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The best desktops for video editing in 2020

Video editing takes a lot of work not just on your end, but on the computing side as well. While any PC can perform simple edits, you need a beefy machine to handle video at a 4K resolution and higher. That’s why we love the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition PC. It packs a super-powerful, 16-core AMD 3950X CPU, with an Nvidia RTX 2080 Super for all the performance you need.

But it’s not the only one we love. Here are five of the best desktops for video editing you can find right now starting from the standard tower down to a little miniature workstation.

The best desktops for video editing at a glance:

The best

Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition

Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition

Dell’s Alienware Aurora isn’t just a gaming powerhouse: It’s a beast for video editors too. Under the hood, we chose AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X 16-core processor simply due to its high thread count (32) versus its low cost compared to a similar Intel CPU. Backing this chip is Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER discrete GPU packing tensor cores designed for machine learning and supersampling, as well as a high-core count and clock speed for attacking 3D rendering and effects tasks with ease.

Outside these two chips, you can configure Dell’s desktop with up to 64GB of HyperX Fury system memory. It also supports dual drives: Up to 2TB on an M.2 primary SSD and up to 2TB of a 7,200RPM hard drive for data. The connectivity options are insane, however, with multiple USB -A 3.2 Gen 1 ports on the front and even more on the back, offering higher and lower speed USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 and USB-A 2.0 connectivity. Wi-Fi 5 connectivity right out of the box makes getting online and connected easier than ever, though there’s also an upgrade option for Wi-Fi 6 if you need extra network bandwidth.

The rest

Apple iMac Pro

Apple iMac Pro

If you want an all-in-one PC, Apple’s iMac Pro is a solid choice. The starting price is a hefty $4,999 and it goes up by a lot if you configure it with better, more expensive components. Still, there’s a lot of horses stampeding behind the 27-inch screen, like up to Intel’s 18-core Xeon W-2191B processor and up to an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64X discrete GPU. You can even configure this all-in-one monster with up to 256GB of system memory running at 2,666MHz. You want video-editing power? You got it.

The IPS display packs a hefty 5,120 x 2,880 resolution at 60Hz and a 500-nit maximum brightness. For storage your options are limited, ranging from 1TB to 4TB on a PCIe NVMe SSD. Your ports are limited as well, offering four USB-A (5Gbps), four Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps), an SD card reader, and a headphone jack. The big plus here is an Ethernet port that supports 10Gbps transfers, getting you ready for the future. This AIO includes built-in speakers and Apple’s “magical” peripherals.

Corsair One Pro i180

Corsair One Pro i180

Gaming company Corsair dipped its toe into the compact workstation space with the Corsair One Pro i180. Measuring just 7.87 (D) x 6.79 (W) x 14.96 (H) inches, this Mini-ITX desktop packs a punch thanks to a selection of Intel CPUs, including the Core i9-9920X processor with 12 cores and 24 threads. It’s complemented by Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 or RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards and up to 64GB of system memory running at 2,666MHz. The only task getting in the way of your video editing is this workstation’s huge gaming potential.

For storage, configurations include 500GB or 1TB on an M.2 NVMe SSD paired with a 2TB 5,400RPM hard drive. Connectivity includes three DisplayPort outputs supporting three 4K displays connected simultaneously, an HDMI port on the front for VR headsets, a few USB ports supporting 10Gbps transfers, and many others supporting the standard 5Gbps speeds. This desktop doesn’t ship with peripherals, but it does sync its RGB lighting with Corsair’s other devices through the ICUE platform.

Dell XPS Desktop Special Edition

Dell XPS Desktop Special Edition

This Dell XPS machine may be cheaper than most of the other entries on this list, but that doesn’t mean it’s not capable. The configuration we chose has Intel’s Core i7-9700 eight-core processor paired with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti discrete GPU. You have the option of 8GB of memory, all the way up to 64GB. The latter is complete overkill, so 16GB or 32GB is recommended. You can upgrade the CPU and GPU as well during the configuration process, with up to the i9-9900K processor and up to the RTX 2080 Super graphics card.

For storage, your options are somewhat limited. A single drive ranges from 512GB to 2TB whereas your selection opens up when configuring dual drives. The video output depends on the chosen GPU, though you’ll find 11 USB ports moving data up to 10Gbps, a c0llection of 5.1 channel audio ports, and loads more. This desktop even includes a DVD writer that you can swap out for a Blu-ray writer at an additional $50.

HP Z2 Mini G4

HP Z2 Mini G4

If you need a workstation that’s really small, HP’s Z2 Mini G4 fits the bill. It measures a mere 2.28 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches, though you’ll find plenty of performance packed inside despite its small size. You can configure HP’s workstation on its website, but you’ll find set configurations elsewhere featuring Intel’s eighth and ninth-generation Core i3, i5, and i7 processors along with its Xeon CPU family. You’ll also find units with mere integrated graphics and others with up to Nvidia’s Quadro P1000 discrete GPU.

Outside the two processors, this miniature workstation supports 4GB to 64GB of system memory, It can also handle two storage devices: 256GB to 2TB on a primary SSD and 500GB to 2TB on a secondary hard drive. Connectivity depends on the model, as you’ll find units with three DisplayPort connectors, some with serial ports, and so on. By default, you’ll see at least one DisplayPort connector, a few USB-A ports, a USB-C port on the side, and Ethernet.

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