Building an 8K Editing PC for $2,000 (2021 Edition)

Starting with a guide to build a budget PC for 4K editing and then a guide for a mid-range 6K machine, we now want to look into getting setup with something to handle 8K. This is no joke, but it’s possible to get this done today for around $2,000. That’s totally reasonable considering the expected performance and that many future cameras are pushing the resolution even more – think Blackmagic’s 12K camera.

Again we have filmmaker Matt WhoisMatt Johnson, with a list of parts to build this machine yourself. Based again on AMD’s impressive Ryzen architecture, you will be able to create and upgrade to create the ideal PC for your editing needs.

Obviously again, we are going to start with the brain of the computer: the CPU. The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X comes in with a great balance of price to performance. Retailing for $550, this 12-core CPU can power through many editing processes. There is an upgrade option if you can spare the cash – the 5950X. This jumps up to 16 cores for serious performance boost. This is good if you want to get ready for 12K.

Along the CPUs, you’ll need some cooling. Higher-end processors don’t actually come with stock coolers. In this case a good fan pick is the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. Or, you could upgrade to water cooling. Water cooling is much more efficient and the NZXT Kraken X63 is a contained system most people should be able to install this easily.

Image Credit: NZXT

Bringing all the components together is the motherboard. This is where everything connects and they bring a ton of built-in features. The Gigabyte X570 AORUS ELITE WIFI is the motherboard to pick. It has everything you’ll need to get running.

Memory is always critical to getting stable, responsive performance with a PC. 64GB is a good place to go. As for the exact model, Johnson trusts the Corsair Vengeance LPX, available in a 2 x 32GB kit. There’s room to add later if you want too, pick up another kit and get to 128GB RAM.

Storage time! Since most editors will be working off fast external drives and be rotating them out or using arrays, the focus of your build should be on the drive that hosts the operating system and applications. This is what makes general operation speedy. For that NVMe SSDs are unmatched, and among the best today is the Samsung 980 PRO. Pick up a 500GB and you’ll be good.

Image Credit: Samsung

Ideally, if you want the fastest editing performance, you’ll want a second SSD to hold the files from your active project. You could also load up the machine with a ton of SSDs and HDDs for bigger storage concerns.

Graphics is a fun part and there is a ton of news here. Unfortunately, there appears to be a massive shortage of supply and they are tough to find. Because of this, Johnson provides a selection of cards to choose from. If you find one, jump on it.

This list is recommendations from low to high, budget will adjust accordingly.

  1. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
  2. AMD Radeon RX 6800 
  3. AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
  4. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090
  5. AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT

The final pieces of the puzzle are the case and power supply. You don’t need anything elaborate and the clean looks of the NZXT H510 are great. It’ll do the job.

Image Credit: NZXT

Last is the power supply. You’ll need some juice here and the EVGA 850W power supply will do it. However, for the upgrade components, you’ll be better suited to a 1000W model.

The speakers, monitor, mouse, etc. are a lot more personal, though Johnson does have some recommendations.

What do you think of this build?

[source: Matt WhoisMatt Johnson]

Order Links:

  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 3.7GHz 12-Core AM4 Processor (B&H, Amazon)
  • Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (B&H, Amazon)
  • Gigabyte X570 AORUS ELITE WIFI AM4 ATX Motherboard (B&H, Amazon)
  • Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB (2x32GB) DDR4 3200 Memory Kit (Amazon)
  • Samsung 500GB 980 PRO PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD (B&H, Amazon)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Graphics Card (B&H, Amazon)
  • AMD Radeon RX 6800 Graphics Card (B&H, Amazon)
  • AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Graphics Card (B&H, Amazon)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Graphics Card (B&H, Amazon)
  • AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Graphics Card (B&H, Amazon)
  • NZXT H510 Mid-Tower Case (B&H, Amazon)
  • EVGA Supernova 1000 P2 1000W Power Supply (Amazon)
  • EVGA 850 BQ 850W Power Supply (Amazon)
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 3.4GHz 16-Core AM4 Processor (B&H, Amazon)
  • NZXT Kraken X63 All-in-One Liquid CPU Cooler (B&H, Amazon)

Claim your copy of DAVINCI RESOLVE 16 - SIMPLIFIED COURSE with 50% off! Get Instant Access!