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The best computer for video editing in 2021

Woman using one of the best computers for video editing
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Best computers for video editing: Top 5

Welcome to our pick of the best computers for video editing in 2021. If you're a keen film maker, or just want to edit your home videos, this list can help.

We've rounded up some brilliant PCs on this list, which run either Windows 10, or Apple's macOS operating system, and they come packing some of the very latest and most powerful components, which means they can handle any video editing task with ease, even when you're working with ultra-high definition footage in 4K or even 8K.

With powerful multi-core processors, plenty of RAM, fast storage and even dedicated graphics cards, the best computers for video editing can make your movies look their very best, while helping you edit, render and export your files incredibly quickly, so you can move on to your next project.

Not sure what you're looking for? Jump to the what to consider when buying one of the best computers for video editing section. If you're looking for smartphone apps for video editing, see our guide to the best video editing apps for YouTube.

Along with brilliant all-in one PCs, and the very latest Macs, we've also included a few gaming PCs here as well. They actually make fantastic video editing PCs thanks to the cutting edge components inside.

With Amazon Prime Day fast approaching, we expect many of the computers in this list to have some pretty tempting Prime Day deals, if previous years are anything to go buy, so now is a great time to start shopping around for the best computers for video editing.

The best computers for video editing available now

iMac (24-inch, 2021)CB

(Image credit: Apple)

01. iMac (24-inch, 2021)

The best computer for video editing overall

CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU | Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory | Screen: 24-inch 4.5K Retina display | Storage: up to 2TB

Excellent screen
New design
Lack of ports
No discrete GPU

Apple's brand-new 24-inch iMac, is our pick for the best computer for video design in 2021. Apple has taken everything we laoved about the iconic all-in-one, nd improved it in numerous ways.

For a start, it now has a larger screen compared to the 21.5-inch model that it replaces. This gives you a lot more space to work on, and the 4.5K resolution means you can edit 4K footage without taking up the entire screen. 

The new iMac has also had one of the biggest redesigns in years. For a start, the bezels around the screen are much thinner than before, and that means you get a larger screen, but the overall size of the 24-inch is remarkably close to the 21.5-inch model. It looks gorgeous, too, and now comes in a range of colors, harkening back to Apple's classic G3 all-in-one PCs.

The new iMac also has brand-new hardware powering it, with Apple's own M1 chip (the same found in the Mac mini, also on this list) providing the CPU and GPU. This is an impressively fast PC, then, and it can run video editing apps such as Final Cut Pro quickly and smoothly, even when working in 8K.

If you want a larger screen, and require more graphical horsepower, than the slightly older 27-inch iMac, below, will be a better buy, however.

iMac (27-inch, 2020)

(Image credit: Apple)

02. iMac (27-inch, 2020)

Another brilliant video editing computer from Apple

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300 - Radeon Pro 5700 XT | RAM: 8GB – 128GB 2666MHz DDR4 | Screen: 27-inch (diagonal) 5120 x 2880 Retina 5K display | Storage: 256GB – 8TB SSD

Improved internals
Can be configured to be very powerful
Design is getting old
Just two Thunderbolt ports

If you're after a powerful, and stylish, computer for video editing, with a large display and solid build quality, than the larger 27-inch iMac is worth considering. Released in 2020, this model comes with cutting edge components from Intel and AMD, with the latter's powerful graphics card being particularly useful for video editing.

That discrete graphics card is perhaps the biggest reason why you'd buy this slightly older iMac, rather than the smaller and newer iMac that Apple recently released. That one uses Apple's M1 chip, which is an excellent performer, but it means you rely on integrated graphics. For most video editing tasks that's fine, but it can't compete with the discrete GPU inside the 27-inch model

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 this iMac hasn't changed, which makes it look outdated compared to the new 24-inch iMac, but it's still impressively slim and stylish. 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.

best computer for video editing: Microsoft Surface Studio 2 [Image: Microsoft]

03. Microsoft Surface Studio 2

A brilliant Windows all-in-one

CPU: Intel Core i7-7820HQ | Screen: 28-inch 4500x1300 resolution IPS display | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB -GTX 1070 8GB | RAM: 16-32GB | Storage: 1-2TB SSD | Ports: 4xUSB 3.0; 1xUSB-C; SD card slot; Gigabit Ethernet; 3.5mm headphone jack | Size: 63.7cm x 1.3cm x 43.9cm x 1.3cm (WxDxH) | Weight: 9.56kg | OS: Windows 10

Powerful graphics
High-res touch-sensitive display
No 9th-gen Intel processor option

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.

