Best Mac Laptops and Desktop Computers for Video Editing
Utility • Updated on Nov. 15, 2020
How often do you clean your Mac? Be honest, when is the last time you at least cleaned your Mac desktop?
What if you could find a software that could automate the cleaning process for you?
Whether you’re just getting into video editing or you’re always on the lookout for the next best machine that will meet all your needs – there is no better time to find a good deal than during the holiday season.
Did you ever wish if only you had a powerful Mac that could help you edit and render your videos without any issues or lags? We know that feeling very well.
Even though the technology is improving at a rapid speed – so is the cost of the most powerful machines out there.
Yet, you still require the most powerful video editing computer so you can keep up the video technology, especially considering the increase in video marketing & editing requirements during the holiday season.
Down below, you’ll find some of the best Apple computers and laptops that will make a great investment. Not only you’ll get a great deal, but you’ll also find a computer/laptop that will serve you for years.
What are the requirements for video editing
4K is now a part of our regular life and what once used to be HD has now improved in resolution – it’s clear that requirements for video editing are higher than ever before.
We are aware that you can’t keep on upgrading your computer that used to run like a charm. Now, it’s all about looking in the future and planning your investment wisely.
So what is that video editors need today? Here’s a clear list of the most important components:
CPU (processor) is often the biggest requirement for video editors
GPU (graphics card) goes without saying with the CPU as its purpose is to handle rendering
Disk drive for storage is in the third place as videos of today’s quality require a lot more storage than they did ever before
However, you can’t ignore other requirements such as:
Compatibility and connectivity
It goes without saying that you can’t choose any type of processor. Looking at cores, cache, whether hyper-threading is available, and a couple of other options.
Apple laptops and computers are offered in a couple of options you can choose from and the high-end options always come with high-end components.
The process is a great example and that’s why you’ll always see a Xeon processor in Mac computers.
Staying up to date with technology is important because just recently, Apple has announced that they will be manufacturing their components such as the CPU and that their newest Macs will come equipped with Apple components from early 2021.
Even though Macs usually run AMD graphics cards and don’t offer NVIDIA graphics cards in their options – they still offer a variety of AMD graphics cards to choose from.
When it comes down to the storage – a quick and reliable SSD is a must in today’s age and the great thing about purchasing a new Mac is that you won’t have to worry about this as almost all of them come with an SSD.
Once you find a Mac or a MacBook with a configuration that will fit your needs – the last thing you shouldn’t forget about is the ports.
You’ll most likely have to plug in a couple of different devices to get the video or audio from and the more ports – the better it will be for you!
Best Mac laptops and desktop computers for video editing
Our mission is to always provide a solution, no matter the problem and if you’re looking for the best video editing computer/laptop from Apple – this is the right list to look at.
Even though Mac Pro is the most expensive option from our list – it’s the first choice because it’s every editor’s dream.
It’s the Mac that offers the most in the terms of the processor, graphics card, RAM, and storage – and it’s just what professionals might need to get their job done.
Even though Mac Pro comes with a high price to pay, you can rest assured that even if you went to purchase a computer of the same specifications from another brand – they would charge you pretty much the same amount.
Therefore, the brand doesn’t have to do anything with the Mac Pro and it’s a computer whose main focus is power.
What we also like about Mac Pro is that it’s also one of the computers that offer the most when it terms of connectivity and further expansion.
However, keep in mind that Mac Pro doesn’t come with a screen and you will have to purchase the screen additionally.
You can opt-in for the Apple Pro Display XDR which will cost almost as the Mac Pro itself, or you can go with any other brand that meets your needs.
If money isn’t the issue – there’s no better video editing computer than Mac Pro at the market right now which makes it the number one choice for video editing in 2020.
iMac Pro – Second Best Option for Semi-Pro Editors
If you’re looking for a bit more compatible option and an option where you don’t need an external display – iMac Pro is the next best thing to Mac Pro.
iMac Pro also offers the same Xeron configuration (8-core work class-station processor) as well as the standard of up to 18 CPU cores.
There’s also a choice of up to 256 GB RAM, Pro Vega graphics, and a massive 4 TB of storage. One of the things we like the most is the SDXC slot which we believe will be used by many video editors out there.
When it comes down to the display, the biggest benefit of the iMac Pro is the 5K display. Keep in mind, iMac Pro hasn’t been updated in 3 years now – but it still handles things well and is easily compared to the newest Mac Pro.
We also believe that iMac Pro will get an upgrade relatively soon (maybe by the end of 2020!) so you never know what improvements the update can bring.
However, if iMac Pro might be out of your reach – don’t give up hope yet as there is also an iMac 27″ that is very well worth looking into.
