Buying a PC for video editing is affordable and simple with our guide. These PCs run the gamut from 1080P editing machine to monstrous 4K visual effect capable tower. For the most part, one can edit 4K footage on any PC on this list, but it will be considerably smoother and more enjoyable on a more powerful machine.
Some factors to consider when purchasing a PC for video editing are what kind of footage you’re editing, how often, and whether or not you need a very powerful graphics card. For instance, if most of the time you are editing 1080P footage, it will be fine to go with a PC lower on our list. However, if you’d like to future-proof your PC for 4K footage, or you often edit this kind of footage, it will be best to opt with a model in the middle or bottom of the list. Also, if you often use applications like Adobe After Effects or other graphically intensive software, you may want to opt for something with a more powerful graphics card to ensure a smooth and fast experience.
All that out of the way, here’s the 10 best PCs for video editing from lowest to highest price.
1. SkyTech Archangel Desktop
Processor FX-6300 | RAM 8GB DDR3 | Display None | Graphics Card GTX 1050Ti | Hard Disk 1TB 7200RPM |
With a decent processor and solid graphics card, this PC may be cheap, but it’s great for 1080P editing and to some extent, doing visual effects with software like After Effects. While the RAM could be bigger (don’t worry, it’s upgradeable) and the processor isn’t the best, it’s more than up to the task. Plus, with a one terabyte HDD, this computer may not be as snappy as others, but one won’t be left wanting for more space. This is a great PC for the money.
- Upgradeable RAM and graphics card
- Great for 1080p editing
- Great value with solid specs
- Attractive case
- Windows 10 Pro for the best experience
- Will struggle with 4K editing
- For some, will be worth spending $50 more on model below
2. iBuyPower AM008i Desktop
Processor i5-7400 | RAM 8GB DDR4 | Display None | Graphics Card GTX – 1060 | Hard Disk 120GB SSD, 1TB 7200 RPM |
For just a bit more money, this iBuyPower PC adds a much better processor, faster RAM (DDR4), an SSD that’s big enough for the operating system (which generally helps with overall system performance), and a great graphics card, the GTX 1060. If you’re doing more 1080P editing of straightforward video and not using software that is able to leverage the GPU, this computer will definitely run faster for most applications on account of its faster processor and RAM. Overall, it’s a better PC and this will affect the quality of some games and specialized applications. For more general editing, however, having a faster processor is always better. Most of video exporting is done with the processor, however, when PCs have a MUCH faster GPU the effect becomes pronounced. This is a great PC for 4K video editing, but if you’re a professional it may be worth investing in something more portable or with a better processor; the i5 in this case is only at the bare minimum.
- Affordable and fast enough for 1080p editing
- Plenty of USB 3.0 ports (6)
- 1 year warranty from manufacturer
- Can run most modern games at medium and high settings
- Can edit 4K but not comfortably or smoothly
- No optical drive
3. Acer Helios 300 Laptop
Processor i7-7700HQ (2.8 – 3.5GHZ) | RAM 16GB DDR4 | Display 1080P IPS, 15.6″ | Graphics Card GTX 1060 – 6GB | Hard Disk 256GB SSD |
The Helios 300 is making quite a buzz with its outstanding performance and specs at such a great price. It has a very powerful graphics card, a large amount of RAM, and a solid processor. This PC has only two flaws for video editors, one is fairly easy to remedy and that’s its relatively small hard drive that’s only 256GB. This drive, however, is fully upgradeable and one can easily add an external hard drive. The other problem bothers some people, but for most isn’t a huge issue; its display is a bit on the dim side. Beyond this, this PC offers the best bang for the buck in the entire PC market right now. Plus, with a GTX 1060, if you have this at home, you can easily plug one (or two) other monitors and won’t even begin to strain the graphics card. It’s a beast on every level.
