Deciding on the best computer to buy to video edit with in 2022 is no easy decision. There are so many requirements for video editing and every computer has many different configurations, making the decision feel all the more daunting.
The good news is that I have a run down of the Top 10 best computers for video editing this year, all with varying price points so that you can get the best for your budget.
At the bottom of this article I have a breakdown of what you should be looking for in a video editing computer but for now let’s look at the Top 10 PC’s for video editing in 2022.
- Apple Macbook Pro (16-Inch 2021)
- Apple iMac (27-Inch 2020)
- Microsoft Surface Studio 02
- HP Envy Desktop
- Apple iMac (24-Inch 2021)
- Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10
- Apple Mac Mini (M1, 2020)
- Apple Mac Pro (2019)
- Dell XPS 8940 Special Edition
- Lenovo Yoga A940
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Top Ten Best Computers for Video Editing
1. Apple MacBook Pro (16-Inch 2021)
CPU: Apple M1 Max 10-Core Chip | RAM: 32GB Unified RAM | Graphics: 32-Core GPU | Screen: 16.2″ 3456 x 2234 Liquid Retina XDR Screen | Storage: 1TB SSD | Ports: Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, SDXC slot
- Powerful M1 Max SOC
- Extended battery life
- Audio performance
- HDMI out & SD card reader
- Higher-end configurations are very expensive
- Weight (nearly 5lbs)
The 16-Inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Max chip starts at $3,500/£3,300 while the M1 Pro version starts at $2,500/£2,400.
Ok, so the new Apple MacBook Pro might not be what you were expecting as the top spot for the ‘best computer for video editing’ due to it being a laptop BUT you cannot underestimate the power that comes with those M1 Max chips!
Until the M1 Max Mac Pro or even iMac Pro comes along, the MacBook Pro will reign over even the most kitted out desktop computers for sheer video editing performance.
Released in October 2021 with the option of either the M1 Max or the M1 Pro SOC chips, this laptop can achieve editing of multiple 8K streams of video in real-time without rendering, even on the M1 Pro chip. The M1 Pro version is actually twice as fast as the 2020 MacBook Pro and with the M1 Max it is twice as fast again!
If editing 8K video without transcoding or rendering sounds like it could eat your storage in less than a week then rest assured knowing that you can configure the 16-Inch MacBook Pro with up to 8TB of storage. You can, of course, also employ the power of a 10Gigabit NAS setup, as I have talked about here:
One of the big advantages of the 16-Inch MacBook Pro is the M1 Max chip but it’s also the 16.2 inch screen size for getting more screen real estate when editing on a laptop. However, keep in mind that if you move around a lot that the 16 inch version is 20% heavier than the 14 inch version and significantly heavier than the older Intel MacBook Pro’s (100-200g).
The 14-Inch MacBook Pro does not offer the M1 Max chip but the M1 Pro is still mighty compared to most of the other computers in this list.
Built for all types of creatives, including developers, photographers, filmmakers, 3D artists, music producers, and more, the Apple 16.2" MacBook Pro with M1 Max Chip is the ultimate pro mobile workstation for the ultimate user.
2. Apple iMac (27-Inch 2020)
Screen: 27-inch Retina 5K display (5120 x 2880) | CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i9 | Graphics: Radeon Pro 5700 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Storage: 256GB – 8TB SSD
- Low-Glare Display
- Enhanced Graphics Performance
- Robust Audio
- Improved Internals
- Design is old
- Only two Thunderbolt ports
The Apple iMac 27-Inch starts from around $1,700/£1,300 and moves up from there with customization of parts.
Mac lovers love this iMac, they’re not shy about it and they’re not wrong either. It is the trusted Mac for video editing, capable of great performance for considerably more value than some of its siblings. This is ultimately why it grabs the top spot, the power/performance vs value/affordability ratio.
“But the new M1 iMac is out now?” I hear you ask.
