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Gear Advice Going to Build a PC for Editing - Need Component Advice

Benny1985

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I am planning on building a PC in the next month or two for editing. I think my channel does well enough to where I can justify it. It'd be geared mostly towards productivity more than gaming (but I'm sure I'll do some of that too).

I am looking for suggestions in the general sense. My budget's going to be around $1,000 and I've built PCs before, but its been awhile.

Main concern is for editing using Davinci Resolve.

My general idea for a build really is tough to decide: AMD or Intel? I'd be looking at a processor in the $200-250 area. I live near a MicroCenter, so I can get an i5-10600k for $250 (or a Ryzen R 5 3600, or a i7-9700k).

For GPU I'm lost, not because I don't know the differences, but the shortage seems so atrocious, I have no clue what would be reasonable with a $200-400 budget?

As for the rest of the build, it'd be pretty basic - 16GB of 3600mhz ram, 1-2TB SSD, basic modular PSU, cheap, non-fancy case, and such.

But I'm curious as to if there's any optimal ideas out there for a good build that'll ensure render times aren't insane. I'm editing on an older PC I built from 2015 which is decent, but its my work-build PC, and this would be for home so a new build is required.

Thanks!
 

EvaWar

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I'd look to get a CPU with as many cores as possible. For that budget the R5 3600 is a great start, it's probably around the best performance per $ you will find. The AMD CPU's absolutely destroy their intel counterparts in the same price bracket when it comes to rendering times. If you choose the right motherboard, you will have a wide range of upgrade options down the line.

On the GPU side, the shortages and scalping are messing with the prices currently, so if you go with something like the R5 3600 that doesn't have onboard graphics, I'd look for any cheap second hand PCI graphics card that you can stick in the machine and make it work. Sometime early next year the hope is that the supply issues in graphics cards will be sorted out and you can upgrade it.

Go for at least 32GB RAM, 16 is OK for gaming but you might want some additional headroom for editing. On the disks, I'd go for a 500GB M.2 SSD for the OS disk, and then maybe a 2 or 4 TB spinning disk for storage.
 

EnglishwithLiz

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Oooh interesting thread Benny as I am in the market to build a new editing PC although I am not interested in gaming, just pure speed of video editing.

Whilst I cannot add anything useful to this thread, I just wanted to point out that I am sure there is a pent up demand for someone to produce an up to date video on a sub $1k build for a YouTuber video editing machine. Happy to do a collab showing (my other half) doing the build.
 

SILTHW

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The most value you will get is from a good GPU over a processor. Resolve can offload the rendering to the GPU. Given prices and availability, I would look hard at the NVidia GTX 20XX series, new or used. Other than that, @EvaWar pretty much nails it.
 

BensTechLab

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Good advice here so far! I agree the CPU choice matters less and less these days, you just want more cores for your money. I bought an Intel 10900k back at release before any of the Ryzen 5 stuff was even in preview and it's a very fine processor even if some of the Ryzen's can beat it. It's still in the top couple percent of benchmarks world wide! People sometimes obsess over getting "THE best", when really you should just look for best "bang for your buck" in your current local market.

But yes, due to the GPU shortages, a fine strategy might be to go cheap on the video card now (maybe even use your current one from an old computer), don't use up your budget while building the CPU/RAM and then plan to upgrade your GPU in 3-6 months when the supply chain levels out again. Everybody on earth in lockdown wants to game right now and/or give their teenage kids GPUs for Christmas - so you could easily spend 500-1000 just on a GPU! There may even be some used GPUs on the market after the holidays from people getting an Nvidia 30 series cards for Christmas...

So I'd go with 32gb ram now while ram is relatively cheap, whichever processor has best bang for your buck where you are (Ryzen is fine) and any old GPU you can scrounge up including using your old one if you have an older computer now. You won't see the performance boost right away but can still be a fun way to spend some time over the holidays! Keep a few hundred cash on hand, and if you see an Nvidia 20 series card available used after Christmas, grab it!

I am editing with an Nvidia 2060 right now and its quite good, render times are 1/3 of realtime (so a 21 minute video renders in 7 minutes). You don't "need" a new 30 series GPU for your first video editing rig by any means and I think you may see some 20 series cards on the used market after the holidays.
 
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Benny1985

Benny1985

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Hmmm. Filming a video about building a video editing rig. Now THAT'S an idea!

Here's what I'm looking at for under $1,000 - suggestions welcome:

  • Ryzen 5 3600 Processor
  • Asus ROG Strix B450-F Gaming Motherboard
  • G.Skill 3200mhz / 32 GB DDR4
  • Lian Li White ATX Glass Case
  • PowerSpec 650W PSU
  • Inland 512GB NVME SSD
  • Seagate 4TB HDD (for bulk video storage)
Then all the minor stuff - case fans, aftermarket cooler, ect. Looks like I'm right at $715 before a CPU. Seems like I can be in under $1,000 and have something decent. I'm gonna pull the trigger!
 

SILTHW

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Hmmm. Filming a video about building a video editing rig. Now THAT'S an idea!

Here's what I'm looking at for under $1,000 - suggestions welcome:

  • Ryzen 5 3600 Processor
  • Asus ROG Strix B450-F Gaming Motherboard
  • G.Skill 3200mhz / 32 GB DDR4
  • Lian Li White ATX Glass Case
  • PowerSpec 650W PSU
  • Inland 512GB NVME SSD
  • Seagate 4TB HDD (for bulk video storage)
Then all the minor stuff - case fans, aftermarket cooler, ect. Looks like I'm right at $715 before a CPU. Seems like I can be in under $1,000 and have something decent. I'm gonna pull the trigger!
Up the power supply if you plan to go to the RTX20XX or RTX30XX route. Do some research on the specific model of Seagate for failure rates. I'm not going to get into the HDD war of brands, because every manufacturer has had bad runs. It's just that Seagate had the most recent batch of bad runs.

I might consider faster RAM, as the editing apps do a lot of paging to and from disk, although 32G may actually solve that problem.
 

EvaWar

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Friends don't let friends buy Seagate!! I stick with Western Digital for spinning disks, and Samsung for SSD's.

For the power supply, it will run what you have now, but just remember that your future upgrade might include a bigger power supply as well.

If you can, try get 3600mhx RAM, no point leaving performance on the table.
 

Henry Wang

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I am not an expert also. But I really agree that you should pay more attention to the GPU cards. I myself upgraded my video card to GeForce RTX 2070. SSD hard disk and memory capacity has also influenced the computer very much. I use 500G SSD and 32 G memory. My very old computer (CPU i7-4820K) still works really well now. In fact, Premiere Pro or other video editing software can use the video card directly when rendering video.
 

SILTHW

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For the power supply, it will run what you have now, but just remember that your future upgrade might include a bigger power supply as well.
Minor cost to upgrade it on build. And it is a PITA to upgrade it after it is built... I'd do it now. And assume you will use the power later.
 

BensTechLab

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Up the power supply if you plan to go to the RTX20XX or RTX30XX route. Do some research on the specific model of Seagate for failure rates. I'm not going to get into the HDD war of brands, because every manufacturer has had bad runs. It's just that Seagate had the most recent batch of bad runs.

I might consider faster RAM, as the editing apps do a lot of paging to and from disk, although 32G may actually solve that problem.
FYI, I'm running an Nvidia 2060 with Intel i9-10900k (flagship processor) with 32gb ram and NVME SSD on a 400W-450W power supply no problem! (It is a higher end "platinum" powersupply). People over estimate what they need for a power supply all the time. ~600w is totally fine unless you are loading up your machine with 30 series nvidia cards, dual gpus, multiple spinning disks, etc. But a standard 1 processor, 1 gpu, 1 hdd doesn't need that much.

Also as far as hard drives go, both WD and Seagate have multiple product offerings ranging from "economy options" to "enterprise grade". So don't get caught up on the brand name as much as knowing what it is you are buying. Lots of the cheaper WD drives were undisclosed shingled SMR drives (not good for heavy data use like a NAS or video editing), but the Pro line of WD is wonderful. Likewise Seagate has some cheaper options and some business class options - they make a good NAS drive that is not their bottom end offering.

And if you are going cheaper, then get 2 drives and learn how to setup raid mirroring (so both drives contain the same data, if one dies, you still have the other). I've seen a few YouTubers make a sob story video after their 4TB HDD dies with months of video on it!!

As for RAM, yes the AMD processors benefit more from increased ram clock speeds. So 3600MHz ram will actually improve your CPU performance over 3200MHZ ram. That said I watched a bunch of YouTube videos on this and the difference is small - so depending on price difference you may or may not want to do it. In my case in Canada, the price difference was more than it should have been and everyone stocks 3200Mhz regularly. So I stayed with 3200Mhz ram. Your mileage may vary - you may have better pricing/availability in the USA.
 

SILTHW

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FYI, I'm running an Nvidia 2060 with Intel i9-10900k (flagship processor) with 32gb ram and NVME SSD on a 400W-450W power supply no problem! (It is a higher end "platinum" powersupply). People over estimate what they need for a power supply all the time. ~600w is totally fine unless you are loading up your machine with 30 series nvidia cards, dual gpus, multiple spinning disks, etc. But a standard 1 processor, 1 gpu, 1 hdd doesn't need that much.
My 2080ti is one of the cards with the double power connectors so I had to go 750. That is probably the better way to say it. If you plan to use a card that requires two power connectors, you are better with a bigger power supply. Better to have more than not enough. It's a $20 price difference (currently). The other advantage is I can upgrade to the 3080 when ready without having to really do anything.
 

Damon

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I'm in the market for building a new computer as well. Definitely going with AMD. Probably gonna pony up for a the 3700x. I'm totally committed to Linux, so nVidia is is for graphics cards. Probably not going to go M.2, I'll stick with an SSD. Probably get a 10TB bulk storage drive because ProRez.
 
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Benny1985

Benny1985

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I'm in the market for building a new computer as well. Definitely going with AMD. Probably gonna pony up for a the 3700x. I'm totally committed to Linux, so nVidia is is for graphics cards. Probably not going to go M.2, I'll stick with an SSD. Probably get a 10TB bulk storage drive because ProRez.
Cool deal! I think I'm gonna do a build video when I'm done and make it a "Challenge" video. I am going to grab a really large high-end video file to benchmark rendering once my build is done, then offer the download of the un-rendered file so everyone can benchmark against my $1,000 USD setup to see how much better its possible to do it than what my PC's specs will be. The 3700X sounds like a beastly processor. A little over my budget, but certainly an awesome processor it seems!
 

Beanie Draws

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FYI, I'm running an Nvidia 2060 with Intel i9-10900k (flagship processor) with 32gb ram and NVME SSD on a 400W-450W power supply no problem! (It is a higher end "platinum" powersupply). People over estimate what they need for a power supply all the time. ~600w is totally fine unless you are loading up your machine with 30 series nvidia cards, dual gpus, multiple spinning disks, etc. But a standard 1 processor, 1 gpu, 1 hdd doesn't need that much.
Don't underestimate the power requirements of USB devices. 99% of the time my gtx1080ti, 16gb ram, NVME SSD, and ryzen 7 1700 operates perfectly fine on my 650W power supply, but once you add a webcam, a keyboard and mouse, usb mic, then add a external backup drive, and then decide to pop in a thumb drive to do some quick work, or you pop in a usb sd card reader etc, occasionally I'll have a usb device randomly disconnect or drop out because of not enough power, and you really don't want that when you're transferring files.

Over estimating on a power supply will prevent unexpected hiccups.

I personally think it would be better to boost the budget above $1000 to allow a bit of life span.

That said, SSDs and ram are fairly cheap now and easy to upgrade, so you don't need to best ram or drive right off the bat. I'm only now looking to upgrade my ram to 32gb after being happy on 16gb for about 3-4 years.
 

EnglishwithLiz

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Three q's here.

I want to build a PC for editing but being held up by the availability/price of GPU's here in the UK. Any ideas of when/if supply is going to improve? Also where is the best place to buy?

Whilst waiting, as an alternative, I have been looking at getting a Mac Mini with 16GB of Ram and of course the M1 chip. As an educator I can get it bundled with Final Cut Pro for around the same price as the PC. Good alternative or not?

I am really out of my depth when it comes to these hardware decisions, so any help would be much appreciated. I just want a new computer that can render my videos very fast, as the spinning wheel on my aged iMac is doing my head in :(
 

BensTechLab

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I want to build a PC for editing but being held up by the availability/price of GPU's here in the UK. Any ideas of when/if supply is going to improve? Also where is the best place to buy?

Whilst waiting, as an alternative, I have been looking at getting a Mac Mini with 16GB of Ram and of course the M1 chip. As an educator I can get it bundled with Final Cut Pro for around the same price as the PC. Good alternative or not?
@EnglishwithLiz you may want to start your own thread as the nature of your situation is different than the original poster on this thread. But as a quick answer, the mac minis are "good" but they will have a fixed graphics capability that cannot be upgraded. A PC where you can upgrade the GPU is kind of nice as the pace of GPU advancement right now is crazy. Personally, I'd favour the PC as having more power potential, but also availability may force you down another path...
 

SILTHW

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So I actually own an M1 Mac Mini and am using with with Davinci Studio. It is as fast as my 16" MBP, but not as fast as my PC with the GTX2080ti. With that said, I still do 90% of my editing on the MBP or M1 Mac Mini. It isn't drastically slower.

FCP is one of the apps that is optimized for the M1 chip.

If you don't need to render 4k video, I'd say go for the best deal. If you are working in 4k or doing a lot of effects rendering, then the PC is a good way to go.
 

Jeffrey Powers

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  • Ryzen 5 3600 Processor Consider Ryzen 7 instead. Not much more for more cores
  • Asus ROG Strix B450-F Gaming Motherboard Consider the B450-F II Motherboard with dual M.2 slots
  • G.Skill 3200mhz / 32 GB DDR4
  • Lian Li White ATX Glass Case
  • PowerSpec 650W PSU
  • Inland 512GB NVME SSD - I'd go Samsung 970 EVO 500 SSD OR Kingston A2000 M.2 2280 NVME
  • Seagate 4TB HDD (for bulk video storage)
Don't forget the video card. Depending on what you're doing, I would suggest the NVidia RTX 2070 Super.