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By Alisa Cassiel - Last Updated: Contact Author

What Is the Best PC Build for 4K Video Editing? |Specs Q&A

4K videos store so much information that they provide fantastic visual experiences. However, 4K videos require higher PC build than 1080p or 720p videos during the data reading and writing process. If you are a 4K video maker, or 4K video making beginner, all frequently asked questions about hardware configuration for 4K video editing have been gathered here for. Check these burning questions before buying a computer capable of 4K editing.

4K Video Editing

Strapped for time? Click one of the links below to jump straight to your most interested part.

Part 1: What Specs Do I Need for 4K Video Editing?

When it comes to computer specs for 4K video editing, there are 5 components in a computer counting a great deal, CPU, GPU, RAM, SSD, and monitor, which are all you should focus on if you are going to build your PC for 4k editing.

1. Which processor is best for video rendering?

As we always said, the CPU is king. It is the basic yet vital component of a computer as it does most of the processing work. 4K video editing progress is pretty complicated that decods and encods loads of data back and forth. CPU cores, threads, and clock speed determine running performance directly. More cores and threads, and higher clock speed generate faster 4K video processing.

How many cores do you need for video editing? For common video editing, the minimum requirement on CPU is 6 cores, but for 4K editing, you should build your computer with a CPU of 8 cores and 16 threads at least. We selected 8 best CPUs for 4K video editing in different price categores.


Cores/ Threads

Clock Speed

Cache Memory

Socket Type


AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X


3.4 GHz / 4.2 GHz




AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

12 /24

3.8 GHz / 4.6 GHz




Intel Core i9 9900K


3.6 GHz / 5.0 GHz


LGA 1151


Intel Core i7 9700K

8 / 8

3.6GHz / 4.9GHz

12 MB

LGA 1151


AMD Ryzen 7 3800X

8 / 16

3.9 GHz / 4.5 GHz




AMD Ryzen 7 2700X


3.9 GHz / 4.3 GHz




AMD Ryzen 5 3600


3.6 GHz / 4.2 GHz




2. What graphics card is best for 4K video editing?

GPUs are designed to manipulate and alter memory to accelerate the creation of images, animations and videos to output to a display. Video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Vegas Pro is never the job of CPU solely. Video editors use GPUs integrated into CPUs to render videos, especially for special effects. The more sophisticated the GPU, the higher the resolution and the faster and smoother the motion in videos. That's why a good GPU makes a significant difference in UHD 4K video render speed and quality.

AMD Radeon VII

GeForce GTX 1060

GeForce GTX 1070

GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

Radeon RX 550 D5 2G

Radeon RX 560

CUDA Cores/Stream Processors







GPU Clock

1400/1800 MHz

1845 MHz

1518/1708 MHz

1303/1417 MHz

1195 MHz (OC Mode)

1196 MHz

Memory Clock

1 GHz

8,000 MHz

8000 GHz

7 GHz

7000 MHz

7000 MHz

Memory Size







Memory Interface


192 bits












Output Ports

HDMI, Display Port x3, HDCP

DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

DVI, HDMI x 2, DisplayPort x 2

DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort








3. How much RAM do I need for 4K video?

While editing, your computer will use RAM to store RAW files and read them when needed. It means the larger memory on your computer, the more space for it to process videos. Thus RAM in an editing PC keeps your editing program running smoothly, especially with high-resolution raw videos. CPUs tend to perform better with large memory when editing ultra-high-resolution 4K videos.

Is 16GB RAM enough for 4k editing? It is the minimum requirement, but not the ideal RAM for 4K files. You may encounter issues with background tasks while editing, so you have to balance your usage and 4K editing processes, like lower editing and playback resolution, etc. 32GB is an ideal RAM for 4K processing.

4. Do I need SSD for 4K video editing?

SSD, short for Solid State Drive, is different from HDD (Hard Drive Disk). SSD is faster in data transferring because it has its own processor and uses flash-based memory to process data, while HDDs store data on a rotating platter and using magnetism to read and write data.

It is not mandatory to have an SSD for 4K editing. Because there are CPU, GPU, and RAM which are trying to process 4K videos. You could release the burden by lowering resolution while editing and playback. But storage is the backbone of editing, especially 4K video editing. If you have enough budget, an SSD definitely improves video and without lagging or crashing. Here we made some suggestions:

Read/Write Speed

Connection Type



Glyph Atom RAID

Up To 950MB/s

USB & Thunderbolt 3

1TB, 2TB, 4TB

$249.99 -

Aamsung X5 NVM3

Up To 2800MB/s

Thunderbolt 3

500GB, 1TB, 2TB

$219.99 -

SanDisk Extreme Portable

Up To 550MB/s

USB 3.1 Gen 2

250GB, 500GB, 1TB

$169.62 -

G-Technology Rugged

Up To 560MB/s

USB 3.1 Gen 2

500GB, 1TB, 2TB

$109.95 -

WD Black 3D NVMe

Up To 8GB/s

USB 3.1 Gen 2

250GB, 500GB, 1TB

$64.79 -

5. Which is more important for video editing, CPU or GPU?

Almost every operation on a computer is a CPU intensive process. Video editing differs in its graphics processing that needs GPU super-computing capability. Thus CPU and GPU are important equally, especially for 4K video editing. If you are hesitating in PC upgrading, keep this in mind:

High-end CPU+GPU=optimization.
High-end CPU+low/mid-range GPU=GPU bottleneck.

