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Posted by Gabriel Coleman - Contact Author

Check the Best iMac, Mac Mini and MacBook for Video Editing

Video Editing is no different for Mac users. As a Mac user you also require powerful hardware specifications for some serious video editing tasks. Back in the old days of Mac, the hardware specifications were pretty feeble and Mac machines weren't that good at processing. But now the situation has changed, and Mac has now evolved as powerful and performance-packed iMacs and Macbooks.

The biggest change that'll you see is that iMacs and MacBooks are now configurable. So you can upgrade the hardware when needing to increase the processing power. In the past video editing wasn't that productive as it is today on a Mac. Here in this article we will tell you about the best iMac or MacBook for all kinds of video editing purposes. Please read the article till the end to see the conclusions.

The article is mainly divided into two parts:

Part 1: Which Mac Computer Is Best For Video Editing?

Mac Computer

Mac computers or desktops are often known as iMacs. In the table below you can clearly see that there are four variants of iMac with a different set of hardware specifications. Good thing is that iMac hardware is configurable. Please go through the table below briefly before getting to know about the best Mac computer for video editing.

iMac

iMac Pro

Mac Mini

iMac 21.5-inch

iMac 27-inch

Processor

Intel Core i5 2.3GHz dual-core
Intel Core i3 3.6GHz quad-core
Intel Core i5 3.0GHz hexa-core

Intel Core i5 3.0GHz hexa-core
Intel Core i5 3.1GHz hexa-core
Intel Core i5 3.7GHz hexa-core

3.2GHz Intel Xeon W octa-core

Intel Core i3 3.6GHz quad-core
Intel Core i5 3.0GHz hexa-core

Display size

21.5-inch with 4K Retina display

27-inch with 5K Retina display

27-inch 5K Retina display

External display required (TV/Monitor)

Memory

8GB DDR4 (2133MHz, 2400MHz, 2666MHz), max 32GB

8GB DDR4 2666MHz, max 64GB

32GB DDR4 2666MHz

8GB DDR4 2666MHz, max 64GB

Storage

1TB conventional HDD, or 1TB Fusion Drive

Upto 2TB Fusion Drive

1TB SSD

128GB SSD
256GB SSD

Graphics

Intel Iris Plus 640 or Radeon Pro 555X with 2GB GDDR5 memory or Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB GDDR5 memory

Radeon Pro 570x 4GB
Radeon Pro 575x 4GB
Radeon Pro 580x 8GB
Radeon Pro Vega 48 8GB (as HBM2 memory)

Radeon Pro Vega 56

Intel UHD Graphics 630

Price

$1099 (2.3GHz)
$1299 (3.6GHz)
$1499 (3.0GHz)

$1799 (3.0GHz)
$1999 (3.1GHz)
$2299 (3.7GHz)

$4999

$799 (4-Core)
$1099 (6-Core)

As per the details given above in the table, it is clear that iMac Pro is the winner with 3.2GHz Intel Xeon processor, 32GB onboard memory, and powerful Radeon Pro Vega 56 dedicated graphics. Any kind of video editing on this machine will feel like a breeze (fast, super smooth). But its price is beyond the budget of many people. And many of them won't just buy it simply for video editing tasks. You shouldn't buy this for the sole purpose of video editing because it can do more than that like more serious things that may not be required by you such as 3D modelling, running multiple IDEs, etc. So why pay carelessly?

Just for the sole purpose of video editing you can blindly go with Mac Mini which requires an external display like an HDTV or a monitor. It is a portable Mac computer with a descent hardware including an Intel Core i3 and an Intel Core i5. These are two variants and you should go with the i5 variant for an overall good video editing performance. Mac Mini only has an integrated GPU which is good enough to handle moderate level video editing tasks. If you’re too tight on the budget, just go with Mac Mini.

iMac vs Mac Mini: Which One Should Be Chosen for Video Editing?