It is but the M1 chip (and now M1 Pro and M1 Max in the Macbook Pros) has integrated graphics whereas the iMac 2020 has the dedicated discrete card which is ultimately more powerful at the higher-end graphics performance that is required when video editing.
For those of you now working from home, it has an upgraded webcam and in-built microphone.
The design (though now older) is still solid and the form-factor makes it easy to set up in any situation.
The excellent 27-inch Retina 5K screen makes brilliant use of the DCI P3 color space for vibrant color reproduction.
We would definitely recommend upgrading the standard 256GB Fusion Drive to the 512GB SSD, improving read and write operations on either the i5 or i7 version of the iMac.
Take your creative ideas from conception to completion with the 27" iMac with Retina 5K Display from Apple. Intuitive and packed with powerful tools, an improved processor, graphics, memory and storage, and enhanced audio and video capabilities.
3. Microsoft Surface Studio 02
CPU: Intel Core i7-7820HQ | Screen: 28-inch 4500×1300 resolution IPS display | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB -GTX 1070 8GB | RAM: 16-32GB | Storage: 1-2TB SSD | Ports: 4xUSB 3.0; 1xUSB-C; SD card slot; Gigabit Ethernet; 3.5mm headphone jack | Size: 63.7cm x 1.3cm x 43.9cm x 1.3cm (WxDxH) | Weight: 9.56kgOS: Windows 10
- Powerful Graphicd
- Brighter High-res Touch-Sensitive Display
- Decent iMac Alternative
- PCIe SSDs
- Performance Improvements Over Last Version
- Contrast Ratio
- Out of Date CPU Compared to Rivals
- Expensive for What You Get
- Port Placement
- HDR and Thunderbolt 3 Unavailable
The Microsoft Surface Studio 02 starts from around $3,700/£2,800.
The Microsoft Surface Studio 02 is an all-in-one PC that is THE contender against the Apple iMac lineup.
In fact, the Surface Studio 02 screen is a whole inch larger at 28 inches AND it is also touchscreen, something iMacs do not possess. The resolution of the large 28 inch screen is a stunning 4,500 x 3,000 pixels.
The internals are starting to become a bit outdated now, especially when you are comparing to the new M1 series of chips from Apple. It runs on a Kaby Lake processor and utilises an Nvidia RTX 1070.
However, if you are looking for an all-in-one running Windows then the Studio 02 is your best bet for editing video, competently and confidently. It also features a hefty 2TB SSD internal storage for all your media files!
Another plus for this PC is the fact that you can use a pencil to animate on the screen. Meaning that you could be rotoscoping or moving masks around right there on the screen! It basically has a Wacom Cintiq built into it.
And as you know, I love editing with a graphics tablet. I have a whole article on how it can speed up your workflow right here:
So, if you’re in the market for an AIO alternative to the iMac then look no further.
Bring big ideas to life with performance that fuels processor-intensive software. Edit stunning photographs. Run circles around renders. Create rich 3D graphics for every reality.
4. HP Envy Desktop (TE01)
CPU: 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7 8-Core | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: 16GB 2933 MHz DDR4 RAM | Storage: 1TB M.2 SSD | Ports: 1 x Gigabit Ethernet Port, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A & C, USB 2.0 Type-A
- Sleek chassis design
- Solid productivity from i7 8-core CPU
- Good port options
- Fast M.2 SSD storage
- No discrete graphics card
- Limited room for internal upgrades
- Only one USB 3.2 port
- No Thunderbolt 3 port
Starting at around $1,350/£1,300 and moving up from there.
Coming in at number 4 and firmly in the mid-range section is the HP Envy desktop, namely the TE01. It is a solid desktop PC that will act as a workhorse without breaking the bank.
This is by no means an iMac Pro or Macbook Pro M1 Max killer but it is dependable. With an 8 core i7 2.9GHz processor and a base starting configuration of 16GB RAM, your read and write operations should feel fast and efficient. You can upgrade (at the time of purchase) that base line RAM as well. To add to this you get a fast 1TB M.2 SSD to store and edit your media from.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 2060 graphics card, is definitely starting to show its age in this machine and for heavy lifting of 4K footage or complicated timeline exports it may struggle compared to some of the newer RTX cards.
