Our Picks of Best CPU For Video Editing

Best CPU For Video Editing

Publushed by:

Martha Davis

Last updated:

Winner: Intel Core i9 9900K Desktop Processor

Short summary

Our top pick is the Intel Core i9 9900K processor.

What makes this processor stand out is the number of cores.

Being an 8-core monster with a 3.6GHz base frequency, you can edit your videos without any interruptions. If you’re looking for a processor that can handle heavy video editing for 4K/8K videos, you’ll find this Intel processor a lifesaver as you can extend it to 5GHz. You can also stream, record, and do your edits with this processor without network issues.

The desktop processor runs on LGA 1151 socket and a 95W TDP. You don’t have to worry about the processor overheating when editing videos, as it comes with STIM cooling material to enable heat transfer from your CPU to the cooler. That means you can overclock the processor. The CPU also works for entry-level gaming, and you can run other apps.

Other notable features include 16MB of cache, 40 PCle slots, integrated graphics card, and single/dual flow workloads.

Overall, the Intel Core i9 9900K desktop processor is an excellent CPU with high RAM and exceptional overclocking technology. In addition, the processor makes your editing a breeze as it’s fast, and its high memory capacity allows you to work with complex data without lots of work.

Quick Facts



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Intel Core i9 9900K Desktop Processor

Runner-up: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16-Core Desktop Processor

Short summary

Are you looking for the best high-end video editing CPU?

Well, your search ends here.

The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X is the best CPU processor for video editing. You no longer have to spend a lot of time rendering an HD video as the 3950X has a high clock speed to reduce the rendering time.

With the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X, you get more threads and cores to make the video editing process fast, but this will come at a high cost.

Under this processor, find AMD’s 7nm Zen 2 architecture, 32 threads, and 16 cores. Other features include 105W TDP, a 4.7GHz boost clock speed, and a 3.5 GHz base clock speed. In addition, you can render fields or encode/decode with ease, including 8K/4K footage.

The Zen 2 cores optimize computing performance by using the available resources. Unlike the previous generation, this processor comes with 15% higher instructions per cycle and 2X floating-point capabilities to enhance performance. With the Zen 2, you can expect combined performance and maximum energy efficiency.

Professional video editors will love the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X as it can handle plenty of video editing thanks to the 32 threads and 16 cores. As a result, you can expect unmatched performance with this CPU in video editing. Another impressive aspect is that the processor also doubles up as a streaming and gaming CPU. That makes it perfect for anyone who enjoys streaming and gaming, apart from video editing.

The processor’s Turbo Core mode and high native frequency help with power adjustment to deliver performance in video editing, gaming, 3D modeling, and other tasks. The 64MB L3 cache allows ultra-fast processing of instructions with minimal latencies.

The only downside is that the Ryzen 9 3950X comes at a premium price, making it unsuitable for a budget. Note that the processor doesn’t come with a cooler, and you have the freedom to pick a classic cooler or water cooling.

Quick Facts



Recommended product
Intel Core i9 9900K Desktop Processor

Alternative: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X 32-Core Desktop Processor

Short summary

Are you a content creator looking for a powerful video editing processor?

Then, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X desktop processor is all you need.

Featuring 32 cores and 64 threads, the 3970X processor is designed to deliver unmatched performance when handling heavy video editing. As a result, it’s a top competitor to Intel Core i9-10980XE.

Although the manufacturers produced it as a gaming processor, you’ll find that its features also work well with video rendering and editing. Video animators and graphics enthusiasts will love how this multithread processor works as it can comfortably handle animations, game designing, and video development.

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper is designed on high-performance x86 Core zen two architecture that provides the highest multithread and single-thread performance of any desktop processor.

On the downside, the Threadripper processor doesn’t come cheap and may not be the right choice for those on a budget. Beginners would be better off with the Intel Core i9-9900K or the AMD Ryzen9 3950X. However, suppose you have a considerable workload and need at least 32 cores and a processor with an overclocking capability of up to 4.5GHz. In that case, you can invest in the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X.

Quick Facts



Recommended product
Intel Core i9 9900K Desktop Processor

Alternative: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor

Short summary

If you’re looking for an all-rounder processor that can handle multithread tasks and gaming perfectly, you should check out the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Desktop Processor.

It’s designed for graphic-intense work and video editing. Unlike the Intel i7-8700k, the Ryzen 5 has more computing power and is more affordable compared to the Ryzen 7 chipset.

