Best computers for video editing in 2023
Video editing is one of the most intensive tasks you can set on a computer. It’s also one that is easily measured in time. The better your PC at handling this complex task, the quicker it will get through it. Sitting around waiting for a video to render is wasted time, no matter if you’re working in a job that requires it, building a career as a content creator, or want to create family holiday videos. The thing is, it’s only going to get worse.
Even everyday items like your smartphone record footage in 4K these days. By the time it comes to splicing them together, you will probably have a large number of unmanageable files taking up a preposterous amount of disk space.
The task can be made a lot less painless with a decent rig, but it is going to cost you. Remember though; these are the best you can get. You can still edit video on lower-spec machines, but it will take longer, and you might find the whole process quite a bit more frustrating.
Products at a Glance
Features and considerations
When searching high and low for an optimal PC tailored to video editing and productivity, you’re going to have to look for some high-end specs. These include a processor that’s at least an i5 or i7 for Intel, or Ryzen 5/ Ryzen 7 for AMD, and a complementary GPU. You’ll be looking anywhere from about $1,400 to $2,000 for a well-suited video editing rig, one that can keep up with the best of them.
Going into it, you should know your budget, understand your specific workflow (ie 4K, 1440p, optimized rendering options, frame processing, etc), and finally potential upgrade paths. As mentioned previously, the PC won’t stay a video editing for long, as the tech will evolve over time. You may want to consider a system that is suited for future upgrades, if necessary.
Best computers for video editing in 2023
- Perfect components for video editing
- Well-rounded price point
- Looks great
- Noisy fans
- USB-C port on rear
The HP OMEN is, by far, one of the best video editing PCs on the block thanks to its wide array of awesome specs. They might be a bit behind by about a year, but no one’s going to be passing up an RTX 3080 paired with an Intel Core i9-10900K. As with most of the included builds, though, you’ll be met with a relatively high MSRP.
As already mentioned, the OMEN 30L is one beast of a rig, sporting an i9 processor in tandem with the RTX 3080. The build also comes equipped with a 1TB SSD, 2TB HDD, 32GB of RAM, and Windows 10 support. So, you won’t have Windows 11, which might be a bummer for some, but isn’t too much of a major concern.
At $3,000, the OMEN 30L may not be right for everyone, but the lineup does have several budget models, like the $1,229 Ryzen 5 iteration.
- Great all in one package
- Beautiful display
- Designed for creatives
- Not much spec for the money
- Limited future upgrading opportunity
We have mentioned how PCs that are great at video editing are also generally great at gaming. Well, here is the exception. Apple pitches its product specifically to creatives, and the iMac Pro is aimed at hitting that particular demographic right in the face.
The iMac has come a long way since the translucent turquoise CRT box of the 90s, but at its heart, it has maintained the idea of an all-in-one machine: computer and monitor inextricably linked into one damn fine-looking package.
If you are looking for a screen that seems impossibly thin, here it is. Then if you consider that somewhere behind that very screen is an actual computer seems a bit like witchcraft, but this is the MacOS ecosystem at its very finest.
Sleek, seamless operation, easy to learn with few distractions, macOS is the creator’s choice operating system, and for good reason. These machines are so well-melded that it doesn’t seem too much of an issue for some that they can be a little under-specced for their price range. You are buying into something more than the nuts and bolts of components here.
The iMac Pro comes complete with 10GB ethernet, four Thunderbolt ports for lightning-quick drive transfer of large files, 32GB of memory, and 1TB of SSD storage. It will rip through your video editing workloads without hassle but don’t expect to be running any fancy games on it anytime soon.
It’s still a great machine, both in looks and performance. You can easily buy a ‘normal’ PC that will outperform it in theory, but for seamless, almost joyous cohesion in everything it does, the iMac remains a video editing haven.
- Touch-screen display
- Powerful graphics processing
- Slim and compact
- CPU a bit outdated
- Quite expensive
Microsoft has some pretty heavy hitters in the video editing department, but you will have to pay a high premium for them. Case in point is the Microsft Surface Studio 2, one of the best computers for video editing set on Windows OS.
While it has some pretty spectacular specs, like a GeForce GTX 1060, 32GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i7-7820HQ, they do prove to be a bit dated. The 28-inch 4500 by 3000 touchscreen display, however, more than makes up for this, and you can even buy the rig in either a 1TB or 2TB memory form factor.
Speaking of form factor, the Surface Studio 2 is not unlike its Apple counterparts, leveraging a sleek and minimalistic design so it’s not taking up too much room on your desk or surfaces. With that, too, it’s not as loud as other options among the best computers for video editing, but you will be paying well over $4,000 for it.
- Tons of I/O
- Keyboard and mouse are seperate
While many may see this as an affront, given that the Apple Mac Studio platform is arguably the single best video editing rig money can buy, the un-upgradeable format doesn’t aid in its outward acclaim. For that, the M1-bearing Mac Studio has to be brought down a peg, given how time will surely see this product lose in the long run.
For now, however, it still remains one of the very best computers for video editing due in large part to that aforementioned M1 chip. Once again, though, you’ll be paying quite a high premium for such a device, as the current MSRP sits at around $1,800 and over. But, for the best possible video editing solution, you will have to pony up.
The Mac Studio can even hit 8K footage and 3D modeling without a hitch, making it a content creator’s weapon of choice.
How we picked the best computers for video editing
Underscoring the best computers for video editing components of high stature – a great CPU, bags of RAM, and a superb GPU. These all need to flow well together to allow major video editing programs, such as Adobe Premier, to run optimally, as they use the GPU’s Cuda engine to offload some of the work to the GPU, especially if you are including instances from After Effects into your final render. In short, we are looking at some of the most well-balanced machines that should eat 4K video editing for breakfast.
It’s no coincidence that these machines double up as great gaming rigs, generally speaking, as they share a lot of the same needs and interests.
How much RAM do you really need for video editing?
A good amount of RAM is necessary for fluid and non-hindered video editing, which means that 32GB of RAM is recommended. An alternative can be 16GB, but this may not be enough depending on the type of workload you’re looking to achieve, like 4K editing.
Do you need a powerful PC for video editing?
Yes, while ‘powerful’ might differ per user, a relatively good rig is certainly a must for video editing. This means you should focus on leveraging a good CPU, a ton of RAM, a great GPU, and a reliable PSU for the perfect all-around video editing build.
This is a really tough choice. Absolutely any of these three machines on show here will do you proud and comfortably carry out the video editing tasks you throw at them. We have gone for the Alienware simply because of its specs. It will last a good couple of years carrying out these tasks before you need to think about upgrading anything.
The iMac is lovely and the Corsair good value in this market, but ultimately, the Alienware can just do more and do the others better.
If you have the budget for a rig to make your video editing easier, we really can’t recommend anything other.