Video Editing PC – How to build, spec or purchase the perfect rig for you
Video Editing PC – Introduction
If you are looking to build a video editing PC for manipulation of HD Video or high resolution photos etc. then you will need your PC to be capable of continuous processing of extremely large volumes of data for long periods off time and to get this done as quickly as possible will require a very powerful processor at the core of your system.
Video Editing PC – Processor
Processors, whether from AMD or Intel, are available with two, four and six cores today and there are plans to take this still further!
For video editing and HD video manipulation you are going to need as many cores as you can afford.
For those that favour an AMD based system, AMD’s flagship processor Phenom II X6 range should be the first choice where you can afford it.
For those preferring Intel processors you will be looking at the Core i7 series which comes in both four core and six core flavors.
The top of the range Intel processors are definitely the kings of the encoding world when it comes to HD Video encoding where an Intel Core i7 970 can process almost double the frames per second of AMD’s Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition – but then it is a far more expensive piece of kit – currently three times the price!
Now you don’t need to go to these extremes to get decent video and photo editing if your needs are not that demanding and your budget is tight.
One of the new Sandy Bridge Intel Core i5 2500K’s will provide awesome performance for a much smaller price tag
and AMD’s Phenom II X6 1055T has fantastic six-core performance for those who don’t want to break the bank.
If you can afford a little more then we would suggest you take a look at Intel’s incredibly powerful Sandy Bridge processor, the Intel Core i7-2600K.
These Intel Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K processors are from their new Second Generation Core i5 and i7 series.
Both Sandy Bridge processors are based around four cores running at 3.3GHz and 3.4GHz respectively.
The CPUs are easy to overclock and the awesome processing power of the new architecture provides extremely fast multithreaded video encoding capabilities for the Core i7-2600K.
Video Editing PC – Motherboard
For a motherboard providing the required Socket LGA 1155 for the Intel Core i5 and i7 second gen CPU’s look no further than the ASUS P8P67 motherboard.
Using the P67 chipset you will have support for overclocking together with two PCI Express X16 graphic card slots, six SATA ports, SATA 3, RAID, USB and Firewire support.
For LGA Socket 1156 boards suitable for the older Intel Core i5 and i7 processors take a look at the MSI H55-GD65 which is a great motherboard for a video / photo editing PC setup.
This is a full spec ATX motherboard with two PCIe X16 slots for dual graphic cards and a nifty auto-clocking function that automatically detects the best possible overclock settings!
For LGA Socket 1366 all out performance using an Intel Core i7 970 or 980X processor take a look at the Gigabyte X58A-UD9 top end board with huge PCIe bandwidth and overclockability.
This board has 4 PCIe X16 slots and is a fine quality motherboard for a top of the range, no holds barred, video editing machine!
For AMD enthusiasts look at the MSI 790FX-GD70 which covers all AM2 AM2+ and AM3 socket processors and has the AMD 790FX chipset for full Phenom II processor support.
This board also has DDR3 capability plus four way Crossfire X support for multiple GPU configurations.
Most new cameras and camcorders will have a USB interface for your PC connection.
Older type tape based video cams will use the FireWire interface (IEEE1394) and you will need to check that your motherboard has support for this or if not you can purchase a separate FireWire PCI card.
Video Editing PC – Memory
Memory is another important component when it comes to your video editing computer and a good setup will have support for DDR3 memory - and lots of it too!
To enable fast and efficient processing of all of your data you’ll be looking to fit as much memory as your chosen motherboard and pocket will allow.
Do note though that you will need to purchase the 64 bit version of Windows 7 in order to address more than 3.2GB of memory.
We would suggest you are going to be looking at fitting 4GB to 16GB of dual channel memory and possibly more with a three channel Intel Core i7 Socket 1366 setup.
Video Editing PC – Hard Drive Storage
Again, you’ll be needing lots of storage space, and high performance drives to cope with the large volumes of video processing data.
You’ll also want your drives to be backed up and a RAID mirrored drive configuration would be the preferred choice with two or more drives for backup.
For the fastest transfer speeds look at getting a motherboard with SATA 3.0 support and possibly think about using a SSD (Solid State Drive) for ultra fast speeds although presently at far reduced capacities.
Depending upon size the SSD could be used for your operating system and main processing with storage on your mechanical hard drive.
Video takes up loads of storage space and an hour of video could consume 10GB or more.
Let’s total it all up shall we?
5GB for your video editing software
5GB space to create a DVD video or 25GB for a Blu-ray disk!
And you’ll need lots of free space – let’s face it this all adds up and with lots of HD video storage you’re going to need to look at a 1TB drive or more.
Video Editing PC – Graphics Card
Today’s software generally makes full use of your graphics card processor to perform ultra fast manipulation off your images so look at a fairly high end card here.
Take a look at the Zotac GeForce GTX 460 1GB which is a great card for video editing PC and not too expensive either!
If you prefer a Radeon card then look at the HIS Radeon HD 5870 which is another good choice.
Do remember that for Blu-ray playback you will need at least 256MB of memory and HDCP support due to the copy protection used on Blu-ray disks.
Video Editing PC – Monitors
You’ll need lots of workspace for video editing and a multiple monitor setup would be the preferred choice.
All modern graphics cards give dual channel display capability for an extended desktop giving you space to perform your video editing on one screen whilst your second display covers all of your other applications such as pallet boxes, web browser etc.
Video Editing software uses lots of windows so a big high resolution screen is a must for easy editing and the two screens are really needed to enable one to be set as the video preview and the other for the editing etc.
LCD monitor panel type choice can be quite critical here for the best display and you will need to look at IPS or VA type monitor panels for the best color tones etc.
Think about purchasing at least a 24 inch monitor with 1920 x 1080 resolution or for the best quality screens look at 30 inch VA (Vertical Alignment) or IPS (In-plane switching) type with 2560, 1600 resolution.
Video Editing Software
Your Video editing software enables you to easily make your own video films which you can then post on your blog, website or YouTube etc. or perhaps you’d just like to create a DVD or Blu-ray.
Good Video editing software should have all of the tools you need to capture, edit and share your video.
You can Capture Video from your digital or analog camcorders or from your digital or PC cameras. Or even from your TV or old VCR recorder, you just need to use the right cables to hook it all upOnce you have copied across your video to your hard drive you can then proceed to edit your video.
Timeline editing allows you to drag and drop video clips and files and when you have all the clips of video pieced together you can then add titles, menus, text and text effects. Next you could add some music and/or narration etc. to create your perfect video.
Once you have finished your creation you can share and post online to wherever you desire - YouTube, Google Video, your blog or website or wherever you desire. Make an online video album and share your videos with family and friends. Or you can simply burn the files to DVD or Blu-ray Disc.
Take a look at the following for great features, ease of use etc.
Sony Movie Studio HD 10 Platinum Suite
Corel VideoStudio Pro X4
Adobe Premiere Elements
Magix Movie Edit Pro
We hope this article has been helpful to you for selecting components or in selecting the right Video Editing PC for you!
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