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How much RAM do I need for 4K video editing?

by Matthew Mister, on Sep 10, 2019 8:19:08 AM

Today's content creators are all looking ahead for the next big thing. Currently that is the move to 4K & 6K video and redefining what "HD" really means.

As the video industry moves forward, technology will need to keep up with it in order for video editors to create 4K & 6K content without headaches. So what does that mean for you?How do you ensure you get the best video editing computer available?

How 4K & 6k impact computer performance

4K video is captured with a resolution of 4,096 x 2,304 pixels and 6K is captured at 6,144 x 3,456 pixels. That's a lot more data than  standard HD video which is captured at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.

An increase in file size puts strain on three essential parts of a computer:

  1. The CPU
  2. RAM
  3. Storage

If these pieces of hardware aren't built to handle the increased amount of information, then your video playback will not be smooth which can be frustrating to editors.

Video editors also use a variety of different effects while editing that add to the workload of the workstation. To ensure that your workstation is prepared to handle 4K & 6K video, you'll need enough of the three pieces above to get the performance you need. A workstation editing standard HD requires a minimum of 16 GB of RAM but as we cross into 4K & 6K editing that number jumps up to a 32 GB or more!

Below are "better" and "best" system setup options for editing 4K & 6K video.

"Better" System for Editing 4K & 6K video
Intel Xeon processor 1 CPU- 12 Cores Minimum for 4K video playback and other encoding operations.
Memory 32 GB RAM 4K frames require a large amount of memory for smooth playback
Graphics 1 GB of Video RAM Minimum for accelerated effects
Storage 8TB SSD RAID Local, fast storage to hold media and output renders. 
Topics:SSDMacWindowsVideo editing computerRAM

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