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Best Mac for Video Editing in 2020

Mac for Video Editing


Wondering which is the best Mac for video editing? Many users think that, as a general rule, Macs are devices designed for creatives, designers and illustrators of photography and video. However, are all Macs equally valid for editing? 

In recent years, Apple has received some criticism for partially neglecting these demanding users, something that has changed with the surprising model update it has carried out over the last two years.

We’ve looked at all the new configurations for Mac computers, both desktop and laptop, to get you closer to what settings are most appropriate. Although Apple has already launched its new MacBooks with Apple Silicon chip , we have not been able to test their performance, so in the absence of testing them, we left them out. 

In this way, the latest MacBook Pros are machines that can compete face to face with any desktop format model. The same happens with the iMac Pro, these are designed for professionals who use them as work tools.

The Macs we mentioned are obviously high priced, but there are less expensive options that may also be suitable for video editing. This is the case of the  new Mac mini with more CPU cores and twice the capacity.

Here we take a closer look at the range of Mac computers for sale, customization options to consider, accessories, software and services available. 


apple imac 21inch 201702Video editing has always been one of the great challenges for any computer team, and professional video editing requires a high-end system. Those less young will remember the use of complex mixing consoles where there is now the use of a single Mac.

You should also take into account the fact of the infinity of configuration options that Apple offers when purchasing a new computer. Sometimes it is worth investing a little more in a higher capacity SSD drive, or more RAM to improve performance. 

We assume that all Macs can edit video clips, but there is a clear difference between being able to edit a quick video for platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo, and those creating professional projects or short films.

Many of the projects or even big name movies are recorded with a Mac with programs like Final Cut Pro or Avid software . Digital publishing demands a lot of processor and graphics power, as well as storage space.

This is further aggravated by editing in 4K formats for which it is necessary to have better features. Let’s see which Mac computers are the most appropriate to carry out video editing without wasting time in post-production. 

Which Mac is Best for Video Editing?

If budget is not a problem for your pocket, the best Mac for professional-level video editing (excluding the Pro range) is the 27-inch iMac Pro with Retina 5K display and Intel Xeon processors, whose price starts from the € 5,499 the most basic model.

Now, for work, you may need a team more focused on mobility, so that you can take advantage of your trips to be productive and show your clients your work live. Then the MacBook Pro may be the right solution for you, now that it has just been revamped.

There are those who cannot spend a real fortune and seek to be able to edit videos with a certain quality. With the latest configuration update carried out by Apple on the Mac mini , it is another possibility to consider within the entry range, although it comes without a screen.

Best iMac for video editing

Focusing on what the 27-inch iMac with Retina display offers , and without belonging to the iMac Pro family, you should know that the 27-inch model has been one of the last to be updated to support six-core Intel Core i5 processors and 10th generation, plus dedicated Radeon Pro 5300 graphics.

Standard includes 8 GB of RAM, expandable up to 32 GB. The same goes for the storage unit that leaves the 1 TB Fusion Drive mode behind, to limit itself to offering SSDs that you can expand up to 2 TB.

Increasing its RAM configuration to 16 GB, as well as opting for a higher capacity SSD drive can be enough reasons to have a solvent team in video editing if you are going to use it to face the videos of family projects. 

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Among the configurations that you can find customized, the Intel Core i9 eight-core processor with Turbo Boost at 5 GHz stands out, the 32 GB of RAM, and the SSD of up to 8 TB to completely dispense with storage in the cloud.

Best iMac Pro for video editing

But without a doubt, the best system to edit video with a Mac, if you want to forget about waiting times, is the iMac Pro. They are computers that come with Intel Xeon CPUs “up to 18 cores if you scale the system configuration.

The RAM memory starts at 32 GB and allows you to increase the figure to 256 GB, although for this, prepare to shell out a good amount of money. Storage, meanwhile, ranges from 1 to 4TB, with advanced Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics options that can be modified by the Pro Vega 64 or 64X with up to 16GB of HBM2 graphics memory.

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The sum of all these components allows to achieve high performance. In fact, when we tested the 10-core model with 128GB of RAM, we managed to pass all benchmarks with a figure of 37,000 in the Geekbench 4 multi-core segment.

To get an idea, the iMac with Core i7 from 2017 only reached 17,500 points in the same test. The price of an iMac Pro starts at € 5,499 and in addition to the processor cores mentioned, its processors belong to the Intel Xeon family. 

Mac mini for video editing

If your editing needs are to carry out unpretentious personal projects, the Mac mini is positioned as the most appropriate solution in exchange for the price you must pay.

It is clear that you do not have a lot of storage space, processing capacity, and you must purchase a separate screen along with keyboard and mouse, but with the functions of the operating system and applications, you will be able to carry out the task of video editing.

The Mac mini starts at a price range of € 929 with 8th generation Intel Core i3 processors, quad-core 3.6 GHz with 128 GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM, expandable up to 64 GB. We once again focus on betting on at least 16 GB of RAM.

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You can increase the specifications of the equipment by including a six-core CPU, 64 GB of RAM and a 2 TB SSD, which raises its price to € 4,849. It is already a price for which you should consider buying an iMac with an integrated screen, instead of this one.

