Choosing the best video editing PC is crucial for creators, whether you’re creating content for your YouTube channel or you’re a professional filmmaker with a vision.
A high-performance setup ensures that post-production processes run seamlessly, especially when utilizing resource-heavy tools like the best video editing software.
Our team of expert reviewers have been testing the best video editing laptops and computers for years, including the best video editing Macs. But we wanted to know which PCs are best for video editing. So, we tested them all out.
Whether you’re running the best video editing software for beginners or the best Adobe Premiere Pro alternatives, these machines will deliver a streamlined post-production experience. As part of our review process, we ran a series of benchmark tests, and compared specs across the board – from CPU and RAM to overall speed and performance in the cutting room.
The best video editing PC in 2023
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Below you’ll find full write-ups for each of our picks for the best video editing pc in 2023. We’ve tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.
Best video editing PC overall
Think of the Apple Mac Studio as a hyper-charged Mac mini for creatives and the second edition of the Mac Studio, launched earlier this month confirms its status as a favorite. The compact computer has plenty of power for running your video editing software, with a choice of M2 Max or M2 Ultra chips.
In our in-depth review of the previous edition, we called the Mac Studio “a fantastic addition to the Mac family. Its laser-like focus on creative professionals means it won’t be for everyone, but if you’re after a powerful and compact creative workstation, you’ll love this.”
Expect speeds here – Apple claims the device is 50% faster than the prvious generation Mac Studio and an incredible 4x faster than the top-end last Intel-based iMac.
You can edit high-resolution on the fly, without performance issues. That leads to a big boost in workflow efficiency, since editors won’t have to load or render before preview, then re-render after any further changes are made. The high performance may be too much for some, especially when just starting out. But for complex creative workloads, especially involving 8K footage or 3D modeling, this video editing Mac is ideal.
Read our full Apple Mac Studio (2022) review
Best mini PC for video editing
TechRadar Pro hasn’t yet tested this mini PC from Minisforum – it only launched in April 2023 – but our sister site Tom’s Guide have, saying “This powerful mini gaming PC can do it all.” The Neptune HX99G is perfect for video editors on a budget; for just over $1,000 ($1,019 to be precise), this compact workstation offers the sort of firepower you’d expect from rivals costing three more.
Let’s run through the details, which on paper, make it such a formidable competitor for anyone looking for an affordable PC to power through Adobe Premiere or Davinci Resolve.
✅ AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU: That’s one of the fastest mobile CPUs on the market, ideal for a PC with a small footprint. 16 threads and 3.3GHz base clock speed are about as good as it gets.
✅ 64GB DDR5 RAM: The HX99G uses two fast 4800MHz memory modules in dual channel to provide ample bandwidth to any data-hungry video editing applications.
✅ 1TB SSD: A fast PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD from Kingston will help to reduce any lags. There’s one extra M.2 2280 SSD slot should you want to add another SSD card.
✅ AMD Radeon RX 6600M GPU: Equipped with 8GB dedicated GDDR6 memory, it is faster than any integrated GPU you may find at this price point. It will be a precious resource for any video editing task that require GPU grunt for faster execution. The HX99G can run two 8K and two 4K monitors simultaneously.
✅ Windows 11 Pro, 2.5GbE Ethernet, carbon fiber chassis, two year warranty
Put it simply, you can’t get a more powerful video editing computer for the money and, icing on the cake, it comes with Thunderbolt 3/USB 4. I liked the fact that it is quiet even under load thanks to its two fans (and seven heat pipes). My only concern at this point is after sales warranty because Minisforum doesn’t offer onsite support like some of its bigger rivals.
See what our sister site Tom’s Guide makes of the mini PC in their Minisforum Neptune HX99G review
Best video editing desktop for complex workloads
If you won’t compromise on components and performance, the Velocity Micro Raptor Z95 is a smart choice. It’s a classic tower-style desktop, but the solid build quality and sleek design comes with a premium price tag.
In our test kit, the build featured a Ryzen 7900X processor, an EVGA RTX 3080 graphics card, while 1TB NVMe SSD and 2TB HDD provided more than enough storage space. The 32GB DDR5 memory made for a seamless multitasking experience.
Reviewing the hardware, we were especially impressed with performance during video editing, and found we could edit multiple lines of 4K footage without any slowdown at all. Even running multiple resource-intensive apps at once felt seamless and slick. Praising its ability to handle demanding projects, we noted that “support for programs like DaVinci Resolve make it an excellent choice for professionals and enthusiasts in the video editing field.”
So it’s high quality, high performance, high price – but if you’re after a machine that won’t crumble under pressure, it ticks every box.
