PC or notebook for editing videos and photos: components that make a difference

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When it comes to investing in good media editing equipment – be it photos or videos – one question remains: which components to choose to have a good computer to work with? Given so many options available on the market, between generations of processors, GPUs, memories and their minute details, it’s easy to get lost.

Therefore, the Canaltech is here to help you. Purchasing the first machine to produce content or making upgrades that really change your experience are important acquisitions to improve the quality of work and, not least, your relationship with the product. In this article, we will give you a roadmap for component research and where you should focus most of your budget to get the most out of your computer.

The importance of portability

One of the first questions you should think about is the need to take your work elsewhere and take it with you during extended trips. Are you a photographer and need to travel constantly while producing content? Are you a video editor with remote work and don’t want to work when you’re away? Each of these scenarios creates different demands that change one of the first decisions: buy a notebook or a desktop?

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(Image: Ravi Kant / Pexels)

While providing greater versatility for day-to-day work, notebooks impose certain limitations. Longevity and personalization are one of them. Laptops are closed packages that little can be modified by the end user and some of the options do not have a good variety of inputs to cover all the needs of a professional – such as additional video outputs, memory card slot and USB ports with Thunderbolt 4, which offers transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbps.

However, these are the only limitations for notebooks. Currently, the most recent launches of mid-range and top-of-the-line notebooks present enviable performance and, when equipped with Intel processors, take advantage of optimizations in energy consumption and other advances to meet the most diverse types of audience and purposes.

As such, 11th generation Intel Tiger Lake CPUs are an excellent choice for portable devices. The processors are equipped with the latest technology and performance that include graphic capabilities and artificial intelligence that will help you and speed up photo or video editing.

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Consistency wherever you go

Of the many enhancements included in the latest Intel notebook processors, Intel Xe graphics are one of the highlights. The integrated GPU represents a leap in performance when compared to the conventional Intel HD Graphics solution and now comes equipped with the low-power GPU Xe-LP. In practice, it improves the overall experience in the content editing flow, minimizing the need for a dedicated video card.

(Image: Disclosure / Intel)

They are components totally focused on performance, rethought “from head to toe” to optimize results without significantly increasing energy demand. The combination of the updated graphics processors and the news related to asynchronous computing – additional features like artificial intelligence, machine learning and other powerful tricks – is what provides the ideal scenario for the multimedia professional who needs a powerful notebook wherever they go.

Only with the 11th generation Intel processors is it possible to render videos and edit images in very high resolution without the need for an external GPU, as it provides specific instructions for removing elements from photographs, blurring the background, detecting objects in images and even making speech recognition.

Raw power on the desktop

If in projects limited in the scope of notebooks the result is promising, in more robust computers it could not be different. This March, Intel announced the 11th generation Rocket Lake-S desktop processors to cater for all types of users – from the basics, to the gamer and the professional.

(Image: Erik Mclean / Pexels)

Therefore, the same is true for photo and video editing. The reworked cores, now known as Cypress Cove, accompany the mobile line CPUs and introduce significant improvements to the audiovisual workflow, also provided by integrated graphics and asynchronous computing optimizations.

This means that the new processors have built-in artificial intelligence – more specifically, machine learning, here known as Deep Learning Boost and support for Vector Neural Network Instructions (VNNI), both features that significantly streamline the workflow. Thanks to this, the components have an 18% superior performance in photo editing and 60% in video production when compared to the previous generation, the Intel Comet Lake-S.

Productivity improvements extend from the general experience to the use applied in media editing. (Image: Disclosure / Intel)

And if you want to buy a dedicated video card, no problem. The new Intel processors also give you a boost when rendering your videos thanks to a feature called Resizable BAR, which makes processors see and use all the VRAM memory on video cards to further speed up work on image and video editing and content production.

Efficient storage

For the multimedia professional, much of the work depends on transferring files. Whether importing files from an external device, making backups on portable storage or pulling videos or photos from memory into the workflow, this feature is inherent in the job and should be taken as a priority.

Therefore, the choice of a good SSD – SATA or M.2 – is essential to provide a good experience. Hard drives can even be an alternative for creating backups, but within the everyday components, it ends up being an obstacle, almost wasting the full potential of the machine.

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An NVMe SSD with transfer rates above 500 MB / s is a must. (Image: Playback / Kingston)

Due to this demand, Intel platforms also include optimizations for transferring data at very high speed. On the one hand, the set includes support for the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 standard, a technology that offers up to 20 Gbps of bandwidth for transferring files – something indispensable for the multimedia professional.

On the other hand, it meets the scenarios in which the workflow involves large video packages in high resolution and, therefore, the communication speed of the processor with the internal storage plays a crucial role, with the return of compatibility with PCIe 4.0, connection existing on the most modern motherboards. In games, the update does not bring significant changes, but the extra communication lines pave the way for the maximum performance of quality NVMe SSDs, transferring data in the blink of an eye.

Secondary components

In all cases, opting for good construction and quality peripherals are great alternatives. In both notebooks and conventional workstations, a high-resolution screen with accurate color reproduction is indispensable. In the case of desktops, a robust source evaluated with quality seals to supply power to the components must also not be left to the side.

Last but not least, a case with a good array of easily accessible USB ports, as well as a motherboard with an efficient chipset with a good number of USB 3.1 ports, Thunderbolt and extra video outputs, PCIe 4.0 and space for future upgrades are also interesting options.

As in all cases, research is the best ally for a successful purchase. To do this, read or watch analysis, follow discussion forums about a product, recognize your own needs as a professional and as far as your budget allows the investment. With all this information in hand, you will have done your homework to have a conscious consumption and an investment with greater chances of return.

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