How to build a 4k video editing PC in 2020

Intro

This is a step by step guide here to building a 4k editing PC in 2020 on a budget. Featuring the Ryzen 5 2600 CPU, today we’re going to get started by going over the hardware installation, basically assembling the PC. Then moving on to downloading and installing the drivers and finally seeing how it performs.

My goal here was to build a 4k editing work station, without wasting money on unnecessary components. After testing it, and editing a video for YouTube it held up well!

Jump to a section

The Parts

Setting up/ Things you’ll need

CPU Installation

CPU Cooler Installation

Memory Installation

Prepping the Case

Motherboard Installation

Power Supply Installation

Front Panel Connectors

Fans

Hard Drives and SSDs

Power Cables

Graphics Card Installation

Cable Management

Conclusion

 

Setting up/ Things you’ll need

Tools needed are a magnetic parts tray, a knife, pair of side cutters, needle nose pliers, thermal compound, cable ties, and  a size 1 and size 2 Philips head screwdriver.

 

Set up anti static workspace

Open up power supply, flip switch to off position, plug it in to ground chassis.

To remove any static electricity built up in your body you simply place your hand on the power supply.

corsair 500 watt power supply unit

Another way to prevent static electricity is to not build a PC in a carpeted room stick to a wooden or tiled floor but if you can’t help that setting up a static safe work environment is the next best call.

Clear some space in work area

Next start with your mother board.

Goal: build a 4k editing work station, without wasting money on unnecessary components.

Next start with your mother board. After unpackaging the motherboard go ahead and set the I.O. shield aside for later on.

Use the motherboard box as a test bench, it keeps debris away from the board that might be on your work surface. It’s also an alternative to one of those anti-static mats you can buy.

motherboard box test bench

CPU Installation

 

For this build, the CPU I chose was the  AMD ryzen 5 2600. It has 6 cores which is enough to handle 4k editing. Its base clock speed is 3.4GHz and can boost up to  3.9Ghz.

amd ryzen 5 2600 CPU

Time to install it.

Step 1

Take your CPU out of it’s packaging and take not of the golden triangle on the lower left side of the CPU. 

AMD Ryzen 5 2600 CPU golden triangle mark

This triangle lines up with the triangle on the processor socket. Turn the CPU to match the 2 triangles up.

Gigabyte B450 gaming AM4 Socket triangle marker

Step 2

Lift the Metal arm on the CPU socket out and all the way up, lower the processor into the socket.

 

It shouldn’t take any force to drop in if it does the orientation is incorrect or the metal arm hasn’t been raised. Once it’s dropped into place lower the metal arm back down and now the CPU is installed.

 

Memory Installation

For our memory I’ve gone with a nice low latency DDR4 3000 kit from Corsair. I went with 16gigs of ram in an 8gig by 2 configuration. This allows for dual channel operation for better performance and gives us plenty of expansion for the future so I can go up to 32gigs with no problems.

corsair ddr4 3000mhz vengance lpx memory

 

Start by pulling back the tabs for the ram slot this motherboard both sides will pull back but some more modern boards you can only pull back one of the two.

When lining up the memory carefully check the position of the notch, in order for it to fit in the slot correctly. 

line it up and then push firmly on both sides until you hear a click on each end.

 

SSD installation

Nows it’s time to install the N.2 SSD I’m using a 250Gig 970 from Samsung but the instructions are the same regardless.

samsung 970 ssd

 

First find the N.2 slot on your motherboard, hold the SSD up against it to see which mounting post is going to be suitable.

This one is already in the right position to suit this SSD so all we need to do is remove the screw and set it aside on the magnetic tray so we don’t lose it.

You won’t need a lot of force when installing your SSD hand tight is just fine. As for the drive itself, it installs just like laptop memory.

So you go up at an angle, push it into the slot and then just hold it down in place while you're screwing it in.

SSD install

Something to watch out for here guys is that while most computer screws are size 2 Philips these are usually size 1s. So you're probably going to need to change your bit before you finish installing.

CPU cooling installation

Now lets turn our attention to cooling, AMD processors come with a heat sink in the box and also come from the factory with thermal compound already applied, which ensures proper heat transfer to keep your CPU cool.

wraith CPU cooler

First remove the brackets that came already fitted to the motherboard the cooler screws directly to the motherboard so you won't need these. The backing plate won’t be removed we will use this to screw the cooler into so it can stay in place.

remove brackets B450

When you're fitting the heat sink first make sure that where the cable is coming out is somewhat close to the CPU fan connector on the motherboard.

 

The screws are spring-loaded so you do need to apply some pressure as you're screwing them in to get started on the thread.

installing CPU cooler

I recommend getting all 4 started then tightening down evenly so that there is equal pressure onto the CPU you don’t won’t uneven contact so tighten them down until they’re firm.

 

 As your going it pays to package back up the boxes and put them aside away from your work area to keep it nice and tidy, it saves you having to do a big clean up at the end.

 

Preparing case

NZXT H510i case

I went with the NZXT 510 mid tower case because it has nice cable management options, a glass side panel which is going back in the box to keep it scratch-free until the build is done.