Read our full Velocity Micro Raptor Z95 review
Best video editing PC for gamers
HP’s Omen 30L may effectively be a gaming PC, but that makes it well-suited as one of the best video editing computers, as games are similarly resource-intensive in terms of CPU, RAM and GPU.
The Omen 30L is a sleek PC with pleasant aesthetics that packs some seriously fast components into a narrow and elegant chassis. Its semi-transparent tempered glass side panel shows them off while allowing access to the components without using tools.
Since this is a consumer PC you pay a fair value rather than the premium price of a workstation. We choose the version with an Intel Core i9-10900K with ten cores running at 3.70GHz and a hefty 32GB of RAM -more than double the Adobe Premiere recommended system specs. During benchmarks this system enjoys a sustained boost clock around 4.9GHz. It’s fast PCIe SSD coupled with a speedy 2TB 7,200 RPM hard drive give plenty of space for working with 4K video. Other configurations can be found at retail, like one with a 2TB SSD plus 2TB HDD with 64 GB RAM.
Expansion is easy thanks to its array of USB ports -two of them USB 3.2 Gen 2 at 10Gbps. Our one complaint though is that the USB-C port is tucked in the back. Videographers will appreciate its HDMI port, useful for hooking up a large-screen TV in addition to DisplayPort for a monitor. Those needing LAN speeds above Gigabit Ethernet might need a 2.5Gbps or 5Gbps USB 3.x to Ethernet adapter.
Read our full HP Omen 30L review
Best video editing PC on a budget
The Apple Mac mini is, arguably, the best mini PC on the market – let alone one of the best video editing computers. The slimline design makes it a good fit for home, office, or studio, while the small size means it doesn’t produce too much heat, leading to a pleasingly silent computer. Although not upgradeable, it’s a powerful little machine, especially if you opt for the M2 Pro version – even the base model will turn heads with its affordable price and solid power.
The M2 Pro comes in two flavors, with a 10-core CPU / 16-core GPU version (with six performance and four efficiency cores) and a 12-core CPU / 19-core GPU version (with eight performance cores/four efficiency cores). This makes it a great choice for creative work – when we reviewed the Mac mini (M2), we tried editing 8K movies and running projects in Ableton Live. Even under intense graphical and computational loads, the machine never faltered.
Read our full Apple Mac mini review
Best video editing alternative to the iMac
The HP Envy 34 is a stellar all-in-one computer for video editors – and a solid alternative to iMac.
Running a last-generation Intel chip and a mobile GPU means it’s not quite as powerful as a tower like the Velocity Micro Raptor Z95. But don’t let that put you off – the Envy 34 is one of the best all-in-one PCs for editing video. Conducting a series of benchmark tests, we found the device performed strongly in video and photo editing.
“The Envy 34 scored an 871 in PugetBench Photoshop, compared to the iMac’s 649. While encoding a 4K video into 30fps 1080p video, the Envy 34 accomplished the job significantly faster than the latest iMac, encoding 37 frames a second compared to the iMac’s 24.5 frames per second.”
When we reviewed the machine, we said it’s better than an iMac, especially for creatives who aren’t locked into the Apple ecosystem. This is especially true for content creators looking for better value for money, since you can upgrade storage and memory, while getting double the number of ports found on Apple’s prestigious video editing computer.
Read our full HP Envy 34 review
Best video editing computer for professionals
Dell calls the Precision 3650 an “entry-level desktop workstation”. However, this is a mistake as it is a beast of a workstation is one of the best video editing computers for professional editors.
It’s available direct from Dell configured to your tastes, supporting 11th Gen Intel Core or Xeon W-1300 processors (up to eight cores). It can be expanded to 128GB of memory, PCIe Gen 4 SSDs, your choice of 7200 rpm SATA hard drives, and your choice of Nvidia or AMD graphics cards.
For video editing, we selected the biggest system the configurator would allow while keeping price within reason: an Intel Core i9-11900K with eight cores, an NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 graphics card with 8GB VRAM. Then we added a 2TB SSD and an 8TB 7200rpm SATA hard drive. Finally, we added the optional Thunderbolt 4 PCI adapter for ultimate expandability besides its four 2.5-inch SATA drive bays.
Gigabit Ethernet is included and you can upgrade it to 10Gb Ethernet or 5/2.5 Gbit by adding an Intel NIC or a Quantia Aqtion NIC. Neither are cheap. Additional output ports can be configured too, e.g., an additional DisplayPort 1.4, or a USB Type-C with DisplayPort, or a HDMI 2.0 port and all will cost you $17.44 each.
