The Best CPU’s For Video Editing On The Market

These days, you can edit your video at home from your phone, laptop or desktop computer. The CPU is one of the essential components on your computer when it comes to video editing. Any video editing software you choose to use is dependent on the speed of the CPU. Unless you want to spend tedious hours editing, you should get a system with a CPU that is optimal for video editing. 

Let’s take a look at some critical information about CPUs to help you decide which is the best CPU for video editing on the market today.

Comparison Table

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CPU FAQs

  1. 1What is the CPU?
  2. 2What does a CPU do?
  3. 3What are the components of a CPU that matter in video editing?
  4. 4What should consider when buying a computer for video editing?
  5. 5What is the best video editing software available?
  6. 6What are the steps to video editing?
  7. 7Where can you buy a CPU for video editing?

What Is The CPU?

The CPU of a computer is the central processing unit. It is what makes the computer, smartphone, or tablet do what it is supposed to do. For all that responsibility, it is only a small chip contained within the motherboard. 

Tiny transistors are placed onto this single chip to create the CPU. Those billions of transistors permit the chip to do all the calculations needed to run the programs that are on the system’s memory.

Each laptop or desktop device has a dedicated CPU. AMD and Intel have CPUs that have integrated graphics chips and memory.

What Does A CPU Do?

The CPU receives commands from an application or program and then does some calculations. The system’s RAM generates instructions. The CPU fetches that information which is decoded and finally executed by the appropriate components in the CPU.

A specific sequence of numbers represents everything on your computer. So the activity that the CPU does may have some arithmetic, comparison or movement of these numbers. The CPU doesn’t do every activity that it receives instructions for. In some cases, it delegates the task to the specific component that does the action.

What Are The Components Of A CPU That Matter In Video Editing?

CPU Chipsets And Socket

The processor you choose determines the motherboard options you have since each CPU only works with a particular set of chipsets and CPU socket. The chipset facilitates the communication between the CPU and other devices and limits how many devices the motherboard can handle.

​The processor you choose determines the motherboard options you have since each CPU only works with a particular set of chipsets and CPU socket. The chipset facilitates the communication between the CPU and other devices and limits how many devices the motherboard can handle.

Cores

The CPU processor is called a core. When computers were just getting started, every processor had one core which could handle only one task at a time. Nowadays, CPUs have multiple cores, typically between two and eighteen on a single chip. Most computers have at least a dual-core. The more cores a computer has, the more efficiently it runs. For video editing, you should choose a processor with at least four cores.

​Some processor’s use multi-threading or hyper-threading to create virtual processor cores. These virtual cores, also known as threads, are not as powerful as a physical core but can improve performance substantially. Animation programs and video editing run faster with more threads or virtual cores.

Clock Speed And IPC

Clock speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz). This measurement indicates how many commands a CPU can execute per second. Generally, a faster clock means that the processor is more rapid. Clock speed is also known as PC frequency, CPU frequency, and clock rate. 

IPC is the abbreviation for instructions per clock cycle. This number lets you know how many tasks the CPU can complete in each period. 

The clock speed, number of cores, and IPC are combined to create the overall CPU performance. The IPC rate varies based on the tasks. For video editing, the number of cores is a bit more substantial than clock speed.

What Should You Consider When Buying A Computer For Video Editing?

There are some minimal requirements you should look for when buying your computer in addition to the processor to do video editing.

The memory or RAM should be between 8 and 32 GB. At least 16 GB is ideal. The computer should have at least 256 GB and 7200 RPM for storage. However, you can add external hard drives as needed. The graphics card should have at least 2 GB of memory, but the type depends on the video editing software you intend to use.

The Thermal Design Power (TDP) is the amount of heat a chip generates measured in watts. This number is essential knowledge so that you can be sure the CPU cooler can handle the heat generated during operation. Higher TDP typically indicates faster performance.

The CPU onboard cache improves the speed of data access between the RAM and CPU. There are three kinds of caches. L1 cache is the fastest. L2 is more substantial but less rapid. L3 is the largest but also the slowest. The cache stores the data the CPU needs. When information isn’t stored in a cache, the CPU has to retrieve instructions directly from the RAM, which is a slower process.

