Tag Archives: Motherboard


Building the ultimate video editing PC: Part One

If you’ve been reading our blog recently, you’d have seen that we’ve just put together a guide to making the ultimate photo editing PC. Not wanting those of you who prefer moving images to feel left out, we’ve got a guide to building a video editing PC. The guide has been put together by talented animation designer Alex Amelines, and you can see more of his work over on his website at www.studiotinto.com. We’ve split the guide into the main components you’ll need, and Alex has chosen the parts for their compatibility with each other. Of course, once you’ve got the parts you’ll need to put them together, but there are plenty of guides out there to show you how to do this. This is the first in a series of posts which will cover all the components you need, from the motherboard and processor to peripherals and memory.

If any of you have tried editing a video on an average, mid-range PC, you’ll know that it can be a frustrating task. The average PC simply doesn’t have the speed in any of its components to be able to deal with the vast amount of data that needs to be processed and stored. Even if one component is too slow, it can hold everything else up, and can cause the computer to become unstable if you try to make it do more than it can handle.

For the kind of non-linear editing that is standard when editing videos, many people recommend off-the-shelf workstations, such as those provided by HP or Dell, or even a Mac Pro. Although these simplify the process of finding a system, they can end up costing a lot of money – at least £2000. Building your own workstation means you can be much more specific in your choice of components, and ensures that you only pay for the things you want. The components I’ve listed are the ones that make the most difference in a video editing system. Everything else is a matter of personal choice, although I’ve made a couple of recommendations to make the process even easier for you.


The key thing when choosing a motherboard is to ensure that it is capable of keeping up with the speeds of all your other components, and that it has enough room for all the components you want to use. For example, the Asus motherboard has room for up to 64GB of memory, as well as support for the latest USB specification, USB 3.0.


This will be one of the most important components in your machine, and it is worth spending as much as you can afford on it. Many of the programs that you’ll be using (which we’ll discuss below), use multi-threading to speed up processes on machines that have multiple CPUs. Multi-core processors support multi-threading, which will give you a significant speed boost in many video and graphics programs. The Intel S1366 Xeon E5520 Quad Core 2.26GHz 8MB will be exactly what you need. It would also be worth investing in a processor fan to keep things running smoothly, as the longer you use the machine, the hotter the processor will get, and excessive heat can cause stability problems.

We’ll be uploading the next post soon, and it will look at the storage requirements for a video editing PC, as well as the software and memory you’ll need to get the most out of it. If you’ve got any questions in the meantime, why not drop us a line?

New York Rockefeller pano

Building the perfect photo editing PC: part one

With so many of the readers of our blog keen photographers, we wanted to provide some help and advice on how to create the perfect machine for editing photos. Rather than doing it ourselves, professional wildlife photographer Richard Peters has very kindly written a blog running through everything that a budding photographer needs in their ideal rig. So without further ado, we’ll let Richard tell us what we need.

Since the advent of digital photography, as well as the massive increase in computer users, many amateur photographers simply take their shots, upload to their computer, and then share them with friends and family. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with this, but to really make the most of the time and effort that goes into taking these photos, a bit of editing can go a long way. While photographers originally needed a darkroom to develop their photos, the modern photographer can get themselves set up for processing their images with a desktop PC.

However, without the right type of PC, photo editing can go from being a pleasure to a teeth-grinding chore as the computer struggles to do the tasks you’ve asked of it. With this in mind, I want to discuss the key components that a photographer needs in their PC for photo editing, so that they can make the most of the money they are investing.

Whilst I have been a Mac user for some time now, not everyone wants to go this route. If you shop around you can actually build a Windows-based PC with more than enough power for a fraction of the cost of a Mac. While the thought may scare some people, building the machine from scratch can save money, and allow a much greater degree of customisation. Of course, pre-built machines are available, and offer a great solution for those without the time and inclination for tinkering with a computer. All of these components have been chosen to ensure that processing, saving and editing large image files is as quick as possible.

A fantastic monochrome image of a red deer by Richard Peters


The CPU is the brains of the computer. While high-end gaming and video editing machines place a high reliance on a powerful graphics card (which we’ll come to in a minute), the processor is the key component for an image editing PC. When doing anything in Photoshop, for example, the processor has to do a lot of number crunching. That’s why certain actions in Photoshop can seem to take ages on an older or less powerful PC. The Intel Core i7-3820 is well worth looking at as it offers the best combination of power and cost, and will make it much easier to manipulate large RAW images.


The motherboard is one of the key components for ensuring that your computer will remain up to date as long as possible, and also dictates the components that you can use with it. A good motherboard, such as the Asus P9X79 PRO, will reduce the need for adding extra components. For example, if it already contains USB 3.0 ports and a soundcard, then there is no need to buy these extra components, cutting down on cost and additional hassle when building. An advanced mother board will also mean that you have the space to add extra RAM, PCI cards and hard drives should you need them in the future.

In the next post, Richard will be looking at the video card, memory and storage requirements for a photo editing PC. In the meantime, why not take a look at some of the guides out there for building a PC, and don’t forget to keep taking lots of photos!