Welcome to our run down of the best computers for video editing. If you're on the hunt for a PC, Mac or all-in-one that you can do your video editing on, then you've come to the right place.
Video editing can be an intensive task - especially if you're working with ultra high definition 4K footage, so you'll want a PC that is up to the task. This means it needs a modern multi-core processor and plenty of RAM, allow you to work on complex projects, while having multiple apps and windows open at once.
Having a dedicated graphics card is also important, especially if you're a professional video editor. These components allow your PC to render and display high resolution graphics, and the more powerful the graphics card, the faster you'll be able to finalise projects and move on to the next one. Not sure what you're looking for? Jump to the what to consider when buying one of the best computers for video editing section.
In this guide, we’ve picked out some of the top Windows PC and Mac computers for video editing, with a focus on both some of the most powerful workstations on the market today, as well as some options if your budget is more limited. If you're looking for the ideal software and audio while you work, check out our round ups of the best video editing software and best headphones for video editing.
The best computers for video editing available now
If you're after the very best computer for video editing, then the latest 27-inch iMac is without doubt the machine to get. Updated in 2020, this new model comes with cutting edge components from Intel and AMD, with the latter's powerful graphics card being particularly useful for video editing.
The webcam and built-in microphone has also been improved, which is handy for many people who now find themselves working from home. Sure, the design of the iMac hasn't changed, but that's no bad thing considering how slim and stylish it is. Its all-in-one design means its easy to set up and looks smart in any office, home or studio, and it's a formidable PC when it comes to editing high resolution videos.
If you love the idea of a stylish all-in-one like the iMac, but you'd rather stick with a Windows 10 machine, then Microsoft’s Surface Studio 2 is a brilliant alternative.
This is an all-in-one PC that comes with a gorgeous screen (a touch-sensitive 28-inch display with a huge resolution of 4,500 x 3,000), with powerful PC internals that are built in behind the screen.
Not only does the Surface Studio 2 look fantastic, it means it's easy to set up, and you're not trailing cables all over your desk. It's got a stunning design and build quality, and it includes a feature that Apple's iMacs lack - a touchscreen.
This allows you to drag and drop video clips with a finger as well as a mouse. It comes with hinge that lets you flip the screen all the way down to edit video and it can be used with a pen for drawing too.
The components inside are beginning to show their age, but they are still plenty powerful enough to run demanding video editing apps.
If you're after an absolute powerhouse of a video editing computer, and you've got plenty of budget, then the Apple Mac Pro (2019) is definitely worth investing in. The Mac Pro can be configured to come with hardware that makes intensive video editing tasks complete much faster than less powerful PCs, and this can have a huge impact on your workflow.
By being able to complete projects more quickly, it means you can take more on. So, in many cases, the Apple Mac Pro is a wise investment that can end up covering its own costs - and more.
And, while it is very powerful and very expensive, there are plenty of configuration options, which lets you pick the specs that best suit your needs and budget. It's also got a modular design, which means unlike Apple's other devices, like the iMac, it's easy to upgrade parts of the system later on. This means it can be future proofed for years to come.
The Apple Mac Pro won't be for everyone - for many, it will be overkill - but if you need the very best performance out of a video editing PC, this is the machine to get.
We just love the Mac mini's flexibility and diminutive form factor, but we've sometimes felt that Apple doesn't share our fondness for its tiny PC. Thankfully, though, the company included the Mac mini in its latest round of updates, fitting it with its all-new M1 chip, which packs an 8-core GPU. This means despite its small size, this is a very capable PC for video editing - just pair it with one of the best monitors for video editing and you've got a great setup that looks fantastic on any desk.
The base model features the Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 16-core Neural Engine with 256GB SSD, and there are four expansion ports at the back for either USB or Thunderbolt external storage, plus HDMI 2.0 to simultaneously support two displays. This is a great alternative to the expensive Mac Pro above.
You may be wondering why there's a gaming PC in this list, but there's a good reason - gaming PCs are brilliant video editing computers as well, as they usually come with plenty of RAM, the latest multi-core processors, and powerful graphics cards.
This means perform brilliantly when video editing, and budget gaming PCs like the Dell G5, are much more affordable than professional workstations, but still offer excellent performance.
If you don't want to spend huge amounts of money, the budget Dell G5 is a fantastic choice. It comes with 9th-generation Intel chips and Nvidia’s most powerful gaming GTX and RTX graphics cards. As with many of Dell's products, you can configure the G5 to suit your budget and needs, so you won't end up spending money on power and features you don't need. It's also stylishly designed, so it won't look out of place in an office or studio, and it comes with Dell's respected build quality to boot.