Apple Mac Pro (2019)

(Image credit: Apple)

04. Apple Mac Pro (2019)

An incredibly powerful video editing PC from Apple

CPU: up to 28-Core Intel Xeon W | Graphics: up to AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo | RAM: up to 1.5TB | Storage: up to 8TB SSD | Communications: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, 2x 10Gb Ethernet, | Dimensions (W x D x H): 21.8 x 45.0 x 52.9 cm

Incredibly modular
More than enough power
Very expensive
Not a very attractive design

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.

Apple Mac mini (M1, 2020)

(Image credit: Apple)

05. Apple Mac mini (M1, 2020)

Powerful, small and great for video editing

CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8-core | Graphics: Integrated 8-core | RAM: 8GB – 64GB unified memory | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions (W x D x H): 19.7 x 19.7 x 3.6 cm

Same lovely design
Very good performance
New M1 hardware has potential
Can't use eGPUs

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 a recent 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.

It's also the same hardware found in the new iMac 24-inch model, and offers very similar performance, but without the built-in display, and for quite a bit less money. If you already have a monitor you love using, then the Mac mini is a great alternative to the new iMac, and can save you a decent amount of cash.

Dell G5 Gaming Desktop

(Image credit: Dell)

06. Dell G5

A budget gaming PC that's great at video editing

CPU: 9th Gen Intel Core i3-9100 – i9 9900K | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 – RTX 2070 | RAM: 8GB – 64GB | Storage: 1TBSSD – 1TB SSD + 2TB HDD

VR-ready configurations
Base models won’t get you through the most demanding games

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.

Lenovo Legion Tower 5i

(Image credit: Lenovo)

07. Lenovo Legion Tower 5i

A powerful PC for video editing

CPU: up to 10th-gen Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super | RAM: Up to 16 GB DDR4 2933MHz | Storage: Up to 2 TB HDD + 1 TB SSD

Great design
No USB Type-C at the front

The Lenovo Legion Tower 5i is a great example of an affordable gaming PC that also doubles as a fantastic PC for video editing, offering superb value for money.

So, it comes with powerful 10th generation Intel processors, and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super. This may not be the most recent GPU, but for most video editing tasks, it's more than capable enough, without pushing this PC into seriously expensive territory.

You can also configure it with up to 16GB of RAM, which again should be plenty for most people. If you find you need more, then you can always upgrade it yourself later one - 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 on.

best computers for video editing: Acer Predator Orion 9000 [Image: Acer]

08. Acer Predator Orion 9000

A powerhouse that's aimed at gamers, but will excel at video editing

CPU: 3.5 GHz six-core Intel Core i7 - 3.3GHz 10-18core Intel Core i9 | RAM: 8GB - 64GB | Ports: 7x USB 3, 1x USB-C, 2x HDMI, Ethernet, SDXC | Size: 30cm (w) x 70cm (d) x 64.3cm (h) | Weight: 19.2kg | OS: Windows 10

Masses of CPU power available
Dual graphics cards optional
Expensive top-end configuration
Bright appearance could be a turn-off

Unlike the more affordable Dell G5 and Lenovo Legion Tower 5i PCs 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.

best computers for video editing: Apple iMac Pro [Image: Apple]

09. Apple iMac Pro

The best video editing computer for professionals with big budgets

Display: 27-inch 5K Retina | Processor: 8-, 10- or 18-Core | Turbo Boost: up to 4.5GHz | Memory: 32GB | Storage: 1TB | Graphics: Vega GPU | Size: : (h) 51.6cm x (w) 65.0cm | Weight: 9.7 kg | Connections: 10Gb Ethernet, four Thunderbolt 3 (USB‑C) ports, four USB 3 ports, SDXC card slot

Incredibly powerful 
Superior graphics
Soooooooo expensive

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.

Read more about the iMac Pro

best computers for video editing: Lenovo IdeaCentre 520-AAST 21.5in AIO PC [Image: Lenovo]

10. Lenovo IdeaCentre 520-AAST

The best all-in-one PC on a budget

CPU: Intel Pentium 4415U - Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 23.8-inch Full HD (1920x1080) | Storage: 1TB - 2TB HDD

Wide range of different specs available
No 4K
Nowhere near the power of others listed

This Lenovo IdeaCentre 520-AAST 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.

You might also want to check out our guide to the best video editing software, to whip your footage into shape. You can download Premiere Pro – our top pick of that list – too. 

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.

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