Best CPU For Video Editing 2021: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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Quick Overview: Our Top 5 Picks CPU for Video Editing

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS  

TOP VALUE

Ryzen 3 3100
  • Best performance for cheap!
  • Future proof thanks to PCIe 4.0 support. 
  • Efficient 7nm architecture.
  • Overclockable.
  • Single thread performance could be better.
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Ryzen 5 5600X
  • 6 core 12 thread Gaming CPU.
  • Latest Zen 3 architecture benefits.
  • Overclockable.
  • Power Efficient.
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TEAM BLUE

Intel i5 11600K
  • Good gaming performance.
  • Includes integrated Xe graphics.
  • Overclockable.
  • High power consumption.
  • Runs at high temperatures.
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Tired of random lag when scrubbing through your video timeline? This usually means that your computer cannot keep up, likely due to the processor (CPU) being the bottleneck. When one part of your video editing machine holds back other parts – That situation is called a bottleneck.

A video editing CPU’s performance mainly depends on the clock speed and core count. So if your video edit requires more cores or higher clock speeds, it leads to slowdowns and stuttering. So if you are upgrading your system or building a new PC, choosing the right CPU for video editing is important to ensure smooth workflow.

CPU bottlenecks can lead to crashes that can cause the loss of a couple of hours of work, and then we find ourselves pulling our hair out and screaming at the screen.

I have faced it, you have faced it; most of us have faced these issues when video editing. This is why choosing the proper video editing CPU is extremely important when building a new editing build or upgrading an old system.

Heat is also a significant factor to consider because it can make your CPU run slower. This happens when the chip hits its thermal limits due to its threads running at 100% to render a video.

The best video editing CPU is something that should run cool with standard cooling. That said, you must pick a CPU that is not overkill for your cooling system.

Many might say, “Use a better editor!”. Whether it is Adobe Premiere, Final Cut, or Vegas Pro, fans of each software will claim that what they use is better than anything else.

I have used most of the mainstream video editors, and some are indeed more demanding than others. (Looking at you, Premiere).

However, if your core hardware, like your CPU, is not up to the mark, then lag and stutter will be inevitable. This is why I have created a list of the best video editing CPU in the market to help you decide what’s best for your editing needs.

CHECK THE TOP 15 BEST CPUs FOR VIDEO EDITING NOW!

Top 10 Best CPU For Video Editing 2021

1. Best Value AMD Ryzen 3 3100

I am starting the list with an impressive chip that has amazed me by handling nearly everything I tried to edit. While not a 12 core powerhouse like the ThreadRipper or Ryzen 9 by any means, the Ryzen 3 3100 is a great processor for video editing that does not cost a fortune. Especially with the current shortage of stocks around the world.

In fact, this is one of the best deals if you are just getting into video editing and want a system that will not hold you back. Let’s look into what makes the AMD Ryzen 3100 great for video editing.

Technical Overview:

With just 4 cores, the 3100 might seem underpowered but it has an ace up its sleeve. The Ryzen 3100 supports Hyper-Threading which gives your editing software 8 proper threads to work with, unlike many alternatives in this price range.

It succeeds the Ryzen 2000 series chips in many aspects. It’s based on a 7nm architecture and includes PCIe 4.0 support for future proofing. This will allow you to use PCIe 4.0 drives and graphic cards when paired with a compatible motherboard without having to change your CPU. Thanks to these upgrades the Zen 2 based Ryzen 3100 can run a lot cooler and is more futureproof than most of its competitors in this bracket.

Temperatures tend to hover around 50c to 60c even during video editing. I used the stock Wraith Cooler provided in the box which is more than enough to keep this processor cool during video editing sessions.

Video Editing Experience and Benchmarks:

Adobe Premiere quickly took advantage of all 8 threads when saving videos, and I did not notice any thermal throttling issues during my video editing tests. This CPU shines thanks to it’s Quad cores and 8 threads but you might face slowdowns when you need high single core performance.

Overclocking can allow you to get more performance for single threaded tasks. While not difficult thanks to AMD, we also would not recommend do this on the stock cooler. Also note that overclocking the 3100 is not possible on most A320 motherboards.

The Ryzen 3100 quickly boosted to 3.9ghz without turning my cabinet into a mini heater. Thanks to the low TDP of just 65 watts, it also does not consume too much power. Our test above shows the 3100 only sipping around 20-30 watts for idle to basic tasks. Temperatures also stay cool ranging between 40c to 60c.

I used this on a 450-watt power supply, which was more than sufficient for this processor. The provided stock cooler stays silent even when pushed hard, so noise is not a problem if you are looking for a quiet editing rig.

