The Best Desktops for Video Editing [June 2019]
There’s never been a better time to work in the increasingly lucrative and interconnected worlds of graphic design and multimedia production. Whether you’re a freelancer who works from home or a salaried employee at Google who brings in six-figure salaries, media manipulators are in high-demand across virtually every industry, and their career prospects are only going to continue to grow in the upcoming years.
But even the most talented and trained media pros and video editors are only as good as the tools at their disposal, and if you lack the right hardware to get the job done your work will inevitably suffer.
In the not so distant past, you needed to invest several thousands of dollars in top-notch computing equipment such as individual CPUs, graphics cards, and monitors in order to get the tools you needed to be successful in the field.
Thankfully those days are over, and it’s now completely possible to get a pro-level video-editing computer for a modest price if you know where to look. And the even greater news is that you don’t need to look much further than this list, which rounds up the best video-editing and multimedia-savvy desktop computers that money can buy.
In a market that’s becoming increasingly dependent on smaller and more powerful laptop computers, it may seem odd to focus on desktop machines, which are of course inherently bulkier and far less portable than most laptops.
But this would be a mistake, because unless you happen to work consistently on the go, desktop machines can bring new levels of power and functionality to your work that even some of the most popular and powerful laptops simply can’t do.
Generally speaking, when looking for the ideal desktop in the demanding and competitive world of media editing and video design, you want to focus on three major variables: processing speed, graphics quality, and RAM.
So it should come as no surprise that some of the best and most reliable video-editing desktops often double as gaming desktops—a major plus for avid gamers who make a living editing multimedia content (or perhaps vice versa).
This Dell Inspiron is a fan favorite among both pro-level gamers and pro-level media editors, thanks to its incredible processing speed, graphics card, and super-speedy RAM.
You get an Intel Core i7 8700 (6-Core/12-Thread) processor that comes loaded with 12MB of cache and can be boosted up to speeds of 6GHz if the task demands it.
There’s 15GB of preinstalled 2400MHz DDR4 RAM that’s more than capable of handling both large-scale and memory-demanding visual tasks along with multitasking through different apps at once, and an upgraded NVIDIA GTX 1060 Graphics Card ensures rich and realistic representations of whatever you’re working on.
This machine also meets Dell’s new VR standards—meaning you’ll be able to work with and edit files that are going to be used in some of the most exciting multimedia environments of both today and tomorrow.
You also get an incredibly fast and reliable SSD hard drive that delivers faster boot and load times for even the most power-hungry and demanding multimedia apps, and the box itself is incredibly quiet—thanks to an intelligent thermal design that contributes to efficient and power-saving noise control.
And of course you’ll be able to connect virtually any type of HD monitor through a dedicated HDMI port.
Don’t let the relatively high price points of our two top picks get you down—there are other, worthy video editing desktops that can be found at lower prices, but we thought we’d get the truly sensational (and therefore understandably more expensive) desktops out of the way first.
This desktop is about as awesome as it looks when it comes to speed and graphics—combining truly monstrous processing power with the latest and greatest graphics cards that can handle even the most demanding and esoteric rendering jobs at blisteringly fast speeds.
You get high-performance liquid cooling technology that will keep your circuits safe regardless of how much hell you’re putting them through, VR-ready technology that can handle even the most demanding graphics jobs in any environment, a 9th generation Intel processor, a performance-ready NVIDIA graphics processor that’s ideal for multitasking and realistic renders, and more—all within a super cool see-through design.
Awarded PC Magazine’s coveted Reader’s Choice award in 2018, there’s very little this intrepid desktop can’t do.
We were especially impressed with the RTX 20 series graphics card, which makes it easier than ever to build truly stunning and rich designs and videos while staying true to the color pallets that are used by the world’s most prominent and respected publications both in print and online.
And since this desktop is unsurprisingly a favorite among gaming fanatics, you’ll be able to take much-deserved breaks from your video editing in order to slay some opponents in a limitless number of HD games online.
As promised, here’s a top-notch graphics desktop that won’t break the bank. Loaded with an AMD RYZEN 3 1200 4-Core 3.1 GHz (3.4 GHz Turbo) processor and a massive 1TB hard drive, this desktop computer is up for virtually any graphics and multimedia task you can throw its way.
It comes standard with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Video Card and Windows 10, along with super-fast WiFi capabilities and a series of connection perks that make it easy to connect a wide range of peripherals.
We were also impressed with the quad core processor in this desktop, which utilizes true machine intelligence in order to analyze and adapt to your needs on the fly. The graphics card also offers full-range 1080p performance that’s more than enough for almost every type of pro-level video editing task you’ll encounter.
Of course a computer that costs roughly half as much as the number-one pick on our list will have some inherent flaws, and this machine’s only real weak spot is a relatively small amount of RAM—only 8GB as opposed to the standard 16.
Still, as long as your work doesn’t require a large amount of multitasking between memory-hungry and power-sapping programs, this could very well be enough RAM to see you through all the graphics tasks you need.
Where would any respectable tech gadget ranking be without two Dell machines? Claiming the number-four spot on our list is this impressive and minimalist Dell XPS computer, which brings to the table an 8th generation Intel i7-8700 6-Core 3.20 GHz Processor (12M Cache, up to 4.60 GHz) along with a whopping 32GB of super-fast DDR4 2666MHz memory—making this desktop perhaps the best one on our list when it comes to pro-level processing speed and multitasking.
You’ll also enjoy an incredibly powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 graphics card that can carry out an endless number of pro-level graphics and rendering tasks, along with all the connections you’ll need to attach all of your go-to peripherals—including three Display Ports, an HDMI port, and a DVI port.
We were also impressed by the Dell USB laser mouse that comes standard with this machine, due to its incredible speed and motion accuracy that make it ideal for making quick edits on the fly.
Rounding out our list is this HP desktop computer. Although perhaps not suitable for seasoned and established graphics pros who require pro-level speed and memory, this machine is more than capable of carrying out the tasks and functions that most medium-level video and graphics editors require.
It comes loaded with a Core i7 processor that’s capable of boosts up to 3.6GHz, and a massive 1TB hard drive provides more than enough space to store a wide range of large files and media platforms.
You also get a more-than-capable graphics card and an HDMI output from which to attach virtually any type of HD monitor, and no less than four dedicated USB ports makes it easy to connect all of your go-to devices simultaneously without worry.