The Lenovo Yoga A940 is another all-in-one Windows 10 PC that offers a similar experience to the iMac, but without the premium price tag.
While the components inside this PC are showing their age a bit - you're still getting 8th generation Intel Core processors and Radeon RX 560 graphics, there's still more than enough power in this PC to easily run any video editing app. It's built-in screen is gorgeous, and it can be angled to work on with a stylus, along with Dolby Atmos speakers that let you edit and experience your projects using Dolby's 3D audio tech.
Even though it is showing its age, the 21-inch Apple iMac with 4K Retina display (2019) remains one of the best computers for video editing. Sporting six and eight-core 9th-generation Intel processors, it remains a powerhouse that makes editing videos a joy.
Of the two available screen sizes, the 21.5-inch Retina iMac represents a better overall combination of value and performance than the larger 27-inch model. You get an extremely high quality, bright 4K Retina (4,096 x 2,304) display with a quad-core processor and AMD Radeon Pro 555X graphics card, that’s absolutely great for video editing.
You should still be able to get this iMac in a number of configurations, and we recommend adding more memory, going for a faster Solid State Drive (SSD), and boosting the processor. This will ensure that the 2019 model remains a solid video editing PC for years to come. If the more recent models are too expensive for you, then going for this slightly older model is a great way for saving money, without sacrificing too much when it comes to performance.
Unlike the more affordable Dell G5 PC also in this list, there's no mistaking the Orion 9000 as a gaming PC. Its design is completely over the top, and it might get a few questioning looks when you fire it up in an office or studio, but it's also one of the most powerful PCs in this list.
It has Intel processors with ten, or even 18 CPU cores, up to 64GB of memory and if your budget can stretch to it, even dual Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards. With that kind of fire power, you're going to be able to edit, render and play 4K footage with ease.
However, it is extremely expensive, and that garish design (with bright LED lighting, of course), isn't going to be for everyone.
If you're after a high-end powerful all-in-one PC for video editing, then Apple's iMac Pro may be for you - as long as you have the budget for it.
Featuring the same slim and stylish design as Apple's other (more affordable) iMacs, the iMac Pro comes with incredibly powerful hardware.
Starting with an 8-core Intel Xeon processor, the least expensive iMac Pro option is already immensely powerful, with an outrageous 18-core option for those who can afford it. 1TB to 4TB of SSD internal storage means that you'll be able to store tonnes of 4K footage before you need to think about additional best external hard drives. And it's not short on ports, either, with four Thunderbolt 3.0 ports and a 10GB Ethernet port.
The built-in screen is also one of the finest around, with a 27-inch screen size and 5K resolution. It's 43% brighter than standard Apple Retina monitors and delivers up to an astonishing one billion colours. There aren't too many screens around that will flatter your footage more.
This is a brilliant all-in-one PC that offers a much more affordable alternative to Apple's iMac PCs. Sure, it has a smaller 23-inch Full HD screen, but that's no bad thing if you simply don't have the desk space in your home, office or studio for a huge 27-inch monitors.
Its 2TB hard drive is also large enough to hold your raw video files and projects, and while the 7th generation Intel processor is now beginning to show its age, it's still perfectly capable of running your video editing apps.
Best of all, it's a lot cheaper than other all-in-one PCs, which means it's the ideal video editing PC for beginners and amateurs.
It's worth noting that you can buy an even cheaper AMD-based version, but it will be less powerful and you get a smaller monitor.
Best computer for video editing: What to consider
Let's talk about what you need to look for when picking the best video editing computer for your needs. The most important components are the graphics card and processor. If you're looking to edit ultra-high definition videos, or add complex video effects, then we strongly recommend buying a PC with a dedicated graphics card. This will ensure the PC can handle your video editing tasks.
Meanwhile, a fast, modern, multi-core processor will also help speed up your video editing workflow. Pair that with a good amount of RAM (we recommend 8GB as a minimum, and preferably 16GB), and you should be able to chew through video editing tasks with ease.
The best video editing PCs will also offer fast SSD (solid state drive) storage. This helps make moving, copying and accessing large files nice and quick. Video files can often be quite large, especially when you're shooting in 4K, so you'll need plenty of hard drive space to store it all on as well.
But why choose a desktop computer instead of one of the best laptops for video editing? While today’s top-of-the-line laptops are indeed powerful enough to be used for video editing, you still get the best performance and best value for money from a desktop computer, with the added benefit that it’s much easier to upgrade.