But equipping your computer with high-end CPU, GPU, RAM, and the display always benefit you from 4K video making if you have adequate upgrading budget.

Part 2: Which Computer Is Best for 4K Video Editing?

All of the suggestions above are for people who want to upgrade a certain part of their PCs, if you are searching for a computer with excellent overall performances, we have made this list for you.

1. What is the best desktop PC for 4K video editing?

For professional film making and video producing, desktop PC is a must, because it has more space to equip itself than laptops. Check our picks for the best 4K editing desktop PCs in 2020.

Apple iMac Pro

Microsoft Surface Studio 2

Dell XPS 27

Apple iMac With Retina Display

Mac Mini


Radeon Pro Vega graphics; Intel Xeon processor

GeForce GTX 1070;28-inch PixelSense display;16-32GB RAM;1-2TB SSD

Intel Core i7-6700;6GB DDR4-2133 Memory;2TB HDD; 4K UHD display with touch

4-8 core Intel Core i7 / i9;AMD Radeon Pro 570X / 580X / Vega 48;8GB - 64GB RAM

8th generation processors; Intel UHD Graphics 630; 8-64GB RAM;128GB-2TB SSD


8-, 10-, 14-, or 18-core Xeon processor; Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz; Up to 42MB cache

Powerful graphics High-res display

Excellent 4K touch screen; Strong performance

Brilliant 5K Rentina display

Portable; Includes all-flash PCIe-based storage


Cannot be upgraded; Extramely expensive

No 9th-gen Intel processor option

Big and heavy design; Nearly inaccessible ports

Pricey; No SSD in base specification

No discrete graphics







2. What is the best laptop for 4k video editing?

Laptops overweigh desktops in portability and diminutive forms. But to choose the best laptop for you to edit 4K videos is not to look at their outlook. You should compare their CPUs, GPUs, RAMs, prices, etc. Here we have taken these factors into account and listed the best 5 laptops for 4K editing.

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)

Microsoft Surface Book 2

Razer Blade 15

HP Spectre x360

Dell XPS 15


Radeon Pro 560 GPU; Intel Core i9 CPU; 32GB RAM; 4TB SSD

NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU; 8th Gen Core i7 CPU; 16GB RAM; 1TB SSD

hexa-core Intel Core i7; Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics; 16GB RAM; 512GB SSD

4-8 core Intel Core i7 / i9;AMD Radeon Pro 570X / 580X / Vega 48;8GB - 64GB RAM

Intel Core i7; Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti;16GB RAM; 1TB SSD


Sharp Retina display; Context-sensitive Touch Bar

Tablet and laptop in one

4K OLED display

Solid performance; Excellent battery life

4K OLED display


No SD card slot

No Thunderbolt 3 port

No SD card reader

Big, heavy as a tablet

Weak battery life







Part 3: Video Editing Software for both Low-end to High-end Computers

Is There Any Software Workable for Both High- and Low-end Computers?

If your budget is too tight to build a high-end computer, you should give up professional space-consuming editors that put too much pressure on CPU, like Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Vegas Pro, etc. VideoProc comes to relieve old computers from 4K video editing.

It lowers CPU usage to 40% averagely and speeds up 4K processing by means of its Full GPU Acceleration. GPU acceleration is a make-or-break when it comes to ironing out problems related to 4K content. GPU deals with graphics processing tasks faster while freeing up CPU to keep all the basic applications run in normal operation.

It is a full-set 4K video editor that enables users to cut, crop, merge, rotate, stabilize, and denoise, and resize 4K videos recorded by GoPro, DJI, iPhone, and DSLR cameras from Sony, Canon, and Nikon. The processing speed reaches up to 47X real-time fast while keeping the original quality. Besides powerful editing capability, it was born with robust format compatibility. 4K videos of any format can be well supported by this 4K editing software.

Free Download VideoProc to Edit 4K Videos on Both High- and Low-end PCs!


Alisa Cassiel

Alisa Cassiel, an English Copywriter of Digiarty, has 4 years of writing and marketing experience. Love writing and always provide thoughtful how-to guides and tips related to video processing, recent hot topics, new digital devices, hit movies, music, etc. She is a life-enthusiast who is independent, persistent, enthusiastic, energetic, and interested in music, exercise, travel, dance, painting.

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