It’s really hard to find a flaw or limitation in this beast of a workstation but we did. If you choose any of the additional higher-than-Gigabit network cards, you lose the ability to add the Thunderbolt 4 controller due to the number of spare PCIe slots. So, caveat emptor.
Best video editing computer for expansion
The Lenovo ThinkStation P620 is a petite machine, a tad smaller than the average ATX enclosure, yet it packs a modular workstation that will serve you for years with unbelievable amounts of expansion: it can support half a terabyte of RAM distributed over eight 64GB DIMMs, five SATA hard drives, and up to four graphics cards. At its heart is an AMD Ryzen PRO 3955WX, a beast with 16 cores that can go up to 4.30GHz.
Lenovo’s attention to details begins to show right from its front handle allowing the movement of the machine effortlessly, and extends to its faultless interior, where you can change or add cards without using a screwdriver.
Lenovo´s online store carries four configurations: for video you want the more loaded configuration (part number 30E1S0FG00) which updates the Ryzen Pro CPU to a 16 cores version and bumps video to a 8GB Quadro RTX 4000. Then the SSD storage jumps to 1TB, a nice bonus for video. You can add extra storage like a beefier 2TB PCIe M.2 SSD at the time of purchase for a small increase in price.
The system’s video card exceeds what Adobe recommends for Premiere Pro yet it can be expanded from one to up to four video cards, either dual RTX8000 or four RTX4000 GPUs. Caveat: It has no HDMI or legacy DVI ports, so if you need those, you must purchase adapters, listed on the web site.
As a final pleasant surprise Lenovo’s configurator offers Adobe Premiere Elements + Photoshop Elements in a bundle for $100 more.
Best video editing PC: FAQs
What is the best computer for editing videos?
The best video editing computers are those equipped with enough CPU, RAM, and GPU to smoothly run video editing software. Creators tend to opt for Apple devices like the M2-powered Mac mini, which offers a near-flawless performance. For Windows machines, we like the HP Omen 30L and the Velocity Micro Raptor Z95. If you’re looking for the best mini PC for editing videos, and don’t want a macOS machine, check out the Minisforum Neptune HX99G.
How do you choose a video editing or rendering computer?
We put this question to James Higuchi, Lighting Supervisor at Monsters Aliens Robots Zombies (MARZ), a Toronto-based VFX studio.
Nearly every machine for use in production requires its own specifications to meet the needs of the artist using it. For example, editorial requires fast I/O, lots of RAM and now that most editing suites are making use of some form of GPU acceleration, having a decent GPU can go a long way. Lastly, high clock speed CPUs are a must to help keep encoding/transcoding times down. Typically you’re going for clocks over cores in this situation.
Rendering is not too dissimilar depending on what application you’re rendering in. CPU-based rendering requires as much processing power and RAM as you can fit into a single chassis. Obviously, there is a level of diminishing returns, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard “it has too much RAM.”
On the other hand, GPU rendering is dependent almost solely on the specs of the GPU/GPUs in the system and relies on CPU for specific processes (texture processing, compression, I/O, etc). Another consideration for rendering, regardless of the processing unit, is parallelity. Since render processes are typically broken down to a per frame basis, the more frames you can have processing at one time, the better.
So typically we’re looking at setups with more cores, more GPUs and more machines in general. At the end of the day, the biggest consideration is cost effectiveness. You could throw $50,000 into a machine that can do everything, but that’s just not practical or cost effective.
We typically try to tailor the machine for the task – balancing a mixture of processors (CPU and GPU), RAM, I/O, scratch and static storage depending on the need. This allows us to target the hardware in a more efficient manner and have a more straightforward hardware-upgrade path. It also keeps driver/software overlaps to a minimum, as there are cases in which some driver/firm compatibility conflicts can prevent you from running some processes on the same box.
What are the different types of workstations?
TechRadarPro Q&A with Anu Herranen, Director of New Product Introduction, Advanced Compute and Solutions at HP Inc.
There are two main categories of workstation: desktop workstations, and mobile workstations. Within both, there will be different levels of performance which is defined by each manufacturer. Mobile workstations typically come in the form of a laptop and are designed for users who need flexibility to work from the office, home or in the field. As the name suggests, desktop workstations are a computer tower on or under a desk, requiring a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse. Although extremely powerful in performance, they aren’t portable like a mobile workstation.
There is a third category that people might be less familiar with, and that is the centralized workstation. If you have a team of people, but not all need access to high performance computer power all the time, this can be a very cost-effective option. Say you have a team of 30 people, of which 10 need constant access to workstation performance, you would give them their own workstation. For the other 20, who need it occasionally, you can install a centralized workstation in your office. These are usually stored in IT rooms, rather than sitting on the end user’s desk.
