High End PC Hardware for a Performance Video Editing PC

Powerful Specs for a Professional Video Editing System

If you are like many of the video professionals I have worked with in the last few months you have one main thing in common. You need a Professional quality Video Editing System that will deliver power, and performance.

But with all the PC Hardware choices available what is the best custom configuration for a Video Editing PC?

Here we will take a look at the hardware options available along with the best configuration possible to create a professional Video Editing Workstation.

Best Hardware for a High Power Video Editing PC

To create a High End Video Editing Computer you need to make sure you have the best parts for the heart of the system. I highly recommend the Intel Core i7 to make the most of your PC.

This is because it out performs the Intel Core 2 Duo and Dual Core CPUs as well as the AMD AM2 and Phenom II processors. In fact it blows away pretty much every CPU on the market. The Core i7 also excels at multimedia applications, which means you can Edit Video faster with a chip that designed to do just that.

The memory in your Video Editing PC should be DDR3 because it is designed to run with the Intel Core i7 CPUs, and because it offers the fastest Bus speeds available for RAM. It also allows you to take advantage of the triple-channel memory controller function on the Core i7 processors.

For the motherboard you should look into a full size ATX board that will offer you plenty of features and configuration options to create your professional Video Editing workstation. Recommended brands include Intel, ASUS, and Gigabyte because of the reliability and performance they offer to users.

You should also look for boards that offer plenty of expandability through the use of PCI expansion slots and rear I/O slots. This will allow you to customize a very robust Video Editing PC.

Video & Capture Cards for a Video Editing Computer

The two other most important considerations in designing a Video Editing System are the video card, and capture card because these handle all the primary video functions in your system and work in conjunction with your software to provide maximum performance.

Because of this I would recommend going with the GeForce GTX295 video card which comes equipped with 1792mb of video memory. This means any Video Editing software you use that works in tandem with your video card will operate at peak performance.

There are many good capture cards out there but my preference is for the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Media Center because of its ability to capture dual ATSC video input. This is great for Video Editing and also doubles as a DVR.

Aside from the main PC hardware considerations we have listed above there are a few other things to consider when custom building a Professional Video Editing PC. Let’s recap below and list any additional hardware that is ideal for high end video performance in a video editing system.

Main considerations for a Proessional Video Editing System:

  • A Powerful Multimedia / Video Editing CPU like the Intel Core i7 Processor
  • Fast DDR3 Memory that takes advantage of the Triple-Channel Memory Controller.
  • A Full Size ATX Motherboard that offers plenty of Expandability & Upgrade Options.
  • A High End GPU like the nVidia GeForce GTX-295 with lots of Video Memory.
  • A Performance Capture Card / TV Tuner that is capable of working with HD Video.

Addition considerations for a High Performance Video Editing PC are as follows:

  • Plenty of hard disk storage space, ideally 1-2 Terabytes.
  • Blu-Ray support for High Definition Video projects.
  • Dual DVD-RW drives for Disc to Disc copy operations and Data Backup.
  • A High Speed 10K (10,000) RPM SATA hard drive.
  • A Case or PC Enclosure that provides good air flow and cooling.

Following these considerations will help you design a Professional High End Video Editing PC that is capable of any project you can imagine.

With high performance hardware that offers power and speed you can Custom Build the perfect system for Video Editing, Video Capture, Post Processing and Video Encoding. If you follow the considerations I have mentioned and work with good brand name PC hardware you will have a Professional Video Editing System that helps you maximize your workflow and creativity.

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9 Responses to “High End PC Hardware for a Performance Video Editing PC”

  1. Henry Fell Says:

    Excellent! Very informative!
    Perfect for me being a MAC person wanting to build a PC for video editing.
    Component parts are current (up-to-date) as at April 10th, 2009.
    Only information lacking is the suggestion for an ideal PC Case (enclosure)
    Now this machine is super-duper fast, ideal and COSTLY.
    Any suggestions for a more medium or average price range? P-l-e-a-se!!
    Thanks

  2. M.Mohanasundaram Says:

    nice information providing in future i need advanced technology information

  3. Alfredo Crespo Says:

    Great explanation and very informative for people that are savvy about custom PC’s and even for people who don’t have much experience in computer hardware, they will learn a ton from this.

    I believe a really important factor that you didn’t mention is a good computer case with a good air flow, and big fans at a good rpm speed, that makes a big difference when you are talking about speed, performance, and power, it will dramatically improve or decrease the performance of the system.
    I know a lot of people that will go with water cooling system inside their PC, but that is a personal choice, other than that this is a excellent source of information for video editing PC performance and vary detailed.

    thanks and keep posting.

  4. Alfredo Crespo Says:

    Everything mentioned in this article its great information, what it got my attention in this article is the Intel’s processor i7, if you are going for professional video editing make sure you have best products, the i7 is perfect for this project because is the best for encoding since you going to be working continuously doing videos and encoding you need a processor that deliver a really fast and best performance encoding of this days. for example you could get a really good processor to this but it will not be the best so the result will be slowing down your productivity because you will take longer , the i7 is the “best” choice right know on the market and very good at overclock.

