From Hollywood to indie and amateur projects, computers have become mandatory in film and the visual arts. If you want to be the next Lucasarts or Pixar then not just any computer will do. 3D rendering and video editing taxes the performance of just about every component of a modern computer. While a computer built for video games won’t benefit from more than four cores or features like hyper-threading, your rendering software will eat as many of these as you can throw at it. For this type of work the number of “threads” or tasks the processor can do at the same time is more important than raw speed. Although if you can afford to have both that’s good too.
These days the CPU doesn’t have to render video by itself. Even mid-range modern graphics processors can accelerate video rendering speed and can really smooth things out while editing as well.
Rendering 3D objects and scenery of course requires even more graphics grunt and benefits from higher-end graphics chips. While performance components get the headlines they are not the only consideration for video and 3D rendering. These machines should be quiet, take no more space than needed, look good in the workspace and have components that are reliable. For example, having a middle of the road power supply is OK for gaming sessions that last a few hours at a time. Where the off visual artifact or glitch goes unnoticed. When rendering a 30 or 40 hour job however, these are problems you can’t afford and that’s why these machines are built with a different eye for priorities.