1080p video editing is a breeze. 4K, on the other hand, pushes the chip to its limits but is actually quite manageable, especially for the price point. Too many layers can cause a few stutters here and there, but crashes are not a problem. The processor supports 3200mhz DDR4 RAM, and I highly recommend running it in Dual Channel, so two sticks of RAM to get the most out of this chip.

On a side note, the 3100 is also a competent gaming processor when you are not editing videos when paired with most modern graphic cards. Since there are no integrated graphics we paired it with a Nvidia GTX 1650 Super. Demanding titles like Shadow of The Tomb Raider ran at an easy 60fps on high settings. Titles that are CPU intensive also perform nicely. The benchmark above shows how the game has an average of 66FPS while being GPU bound 81%.

This chip performs admirably for 1080-1440p gaming. That said, we will not recommend pairing this with a very high-end RTX Graphic Card like the 2080ti or the 3080 as that will lead to a significant bottleneck.

Included Goodies:

ryzen 3100 fan cooler

AMD has done a great job with packaging the Ryzen 3100. You get the processor, the stock cooler, and a sticker included in the box. As someone with years of experience in design, I loved the Ryzen branding, mainly because the performance lives up to the looks.

The cooler included in the box is a considerable improvement from what AMD offered just a few years back. It is also miles ahead of what Intel offers even today. The thermal paste is applied to the cooler from the factory, which was great as I forgot to buy thermal paste during my build!

Conclusion:

If you are looking for a video editing processor that can handle 1080p / 1440p easily with the occasional 4K, look no further. The Ryzen 3100 is a budget-friendly beast.

While Zen 3 processors are out already, The Zen 2 Ryzen 3100 stays competitive thanks to its price tag, PCIe 4.0 support, 7nm Architecture, and Hyper-threading. Do note that if your editing needs demand 4K footage regularly then you would need to pick something with more cores in which case the 3100 will not be the right choice.

Pros

  • Bang for the buck.
  • PCIe 4.0 Support for future-proofing.
  • Hyper-threading support.
  • 7nm Architecture.

Cons

  • Not an ideal CPU for editing 4K footage.
  • Does not include integrated graphics. (Not an APU)

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2. Best Choice AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

If you like being on the bleeding edge of technology, then AMD’s latest Zen 3 chips are as good as it gets. The Ryzen 5 5600X has big shoes to fill considering that it succeeds the venerable Ryzen 5 3600, and I am happy to say that it lives up to its lineage.

The Ryzen 5 5600X is one of the most potent CPUs for video editing on a mid range workstation.

Technical Overview:

The 5600X packs in 6 cores that support Hyper-threading. This allows video editors to take full advantage of 12 threads. One significant benefit to having a lot of threads besides raw power when rendering videos is multitasking.

I like running things Spotify and Reddit in the background when I am editing. This is where the extra threads ensure that services running in the background don’t bog down the editor.

On paper, the Ryzen 5600X looks very similar to the 3600. With the same TDP and just a slightly higher boost clock. So if it’s consuming the same power, how does it perform faster than the chip it succeeds? This is where Zen 3 comes in.

Thanks to AMD’s new Zen 3 architecture, the Ryzen 5600X can outperform its competitors with ease.

Video Editing Experience and Benchmarks:

The 5600X benefits significantly from Zen 3 upgrades. These include a higher boost clock, next-gen core layout, and an IPC uplift. Now you might ask me, what do these upgrades mean for the average video editor?

I am happy to report that the Ryzen 5 5600x makes video editing a breeze. This CPU can outperform Ryzen 7 models from older generations in tools like Blender and Premiere Pro.

It is a great CPU to edit 2K or 4K videos. You can add a lot of layers and effects with ease in 1080p edits. The CPU handles most things you can do in After Effects easily.

All while maintaining a TDP of 65 watts. Video editors like me who work on budget-friendly machines prefer to not have a system that cranks up our electricity bills.

You might also not have a choice if you are limited to a low-capacity PSU. The Ryzen 5 5600x performs well even on 450watt machines assuming your GPU is not too power-hungry. In those cases, we recommend at least 550watts or higher.

As with any Ryzen chip, I can’t end this without talking about gaming. After all, Zen 3 brings many gaming-specific benefits to make this chip one of the best out there for gaming, especially next-gen titles.

Current gen games perform great; the same applies for cross-gen titles like Resident Evil 8. While there are very few next-gen titles out right now, It is safe to say that innovations like the resizable BAR support gives this chip an edge over Zen 2 options.

Included Goodies:

While we see some huge improvements brought the new Zen 3 architecture, I sadly cannot say the same about the accessories. That’s not to say that it’s anything bad. We still get the same tried and trusted Wraith Stealth Cooler included in a very similar packaging to what we have seen from AMD before.

I personally was expecting to see an improved cooler that could handle overclocking a chip like the 5600X. The stock cooler however, does its job well when running the CPU at stock speeds so this cannot be considered a flaw even if I was expecting a beefier cooler.

