Editing in 4K: Minimum System Requirements

Graphic of various video resolutions up to 4K


PCI Express 2 vs 3

PSiboy's picture

Your comments about avoiding AMD because of the lack of PCIe v 3.0 are completely ignorant!  You are using SSD's attached to the SOUTHBRIDGE SATA ports which are the limiting factor at 6 Gb/s.  If you were using SSD's slotted directly into the PCIe slots on the board it would make a differnce but you are not!   As such I do my editng with 2 Samsung SSD's and a 3TB 7200 Rpm HDD with a much cheaper system with great performance! FX-8350 8 core CPU + 32GB 2000Mhz Ram + Radeon 7870LE 2GB (Radeons are known for better colour reproduction than Nvidia cards) On a Gigabyte 990 series Motherbaord and get comparable results and times to people with DEARER Intel setups!  I have been building my own systems for 20 years now.  Your argument is almost as silly as people who swear by APPLE! To me Apple lost all relevance when they switched away from the Power PC Processors.  Why pay for for Apple when the same stuff is under the hood?  If I wanted a Mac I would by a computer with no Operating system and install Linux (a free Operting system on which Mac OS is built) and put an Apple sticker on it andsave myself some serious cash! 

How much faster is Haswell-E

Joe Ogiba's picture
  • How much faster is Haswell-E over Ivy Bridge-E? Clock for clock, 8% on average.
  • How well do these CPUs overclock? Not as well as Ivy Bridge-E or Sandy Bridge-E, but performance is comparable.
  • I have an i7-3960X at 4.8 GHz / i7-4960X at 4.5 GHz, should I upgrade? Only if you need more cores.
  • I already have the i7-4960X and run at stock, should I upgrade? Only if you need more cores.
  • Do the 28 PCIe 3.0 lanes on the i7-5820K affect gaming? Not at 1080p in SLI.
  • The i7-5960X comes across as the new champion in terms of non-Xeon throughput, although kudos will lay more on having the up-to-date chipset that users have been requesting. Most people moving from a Sandy Bridge-E or Ivy Bridge-E will not see a day-to-day adjustment in the speed of their workflow on the new platform, and the real benefit will be for those that are CPU limited.


Sony NEX-VG900, Panasonic TM700, GH2

Food for Thoughts

As a computer technician and working with both Mac and PC, I had to think about this comment. I do not worship a company above the others.

I think you go a little bit to much with the ads of these companies. Sure they make good products - but-:

This mac is everything but upgradeable. It is a pain to repair, it is overpriced, has poor It Support, limits you to certain products and software (closed-source mongrels) and, while powerful, you can have better, faster, stronger from individual manufacturers for a fraction of the price. I just built a 5K$ pc for a gamer client, and the benchmarks for his little tower were above anything available on the website of apple (even taking the best of everything on the make your own mac page).  Thunderbolt is good, but lacks compatibility, just like the Mac OsX.

As for LaCie, they are getting known for selling refurbished hard drives in new cases, branding them as ''new''. Be careful with them, only the case is stable. Just last week I retrieved a whole season of Dr House on a ''new'' client's hard drive who wanted to check if it was ''really new''. It was not.

So yeah, you got a good powerhorse, but it has drawbacks (ex: third party software and plugins compatibility) and blocks many good professionnaly built pc's do not share. Your claims that there is nothing like it on the PC market are innacurate.  If you go with Adobe suite and Da-Vinci, PC is a better choice. If you go with FCPX, go with Apple. It's all a question of individual preferences.

(And I get more money from Mac users repairing their little babies, so by all means, continue buying macs, It will soon allow me to buy URSA)

Seems inflated

landon2015's picture

I edit 4k ProRes 4:2:2 files in Adobe Premiere Pro all the time. My PC is nowhere neat the specs mentioned above, and I have experienced any slow-down's in performance.

My PC: AMD FX 8150 OC'ed to 5.2GHz, 16GB DDR3 Ram, GTX 760 2GB Graphics Card. Everything else is standard, run-of-the-mill.


As for the comment that MAC's are faster editing computers, this is just plan false. Apple uses Intel and other PC parts, such as NVidia graphics. The primary difference in modern-day MAC's vs. PC's is the operating system. Honestly, for the price, I can custom-build a PC that is 2-3x faster than a MAC of the same price, if not less. My PC will edit 4k Prores, online, with no problem - and it cost me a grand total of $1,023 in 2012. If I would have put another grand into it, I could have had dual top of the line graphics and a Raid array.

