Buying A Workstation PC

Imagine your PC as an artist’s canvas. As a hobbyist or enthusiast content creator, your workstation represents both your brushes and your paints. The more capable your workstation, the more paints and brushes you have at your disposal, allowing your skills and imagination to flourish, free of limitations and restrictions. As a creative professional, a PC is more than just your tool. It’s your livelihood. If you earn a living from the work performed on your PC, look at the purchase of Photoshop and Lightroom workstations as an investment.

The ideal workstation is powerful, reliable, and most importantly, well-optimized. At MAINGEAR, we recognize that our creative users all have specific needs. A sculptor wouldn’t use tools designed for a painter, and that’s why it’s important that your PC is tailor made for the software you use every day. Regardless of your price point, whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, we’ve got the perfect system for you, and as always, MAINGEAR PCs ship 100% bloatware-free, with unrivaled craftsmanship and support.

Optimizing Your Workstation For Premiere Pro

Video editing is one of the most demanding tasks you can throw at a PC. An inadequate workstation won’t just slow you down, it could impede your ability to get your work done at all. As with Photoshop and Lightroom we are still going to make the CPU our number one priority, however, unlike those programs where speed is the priority, it’s important to find a balance of speed and core count when configuring a workstation for video editing. The extra cores will serve you well when exporting/rendering, generating previews/waveforms, and applying effects, and a high clock speed will ensure everything feels snappy and responsive while editing and reviewing real-time playback.

Balance is the key, and in more areas than just the CPU. GPU, RAM, and storage all play an important role, as well as connectivity, I/O, and cooling. You’ll also want to consider what kind of video editor you are. There would be a significant difference in the workstations used by someone chopping up old family films and someone working with 1080p web content with some color correction and graphics, or even someone editing a 4K feature-length film. The complexity of your timelines, and more specifically, the quality and resolution of the video files you’re working with, should dictate the specs of the workstation you’ll want to invest in.


Both speed and core count should be equally considered when it comes to the CPU. While speed will impact the quality and consistency of your real-time playback, having additional cores will improve more CPU-intensive tasks like renders and exports. Traditionally, for temperature and stability reasons, the more cores present on a CPU, the lower the core frequency had to be. AMD has made huge strides here with the release of their 3rd gen Ryzen 9 CPUs, which feature a very respectable industry leading boost speed to core count ratio, making them a great choice for a premium video editing workstation. AMD fans, and those looking for the best cost-to-performance should look at the 12-core AMD Ryzen 3900X, while those who prefer Intel CPUs can look to the i9-9900K, priced about the same, and with a slightly higher turbo speed, but limited to 8-cores. 

For a hobbyist video editor, your time isn’t necessarily your money. If it takes you twenty extra minutes to export a video, and three exports to get it finalized, that extra hour isn’t costing you and in many cases you can just set up your exports to run overnight, or while you have dinner. As a professional, however, saving time on the tasks you complete every day can be invaluable because you may be working 8+ hours a day on your edits, and every hour saved allows you to get that much more done.

Graphics Card

Much like in Photoshop and Lightroom, the graphics card doesn’t play a critical role in the performance of your workflow. In fact, the graphics card has virtually no involvement in video encoding and decoding in Adobe Premiere,however it’s imperative your GPU has enough video memory to support the complexity of the videos in your timeline. Other ways your GPU can improve performance is by taking certain tasks off your CPUs hands, such as blending modes, certain effectsand video scalingIf you shoot in 4K but edit/render in 1080p, that downscaling is oftentimes handled by the GPU, which not only results in faster performance, but higher quality video as well, due in part to the graphics card’s enhanced color space and maximum bits per channel. Those working primarily with 1080p video should look to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super with its more than capable 8GB of GDDR6, and those who will be working with 4K should consider an RTX 2080 Ti for the even more capable 11GB of VRAM. The CUDA technology found in NVIDIA’s graphics cards allow for faster final frame rendering and real-time playback of all GPU-accelerated effects, making a great case for NVIDIA GPU’s when working in Premiere. All of the graphics cards featured in our Premiere workstations support 10-bit color output, but if you have a concern about color accuracy, or need support for SDI connections, speak with our support team about PCI-E expansion cards to complete your custom solution. 


