Avid Media Composer now has a much lower overall total cost of ownership then most editors realize.
You do not require an expensive HP/Dell workstation or Mac Pro to edit video with Media Composer. Thousands of video editors all over the world are editing video using our DIY10 guide (and DIY 9.5) as a guideline. We have posted a DIY10 build, with Thunderbolt, that runs Avid Media Composer 7 great for around $1,500! If you're looking to go with a Hex core CPU, our DIY 9.5 Avid build from Dec 2013 is still a killer machine.
You can edit on a laptop or Mac Book Pro, as well as an iMac. Media Composer does not require any special hardware to run just as long as you stick to the basic requirements outlined on the Media Composer Product Pages.
If you are doing professional work, we're going to recommend you get an HP z420/ z820 workstation When it comes to stability, reliability and performance these workstations set the bar by which all others are judged. If you're building a professional post facility, HP z series workstations are the way to go!
Tech Note: The new Mac Pro is not yet approved by Avid, but Avid is in the process of certifying it. When they release a new update of MC7 that is certified for the new Mac Pro we will also recommend it.
The major determining factor on how much computer you will actually need is the format of your source footage (SD or HD). Editing DSLR, GoPro or AVCHD footage takes a lot of horsepower because these formats are very compressed. The video quality is spectacular but you need a powerful computer to work with the media. Fortunately, you can find these powerful computers everywhere today. Our DIY 9.5 Avid build is a killer machine and it will handle multiple layers of HD footage. It's not overkill, but it's not a budget system either. We feel it really hits the sweetspot for performance and value. Just add video storage, and your off to the races! Here are our basic guidelines for editing the HD footage mentioned above using Media Composer.