You can see inside the case here is a pretty standard layout there is a bottom mounted power supply, standard ATX layout and then an exhaust fan out the back.

 

As I’m removing screws from the case to keep them safe I’m putting them in this magnetic parts tray, you can write on the tray itself if you aren’t going to remember where they went or alternatively you can use zip lock backs with labels to do the same.

 

 

Motherboard Installation

Now it’s time to install the motherboard, to do that, we’re going to need to install the I.O shield first.

 

Do a test fit of the IO shield over the ports on the motherboard before you install it to make sure it’s got enough clearance, otherwise they can stick into the ports and short them out which we definitely don’t want to happen.

 

Now we install it into the back of the case by lining it up, then pressing on each corner.

 

The last thing we need to check, is if the correct standoffs are installed inside the case.

This one is good it’s actually got the 9 standard ATX ones pre-installed including one of these handy locator stand off  that will hold the board in place for you while your screwing in the rest of them.

 

Because this is a micro ATX mother board we’ll be removing these outside 2 standoffs and the middle one needs to move in 1 hole to correctly line up with the mounting holes in the motherboard. To do that, grab some long nose pliers and unscrew the 2 standoffs to re-position the middle one

^Before^

case stand offs

^After^

Be careful to check the standoffs before installing your motherboard because if you’ve got an extra standoff scratching along the back of your board, it can actually cut these traces, destroying your motherboard, which won’t be covered under warranty.

 

To double-check this you just pick up the board, handle it by the edges, plastic connectors or back plates. I really like holding onto the CPU cooler because assuming you’ve got one with a decent mounting mechanism, that’s a really really secure handhold for it.

 

As you lower in the board, I like to have it at about a 10 to 15-degree angle as I’m sliding it towards the back of the case, that prevents us from scraping the back of the board along with any standoffs that might or might not be in the right spots.

B450 gigabyte motherboard install

 

Now that we’ve re-positioned the motherboard we’re going to use that little locating standoff to hold it in place and look through every hole and make sure that we can see exactly the right number of standoffs that we were expecting to see. You might need the torch on your phone if you're having trouble seeing the standoffs.

 

I can see that each mounting hole has a corresponding standoff so we can go ahead and screw the board in. 

 

Motherboard screws and any additional screws and standoffs are all included in the hardware that comes with your case. We’re going to be using the 6/32 button head screws.

 

If you're even not sure that you’ve got the right screw, you can always just hand thread one in, and as long as it goes easily, you’ll know that you're not going to cross-thread it.

 

Don’t over-tighten these if you can help it, once you start to meet resistance give it another 1/8th of a turn, that's it. Now, look at that! It's in!

 

Power Supply Installation

corsair 550 watt power supply

Now since were done handling most of the ESD sensitive components of our build, we can go ahead and install our power supply now.

Power Cables

Before mounting it were going to plug in the cables first to make it easier. Were going to be using the CPU power cable, the VGA power cable to power the Graphics card, and finally the cable with the 24 pin plug that will hook up to the motherboard.

power supply cables

 

I’m going to go fan side down because this case has lots of space on the underside to draw in fresh air, prevent placing your PC on carpeted floors because there is little if any air flow to keep it cool!

 

Now as we're putting it in we can just place it down, push towards the motherboard and then slide into the back of the case, then using the            6-32 x 4 screws to secure the power supply.

power supply installation

 

Although it seems like there's a lot of cables you can put them in 3 main groups. The cables from the power supply that powers motherboard and graphics card, the case cables which connect the ports and buttons on the top of the case to the motherboard and the fan cables which connect to the motherboard also.

 

Front Panel Connectors

It's best here to check the motherboard manual, it gives you clear instructions on were each pin needs to be installed.

The B450 motherboard has a splitter cable that divides the pins up into individual connectors, so you really need to manual to see which pin goes were.

Fan Connectors

There is one fan connector near the PCI 16x slot which is a good place to run the wire down from the top to connect one of the case fans.

nzxt case fan connector

nzxt case fan connector

The other connector is located next to the RAM slots.

Plug Cables into the motherboard

We’ll connect the case cables first. If your not sure where the cables go the motherboard manual is great for reference here. For this motherboard the USB 3 cable will plugin as sown in the picture below, the HD Audio cable is near the same area of the motherboard.

usb 3.0 connection

HD audio cable connection

 

This main power cable connects to the motherboard, and the clip corresponds to the little clip on the side there.

24 pin motherboard connection

Next up we’ve got our 8 pin EPS connector, you can tell the difference between this one and an 8 pin PCIE express connector in a couple of ways.

 

One is that if it splits apart it will split into 4 and 4 instead of 6 and 2 and the second way is that many PCIE Express connectors actually have the gap betwee 2 of the pins bridged, here you can tell theres still a little gap because it’s a 6 + 2.

 

Also they helpfully label them, CPU. So this one goes right up the top, again lining the clip up with the hook and I found the best way to cable manage this one is to run it out the back of the case.