Memory usage can really be pushed in video editing software. If you’re like most editors, you’ve got several browser tabs open, email, and other applications, all at the same time. We recommend not skimping out on RAM, and as is the theme here, scale up according to the quality and complexity of the projects you’ll be working on. You can always add additional RAM to your build at later time if you find yourself needing it, but it’s always easier to get what you need from the start. RAM speeds are typically not going to make too much of a discernible difference past 3000/3200MHz. If you’re editing 4K+ footage, we recommend 64GB+, where as 16-32GB is sufficient for 1080p footage.


Fast storage and multiple drives will serve to you well on a video editing rigThe ideal configuration would include one drive for the operating system and software, and a second drive for project media and scratch disk/cache duties. If you’re looking to further streamline your setup, a third drive can be used as a dedicated scratch disk/cache drivebut this isn’t a necessity. Drive speed is important; indexing clips, generating previews, and real-time response when scrubbing thru footage is all vastly improved on faster storage devices. As is the case with all modern PCs, we recommend the use of high speed NVMe storage whenever possible, and as much of it as your budget allots for. Video files can take up massive amounts of space, especially at higher resolutions. Just one hour of 4K ProRes footage is over 300GB alone. Because video editors are oftentimes working with large files, strenuously reading and writing large chunks of data at a time, we also recommend pro-grade drives, those geared for longevity with higher program-erase cycles. higher This just means the drives are more durable and designed for more demanding heavy read/write usage, which is exactly what video editors put their drives through. Storage that features quad-levelcell, or QLC NAND, make a great value for your more typical user, but due to the heavy and more frequent reading/writing on a video editing rig, we recommend triple-level-cell, or TLC NAND, such as that found in a WD_Black SN750. The TLC NAND storage will simply be faster and won’t need to rely on a cache to perform well consistently. AMD’s latest X570 chipset rolled out support for PCIe gen4. If you’re leaning towards an AMD build, taking advantage of a gen4 NVMe SSD like the Seagate FireCuda 520 will offer bleeding edge sequential read/writes up to 5000/4400 MB/sThere are many storage methods and solutions, and for guidance specific to your needs we recommend giving us a call so we can discuss an ideal solution for you. 

Specific Needs For Your Workflow?

While our turnkey solutions are ideal for most video editors, we understand some of you may have specific needs beyond our standard solutions. Whether it’s an SDI video connection you need for a preview monitor, an external audio DAC for sound designor support for GPU-based rendering plug-ins for motion graphics, we are standing by to further assist you with customizing your perfect workstation. That’s one of the biggest benefits of working with a knowledgeable custom builder like MAINGER: we can tailor a solution to your exact needs so you’re only paying for hardware you need, and getting exactly the power and capabilities that your work demands. Likewise, if you’re looking for more of a render-node or a desktop geared primarily towards project exportingwe can build that for you! Just give our Creative Solutions Team a call at 1-888-MAINGEAR.

Everyone Has An IT Rep At 1-888-MAINGEAR

We all have questions sometimes. Many professionals have access to a dedicated IT team, but as a hobbyist or freelancer, you’re oftentimes stuck searching the web for the answers you need, wasting time and creating confusion. Take solace in knowing that our award-winning support team is standing by to assist. Our dedicated and knowledgeable technicians are wellversed in not only your PCbut the programs you use every day. Our technicians live and breathe these things, and we have Photoshop and Lightroom experts available to help. We believe in honesty and transparency, so if there’s ever an issue outside of our scope that we can’t personally resolvewe’ll gladly take the time to point you in the right direction and work together towards a resolution.

Give us a call at 1-888-MAINGEAR

Mac Or PC? Making The Switch?

We could spend all day discussing the competitive differences between PC and Mac, but one thing remains undeniably true: you can stretch your budget further with a PC. For example, if you had around $2000 to spend and were debating between a PC and an iMac, you’re simply going to end up with more on the PC side. You’d likely end up with 2-3x the storage, a faster and higher core count CPU, more graphics memory, and 2-3x the RAM. All for the same price. Why pay more for less?

There are a multitude of reasons why one may switch from Mac to PC, and while it’s much easier to seamlessly transition these days, we realize you may have questions or reservations. Members of our support team are trained and experienced within MacOS and are standing by to assist you with making the switch easy and efficient. 

Get a customized solution today.

Contact our Professional Solutions Group

At MAINGEAR, we’ve done the work so you can get to work. If you don’t see a pre-configured system that suits your workflow, or if you have specific questions about individual workloads and their performance profiles, let us know! We love having conversations, and we are always willing to provide whatever information you need, with no obligations attached.