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I've learnt and done some video editing in Blender and I would like to buy a computer that gives me more power. What should I look for? As much RAM as possible? Will a GPU card make a difference?

Remark: It's only video editing in Blender, and lots of encoding with ffmpeg. No 3D or gaming. I'm particularly interested in knowing wether the GPU would make a substantial difference in that context or if it's better to simply aim for as much RAM as possible.

  • Considering the additional details in the comments below (you are just video editing, no 3d stuff), i have still to ask for your input and output formats (codec, bitrate, framerate, resolution). With the current info you gave, you do not need a strong GPU, in blender it is just used for 3d stuff. For ffmpeg you could get one that supports NVENC and NVDEC. Current recommendation: Fastest harddrive you can get (M2 ssd), Fastest CPU you can get (Quad minimum, Clock speed over number of cores). 16GB RAM should do it, the RAM speed dont matter a lot. – Harry Dec 15 '17 at 21:12
  • @Harry I encode my 1920x1080p60 projects first in Blender as H.264 "lossless" (I guess it means the highest quality available, the files are ridiculously big) and LPCM audio in AVI container, then I transcode with ffmpeg to the final formats, usually at least two, one for DVD pal and another as 1080p60 H.264+AAC in MP4 container for archival purposes. I will probably use H.265 and VP9 in the near future too. That's all. I want real time speed when moving the cursor over the footage in Blender, and also transcoding speed. Does the GPU matters? – Mephisto Dec 16 '17 at 18:48
  • @Harry I modified my comment to add that information. Please see it again, please. Input codec is usually h.264 – Mephisto Dec 16 '17 at 18:54
  • thanks for the details, you might want to edit yout question and add these details. one more query: i need to know your input framerates – Harry Dec 16 '17 at 19:14
  • @Harry The input frame rates are 59.94p and sometimes 30p, 29.9p, 25p and 23.98p. I also do deinterlacing 1080i 60 -> 1080p 60 from camcorder footage (h.264+ac3 on AVCHD container) with ffmpeg before importing it into Blender. – Mephisto Dec 16 '17 at 19:37
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Are you using it just for Video Editing or are you doing 3D graphics work as well ??

You will need to look at the minimum and recommended specs for the software you are using and make a decision really. It is hard to give a clear cut answer to these questions, as it would also depend on your budget. If you have £10000 spend then go for the biggest baddest you can get but if you only have £500 then you might be limiting yourself.

Minimum (basic usage) hardware 32-bit dual core 2Ghz CPU with SSE2 support. 2 GB RAM. 24 bits 1280×768 display. Mouse or trackpad. OpenGL 2.1 compatible graphics with 512 MB RAM.

This is quite a low requirement but the more complex work you do it will take longer to render, so getting more Ram, CPU and GPU will make things run quicker.

A Quad core CPU 8+ GB ram A decent GPU (2gb+)

The above specs are pretty much standard for most basic gaming PC's but this is where I would start, you will need to decide on how much work you are going to do and what kind of work as 3D modeling and rendering can take a while to render depending on the complexities you are doing.

  • Just video editing. In particular, will a GPU make a big difference in video editing and transcoding? No 3D. No gaming. Just video editing in Blender and lots of ffmpeg usage. – Mephisto Dec 15 '17 at 15:28
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    Why not use a NLE software like Davinci Resolve v14 which is a much better video editing platform with some great performance and exporting presets and it is free as well. the 3 biggest things you will need to have is CPU, Ram and GPU for most editing software – Adam Mann Pro Dec 15 '17 at 15:31
  • Because I've invested many hour already in Blender up to the point where I feel comfortable using it. So the GPU makes a difference in video editing, then? (No 3D). Are you using Linux? – Mephisto Dec 15 '17 at 15:41
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    Blender = Ram and GPU then will give you the best results, CPU would be the next bit as FFMPEG uses the CPU – Adam Mann Pro Dec 15 '17 at 15:44
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    Nope I use Mac, you will have to probably ask more on the Linux or Blender forums for more specific GPU's which are supported – Adam Mann Pro Dec 15 '17 at 16:03

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