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Question
I want to know the minimum computer specs I would require to do the following using video editing software: Import let us say 4 full HD video files, cut out unwanted areas of those files, merge what ever is left of those 4 files to create just one file and then finally exporting that one file to either AVCHD or BLURAY format. I am  asking this question because I had heard that atleast a recent  intel quad core processor(core I5)ranging from sandy bridge to the latest haswell would be required. I also heard that atleast 4gb ram and a recent average powered graphics card would be required to speed up the video encoding process. I am of the opinion that even a less powerful computer(for example core I3, 2gb ram, no graphics card) will do the job but will take much longer to do it. is this correct or not? If yes, could the processor, for example, be damaged due to the strain put upon it by the video editing process?

Answer
First, let me say that I am not an engineer or computer tech. I'm just an end user so I'm going to answer your question from that standpoint.

It's going to depend a lot on what software you're using. I use Adobe products so when we build a system, we just hit their website and check out their minimum requirements. Surprisingly, it doesn't take an extraordinary computer to operate these systems anymore. Determine your software and then see if you can find the required specs online.

I think you're right about the processor. Faster is better, of course, but not absolutely required. You just have to expect it to take longer and you might even run into a few hiccups here and there but I think that as long as you have a reasonably new processer, you'd be fine. I have a super-old computer at home (like maybe 8-10 years old) and I can still edit on it. It won't handle the large file sizes needed for HD but I have done some hefty SD projects on it without too many issues.

I also don't think the video graphics card RAM is as critical as you might think. From what I've been told, you'll want a decent amount of video RAM but the massive amounts you see on some cards is aimed primarily at gamers. Us video folks don't actually require it. A good graphics card, however, would be helpful. I always get one that supports dual monitors. Once you edit video that way, you will have a hard time going back.

The biggest suggestions I have are these: 1) Get a second hard drive installed to hold JUST video and audio. Your computer will operate much faster and efficiently that way. Use C drive for software and the second drive for the files. DO NOT use a standard USB external drive. It's not fast enough. USB3 seems to work well on my laptop but an internal drive would be best. 2) Get as much RAM as you can afford. Yes, you can get by with less but you'll be happy you have it when you're in the middle of the project. It will help the program run more smoothly while editing and should speed up the render as well. Trust me...nothing is more frustrating than trying to edit your video and you have to keep waiting for it to play smoothly or you keep getting freezes or it keeps locking up. It sucks. RAM is cheap. Load up.

Some of this advice may be a little old school (I've been doing this for almost 30 years) but I've bought several systems over the years and these are the things that have worked so far. The good thing is the costs of a good system is very affordable right now and a fairly standard computer will pretty much work with a few tweaks.

Good luck.

R

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R. Ferguson

Expertise

Some technical knowledge in connectivity, systems, cameras, image/video software. I am better at project development, scripting, organization, conceptualization. I know Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, AfterEffects, some Avid, and some others but am no real expert on them. I also have knowledge in multimedia.

Experience

Wel over 20yrs of various TV/video production experience. B.S. degree in TV Production from James Madison Univ. Taught TV production at a community college for 5 yrs.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications (Radio, TV, Film); James Madison Univ., Harrisonburg, VA

Awards and Honors
Telly Awards, Communicator Awards, Ava Award, Virginia Community College Associatiopn awards, National Council for MArketing and Public Relations Awards, CAB Award, and others.

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