5 Best Desktops for YouTubers 2021 – Price & Buyer’s Guide

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What are the best desktops for YouTubers? YouTube is one of the most popular streaming platforms of today’s time, and it has provided a great opportunity for content creators.

Both the beginner and professional race of creators use it as a platform to showcase their skills and to attract an audience, be it for monetary benefit or not.

YouTube allows creators to stream or upload a large variety of content, from cooking lessons or high-res gaming videos and so much more, as long as it isn’t illegal.

And growing on it is also quite easier as compared to any other platform since almost every smartphone or PC user also uses YouTube. With a variety of video format support, one doesn’t face any inconvenience when uploading a video either.

And the best part about it is that you can use it for free, though there is an optional premium subscription which adds some more features.

So today we’ll be helping you out with 5 of the best prebuilt desktops that can be bought to create content on YouTube, be it a Livestream or a pre-recorded video.

Desktops for YouTubers – Price

Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for YouTubers

If you are looking forward to editing and creating videos for your YouTube Channel (up to 720p or barely 1080p), then a desktop with a quad-core Intel Core i5 (or comparable AMD Ryzen) CPU, around 8+ GB of RAM, and 4-6 GB of video memory should do. A moderately sized storage drive is needed, though an SSD is always a better choice here than a hard drive.

Other intensive usage like live streaming, gaming or higher quality editing, for example, requires better specs. This is in the lines of a CPU with 6 or more cores, 16-32 GB of RAM, and 6+ GB of VRAM, all depending on the quality of your projects.

The storage drive in this case too depends upon your usage, but an SSD is a must for the best possible performance. The following specs should give you an idea.

Minimum System Requirements: Core i5/ Ryzen 5 or better processor │ 16 GB RAM │ GTX 1650 Super or better GPU │ 256 GB or bigger SSD along with a hard drive

Recommended System Requirements: Core i7 or Ryzen 7 processor │ 16 or more GB RAM │ RTX 2060 or better GPU │ 512 GB SSD and more secondary storage

5 Best Desktops for YouTubers 2021:

1. Dell Alienware Aurora R10 – Best Overall

Dell Alienware Aurora R10

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for some top-of-the-line hardware for a lot of 4K processing, streaming, and gaming on YouTube, the Aurora R10 is an absolute treat. With great looks, it also brings great performance which makes it the right choice if your tasks are on the heaviest side of the scale.

Key Features:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • RAM: 32 GB
  • Storage: 1 TB SSD

Pros

  • Good specs
  • Excellent performance
  • Good connectivity by default

Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • Major upgradability or expansion can be troublesome
  • Only 1 year of warranty

Video creation and editing any raw footage for YouTube needs a lot of work, both on the Editor’s part and the system on which the work is being done. So here is a desktop that is built to do a lot of heavy lifting, the Dell Alienware Aurora R10.

This is one of the top variants of this desktop, with a Gen 3 based, 5000 Series Ryzen 7 CPU, a high-end offering from AMD.

This has got 8 cores, 16 threads, and a robust maximum clock rate of 4.7 GHz (basic CPU turbo boost).  You can always overclock the system if you are prepared to tamper with system stability.

Next, you’d be getting an RTX 3070 GPU, the right choice if you’re into the newer generation of GPUs that NVIDIA has to offer. This 8 GB video card is going to provide you with enough power that you may use in video editing or gaming.

There are also 32 gigs of RAM present by default, and a 1 TB SSD drive. With specs like these, this variant of the desktop, at least, can go a long way without any overclock or upgrades.

Be it 4K editing, or 1440p gaming, this Alienware desktop can take on anything and the good connectivity is a bonus that you get along with the impressive performance. Check out Dell Alienware Aurora R10 Review.

2. Apple iMac – Runner Up

Apple iMac

Bottom Line: As a YouTuber, you can always rely on an iMac to finish up the heaviest video projects in no time. This 6-core variant may not be all-powerful, but it does handle 1080p video creation and editing quite well. Unless you were intending to play games or stream them, this is the desktop you should be getting.

