Video editing can be awfully hard on most consumer computers, which is why any experienced editor or motionographer will tell you that having the right machine to do the job is crucial. In a previous blog post, we’d discussed the differences between PCs and Macs for video editing, but you’ll find here that both operating systems need similar hardware requirements to efficiently run the programs. When you’re working on high profile projects for big clients, the last thing you need is for your computer to crash right before you save. We’ve all had that happen, right? Hopefully not. Let’s dig into some specifics on how you can help this NOT to happen.
First of all, when editing video, you’ll need a robust video graphics card to be able to seamlessly handle the footage during editing and playback. Especially for us here at World Studios, we work with 4K footage, so our graphics cards need to be A+. In most Macs, the graphics cards aren’t upgradable, but you can typically find models specifically suited to editing. On the PC side, there are whole host of options for GPU, and the prices vary quite drastically depending on your needs.
The second thing you’ll want to look at before buying a computer is the available RAM. RAM stands for “random access memory”, and in layman’s terms, determines how fast your computer can take in information and commands and translate them to actions. Most standard computers might come with 2 or 4GB of RAM, but for an editing software like Premiere, we recommend no less than 8GB. 16GB is ideal, but as you increase RAM, the price will increase as well.
The last thing to mention here is probably more or less obvious, and that is the storage space required to handle these projects. For us, we typically have a number of 8TB hard drives on hand to handle the footage. On average, a large project for us, shot in 4K, might equate to over 20TB of footage. Without having handled these sizes of files before, this number seems absolutely insane. However, it comes with the territory. You need to make sure you have enough storage space for all these files, and that hard drives themselves have a fast enough transfer rate so that when editing off of a hard drive, there is little to no latency. Recommended transfer speeds are 10gb/s, which is standard for most Mac thunderbolt connections, and internal SATA connections.
While this may all seem like overkill (or to some, heinously obvious), the difference that a smoothly operating computer can make when editing large projects is a life saver. The most annoying thing in the world, to me, is having to wait every two seconds for your project to buffer–never allowing you to get into a good workflow. Before you start in on your next big project, take a look at your hardware specs, and consider investing a little on the front-end to help you out a TON on the back-end.