Conclusion:

The Ryzen 5 5600X is a great choice for anyone looking to get their hands on a fairly powerful video editing system. While it is not on the same level as the latest Ryzen 9 and the Core i9 lineup, it’s performance per dollar ratio makes it a very good deal. This is also the best processor out right now if you want a system that can take advantage of next gen features made possible by the Zen 3 architecture. 

Pros

  • Next gen ready thanks to Zen 3.
  • Great performance for a mid range processor.
  • PCIe 4.0 Support.
  • Hyper-threading support.
  • 7nm Architecture.

Cons

  • Will require an aftermarket cooler for over-clocking.
  • Does not include integrated graphics. (Not an APU)

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3. Team Blue Intel Core i5-11600K

For the last few years, I have been doing heavy video editing solely on Ryzen based desktops. While I still use an Intel laptop when on the go, when it comes to desktops, AMD has simply offered better value for my video editing needs.

So with that said, when the i5-11600K launched, I was curious but not expecting to go back to Intel any time soon. However, this i5 turned out to be more interesting than expected.

Technical Overview:

Let’s get one thing cleared first. Intel is still giving us a 14nm chip in 2021. With a TDP of 125watts at that. So is it best to ignore this CPU and move on?

Not really, no. Because while not mind-blowing, when you consider the price tag and what this CPU has to offer, it does make a good value deal. Hear me out.

The 11600K is a six-core processor that performs as good as AMD’s Ryzen 5 variants at a similar price point. It also includes integrated graphics which can help you get started when waiting for a graphic card.

As with AMD we see support for PCIe 4.0 along with some good generational improvements although it’s a shame that the CPU is still 14nm.

Video Editing Experience and Benchmarks:

The Core i5 11600K performs almost as good as AMD’s options and offers an iGPU. If you want to build an up-to-date Intel system with Xe graphics, then this is it. It is a capable video editing CPU with good single-core speeds.

The only drawback would be it turns into a furnace compared to the efficient 7nm Ryzen chips. Ouch!

The Rocket Lake i5 performed well in the video editors I tested – DaVinci and Premiere Pro, along with some After Effects. Benchmark tests put it near the 5600X.

It is clear that Intel is doing their best to push the 14 nanometer architecture and it shows. This is an ideal video editing CPU for low to mid range builds that offers 6 cores and 12 threads with a very good boost clock speed.

Pushing this CPU to its limits gives us good video editing and gaming performance but it comes at a cost. As I mentioned earlier, the CPU has a TDP of 125 watts and that’s because it eats through power in order to stay competitive with AMD.

High power requirements means bigger electricity bills but it also means high heat and that’s the biggest problem for this otherwise good deal. If you would like to get the most out of this chip then please invest in a good cooler as well.

Included Goodies:

Intel really needs to up their game in many places. While moving away from 14nm might be hard, the least we can expect is to get a good cooler included in the box. Sadly, that is not the case. There is no cooler included.

Conclusion:

Our video editing experience makes it clear that the 11600K is , after a long time , a bang for the buck deal from Intel. That is, if you are ready to spend more to deal with it’s biggest flaw that is the thermal output.

This CPU runs hot, really hot. It also consumes a lot of power. So while this is a CPU good enough to make it in our Top 3, we only recommend it when you also decide to invest in a good cooler and at least a 550w PSU.

Pros

  • Intel Xe Graphics is pretty decent.
  • Good gaming performance.
  • Good single threaded performance.

Cons

  • Does not come with a cooler.
  • Runs hot and consumes a lot of power for the performance.
  • 14nm 14nm 14nm.

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4. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-CoreHere is another AMD Ryzen processor, and this one is an 8-core, 16-thread unlocked desktop processor. AMD has nabbed the top spots in this list for good reason. This Ryzen 7 3700X also lives up to the reputation with it’s performance especially for video editing.

Gaming performance is also great as the processor delivers 100 FPS + when benchmarked on multiple performance heavy games when paired with a good GPU. You will get to experience great performance in games, content creation, and multi-tasking. The balanced design is optimal for all PC enthusiasts and even artists like me.

The AMD Ryzen 7 features 8 cores and 2 threads per core, concluding to 16 processing threads in total. I am quite impressed with the bundled AMD Wraith Prism cooler with color controlled LED support. (Go RGB!) In my experience the Wraith cooler truly offers a noise-free operation even when rendering videos for a long time.

The CPU delivers 4.4 GHz maximum clocking speed, which is unlocked for overclocking to an extent. This enables the user to perform multiple tasks at high-speed and without any hindrance. While the CPU does not overheat with the Wraith Led Cooler, I recommend an aftermarket one for overclocking.

