Building a desktop for Video Editing

After purchasing roughly $1000 in camera & microphone equipment, I’ve come to a jarring realization – my current computer is not strong enough to support video editing.

According to desktop documentaries, there are certain spec requirements for fast and efficient editing, capable of 4k:


  • Memory/RAM: 8-32 GB RAM or as much as you can afford (ideally at least 16GB)
  • Processor: Multi-core Intel i5/i7/i9 models (i9 is best). Preferably 4 or more processor cores.
  • Storage: At least 256 GB hard drive, 7200 RPM, preferably SSD (fastest)… buy as much as you can afford, you can always add external hard drives.
  • Graphics card: Depends on video editing software. For example, Premiere Pro and Davinci Resolve do well with both AMD and NVIDIA. (Minimum 2GB memory)
  • Operating System: Windows 7 (64 bit edition), Mac OS X, Linux (Your OS will likely determine the editing software you go with)
  • Nice size screen – 19-21 inch minimum
  • Firewire or Thunderbolt Port built in or as an external dock

I spent the weekend educating myself on computer components and compiled a list of all the accessories I would need to purchase to transform my desktop into a video editing machine. Then I discovered my motherboard is so outdated it will not support any of them, so I might as well build a computer from scratch. I discovered this super helpful video for the low-budget filmmaker and have nearly all of the items “Adam with Tech Dive” recommends waiting in my amazon cart. It will cost me under a thousand dollars but will be capable of doing everything the modern day filmmaker requires. I’m not excited to spend more money, but I don’t have much of a choice. If you are going to build a video editing computer, I highly suggest this man’s helpful video.

3 thoughts on “Building a desktop for Video Editing

  1. Dear Thomas,
    I understand your frustration that your old computer isn’t up to the memory capability to run your video editing software. Good luck in purchasing the right computer for the job!

    Never Give Up
    You Can Do This

  2. Hey,

    First, this guy building an “editing PC” is clueless. If you put an 570 or 580 into a PC you need for intense edits, it will just laugh at you. I run an 2080 super with Da Vinci resolve studio and that does the job more or less when im rendering RAW footage.

    You CANNOT edit decent footage with a HDD (only an SSD) you also need to consider voltage and match-ups with ram and CPU.

    Essentially, I am sorry to say that this guy is NOT wise in the world of editing. Let’t think logically. As somebody that produces videos, my camera equipment alone cost me almost £10k, why on earth would any self respecting editor cut so many corners on an editing PC.

    What this guy has built is a system that is capable of handling video footage at the lowest end. This is not the same as editing.

    Take the PC he’s built. Layer 20-30 tracks (which is below standard) incorporate fusion tracks, build audio and the computer won’t be able to handle even a quarter of this work.

    Always remember, when it comes to editing. It’s not about cutting and a few transitions. Editing will set you apart from the crowd. Aim your sights higher than this bad information from this guy, you are better than that good sir.

    • Thank you for your insight, Rob. A lot of his influence on me has to do with my limited understanding of computer components, and the ease of ordering by him labeling each recommendation he made. All I knew going into the venture was the minimum requirements to do 4k editing. I really appreciate all the information you’ve laid out here, and you made some great points. I know on my latest video I had a short sequence that required 5 layers of video and I did have a difficult time editing it due to the constant skipping. I’m going to look more into the parts you recommended in comparison to mine, thank you for steering me in the right direction. Do you prefer Davinci over Premiere? I’m hearing that more and more editors have made the switch and it’s becoming the industry standard. If you do prefer Davinci, I’d love to hear why. Thanks again for stopping by and providing an insightful response.

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