Key Features:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300
  • OS: Mac OS
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD

Pros

  • Good performance
  • Excellent connectivity
  • Brilliant display quality
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Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited Upgradability
  • External storage would be needed very soon

What could be better than the Mac OS for professional YouTubing? You may have noticed that many creators use an iMac or a Macbook as the primary computer for all the purposes related to their YouTube channel. And this is not just a brand preference.

While there is already an optimization advantage with the iMac, this 27” variant also provides you with a large enough screen and powerful hardware inside as well.

You get a Hexa core Intel Core i5 processor, with a turbo-boosted frequency of 4.8 GHz. The processor has been paired with AMD’s Radeon Pro 5300, which is a 4 GB GPU, 512 GB of fast storage, and 16 GB of RAM.

The same specs in a Windows machine wouldn’t have made that big of a difference, but with Mac OS’s optimization and simplicity, the device can handle some really heavy workload.

Other Apple devices (both in the desktop and MacBook category) can be decent choices, like the 21.5” iMac.

However, the iMac Pro is not that all that advantageous for your purpose, while the M1 Mac Minis aren’t the preferred choice in this case.

This may not be a very budget-friendly device but can provide you with good performance, whenever you need it. Check out Apple iMac Review.

3. Dell XPS 8940 – Value for Money

Dell XPS 8940

Bottom Line: The Dell XPS 8940 SE is a boon for any YouTuber with a tight budget. It has got all the specs that you can ask for from a desktop that can handle 1080p video editing. It is however capable of much more, given that you choose a higher variant.

Key Features:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-10700
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super
  • OS: Windows 10
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD

Pros

  • Highly configurable
  • Good ports present on it
  • Tool-less upgrades

Cons

  • Lower variants are not good value
  • PSU upgrade is not possible
  • The highest variants can get quite pricey

The final desktop on the list is also from Dell, and this can be a great choice if you aren’t fond of a large, RGB tower and instead want something that draws lesser attention.

The XPS 8940 Special Edition is the one we have included for those YouTubers who want a desktop with such features.

The XPS 8930 too was a really good desktop, and the newer iteration carries forward its legacy. There are slight changes in its design, but you can expect it to perform as well as its predecessor did.

The variant you see here comes with a Core i7-10700 processor, with a turbo frequency of 4.8 GHz. It has 8 cores and with hyperthreading supported, you’ll get a smooth experience even when you put some solid workload on the system.

For graphics, there is a GTX 1650 Super GPU in it as well, with 4 GB of VRAM that can handle 1080p projects with ease.

There is enough space inside, with neat cable management, and upgrading the default video card with a better one should be easy, as long as it fits.

As we said, the case is compact and with the non-standard PSU, the scope of adding a massively better GPU is somewhat limited. You can always buy a higher variant, with options up to Core i9 and RTX 3070s available.

This too has got 16 GB of RAM, which should be enough for your average editing sessions, and a 1 TB HDD accompanied with a 256 GB Solid State Drive for storage.

Both storage and RAM can be upgraded later on, so no worries regarding future-proofing. Check out Dell XPS 8940 Review.

4. HP Omen 25L – A Mid-range Beast

HP Omen 25L

Bottom Line: It may not be the absolute best in terms of specs, although the bunch of utilities, and especially the reliability that the OMEN 25L provides to any YouTube content creator is impeccable.

Key Features:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5700
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD

Pros

  • Looks better than a typical gaming desktop
  • Good performance
  • Convenient connectivity

Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • RAM upgrades are limited to 32 GB only
  • Not the latest Bluetooth or WIFI

Up next is HP’s Omen 25L that has made a name for itself in the prebuilt gaming desktop market.

Its user-friendly design, top-end specs, and such other features help it to hold superiority over other gaming PCs.

The desktop comes with a Ryzen 7 3700X processor, with 8 cores and 16 threads and a clock rate ranging from 3.6 GHz to 4.4 GHz.

This can be very beneficial for Youtubers when working with the projects that are to be uploaded.

In this variant, HP has included an RX 5700 GPU, which is a good 8 GB video card, but not as good as some of the NVIDIA alternatives. What it lacks primarily is the ray-tracing capabilities, but the good thing is video editing has nothing to do with it anyway.

While streaming or playing games too, there are very few content creators who use these features, especially when using a single PC for gaming and streaming at the same time.