If you compare Mac Mini with iMac 21.5-inch variants then you'll find that one of its variants shares same specs with Mac Mini. But iMac has better graphics than Mac Mini and the base variant of iMac has Intel Iris Plus 640 graphics which are better than Mac Mini's Intel UHD 630. Out of the three iMac 21.5-inch variants we recommend the one having 3.0GHz Intel Core i5 with dedicated Radeon graphics and 8GB memory. Only go with this if you're willing to spend a little extra than the price of a Mac Mini.

iMac 27-inch would also be a nice choice for video editing but its price may not seem reasonable to some people. This one also has three variants and all of them equip an Intel Core i5 which can be overclocked. It is expensive just because of its spacious fusion drive and dedicated powerful Radeon graphics.

Well buying a 27-inch iMac is a 50-50 situation just for the sole purpose of video editing. You can buy it or skip it but stick with the base model only to save money. The price difference is nearly $700 as compared with the price of a Mac mini. We don't recommend this if your budget is around $1300. In that much money you can confidently buy an iMac 21.5 having 3.0GHz Intel Core i5. This variant is the best choice when price and performance are taken into consideration.

Part 2: Which Mac Laptop Is Best For Video Editing?

Mac Laptop

A Mac laptop is basically known as a MacBook. Currently Apple deals only in three latest models of MacBook. Below we are providing a vital spec-sheet of the core components of these machines which greatly affect video editing. You are requested to go through the comparison table below at least once.

MacBook Air

MacBook Pro 13-inch

MacBook Pro 15-inch

Processor

1.6GHz Intel Core i5, dual-core

1.4GHz Intel Core i5 quad-core

2.6GHz Intel Core i7, hexa-core
2.3GHz Intel Core i9, octa-core

Display Size

13.3-inch Retina display, 2560x1600 resolution

13.3-inch Retina display, 2560x1600 resolution

15.4-inch Retina display, 2880x1800 resolution

Memory

8GB LPDDR3, 2133MHz

8GB LPDDR3, 2133MHz

16GB DDR4, 2400MHz

Storage

128GB-256GB PCIe SSD

128GB – 512GB SSD

256GB-512GB SSD

Graphics

Intel UHD Graphics 617
Supports eGPUs via Thunderbolt 3

Intel Iris Plus 645
Intel Iris Plus 655

Radeon Pro 555X 4GB GDDR5
Intel UHD 630
Radeon Pro 560X 4GB GDDR5

Price

$1099-$1299

$1299-$1999

$2399-$2799

Now frankly speaking there's no doubt that MacBook Pro 15-inch is the best Mac laptop for all kinds of video editing tasks. Just have a look at its core specifications. It comes in two variants which boasts either an Intel Core i7 or an Intel Core i9 clocked at over two gigahertzs. Then you can see the machine also packs a lightening fast DDR4 16GB RAM with powerful dedicated graphics like Radeon Pro 555X. So if you have a MacBook Pro 15-inch then you'll not have any issues while editing a video as everything will be smooth and super fast.

But MacBook Pro-15 inch is not suggested for all users for two reasons which are limited budget and occasional usage. This variant is quite expensive for people who do not have serious video editing requirements. If your budget is around $1000-$1500 and you don’t edit too much then going with MacBook Air instead of MacBook Pro 13-inch would be a nice idea. You'll save a lot of money this way and if you plan to edit videos more seriously in the near future then you can use thunderbolt 3-enabled eGPUs with your MacBook Air. A little investment in powerful eGPUs makes your MacBook Air more future proof to video editing, so why pay more?

Final Words

We hope that you can now at least decide which Mac to buy for video editing. But either an iMac or a MacBook alone are not enough, you will require a video editing software. Mac owners often get blind recommendations for Apple's Final Cut Pro X which costs around $300. It comes bundled with Mac (free/trial version) and may be a little difficult to learn. However some alternatives are always there like VideoProc which is a very lightweight and an all-in-one video software which can edit, convert, and download online videos. Check the download links to VideoProc for Mac below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gabriel Coleman

Gabriel is a technical editor with several years of writing experience. Gabriel covers video processing, post-production, hardware, Windows, Apple's Macs, iPhones, iPads, and all kinds of technology topics. He loves collecting cool gadgets and trying new things like virtual reality, drones, 8K TVs and the latest 4K games. He also has interests in reading, photography, climbing, scuba diving, and tennis.

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