Video Editing Hardware: What You’ll Need To Get Started

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qubits

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software responds to more cores.. ok the i5 can be comparable with the high ipc to a fx 8-core but what the i5 lacks in comparison is in prime numbers and floating-point math.. no?
 

qubits

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i decided to compare synthetics
i5-4950 and fx-8350 score close in floating-point math and prime numbers but the i5 falls short with a overclock
fx-8350 destroys i5-4950 in integer math, sse, compression, encryption, physics, and sorting
i think the fx-8350 may get the job done a little better than the i5-4950 as a pure editing build but the i5-4950 would win to double as gaming and editing plus you got a i7 to upgrade to so after some thought on it i could back you on the suggestion but i dont think a fx-8350 is something to just cast aside as a option.
 

CaedenV

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I came here to tear this apart, but am pleasantly surprised to find that this article is very well done and practical. About the only two nit-picky things I would point out is; that to do the actual editing you can do just fine (at least for 1080p editing) on the entry level with an i3 processor and onboard Intel graphics. Yes, you are not going to get much in-software acceleration for effects, and your export may take a little time, but it is more than enough power to import your clips, set your cuts and transitions, and export overnight effectively on the low end for those starting out. Certainly you would want to move up to an i5 with whatever GPU acceleration is supported by your software of choice ASAP (especially as your income comes to depend on it and rendering time begins to cap your income), but to say that it is required for an 'entry level' system is really underestimating what a modern i3 can do.

The other little point is that I would never be able to suggest a single HDD even on the entry level. Your storage drive should at least have a RAID1, or you should have a nice fat USB3 external HDD or NAS of some sort to off-load video. Drives fail, it is just a fact of life. But drives are also cheap, and just about every board under the sun comes with a basic RAID controller. I would much rather spend $75 on a 2nd 2TB drive for the worry-free uptime that it brings to the table than $150 on a GPU that is going to have minimal impact on the editing process, and merely accelerate exports which are likely going to be done at the end of the day and are much less time sensitive (at least when starting out). Faster exports are a nice perk, but catastrophic drive failure is catastrophic.

Still, great article, and full of great information that is sorely lacking in the forums.
 

edwd2

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The Xeon E3-1231 V3 is priced at around $240 tray is the equivalent of an i7-4770 without the iGPU and is compatible with any LGA1150 motherboard. It games and renders better than both the non-k i5s and the FX-8350. It's really the best choice if you're looking for a balanced and reliable multipurpose work and gaming rig.
 

Duckhunt

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I have a 4k smart tv.

It is much better on my eyes.

I am trying to say that 4k video on a phone has been done and you can upload it to the pc. Then we have folks talking about 1080p video editing? Are you kidding me?
 

TheFluffyDog

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You dont need a 4k monitor to produce 4k content. When you zoom in on a 1/4 section of a frame on a 1080p monitor you will be seeing a 1/1 pixel ratio. Meaning, when you view the whole frame or the whole clip, you just won't see it how it will look, however you can still edit and render full 4k content.
 

silverblue

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"Most editing software responds well to additional CPU cores, and as a result more cores are preferable to higher clock rates. A caveat: most of the calculations for video rendering are floating-point math. And in most cases, the audio is calculated in floating-point as well. Sorry AMD fans. Those extra integer cores won't help much here."

The following results may not serve to prove your statement wrong, but will show that it's not a universal truth:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/1061
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/54
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/28

There may be a question over the amount of power used for the work done, however.
 

harley2ride

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It would have been nice to see a little more information. IE: Capture device recommendations, and a list of softwares would have been nice. Doing mostly my own videos and doing some for friends and family, I use an ADS PYRO AV/Link, and my softwares of choice are Pinnacle Studio Ultimate for simple stuff, and Sony Vegas Pro for stuff I want to look more professional.
 

Draven35

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Look at something like our Dell T5600 review from last year. There is pretty much a linear extrapolation of cores, even in the anandtech benchmark you gave as an example. If you count floating-point and SSE cores, *not* integer cores, its pretty linear. As i stressed in the article, video is being rendered in floating-point space, so it is your FPU (and how many of them) that matters. By the way: that test is for video *encoding*, not rendering. If you really want fast encoding speed, spend the money for a gpu-accelerated h.264 encoder. (there is even a free one for Premiere that uses the nvenc hardware h.264 encoder on every Kepler and Maxwell GPU)

We have another part coming that features a software roundup.

Regarding capture devices: If you aren't using analog video, transfer the video over in your camera's native format. If you are using analog video, it is time to buy a new camera. Alternately- get the Blackmagic Intensity box, there is a USB 3 one that takes analog video in... but an HD camera is going to much higher quality and have the additional feature of having a digital format you can copy over as files. See the note on page 4.

