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1. Best overall: Mac Studio
2. Best Windows: Surface Studio 2
3. Best value Mac: Mac Mini (2020)
4. Value all-in-one: iMac (2020)
5. Best gaming: HP Omen 30L
6. Best powerful: Legion Tower
7. Best all-in-one: iMac (2021)
8. Best iMac dupe: Yoga AIO 7
9. Best AMD: Aurora Ryzen Edition
Getting the best video editing computer makes your life as an editor so much easier. Every aspect of video editing requires significant processing power, and if your computer isn't up to it, you'll be spending your time repeatedly watching it stutter and crash. This guide is to help you avoid that scenario.
At Creative Bloq, we specialise in putting computers through the wringer. Our review procedure for computers involves a series of benchmark tests to assess their performance, to see if they can do everything the manufacturers claim. We also look at a computer's design, assessing its real-world usability. Our guide writers read reviews of computers across the market to get a detailed picture of what's available.
We've picked Macs and PCs for a range of budgets Our guide focuses on desktop computers, as these tend to deliver the kind of power video editors need, though we also have a guide to the best laptops for video editing. Once you've chosen the best computer for video editing, tune it up further with the best graphics cards and best high-definition monitors.
If you just want a snapshot of the best computers for video editing, look no further; we've summarised all of the key information about the top picks from our list below.
Apple's latest update to its line of computing powerhouses is designed for creative professionals and thus perfect for video editors . With its M2 and M2 Ultra processors, it's immensely powerful, running smoothly and silently.
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If you can't justify a pricey Apple device or simply prefer Windows, then the Surface Studio 2 is an excellent choice. We love its clever design features, and that you can switch colour profiles from sRGB to DCI-P3.
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Best overall computer for video editing
The Mac Studio M2 is the latest update to Apple's top computing powerhouse. Looking like a couple of Mac Minis (more on those below) welded together, the Mac Studio is designed for creative professionals and is perfect for video editors with big power needs. The M1 Max and M1 Ultra edition was already a powerful machine, but now available with the new M2 and M2 Ultra processors, this is simply one of the most powerful computers Apple has ever made.
Having completed our review of the ur-examplar of the series, the Mac Studio M2 Ultra, we can confirm it's an absolutely astounding machine. It can run multiple processor-intensive programs at once without blinking, we found it to be near-silent in operation. If you want to edit complex projects incorporating 8K footage in Final Cut Pro, or render 3D footage in Houdini, you'll find that either Mac Studio M2 will handle the task with aplomb.
If you're not performing the kinds of video editing tasks detailed above, then this is undoubtedly more computing power than you will ever need, at a higher price tag than you need to pay. But if your video editing workflow is extremely power-intensive, and you need to be confident that your computer will keep up, we'd recommend Mac Studio without hesitation.
The one thing that could be considered a downside is that you'll need to buy a monitor separately, but the ability to buy exactly the screen you need might benefit pros with specific needs. It's also worth noting that the built-in speaker isn't up to much, so you'll likely need to invest in headphones or speakers of your own to monitor the audio in your videos.
Best Windows comptuer for video editing
If you prefer Windows to Macs, then fear not, you've got a brilliant option in the form of the Microsoft Surface Studio 2. It scored major points in our full review for all sorts of clever design choices, like the hinge that makes it easy to flip the screen all the way down. Plus, the ability to switch colour profiles from sRGB to DCI-P3 (which not all computers have at all) is really useful for high-end video editing.
Central to the Surface Studio 2 is its fantastic 28-inch display, which not only has a resolution of 4,500 x 3000 pixels, but is also a touchscreen. If you want to drag and drop your clips around in a more tactile fashion, you can, though there are also plenty of peripherals available like mice and keyboards to use in a more standard setup.
The components of the Surface Studio 2 fall a little short of the iMacs in our top two spots, but let's not get carried away – for most contemporary editing tasks, they're going to be just fine. If you don't want to jump onto the Apple train, this is a fantastic choice of video editing computer.
See our full Surface Studio 2 review for more information.
Best value Mac for video editing
If you're after a small PC that packs a punch, our early verdict is a resounding yes. The entry-level model offers an impressive amount of power and truly excellent value for money, and the same can be said for the M2 Pro version if you need that extra level of performance. Yes, it's more expensive, but so far I've yet to find anything his seemingly unassuming little machine can't handle.
It's a fantastic machine for video editing, and a more affordable alternative to the Mac Studio if you find that one overpowered for your needs.
What model you go for will depend on just how hard you need it to work and what your desk space and system set-up looks like, but both the M2 and M2 Pro minis are, in my opinion, a really solid investment for video editor, and indeed any digital content creators, as our Mac mini (M2 Pro, 2023) review shows.
Best value all-in-one video editing computer
While this 2020 iMac may not be as stylishly designed as its newer sibling, and lacks the in-house Apple M1 chip, it's still a mightily powerful computer with a few tricks of its own, and a few things that the newer model doesn't have.