The video editing software you choose is dependent on the operating system. Linux, Mac OS and the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 are good choices. Choosing a computer with good screen size is also essential. You don’t want to strain your eyes during the editing process.

What Is The Best Video Editing Software Available?

Professionals will want to go with the Adobe Premiere Pro software package. Mac professions should consider the Apple Final Cut Pro X software package. Both have an unlimited number of video tracks and multicam editing. Both support 360° VR Content and 4K XAVC-S Format. And both export to H.265 (HEVC).

Good choices for video editing enthusiasts include CyberLink PowerDirector, Corel VideoStudio Ultimate, Magix Movie Edit Pro Premium, and Adobe Premiere Elements. The main difference between these types of software is the number of video tracks available.

Corel VideoStudio Ultimate has the fewest video tracks with just 50 tracks. CyberLink PowerDirector has 100 tracks. Magix Movie Edit Pro Premium has 200 tracks while Adobe Premiere Elements has unlimited tracks.

What Are The Steps To Video Editing?

It’s probably the easiest to buy a computer that already has the CPU you want installed on it. However, if you are building a computer, online computer parts stores have a plethora of CPU makes and models that you can buy separately. You should make sure that the CPU you buy is compatible with the rest of the computer components by using an online compatibility checker.

How We Reviewed

In determining the best CPU for video editing, we consulted reviews written by expert video editors. We looked at the number of cores each CPU has as well as the number of threads. We also considered clock speed and price.

Overall Price Range Of CPUs

CPU prices vary greatly. Many times, but not always, the more cores and higher clock speed there are, the more the CPU will cost. Basic CPUs can cost as low as $250. On the other end of the spectrum, high-end CPUs might cost as much as $3000.

Top 10 CPUs For Video Editing

As we’ve seen, the CPU you need depends not only on the operating system of your computer but the video editing software you will be using. Some software needs lots of cores while other software requires faster clock speeds. We’ve included options for both in our top 20 CPUs for video editing list.

1. AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX Processor

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  • 32 Cores
  • 64 Threads
  • 3.0 GHz Clock Speed
  • Pro: 80 MB of combined cache
  • Con: Expensive, high TDP

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX Processor has 32 cores with 64 threads making it the fastest processor on our list. It has 80 MB of combined cache divided into 3 MB of L1 cache, 16 MB of L2 cache and 64 MB of L3 cache. This large cache combo allows for fast access to the data.

The base clock speed is 3.0 GHz while the Max Boost Clock speed is 4.2 GHz. The TDP is 250 W, which requires an excellent cooling system. The Threadripper 2990WX supports Windows 10, RHEL x86 and Ubuntu x86 64-bit operating systems. It’s the best CPU for playing back and decoding RED Footage. 

2. Xeon W-3175X

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  • 28 Cores
  • 56 Threads
  • 3.1 GHz Clock Speed
  • Pro: number of cores and threads
  • Con: costly

The Xeon W-3175X processor has an outstanding 28 cores and 58 threads. The clock speed is about average at 3.1 GHz and 3.8 GHz Max Turbo Frequency. The TDP is a whopping 255 W and requires a powerful cooling system. Power consumption is also quite high with the Xeon W-3175X as is the price tag.

3. Intel Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition Processor

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  • 18 Cores
  • 36 Threads
  • 3.0 GHz Clock Speed
  • Pro: Fast and powerful
  • Con: Expensive

The Intel Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition Processor has 18 cores and 36 threads. The clock speed is 3.0 GHz with a Max Turbo Frequency of 4.40 GHz. It has 24.75 MB of SmartCache. The TDP is 165 W. The i9-9980XE is best for those that need high multithreaded power and specific supporting technologies like video editing software.

4. AMD Threadripper 2950X

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  • 16 Cores
  • 32 Threads
  • 3.5 GHz Clock Speed
  • Pro: Reasonably priced
  • Con: Need quad-channel memory for best performance

The AMD Threadripper 2950X comes with 16 cores and 32 threads. The clock speed is 3.5 GHz with 4.4 GHz Max Boost Clock. The combined cache is 40 MB divided into 1.5 MB of L1 cache, 8 MB of L2 cache and 32 MB of L3 cache. The TDP is 180W.