However, what you can’t beat with the PC is the price point. Unlike the Apple computers above you will not be breaking the bank with the HP Envy desktop and you will have a PC that is more than capable of throwing some edits around.
Designed for snappy processing and CPU-intensive tasks, this desktop boasts a 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7-10700 eight-core CPU and 16GB of 2933 MHz DDR4 RAM. It also comes with a 1TB SSD.
5. Apple iMac (24-Inch 2021)
CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU | Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory | Screen: 24-inch 4.5K Retina display | Storage: up to 2TB
- Excellent screen quality
- Updated design
- Webcam, speakers and mic are of great quality
- Large 24-inch screen
- Powerful M1 processor available
- Gaming and multitasking is better on Windows
- Lack of ports
- No discrete GPU
The Apple iMac 24-Inch M1 starts from around $1,500/£1,200 and increases in price depending on your customization of parts.
The 24-Inch iMac introduced in 2021 from Apple was a big departure from the previous iMac designs and indeed the previous internals too. We now have Apple silicon in the form of the M1 powering the iMac for the first time.
The new design sports a range of colors that hark back to the old Apple Mac days and a bigger screen of 24 inches compared to the previous 21.5 inches (not counting the 27-Inch version).
The new M1 chip takes the baseline iMac to a whole new level of video capability with the power to play back and edit 8K footage in real-time (if you go for a favourable ProRes flavour).
Is this M1 iMac as capable as the other Apple offerings above? Well, no but it is more affordable and it looks awesome (depending on your side of the bezel debate). I’d highly recommend maxing out on the configuration options when buying, if your budget can allow it. It will future-proof your set up for that bit longer.
If you do need more power than the M1 can provide and want an all-in-one format then the iMac Pro is still the solid option ahead of the M1 Pro/Max Macbook Pro.
Experience the power and performance of the Apple M1 Chip with the Apple 24" iMac. The Apple M1 integrates the CPU, GPU, Neural Engine, I/O, and more into a single system on a chip (SoC). Tackle your projects with the fast 8-Core CPU and take on graphics-intensive apps and games with the 8-Core GPU.
6. Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10
CPU: Up to AMD Ryzen 9 5950X | Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 | RAM: Up to 128GB 3200MHz DDR4 | Storage: Up to 2TB SSD + 2TB HDD
- Powerful top end specs
- Modern design
- Lots of customisation
- RGB (not for everyone)
- Probably over specced for many who could suffice with cheaper parts
Top configurations are around $3,250/£3,000.
The Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 is getting on a bit, however it is one of the great AMD PCs that you can still get your hands on as the R12 is no longer an AMD build and has moved to Intel chips. Which is no bad thing but video editing and motion graphics work on the AMD R10 was nothing short of effortless.
The design is not for everyone (personally I like it!) and it is expensive but what you get it a class act system that is well built, robust and works out of the box with no fiddling about.
Packed with a Ryzen 9 5950X and an Nvidia RTX 3080 to boot you are not going to come a cropper when it gets to export stage on your project. Media handling in your timeline should be an absolute breeze also with 128GB of DDR RAM making read and write operations as smooth as butter.
The configuration above comes with a 2TB SSD for fast media read and write capabilities and then another 2TB HDD for archival purposes. If you are not in the realms of NAS storage just yet then this is a solid set up that hold you in good stead for a fair while yet.
However, this is probably one of the most expensive non-Apple computers in this list. It is a worthy machine though.
The new Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition desktop gives you the power to develop and explore new worlds with AMD Ryzen 7 3700X (8-Core, 32MB L3 Cache, Max Boost Clock of 4.4GHz) processor. Designed for powerful, intelligent and efficient creative performance.
