I'm a broadcaster with editing experience in Final Cut Pro and some Avid work. Over the past few months, I have been eagerly awaiting the Linux FOSS release of Lightworks, an award-winning non-linear video editor. On their website Lightworks Beta release, it mentions that the program can make use of your GPU for faster and smoother computing. With that being said, what would be the best system components to purchase individually so that I may assemble my own custom professional desktop editor?
First of all, I can see you are interested in hardware.
Fortunatelly for you, Ubuntu is ready to edit the majority of digital video files with several software and the required codecs, which can be easily installed.
Unfortunatelly, when the thing is related to "High Definition Video" the task may be so difficult.
However, I am also waiting for the first release of LightWorks, which has already been released for MS based systems. However, you will have a few choices in ubuntu, other than LightWorks which are working pretty fine, such as: kdenlive, openshot and a few more.
But we were talking about hardware configuration. And for that I may suggest you to reach the best of two items in your bundle:
1.- The best MicroProcessor you can pay for (starting from core2duo), and... 2.- The best Graphics card (VGA, HDMI, DVI) you can get with less money. (from 512 MB will be good, 1 GB great!)
There are people which says that File Transfer Bus will be the most important thing in the architecture of a good CPU but, what would a fast FTBus be good for?, if in the case of non linear editing systems, the most important is not how the system reads the files in the hard drive, but the way the things are drawn in the screen. And I am refering to those portions of video that should be pre-rendered in order to perform a preview of the final video.
I think that the rest of the items in the bundle (motherboard and its architecture, hard disk drives and its size, and a few other accessories) can be added when needed.
However, if you find interesting, I extend you an invitation to follow my search of a good architecture (hardware and software) for the "Editing High Definition Video in Linux" thread that I am documenting in the next link:
Not exacly an answer to you question, but even so worth taking note of. Kdenlive is able to use proxy editing and this way you can edit hd footage with no exeptional hardware. Only the final product is rendered at full hd and that takes some time, in my case 3 times realtime. Btw it has an amazing set of effects. Rinus