- Up to 7 hours of battery life with casual use
- Excellent specs and performance for the price
- Great RAM and solid processor
- Robust graphics card mean this is viably a desktop PC as well, just attach an external monitor
- Backlit keyboard
- Good for editing 1080p or 4K footage (but cannot preview 4K on this display)
- Processor is the only bottleneck
- Screen is on the dim side
4. CyberPower PC BattleBox (Editor’s Choice)
Processor i7-7700K (4.2 – 4.5ghz) | RAM 16GB RAM | Display None | Graphics Card GTX 1070 | Hard Disk 120GB SSD, 2TB 7200 RPM |
This CyberPowerPC boasts superb specs at an amazing price. With a near top of the line GTX 1070, a fast 120GB hard drive (only big enough for the OS, but still), and a top of the line i7-7700K processor, this is a quad core PC that won’t struggle with any task. There’s no kind of footage it can’t handle. Plus, it’ll be formidable with visual effects work. However, if this is your bread and butter, you may want to spend more on a GTX 1080 system. For the vast majority of users, however, there’s simply no need to spend more. THis computer rocks and it’s the editor’s choice because there’s no task it can’t handle and its price is great.
Price: $1399 (7 percent off MSRP)
- Built-in disk drive
- Excellent specs for the price
- Can handle any kind of footage (4k, 1080P) well
- Liquid cooling (also helps with temperature of the room)
- Ethernet and Wi-Fi built-in
- Maybe overkill unless you’re editing 4K footage
- SSD could be bigger, but most editors edit off external HDD
5. CUK 4K Notebook
Processor i7-7700HQ (2.8 – 3.5GHZ) | RAM 32GB | Display 15.6″ 4K | Graphics Card GTX 1050 (4GB) | Hard Disk 512GB NVME SSD, 2TB HDD |
This PC offers a ton of bang for the back with formidable specs. The biggest perk here is this computer’s amazing 4K screen. While editing in 4K is a struggle for many PCs, this computer is easily up to the task with its top of the line mobile processor, the 7700HQ, snappy SSD, and most important, 32GB of RAM. For those who need a 4K workflow that’s fast and easy, this PC is up to the task. Plus, having 512GB of SSD storage sure is nice, even if it probably won’t be enough for more than a handful of projects (external drive needed!). There’s really nothing not to like here. This is a PC that delivers on every level. About the worst thing one can say about it is that the GTX 1050 isn’t all that good, but this will really only be a factor for gaming at the highest possible settings and complicated VFX works. If those things don’t apply to you and you want a 4K screen on the go, this PC is the one for you.
- Three year limited CUK warranty
- Unreal specs comparable to a great desktop
- High resolution screen makes editing and previewing 4K footage doable
- Tons of RAM for fast processing and big projects
- Great multi-tasking machine
- Processor is as good as it gets for laptops, but desktop processors outpace it
- Data drive is 5400 RPM which is on the slow side
6. CyberPowerPC Xtreme VR
Processor i7-8700K RAM 16GB DDR4 | Display 1080P IPS Matte | Graphics Card GTX 1080Ti | Hard Disk 240GB SSD 1TB HDD |
If you want the top of the line in 2018, this PC is the way to go. It boasts Intel’s new i7-8700K processor which offers virtually unparalleled performance (Passmark: 16,000+). It also boasts fast RAM, a decent amount of hard drive space (though for video editing, it will go quick), and most importantly, a GTX 1080Ti, for playing modern games at Ultra settings, or processing any and every type of video. This PC comes with no compromises. That said, if for some reason that’s not quite enough, it’s also overclockable, since it boasts liquid cooling. If you want a PC that’s going to be at or near the top for at least the next couple of years, this is a great way to go and at a reasonable price.
- Monstrous performance with top of the line i7 processor and best graphics card on the market
- 1 year warranty from manufacturer
- Liquid cooling with stylish glass side panel
- SSD for fast OS, decently-sized HDD for data
- Data drive could be bigger
- Windows 10 Pro would be nice
- Overkill for some users; this is pretty much as good as it gets without dual cards or Xeon processors
7. HP Omen 870 Desktop
Processor i7-7700K (4.2 – 4.5ghz) | RAM 64GB DDR4 | Display None | Graphics Card GTX 1080 | Hard Disk 512GB SSD + 3TB (7200RPM) |
This Omen is an absolute beast. It boasts a hugely powerful i7-7700K processor, a ton of RAM, a fast SSD with a big data drive of three terabytes, and a GTX 1080, pretty much the top of the line for graphics card. This is a great PC if you want to buy one thing and nothing else. It’s fully ready to go. While three terabytes can go quicker than expected for some professionals, for most people, it’s a great amount of space for tons of footage. This is a great solution for those who want a very powerful computer at a good price and don’t want to do any further configuring of options.
