Before You Buy a Video Editing Computer

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Choosing a video editing computer can be tricky. Many old computers won't support video editing at all, and many new computers will only work with the most basic editing software.

If you plan to use your new computer for video editing, read this guide to make sure you purchase an appropriate video editing computer system.

Storage Space on the Video Editing Computer

Digital video footage - especially high-definition footage - takes up a lot of drive space, and you'll need somewhere to put it. An external hard drive is one way to solve that problem. But if you buy a video editing computer with a lot of internal drive space, you can put off buying the external hard drive for a while.

Video Editing Computer Inputs

Look at the inputs on any video editing computer you plan to buy. For the fastest way to edit video, the computer should have a firewire input. These inputs are also called IEEE 1394 and iLink.

You will use this port to connect your video camcorder to the computer. Or, you can buy an external hard drive with a firewire input and output for storing video footage. You can connect the drive to your computer, and connect the camcorder to the drive.

A USB 2.0 port will work in place of firewire. These aren’t as fast, though, and don’t give you as many options for connecting external devices to your computer.

Your Plans for the Video Editing Computer

Before you buy a video editing computer, consider the projects that you plan to create. If you only plan on editing basic videos using free software like Movie Maker or iMovie, most new computers out there have the right inputs and plenty of storage space to fit your needs.

If you plan on editing with more powerful professional editing software, you’ll want a computer that gives you more processing power.

Upgrading Your Video Editing Computer

Of course, you don’t always know exactly what you'll be doing with your computer in the future. Your video editing needs may change, and it’s best if your computer can adapt to them. Before buying a computer for video editing, find out how easy it will be to add memory or upgrade the computer later on.​

Video Editing Computer - Mac or PC?

It's the age-old question when it comes to buying a video editing computer. The answer will be determined by your software choice and by your personal preferences.

When it comes to free video editing software, I prefer Apple's iMovie to other great alternatives. However, Movie Maker is fine, and you should consider the other uses you’ll have for your computer besides video editing.

When it comes to intermediate and professional video editing software, there are a lot more choices for PCs than for Macs. However, the editing programs that are available for Macs and great quality and many users swear Macs are more stable.

Video Editing Software Specifications

Ideally, you'll know beforehand what type of software you'll be using to edit video on your computer. If so, you can look at the minimum requirements and buy a computer that at least meets those.

What the Computer Reviews Say

Once you’ve decided on a video editing computer, make sure to check out computer reviews to find out if the computer will live up to your expectations. Reviews can point out computer drawbacks you may have overlooked, or they can point you to a computer you may not have thought about before.