Thanks for sharing...

gioclone's picture

Im trying to configure a new PC for 4k Video online editing. 
I come from a mac background and known Intel for most of my life.
Is there a comparable system specs for an Intel type of setup?
Note: I do much more then editing and some stuff requires INTEL.

Cheaper solutions

eggnogger's picture

I guess it all comes down to individual needs. For short films shot on a single 4k camera, you can spend about 1500 dollars, I spent 1600 on an Asus MD50, 16gb ram, 7200rpm, i7 4790, 2 TB HDD with 4k monitor and it previews and edits 4K like it's nothing, although with GH4 I hear the file sizes are a bit friendlier to the PC. Anyway I haven't tested Adobe premiere to the hilt, but I put together a 7 minute min film, downscaled from 4K to 1080p and it ran as smooth as silk, rendered in no time as well. I very much doubt it's necessary to spend 8000 dollars unless you are making an FX-heavy feature film.


bosche's picture

I have an iMac with Processor 3.2 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 8GB 1600 Mhz DDR3
Graphics card Nvidia GeFroce GTX 675MX 1Pro
GTX 675MX 1024 MB
OS X 10.9.5 (13F1077)
I also have Final Cut Pro. Is that suitable to be able to edit 4K footage?? I tried to open a file with no success

4k hardware conundrum

shadango's picture

Please forgive me but I wanted to pontificate a little...or maybe its whine....LOL. I sort of have grown to hate this hardware aspect anymore....every few years trying to decide whether to tweak my current system or start new. I built a system in 2012 using an MSI 760GM-P23 (FX) AMD Series Motherboard, 16 gb of memory , AMD HDT45TWFGRBOX Phenom II X6 1045T Processor and 7200rpm drives, and a nVideo GeForce. I was versed on what was what back then but when I look at specs now I find myself lost...so I guess I need to spend more countless hours figuring out what is what in the realm of PC hardware..... TiIl now I could edit regular HD just fine in CS5/6 including 5-6 cameras and I was perfectly happy till the concept of 4k entered my cranium...... Though lately I have started to have some stuttering in playback in Premiere and even with YT videos on the web....so I know I need some tweaking, tuning or fixing....so I think to myself, look into 4k editing. See, I had picked up a Sony PXW-X70 camera last december and recently upgraded to 4k to take advantage of the rebate sony was offering. But since CS6 doesnt support 4k, I loaded Resolve just look at the test footage. System wont play it without bad stuttering. Ok, so more reason to look at upgrading right? Sure but now again comes the question of how much can/should I upgrade versus just building a whole new box....and if you upgrade mobo or processor, windows needs reloaded which means reloading everything else....which means buying into Adobe's new cloud software lease if I want to edit 4k in Adobe. ........(catching my breath......).......I just want to edit. LOL Not sure if I should spend hours to tweak/upgrade what I have or countless hours and much more money to learn the new tech curve and spec out a new system......<sigh>

I agree

bosche's picture

It seems that it is going to get even worse... only people with capital will be able to survive and practice the arts.

Regarding Mac pro vs Intel PC

mapatinom's picture

I read the comments about the mac performance, etc, etc, etc. Well, actually I do have two Mac Pro cheesegrater, a full updated 1.1 (CPU to 8 cores, GPU 2GB, Mem, eSata Disk Array and SDD) and a 4.1 8 cores update with two SDD, eSata 4 disk array. Mem, GPU 4GB.
So, the MP 1.1 works very well, ah I updated it to Maverick in the way to used the foWIN GPU with a hack that allow to boot 64bit, up to 2K and a little higher. The other one works well upto 6K... The news is that if I used it as WIN machines, the performance as renders, decoding and FX are much faster than in OSX. I had read that its happens to a lots of people. I just don't used it as windows because the final users, editor, like the "clean" OSX interface.

Why an entire SSD just for project drive?

MarcoThema's picture

Hello everyone,

Who can explain to me what kind of benefits do I get if I use an SSD as drive project?

Normally I have always used the hdd as a project and media drives, because in my case that I use Avid Media Composer the files and folders generated by the software for the project weigh very little and then it would seem a waste to use an entire SSD to occupy so little space.

Thanks in advance for the help

Outdated article

Tony P's picture

This article is severely outdated with computer information concerning AMD and the current motherboard supports of PCIe 3.0.
Your hardware selection and cost are way out of line with what can be gotten today for a little over 1/3rd the price and it will be a fastest PC.
Heck, my Ryzen 7 1700X 8 core 16 thread 4.0Ghz computer will outperform your listed spec one and cost much less.
Let's not show a bias to Intel.