We are back again with yet another PC build guide for all your video editors in need of an upgrade. This time around instead of going with some pre-built options or going for broke the focus is on something relatively affordable to all—a 4K video editing PC that will run you less than $1,000.
Videographer Matt WhoisMatt Johnson has spent a lot of time on these types of videos and goes into great detail on what components to look for and where spending some extra cash on upgrades can do you some good. It’s a great place to start as you figure out your own specific build.
This is going to be a solid machine for Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Photoshop – all the essentials for creatives. It’ll be solid for a few years, too. This video walks through all the different parts you’ll need. There are other videos if you want something more powerful.
Let’s get started.
Bringing all the components together is the motherboard. This is how all your components will be connected and be able to interface with one another. Compared to some of Matt’s other builds this one is different in that it goes with some Intel CPUs.
This means you’ll need a compatible motherboard. In this case, it is an ASUS PRIME B560 PLUS. Running about $120 you are getting PCIe 4.0 and USB-C. It unfortunately just doesn’t offer Wi-Fi on the board itself.
An upgrade pick that solves the Wi-Fi issue is the Gigabyte AORUS B560 PRO AX. An alternate solution is a cheap USB Wi-Fi adapter you just plug into your computer.
Now for the CPU. Obviously, as mentioned, it is an Intel CPU. The 11th-gen chips are going to do the job at the right price. Specifically, the key pick is the Core i5-11400F, which is a 6-core processor.
This comes in at a great price for the performance. For a little more money you can go with the Core i7-11700F and get an additional 2 cores for 8 total and a noticeable performance gain.
RAM is fairly straightforward in this case. Get at least 16GB and Silicon Power makes some that are quite affordable. For 4K video though 32GB is the better play.
Storage is fun and SSDs just keep getting cheaper. For your operating system and applications the Kingston A400 240GB will get the job done for very little money.
More space and speed is doable and the Crucial P5 Plus SSD gives a boost with PCIe 4.0 support. Keep in mind these are for your programs mainly. For videos and files to edit with then you should have a larger drive or external SSD specifically for that.
The most fun part – or what used to be the most fun – was checking out the graphics cards. Nowadays the market has made it nearly impossible to find good GPUs for reasonable prices. Trying to stick within a budget is going to require jumping through some hoops.
On that note, here are some options to go searching for that might fall within a good budget:
- MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GT OC
- MSI Radeon RX 570 ARMOR 8G OC
- ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 5500XT OC
- ASUS GeForce GTX 1660 Super
Now, you’ll be best off just looking for similar cards. Going with any of the GTX 1660s or RX 5500XTs made by any brand will do the trick. Brand loyalty is not a good plan if you want to actually find a card in stock.
The ones above are able to be found within budget, though honestly you will likely be looking to upgrade in the future.
An alternate option is to just go with a pre-built PC since that is the only seemingly reliable way to get a current graphics card. This is going to be the biggest issue for your budget. Start searching if you want to make this happen. Maybe try some local shops since you might get lucky.
Moving on, you are going to need a basic power supply. The EVGA 500 BR 500W Power Supply is a good, affordable pick. The only nuisance is that it isn’t modular so all the cables will need some help to get properly managed.
The EVGA 500 BQ is similar but semi-modular. This will help out with cable management for a cleaner build.
Finally, you need a case to hold all these components. The pick today is the Corsair 275R Mid-Tower Case. It has good airflow which is incredibly important. There are no 5.2” drive bays so you can install a CD drive if you need that. If that is important you can pick up the COUGAR MX330-G.
There are plenty of accessories to add on, but those are a very personal choice.
The last note is that if you can’t find all the components or building is just not working out the new Mac mini with M1 chip is an amazing computer for the money. It’s totally worth it especially if you prefer Mac over Windows.
Have any recommendations of your own?
[source: Matt WhoisMatt Johnson]
- Intel Core i5-11400F 2.6GHz 6-Core Processor (B&H, Amazon)
- Intel Core i7-11700F 2.5GHz 8-Core Processor (B&H, Amazon)
- ASUS PRIME B560-PLUS ATX Motherboard (Amazon)
- GIGABYTE B560 AORUS PRO AX ATX Motherboard (B&H, Amazon)
- Kingston A400 240GB M.2 2280 SSD (Amazon)
- Crucial P5 Plus 500GB M.2 2280 SSD (B&H, Amazon)
- Silicon Power Value Gaming 16GB (2x8GB) 3200MHz DDR4 RAM (Amazon)
- Silicon Power Value Gaming 32GB (2x16GB) 3200MHz DDR4 RAM (Amazon)
- EVGA 500 BR 500W Power Supply (Amazon)
- EVGA 500 BQ 500W Semi-Modular Power Supply (Amazon)
- Corsair 275R Mid-Tower Case (Amazon)
- Cougar MX330-G Mid-Tower Case (B&H, Amazon)
- MSI GTX 1050 Ti 4GT OC Graphics Card (Amazon)
- MSI Radeon RX 570 ARMOR 8G OC Graphics Card (Amazon)
- ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 5500XT OC Graphics Card (Amazon)
- ASUS GeForce GTX 1660 Super Overclocked Graphics Card (Amazon)
- Apple Mac mini with M1 Chip (B&H, Amazon)
Claim your copy of DAVINCI RESOLVE - SIMPLIFIED COURSE with 50% off! Get Instant Access!