In addition, having simultaneous multithreading capabilities means the Ryzen 5 doubles the processing cores, which gives you an edge over some intel equivalents.

On the downside, this processor may take time when handling heavy video editing tasks as it only has 6 cores and 12 threads. Nonetheless, with some overclocking, you can take this processor to higher speeds.

Overall, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor is best suited for light video editing tasks and is ideal for anyone looking for a decent CPU at an affordable price.

Quick Facts



Recommended product
Intel Core i9 9900K Desktop Processor

Alternative: Intel Core i5-11600K 6-Cores Desktop Processor

Short summary

The Intel Core i5-11600K comes with six cores and provides a GPU, making it ideal for your video editing needs.

Being an 11th Generation desktop processor, it delivers exceptional performance while competing with AMD 5600X. Other great features include the hex-core Rocket Lake lineup that boosts the clock speeds.

You can overclock the processor as it comes with unlocked multipliers. The Intel i5 delivers more with its hyperthreading feature and costs less. Intel goes ahead to add the Xe GPU architecture, PCle 4.0 support, and the 14nm chip to give you a feature-rich CPU capable of handling light editing tasks and gaming.

Overall, the Intel Core i5-11600K Desktop processor comes with improvements from the previous version. It’s affordable and comes with decent features to help you with your regular video editing tasks. While it may not be the most powerful processor, it still gets the work done.

Quick Facts



Why Should You Invest in a Quality CPU?

You’ve probably heard people recommend a quality processor, but why does it matter? Some of the benefits include:

Go Beyond the Norm

As a video editor, you don’t want to have the same quality of videos as your competition. The problem is that getting any CPU won’t help you go beyond the norm.

You need to invest in the best CPU for gaming and video editing if you want diversity in editing. A 6 or 12 core processor will allow you to edit high-resolution videos and add graphics as you please.

Faster Processing

You can only achieve fast processing with a quality CPU. A processor with 12 cores will cater for heavy file editing and will also allow high resolution.

The more the cores, the faster the processing and the .time it will take to finish the task.

Enhanced Video Quality

A quality CPU ensures that you get the best results when editing your videos. A modern CPU with at least 16GB RAM will give you a 4K resolution.

Reduced Lagging and Heat Moderation

Heat regulation is essential when dealing with a processor.

The best thing is that modern CPUs have thermal regulation components that help with heat dissipation and ensure there are no delays in the editing process.

Complete Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best CPU for Video Editing

Despite there being several processors in the market, not every CPU is ideal for video editing. Surprisingly, the most expensive processor may not be a good CPU for video editing.

Below are some essential factors to look out for whether you’re looking for a budget CPU for video editing or need a high-end processor with all the features to improve the quality of your videos.

Clock Speed

Clock speed impacts your video editing process as the more the clock speed, the quicker it is to render the videos. Therefore, a processor with a high clock speed and fewer cores is better than one with low clock speed and more cores.

Having a high clock speed makes the software responsive, especially when dealing with complex effects. However, note that you can’t transfer the effects to other cores, which is why you should be careful when selecting the best CPU for 4K video editing.

However, if you’re looking to edit videos at 8K or 4K resolution, you should opt for a processor with high clock speed and more cores. Also, look for processors that support automatic dynamic overclocking when the workload increases.

Threads and Cores

Video editing software requires lots of computing power to function as it uses every core available to render the videos quickly. You need at least six cores for a regular video editing job.

The more the cores, the faster the system makes it easy to run different programs simultaneously. Apart from the rendering speed, the cores also affect how files are encoded into reproducible formats, previews, and responsiveness when operating different programs.

You’ll find that a processor like the Intel Core i5-9600k comes with six threads, but you need a CPU with 12 threads for fast video rendering. Video editing, encoding, and rendering a 4K video will require a 6-core, 12-line processor. However, if you’re willing to splurge, you can get the AMD Ryze Threadripper 3970X that comes with 64 cores.

Rendering Time

Timing is everything when editing your videos. You don’t want to spend hours waiting for the processor to transforms your edits into a finished video.

Investing in a processor with fast rendering is critical if you need a quick turnaround. However, you can skip rendering time if you don’t have pressing deadlines.

Type of Resolution

4K and 8K video resolution demand a powerful processor. Although shameless powerful CPUs might handle 4K, you may find their slow rendering frustrating as this is a resource-intensive quality. When dealing with 4K or higher resolution footage, choose powerful CPUs with the necessary features like high thread and core counts to edit your videos.


