Generally if you're looking for a computer, it's going to be classified by the processor, but you're also going to want to put some weight into the graphics card.
Now graphics cards can come from AMD or Nvidia. Those are the top two at the moment.
Right now, all the graphics cards are super expensive, especially if you have a tower like me and you wanted a Geforce RTX 3070 for so long, but they're like $1,500 bucks a pop. The good thing is that you don't need that for editing, you really don't.
When you're in Premiere Pro or in Final Cut Pro while you're editing, it's mostly processor intensive. The only reason why you would need a high-end graphics card is if you wanted to render effects, specifically special effects, faster.
Now, if you're like me and you're making YouTube videos, you don't need a super high-end graphics card. Yes, I have one because it came with the computer that I wanted to buy. I didn't buy it because it had a really great graphics card, actually I got the one with the high-end graphics card to play games, but I don't need it for editing.
Every time I'm working on a video, unless I'm making really great special effects with After Effects or Cinema 4D or any other software like that, that's when the graphics card comes into play. But if you're just editing YouTube videos, and you just want to make a straight forward video, a vlog or anything like that, you don't need a graphics card that's higher than a RTX 1600 series.
Here is what I’d recommend for Graphics cards for editing (in a laptop, desktop or any Apple computer):
You guys need to make sure that if you're setting up an editing computer, you need to have an amazing processor.
The processors can come from AMD, Intel and many others, but I prefer Intel. AMD is pretty good, but I prefer Intel because they're more reliable, they've been around longer and also I've been using them for years. I have an 11th gen Intel processor, which is one of the latest.
If you're using an Intel processor from the seventh generation or eighth gen, It's basically impossible to edit. Sure, you can do some minor edits, but you can't really make great videos with motion graphics all over the place.
The processor is the most important part when you're building a computer, or buying a computer, or upgrading any part in your computer for editing. If you’re editing on Premiere Pro, Final Cut or DaVinci Resolve, it's going to be very processor heavyand require a lot of those CPU cores and threads.
Make sure that if you have a computer and you want to set it up for optimal editing, and have no lag, get yourself a computer with a great processor, preferably an Intel i7 10th gen or an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X or higher. Also, if you are getting Intel, go for the i7s, the i5s are fast enough.
So, a solid state drive is not great for editing. Editing deteriorates the solid state drive a lot faster. If you have footage on your SSD and you're editing with it, because it's going to read and write constantly which is what editing does (It's one of the most computer labor intensive tasks that you can do), it's going to destroy the solid state drive a lot faster than it would destroy a hard drive.
So hard drives you can edit for at least three to five years. If you're doing constant editing, like let's say, you're uploading one YouTube video a week, it's a lot better to edit off of a drive that has a spinning disk in it then a little tiny memory card.
We are looking for longevity and reliability here so you want to have your media on a separate drive then your apps (which live on your SSD typically) because let's say you're reading and writing footage off of the SSD on your computer while editing in Premiere Pro, there will be a tremendous slow-down in editing because of the location of your media.
So you want to avoid having premiere pro run independently on its own drive, preferably the SSD, while editing footage on another drive. I prefer an external drive for my media. One that you just plug into your computer, or you can use your own hard drive if it's available in your computer as well.
So the mouse is night and day compared to a trackpad. Some of you might be really great at editing on a laptop. You're like the pros of the trackpad but honestly, if you switch to a mouse, you'll realize how much more control you have. You realize how much longer you can edit for if you're sitting at a desk with a mouse. A keyboard and a monitor are just as important as well.
If you have a laptop, you want to make sure you don't edit on the laptop for long periods of time. It's only good to edit on a laptop for an hour max before taking a long break. Most laptops aren't built ergonomically for your body to sit in a position for a long period of time. You slouched over, neck pain emerges, wrist pain creeps in, it’s bad.
So it's optimal to have a desk where the top of the monitor is lined up with your eyes, you have your mouse that you're not reaching too far for, your keyboard within reach. This setup brings calm, comfort, and more space for creativity to flourish.
And you could sit there for a while, so make sure to stand up every hour because that's healthy. You want to make sure that you have a great desk setup to edit because you don't want to be slouching or feeling bad while you're making creative decisions. Because if you're not feeling good about your body pains, then your brain is also not gonna respond very well and make great videos because you’re uncomfortable.
Also speakers are a must because you need to be able to hear the highest quality sound possible for the videos that you're working on. You got to know what other people are hearing too. It's quality control.
Okay, last but not least,
So laptops allow for very quick edits for your videos. If you're just making videos, like vlogs or videos that are just pretty straightforward, you can use a laptop to edit it real quick and only takes like an hour max hopefully.
If you're going to be editing a large project like a short film or something that's like 10 minutes long with many scenes in it, or even a video just with a lot of post-production work, I would recommend a tower.
So if you're uploading YouTube videos that require tons of post work, an editing tower is more optimal for that. And by a tower, I mean, you know, those computers that sometimes have the crazy lights going on inside of them.
Piggybacking off of the fourth tip, laptops are better for quick videos. You don't want to be on them for too long and towers which are usually at desks with a monitor, keyboard and a mouse. Those are better for big projects.
And what I mean is, you can have all of your footage for your big videos, your big projects, living inside of your tower, then create proxies of that footage (you can learn more about proxies by checking out my latest course called Zero to Hero: Adobe Premiere Pro, it takes you from knowing nothing to be being a pro at Adobe Premiere Pro).
It's great to have a setup where you have a home base with your tower, that's where you edit mostly, but if you need to travel somewhere, or if you just want to edit on the couch, you can do it on your laptop on the fly with no external drive.
Even if it is a big project you can use your proxy files, so really your laptop doesn't have to be nearly as powerful as your tower PC.
But other than that, that's all I got for you. Check out all the things that I recommended above. You can see basically everything that I own and that I would recommend you guys used to if you're making YouTube videos and you want to have a better PC that's built for editing, and also gaming, if you're into that.
All right then, I'll talk to you again soon.
Sam Pareti, Founder of ParEdits
PS. I love to save time at any chance I get when I make videos, and I think you'd appreciate more resources to do that too. So let me know if you're youtuber, live streamer or social media manager, and I'll send you a free downloadable resource to help make better videos and grow your audience faster! Please fill out the super short video questionnaire, and I'll have the right gift sent to your inbox right away.
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Compiled Recommendations List
Graphics Card Recommendations:
GeForce GTX 1660: https://amzn.to/3C268zh
GeForce RTX 2060: https://amzn.to/3tjmkbG
Radeon RX 6600: https://amzn.to/3vpu4LV
Intel i7 10th Gen: https://amzn.to/3HCaRsY
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X: https://amzn.to/35iVUie
SSD & HDD Recommendations:
SSD (Laptop or PC): https://amzn.to/3szilso
HDD (PC): https://amzn.to/3IEJcJ2
External Drive (Mac or PC): https://amzn.to/3Hv4wiO
Desk Setup Recommendations: