If you want to take video editing seriously, you need the right gear. And we’re not just talking about cameras, sound recorders, and software. Even the PC you choose can have an impact on how efficiently and effectively you edit videos.
Whether you’re a beginner or simply looking for an update, here’s how to choose the best video editing laptop or PC for your needs.
What do the experts say?
Per Laptop Mag, the most important features for a video editing PC or laptop are processing power, a high resolution-display, and a dedicated graphics processor unit. Storage is also a key consideration, according to Rocketstock.
(You can use CPUBoss to compare the processing power of different laptops on the market.)
The need for high resolution is obvious – you want to see what you’re working on. The fast processor and discrete graphics card, however, are so that you have the computing power to handle long videos. If you plan to work with HD or 4K video, then the requirement for processing power is even greater.
You’ll need the space to store both raw footage and the edited results. High-end video editing laptops usually feature plenty of storage, but there are alternatives. Cloud computing has made storage less of a problem for video editors these days, and the gold standard is to have both hard drive and cloud back-ups of your video files.
Can I use a gaming laptop for video editing?
Gaming laptops usually boast fast processors and discrete graphics cards, which means you can use a gaming laptop or PC for video editing to a medium standard.
Popular laptops for video editing
Historically, Apple laptops have dominated the design scene. However, if you’re used to working on PC, then you’ll find these video editing laptops more intuitive. (And, based on recent news, quite possibly more secure.) They also offer more flexibility in terms of software.
Acer, Microsoft Surface, and MSI are just a few of the brands currently topping out the league tables for the best video editing laptop.
(Specifications for some of the top video editing laptops in 2020, according to PC Mag.)
However, it’s not just about the league tables. The best video editing laptop will be designed with your needs in mind. In the next couple of sections, we’ll look at how to calculate your individual requirements for a good video editing laptop.
How much RAM do I need to edit videos?
Most video editing PCs can work with between 16-32GB of RAM. If you work with 8K videos or use a lot of video editing software, then you’ll need 64GB or above.
How to calculate your laptop requirements?
The best computer for video editing will depend on what you want to edit, and how you plan to edit it. For example, if you’re creating feature-length videos at 8K resolution, then you’ll need the highest level of professional gear.
However, for most of us, a less powerful laptop will suffice. Most video editing PCs can work with 16-32GB of RAM. That should be enough memory to handle videos up to 4K, with a few pieces of editing software.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: you should always choose the laptop which is just slightly above your everyday requirements. You don’t want a computer which is inadequate, nor one which is needlessly expensive. It’s often cheaper to skip the high-end laptop and invest in cloud storage and lightweight software instead.
In the next section, we’ll look at how to choose the right video editing software for PC.
How to choose the right video editing software?
We’ve already mentioned the symbiotic relationship between your PC and the software you choose. If you work with high-res videos and a lot of editing software, you’ll need a powerful video editing laptop with plenty of storage. However, you can also choose to buy a mid-range video editing laptop, and use lighter software.
By choosing specific apps and software, you can lighten the load on your PC. If you’re creating short videos – such as social media clips, video marketing, or a brand introduction for your website – then you can save time and trouble by using web-based software.
Start by thinking about what you need a video editor for. Here are some of the most common tasks for video editing software:
- Cutting, trimming and editing videos
- Converting file types and sizes
- Adding audio and sound effects
- Adding video effects
- Creating titles or a branded intro
It’s also worth considering the level of resolution you want, and how much support you require.
If you’re new to video editing, then you should choose a tool that comes with plenty of tutorials and native support. Don’t waste your money on a PC or software which is too advanced for you to use. If you know your video editing needs are simple, then just choose an app that will get the job done!
Match your video editing laptop to your software
So, to recap: the best video editing software will match your needs, your skills, your budget, and your laptop. If you invest in high-calibre software, you’ll need a high-powered laptop to accommodate it. For professional video editors who work with a lot of editing programmes, that makes sense.
However, if you’re a new user, budget-conscious, or creating fairly short content, then you’re better off with web-based apps. Video editing apps like InVideo offer most of the tools you need, without taking up space on your hard drive. They’re also more affordable and come with a lot of background support.