How to Build a 6K Video Editing PC for $1,500 (2021 Edition)

Following up on building a budget 4K video editing PC, there is another helpful guide for those who need a little more power to handle 6K or more intense 4K video editing for a reasonable price. This is likely where many serious shooters should start as while a budget PC can do a lot (especially today), making the extra investment on the front end can save loads of time and money.

Again it comes from Matt WhoisMatt Johnson, showing us all the components he put together to create a 6K video editing PC for just $1,500. It’s again based on AMD’s Ryzen architecture and will make quick work out of your new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, RED KOMODO 6K, and Panasonic S1H footage.

Never built a PC before? Don’t be intimidated. Putting this all together is actually easier than it seems if you closely follow the instructions. However, Johnson isn’t doing the tutorial here—there are plenty of those online. Also, there are some upgrades recommended if you want even more juice from your computer.

Kicking things off with the brain of the computer, or CPU, Johnson recommends the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X. Using 8 cores you’ll be able to handle difficult footage well and it’s in the so-called “sweet spot” of price to performance. Want more? the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X bumps up to 12 cores for a couple hundred more.

CPUs will get hot, and cooling can dramatically impact performance during longer editing sessions. The 3700X comes with a fine stock cooler – no need to spend more if you don’t want. Now, the 5900X doesn’t come with a cooler. If you go for the upgraded CPU you should pick up the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. It’s a solid, affordable option. Even better than that is water cooling if you are up for it.

Image Credit: Cooler Master

Hosting the processor and connecting all your components is the motherboard. Doesn’t seem too fancy but you’ll want to make sure you have all the right connections. The MSI MPG B500 GAMING EDGE WIFI AM4 ATX Motherboard will do the trick. Be warned, you might need to update the firmware (BIOS) of the motherboard for the upgrade CPU pick. Not a big deal, you just need to download a file to a USB drive.

Memory next. You’ll want at least 32GB and the Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2x16GB 3200 MHz DDR4 Memory Kit has everything you’ll want. If you editing higher resolution footage or longer projects you may run up against memory limitations. In these cases go for the 64GB pack with 4 x 16GB. You can also upgrade with another pack of two later on.

Storing your OS and applications benefits from speedy drives. The best today are NVMe SSDs. These are actually coming down to reasonable prices and a good bang-for-buck drive is the Samsung 1TB 970 EVO NVMe M.2 Internal SSD.

Image Credit: Samsung

There are bigger drives, but I personally don’t think you’ll need it. You should stick to just the OS, apps, and core documents on the internal SSD. Your video files are still best on fast external SSD due to the space requirements.

Fun times ahead! The graphics card. If you even remotely follow tech and/or gaming news you’ll probably already know there is a major GPU shortage this year. Just, nothing is going right for getting the latest cards, especially since they are so good this year.

One thing to note is that as long as you are going for a reputable brand (MSI, ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, ZOTAC, PNY, etc.) they are mostly interchangeable. Brand-specific tweaks are not game changers. To help, Johnson lists three affordable cards and three more expensive options. You should hopefully have an easier time finding one from this list:

Cheaper:

  1. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
  2. AMD Radeon RX 5700
  3. AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT

Retail price for the above is around $400.

Upgrade:

  1. AMD Radeon RX 6800
  2. AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
  3. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080

Retail price for these is about $600-700.

One warning is that due to changes in taxes and construction the prices of graphics cards are going up from their original retail price. There’s a lot of volatility in the graphics cards market. When you have your mind made up and find a card it’s best to jump on it quickly.

Image Credit: NZXT

The final pieces you’ll need are the case and power supply. Relatively simple pieces compared to the rest of the build. The recommendations are the NZXT H510, it’s a clean ATX mid-tower case that’ll hold everything and then some. For power, the EVGA 500BQ 500W will do the job and is semi-modular for nicer cable management. However, if you are upgrading any of the components you might need more power, so upgrade to the 650BQ.

Of course, you’ll still need a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, and anything else you might need for your setup. This is a lot of personal preference and you might have some of these pieces already. Picking these parts could be a video all on it’s own, so Johnson doesn’t go too into it.

Are you looking to build your own video editing PC?

[source: Matt WhoisMatt Johnson]

Order Links:

  • AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6GHz 8-Core AM4 Processor (B&H)
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 3.7GHz 12-Core AM4 Processor (B&H)
  • Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (B&H)
  • MSI MPG B500 GAMING EDGE WIFI AM4 ATX Motherboard (B&H, Amazon)
  • Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2x16GB) 3200MHz DDR4 Memory Kit (Amazon)
  • Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB (4x16GB) 3200MHz DDR4 Memory Kit (Amazon)
  • Samsung 1TB 970 EVO NVMe M.2 Internal SSD (B&H, Amazon)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Graphics Cards (B&H)
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Graphics Cards (B&H)
  • AMD Radeon RX 6800 Graphics Cards (B&H)
  • AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Graphics Cards (B&H)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Graphics Cards (B&H)
  • NZXT H510 Mid-Tower Case (B&H, Amazon)
  • EVGA 500BQ 500W Semi-Modular Power Supply (Amazon)
  • EVGA 650BQ 650W Semi-Modular Power Supply (Amazon)

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