CPU power connector

For PCI Express the type of cables your going to use will depend on your graphics card, I’m using a GTX 1660 that has 8 pin power connector.

Cable Management

It’s fairly standard to find disposable cable ties in the packaging for your power supply or your case or both, but if you want to secure larger wires together I would recommend getting some of these velcro ties.

velcro ties wire management

 

This case include loops for wire management and is really convenienct when you're trying to build a PC.

 

To achieve a decent cable management job your main focus is to make sure that no wires are crossing over each other and that they are flat against the case, if they aren't flat you will have a lot of trouble refitting the rear case panel.

pc cable management

 

Graphics card installation

Next up is the graphics card installation, we will start by taking out the second and third from the top PCI slot covers that sit below the 16X slot were the graphics card will be mounted. There's a single screw that holds in each slot cover, remove these with the number 2 size Philips head screwdriver.

picture of PCI slot covers

 

You also need to loosen 2 screws holding a sliding plat near the PCI slots and move it outward in order to fit the graphics card in.

Most graphics cards have a double-wide I.O. plate that accommodates extra ports and larger coolers needed by more power cards.

 

Now we can prepare the slot by moving the tab back, to allow the card to be fitted.

I found it easier to line up the IO first and checked it was aligned at the rear of the case, making sure the tabs are inside the case instead of outside otherwise they won’t go in.

Once it looks aligned switch back to this side and look down through the gaps you’ll notice the holes, that confirms it’s in the right spot and finally check to make sure the back tab on the card is seated correctly.

 

Push down with even pressure until you hear a click and that’s it! If the tab locks back into place, which it seems that it has then it’s installed, lets go ahead and install the screws to secure it to the case. 

Refit the slot cover screws now to secure the graphics card to the case.

securing graphics card to case

Now we’ll go ahead and connect the PCI Express connector to power the card.

Now that we’ve got this installed we’re close to booting it up for the first time.

BOOT UP

Plugin the power cable and switch the power supply on.

We’ll plug in our monitor, keyboard, wireless adapter for the mouse and keyboard and we’re ready to push the power button.

Upon first start hitting the delete key repeatedly will enter the BIOS to see if all the components are showing and here we can change our memory speed because as standard it will default to a slower speed.

bios screen

Once at the BIOS screen Open Advanced Memory Settings amd straight away you can see the memory frequency is only running at 2100 Mhz to change it to our faster rated speed select Extreme Memory Profile or XMP and Select Profile 1.

Extreme memory profile 1

Straight away you can see the speed has changed to 3000 Mhz so all theres left to do is save and exit and from there install windows. 

Windows Install

I’ve created a Windows boot USB drive to installed and also purchased a copy of Windows. When it loads into windows setup you enter the product key if you have a licensed version and just follow the prompts to install windows.

 

Once Windows is installed and your connected to the network we then need to install the drivers for motherboard, LAN ethernet, AUDIO, Graphics card and in this case I’ll be using a wireless USB adapter so I’ll be needing drivers for that as well. This motherboard doesn’t come with a wireless card standard so that’s the reason for going with the USB wireless option here.

 

You can download each driver from the manufacturers' website and just save them to your desktop, then unzip each folder and load the setup and complete each install procedure which is pretty straight forward especially if you chose the express install option.

*links to manufacturers websites*

https://www.nvidia.com/Download/Find.aspx

https://www.asus.com/my/support/Download-Center/

https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/B450-Gaming-X-rev-10#kf

 

I went with this Wi-Fi Adaptor by ASUS that is able to handle 4k streaming and is a good alternative to a Wifi card you have to install to the motherboard. It just plugs straight into a usb port and now that we have our driver installed we can connect it straight to the WiFi network.

 

To stress-test the CPU I’m just running it through a render of Cinebench R20 to see how it performs, I was pretty happy with the score it got and the great thing about Cinebench is you can compare the score once you're done with other PC builds online.

cinebench r20 test

I also edited this video on this PC as well and was impressed with how it handles 4k footage both scrubbing through the timeline and overall workflow was pretty great.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading this guide! all parts are listed below. leave a comment if you have any questions or have built a PC as well and what your favourite parts of the build were.

The Parts

Links to all the parts used in the build

Buy AMD 2600 CPU On Amazon (PAID LINK): https://amzn.to/3eEQA8q

Buy Gigabyte B450M Pro4 Motherboard On Amazon (PAID LINK): https://amzn.to/38b3992

Buy CORSAIR 2 x 8GB RAM On Amazon (PAID LINK): https://amzn.to/3i56dYH

Buy Samsung 970 SSD 250GB On Amazon (PAID LINK): https://amzn.to/3eBTXg1

Buy GigabyteGTX 1660 6G Graphics Card On Amazon (PAID LINK): https://amzn.to/382XvWl

Buy NZXT H510i On US Amazon (PAID LINK): https://amzn.to/2VhrswE

Buy CORSAIR 550w PSU On Amazon (PAID LINK): https://amzn.to/2NtUWTT

Buy ASUS Nano wireless usb hub On US Amazon (PAID LINK): https://amzn.to/3g0ktA3

 

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