Posted by
Member since Nov 2003
23887 posts

Video editing workstation - DIY or pre-built?

I have always only built my desktops, but I haven't had one in probably a decade. Can you still save a good bit of money building them yourself?

What I think is relevant information:

- Not a gamer
- Will run Linux
- Probably won't deal with 4K for a while
- Will store footage on NAS
- Will probably have 3 monitors

I don't have a hard budget, but you know the cheaper the better. I don't need the latest and greatest, I am a patient man and I don't care if a 10 minute video takes 20 minutes to render. I like value, bang for the buck. I have only done a little bit of mild video editing in the past, so I really don't know my arse from a hole in the ground here. All I know is I need to start producing some youtube videos for myself and my kids.

Is it ok if it just has one drive, or should I have a boot disk and a second "scratch" disk for temp video files? I'm really not sure what I'm getting into here as far as how much space will be needed locally.

I also have no idea where to start with modern cpu's and gpu's. Maybe it's just an awful time to do this given the supply chain issues and crypto mining stuff going on?

Any sort of direction would be appreciated.

The Next
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2013
365 posts

re: Video editing workstation - DIY or pre-built?
Yeah. Supply chain is going to be your biggest hurdle. Any GPUs you can find available will be crazy expensive. Just from a price standpoint, a pre-built system will be the way to go for a decent build.

But you can test your patience and piece together a system and then add a better GPU when the market corrects. Check out CG Director for some good articles and recommendations.

Here are a few things I learned as I was building mine.

- the GPU is not used as much as you think but it does help and some softwares don’t use it as all. You can get by with a “value” GPU but if you ever get serious, you will need to re-evaluate.
- the best processors are the Intel i9 and the AMD Threadrippers. If those are out of your budget, go with an AMD Ryzen 9.
- get as much RAM as you can afford
- storage should be at least a local SSD but NVMe is preferred
- if you are pulling your footage from a NAS, your render times and editing performance will be terrible. Your render times will be hours. Not minutes. Always pull the footage to your local drive and use your NAS as a backup.
- it is also recommended to have 2 local drives, a combo of NVMe and SSD. Store and edit and NVMe and render to SSD. Or at least store on one and render to a different.
- I’m sure there are some decent editor programs for Linux. I’d recommend Davinci Resolve because it is cross-platform so if you do decide to switch, there isn’t a learning curve and it gives you a really powerful editing engine.

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US Marine Corps Fan
Member since Jan 2019
17148 posts

re: Video editing workstation - DIY or pre-built?
I've been wanting to try this.

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