Build A Video Editor Computer

The last part of production is the editing.

A video editing computer runs a non-linear editing (NLE) program to edit videos. Video used to have to be edited in the order that the footage was filmed (linear editing). However, footage can now be digitized and stored on a computer. A user can then use an NLE program to access the footage and edit the footage in whatever order he or she desires. An NLE requires a computer that can perform well enough to handle the rigors of video editing.


1. Install the processor on to the motherboard. The processor needs to be able to handle a heavy processing load, so the faster the processor the better. The motherboard needs to be compatible with the processor. In addition, the motherboard has its own chipset that it uses to help process information. The better/faster the chipset, the better it is for performance.

2. Install the CPU’s heatsink/fan onto the motherboard. The heatsink/fan unit that is included with the CPU may or may not be adequate for cooling the processor. As the processor works, it heats up, which in the long term could damage the CPU and cause it not to work. Some CPU’s are known for “running hot”, so they may need a heatsink/fan that is from a different manufacturer.

3. Install the RAM onto the motherboard. The RAM should go in next to the processor. NLE’s take up a lot of memory while running and processing (called rendering) video. Having as much RAM as possible helps to render video faster and provides smoother performance. In considering RAM, a 32-bit operating system (such as some Windows XP and Vista versions) is limited to 3 GB’s of useful RAM, so it is recommended to get a 64-bit operating system to maximize the amount of RAM that can be used.

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4. Install the power supply into the case, making sure the AC connector is to the back of the case. Screw the power supply into the case at the four screw holes on the back of the case. The power supply needs to be strong enough to power all of the components of the system and should be at least 500W.

5. Install the motherboard into the case by screwing it into the case at the screwholes around the edge of the motherboard and one in the middle of the motherboard. The case should be large enough to fit the motherboard, but also should provide adequate ventillation to keep the system cool.

6. Insert the hard drives into the case, and screw them into the case along the two points on each side of the hard drive. It is recommended that one hard drive should only contain the operating system and programs. The rest of the hard drives should be left for storage. Digital video takes up a lot of storage space. Hard drives should spin at 7200 rpm and should be SCSI or SATA. Another option is to use solid state hard drives (SSD), which are much faster than regular hard disc drives, but as of March 2010, SSD drives are very expensive for large capacity drives.

7. Insert the disc drives into the case. The disc drives can be pushed in back first from the front of the case and screwed in at the sides of the drive to the in the same way the hard drives were. The kind of disc drive to install depends what the needs of the editor are. If the editor needs to export the final edit to DVD or Blu-Ray, then those drives should be installed in the computer.

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8. Install the Video card into an open PCI-X slot on the motherboard, screwing it into the case at the back of the case. The video card is important because it will give accurate display of the video being edited. In addition, a video card with its own memory and processor is important because it helps to render video and graphics faster without putting extra stress on the system’s processor.

9. Connect the Power supply to the system. This includes connecting the motherboard, hard drives, disc drives and possibly the video card.

10. Connect the drives to the motherboard. SATA cables should connect to the back of the hard drives and disc drives to the motherboard.

11. Close the case.