Apple offers the possibility of acquiring the full version of Final Cut Pro X together with the team at an additional price of € 329.99, or Logic Pro X with a supplement of € 229.99 , which corroborates that Apple considers this equipment as suitable for video editing.

Although it only has the potential offered by Intel’s integrated graphics, since it does not have dedicated graphics, it is a good choice for amateur or less demanding editors  who are looking for an inexpensive home system that is able to carry them out without rushing. . 

It remains to be seen how the announced Mac mini with Apple Silicon performs in performance , whose first data seems revealing. It is the cheapest device with macOS you can buy and it can be a great option for anyone who is thinking of making sporadic home videos.

Once we have the chance to test it, we will update this article with our opinion on whether it should be among your preferences for video editing.

MacBook Pro for video editing

The  MacBook Pro configurations update has occurred throughout this year, both in the 13.3 and 16-inch ranges, so you make sure you have equipment with the latest Intel Core processors. 

You already know that since mid-November the new MacBook Pro 13 with Apple Silicon chip has been on sale , an architecture that has not yet been integrated into high-end Macbook Pro with 16-inch screen. 

But without a doubt, the MacBook Pros are a wise choice for those who demand mobility. In general, we have tended to recommend the 15-inch models (now in disuse), compared to the 13-inch ones, but now that they have disappeared from the catalog, the 16-inch ones take over, whose price starts at € 2,699 . 

All the new models already have a Touch Bar navigation bar, as well as Touch ID and the new Magic Keyboard with which the various problems that Apple laptops have presented in recent years are left behind.

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The ninth-generation Core i9 and eight-core CPU options are called to be the new mobile workstations focused on video and audio editing, with Radeon Pro 5550M graphics, 64GB of RAM and up to 8TB of SSD storage. 

However, within the 13-inch family , you can still find a greater variety of configuration models depending on the processors, with the 8th generation Core i5 as well as the 10th generation Core i5. 

Mac Pro for video editing

As you know, the Mac Pro shown by Apple for the first time during the WWDC 2019 celebration, and whose availability was made to wait until October, promises to change the rules when it comes to the performance of Apple systems. 

We are sure that this should be your choice of Mac equipment to tackle your video editing projects on a professional or recording studio level. You can buy it in both tower and rack format. 

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It is true that it is a very expensive computer configuration, but there are already many professionals interested, since the device works with Xeon processors of up to 28 cores, eight PCIe expansion slots and the possibility of adding various graphics cards. 

The machine is designed for users who need advanced performance, hence the monstrous power of its CPU, the aforementioned processors (with 64-bit PCI Express) and an enormous bandwidth. 

The monitor is separate. The initial starting price of € 6,499 is joined by the Apple monitor dubbed Pro Display XDR, a 32-inch Retina 6K screen, with 10-bit color gamut, brightness of up to 1,600 nits, 1,000,000: 1 contrast and a super wide viewing angle.

Together, Apple has claimed that the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are the most powerful tools the company has put in the hands of professional customers looking for advanced technology, not just video editing.

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So, to the question of which Mac should I buy for video editing, the answer depends on whether you are a professional video editor with deadlines, or a hobbyist or enthusiast who edits videos in your spare time.

If you get paid for the number of videos rendered per hour, then choose an iMac Pro with advanced processors. The greater speed when developing projects, provided by Intel Xeon processors, will allow you to amortize the equipment in a short space of time. 

We take it for granted that the Mac Pro option, by price, is rather aimed at companies and professional studios that require the maximum potential. Now with the MacBook Pro 16 model is added an extra in the display area of ​​the screen that you will not find in the MacBook Pro 13. 

If you are just looking for a Mac to render home videos, then you should go for the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display. It offers the best combination of speed, storage and value for money.

If your claims are not very advanced, another good alternative would be to acquire an advanced configuration of Mac Mini and then add a monitor that could also be the new Pro Display XDR.

However, keep in mind that the Mac mini will not be able to expand it with more dedicated graphics, something that the Mac Pro and its 8 PCI Express slots do contemplate. 

Mac computers with the new Apple Silicon chip architecture are already a reality as we can see in the Mac mini, MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. Our benchmark tests will allow us to know if they are good machines for video editing, something that we will reveal to you shortly.

Video editing software and accessories

It seems likely that together with the hardware system, you want to purchase advanced editing software that allows you to edit the videos. Final Cut Pro is usually sufficient for the vast majority of users, but there are other alternatives.

Avid Media Composer 6.5 and Adobe Premiere Pro are some of them, the second as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription program. 

Among professionals, the Avid Media Composer remains the industry’s leading program for editing. For its part, Premiere Pro has many advantages over Final Cut Pro with different rendering formats.

Since relatively recently, Adobe has put on the market the software Premiere Pro Clip , which allows you to edit videos on small screen devices, both iOS and Android, thinking of the tablet and smartphone.

You can also take a look at this article where we offer you the best photo editing apps for iPad. We have the equivalent report to edit photos from the iPhone itself.

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