3 Excellent Computer Choices for Video Editing

Gregory Watts's picture
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 2:31am

OK, I give I give. (In this post the word gamers is to be equated with videographer)

I do not like to make computer suggestions, why? Well if someone is unhappy guess who get's bit in the hinnie? YEP me. But here it goes. Here are 3 of the top computer companies that focus on gaming systems. As I mentioned in another post, those who work with video should buy gaming systems. The reason? I will restate. Games cannot predict the path a player will take, therefore with each and every move a gamer makes in a game the ENTIRE video on the display must be redrawn from scratch, this is not like a DVD playing, that information is processed then sent to the GPU, in a game the GPU must draw as the player moves about, that tells you how fast that GPU must render.

Rendering video is the same, the "next step" information does not exist yet, you are creating it, therefore the GPU must be the muscle in rendering the unpredictable path you the videographer has taken, therefore a gaming PC is the best option.

Here are the 3 top gaming manufactures in the U.S. (world for that matter) I do not favor one above the other (I do really but for the sake of this post I will attempt to remain neutral) So in random order here we go.

1) Alienware
They just make some crazy awesome gaming systems. Alienware started out as a gaming only company and still holds to that. Therefore since their entire focus is on gaming ALL their systems are suitable. They also make some crazy awesome cases. You can't really beat Alienware for their gaming focus and power, therefore they would be the tops for video rendering. One more note, Dell did buy the company in the mid 2000's but Dell left the design and focus of the company alone.

2) MSi
They fell off in sales last year, so they refocused on the gaming market this year. In fact their entire business model is toward gamers. Although they are focusing on gamers in 2012 they have been around a long time and are tried and true. Another good thing about their entry into the gaming field is their prices may be a bit lower than others for the first few months.

3) Asus
In the computer world Asus is the (BMW, Lexus, whatever you lust model car is) of computer makers. Asus is consider one of the top makers of all computer parts that are gold in quality and they have one of the best lines of systems out there. I do feel they are fat on pricing, but Asus is Asus, they are more than a brand, they are status and power.

So there it is, any of the above 3 makers is going to give you the best bang for the buck to render video. In fact It might be the last system you would need to buy for a very long time since we are approaching the end of Moore's Law. I will not suggest on above the other however if anyone should so desire you may order this one for me and just ship it right to me


Enjoy your video rendering experience.

TimWard34's picture
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 02/17/2017 - 8:48pm

I know this is an old article, but it is still of a relevant nature, plus the internet is forever.

A few points to make:
1. Gaming PCs do NOT make good systems for professional work. Gaming systems and video production systems have overlapping requirements and specs, but also differ in their focus, requirements, and performance. They can be ok for ocassional-duty, "weekend warrior," and amateur work, but fall short for professional requirements.

2. Where video editing systems primarily differ:

PROCESSORS: Video systems benefit more from processor core count than pure clock speed, so they use workstation-class Intel Xeons instead of desktop-class Intel Core i3/i5/i7. A current gen quad-core i7 still offers good performance, and can be used to save money, but would also necessitate having a custom built system, whether by you using pre-qualified components (good), or by a video editing systems integrator (better). I'd use one in a home system, but I'd be hesitant to use anything but a workstation while in a session with the client present.

MEMORY: With the Xeon processors come the ability to use ECC (error-correcting code) RAM. This ultimately results in fewer crashes and better system stability. Video systems also need lots of RAM, which is afforded by the Xeon processors.

GPU: Here is where gaming systems and video systems share hardware. I will only talk about Nvidia GPUs as their CUDA tech is currently used in more software programs than the OpenCL tech in AMD GPUs (Nvidia cards can also do OpenCL, and more and more software is able to take advantage of OpenCL). While Nvidia Quadro GPUs are great heavy lifters in video systems, the best performance per dollar comes from the desktop-class Nvidia GTX series. With video systems, they typically run better with reference cards (not-overclocked). Vendor-overclocked cards can be run without issues but crashes can still happen. USER-overclocked cards should never be used. Video processing taxes your GPU(s) more than anything else, so the GPU needs to be stable one.

3. The best three manufacturers for professional video workstations are HP Z-series, Dell T-series, and to a lesser extent currently (performance-wise), Apple. Third-party integrators also custom build systems for video but they know them inside and out, perform testing specific to video, know what the industry and software requirements and quirks are, and provide support for them. Companies that build custom gaming systems are not the same as those that build custom video systems, in that they do not (typically) understand the needs of video vs. the needs of gaming. In addition, software companies also are guaranteed to test and qualify their software on the HP, Dell, and Apple workstations, so there are fewer "gotchas" from unknown/untested hardware combinations.

To be clear, I am talking about professional-level systems that are used on a daily basis to make your living. Granted, Videomaker is slanted more towards the enthusiasts, students, and "weekend warriors" of our world, so bear that in mind when comparing.