For a start, it's got a larger display – a 27-inch 5120 x 2880 Retina 5K display, in point of fact. Also, it has its own discrete graphics card in the AMD Radeon Pro 5700 XT, which gives it a bit of an edge when handling graphically intense tasks. When we reviewed the 2020 iMac, we were blown away by just how well it could keep up even while we deliberately loaded it up with processor-intense tasks. That 10th-generation Intel i9 processor might not be an M1, but it still gets the job done.
The iMac also never seems to overheat, and its fans never seem to run into screaming overdrive. A hat has to be tipped to Apple's clever thermal design here, allowing the computer to cool off with ease. Formidable even when it comes to crunching through high-resolution video, the iMac 2020 is an all-in-one powerhouse that'll suit practically any editing workflow.
The all-in-one design on the iMac 2020 means it's 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. See our iMac 2020 review for more details.
Best gaming video editing computer
It's well worth looking into gaming PCs for your video editing needs. After all, gaming is an activity that requires a lot of power out of your computer for a long period of time – just like processing and rendering video. While a lot of gamers build their own computers, there are plenty of options out there for those who have no interest in doing that, such as the HP Omen 30L.
The glass-heavy style lets you see the internal components, which may not be to everyone's tastes, but we rather like it. The computing power is excellent, especially for this price point, with a healthy 16GB of RAM to play with. The graphical performance is also outstanding, which is handy if you're planning a lot of intense After Effects work. The design of the computer makes it relatively easy to swap out parts, so if you are someone who can get their hands dirty, you'll be able to help the HP Omen 30L keep up for a good few years.
There's only one cooling fan, and be aware that it really does get loud when the computer is performing demanding tasks; you could be forgiven for thinking someone had crammed a jet engine in there. This is hardly a killer flaw, just something to be aware of.
Best powerful video editing computer
The Lenovo Legion 5i is another excellent example of a gaming PC that also doubles as a great PC for video editing, offering superb value for money and flexibility for anyone who dabbles in games alongside their creative work.
You're getting 10th generation Intel processors, and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super, both of which are slightly out of date given the latest generational releases from Nvidia and Intel, but still very capable and powerful enough to run AAA games and any video editing application, you can throw at it.
You can also configure it with up to 16GB of RAM, which should be plenty for most people's needs. If you find you need more, then you can always upgrade it yourself later – one of the best things about desktop PCs is how relatively easy they are to upgrade. Best of all, this PC can come with loads of storage space, with up to 1TB hard drive and a 1TB SSD – making it ideal for storing all your video files.
Best all-in-one video editing computer
The latest generation of Apple iMac computers is the best option for video editing in terms of the balance these machines provide between power, performance and price. The iMac (24-inch, 2021) is an outstanding machine, receiving a glowing write-up from our reviewer. We tried running multiple streams of 4K video in editing software, and the computer's multi-core performance handled it adroitly.
It's got a 24-inch display, which sports a 4.5K resolution. This means if you're going to be working with 8K footage, you're going to need to look elsewhere, but most people won't be, and the majority of users are going to appreciate the sleek redesign of this excellent computer. The thin bezels make the screen extra easy to immerse yourself in.
Plumping for an Apple computer also means you have access to Final Cut Pro, a user-friendly program for video editing, and one of our most highly recommended pieces of video editing software.
One thing to mention is that the M1 iMac lacks a discrete GPU, which means if you're working with effect-heavy video in the likes of DaVinci Resolve, you may experience some lag. Something like a MacBook Pro may be a better choice in this instance. Otherwise, the iMac M1 is (in our opinion) the best video editing computer.
See our iMac M1 review for more details. And if the 24-inch display isn't large enough for you, then the older 27-inch iMac (see below) might well serve your purposes...
Best 5K all-in-one
This impressive all-in-one from HP wins immediate points for its display. A gorgeous 34-inch unit with 5K resolution, the HP Envy 34 all-in-one's screen will show off your content at its best, with up to 500 nits of brightness.
Its design is sleek and understated, with minimal bezels and a general sense of the makers having included only what's necessary. The screen is wide and luxurious enough to fit a long video editing timeline, and will generally make your editing life run nice and smoothly
Performance-wise, the HP Envy 34 delivers on plenty of the fronts that concern content creators. There's a bevy of CPU and GPU options, and while you can get higher-end components in other machines, you can still put together a very capable machine for a reasonable price.
There are plenty of ports, including a handy SD slot, which means you can import footage straight from a camera if you need to.
Best iMac Dupe for video editing
The 27-inch Yoga AIO 7 is a capable Windows-based rival to the ageing iMac Pro, with features optimised specifically for creative professionals over traditional home or business work.
The 4K display comes with an optional 99% Adobe RGB colour gamut and DCI-P3 99% colour space and can be fully rotated to portrait mode with just a push of a finger for anyone that needs to work on a different angle on TikTok videos.
The 32GB of RAM will help speed up rendering. If you're partial to using applications like Adobe After Effects, you can select up to an Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card to help with any demanding editing or rendering.
