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.

Download the render test

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.

Full Specification List

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

 

ProjectPremiere proPremiere ProAfter EffectsAfter Effects
RendererPremiere ProMedia EncoderAfter EffectsMedia Encoder
Result OLD

07:36

07:4816:29

18:15

Result NEW

04:23

03:4108:15

11:06

Performance Increase

142%

153%150%

139%

Average Performance Increase

146%