This is a rack-mounted desktop workstation that can take care of intensive workflows for any user, anywhere. Centralized workstations are also known as virtual workstations, as team members can connect to the centralized workstation with their standard issue desktop, laptop or notebook using the appropriate software, whenever they need to access high-performance computer power.
The user can then access workstation power performance to complete compute-intensive tasks from anywhere. The centralized or virtual workstation takes care of the heavy lifting, allowing the user to get the job done on almost any device from anywhere. Usually, only the encrypted pixels are sent over the network, so company data remains highly secure at the source with the racked centralized workstations.
During the pandemic as a result of increased virtual collaboration, users who relied on high performance computing via a desktop workstation needed a solution that provided the same capabilities and experience they were used to having in the office, at home. In the future, this is likely to be a continuing trend as workforces spend more time working remotely.
Can a gaming PC be used for video editing?
Yes, the best gaming PCs can be used for video editing in general. They usually have the sort of components that needed for demanding video editing applications. A fast CPU, a powerful GPU, plenty of RAM and a speedy SSD. However there’s a few of things to bear in mind:
1. It will depend on your software. You can’t use a gaming PC for Final Cut Pro or iMovie as these run exclusively on Mac.
2. After sales conundrum. Gaming PCs do not usually come with any business-class level of aftersales that a video editing professional may expect which is, at a minimum, next-business day, onsite warranty.
3. ISV Certification. No gaming PCs have so called ISV certification. This ensures that your hardware solution is 100% compatible with the video editing software it will run on. Such certification, while not essential, is a sign that the application has been optimized.
4. Business features. Gaming PCs do not – as a rule of thumb – come with workstation/business features such as RAID (for data protection), ECC, vPro (for management), security features etc.
How to choose the best video editing PC
When looking for the video editing computer best for you, there are a few key areas to explore. First, decide whether you want a Windows or Mac system. Macs tend to be favored across the industry, and are priced accordingly.
In recent years, the best laptops and the best mini PCs have become more popular thanks to advances in mobile graphics and display technologies, but they cannot compare to a standard desktop computer with regards to expandability and upgradeability. If you’re looking for a portable model to edit videos on the go, these are worth exploring.
Most video editing software, including the best alternatives to Premiere Pro, depends on the best CPU; multiple cores and with powerful graphics are necessary to edit effectively. Video editing apps are also heavyweight in terms of best RAM usage, so the more the better.
Consider whether you need to also run other post-production tools like VFX software and best 3D modeling software. These are often need the best GPU with decent specs, which in turn affects your budget.
The operating system should have a solid-state drive (SSD) so the operating system and applications load and run quickly. Since speedy USB 3.2 ports are ubiquitous, using an external disk for final work storage is no longer as much of a pain as it once was. This has widened the options from the best workstations for full-size desk-space to compact offerings with fewer internal storage bays.
If your editing needs are simple, the best video makers out there let you cut content in your browser, without the need for a high-end machine.
For more advice, see our guide on the 5 things to consider when selecting a video editing PC
How we test the best video editing computers
We’ve tested a massive range of desktop computers and laptops for creatives, including the best photo editing PCs and the best video editing monitors. So we know what to look for when you’re looking to cut professional videos in the home, office, and studio.
To work with heavyweight video editors like Adobe Premiere Pro you will need 16GB of RAM to plod away comfortably, although technically it can run with just eight. A fast discrete GPU -if available- will also help as once you get past simple chopping of footage and start involving transitions, overlays and other fancy effects. Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve are optimised to offload encoding from the main CPU to the video card´s GPU.
Large amounts of storage is essential. It’s not enough to rely on even the best cloud storage. And fast storage is just as important. Luckily, most systems nowadays come with SSDs to quickly load the operating system and applications. Having a secondary, old-fashioned spinning disc hard disk drive (HDD) as a secondary storage medium for your final work exports is a huge bonus, so we focused on systems that either come with 1TB or more of secondary storage or which can be easily expanded with additional HDDs internally.
We present you options from a wide range of prices. If you are on a budget, a good rule of thumb is to keep the internal storage modest and purchase the largest best external HDD or the best flash drive you can buy.
And if you value your work, we recommend you add a Network Attached Storage (NAS) unit for local backup purposes. And if your income depends on such work, make it a NAS with RAID for data redundancy and disaster recovery.
Given the requirements, we selected systems with 16 gigabytes of RAM and fast 8-core processors like Intel´s i9, and AMD´s Ryzen 9 when available in each given device’s form factor. Future expandability and upgradeability was also considered as a bonus.