- Monstrous performance
- Can edit 4K easily and play modern games at highest possible settings
- Enormous RAM capacity for multitasking and fast processing
- Huge data drive of three terabytes
- Quiet operation
- Overkill for most users
8. 15″ Macbook Pro Laptop
Processor 2.9GHZ i7 | RAM 16GB DDR3 | Display 2880 x 1800 (Retina) | Graphics Card Radeon Pro 560 – 4GB | Hard Disk 512GB SSD |
The newest Macbook Pro boasts price to performance that is middle (as usual) for Macs, but of course, there is an aspect to performance beyond just specs and that is reliability. Macs are great computers because they last longer and crash less. This is the premium one pays for. Should you choose to go this route, this is a fine PC for 1080P video editing and it’s even acceptable for some visual effects work, but it’s nowhere near a PC that’s even one third in price. The RX 560 is less powerful than a GTX 1050. That said, everything else here is good to go. This is a great PC with a stunning display, but with Macs you’re paying more for style and reliability than performance.
Price: $2647 (5 percent off MSRP)
- Most reliable operating system
- Solid performance
- Retina screen makes editing 4K palpable (though not pixel accurate)
- Large SSD for plenty of capacity
- Touchbar is handy to some users
- Superb display quality
- Can’t be upgraded
- Price to performance is much worse than a PC
- Requires USB-C adapters
9. iMac Retina 5k 27″
Processor i5 – 3.4ghz | RAM 8GB | Display 5K IPS | Graphics Card Radeon Pro 570 4GB | Hard Disk 1TB Fusion Drive |
This iMac offers similar performance to the Macbook Pro, but the screen is somehow even better than almost anything else out there. Apple one-ups their competition by providing a display that is essentially, totally non-standard. If you’re really into the screen, then the iMac’s price-to-performance isn’t as bad as it seems. A similar display for a PC can run upwards of $1,000, such as this Dell Model ($1375, used). Beyond this, however, this Mac is really only good for 1080P and basic 4K work. The graphics card is only marginally better than the Macbook Pros and the processor is in the same ballpark as the i7-7700HQ (the iMac’s is an i5, but desktop processors are faster). With only one terabyte of data storage, it doesn’t have a ton of space, but it should be fine for some time at least. All in all, this iMac is a tough sell, but if you’re a Mac fan and want an amazing screen, it will deliver on expectations.
- OSX is most reliable operating system
- Outstanding screen quality
- Extremely stable
- Great for 1080p or small to medium 4K projects
- Final Cut Pro is more affordable than Premiere Pro and use by many professionals
- Easy to setup
- Bad price to performance ratio
10. ElukTronics Ultrawide All-in-one
Processor i7-7700K (4.2 – 4.5ghz) | RAM 32GB DDR4 | Display 3440 x 1440 Ultrawide | Graphics Card GTX 1080 | Hard Disk 1TB SSD (PCIe) + 2TB HDD |
This PC may be the most expensive on our list, but compared to the Macs, the price-to-performance isn’t nearly as bad. First of all, a 3440 x 1440 screen (as is this one) typically runs around $1,000. Beyond this, the specs are nothing to scoff at, with a blazing fast i7-7700K processor, a solid amount of RAM and a GTX 1080, there’s nothing this PC can’t do. Well, except one thing, it can’t actually display 4K footage as is. Ultrawide screens like this are used by games, and for editing, they do make for a nice work space, but if you need to see your 4K footage in 4K, this just won’t do that. That said, many filmmakers like to shoot anamorphic or in 21:9, and this display does offer a stunning view of those kinds of shots. In terms of video editing, this is a machine for someone who drinks a very specific cup of tea, or is only shooting 1080P and can put the extra screen real estate to good use.
Price: $3599 (10 percent off MSRP)
- Stunning ultrawide display
- Excellent performance
- Includes backlit keyboard
- Easy to set up, all-in-one solution
- Could hook up HP Omen 870 to ultrawide monitor for better performance and a similar set up
- Price to performance is only decent
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