The RAM present in this variant is 16 GB, which can be upgraded quite easily. There is a 1 TB Hard drive in this, and 512 GB of primary SSD storage as well.

The internals are very convenient to access, and you wouldn’t need any tools to open up the glass panel either. Check out HP OMEN 25L Review.

5. SkyTech Shadow 3.0 – Amazing in the Price Range

SkyTech Shadow 3.0

Bottom Line: The SkyTech Shadow 3.0 is the one for those YouTubers who are mostly into 1080 video processing, as well as gaming on the same resolution from time to time. It too has many configurations and is ample future-proof, should you need to upgrade the system.

Key Features:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 1 TB SSD

Pros

  • Affordable pricing
  • Decent performance
  • Easy access to internal components

Cons

  • Small storage space
  • The latest WIFI or Bluetooth is not available
  • No USB Type-C

The desktops mentioned above might be powerful, but they are also quite expensive. This makes them unsuitable for beginners and for those aspiring YouTubers who were looking for budget-friendlier options.

For those of you who have needs such as these, we have the SkyTech Shadow 3.0.

It comes with a Ryzen 5 3600 CPU, one that can be considered one of the processors ideal for content creation on a budget. This 6 core CPU can be very industrious to your current needs.

The desktop comes with an RTX 2060 GPU with 6 GB of VRAM, and this can handle heavy amounts of renderings and editing on 1080p and 1440p. For 4K however, you’ll need a slightly better video card though.

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And if you also host gaming sessions on your channel, then all the better as the specs it has are great for that also.

There is a 1 TB SSD fitted in this, and 16 GB of RAM present. There are RGB coolers inside that are visible through the tempered glass side panel, which also makes it easy to access them.

The case itself is spacious, so adding bigger components or replacing one of the existing ones won’t be all that difficult. Check out Skytech Shadow 3.0 Review.

Buyer’s Guide for Best Desktops for YouTubers

Any YouTuber has to spend hours creating and editing a video, which when increases in quality and size becomes difficult for an average desktop to handle.

And not just videos, the content creators also often play and stream games, which are even more intensive applications.

The choice of the hardware is thus very important, especially if you’re a full-time creator on YouTube. But this would vary from one to another, since making usual videos or talk shows does not require as much power as streaming games.

Moreover, if you are streaming games at all, the game itself has a role to play in the overall system usage.

Hence, to make the choices a bit easier, this guide can be used. Here you’d find all the relevant information so that when the time comes, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for.

Budget

Before going deeper into this, the first thing that a YouTuber has to decide is how much he/she is ready to spend on this desktop they are planning to buy. If it’s prebuilt, then all you need to look for is the right configuration.

On the other hand, if you are building the desktop on your own, then you’d be getting a lot of flexibility.

And, you can make some crucial decisions regarding it that would determine the price tag too, which should be lower than a prebuilt with similar specs, 9 times out of 10.

In either case, if you’re looking for gaming, streaming gameplay, and anything of the sort, a budget of around $1200- 1500 should be good, depending on the brand. Building your PC could prove to be very effective at this price point.

For serious content creation, say editing 4K videos and such, add $500 more to it, and you’ll have for yourself a desktop that can take on some serious workload.

For beginners or those with lighter work, the best price segment is $800-1200, depending on the kind of content that you want to create.

Certain customizations, like choosing a better GPU over a better CPU and vice-versa would depend on your requirements, something we have talked about later on.

OS

With the budget decided upon, you’ll now have to choose the Operating system which you’d use for YouTube.

To keep things simple, we’ll be considering only Windows and the Mac OS here, which are the two most used operating interfaces by YouTubers.

First things first, if you were wondering if you could stream or edit on Mac OS, then the answer is Yes, but there are conditions. It has some software of its own, like Filmora, Lightworks Pro, etc, that you may use.

However, Apple devices are not as efficient in gaming as they are in other things, and given their price tags, you’d better stick to a Windows PC if you have ideas of a gaming channel in mind.

For video editing though, Mac OS makes things largely convenient.

It has better encoding facilities, which reduces waiting time, lesser delays when scrubbing through multiple layers of raw footage, and many other features that you can enjoy.

However, you won’t have access to as much editing software as a Windows user.