7. Apple Mac Mini (M1, 2020)
CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8-core | Graphics: Integrated 8-core | RAM: 8GB – 64GB unified memory | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions (W x D x H): 19.7 x 19.7 x 3.6 cm
- Same great design
- Excellent performance
- New M1 SOC inside
- Can’t use eGPUs
- Not ideal for 4K
The Mac Mini (M1, 2020) starts at $699/£699 for the base model and moves up with configurability options.
Somewhat of a surprise entry from Apple in the M1 lineup of dekstop-based PCs was the updated Mac Mini. This powerful, yet small sized and low priced unit was never seen as a video editing PC when it was Intel based, it just couldn’t handle it. However, with the M1 chip inside and some more updated hardware too, this new version is actually a very good entry level PC for video editing.
Starting with the base model, the Mac Mini 2020 contains the Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 16-core Neural Engine with 256GB SSD. There are four expansion ports at the back for either USB or Thunderbolt external storage, plus HDMI 2.0 to simultaneously support two displays.
If you were a fan of the internals of the 24-Inch iMac above but not so much a fan of the price then this could be the clincher for you. The M1 Mac Mini contains many of the same hardware internals at the 24 inch iMac but at a significantly lower starting price point.
The unit is so small, 1.4 x 7.7 x 7.7 inches, that you could even choose to make this portable without too much issue. One of the features I like about it is that you can also choose (when configuring before you buy) to add 10 Gigabit Ethernet for highspeed networking. Great for use with 10G NAS storage! Check out my article on that to find out more.
Overall, the M1 Mac Mini is a solid choice for budget-conscious Apple fans who want something with enough power to edit proficiently but that don’t need the power (or the price tag) of something like a Macbook Pro or Mac Pro below.
The Apple M1 chip takes Apple's versatile, do-it-all desktop to another dimension. With up to three times faster CPU performance, six times faster graphics, and their most advanced Neural Engine for up to 15 times faster machine learning.
8. Apple Mac Pro (2019)
CPU: up to 28-Core Intel Xeon W | Graphics: up to AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo | RAM: up to 1.5TB | Storage: up to 8TB SSD | Communications: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, 2x 10Gb Ethernet | Dimensions (W x D x H): 21.8 x 45.0 x 52.9 cm
- Modular – can update components
- The price tag
- Design is not for everyone
The most expensive in the Apple lineup, this PC starts at around $5,999/£5,999 and move quickly up from there when you start to customize.
This particular PC is no longer sold on Apple’s website (we’re expecting an M1 update very soon!), however, it is still able to be purchased from other stores and if you have a healthy budget and need some serious Intel-based firepower then this is the video editing PC for you.
Yes, it’s eye wateringly expensive, but the Mac Pro is highly customizable and due to it’s ease of configurability you can create a workstation that can absolutely fly through some of the tasks that would make a normal Intel-based PC start to buckle and break.
Now, unusually for Apple, the Mac Pro 2019 is actually upgradable and you can add in more components yourself to keep the computer up to date with current tech advances and prices, for years to come. Making that initial investment a little more palatable.
The Apple Mac Pro’s design isn’t for everyone and for many this amount of performance power (and the price tag associated with it) may well be overkill but if you need the very best performance out of a video editing PC, this is the machine to get.
Designed for professionals who want to push the limits of what a Mac can do, the Mac Pro will serve those who require extreme CPU performance for workflows such as production rendering, 3D film animation, 8K compositing, building complex 3D environments, analyzing huge data sets and running multiple pro applications.
9. Dell XPS 8940 Special Edition
CPU: up to 10th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB | RAM: up to 32GB | Storage: up to 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD
- Great design
- Powerful high-end build
- Top end configuration is expensive
The configuration above will retail for around $1,500/£1,500 but as it’s highly customizable you may find better hardware at better price points.
The Dell XPS Special Edition desktop PC is especially good for videographers who are looking for a creative workstation that is up to the job but that also is within budget. This particular PC has similar specs to some premium workstations but at a significantly lower cost, making it a great entry-level video editing computer too.
