My New Editing Computer

i7 Quad Core CPU for video editing
I just built a new video editing computer as outlined by VideoGuys. I was planning to build it myself after watching a couple of YouTube videos on the subject.

While speaking to a local IT guy, he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. It probably would have taken me a week and who knows if I would have made a mistake. For $100 he did it all except installing Windows and updating the drivers. I volunteered to do both of those easy jobs.

Here are the parts that VideoGuys recommended for their “Budget” machine at $1400. The “Hot Rod Machine” they outlined cost $2500.

Motherboard ASUS P6X58-E Pro
CPU Intel i7-950 Quad Core
GPU (graphics processing unit) Ge Force GTX 570

RAM Corsair XM3 16 GB (4 x 4GB)
Here we varied from the Videoguys recommendation which was for 05 G.SKILL Ripjaws 12GB (3 x 4GB) SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800). My IT guy described this as not the most reliable so I went with the Corsair RAM and got 4 more GB of RAM for the same price.

Case Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case
Power Supply Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 850 V2 850 Watts
System Drive Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive. The original recommendation was for a Hitachi 1TB 7200RPM drive, but I heard it referred to as a “deathstar.”
Operating System Windows 7 Professional 64 bit OEM
Optical Drive Pioneer Internal Blu-Ray Disk/DVD/CD writer BDR 206 Black $
CPU Intel Core i7-950 3.06 GHz 8 MB Cache Socket LGA 1366 Processor

The build above cost a hair over $1600. I found most of the elements at, but a few of the items were cheaper through I could have saved $100 by doing it all myself, but because I don’t do this very often, I would have been much slower.

I choose to stick with the 1 TB hardrive for now. With the setup I have I can upgrade this and add an additional Solid State Disk (SSD), but I’d rather save the money now and get a great system working.

My old computer is a AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 2.3 GHz with 6GB RAM and a 32 bit operating system running Windows Vista Home Premium. It could edit HD footage if you were willing to guess at exactly what you had until after it rendered.

The most important elements of a video editing machine are the processor and the video card or GPU, but all of these have to work together and this is where it’s helpful to have someone like Gary Bettan from VideoGuys and a smart IT guy. I still need to add external hard drives and to upgrade to Sony Vegas 10 Pro. (Vegas 11 seems to have issues I don’t want to deal with.)

One thing that struck me during the process is that a gaming computer might have worked just fine for HD editing. They both require a fast processor, lots of RAM and a powerful graphics card. I found some used gaming machines that might have done the trick, but for just a little more money I could have brand new.

The bottom line is that I couldn’t be happier with my new editing machine. Everything works so much faster. All previews are at the best quality. Rendering is fast. Video effects are shown in real time. I’ve learned that the world of computer hardware changes so quickly that you must be flexible.

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8 thoughts on “My New Editing Computer

  1. Hal Post author

    Craigslist is good for finding IT guys. I’ve found two really great ones there. One has become invaluable to my business.

  2. Tony Wright

    Sean, if you need some help assembling the machine, I can help. I’m a legal videographer with several years experience, and have been a computer tech in a former life.

    To the author: the SSD is a must. It will greatly improve file transfer times from your media to your computer and helps a lot for rendering as well. Computers have advanced to the point where the main bottleneck is getting the information from the hard drive to the processor to be processed. The big disc drives they have now are great for archival, but unless you have a RAID array, you won’t get near the performance compared to the SSD. The trick is to set it up in a way where your OS, program files, and working copies are kept on the SSD, and final products, archives, and other raw files like music, movies, and photos are kept on the HDD.

  3. johnq

    Nice setup. I have that case (Antec 1200V) and LOVE it! It’s a monster! Had it about a year and zero problems. I have all fans on lowest setting (2 rear, 2 front, and the big boy up top) with the case 12 inches from my head and I can barely hear it.

    I second the vote for an SSD. It will make the system more snappier. However they are expensive, and you probably will not see much gain from editing unless all of your media is on the ssd. Which is probably not recommended because of all the read/write operations.

    I go AMD just because of the price. AMD 1090T 6 core OC’d to 3.6 for a hundred and change got my vote.

    That Mobo seems a bit overkill. The 8 SATA ports are great. I noticed it is TRIPLE CHANNEL, and you bought 4 sticks of ram. Might want to check to see if installing 4 will take it out of triple channel mode. Indicative of the colored ram slots.

    hahaha “Deathstar”. I’m partial to WD although they had a big prob w/ their HD’s lately. Prices of HDD’s went up big time lately.

    The gpu might be a bit overkill as well. I guess it depends on your usage. I edit with Avid Studio and my gpu rarely gets hit hard. Granted I don’t do all that much with transitions, but its my CPU that takes the beating.

    With gaming I think it is the other way around. Performance relies on the gpu the most.

    Good luck with your new build! The great thing with technology is that in a year or two you will get to do this all over again!

  4. Grace O

    That’s definitely a great build.

    I’m in school for videography and because of some great connections within OIT I’ve learned from peers how to build my own rig.

    I’m running with the AMD 1090T CPU the same as Johnq
    8gb Ram (can’t remember the brand)
    5750 ati radeon GPU
    1 TB harddrive WD caviar blue. I’d like to upgrade to a SSD when I get the funds for it.
    The AMD 1090T is an EXCELLENT processor.

    I’m editing with Avid Studio currently.

    I started out with building a gaming computer and by just upgrading the RAM and the CPU it made a great computer for editing video.

  5. [email protected] Wedding Videography

    Nice set up! You mentioned that HD video editing requires strong processor, GPU and ram. And like Tony mentioned, I think an SSD is really important as well. Just wanted to get your feedback on the GTX 570. 😀

    Anyway, if someone around here could answer this question would be really nice. I was wondering, the GPU only aids in the reproduction of the video onto the monitor right? As in, it doesn’t speed up rendering or HD video processing, or does it?

  6. Tony Wright


    It depends on what editing software you are using. For example, I think Adobe premier pro doesn’t require you to “render” at all. It’s all done in realtime, so a strong gpu helps a lot in that case. Also you have to see what your particular software offloads. I know that premier pro will allow you to use an ungodly amount of cores for transcoding, which is why I use a dual xeon server as my editing machine.

    Being a legal videographer, I don’t use too many effects or fancy stuff, but if you do, that’s where a specific Nvidia chips that support CUDA will help. I couldn’t find any information that said that the cards would help with transcoding… Check out this article.


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