Windows supports most video editing software, gaming, and almost every other thing that you might need for a booming career on YouTube, although it isn’t as optimized as the Mac OS.

But it does have better hardware and software compatibility, which increases its overall convenience.

But personal preference is another factor that plays a role here. Several YouTubers use the Mac OS for editing and creating their videos, while there are lots of those who are dependent on Windows for the same.

Now, while you can build a PC on your own, the only way to get an official Apple device is to buy it. And yet again, their steep prices become an issue at times.

However, a Hackintosh or a custom-built Mac OS supported computer can be a solution, but it isn’t for everyone.

Any device supporting Mac OS can also be used to run Windows, although with a few glitches. So on paying more, you get to run both OS’ in a single device.

Given that you realize the advantages and drawbacks of both, either Mac or Windows can be used. Your comfort with a particular OS and the other devices that you use, thus play a huge role here.

Processor

No matter what myths may be clouding it, video editing is one of those things that utilizes both the core count and clock rate of the CPU being used, but not both at the same time.

Encoding is benefitted by a higher frequency, while multiple cores and threads come to play when a video is finally being exported.

Certain things determine the choice of the CPU- the software you intend to use (both related and non-related to YouTube), benchmark scores, budget, personal preferences, and so on.

One important decision is whether to go with Intel or AMD, with the latter having launched a new generation of processors in such a short time.

Both the brands are now providing various options in different price segments which makes it difficult to suggest a specific option.

An average YouTuber does not have to make videos larger than 8-10 minutes of playback usually, which means that you wouldn’t need too many cores for the task to be done quickly.

A better clock rate would be beneficial instead, at least in this case. So, a 6-8 Core Intel or AMD CPU would be the best choice and this would not exceed your budget either.

For live-streamers and gamers though, or someone who makes lengthy videos, a CPU with 8 or more cores might just be useful. But such a CPU can often be expensive, no matter what brand you choose.

Graphics

Next comes the graphics, which is yet another extremely important piece of hardware that makes tons of difference in the overall performance of a desktop. And since you’d be working with creative and visual stuff, you must choose the right GPU.

Editing a video is mostly dependent on the CPU, but certain software and visual effects depend on the video card, and the amount of VRAM present therein. There are many software that directly rely more on the GPU too.

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The GPU performance is very essential when it is used for rendering purposes, or adding certain effects to your videos on YouTube.

Editing and rendering a 1080p video, which is very much a standard resolution, requires a GPU with 4 GB (or more) VRAM. So, a GTX 1050 Ti, a GTX 1660 Super, or any other GPU of the sorts should be what you must aim at.

Now if we are talking about 4K editing, both better CPU and GPU performance would be needed. This means that you’ll need to have 6+ GB of VRAM in your 4K editing rig.

In these situations, the best GPUs for you would be the RTX 2070 Super, RTX 3070, and such other video cards in the RTX 3000 series.

When it comes to brand preference, well NVIDIA seems to be a slightly better option over AMD. Both the brands support the popular editing software being used today, but NVIDIA does offer better optimization in certain ones and ray-tracing features as well.

Having said so, the Radeon RX 580 and the RX 5700XT from AMD are two such video cards that are surely worth considering. Wait some more, and you might be able to get a Radeon RX 6000 Series GPU on a prebuilt desktop.

RAM

With the choice of the processor and graphics adapter made for the tasks at hand, it is now time to select the amount of RAM that a YouTuber’s desktop would need.

The CPU has to do most of the work, be it editing a video or carrying on a Livestream, which means that it needs to have access to ample amounts of memory to keep working at the same pace.

The software that you’d use, say Adobe Premiere Pro or Illustrator, are going to take up a considerable amount of system resources.

This is especially true with the RAM, and even if you are editing in 1080p, the best would be to have at least 16 GB of memory on your desktop.

Some experts recommend 32 GB even, but this depends on the size and intensity of your projects, and your budget too.

Now if you’re extremely tight on budget, the least that you can go with is 8 GB, but know that your desktop would be able to run only a few programs at the same time with this.

Not to mention, the overall rendering performance might just take a hit as well, but not always.

On the higher end, 2K or 4K editing requires 32 gigs of RAM, while you may opt for 64 GB if you have the money to spend, and have heavy multitasking to do on memory-hogging software.

