Jan 03, 2020. The BEST video editing software for Mac in 2020! Here’s our review of the leading options, and our top picks for both free and paid Mac Video Editors right n.
Apple didn’t get its reputation for performance and accuracy from nowhere.
Everything from phones to paper-thin notebooks are engineering to work efficiently, and this makes their MacBooks ideal for all levels of video editing.
Besides integrating extremely well with the Adobe Creative Cloud suite and many other third-party photo/video editing software, they offer a streamlined experience that will work well in any freelance or industry position.
What Is the Best Mac for Video Editing? Defining the best computer for video editing and multimedia from the Apple line is not easy. Numerous variants need to be analyzed, each of them can have different hardware pieces, additionally, several received updates this year.
In this guide, we’ll point out some key points for choosing the best MacBook Pro that will most effectively work for video editing at various levels, and showcase some of our own recommendations as well.
- For the casual creative, we recommend the 13-inch MacBook Pro with 256GB SSD, which offers quality performance without unnecessarily bulking up the specs. It doesn’t offer touch bar, but it is portable and sturdy.
- If you certainly aren’t a hobbyist but not a pro either, 13-inch MacBook Pro with 512GB SSD is a better choice. The storage has been beefed up a bit, and the touch bar offers a new dimension of functionality.
- Lastly, the professional creative looking to max out their performance power would be best served with a 15-inch MacBook Pro with i9 Processor and 512GB SSD. This model offers insane amounts of processing power, though you’ll likely still want an external monitor for the sake of screen space.
Is MacBook Pro Good for Video Editing?
In this case, it isn’t about whether or not a Mac will be effective for video editing, but a matter of how much power you really need.
If you just plan on doing minor work for youtube, you won’t be troubled by extensive renders or clamoring for screen restate, so it doesn’t make sense to pay for specs built for something ten times as processor-intensive.
However, if you plan on doing digital animation or working in 4K, it’s definitely time to look at higher-end machines that will be able to handle what you’re throwing at them.
If you’re not planning on editing videos in some way, you should not treat this article as a collection of the most powerful MacBooks overall.
Intensive computer work demands different specs depending on what you plan on doing, so you can’t assume the best for editing will be the best for say, gaming.
Best MacBook Pro for Video Editing: What to Consider in 2020?
The key to a fast render is a high quality dedicated graphics card, and while lower-level work will likely be fine using an integrated card, you’ll want a dedicated one for anything beyond the casual home video or Youtube vlog. Dedicated graphics allow your computer to utilize RAM (Random Access Memory) specifically for the high-quality visuals you’ll be rendering as effectively as possible.
The processor is going to be handling every detail of your video as you build it, so you’re going to want to look towards the latest generations of the Intel i5 and i7 lines. Since video software can make use of multiple threads as well, these will benefit you while creating your project.
The final element that will make or break the performance of your MacBook while working on video editing is RAM. It’s used in every aspect of your computer’s execution of processes, and you’ll want a minimum of 8GB for amateur work, with a goal of 16GB if you’re editing professionally.
Best MacBook Pro for Video Editing in 2020: Our Picks
1. Casual Video Editing: 13-inch MacBook Pro (2.4GHz, Intel Core i5 processor, 256GB)
If you’re going to be editing home videos and content for Youtube, you probably won’t be doing intensive 3D renders or completely utilizing heavy programs even if they are installed. This version of the 13″ MacBook Pro comes with the processing power to reach your goal without unnecessarily overcompensating.
- The 13″ model is extremely portable, so you’ll have editing power at your fingertips wherever you go.
- RAM is the perfect amount for this type of user and should last several years.
- SSD drive means that renders and saves will be completed faster than with a physical HDD disk.
- SSD is pricey, which is why this model only comes with 256 GB in disk space. You’ll definitely want to purchase an external drive to compensate for this when storing your videos.
- Additionally, this model uses an integrated graphics card which will be fine for this level of editing but doesn’t offer room for growth.
2. For Amateur Movie Making: 13-inch MacBook Pro (2.4GHz, Intel Core i5 processor, 512GB)
Whether college student or budding short-film director, you need power and a modern flair without the expense of a professional setup. This model of MacBook is a great compromise, offering Apple’s latest touch bar and touch ID technology packed into a 13″ body powered by an integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655.
