Best CPU For Video Editing in 2024: AMD and Intel, high-end and mid-range
The best CPU for video editing is needed for any content creators looking to push their content to the limits without compromise. This is especially true of rendering high-resolution projects at even higher frame rates. If you want to stand out with quality video on YouTube and other platforms, then keep these models firmly in mind.
In order to stay cutting-edge, the best CPU for video editing must be able to utilize the full capabilities of the processor. This means that you’re going to want to turn your attention to those chipsets that feature the highest clock speeds combined with the most cores. Things only get more intense when rendering the likes of 4K (2160p) video for extended periods, too.
Products at a Glance
How we chose the best CPU for video editing
Our selection is based on the latest and greatest from both Intel and AMD that are available in the closing months of 2022. At this present moment in time, that’s the Ryzen 7000 series and Raptor Lake. We haven’t just opted for the priciest models in the line-up either. That’s why we have included both budget and premium options available.
Fortunately, now both processor generations utilize DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 compliance. This means increased bandwidth for your CPU and other components, such as your graphics card, which can help with intensive rendering tasks. Below you’ll find all our top picks to suit most budgets and preferences.
If this guide to the best CPU for video editing isn’t quite what you’re after, check out our other guides. We’ve got the lowdown on the best CPUs for the 7900 XT, the best CPUs for the RTX 3070 Ti, and the best CPUs for streaming, alongside many others.
Best CPU For Video Editing in 2024: AMD and Intel, high-end and mid-range
- Amazing single-core and multi-core performance
- Built for PCIe 5.0
- The current market leader
- You’ll need an AM5 motherboard and DDR5
The AMD Ryzen 7950X is our top choice for the best CPU for video editing. This is because of the 16 cores and 32 threads which comprise the flagship Zen 4 processor. What does this mean for you? Leading single-core and multi-threaded performance when hardware rendering. Simply put, though pricey, there’s no CPU right now that performs as efficiently and confidently as the 7950X for the asking rate.
Because the AMD Ryzen 7950X exclusively utilizes DDR5 RAM, you’re getting the most available bandwidth here, too. Keep in mind that you’ll need an AM5 motherboard and compatible memory to use this chipset, though. There’s no backward compatibility here. However, given the leading performance on display, that could be a justifiable feat when all is said and done.
- The best current-gen Intel CPU
- Extreme overclocking
- Powerful performance
- Runs hotter than previous iteration
For those on the other side of the fence, the Intel Core i9-13900K is hard to argue against. The recently released flagship Raptor Lake model excels with its 24-cores and 32 threads. The new hyperthreaded E-cores mean that this chipset is able to overclock to 5.8 GHz, too. That’s a feat we haven’t previously seen from either company, excelling far passed the previous ‘world’s fastest processor’ (the 12900KS) for a solid price.
That’s what makes the Intel Core i9-13900K the definitive alternative option for those with the budget to spare. Keep in mind that leading single-core and multi-core performance doesn’t come cheap. This model carries an MSRP of $589. If you’ve got the cash to spare then this option has it all.
- Aggressive price point
- Overclocks to 5.1 GHz
- Beats the Ryzen 5 CPU
- Higher power consumption than before
Much has been said about the 13600K as it’s somewhat of an anomaly with its price point of $339. That’s because it’s a 14-core (20 threads) processor which overclocks to 5.1 GHz, a previously unheard-of achievement at this price point. It goes to show the refinements made with Raptor Lake’s newly revised E-cores.
All those extra cores and threads over the competing Ryzen 5 7600X, 6-core and 12 threads is why this chipset makes the cut. and the latter doesn’t. Having that extra overhead is going to help with rendering times and encoding for streaming and VOD content. At a touch over the $330 mark, that’s a hard act to follow.
- Aggressive price-to-performance ratio
- Substantially cheaper than 7950X
- Supports the latest PCIe 5.0 bandwidth
- Requires DDR5 RAM
- Pricier AM5 motherboard may be needed
You can save yourself a little bit of money and get a similar performance with the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X. In essence, this 12 core 24 threads processor still hits a lot of the same notes as the leading R9 CPU, but with slightly less to work with. The trade-off with performance is represented in the pricing. Whereas the former will run you $699, this model can be yours for a more palatable $549.
That’s not to take away from what the high-end Zen 4 chipset is capable of. The AMD Ryzen 9 7900X blitzes any Intel equivalent right now, and this is largely down to the 5nm process. Team red is really going all in on the smaller silicon here. If you want insane performance with an easier price tag to swallow, you may be better served here.
What to consider with the best CPU for video editing
Editing video is incredibly intensive for even the most powerful processor, especially in higher resolutions at high frame rates. Clock speeds of up to and over 5.0 GHz allow for superior single-core performance. Thankfully, the most recent chipset generations from both AMD and Intel are capable of reaching these speeds.
Here are some factors to consider when selecting a CPU for video editing:
Video editing benefits from CPUs with a higher number of cores and threads, as video rendering and encoding can utilize multiple cores simultaneously. Look for CPU architecture with at least 6 cores and 12 threads, but higher core counts are even better for handling complex projects efficiently.
While more cores are beneficial, clock speed (measured in GHz) also matters. A balance between high clock speeds and multiple cores is ideal for smooth editing performance. So check both the base and boost clock speed.
Larger cache sizes can improve performance by providing quick access to frequently used data. Look for CPUs with larger L3 cache sizes.
Ensure the CPU you choose is compatible with your motherboard’s socket and chipset. Also, verify that your motherboard’s BIOS is updated to support the chosen CPU.
Cooling and TDP
Higher-end CPUs generate more heat. Make sure your cooler can handle the thermal demands of the CPU. Check the Thermal Design Power (TDP) rating to get an idea of the cooling requirements.
Some CPUs can be overclocked to achieve higher clock speeds. If you’re comfortable with overclocking, this can provide additional performance gains. However, it may also require better cooling solutions.
High-end CPUs can be expensive. Consider your budget and balance the performance gains against the cost. Creative professionals may be more willing to splash out on the latest gen.
Who makes the better CPUs for video editing – AMD or Intel?
It’s incredibly close between both AMD and Intel at the end of 2022. The flagship Zen 4 and Raptor Lake options are pretty much neck and neck, but things are more clear in the mainstream and mid-range. While the 13600K wins out against the 7600X, the 7700X does lead ahead of the 13700K. This is a short summary. For a deep dive, we’ve got dedicated features. These are Intel Core i5-13600K vs AMD Ryzen 7600X, Intel Core i7-13700K vs AMD Ryzen 7700X, and Intel Core i9-13900K vs AMD Ryzen 9 7950X for more.
Is i7 or i9 better for video editing?
The i7 is more so tailored for enthusiasts and gamers, while the i9 is intended for beefier workloads. While the i7 can be utilized for video editing, it’s not going to run the gamut of potential, whereas an i9 can handle most video editing workflows.
The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is our number one pick for the best CPU for video editing. The raw performance capabilities of the highest-end Zen 4 architecture chipset stand head and shoulders above the competition. That’s because of the 5nm process and shows that AMD shrinking the silicon has paid off effectively.