How much do you charge for building a computer with the specification you recommended?

    GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1080 – 8GB VRAM
    CPU: Intel Core I7 6900K – 4.3Ghz – 8 core (overclocked)
    RAM: DDR4 2400Mhz 64GB
    STORAGE: Samsung SM951 NVMe 512GB PCIe SSD

    Please let me know the price and time requirement. If you do not build computers, could you please recommend someone or some company you have used? We are in Orange country California. Thank you very much, Jordy!

    Reply
    • Hey Jason,

      We don’t do that and I would also suggest to ask a local computer store to do that. When some component breaks, you can fall back on the warranty. I recently had my GTX1080 go up in smoke (for real) and the computer store that assemble my machine, just swapped it with a new one.

      Reply
  4. How do I run your render test in Premiere Pro 15.4
    All I did was load your project file and went to export video and clicked on match source.
    My export time from Premiere Pro was about 1:30 seconds seems to fast..

    Reply
  5. Please I would want you to build similar one for me. I am in Nigeria but I have a brother in California so tell me the requirements.thanks

    Reply

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