 

paotasos

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I've been editing 2-4k video Red Raw & Arri Raw for some years. To be honest I have used core I7 and xeons but its never enough lol. It also depends on what you do just editing premiere-avid etc or coloring like Davinci resolve which is all gpu 2-4 gpus to get 23.997p playback at 4k. Anythink less than core i7 to be honest is not enough. Usually i work with dual xeons 12 cores or more when talking raw files. As on this article and raid is a must, for exaple 1 hour of 5k red raw is over 1tb in size its crazy so you usually need a system with raid controller and many hard disks. This review is really small to cover video editing coloring etc i personally would love to see a full review with provideo editing software and coloring because there are not that many out there and it usually gets confusing when buying new equipment for edting. Sorry for my english. But its a get started so honestly no raw files otherwize you are talking thousands.
 

Draven35

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I'm working up some newer editing tests but honestly the best camera i have access to is a BMDPCC.

The original version of the 'storage' section was three pages in Word, and i shortened it for this article.
 

joe_newbuilder

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This article seems to fall short in an important way. You need to know what types of video you are making to make recommendations. If you are making short(5-10) minute videos for youtube from your cell phone, the recommendations here are overkill.

I suspect that many novices are going to be near that level.

When talking about hard drives a raid is only necessary for certain resolutions and formats.
A single drive high performance solution, like a WD black 2tb, is just fine for a HD much HD work.

The AMD vs Intel comment is baffling at a novice level.

A good gaming rig will let you let you edit a lot of types of content, without having to purchase additional gear. It's far more important to get started and learn the software you are using then to have a higher spec machine.

I have a old macbook pro, a Xeon professional machine and a AMD 8120 gaming machine. All of them are fine for home editing tasks of iphone footage for dvd's or youtube videos,

The amd will handle medium size projects, certainly student projects. I suspect that it could handle professional work since so little of that is cpu bound,

Some solid recommendations on packages would have been more useful and make a bigger impact on editors to be.
 

Draven35

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Package recommendations are a separate article.

Yes, a gaming system would be adequate for editing h.264 video from your cell phone or most consumer cameras... but as you get more professional, camera-wise, they start becoming inadequate. You need more and more hard-drive space, CPU and GPU and eventually, the game system just will not do.
 

Eelco van Vliet

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Too bad the FX-8350 is dismissed in this artice. The plaform is way cheaper than Intel and just because of the multi core scaling it is still a strong contender. Check out toms own relevant benchmarks:

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/cpu-charts-2013/-34-Adobe-Premiere-Pro-CS6,3171.html
and
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/cpu-charts-2013/-31-Handbrake,3164.html

the 3770 is only marginally faster, but at a way higher cost.

Get a good 970 based board, 8 or 16Gb 1866 memory and a good cooler to overclock it to 4.6Ghz. Sitck tot he other recommentations like SSD and the system will be more than capable.
 

Draven35

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I didn't recommend a 3770 I recommended a much newer CPU.

Don't compare those results with the workstation results, by the way. they chopped 30-some seconds off the video for the tests for the non-workstation machines, and i don't know why.

The video used is relatively low bandwidth, and a very short project. The most simultaneous video layers is two-simple dissolve transitions- with no text overlays, and the video is 720p. Hence why I'm going to work up some newer tests, at least for workstations.

The more video layers and the longer the project, the more things like amount of RAM and memory bandwidth are going to matter, which the AMD processor isn't going to match. Why AMD never made triple or quad channel memory interfaces, I don't know.

'Multi-core scaling' isn't going to matter because the AMD CPU 's much vaunted eight cores are eight *integer* cores, and video rendering is done in mostly floating point space. If you look at Intel's CPU architecture, a 'quad-core' Intel has the same number of FPU/MMX units as an 'eight core' AMD.
 

Draven35

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And that's one reason I didnt recommend a Mac Mini + monitors.
 

gforce007

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This discussion was very helpful for my question and ultimate decision. http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2520451/workstation-build-video-editing-adobe-suite.html It really comes down to the type of work one will be doing. I am going with dual xeons. Someone can give an opinion but it may be based on what they think it was be used for (iPhone movie editing etc). Very key to establish type of work wished to be down. That will dictate everything else. Thanks again
 

Draven35

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If you're just doing iPhone movie editing, and using premiere, you might be best off getting the best GPU you can and a GPU-accelerated h.264 encoder.
 

RolandDeschain

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Only Mac hardware recommendations? Are you kidding? This whole misconception that Macs are superior editing machines has GOT to die already. You can get soooooooo much more performance at an equal price for a PC.

Are the guys that wrote this article anti-vaxxers, too?
 

Draven35

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Did you actually read the article? because it pretty much says the same thing regarding editing on Macs that you just did. There are four Windows machines recommended, as opposed to the three Macs, and the top end PC (which, by the way, is supposed to say dual Xeons...) would run circles around the top end Mac, due to some extremely poor system design decisions by Apple.
 
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