With up to 1TB of SSD storage and the option for a 2TB HDD, there's plenty of room to save video footage and ports to pair with your favourite peripherals.
Best AMD video editing computer
We've covered budget-friendly gaming PCs as a suitable option for video editors, but if you like some luxury, there are some real gems out there. The Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 is one of the best AMD-based gaming desktops on the market, with plenty of configuration options available for users to customize the system to fit their needs.
With Dell owning the Alienware brand, there's also the opportunity to save some cash if your employer or place of education provides discount vouchers for new equipment. This isn't guaranteed, but it makes annual sales like Black Friday a great time to nab one at a discount.
The UFO-inspired design might not be to everyone's taste, and while the price is fair for the product you get, this is still a costly PC. If you were looking to combine a love of gaming with your video editing demands though, buying a single machine like this can provide you with the best of both worlds.
How do I choose the best video editing computer for me?
Choosing the best video-editing computer for your needs involves considering several factors.
Processing Power: Video editing requires significant processing power. Look for a computer with a fast multi-core processor to handle the demands of editing software. An Intel i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 processor released in the last few years should suffice; if you can afford to bump up to a full i9 or Ryzen 9 processor, your system will have a much easier time.
RAM: Random Access Memory (RAM) is crucial for video editing. Aim for a minimum of 16GB, but consider 32GB or more for smoother editing, especially with 4K or higher resolutions.
Storage: Video files can be large, so consider a computer with ample and fast SSD (solid-state drive) storage. If you need more space, you can add external hard drives as needed
Graphics card: A dedicated graphics card (GPU) can significantly improve video editing performance, especially for rendering and effects. Look for models with GPUs from NVIDIA or AMD.
Display: Computers may have their own displays or require you to buy one separately – either way, look for high resolution (minimum 4K) and good colour accuracy (i.e. high colour gamut and colour calibration options). Our guide to the best monitors for video editing will help.
Connectivity: Ensure that the computer has enough ports to connect external devices, such as cameras, storage drives, and peripherals. USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt ports are beneficial for faster data transfer. SD card slots are also useful for getting footage off cameras.
Software compatibility: Check the system requirements of the video editing software you plan to use and ensure that the computer meets those specifications.
What software do I need for video editing?
The right video editing software for you will depend on a few factors, including which computer you end up buying and what kind of projects you are likely to be working on. Popular options include Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro (for Mac users) and CyberLink PowerDirector, though all of these cost money, and it is possible to get great editing software absolutely free, thanks to DaVinci's Resolve program. Check out our guide to the best video editing software for a complete rundown.
Is a gaming PC good at video editing?
Gaming computers and laptops share a few things in common with those optimized for creative professionals: You need a fast CPU, a powerful GPU to run your games/applications and as much RAM as you can afford.
This makes gaming PCs a great alternative to portable workstations, especially as many manufacturers don't create desktop computers with creative professions like video editing in mind, which is why you may have noticed that this list is dominated by Apple-branded hardware and gaming PCs.
The components required to run next-gen AAA games and hardware like VR headsets isn't dissimilar to those used by people who run demanding software such as Adobe Creative Suit, and many companies like Dell, Lenovo and HP will provide different configurations that allow you to customise the system to your exact needs.
You can expect a recently released, high-spec processor, a beefy graphics card, plentiful and speedy RAM, and of course a sizable SSD storage capacity for you to save 4K files to.
Gaming desktops can also support powerful displays, so if you need a 4K, 144Hz monitor then you'll find gaming PCs more readily available than specialized creative systems. The only thing you need to worry about is a 'gamer' aesthetic and an occasionally obnoxious amount of RGB lighting.
Why is my video editing computer lagging?
Any computer can suffer from lag, particualrly when engaged in a resource-intensive task like video editing. If your computer meets the minimum system requirements for your editing software and you're still having trouble, it may be worth trying a quick restart to see if matters improve. If you're working on a big project, it can also be worth dividing it up into smaller chunks that are easier to handle. Other potential fixes include defragging your hard drive and updating your video drivers.
If none of this works, it may be time to upgrade – but this doesn't necessarily mean a whole new computer. If your PC is modular, you may be able to swap out components like the graphics card or hard drive to extend its lease of life.
Best video editing computer: extras to consider
Why you can trust Creative Bloq Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
But why choose a desktop computer instead of one of the best laptops for video editing or the best tablets 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. And if you choose a computer that doesn't come with a monitor, do check out our guide to the best 4K monitors, and if you need more storage space than your hard drive offers, we can help you find out which is the best cloud storage for your needs.
How we test the best video editing computers
When we review computers for video editing, we consider many of the criteria mentioned above; everything from RAM and storage to the CPU, GPU, and budget.
We also think about value-adding qualities; does it come with an inbuilt display? Does it have enough ports, and will it be able to run the video editing software most creatives will need? Can you upgrade the system, and if not, are the components included robust enough to see you through the coming years?
We try to think about each device as though we were making the decision ourselves and make sure to work with our audience to ensure we always understand what that decision looks like.