Best Computer Components For Content Creation, Part 1

Video Editing

With the rise of Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, and all other multimedia, people are now more than ever using the web as a resource for news, entertainment, and communication. To feed this ever demanding growth, we are also seeing a huge increase in the amount of content creators making money on youtube, twitter, facebook, and any other multimedia resource you can imagine.

Of course, every consumer and prosumer on the web uses a computer to consume and produce digital content. Today’s topic is exactly that, what computers…or in this case, computer components, are best suited for creating content on the web?


Question Mark

1. What Kind of Content?

Before you even think about buying a computer, you must determine what type of content you produce. This ranges from simple vlogs to full blown mini films. How long are your videos? Do you just edit photos? Questions like this you need to answer for yourself before delving into purchasing a computer.

The reason why you should be asking these questions is because specific content usually won’t need as much computing power to create as others, a good example is a vlog, a simple vlog almost takes no time to edit, normally they’re recorded at lower resolutions (usually 1080P or even 720P) (this equals less data for your computer to crunch thru). So if all you do on say, YouTube, is vlog about yourself, then the computer you need won’t be nearly as expensive as one that is used for creating, say…feature films.

2. Hardware for Specific Content:

Now that you’ve figured out what kind of content you want to create, we can go on to step two, what hardware do you need?

So in general, there are several categories of content creation that prefer specific “grades” of hardware to run smoothly and quickly:

a. Photo Editing: Photo editing by far is the lightest grade of content in these categories because your just editing a single image. Whereas with all the other categories your editing videos which use thousands of images to create one video.

For a good system to run Photoshop or other photo editor smoothly will perfer a CPU with at least 4 cores than isn’t over 3 years old. So specifically, you’ll be wanting to look at the Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 CPU (I prefer Ryzen btw).

Computer Memory

The most important part of a computer you want to pay attention to is the Memory capacity. Photo Editors are known as big fat memory hogs, they will consume as much memory as it needs to, even if you have an overkill amount of memory, they usually will suck it up (usually depending on how many images and layers you have open). The bare minimum of memory I can recommend is 16GB. 16GB usually does a quite a good job at giving programs like Photoshop enough space to run smoothly without hiccups. For the vast majority of you prosumer photographers and image designers, 16GB will be fine.

However, if your a very high level Photographer that has one or more shooters with you at a photo session, and you need to edit everybody’s photos in a timely fashion, then I’d recommend doubling the amount of memory to 32GB. This will give you more than enough memory to have a dozen or more photos up in Photoshop without stutters.

Video Editing

b. Light Video Editing: Next on our list is video editing; as I mentioned previously, video editing requires a lot more computing power to create and run smoothly because your now dealing with editing thousands of frames instead of a single frame/image. So what do I mean by light video editing?

Light video editing (can also be called light video editors) is best described as youtuber’s who make very small video’s (under 11 minutes) and only add minor edits into their videos. This would include vloggers, some product reviewers, and any other topic that only requires a short video to get the producers information to the consumer. A good example of this would be Youtuber: TheNOOBIFIER1337

Since your creating videos under 11 minutes, the render time of your videos is pretty small, even on lower end prosumer hardware like a modern Quad Core Core i5 or Hexa Core Ryzen 5 CPU. If your really light on video editing, any one of these CPUs should be more than enough for your needs. I’d also recommend a memory size of 16GBs which should be enough for your needs.

Now, if your a “light” video editor who likes to put a lot of stuff (ie. affects, transitions, slow mo’s etc.) into their short videos, you’ll want something a bit beefier like a Core i7 Quad Core CPU or even a Ryzen 7 Octo Core CPU. The main reason why you’ll want a beefier CPU is NOT for the rendering times, rather how fast you can run thru the timeline. Timelines are very CPU demanding (which is why you always see the option to lower the resolution of your timeline in many video editing programs), and when you add affects and other stuff into your video editor, it can easily overwhelm your CPU.

Video Editing Studio

c. Editing and Rendering Long Videos:

This type of video editing is usually the most popular, as this includes videos of 45 minutes and beyond. With movies/videos this long, it can take hours upon hours to rendering depending on which CPU you have.

Intel Core i9

If you don’t want your video to take an eternity to render, you’ll need very powerful hardware to keep your render times down. You’ll want to step up to Intel’s HEDT platform, HEDT is Intel’s extreme platform, which includes a minimum (usually) of 6 core CPUs and goes all the way to generally 10 cores (or 18 in the case of Intel’s newest platform). If your looking into using the latest parts, then Intel’s X299 platform is the best option right now. The 7900X 10 core CPU is a beastly chip for the money, it’s able to chew thru renders nearly 2x faster than the Intel Core i7 7700K which is, currently the best selling high end CPU on Amazon.

However, X299 has had a very challenging start, namely because Intel launched X299 3 months ahead of schedule. Because of this, CPUs on the X299 platform are prone to massive temperature spikes and massive power consumption. Which might get fixed eventually.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper

If your willing to wait for a more, reasonable, and possibly a far faster CPU for the money. Wait for AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper CPUs to come out. These CPUs are far more promising to the average professional video editor/movie maker, with 12-16 core CPUs for less than the price of the $1000 7900X, it’s a bargain. These CPUs should come out next month.

If your budget is tight, stick with a Ryzen 1700X. Currently Ryzen 7 offers the best price to performance ratio for video editing so far. However, if your budget is pretty hefty, consider a Core i9 7900X or the previous generation’s 6900K/6950X if you must go Intel. Then for AMD, check out both their Ryzen ThreadRipper 1920X and 1950X which range around the $800-$1000 mark. 

For memory, you’ll want 32GB as the BARE minimum for fast renders. Video Editors consume RAM a lot, so it needs a lot to be quick. 64GB is the sweet spot for hardcore video editing. Also remember, if your buying a Core i9 or Ryzen Threadripper CPU to get quad channel memory kits to improve bandwidth of your memory.


This concludes the hardware part of this series. All other hardware purchases are up to you, that includes hard drives, motherboards (ie. Motherboards models that SUPPORT your CPU), CPU coolers, computer cabinents/cases and everything else. In part 2 we will discuss monitors, which size monitors are good and what resolution is most optimal for your use case.

By | 2018-04-12T19:02:36+00:00 July 19th, 2017|Guides|0 Comments

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