The Threadripper 2950X is compatible with Windows 10, RHEL x86, and Ubuntu x86 operating systems. It performances better, runs cooler, costs less, and uses less power than comparable Intel i9 Core processors. It does require quad-channel memory for the process to provide you with the best performance, however. 

5. AMD EPYC 7351P 

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  • 16 Cores
  • 32 Threads
  • 2.4 GHz Clock Speed
  • Pro: number of cores and threads, price
  • Con: lower clock speed

The AMD EPYC 7351P has 16 cores and 32 threads. However, its clock speed is only 2.9 GHz with a Max Boost Clock of 2.9 GHz. The TDP is variable, running between 155 and 170 W.


While the AMD EPYC 7351P has ample cores, its clock speed is lower than other models we looked at.

6. Intel i9 9960X

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  • 16 Cores
  • 32 Threads
  • ​3.1 GHz Clock Speed
  • Pro: higher memory bandwidth
  • Con: Expensive

The Intel i9 9960X comes with 16 cores and 32 threads. The clock speed is reasonable at 3.1 GHz with 4.40 GHz Max Turbo Frequency. It has 22 MB SmartCache and a TDP of 165 W. The higher memory bandwidth compared to some processors improves the performance of memory-bound tasks. 

7. ​Intel i9 9940X

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  • 14 Cores
  • 28 Threads
  • ​3.3 GHz Clock Speed
  • Pro: powerful
  • Con: Requires more power to run

The Intel i9 9940X has 14 cores with 28 threads. This high number of cores allows the CPU to run multiple processes and multithreaded tasks. The base clock speed is 3.3 GHz, and the Max Boost Clock speed is 4.4 GHz.


It has 19.25 MB SmartCache. The TDP is 165 W. The i9 9940X requires more power than other processors to run. It is also clocked slower than other Intel i9 processors. 

​8. AMD Ryzen 3900X

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  • 12 Cores
  • 24 Threads
  • ​3.8 GHz Clock Speed
  • Pro: Inexpensive
  • Con: No integrated graphics

The AMD Ryzen 3900X has 3.8 GHz clock speed with a Max Boost Clock of 4.6 GHz. The TDP is 105 W. It has two memory channels on a DDR4 memory type. It boasts 12 cores with 24 threads.


The Ryzen 3900X is economical and packs a punch both with the number of cores and high clock speeds. It has a large 64MB L3 cache and overall low power consumption. It does not have integrated graphics, though. 

​9. Intel i9 9900K

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  • 8 Cores
  • 16 Threads
  • ​3.6 GHz Clock Speed
  • Pro: integrated graphics, low TDP, price
  • Con: does not work as well with Red Footage software

The Intel i9 9900K has eight cores and 16 threads. The 3.6 GHz clock speed converts to 5 GHz Max Turbo Frequency. It has 16 MB SmartCache, and the TDP runs at 95 W, which is exceptionally cool as far as processors go.

 
The i9 9900K has Intel UHD 630 graphics integration. It does not work as well on RED Footage software as some processors because of the lower number of cores and threads. 

10. ​Intel i5 9600K

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  • 6 Cores
  • 6 Threads
  • ​3.7 GHz Clock Speed
  • Pro: speed, TDP
  • Con: low number of cores and threads

The Intel i5 9600K has six cores and six threads, not as many as other processors in the list. However, the clock speed is fast at 3.7 GHz with 4.60 GHz Max Turbo Frequency. The TDP is only 95 W. If you are on a budget, this might be the processor for you. 

Which Is The Best CPU For Video Editing?

Experts agree that the Intel Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition Processor is currently the best CPU for video editing. The 18 cores and 36 threads coupled with the 3.0 GHz clock speed and 4.40 Max Turbo Frequency make it a powerful processor. It carries a hefty price tag, however.

If you need something more affordable, the AMD Ryzen 3900X processor is a great choice. It has 12 cores and 24 threads. It also has a higher clock speed and Max Boost Clock than the Intel Core i9-9980XE.

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