There are many buying options when it comes to video editing computers. Companies like Apple, Puget Systems, Dell, HP, and others all offer video editing computers for various prices. However, when considering your buying options, it is crucial to consider just what type of hardware will give you the fastest, most responsive experience. Here are some guidelines for picking the right solution.
When considering what computer to buy (or anything for that matter), it is always important to determine a ballpark budget. Knowing how much you have and want to spend will help to quickly eliminate both products that are too expensive, and products that are too cheap. After determining your budget, the next step is to consider what makes a video editing computer great.
In terms of hardware, the four most important components are:
Most software applications such as Adobe Premier Pro, Power Director 16, and iMovie have a list of minimum hardware specifications in order for the program to run smoothly. These can be found on the software's respective website. Often times, recommended specifications are also listed to help the user to choose a computer that will make his experience ideal.
By far, the most important component of any good video editing computer is the CPU. Software applications rely heavily on the CPU for calculations and video playback. In short, the faster your CPU, the better your performance. Currently, the best CPU on the market is the Intel i-7 or i-9.
Storage, or hard drive space, is also a consideration that should not be taken lightly. Solid state drives use flash memory for storing files instead of the obsolete hard disk drives (HDDs). Older HDDs were prone to mechanical failure and were limited by the speed of a rotating disk head. SSDs do not use these types of moving parts and are thus 10-15x faster than HDDs. They are a necessity when editing and playing back video simultaneously. All computer applications should be installed on an SSD. It is recommended to have at least 240GB of SSD storage for the operating system and any programs to run smoothly.
RAM allows extremely fast access to smaller amounts of memory. Thus, it is important to have enough high-speed RAM when performing short, repetitive tasks such as touching up a photo or adding effects to videos. Without enough RAM, frames will need to be purged and re-rendered meaning lost time. So, how much RAM is enough? Most of the time, 16GB of RAM is ideal for video editing. However, as resolution continues to climb to 4K and beyond, 32GB may be needed.
The GPU, also known as the graphics card, is used primarily for the manipulation and outputting of video. A good graphics card is essential for tasks such 3D rendering and video playback. This is especially true for higher resolution video. A sub-par graphics card might lead to stuttering video playback and low frame rates. A good graphics card should have at least a 1,300 GHz core clock and 4GB of memory.
Since Regal Computers offers a product for right under $2,000, we've rounded up the best computers on the market that cost between $2,000 and up. The five products being compared today are as follows:
When deciding between two or more computers, it is important to keep in mind your performance per dollar. This is a measure of the bang for your buck. Below is a comparison table of the five computers we have chosen. The chart has been color coded to reflect how each computer compares to the other for each category column. Green indicates good value or high performance, white is middle of the road, and orange is poor value or low performance.
As you can see above, the Regal Computers Marquis-100 offers similar or better performance in every category and it costs less than other competitors. When comparing the Marquis-100 to the similarly configured HP Z640 and the Dell Precision 7910, the Marquis-100 dominates in every category.
Another good way to visualize how these computers stack up is to compare them using a graph. To do this, we've ranked the computers 1 through 5 and calculated a normalized score based on how each computer ranks for each category column. For example, the lowest price receives a score of 5 while the highest price receives a score of 1. Then, by adding these scores together and comparing to the product price, it can be seen which offers the best bang for your buck. On the graph below, the best computer would be the farthest to the top and left while the worst would be to the bottom and right.
Again, this chart shows that the Marquis-100 has both the best performance and the lowest price of any of the five computers we've compared.
It's easy to see that Regal Computers offers not only the best computer in terms of performance, but does so while offering the lowest price. When it comes to analyzing the most important pieces of a great video editing computer: CPU, storage, RAM, and GPU, there is one clear winner. The best performance and lowest price makes the Marquis-100 the best video editing computer for under $2,000 available today.