Choosing the right system for editing films and videos is crucial. It can also be very confusing with all the various computers, desktops, and laptops out there. However, when setting up your own laptop or desktop for video editing there are 3 key factors to keep in mind.
- What kind of footage are you going to be working with?
- What kind processing power is needed?
- What kind of software will you use?
My personal set up is based on the demands of my clients. My systems comprise of both PC, Macs, desktops, and laptops. My cliental often bring me HD and SD footage from various sources, either 1080p, 2k, and even 4k. This means I had to build a systems that are very powerful. Here is a basic run down of my current setup:
For editing film and broadcast material which includes RED 4k, HDCAM, and XDCAM
Mac Pro Tower
- 12 core Intel Xeon
- 16 gig of ram
- 4 Terabytes of Hardrive
- ATI Radeon 5770
- Nvidia Quadro 4000
- Black Magic DeckLink HD Extreme 3D
For editing DSLRs, XDCAM EX footage, as well as editing in the field. I currently have 2 different systems.
17” Macbook Pro
- Intel i7
- 8 GB of Ram
- FireWire 800
- 500 GB Hard Drive
- Express Card Slot
16” Asus PC
- Intel i7
- 8GB of ram
- 500 GB Drive
- USB 3.0
As you can see there is a consistent theme of processing power. When it comes to editing HD footage for broadcast there is no real compromise. The more processing power you have… the faster your workflow. There by reducing your render times, and speeding up compression times.
Sure I could run out and grab one of those cheaper $500 dollar PC’s and try to make it work. However, that would be a very painful process with massive render times, and a sluggish OS. It may not even be able to run the editing software at all, as most editing software have very specific needs. These days setting up a system, is really based on “you pay for what you get.”
These systems have time and time again proven to be an outstanding asset that has never faulted or given me the dreaded “buyer’s remorse”. Therefore I recommend spending the extra money on a proper editing platform with at least an Intel i7 processor. Not only with the machine perform better, faster, but it will also last you longer. Especially compared to those $500 PC’s that need to be upgrade only after a year of use.
Want a computer that can edit photos and video like a pro? Look for laptop and desktop PCs with Intel Inside® for great experiences both at home and on the go.