The XPS Special Edition has plenty of connections available and the full-sized SD card slot on the front will come in especially handy for videographers, as well as the USB type-C port on the front too. It also has thermally controlled fans, so unwanted noise won’t be an issue with this PC.
Yes, the i7 is starting to show its age but with some decent RAM, the RTX 3060 Ti, the right storage setup and editing process workflow you should be flying with this PC for a few years yet. If you are considering this PC then I would highly recommend maxing out the configuration wherever your budget will allow (it will take up to 64GB of RAM).
Create without limits using the all-new XPS Desktop. Featuring powerful performance, a minimalist design and a highly expandable chassis. 10th Gen Intel Core processor-powered XPS desktop that handles your creative projects with ease.
10. Lenovo Yoga A940
CPU: Up to AMD Ryzen 7 4800H | Graphics: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: 32 GB DDR4 | Storage: Up to 1TB M.2 SSD + 2TB HDD | Display: 27″ 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS, DCI-P3 99%, Adobe RGB 99%
- 27″ Ultra HD 4K 10-point multi-touch screen
- Built in card reader
- All-in-one design
- Outdated components
- Pricey for non-Apple All-In-One
Competing with iMac AIO systems the Lenovo starts at around $2,500/£2,150.
This AMD-powered All-in-One Windows PC may not be as powerful as the iMac Pro but if you’re not an Apple fan and still want a decent selection of features optimized for creative work then this just may be the PC for you.
The built-in 4K display comes with optional 99% Adobe RGB colour gamut and DCI-P3 99% colour space, and can be fully rotated to portrait mode (if that’s something you’d like to be able to do).
The 32GB of RAM that the A940 comes with will help speed up rendering and you can select up to an Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card to help with any demanding editing or rendering. Unfortunately, this will probably fall a little short of the mark in terms of GPU power in the next couple of years but for modest HD editing work this won’t hold you back.
With up to 1TB of SSD storage and plenty of ports you shouldn’t have an issue with connectivity and storage.
This may be coming towards the end of the its lifespan but if you really don’t want to enter the Apple ecosystem and you want an All-in-One solution then the A940 is a good choice, for now.
For a complete all-in-one solution on a Windows PC the Lenovo Yoga a940 is a great option. It has a built-in 27-Inch touch screen for complete creative control over all your projects.
So there you have it. Ten of the best computers for video editing that you can get your hands on in 2022.
Some of these PCs may become obsolete or unavailable as the year goes on but I will try to update the page as often as I can to keep give you the best tips for spending your budget wisely.
There are is a mixture of computers listed above that cater for all sorts of needs, so do read carefully and be sure to make your own opinion before opting to buy.
What Should You Be Looking For in a Video Editing PC?
Well, that depends on what it is you are intending to do with it. If you are purely video editing then your PC hardware needs will be different from that of a motion graphic designer for example.
I’ll give a brief description of each hardware category and what you should be keeping an eye out for.
The better the CPU the more actions you can execute at the same time. However, for video editing this isn’t actually the most crucial element of a computer and is more of a component that makes more of a difference for After Effects users for example.
Where it does become a factor is when you have multiple storage locations for your media that need to accessed at the same time.
RAM and your CPU go hand in hand. Having more RAM is never a bad thing but having the most amount of RAM you can get your hands on isn’t as useful as the next component, the GPU. That being said, again After Effects users will want as much RAM as they can afford for using in their RAM previews.
Video editors will want at least 16GB in their system.
For video editors, this is a hardware element that really does make a difference and can speed up export times significantly. You also get GPU accelerated effects that will be noticeably slower on older GPUs. Get the PC with best GPU your money can afford.
If your budget can afford it then an Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 Ti or AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT will help out your timeline significantly.
This is definitely something video editors needs to consider. If you don’t want to be messing with external drives and/or NAS systems and want to edit directly from internal storage then your money will be well spent on a PC with a lot of storage.
For more on what to look for when buying a video editing PC then take a look at my dedicated article right here:
If you found this list of video editing-capable PCs useful then why not check out my article on the best Synology NAS to go with your new video editing PC?