Laptops for Editing

Should you Buy a Desktop or Laptop for Video Editing?

Do you really need a high-end laptop to edit your videos? Are you confused about whether a desktop or a laptop for the job would be better? Which device can ensure a smooth experience in video editing? Let’s find out.

The first thing to understand is what stage you are in as a video editor. Video editors can be generalized into three main categories Beginner, Content Creator, and Cinematographer. All of them have different goals and requirements for their device. Depending upon the condition, the decision can be taken whether a laptop or desktop would suit the needs.

For Beginners & Learners:

Any desktop or laptop, regardless of specification, would work fine for those about to start on their video editing journey. A typical home desktop or laptop can be used to edit videos, add effects & transitions, enrich them with background voice-over & music, etc. Beginners don’t need to spend on video editing applications either, and they can simply start learning with an open-source application like Blender and OpenShot Video Editor. But it takes a long time and proper guidance to learn all the aspects of video editing properly. If someone is going through a course of academic study related to video editing, having a laptop would be a plus point for sure.

How a Laptop Can Help Beginners?

As a career-oriented learner, you have to learn and hone skills on high-end video editing applications like Adobe premiere and Filmora, which require a moderate CPU. But it is not just about the CPU; it is about boosting creativity and practicing more. No matter what application you use or what tools you have learned, only real-life projects and practice can make you perfect. For that, a laptop will be helpful to keep you creative even while on the go. C creativity can intrigue you anytime & anywhere; their laptop will help you.

For a newcomer buying a high-end laptop is not recommended at all. But a laptop with a decent CPU and 8 GB RAM can really help. In the case of a big project, you can always opt for Cloud Resources. However, most of the premium Cloud resources come costly and unsuitable for a newcomer. So, I would recommend going for an entry-level laptop with a decent CPU but no dedicated GPU for a beginner. Check out the HP Pavilion Laptop 14-ec1003AU powered by Ryzen 5 5600U, inbuilt Radeon GPU, and 8 GB RAM. This device costs only 55,000 INR and will be an excellent addition to the life of a novice video editor.

For Content Creator & YouTubers: 

If you are already an intermediate-level video editor and want to monetize your skillset, then you fall into this category. Popular platforms like YouTube require quite a high level of video editing skills for better audience retention.

There are two types of content creators: Youtubers and professional/freelance Video Editors. YouTubers don’t need a high-end desktop, and a typical consumer laptop would do fine. However, if you create content related to video games or create content that involves VFX and animations, you will need a laptop with a powerful CPU and GPU.

On the other hand, professional video editors work backstage with content creators & Youtubers either on a per-project basis or full-time. It is recommended that they go with a dedicated and decent video editing setup, so they don’t face any issues.

Recommended Device for Creators

You will probably use popular video editing applications like Adobe Premiere Pro, Wondershare Filmora 9, and Blender as a professional creator. These applications run with very minimal system specs, but you will need decent CPU power to render the video after editing. Video editing is more CPU-intensive than GPU, especially when rendering. So, when buying a video editing machine, the CPU is much more important than other components.

To answer the question, I would say unless and until you are a live streamer or video game-related content creator, you should go with a laptop. Using a laptop, you can be productive all day. Especially freelancers must go with a laptop, as portability suits their lifestyle. For a professional or a freelance video editor, I would suggest going for a laptop powered by a decent GPU for better performance while rendering the videos. If you are looking for a laptop that can suffice your content creation needs, check out the HP ENVY Laptop 15-ep1087TX powered by Intel Core i9, RTX 3060 (6 GB GDDR6), 32 GB RAM, with a freaking 17 hours of battery backup.

But the gamers and video game-related content creators should go with a powerful gaming desktop. You can check out the OMEN by HP 25L Gaming Desktop GT15-0004in PC that comes with 12th gen Intel i7, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 (8 GB GDDR6), and 16 GB RAM. With that, this device features a 512 GB M.2 SSD and a 1 TB SATA HDD for a heavy-duty storage solution. Depending upon your game and streaming requirements, you might need a dual PC and multi-monitor setup.

For Cinematographer & Film Makers: 

As a filmmaker or cinematographer, you will be doing the highest level of video editing. You will need a powerful video editing setup, which will provide you with the best result, let you work with unlimited layers, and render your video output in the shortest possible time. Cinematographers will work with long videos and incorporate multiple layers of VFX, which will make the rendering very slow and time-consuming. To counter that, they can’t depend solely on the CPU, and they also need a powerful professional GPU that is meant for creators. While the most potent CPUs feature a maximum of 64 Cores, a professional GPU like the Nvidia Quadro A5000 features 8000+ CUDA cores. As a professional cinematographer, you might already know that the number of cores matters a lot during video rendering.

Best Device for Professional Editors

If doing pro-level cinematographic video editing, then it is recommended to invest in a good video editing desktop or laptop. Many movie production companies opt for premium cloud applications for their video editing studio, but freelancers opt for local systems. Whether you are a freelance cinematographer or run a media agency, studio-level results are expected from you. For such projects, along with skills, you must have a decent budget for hardware as well.

A Video editing Workstation like HP Z2 G8 Tower Workstation Desktop PC would be an excellent companion for an aspiring cinematographer. With the 12th gen Intel i7 CPU and Nvidia Quadro RTX T1000, it will be a perfect companion for any extent of video editing.

Ending Note

Depending on your project, hardware requirements may vary, for that investing in a system is always recommended. Both desktops and laptops are good enough for video editing. Having scalability in your system is always a plus, and that only can be found on a desktop. But, in 2022, laptops will provide better value for money than custom desktops. So, I would recommend going for pre-built desktops for scalability, AIO for aesthetics, and laptops for portability lovers.

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