  5. Alfredo Crespo Says:

    If a big part of your projects are going to be HD movies or blu rays, you are going to be consuming a huge space in your hard drive disk; the range of a blu ray project can be from 6 GB to 32 GB per project. That also means, you could easily fill up 1 TB hard drive disk on a few projects only, when I first started collecting movies I tough 1 TB was going to be more than enough, but after a month of collecting movies I realized that my hard drive disk was already full and I was forced to buy another one, and not only that, I also stopped doing my projects because I had no space to do it and also had to wait until I had the money to buy one. My suggestion is, if you are going to do this on a pro side, you must go between 5 and 10 TB at least.

  6. Alfredo Crespo Says:

    Another thing that you have to look when you are going to do video editing is to have a good software or thinking which software you are going to use in order to do your projects.
    there is a lot of soft-wares out there, like Sony Vegas, pinnacle studio and much more, you have to look the one that have more features that you will use because there is a lot of software that have many features that are really not necessary to have it, vendors just do that just to get your attention. So keep in mind the features that you will really need.

  7. Alfredo Crespo Says:

    For even better performance you could have a server with as much cluster you want. That will improve the performance, the quality, and the speed of the projects to get the job done quick. it will cost you a lot of money, but now you talking professional, if you going to do this, keep in mind that you will be able to do ANY PROJECT THAT YOU COULD IMAGINE, yes you read it right, any project that you could imagine. Just do everything else the same, the specs, the same hardware and any detail that you found in this article.

  8. Alfredo Crespo Says:

    Let me talk a little bit about this awesome processor which is the Intel i7-920. Perfect to do this kind of project, first thing is very fast, stable, it has 4 cores and 8 treads very good to run multiple applications and soft-wares that requires a good speed processor, also the benchmarks don’t lie and the results are pretty impressive. The advantage that you could get out of this processor is to over clock it, if you get the i7-920 and you set the multipliers well you will run this processor much faster than one of the most expensive processors in the market today: Core i7-965 Extreme Edition. You always want to get the most of what you have so for video editing, don’t forget to over clock it.

  9. Captain Proton Says:

    I’m just snooping around the internet looking for tips to build a long lasting and stable NLE HW/SW (Non Linear Editing Hardware/Software) platform.
    I’ll just talk about a couple of criteria that I noted from other blogs:
    Make sure you know weather you want to edit HD because this costs more in your HW and SW.
    Regarding HW for HD. It’s a good idea to configure your PC with a simple RAID0 (Perhaps two 1TB drives) for the working files. When rendering multiple video affects along with audio tracks in HD the I/O between the RAM and the hardrive can cause the video to look choppy or lock up your system. The RAID0 drive would be a nice destination location for your rendering operations be cause the read/write speed is improved. Raid1 would make a good source drive for your files as the read speed is improved. In reading NLE SW reviews it is apparent that many of the problems are related to limited HW. A single 7200 sata drive may do the job for small HD (no affects) jobs but not for the future cool affects for your larger HD creation. Some SW designers try to get around this by developing their suites to view the work-space timeline in low resolution while in-work and then the final rendering will output the full HD. My experience with these leading edge NLE SW is that you always buy an in-work product and there is always patches to correct problems down the road.
    Decide on which NLE software you might want to run on your new workstation “Before you build it”.
    Ok, I’ve talked about SW and I/O….how about more HW. Some of your SW packages require the video card or GPU (Video Processor Unit) to operate with specific hardware codecs for optimal or efficient operation. Consult your SW for recommended GPU’s. It’s a good idea to use fast RAM and all RAM should have the same date code to avoid the slight change of latency which are the main concern of a high-end NLE system. We already covered the dardrive latency related to hardrive I/O. Keep the hardrives, RAM, CPU, and other chipsets cool. Buy a CPU water cooled heat exchanger and a PC case designed to maximize heat transfer. Remember, the larger the fans – the cooler “and quieter” the PC will be. Buy the way, I do not believe heat rises inside a PC box or CPU (the case). If the fans are running then the air is being circulating within the box (assuming no isolated areas. Therefore no convection occurs. Get a full aluminum chassis with no plastic walls because those neat plastic windows don’t conduct heat nearly as well as aluminum.
    It’s likely that you will be building a fast 64 bit workstation so it makes sense to use 64 bit NLE SW.
    I’m also looking into purchasing two GPU’s as this can be a bottle neck and because there are NLE SW’s that are setup to support two monitors. One for control and one for viewing your video – neat. If you do this you will need to consider the wattage capability of the power supply because these midrange GPU’s are PWR Hungry. Feel free to correct any mis statements. Thanks

    end of line :~)

    Captain Proton – (supporting electrons as needed)

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