The more RAM your processor has, the better it is for you. With 8GB, you can do the basics like several open tabs, play videos, and use certain graphics. However, if you’re using programs like AutoCAD or Adobe Premiere, you’ll need more RAM.

16GB RAM should be enough to run these programs, but note that you may need to go higher when editing 2K or 4K resolution videos.


Although all PCs come equipped with a fan, a CPU will need a water cooling system or fan. While you may opt for a cooling fan, it’s advisable to get the water cooling system to enable overclocking. Remember to check if the cooler is compatible with your processor.

Power Consumption

When editing heavy files, you may notice that the processor may overheat quickly, which means that it’s also consuming lots of energy and could disrupt your work.

The best Intel CPU for video editing should consume moderate to low power. That not only cools the processor but also reduces your utility bills.


Another critical consideration when choosing a CPU is storage, as video editing requires plenty of space. You may have to store the raw footage of edited videos or keep various versions.

Most CPUs will have SATA drives as they are affordable. However, they can be slow and clunky to boot. You can opt for hard drives or go for SSDs, which are faster than HDDs.

Don’t forget to look for other specifications like graphics cards. NVIDIA and AMD are suitable for Davinci Resolve and Adobe Premiere Pro users. The operating system is also essential. Windows 10, Linux, and Mac OS X will help with the video editing process.

High Cache

Most CPUs have an onboard cache that makes your work fast and also improves the speed of data. This component also stores data that your processor may need for future work. If information isn’t stored in the cache, the processor must work harder to bring instructions from the RAM.

Inbuilt GPU and Micro-Architecture

Modern CPUs have a built-in graphics processor to save on power consumption and money. In addition, the inbuilt GPU handles GUI processing and ensures smooth video playback.

Applications like PremierePro, AfterEffects, DaVinciResolve. And FinalCutPro uses the GPU as they involve lots of video transitions and effects. That means if you’re planning on adding some effects to your video, you need to ensure that you get a GPU that matches the CPU you plan on buying. This will reduce the rendering time.

However, note that if you don’t need any additional effects and you’re okay with a straight video, you’re better off investing in a quality CPU as the GPU won’t have any role.

Another factor you should not ignore is the micro-architecture, as it determines the processor’s chip size, overclocking ability, motherboard compatibility, and the operations you are running each time.

CPU For Video Editing FAQ

Is AMD or NVIDIA better for mining?

Beginner miners are better suited with AMD cards as they are affordable. AMD cards are also known for their performance.

A good example is the Radeon Vega 64, which can mine coins on different algorithms with a high hash rate.

Nevertheless, there’s a catch. Nvidia cards are simple to use. You can overclock to configure them depending on your needs. Moreover, Nvidia cards outshine the AMD cards as they work better on different algorithms and are more potent than AMD supports.

You’ll find that AMD cards work well on Cryptonight and Ethash algorithms, but Nvidia cards outshine them on other algorithms and aspects. However, note that Nvidia cards will be costly despite their efficiency and versatility.

How long will GPU mining last?

GPUs consist of high-end, rigid components that are meant to last despite the constant heating and cooling resulting from video editing, gaming, or rendering.

Most GPUs will last at least three years, with five years being an average lifespan.

Does mining ruin your GPU?

The only way mining will ruin your GPU is if you choose to run it above 80 degrees and higher for a long time.

That’s because the mining process produces excess heat, and running this setup at a high temperature could damage your GPU and reduce its lifespan.

However, you should note that mining isn’t the only thing that can affect your GPU’s lifespan. Processing data, playing energy-intensive games, or editing heavy files could wear out the GPU.

In addition, some people may choose to overclock their GPU to improve their gaming performance or get better hash rates, but this can also ruin the GPU.

Caring for the hardware components will help lengthen the lifespan of your GPU, whether you are using it for mining or gaming.

Do GPU fans die?

Yes, GPU fans do die.

You’ll know that your GPU fan is dying if graphic glitches are experienced while playing games, experience abnormal fan performance, or your computer crashes suddenly and won’t go on.

Fortunately, you can replace the fan and enjoy more efficiency.


The best CPU for video editing will depend on your video editing tasks and budget.

Heavy workloads will demand high cores and threads to reduce the rendering time and fasten your workflow.

Our best CPU for video editing is the Intel corei9 9900K desktop processor, as it comes with overclocking technology. Eight cores and 16 threads and can be used for streaming, editing, and gaming.


Intel Core i9 9900K Desktop Processor

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