A useful computer for shotcut on linux editing videos in 4k

Hello, I want to get a new computer, install mx-linux and shotcut, want to stay with mx-linux and shotcut. I only want to use this computer for video editing. On the Internet there are thousands of offers and a lot of “advice” for a lot of money. But for me it’s just a hobby and that’s why I don’t need a Porsche. But a computer with which I can edit the videos that I recorded with my GoPro Hero 8 in 4k. What I have already understood, the processor (CPU) is more important than the graphics card for Shotcut (right?). Do you have any experience with suitable CPUs? 16 or better 32 GB RAM? SSD on PCIe in an M.2 slot seems to make a lot of sense. What do you think of the Intel CPUs with graphics without an extra graphics card? e.g. I7 with Intel® UHD Graphics 770 ? Does AMD have something to offer? What is your knowledge and experience? Thanks for every answer and every hint or tip!

It mainly depends on how many and which filters you intend to use. If all you intend to do is stitch videos together, maybe with a transition between each and have a title and end-credits, then 16GB of memory is the minimum recommended for 4K. If you intend to do color balancing, panning and zooming, keyframing etc., then 32GB will definitely make editing a better experience. If you are going to do very heavy editing you might want to go above 32GB.

Shotcut uses CPU more than Graphics Cards, so get a fast CPU with multiple cores (at least 4, more is better). AMD processors are just as good as the Intel equivalent (in some cases better), so the manufacturer is really irrelevant.

An SSD is a must. Get a large SSD for holding videos that you are working on in Shotcut. Once you have finished editing using them you can transfer them and the Shotcut project file to an internal or external multi-TB HDD, effectively as archival storage. Since you’ve finished editing them you don’t need them to be taking up expensive SSD space.

These are the main considerations you should make.

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I would say that if you are going to edit normal 4k videos (not intensive stuff) than a intel i5 (i7 or i9 recommended) and 16GB ram with the normal intel GPU would be just enough. Which might cost really cheap than the killers on the market.

And if intensive, than I would recommend in budget getting 24GB ram and geforce 1050 ti (GPU for exporting faster) so you have enough space to do high end work under budget price. And the chip, you should not buy a budget one at this point, rather consider the one which performs good.

But if you ask the best, and value for price, than I would recommend a macbook with m1 with 16GB ram (better get the 32GB variant, it helps a lot while going intensive), it is highly optimized and stable. I myself use the 32GB variant, and it performs really good in 4k.

I think the poster is asking for a computer that would qualitatively edit 4K videos without a problem and without proxy.

If someone knows of a setup in Linux that does this without stuttering that would be a really great bit of knowledge.

My understanding from just reading this board that scaling CPUs is only effective up to a point.


If you have sufficient memory and a powerful multi-core CPU, editing in Shotcut is mostly trouble free and a pleasure to use. If editing starts to slow on my lower-powered systems I use Preview Scaling and also Proxies to counteract this.

From the FAQ:

How does Shotcut use multiple CPU cores and threads?

Shotcut’s engine (MLT atop FFmpeg and other libraries) uses multiple CPU cores/threads for:

  1. decoding video on many (most?) video codecs
  2. image slice-based multi-threaded processing in some processes
  3. frame-based multi-threaded image processing in many processes
  4. encoding video when not using the hardware encoder on most video codecs

When any of the above is not enabled, a bottleneck is introduced. Some of these are minor and others major depending on the weight of the operation.

Shotcut’s interface - in addition to the main UI thread - uses multiple background CPU cores/threads for:

  1. generating video thumbnails
  2. generating audio levels for waveform display in the timeline
  3. the engine itself (see above)
  4. sending video to OpenGL for display
  5. exporting

Thank you for the answers.

After some research, my plan is now to assemble a PC myself, and then a friend will assemble it for me.

I take the new Intel Core i9 12900K, 32 GB RAM DDR5, an M.2 hard drive with NMVe technology, I keep a graphics card open as an option, will initially run everything on the internal GPU. Plus a 4K monitor.

So far I’ve used MX-Linux, but recently I became aware of Clear-Linux, which is optimized for Intel. I already had clear-linux installed on an older laptop a few days ago. Starting processes and switching off work noticeably faster.

Before I use it on the new computer, I will try it on my current one and see if there is a difference when using shotcut. Am very excited.

Hopefully I will no longer have stuttering in videos in 4K.

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@Kay_Opitz Just be aware that this processor is one of the Alder Lake family. There have been several posts about these processors being used with Shotcut (and other applications). See:

Dan has made some changes to Shotcut to enable you to increase its priority when executing, which helps, but I believe that there are still some issues. Also see here:

There are some interesting benchmarks showing Clear Linux leading other Linux distros for various workloads, including encoding, here:

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