This can be a fairly power hungry CPU so ensure that your editing workstation has a decent PSU.

Pros

  • It has an 8-core and 16-thread build, efficient for various tasks.
  • The cooler comes with RGB support and impressive performance.

Cons

  • Fairly expensive CPU.

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5. Intel Core i9-9900K

Intel Core i9-9900K

Intel brings an i9 8-core processor that will meet all your performance requirements, especially when it comes to video editing. This Intel core processor delivers 3.60 GHz to 5.0 GHz of clock speed, which is optimal for performing fast calculations and running multiple operations.

The unlocked 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900K desktop processor with 8-core architecture and 16 threads allows you to multitask without compromising performance efficiency.

The processor does not come with a separate cooling device. It is built with Solder Thermal Interface Material (STIM) to maximize efficient heat transfer from the processor to an external cooler. This feature allows overclockers to push their systems further without overheating. The max Thermal Design Power is 95W.

This i9 Intel Core processor is optimal for the process of video editing because it will easily support professional video-editing software. The advanced technology will ensure thatyour editing is done efficiently and quickly. The provision for performing multiple tasks at high speed makes this a highly sought after processor for video editing.

Intel HD Graphics 630 technology delivers ultra HD quality videos after editing, with color accuracy and smooth visual effects. The video comes out undisrupted due to the addition of visual effects, transitions, slides, etc. However, this processor is compatible only with motherboards based on Intel 300 series chipsets.

Pros

  • It has an 8-core and 16-thread build which is very efficient for all types of tasks.
  • The 5.0 GHz clock speed ensures quick results for a particular set of instructions and applications.
  • The processor is very affordable in price and perfect for video editing.

Cons

  • It does not come with a cooling system which is necessary to prevent overheating during intensive tasks.
  • The high-end processor might not be compatible with the existing components of your desktop.

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6. Intel Core i5-10400

Intel Core i5-10400 6 Core Desktop ProcessorIntel presents an i5, 6-core desktop processor which contains the optimal specifications to be termed as one of the best CPU for video editing. It features 6 cores with 2 threads per core which totals to 12 threads. These threads improve the functioning and performance speed and allow the user to run multiple applications at a time.

The intel core i5 processor has a clock speed of 2.9GHz and a maximum clock speed of up to 4.3 GHz. This means that multiple applications can run simultaneously without any lagging. Also, instructions are followed at a much quicker pace.

The processor is compatible with an LGA 1200 socket as well as with Intel 400 series chipset based motherboards. It might not be compatible with other types of motherboards, therefore, do keep in mind the specifications of your computer components before buying.

Intel Core i5-10400 6-core desktop processor comes with an in-built cooling system that prevents damage to the computer due to overheating. Overheating is caused as a result of overclocking by performance-intensive tasks such as gaming, video editing, etc.

It is a 10th generation processor that is sure to meet all your video editing requirements. It supports all major video editing software and has all the necessary specs for that purpose. It will provide you with a seamless gaming experience and effortless multi-tasking at a very affordable price.

Pros

  • It has a 6-core and 12-thread built which is very efficient for different levels of tasks, especially video editing.
  • The 4.3GHz clock speed ensures quick and efficient results and allows you to multitask without any hindrance.
  • The CPU features a built-in cooling system that prevents overheating in case of overclocking.
  • The processor along with the cooler comes at a very affordable price.

Cons

  • This processor might not be compatible with the existing components of your desktop. Do check all specifications before you buy it.

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7. AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 6-Core

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 6-CoreHere is another AMD Ryzen processor and this one is a 6-core, 12-thread unlocked desktop processor. AMD is one of the most popular companies known to manufacture processors. These specifications make it one of the best CPUs for video editing.

The AMD Ryzen 5 features 6 cores and 2 threads per core concluding to 12 processing threads in total. It is bundled with the AMD Wraith Spire cooler. The Wraith cooler truly offers a noise-free and optimum cooling effect during high-performance tasks, which tend to overheat the computer.

The processors from AMD deliver 100 FPS when utilized for multiple performance heavy games. You will get to experience smooth gaming performance, content creation, and undisrupted multi-tasking. The balanced design is optimal for all PC enthusiasts. Similar performance can be expected when translated to video editing.

Moreover, it delivers 4.4 GHz maximum clocking speed which is unlocked for overclocking to an extent. This enables the user to perform multiple tasks at top-speed and without any hindrance. Any kind of overheating is neutralized by the attractive and efficient Wraith Spire Cooler, allowing undisrupted performance.

This CPU is compatible with AM4 sockets. For the advanced socket AM4 platform, it can support PCIe 4.0 on x570 motherboards. It might not be compatible with other motherboards as it requires a lot of power to run. Ideally, not all motherboards have support systems for housing such high power units. So check the specs before buying the product.

