Building a computer for gaming and some video editing

I don’t want a mac, but does anyone do any serious video editing on a pc? I want halflife 2 and the final cut pro hd (the pc equivalent). What kind of hardware do I need?

Mostly the same stuff you’d want for gaming: fastest processor you can afford, tons of RAM, at least one seriously fast hard drive, and lots of additional storage (which can be slower drives).

I’m not sure if any of the current video software uses any 3D accelerators in meaningful ways.

For Video.
Ram, Ram, Ram.
Fastest drive possible.

Premier is not so bad, but it still isn’t final cut.

I would grab one of Adobe’s collections because you are going to find yourself wanting After Effects for sure and probably Audition if you don’t already have sound software.


I did lots of video editing with an earlier version of Adobe Premiere (6.0 I believe) and a box that included a 1.5 processor, 512 RAM, and 80 gig IDE hard drive. It worked ok but later when I tried to put the new version of Premiere on the same box it was pretty chuggy, so as they upgrade it it becomes more demanding of course. Anyway, Premiere 6.0 was quite powerful in terms of basic editing of video shot with a Canon XL camera – full range of fades/dissolves/wipes etc., plus considerable color tweaking/filtering and what seemed to me fairly robust audio (unlimited number of audio tracks, EQ, high/lowpass filtering, mixing, etc.). The sort of video shot by that Canon camera – which is around TV quality – could be stored at full resolution at about 14 gigs per hour. Working with an 80 gig drive, this necessitated that I was judicious in what stuff I captured, but it was doable for shorter projects (up to about 1/2 hour in length). I don’t think Premiere 6.0 had any High Def capability, however, and I’m not really sure what the state of the art is these days; I haven’t done much editing in the last couple of years.

A modern gaming rig (circa 3 ghz, 1gig ram, 100+ gigs HD space) would be adequate for some editing purposes but as Chet says, more RAM and hard drive space is key. To be comfortable I’d say at least 2 gigs RAM and 250+ gigs hard drive space would be a better place to start. Not sure if you need to invest in SCSI or SATA type systems for improved hard drive speed – again I think it depends on the sort of video you are planning to edit. Straight IDE connection was sufficient to maintain the necessary throughput to playback regular video, but High Def is another matter and outside my experience.