- Offering both portability and power, this modern masterpiece has all the specs to get you where you want to go without any unnecessary bulk.
- The brand-new touch bar is also included and known to have great integrations when working in Final Cut Pro or the Adobe Suite.
- While offering more space than the aforementioned 256GB model, it’s still a bit on the small side for storing large video files.
- It also has an integrated graphics card, which is slightly less than ideal.
3. For Professional Creatives: 15-inch MacBook Pro (2.3GHz, Intel Core i9 processor, 512GB)
Truly a top of the line machine, this MacBook Pro model was built for precision and nothing less. The 8-core i9 processor can stand up to just about anything you throw at it, it has a powerful graphics card UHD Graphics 630. The 15″ screen offers some more real estate than the smaller 13″ models.
- It has nearly unbeatable power between the mix of RAM, dGPU, and processor.
- The beautiful screen will produce accurate colors and the touch bar will allow you to work even more effectively in your favorite editing programs.
- You have the option to choose more storage space if needed.
- When editing professionally, you need all the screen space you can get, and no size laptop is going to be able to offer that. If you don’t have an external monitor, check out our recommendations.
Useful Mac Video Editing Resources
Just getting started with editing your own videos? LifeWire offers a great tutorial on getting started, from which software will be the most useful to whether you’ll fare better with some peripherals. Also, check out this complete video editing tutorial for non-editors on Mac:
A fan of iMovie? MacWorld has made a fantastic list of best tips on how to get the most out of Apple’s video editing software for macOS.
You could also check out this list of free and paid Mac video editing apps (TechRadar), which will let you experiment before deciding exactly what you need in a paid program.
Video editing is a prime example of technical work that eats RAM and CPU power like no other. Luckily, a MacBook Pro was made to stand up to these things and is sure to perform if you’ve picked an adequate model.
What set up do you currently use to edit videos? Let us know and share which specs you think are most important for productive work.
It’s no secret that Macs are known to be the best computers for video editing. From their inception, Macs have been positioned as the machine of choice for creatives — but what about today? With so many options available, it can be hard to tell which system and software is best for your needs.
Professionals using tools like Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro for Mac might require a different system to someone making casual YouTube videos. Either way, a quick exploration of what specifications and software fit you just right can go a long way.
Why Mac Video Editing Is So Popular
Originally, Apple was recognized for building better tools for creative work than Microsoft due to a collaboration with Adobe (known for its design software suite), followed by a clever strategy of distributing Macs into design schools and making creative workflows very user-friendly overall.
Apple also leveraged its exclusive partnerships with market-leading software, such as Final Cut Pro for Mac, so that it wasn’t available on PC. Being first to this market spelled the beginning of a long-lasting loyalty among creatives and design-savvy users who were educated on Macs exclusively.
Additionally, the physical design of Macs was a breath of fresh air compared to the more cold and clinical PCs at the time, further lending to Apple’s brand position amongst creatives.
Eventually, PCs reached a similar level of hardware and software support that could suit any creative work, but by then Apple was already firmly positioned as one of the best computers for video editing, graphic design, sound engineering, and more.
Specs that matter when video editing on Mac
Video editing on Mac is a hardware-intensive exercise that relies heavily on processing power. From rendering 4K videos to making thousands of edits across feature-length material, having a quick machine can make all the difference. Unfortunately, making sense of Apple video editing specifications can be difficult at best.
For example, the Central Processing Unit (CPU) is at the heart of any machine, and once upon a time it was the most important component when video editing for Mac. However, in recent years the support of Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) rendering has offloaded a lot of the CPU’s work. That said, CPU power is still important when it comes to the general speed of basic operations, so here’s a quick rundown on what to look for:
Movie Editor For Mac
The CPU should at least be a medium to high-end quad-core unit (not a dual core), ideally manufactured in the last five years. For 4K and 8K video editing on Mac, you may want to look at eight, twelve, or more CPU cores.
Your GPU is arguably the most important component. The first thing to look for is a dedicated GPU unit, not integrated with your CPU. Secondly, you’ll want to ensure you have a minimum of 2 GB of VRAM (Video Random Access Memory) which can render multiple effects at once without having to process them in sequence. Advanced users will want 8 GB of VRAM with a high-end GPU made in the past three years.