Pros

  • It has a 6-core and 12-thread built which is very efficient for various tasks.
  • The 4.4GHz clock speed ensures quick and efficient results and allows you to multitask without any disturbance.
  • The CPU features a neat cooling system that prevents overheating in case of overclocking.

Cons

  • This processor might not be compatible with the existing components of your desktop.

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8. Intel Core i3-10100

Intel Core i3-10100 Desktop 4 Core ProcessorOne of the older versions of desktop processors, Intel brings a 4-core, i3 processor to meet your daily basis requirements. Although this processor does not possess enough specifications to run high demanding tasks, it is sufficient to run everyday applications. Fewer intensity tasks like typing, data entry, and browsing as well as offline gaming can be easily done using this processor.

The processor is optimized for everyday use. It comes with an iGPU and since it won’t be used for gaming it is cheaper than a comparable 3300x GPU combo. It comes with a built-in cooling system that prevents overheating in case of overclocking.
The intel core i3 processor has a clock speed of 2.9GHz and a maximum clock speed of up to 4.3 GHz. It is compatible with the LGA 1200 type of socket and only with 400 series chipset based motherboards.

The Intel processor comes with Optane Memory Support and a 4-core architecture with 8 threads. Hyper-Threading technology allows the user to multitask effortlessly. It is quite handy for lightweight video editing but not suitable for modern editing software.

Other performance-intensive tasks such as video editing, gaming, programming, data analysis cannot be efficiently carried out in this processor. But, if you are looking for a processor for day-to-day computer applications, this is the choice for you.

Pros

  • It is a suitable processor for home users and individual creators.
  • It contains a 4-core, 8-thread build which is sufficient for less demanding tasks.
  • Very cost-effective and optimal for small intensity applications.
  • It does not require an extensive cooling apparatus as it will not cause large amounts of overheating.

Cons

  • The 4-core and 8-thread architecture are not sufficient for performance-intensive tasks such as high-end gaming and modern 4K video editing.
  • It will not be sufficient to run professional video editing software which requires high processing speed and “per core performance”.

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9. AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16-Core

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16-CoreHere is another Ryzen 9 processor by AMD. This 16-core processor delivers 100 FPS when benchmarked on multiple high-end performance games. This processor delivers the highest processing power you can get in a mainstream desktop.

It also has a 16 core architecture which translates to 2 threads per core meaning a total of 32 threads. These high numbers of threads are highly efficient while doing some performance-intensive tasks such as modern video editing, gaming, programming, data analysis, quantum computing, etc.

The CPU also features a max clock speed of 4.7GHz which means that the CPU will be able to perform calculations very quickly thus resulting in applications running much faster. For the advanced socket AM4 platform, it can support PCIe 4.0 on x570 motherboards.

But with all these features, the processor boasts a very high price. Moreover, if you are in the market for just some lightweight video editing then this might not be a perfect pick for you. This is because it will certainly over-deliver your needs. A processor with lower specifications is optimal for all kinds of modern video editing software.

Furthermore, such a high-performance processor tends to get overheated quickly due to multiple cores working together and overclocking. To prevent any residual damage from overheating, a cooling system is very important.

This processor does not come with an integrated cooling mechanism. Therefore, an external cooler is necessary and a liquid cooler with 280 millimeters or a larger radiator is recommended.

Also, this CPU is not very compatible when coming to different motherboards as it requires a lot of power to run. Ideally, not all motherboards have support systems for housing such high power units. There is a very high chance that your existing motherboard might not support this CPU, so you will have to buy a new one. This along with an external cooling system will add up to the already high price of this CPU.

Pros

  • It has a 16-core and 32-thread built which is very efficient for all types of high-performance tasks.
  • The 4.7GHz clock speed ensures quick results for various instructions and applications.
  • This processor has the highest processing power that you can get in a mainstream desktop.

Cons

  • The processor is very expensive for the amount of work required i.e. video editing.
  • The high-end processor might not be compatible with the existing components of your desktop resulting in you buying new ones.
  • It does not come with a built-in cooling system.
  • Since the processor has 16 cores and 32 threads, it requires a cooling system which has to be bought separately.

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10. AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT 12-core

AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT 12-coreThe AMD Ryzen 5 3600 12-Core, 24-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor is one of the most advanced processors in the desktop PC gaming segment. This processor delivers ultra-fast 100 FPS performance and allows you to effortlessly stream the world’s most popular games without any hindrance.

Lightweight tasks such as video editing can be done without any trouble. Furthermore, in case of involvement of professional video editing software, this processor is excellent for smooth and undisrupted editing. Also, it is very affordable in price and will not disappoint you in any manner.