Regarding RAM frequency, AMD CPUs are slightly sensitive towards it, but even then the performance differences wouldn’t be much.

Intel CPUs would not benefit either if you install superfast RAM modules. As long as you’re in the 2800-3200 MHz range, you have nothing to worry about.

Storage

And finally, the storage aspect of the desktop has to be taken care of. Editing your clips for YouTube would mean working with a lot of raw data, and as the quality of your videos increases, so will the file sizes.

So, it’s evident that you need storage, lots of it to be honest. And not only space, if you’re looking to bring out the best performance from your PC, the storage speed would also matter as well.

Now a faster storage drive would not magically fix the frame drops, but it will increase system responsiveness by quite a margin, especially if you use a speedy PCIe M.2 SSD as the primary drive.

But SSDs are considerably costlier if you compare them with a regular hard drive. So you’ll need to have both of these, a smaller 256-512 GB SSD (depending on your budget) to store software data, system files, and such, and a hard drive too.

The hard drive may be slower, but it is also cheaper and hence would act as a storehouse for your finished projects. All the other things that do not benefit from a faster storage drive can be put in it as well.

Using only an SSD would increase the desktop’s price tag, while only a hard drive for storage would not be very comfortable to work with.

Connectivity

The reason for more storage is also why you’d be needing good connectivity, but there are other things as well. Most of the connectivity is related to the motherboard, so the motherboard quality can matter here.

Prebuilt desktops come with motherboards chosen by the concerned brand while building a desktop gives you more options.

Nevertheless, one has to look for the best within a given budget. This includes USB 3.0 ports, USB Type-C ports, and even Thunderbolt ports if possible.

And it’s always good to have spare ports, you never know when you might need one.

WIFI and Bluetooth are important for a video editor or gamer on YouTube, and it’s better if you get the latest versions of these. Older ones would do too, as long as you have the option of replacing the concerned adapters with newer ones.

At some point in your career as a YouTuber, you are most likely to feel the need of adding one or more monitors to your setup, for which you’d also need free video ports.

These can be HDMI, VGA, and so on, and would be available on your GPU mostly. Hence make sure you choose the right GPU.

Accessories

Watching anything on YouTube is very comfortable on a large screen, and the same goes for when one has to edit a video to upload it on this platform.

Working with videos, in general, is much better when you have a wider viewing area, be it on a single wide-angle monitor, or two separate displays.

Hence as a YouTuber, make sure you keep some part of your budget aside for accessories such as this.

The hardware you use would determine the quality of the resolution that your desktop would support, while the size of the monitor(s) is something that you can decide on your own.

However, buy a high-frequency monitor only if you need one, and remember that no matter how good a 240 Hz refresh rate may sound, 144 Hz gets the job done for the most.

Not only that, but you’ll also need other devices such as speakers, a good camera, a webcam, etc, and maybe even some lighting equipment if you do not already have those.

These are the basic things that every content creator has to use, and there are various other things that you need too.

And don’t forget a decent mouse and a keyboard, since these are the most essential accessories.

FAQs:

What computer is good for editing YouTube videos?

A desktop that you would use to edit videos, in general, is good for creating videos on YouTube. There are certain things that you would have to ensure though, like a good processor, decent graphics, other specs in the system being used as well as various equipment.

Following are some of the best desktops today that YouTubers may consider:

Dell Alienware Aurora R10
Apple iMac 27"
Dell XPS 8940

Is a Core i5 CPU enough for YouTubers?

As a creator on YouTube, you can easily use a desktop with a Core i5 processor, unless you are gaming and streaming it at the same time. It can be considered as the minimum specs, and for better performance, we would suggest a Core i7 or a Ryzen alternative.

How much RAM do I need to edit 4K videos on YouTube?

To create 4K videos on YouTube, or any other platform for that matter, you’d have to keep at least 16 GB of RAM as a minimum. Anything above that up to 32 GB would be beneficial, but beyond that, it is simply overkilling. However, lesser RAM would not provide a comfortable enough experience.

Finishing up

Every content creator has to struggle in his/her early days, especially if they have taken up YouTubing as a serious profession. But a good desktop can be very essential to improve the overall workflow and create high-quality content for the viewers to enjoy or learn.