Building your own PC for video editing is one of the best ways to make the most of your money; but you need to buy the right components. That’s especially important when it comes to high-end, 4K editing systems. To that end, we’ve put together a list of the best bang for buck components we could find to create the best PC build for 4K editing. All for just $1,000.
Want a PC for editing but don’t quite have this budget? Here’s a great build you can put together for just $500. If you want a PC that’s aimed more at gaming at 4K, we have a guide for that as well.
What can this build do?
Since this is a PC designed for editing 4K footage, there were several key considerations we had to make. The first was a powerful, multi-core processor, followed by plenty of memory, and high-speed storage. We also wanted to make sure the system had a decent graphics card with plenty of VRAM for performing rendering and handling any 3D effects work you want to do.
We had to make some sacrifices to stay under budget, but we feel happy that this is a very capable PC for 4K video editing.
|Storage||,||$97 + 55|
|Case||$45 + $14|
If you have a little more money to spend, we’ll suggest a few alternatives in the component specific sections below, so that you can boost performance or storage depending on your particular needs.
Note: All the components below are purchasable from Amazon and were found on the site as part of our research and priced accurately when this guide was put together. We would always suggest checking each part’s price before you commit to buying as they do change regularly. Unfortunately, they also quickly sell out, especially when we’ve recommended them. If an item isn’t for sale, shop around, you might find it at your favorite online store.
When it comes to productivity tasks like video editing, AMD’s Ryzen 3000-series is practically unbeatable on price versus performance. Although there are more powerful and more affordable processors than the one we’ve chosen, few offer the amazing bang for buck of the Ryzen 7 3700X. With eight-cores, 16-threads, and a clock speed that can reach 4.4GHz as and when required, there are few tasks it can’t handle with ease.
Since Ryzen 3000-series chips don’t offer much manual overclocking potential, we’ve left off an advanced cooler, as the stock version is good enough. That said, you could stick something aftermarket on if you want it to run cooler or quieter.
Alternatives include the more affordable, which retains the eight cores but loses some clock speed and overall performance. The is a similar price to the last-gen chip, but loses two cores in favor of the higher clock speed and single-threaded performance.
We don’t need mountains of high-end motherboard features with this build, so we’ve opted for a decent, midrange B450M motherboard from MSI. This one comes with support for plenty of high-speed memory, has an armored PCIe x16 port for preventing GPU sagging, and it has some decent VRMs to help support the Ryzen 3700X’s automated overclocking.
One thing you must know though, is that out of the box this board may not support the CPU we’ve chosen. For that, it may need a BIOS update. You can either use another AMD Ryzen 3000 CPU if you have it, or alternatively, borrow a boot kit from AMD for free.
Video editing requires gobs of memory. If we could have budgeted 64GB we’d have done it, but 32GB of high-speed RAM is a good middle ground. It’s affordable and plenty fast to support our Ryzen 3700X. If you can afford faster memory, the CPU will benefit all the way up to 3,600MHz, but 3,000MHz is fast enough for now.
A decent graphics card is a must for GPU-accelerated rendering and the XFX Radeon RX 580 with 8GB of VRAM is a great solution for that. It’s not the most powerful GPU in the world, so we would recommend something heftier if you’re doing a lot of 3D effects work, but for typical rendering tasks and the odd bit of heavy lifting, this card would be a great fit.
If you want an Nvidia GPU for specific CUDA-accelerated tasks, you’ll have to leave some performance on the table, as Nvidia doesn’t quite compete at this price. Ideally, you’ll want to buy at least a GTX 1660 to get the 6GB of VRAM, but that’s around $50 more.
You’ll want lots of storage if you’re editing 4K footage so we’ve got a boatload in this build. The high-speed, 1TB SSD from Crucial will make sure you have quick access to all your project footage and the 2TB hard drive from Seagate gives you plenty of backup space. You can add more, larger, or even faster (NVMe) drives if you prefer, but they will increase the cost outside of our budget.
You don’t need an amazing case or cooling setup for a video editing PC, but you do need somewhere to put all of your powerful hardware. That’s why the Thermaltake Versa H17 is such a good fit for our build. It’s understated, affordable, and versatile. You can fit in all of the components we’ve selected here (it’s built for small, mATX and mini-ITX builds) and it comes with decent thermal considerations like a segregated PSU section.
Since we had a few dollars left in our budget after everything else, we’ve also added a Noctua 120mm case fan to this section to have some decent intake air to help keep everything cool.
A good PSU is like a good saw, hammer, or screwdriver — it’s a tool that will see you right for years to come. If you don’t buy something that has at least modest protections in place, you risk damaging your other hardware if the PSU ever fails. You don’t have to worry about that with this great, budget unit from Corsair. It gives you all the power you need and high-quality components with a quiet fan. Perfect for a 4K editing machine.