5 Essential Computer Requirements for Video Editing

What does a computer need to edit top quality videos? You’re about to find out!

Simple videos with a couple of minutes like those of social media feeds can be made with smartphone apps and even free websites. But cinema-like long videos with pro special effects and high resolution (1080p, 4K or 8K) demand a lot from a computer to be created.

To solve this high demand issue, there’s a list of 5 essential requirements that grantees a computer (desktop or laptop) is ready to perform awesome pro video editing.

They’re requirements both for software (purely digital tech) and hardware (physical tech that is part of computers or connected to them). Once your computer has those requirements, you can be sure you have all the tools at hand for high demanding video editing.

Let’s see what are the essential computer requirements for video editing.

1. Hard drive storage of at least 256GB

HD and SSD Storage for Video Editing Computers

One of the basic tech assets you need to achieve powerful editing is a hard drive storage space of 256GB minimum (“GB” means Gigabytes) with at least 700 RPM (“RPM” means Rotations per Minute). That’s a hardware requirement. The hard drive type can be either HDD or SSD, but SSDs are faster.

256GB is, literally, the minimum you need. The bigger storage space you have, the better. There are many HDD and SSD drives with different storage possibilities, such as 500GB, 1 TB (meaning Terabytes), 2TB or even 10TB of space.

In case you want more space, you can combine two hard drives in the same computer, one of 2TB and one of 10TB to get a total of 12TB of storage, for example.

2. A modern operating system

Another basic requirement you need is a modern operating system (a software asset). That’s important because the operating system determines what video editing software you will use, and each software runs on specific systems. With technology evolving day after day, most top quality video editing software run only on more recent Windows or macOS systems. Even open source video software for systems like Linux require the latest systems, such as Ubuntu 19.04 or Mint 20.

Operating System Update for Video Editing

Older systems like Windows XP or macOS 10.12 Sierra may not support the latest versions of the best video editing software out there.

So, it’s better to have current operating systems that don’t go farther than the year 2015, such as recently released Windows 7 Update, Windows 8 or Window 10, as well as Apple’s macOS 10.13 High Sierra, macOS 10.14 Mojave or macOS 10.15 Catalina, to name a few.

In case you’re installing a new operating system on your computer, one thing you can do is get a 240GB SSD drive (minimum) to store the new systems and its files. This technique is very common and it increases computer speed a lot, which is great for complex video editing.

3. One processor with at least 4 cores

The processor is a key hardware element for high quality video editing. Powerful multi-core processors, a.k.a. multi-core CPUs (meaning Central Processing Units), are a must have for video editing computers. That’s because more complex video effects require higher processing power from computers.

The minimum requirement is a processor with 4 cores (a.k.a. quad-core processor), but CPUs with 6, with 8 or even with 10 cores are better options in case of more demanding editing. Remember, the higher number of cores, the better processing speed you get for editing your videos.

But there’s one important detail about powerful processors: they need to work together with a powerful RAM memory, otherwise the computer can’t handle all the information correctly.

4. Minimum RAM of 8GB

Computer memory, a.k.a. RAM memory or simply RAM (meaning Random Access Memory) is another key computer hardware asset for video editing.

The minimum requirement is 8GB of RAM, but keep in mind that RAM power varies a lot and you can get even 128GB of RAM for your computer. However, they need to work with a good processor (of at least 4 cores) because having a large amount of RAM but a simple dual-core processor (with 2 cores) can result in your computer crashing while you’re editing your videos.

On the other hand, a powerful RAM (of 16GB for example) along with a powerful processor (of 6 cores for example) increases computer speed a lot.

5. A good graphics card

Graphics cards are also known as video cards, they’re a hardware asset that generates the image you see on your computer’s screen. A graphics card is necessary for activities such as gaming and video editing which demand high quality video images from the computer.

The minimum requirement is a graphics card of 2GB that is dedicated, which means it’s not taking part of your RAM to work, it’s working as an individual hardware piece.

Graphics cards come in many sizes, similar to RAM memories. However, this hardware asset performance varies based on the computer’s RAM, so you should do a little research on the Internet about what’s the best graphics card to work with based on your computer’s RAM or the RAM you will get to upgrade your system.

Also, if you already have in mind what video editing software you’re going to use, check it’s systems requirements on the Internet before getting a new graphics card because each software works with very specific graphics cards.

Graphics Card for Video Editing

So, what’s next?

Now you’re ready to check if your computer’s specifications are up to date with the 5 requirements it needs to support complex video editing.

To do that, simply check your computer brand and model, like “Dell Inspiron 14 5000”, then you search on the Internet for its software and hardware specifications.

If you don’t have all the 5 requirements, you can upgrade your current computer by getting the missing requirements in case you already have one or another.

Also, you can get a new computer that has at least all the minimum requirements.

If you have a favorite video editing software, check it’s software/hardware specifications on the Internet first before upgrading your computer gear to avoid getting the wrong equipment. To do that, just search for “Vegas Pro 18 system requirements” for example (Vegas Pro 18 is the video editing software name).

That’s it! You know the 5 most important computer requirements for video editing, and you know what to do next in case you need to upgrade your video editing gear!

Check our Advantages Guides of popular and powerful professional Video Editing Software Programs:

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