While two first choices were aimed for professionals and video editors that have big demands – iMac 27″ is a great option for the most average video editors out there.
Whether you’re doing it part-time, as a hobby, or you’re just getting started – iMac 27″ is a perfect computer to get started with.
It has everything a video editor would need from a computer such as the 5K display, fast processor, great graphics card, decent portability, and perfect connectivity.
One of the most important things is that Apple updated iMac 27″ earlier in 2020 which makes this an ideal video editing computer to invest in as you’ll know that it’ll last for years (and you won’t have to worry about outdated components or software).
The base model is a lot more affordable than the first two options over here, and yet this pick is still going to render 4K videos at high speeds and has enough space for you to use.
You can expect the base model to be equipped with an i5 (10th Gen) processor, Radeon Pro 5300, and 8 GB of RAM in combination with 1 TB of Fusion drive.
We believe that the base model is ideal for beginners, but it might not meet all needs of seasoned or advanced video editors.
Instead, you should opt-in for build-to-order options at the point of sale instead. Choosing a faster processor in combination with a better graphics card is recommended, but adding another 8 GB of RAM is a must we recommend.
The same goes for the 1 TB Fusion drive. Even though it’s not the best option out there, it might be ideal for some video editors out there. If not – upgrading to at least 256 GB SSD drive isn’t going to cost a lot.
If you aren’t on a tight budget, specced out iMac 27″ might be a great deal even if you’re just starting as you’ll have everything you need to learn, improve your skills, and never worry about speeds or reliability.
Included in the price is, of course, the 5K display that is worth considering the iMac 27″.
If you’re wondering what’s the cheapest Apple Mac doing on this list – you’re not crazy. However, we’re not crazy either because we have realized that some of the newest features of upgraded Mac Mini can benefit video editors.
Even though the re-design of Mac Mini happened two years ago – it’s still a relevant computer which is up to date with the latest technological improvements.
Of course, it might not be the most suitable option for all video editors out there, but it’s worth consideration. Why?
The base model offers a decent configuration such as a 3.6 GHz (quad-core) processor, 256 GB SSD storage, and 8 GB of RAM.
Even though this might not be anywhere near enough for some video editors – the key here is to consider the upgrades.
Bumping up the specification and even maxing the Mac Mini will end up costing half the price of their picks in here and yet you’ll get a really solid machine that will serve your video editing purpose for at least 2 years from now.
The main downside is the weak graphics card as Mac Mini features UHD Graphics 630 – but we highly recommend upgrading the GPU. There is plenty of eGPU that would make a great choice, and our recommendation is the Blackmagic.
Even though it might not be the best option out there – Mac Mini has one advantage which might be important for video editors that work on the go.
Since it’s fairly small and easy to carry around, this might be your ideal main computer for video editing that you can use both in the office and at your home.
However, you shouldn’t forget about the external monitor you will need and the basic peripherals which you probably have at your home.
Other than that, Mac Mini can be a perfect choice for anyone from a beginner to an advanced video editor. Of course, we will leave out the professionals as we think that the first couple of picks are a more suitable option for them.
If you’re almost always on the go and you are thinking of finding a laptop that will allow you to get all your work done without burning your budget – MacBook Pro is a great option.
Whether you go for a 13″ or a 15″ – you’ll be able to get a decent configuration if you move on from the base models.
So if you have a relatively tight budget, choosing a year or two old MacBook Pro with higher-end specs is always a better choice than going for the brand new MacBook Pro with base model specs.
The integrated graphics of MacBook Pro aren’t always that bad and you would be amazed at how much work you can get done.
If you aren’t on a budget, the 16″ MacBook Pro is a better option as the larger size gave Apple more room to fit a better graphics card. But that’s the only benefit as you will also benefit from a large 16″ display that can go a long way when quick editing sessions on the go turn into hours.
Mid-range 13″ MacBook Pro caught our eye because it comes with 16 GB RAM and that’s one thing less you will have to worry about.
However, if you’re on a total budget and you hardly can get any decent computer and not even a Mac or MacBook Pro – there’s still hope! Check that older models are starting to see serious discounts:
As we’ve briefly mentioned earlier – Apple is working on the introduction of its own components that will be installed in Mac computers and MacBook laptops to run their own operating system efficiently.
Yes, this means that Apple is moving away from using Intel and AMD chips in their laptops to actually using its own components introduced to us as Apple Silicon.
This is actually a really big deal for video editors as it will affect video editors who use Apple Macs in three different ways:
If you’re an iPhone or iPad user – you probably know that your iPhone or iPad is running an Apple processor which got faster and better every year.
For Macs and MacBooks – Apple has been relying on quality Intel processors. But there’s one problem.
