View Full Version : General advice for building an editing computer.

09-17-2013, 05:09 PM
Not yet decided on my NLE, probably Premiere though I'm not totally against Avid.

I'm currently using CS4 and recently got Magic Bullet Looks and it just WON'T work. My computer dates from 2006 I think, a Core2 Quad with just 2GB or RAM. The GPU isn't great and it just generally sucks, overheats and won't work.

So I'm looking to build a new computer, so I'll lay out my questions simply on a component basis -

CPU - Thinking i7. But is it really worth it? Seems stupid to spend the extra money if it's pointless, but by the same token, I don't want to just "settle" for an i5 if it won't offer the same performance.

Mobo - Just one that will match the CPU. I've always been loyal to Asus, never let me down.

RAM - Thinking 8GB and the speed matched to the mobo/CPU. RAM speeds have become so complex since I last built a computer, I've no idea where to start.

GPU - Doesn't matter too much right? I like nVidia, but I don't want to spend stupid money if I can avoid it. Need recommendations.

HDDs - Got a good variety of drives, all 7200 SATA, some very new, some a few years old, ranging from 1tb to 320GB. So don't need any more.

PSU - I know I need a reliable one, been stung before buying cheap!

Case - Is ATX still standard? My current case is from 2002 and has had 4 different sets of "innards".

Displays - I'm sorted on that front.

Think that's everything.

Any advice or help is greatly appreciated.

09-17-2013, 07:37 PM
What is your total budget?

Mark Williams
09-17-2013, 07:59 PM
Read this https://www.videoguys.com/Guide/E/Videoguys+DIY9+Its+Time+for+Sandy+Bridge+E+DIY+95+ Update/0xe9b142f408a2b03ab88144a434e88de7.aspx
Then go to avadirect.com to see if it is worth having them build it for you.

09-19-2013, 06:12 AM
Have a Look at the ASRock motherboards they have one advantage over many of the other motherboards , you are able to get Firewire and older pci slots, plus all the new slot types and there prices are very good and broad are good lately Aslo get SSD HDD they are on the expensive side but worth the money Intel make a very good product also
hope this helps

09-19-2013, 09:22 PM
Would like to help but without some more info I could be misleading you. A machine designed for the future cutting multiple streams of 4K is very different from a machine editing one stream of DV. And wait till you see the price difference. What do you intend to do during the life of the machine and what will that life be. Next what software do you intend to run during the life of the machine. Staying with CS4 or moving to CC.

Just to get you something lets say you want to cut 2 or 3 streams (multicam) of 1080i using Adobe Creative Cloud. Let's say price IS an issue. So here are some very broad guidelines to get you going.
CPU: stick with Intel quad core with hyperthreading.
Asus motherboard is fine.
8GB ram is okay, again we are thinking budget, budget, budget.
GPU: Get nvidia for Adobe CC.
Hard Drives: Once you go above about two streams you really need to configure your drives carefully and one fast SSD is worth a mess of spinning drives.
PSU: yes buy bigger than you need and quality.
Case: As long as it will accept modern components and keep them cool you are good to go.

So there are some general answers. For more specifics I and I imagine others trying to help will need more info about your editing and budget.

Best Regards

David Jimerson
09-20-2013, 08:28 AM
Generally speaking, hardcore gaming computers are also well-suited for video editing. Research those and you'll get a pretty good idea of what you want.

09-20-2013, 06:16 PM

Good advice above about gaming machines. I would point out two differences I see. Gaming machines are GPU bound. Generally they will take all the GPU you can throw at them. Video editing is CPU bound and multithreaded in a huge way. You want to throw a fast Intel CPU with as many processes as you can at it. Intel CPUs handle video differently than AMD CPUs and much faster. Six core Intel CPU with hyper-threading is best (without going into big dollars for Xeon stuff). Second point is that video is moving around a lot of stuff -video! So bandwidth is important. The biggest effect is that you can easily outrun a hard drive. Hence the need for multiple drives assigned to different parts of the chain of moving video around for Premiere to use. Or one fast SSD can handle a lot. I also recommend getting more memory and more bandwidth in your GPU where possible. I am not sure the OP is interested in this kind of geek speak but I throw my two cents in for others reading the post. For those not inclined into these details I again emphasize that the advice above to look at gaming machines is really very good advice. And you can play games!:D

09-20-2013, 07:38 PM
One issue not mentioned is fans - personally I find video editing on a computer with noisy fans really annoying (even when not editing the soundtrack specifically), so getting some 'silent' fans would be recommended.

09-21-2013, 01:54 PM
You are quite on target on all fronts. Here are a couple footnotes:

CPU: The i7 over the i5 will make quite a performance difference (relative to other improvements)
GPU: You can save here. An Nvidia GTX 650 Ti (ideally 2gb) will hit the spot. Literally almost no difference between that and the most hefty cards where CUDA acceleration in PP is concerned)
HDD: Get an SSD for OS drive, ask no questions. "Just do it." (Sandisk Ultra Plus recommended, or Samsung 840 Pro for a bit more premium end)

Just to be sure - you will want to get a newer Premiere than CS4; though you seem to be on top of that.

09-23-2013, 09:58 AM
I recently built the hackentosh pro using these directions and parts


You could always build it as just a windows machine. Places not to skimp are the cpu, I'd go with the fastest i7 you can find. Get as much memory as the mb will hold, in this case 32gb. And the best GPU you can afford. For Premiere CS5 and above you want a Nvidia with lots of memory to take advantage of adobe's mercury playback engine. FWIW I also have an iMac I use for editing and upgrading from the 8gb of ram it came with to 32gb ram made a big difference to every video and graphics program I use.