It features a 12 core architecture that translates to 2 threads per core meaning, a total of 24 threads. These high numbers of threads can be utilized while doing some performance-intensive tasks such as video editing, gaming, programming, data analysis, etc.

It features 4.6GHz of clocking speed which means quicker application and calculation results. It is generally compatible with the majority of desktop components. For the advanced socket, the AM4 platform can support x570 motherboards.

It does not come with a built-in cooling system therefore an external one has to be installed. This is a necessary step because overheating can occur due to overclocking and can damage the computer components if not cooled down.

Pros

  • It has a 12-core and 24-thread built which is very efficient for all types of tasks.
  • The 4.6GHz clock speed ensures quick results for a different set of instructions and applications.
  • The processor is very affordable in price.

Cons

  • There is no internal cooling mechanism and buying it will increase the total cost of the processor.
  • The processor might not be compatible with different components of your desktop.

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What Is The Function Of A CPU / Processor?

To get a clear idea as to which CPU would be best for video editing, we have to know what a CPU essentially does. CPU stands for Central Processing Unit, and as the name suggests, it holds the central locus controlling all activities in a computer. It is also known as the ‘brain’ of the computer.

The CPU is an electronic circuit system that carries out various computer programs and instructions by performing several operations. It performs various logical, controlling, arithmetic, and input/output operations as per the instructions.

The use of the “central processing unit” started back in the 1960s. Since then, numerous changes in the design, structure, and performance of CPUs has taken place. However, their fundamental function has remained the same.

Lately, with evolution in the technological sector, most of the modern PC and laptop CPUs are essentially installed inside microprocessors, which means that they are present on a single Integrated Circuit (IC) chip. Many modern desktop CPUs have up to 32 core-microprocessors, while many servers have up to 100 cores.

Some Integrated Circuits also contain memory, peripheral interfaces, and other components of a computer. This type of integrated device is known as a microcontroller or system on a chip (Soc). Almost every modern computer contains multi-core processors, which means that a single chip contains more than one CPUs, known as “cores”.

A CPU processes data or information received via various input devices and then provides the required information after processing various output devices. It performs the following functions in a specific order:

  • First, it takes input from the users through the input devices in the form of instructions.
  • After that, it fetches the information that is present as a set of instructions from memory.
  • Next, it decodes the instructions into the binary form to be interpreted by the CPU’s Instruction Set Architecture (ISA).
  • After that, the execution of the desired instruction is carried out to produce the required set of results.
  • Lastly, the results are presented and displayed via output devices.

Factors To Look For Before Buying The Best CPU For Video Editing

Here are some pointers to guide you in the right direction when you set out to buy the best CPU for video editing for your computer:

1. Cost

Buying a CPU or a processor for your desktop can be a very expensive task. Since the processors control all the computer’s major functioning, they are built to last and, therefore, cost a lot. Generally, AMD processors are more expensive than Intel processors.

While buying the best CPU for video editing purposes, look for a moderate or medium intensity processor because basic video editing is not a very high intensive task and does not require a lot of complex processing service.

However, modern editing software do require some advanced specifications such as increased RAM, i5, and i7 processor cores with the 8th gen updates, etc. Anything more than that might be counter-effective and expensive

Also, if you are not planning on using your personal computer for complex and performance-intensive tasks, prefer buying one without a built-in cooling mechanism. This will require less investment on your part and allow you to save some precious bucks! Moreover, look for discounts and sales on products available throughout the year.

2. Type Of Device And Socket Compatibility

The compatibility of the processor with the other computer components is very important as only then the PC works efficiently. The motherboard, socket, and system memory should be compatible with the computer’s existing systems. Otherwise, the improper build might stop your work before it even starts.

Socket compatibility is a major concern when it comes to buying the best CPU for video editing. It enables an interface between the motherboard of the computer and its CPU. If you already own a motherboard, make sure that the processor installed is compatible with the motherboard’s socket. Alternatively, if you own a processor and plan to build your PC around it, make sure the motherboard is compatible with your existing processor.

Besides, consider whether the socket connections of your PC are BGA connections or LGA connections. An LGA connection will be optimal if you wish to replace or exchange your computer at any point in the future. This is because BGA connections are soldered, making them almost impossible to replace. LGA connections, on the other hand, are pin-type connectors that can be plugged and unplugged when needed.

3. Requirement

When video editing is done at a company or corporate-level, advanced specifications are required. Such tasks require professional, high-end software. The CPU needed here must be able to perform multiple tasks at high speed and without any obstruction. In other words, such a place requires a CPU designed for a heavy workload.

In other cases, when video editing is done at an individual level, a medium-intensity CPU with enough processing power is optimal. Such segregation as per the requirement will help you save a lot of money and prevent you from buying products you don’t need.

