HD Video editing - CPU or GPU


Active Member
Building a PC for the father in law and he does a lot of HD video editing so he wants the best spec for this task.

I've spec'd an i5-3570k as it gets amazing results in benchmarks and i7's don't appear to be worth the step up in cost.

However I've also spec'd a HD7750 gfx card but have read that HD editing is all about CPU not GPU so should I downgrade the gfx card and stump up to an i7? If so which one?


Standard Member
I use Sony Vegas Pro and HD Video editing is especially resource heavy. I have an I7 with 12GB of RAM and have a 40 minute HD edited video rendering to a an SSD Sata Drive (Sata 3.0) in about 90 minutes or so, which believe me I still have to keep the the rendering preview down to very low. I have the option to use GPU but choose to balance across GPU and CPU. It still crashes when editing, especially multi layer 5.1 projects. But well worth it wihen the final edit is replayed.


Distinguished Member
It's program specific, the only programs you can depend on using the graphics card processor are those where it's so much faster that they'd be impossible to run on the CPU (generally 3d graphics like gaming and modelling).

So find out what program he uses and then find out how much use it makes of a GPU and which one it can use.


My 10C would be stick with what you chose .. for video editing the step up to an I7 isnt worth it (unless you're a banker) and as long as the video card is modern it will have hardware for decoding HD video codecs. the problem you might have is in thruput , but a good/great quality SSD will do for that. And loads of ram, the more ram the better.


Active Member
Thanks all, he uses pinnacle v14 but may get adobe premiere for the new build.

I'll definitely bump up the RAM and stick with the i5 but may knock down the mobo (Z68 bit
much) and will see which gfx card works best with those programs


Sorry but I disagree with STdrez625.

An i7 CPU is multithreaded so will improve rendeing times a fair bit over a quad core/quad thread CPU like the i5's.
As for the GPU it will not get used in editing unless you are using a CUDA compatible graphics card and editing program - very few programs are. The card may be capable of being used for rendering, but the program needs to offload the processing to it for it to do the work, and most consumer level editing programs wont do this.

I do a fair bit of video editng and only use the onboard graphics of my Z68/2600K PC and it works fine with Sony Vegas Movie Studio. I also only installed 8Gb RAM as that is the sweet spot with 16Gb etc making only a small difference.



I built a video editing machine recently for a friend. He uses adobe Premiere CS5 and now lately CS6. The type of editing he does involves multiple cameras, and sound sources so has multiple files going on the timeline, all shot in 1080p. Depending on budget you should be including a 1gb+ Nvidia card as this can be used to provide hardware rendering on the preview for realtime playback at full quality using adobes mercury playback engine. This will not currently work with any ati card on the windows platform. If your father has an hd video camcorder and just shoots family events, holidays I would suggest this spec.

I5 or I7 CPU, depending on budget, minimum 8gb ram, and Nvidia card to suit budget. SSD and hard drives are down to his budget but make sure your mobo has multiple sata 3 ports to allow the hard drives to work at full speed. 7200 rpm is a must for the capturing drive if going traditional route and I would suggest a bdrw drive if budget allows.

My friend as said has his own business shooting videos and doing presentation work and we decided on this spec based on his budget.

The spec of system I built for him was:

I7 3770k
16gb ram
Gigabyte z77 mobo
Nvidia 670 2gb went this route as he would game on it as well
120gb ssd boot drive from existing setup
2 x 120gb ssd drives
2 x 1tb drives from existing setup
Lg bdrw from exiting build

Edited to reflect typo on gpu
Last edited:


Distinguished Member
Defo NVidia GPU with Adobe Premiere. The previews render on it directly, as do the main renders if the formats are set correctly.

The difference in render time can be huge, but it's all about getting the video formats correct in the set up.

Similar threads

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Home AV, TV, Tech News & Reviews, Plus The Best of July 2020
Top Bottom