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Hardware for Video Editing

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Topic starter

Theoretically, because the prices are still too high, I'm thinking about a hardware configuration for video editing.
- First question: is it better to think about the future and immediately take video cards and monitors that support 10 bits, HDR and DCI-P3 (Rec2020), or stay on the 8 bits sRGB to keep costs down? I think that within a couple of years the 10 bits will be STD and the prices will drop.
- Second question. CPU: intel/AMD? GPU: Nvidia/AMD? Do AMD gaming video cards support 10 bits in Linux? As for Nvidia, do you have to use only PRO versions?
- Third question: (semiOT): Camcorder, mirrorless or smartphone)?

7 risposte

It depends on the purpose for which you want to buy this hardware. If you want to create highly professional promotional videos, documentaries or even feature films, then I would recommend the better hardware, if you only want to create videos for YouTube and learning platforms, then a simple hardware is also sufficient.

I know only a few devices that support 10Bit, most devices are still at 8Bit. I think it will take three to five years before devices with 10Bit will be accepted, until then 8Bit will be enough. In three to five years the devices will be significantly cheaper again.

Nvidia/AMD. In this question the price-performance ratio is decisive. I personally would prefer AMD, because they contribute a lot of their code to Linux, but unfortunately the graphics cards are often inferior to the Nvidia graphics cards. If you use a performance laptop, you can't avoid Nvidia. On the desktop computer AMD is certainly also usable.

To the third question: Also here it depends on the use. For vlogs on YouTube even a very good smartphone would suffice. I know a lot of YouTuber who successfully run their YT channels with mobile phones. For the somewhat higher demand on video quality, I would always use mirrorless cameras, because you have the greatest flexibility there. You can use it to film videos or take photos. The price is fair and you have a very large selection of autofocus lenses. But for real film productions you can't avoid a professional video camera. Netflix, for example, has minimum requirements for the cameras and there are almost exclusively Pro Cameras represented. The cheapest camera for Netflix costs 5000 Euro, that is the Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro 4.6. Then the Canon cameras from 9500 Euro and RED cameras from 15000 Euro and Arri Alexa from 50000 Euro upwards.
I think it's amazing that you could start as a filmmaker with a 5000 Euro camera at Netflix. Of course you also need good lenses and audio and lighting equipment. Therefore you have to spend more money than just the price for the camera. Some video production companies don't buy such equipment, but rent it because it's cheaper.

Topic starter

Thanks for the good advice.

I'm sure to go from the laptop to the fixed one; the use I make of it is, as you said, Youtube and learning the video editing; no pro or semi-pro works . I like to buy hardware that will last me many years, so I always think of something more powerful than the real need. But in this case the difference in price is really a lot and it is better to take something cheap and wait a few years for the lowering of prices for the 10 bit.
A fairly advanced configuration could be (but I accept any advice):
- Cpu AMD Ryzen 2700 (12C/24T - Cin works better with many CPU cores)
- 32GB of RAM (or even 16GB plus any future upgrades)
- GPU nvidia 1060 - 1070 (but lately drivers give problems in Linux and the price is too high for nvidia policy)
- AMD Polaris 580 (still cause problems, but open source drivers are growing more and more)
- For the monitor I accept any advice. I have a Spyder5, so it must have a good performance after calibration.
Pierre in an old post said he felt good about  three 23" ASUS VC239H; other tips, maybe 27" QHD? (I don't want to go over 27" for space problems).


Hm, my six-year-old monitor can do 12-bit: "12-bit internal processing enables 1.07 billon colours and helps distinguish very low grayscale tones to deliver greater level of details in dark areas." I know what you mean, but does it matter in practice? Just like the cameras mentioned above, each station has its own ideas for different program formats. Sometimes telephone cameras are used here as well. Much more important is compliance with standards for color spaces like sRGB and Adobe RGB etc., because that concerns you.

> "Cin works better with many CPU cores"

Yes and no. Video editing in general works better with many CPU cores. Effects, however, still require a powerful CPU on one core. The new AMD 3000 series should have both capabilities. Otherwise I recommend a CPU without built-in graphics, the performance is higher and a separate graphics card is usually always bought.