4. Power Of Processing

One of the main factors to look for while buying the best CPU for video editing is the CPU processing power. The Central Processing Unit (CPU) has evolved from the early single-core Intel Pentium to the current multi-core Intel i5/ i7 models. This advancement has resulted in better performance and higher quality of video editing.

The i5 and i7 processors are optimal for the video editing process as they deliver fast and accurate results, and the videos are processed smoothly. The results are high-quality edited videos, which include various visual effects like transitions, slides, animations, etc.

5. Cores Needed

Less than even a decade ago, single-core processors were the norm. Today they are the exceptions. Today, multi-core processors have become more popular as their availability has become increasingly common. From dual-core processors to 16-core processors, each of them is highly sought over a single-core.

When we say single-core, it means that one core is responsible for performing all the tasks and sending data to the processor. With the introduction of multiple cores, the tasks are split and divided for each core. This improves the efficiency and performance of the processor.

While buying a CPU for an office-level range of video editing tasks, look for one that can handle large workloads, i.e., one with higher processing power. Look for the number of cores the CPU will need. Remember, however, that more cores are not always better.

The software used for the video editing purpose will determine if the core will be compatible. For example, if a CPU with an eight-core processor gets installed, but the software can only utilize four of those cores, it will not be an efficient or cost-effective option.

Optimally, quad-core to octa-core processors are more than enough for video editing. Anything more than that will be counter-productive and not cost-effective at all.

6. RAM

One of the major factors for buying a Central Processing Unit is RAM. A higher value of RAM or Random Access Memory is essential for video editing because of the softwares involved. Most of the professional video-editing software utilizes a tremendous amount of memory space to run smoothly.

A typical computer bought in the store might come with an existing 2GB to 4GB RAM. Although 4GB will be sufficient to an extent, these are not enough for professional and high-end video editing software. A minimum of 8GB to 16GB works best and enables a smooth and undisrupted video editing experience.

The more the RAM, the faster the results will be, and it won’t cost you a lot. Affordable processing units with large memory storage are available in the market.

7. Frequency Or Speed Of The Processor

The frequency of a CPU, measured in hertz (Hz), is the speed at which it operates. In simple words, generally, the more the frequency, the faster will be the CPU’s processing speed. Well, this might not be true in all cases. For example, a CPU running at a lower frequency may perform better than a processor running at a higher frequency due to the CPU infrastructure.

Nowadays, It is essential to look at “instructions per clock” in addition to frequency while buying the best CPU for video editing. This is because today, the frequency is not the only factor that affects the CPU’s speed.

The optimal frequency depends upon the need and usage. For video editing, a frequency of 2GHz to 4GHz is perfect for a smooth experience. A CPU with a frequency lesser than 2GHz will deliver slow and flawed performance. While a CPU with a frequency more than 4GHz will be counter-productive and not very cost-efficient.

8. Hard Drive Storage

Another big factor to keep in mind while assembling your PC for video editing is the hard drive storage. The 500GB SATA HD, typical on most computers, is not big enough. A high definition video takes up a tremendous amount of capture space so that you will need at least a 2TB internal hard drive storage. In case this is not available, prepared to expand your internal hard drive with a 2TB external.

9. Integrated Graphics Processing Units

Today, many CPUs come with integrated graphics processing units designed to run graphic applications and instructions. In case it is not present, a separate graphics card is required for displaying graphics. Many a time, this is preferred over integrated GPUs.

Graphics card is the major hardware that specifies the basic details of your editing process along with a compatible CPU. Higher performance and quality can be expected with the graphics card. It makes your video editing application more responsive, especially if you employ 3D transitions and other special effects like animations and slides.

10. Thermal Design Power And Cooling

During its working, the processors tend to generate heat. This is a normal process and can be easily countered. The thermal design power specification assigned to a CPU explains how much heat the processor will give off. This directly points to the kind of cooling system required to eliminate the heat. This is an essential requirement as overheating is a primary danger to a computer’s machinery.

Some CPUs come with built-in coolers that prevent overheating in case of intensive performance tasks such as graphics editing, programming, gaming, etc. Such CPUs come at a higher price range than CPUs without any integrated cooling mechanism.

If it is not integrated, it has to be bought separately, totaling to an amount even higher than an integrated one. However, if you already own a cooling system, you can easily save a lot of money by buying a CPU without an in-built cooling system.

11. Brand

AMD and Intel are the prominent company names in the market for the production of processors. Being the two main resident competitors in this field, they are constantly introducing advanced technology in desktop processors. Starting from their single-core versions about a decade ago to the multi-core processors today, there have been huge leaps in technology, resulting in improved and efficient performance.

Today, AMD Ryzen processors are generally more expensive than Intel. Moreover, reviews from customers generally report that AMD delivers better performance than Intel processors with similar specifications.