System RAM (Random Access Memory) is an important measure of how many assets and processes can be stored in extremely fast memory (think tip of the tongue). When video editing for Mac, you’ll want a minimum of 8 GB and work your way up to 16 GB or 32 GB from there.
Similarly, you’ll benefit greatly from having an SSD hard drive rather than an older HDD. The SSD format can load saved projects and large video files much faster, and is well worth the small investment on top.
Finally, you’ll want to ensure you have a suitable display to accurately edit your videos. Look for an IPS (in-plane switching) panel rather than TN (twisted nematic), with a decent size of 27” for desktops or 15” for laptops. Aim for a screen resolution of 1920x1080 (but ideally 4096x2160), with a brightness level of 1000 cd/m2.
What is the best Mac for video editing?
By now you have a basic understanding of which specifications matter, but what’s the best computer for video editing? Unlike PCs, Macs come in fewer variations, so selecting the right one for you comes down to your expected usage.
When it comes to advanced, larger projects, you’ll want to opt for one of the best computers for video editing — iMac Pro. It combines up to 18 CPU cores with a dedicated GPU boasting 16 GB of VRAM, plus a 5K display showing unparalleled color and brightness accuracy. Expect to pay top-dollar for this option, best suited for creative professionals.
Leaning towards value-for-money? Try Mac Mini — a small machine that sits nicely between the processing power of a laptop and desktop. The Mac Mini can handle basic and intermediate video editing with its latest-generation Intel CPU, combining four or six cores and an integrated GPU.
For many modern video editors, portability matters. The MacBook Pro is one of the most powerful laptops available for Apple video editing, with the top model offering a dedicated GPU that rivals the powerful desktops of yesteryear. SSD hard drives keep things moving quickly, while the four to eight core CPU units silently get to work in the background.
No matter which option you select, any 2019 or newer Mac is more than capable of video editing. However, the best computer for video editing can set you back financially, and there’s still costly software to consider. Similar to not absolutely needing the best Mac for video editing, you might not need the best when it comes to Mac video editing software as well.
Top alternatives to Mac video editing software
Think twice before investing in the most expensive video editing software for Mac. Despite the perception that Adobe suite is a must-have, there are some amazing alternatives out there that work well without breaking the bank.
Which Is The Best Mac For Video Editing
CameraBag Pro is a lightweight video editing tool for Mac, once claiming the second spot for the Apple Mac App of the Year. It nicely fills the gap between a simple photo editor and complex video editor, resulting in slick software that perfectly meets the needs of most at-home users.
The app’s clean user interface makes it a breeze to use, and the one-click filters can have your work looking pixel-perfect without getting lost in the details. For those of you looking for more advanced editing tools and settings, CameraBag Pro has you covered with dedicated color, tone, and gamma curves.
Capto is another cost-effective tool for your Apple video editing suite, allowing for a quick and easy way to capture screen recordings on your Mac. Capto is perfect for those who are creating tutorial videos or anything requiring on-screen annotations.
The app’s built-in editing interface can finish the job without having to move to another tool, saving you time and money on complementary software. Basic and intermediate users will appreciate the simplicity of Capto’s tools, strategically implemented to prevent bombarding you with complex workflows.
For perfecting specific projects, try GlueMotion — a drag-and-drop tool which turns your images into time-lapse videos in just a few clicks. It works well with almost any photo format and even has a batch editor for images to make sure things are looking good before committing to a time-lapse.
GlueMotion’s built-in deflickering engine ensures a smooth transition across the whole video, while taking advantage of macOS developer tools to promote quick rendering across a variety of professional formats. Loyal Apple users will enjoy the macOS inspired design which feels right at home.
The best part about CameraBag Pro, Capto, and GlueMotion is that they are all available for a free seven-day trial on Setapp — a Mac subscription service that grants you access to over 160 indispensable apps. You can reap the rewards almost instantly by heading over to Setapp’s website and signing up. No matter which Mac setup you have or what skill level you are, Setapp is a must-have addition to any video editing software for Mac.
Macbook Pro For Video Editing 2020
Meantime, prepare for all the awesome things you can do with Setapp.Read on