Topic starter

Thanks for your advice. I was thinking of waiting for the Ryzen 3000 to come out and then taking a discounted Ryzen 2700: is the difference in single core performance worth the expense?
Is Nvidia with CUDA essential for video cards or is AMD also fine (it supports 10 bits without using Pro or Quadro)?
For the monitor I bought a Dell UP2716D that supports very well the color spaces up to 98% of the DCI-P3. But it doesn't have 10 bits and is uneven in terms of brightness and hue.


According to reports some editors are very satisfied with the Ryzen 2700 (65 Watt). The question I am asking myself is, how much less expensive does using the CPU warrant for the next 4-6 years? Especially since the announced price for the 3600 (6K/12T, 3.6/4.2 GHz) is below the current selling price of the 2700 (8K/16T, 3.2/4.1 GHz). It remains to be seen how the comparisons will turn out. Interesting is the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X (8K/16T 3.6/4.4 GHz, 65 W). (All data without guarantee, they have taken over from ex ante infos for the own search for the next optimal PC.)

The disadvantage of the AMD graphics cards is the comparatively high power consumption with the same performance. My computers are not only video editing workstations, but mostly 24/7 as servers online.  So I am for less running costs. CUDA? I don't know, CGG doesn't need it, programs like Premiere can use it. Have a look at the package management of your distribution, which program uses CUDA.

What always gets into the background is the mainboard. It must be powerful enough to deliver the IO data reliably and on time.

> "For the monitor I bought …"
Wonderful monitor for image editing. I have the model UltraSharp U2711 and I need a new one after six and a half years.
> "But it doesn't have 10 bits and is *uneven* in terms of brightness and hue."
But that shouldn't happen, best exchange it immediately.


How quickly and unexpectedly some things change. The programmer retired for a week and started implementing CUDA. Whether it will work as expected or become an LV2 thing again I can't say. There's just no recognizable goal in the development, the programmer does what he's interested in right now. On my site I have dedicated a chapter to hardware, I'm talking about my hardware only being used to about 45 percent of its capacity and that the frame rate continuously decreases during playback from plugin to plugin, without the hardware being used more. Rendering is only a small part of the process, it's done at the very end and can happen at night while the editor sleeps. So if you think you want to buy hardware especially for CGG you should run your own tests with average projects in your own way and include the results.

Tl;dr: Geforce RTX 2060

andreapaz Topic starter 18/06/2019 4:54 pm

I think just like you. But you have to consider that the optimization and implementation of GPU-assisted computing, etc. are also a big problem for Kdenlive, which can count on multiple developers. Only big software houses can afford that work (and Blender, but I don't know how many developers it has). Unfortunately, new developers are not coming.

For the video card now I'm oriented to Nvidia, even if it has a policy of rising prices that I just do not like. Beyond the GTX 2060, and waiting for the new "super" versions, there is also the 1660ti, cheaper. But they have 6GB of Vram, a 192-bit memory bus, and only 8-bit color support. With a much smaller cost you could take an "old" AMD RX580 which has 8GB, 256 memory bus bits and also supports 10-bit color. High power consumption and heat could be limited with an undervolt, but I'm not sure it can be done in Linux (in win is trivial with WattMan).


Here are some Basic specs to look for when buying a computer for video editing:

Memory/RAM: 8-32 GB RAM or as much as you can afford.

Processor: Multi-core Intel i5/i7/i9

Storage: At least 256 GB hard drive, 7200 RPM, preferably SSD (fastest)... buy as much as you can afford, you can always add external hard drives.
Graphics card: Depends on video editing software. For example, Premiere Pro and Davinci Resolve do well with both AMD and NVIDIA. (Minimum 2GB memory)
Operating System: Windows 7 (64 bit edition), Mac OS X, Linux (Your OS will likely determine the editing software you go with)
Nice size screen – 19-21 inch minimum
Firewire or Thunderbolt Port built in or as an external dock.

A hard disk drive is a hardware that is used to store and retrieve data on your computer and laptops. It is a non-volatile storage medium, so it is widely used to store data. It is used to store personal as well as professional data. But suppose if you lose all your data in it due to some logical failure, physical damage or sudden due crash of hard drive. And you don’t even have its backup...

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phylsmith2004 26/08/2019 6:08 pm

I like the advice "buy as much as you can afford".  Including AMD Ryzen and other AMD CPUs as an equally good choice in the Processor category is warranted in keeping with affordability.  Both GG and I have been using AMD CPUs for development/testing of Cinelerra for years