Also, AMD provides multi-core processors ranging up to 64 cores, which is optimal for highly performance-intensive tasks. They contain an increased number of cores and threads that make them optimal for tasks such as video editing.

However, AMD processors tend to heat up a lot quicker than their Intel counterparts. They require an efficient cooling system to prevent damage due to overheating. Also, Intel offers better ‘per core performance’ over AMD, which makes Intel processors optimal for gaming.

12. Type Of Editing Software Used

Another major thing to keep in mind while buying the best CPU for video editing is the software that you are using. Certain softwares are very lightweight,i.e., low-intensity, and does not require any kind of advanced processing unit. They function efficiently even with a CPU having a lower RAM or lesser amount of cores.

However, if you are using professional editing software, then amp up your processor specifications as per your requirements. More RAM (8GB to 16GB), with at least a quad-core processor and 4GHz of clock speed, is required for smooth and unobstructed performance.

13. Unlocked For Overclocking

Certain performance-intensive tasks tend to cross the frequency limit of a particular processor. This results in overheating. There is a maximum limit for clocking to prevent damage due to overheating, such as the burn out of the CPU. Beyond this, the overclocking limit is not available to the user in case of a locked CPU.

When this overclocking frequency is made available to the user, it is referred to as an unlocked desktop processor. Furthermore, if overclocking is available, you need to be more careful as the CPU might burn out. Also, most companies don’t cover overclocking damages in warranty, so you have to be careful.

14. Fan Noise

In an integrated cooling system, the CPU tends to come at a higher price range than the one without it. Therefore, if you don’t already own a separate cooling system, prefer buying a CPU with an in-built cooling mechanism. It is crucial to protect the computer components from damage by overheating.

However, be aware of the amount of noise of the fan inside the cooling system. Loud noise from the fan can be bothersome while working, especially during quiet hours. It could also be an indicator of faulty machinery, and you should replace or repair it as soon as possible.

15. Warranty

Since processors are generally built-to-last, they are quite durable. The tray processors come with extended periods of warranty up to 2 years after buying. At the same time, the majority of boxed processors do not have an extended warranty period. Certain damages, such as overclocking or fall damage, are not covered in the warranty. Therefore, look for a fresh and damage-free product while buying.

Here we offer selected choices to help you settle for a good CPU for your desktop setup for video editing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. CPU Important For Video Editing?

CPU is crucial for the process of video editing. Many a time it is said that GPU is more important. Well, both have their essential requirements and are equally important. While using video editing software such as Premier Pro, the CPU determines how quickly you can accomplish editing tasks. In certain other softwares, it is dependant on the computing power of the GPU. CPU’s computing power is mainly utilized in two ways for video editing. Encoding and exporting the videos. Generating video previews during the editing process. A 6-core CPU would be a great idea if you are looking to build a powerful PC that can support all your video editing software. Generally, the higher the resolution of the video you’re editing, the more you will benefit from a faster CPU. A processor with multiple-cores and threads will help you process accurate results in a shorter amount of time.

Q2. How Many Cores Do You Need For Video Editing?

In a processor with multiple cores, the processing is done by each core separately. The system views each core as a separate CPU. This allows for a faster system because it allows your computer to run multiple programs and tasks at once. For video editing, a multiple-core processor with four or more cores works best. Hyper-Threading feature allows the CPU to split up the resources, and each thread is seen as two virtual cores. This further improves the speed and efficiency of work.

Q3. What Computer Parts Are Important For Video Editing?

Video editing mainly requires the CPU, the RAM, the GPU, LCD monitor, and the hard drive storage. The CPU controls all the major functioning of the computer. Processing of information along with running different applications, everything is done by the processing unit. A big factor to keep in mind while assembling your PC for video editing is the hard drive storage. The 500GB SATA HD typically available on most computers is not big enough. A high definition video takes up a vast amount of capture space so that you will need at least a 2TB internal hard drive storage. In case this is not available, be prepared to expand your internal hard drive with a 2TB external. Graphics card is the major hardware that specifies the basic details of your editing process along with a compatible CPU. Higher performance and quality can be expected with the graphics card. It makes your video editing application more responsive, especially if you employ 3D transitions and other special effects like animations and slides.

Q4. How Much RAM Is Needed For Video Editing?

A typical computer bought in the store might come with an existing 2GB to 4GB RAM. Although 4GB will be sufficient to an extent, it is not enough for professional and high-end video editing softwares. They require more advanced specifications, including more storage space. A minimum of 8GB to 16 GB works best and enables a smooth and undisrupted video editing experience. Coupled with high processing speed from a processor with higher cores, this could result in the perfect set up as the best CPU for video editing. The more the RAM, the faster the results will be, and it won’t cost you a lot. Affordable processing units with large memory storage are available in the market and online stores.

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