Intel processors aren’t improving and releasing new chips and processors as quick as Apple would like to.
This means that Macs and MacBooks will have better and improved processors every year – but what does this mean for editors?
Macs and MacBooks will run faster as a result, have better cooling, and a quicker performance.
Of course, Apple can’t just roll out the physical update. They will have to reconstruct every single app that can be run on their operating system from the ground up.
Even though this sounds terrifying – you shouldn’t break a sweat because Apple has already shown a video of Final Cut Pro running flawlessly on the prototype of a Silicon Mac.
They’ve even added a couple of new features that will be exclusively available on Apple Silicon products and you’ll definitely benefit from this as a video editor.
And the final question is why is this pick even on our list for the best 2020 video editing Apple computer/laptop?
Apple will run Silicon Macs in 2021 so if you’re not in a hurry – waiting on for this flawless piece of technology is the best thing you can do!
But with the latest surprise from Apple, you can already check out the Silicon-powered MacBook Air laptop which is powered by a Silicon M1 chip and it’s the first one ever Silicon Mac to be released on the market!
It still features an attractive and silent design, yet inside, it has 5 times faster graphics, 3.5 times faster processor, 16 GB of RAM, 2 TB of SSD drive, and even WiFi 6 connectivity.
If you can’t wait for the Silicon MacBook Pro or Silicon Mac – we’re definitely sure that Silicon MacBook Air (the most powerful Air ever) will be more than enough for mid-advanced video editors.
Why do almost all video editors use Mac computers and MacBook laptops?
The long answer short is because Mac computers and MacBook laptops meet the demands of video editors.
Even from the early days, Mac computers had a bit of an advantage against other computers on the market.
However, it wasn’t always going great for Apple. A couple of times, Apple was hated by professionals for changes and updates they made.
But in the end, Apple is still one of the best brands for creatives as it features powerful computers and laptops, a smooth and reliable operating system that works flawlessly with their products, and software that isn’t available on other operating systems.
Also, a wide range of choices makes Apple computers and laptops suitable for anyone from amateurs and hobby editors to advanced and professional editors.
Even though they’re a hefty investment – these computers & laptops are considered work machines that will ensure that you have everything you need to do your job properly and correctly.
Lately, Apple has started working with professionals which also includes illustrators and video editors to learn exactly what professionals need.
Then they take these features and produce them across all specifications which don’t only benefit professionals, but it also benefits amateurs who decide to pick up an Apple product.
Should I choose a MacBook laptop or a Mac computer?
Most video editors love the ability to work remotely, and yet this brings up another challenge which is opting in for either a Mac computer or a MacBook laptop.
Even though Mac is always a better option – its main con is that you’ll always need additional peripherals to use it portably.
But when it comes down to MacBook laptops – you almost get the best of both worlds which is portability with powerful performance.
The main downside of MacBook laptops is that they often aren’t able to handle the temperatures produced by high-demanding tasks such as video editing (especially rendering).
When it comes down to the components – you won’t have to think twice about that. Instead, think of your budget and try to think of the best option for your lifestyle.
If you’re not always on the move but you travel often – not being on a budget would easily allow you to have a Mac at home and MacBook Pro for your travels.
But if you’re on a budget, you’ll have to combine or sacrifice a thing or two to suit your lifestyle and yet get the best performance for your money.
Things you should know if you’re only getting into video editing
As you could tell from this article (and especially from the prices), Mac Pro and iMac aren’t quite the choices for beginners.
If you don’t have a budget and you don’t mind spending a fortune – you should go for it. However, most beginners might not need all the features of these high-end video editing machines.
But a couple of advice we’d be able to share is that you would need a fast computer/laptop, be equipped with the right software, learn important terms, use color correction tools to correct color in your videos, learn how to select good music and edit videos for a story, but also maintain an efficient workflow.
Just like anything out there – video editing is a skill that requires a lot of learning and trial at first before you become proficient at it.
Tied well into this is the editing software you will require. There are a couple top editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro.
Even though most of the quality tools are paid options – Final Cut Pro is free for all users.
That’s why we recommend going for a pick closer to the end of this article as you can always upgrade as you improve.
Taking one step at a time is important but having the right tool is as important.
Apple computers and laptops provide reliability and if you thought you would have to spend a fortune – you were wrong.
Well, you can spend a lot, but in return, you’ll be getting a work machine that will meet all your expectations and needs.
If you’re just starting – start slow and upgrade as you move on. But if you’re on a budget, there’s still a way to enjoy the benefits and reliability of Mac OS – so don’t give up!
And if you’re not in a rush to get a new Mac computer for video editing, you should wait for early-mid 2021 when Apple releases Macs with their components.