Historically, Apple has produced some of the best computing devices for editing video, audio, and other multimedia content. For this reason, iMacs have been some of the most popular computers among students, animators, visual artists, video editors, and graphic designers. However, as Apple improved its offerings, MacBooks became just as powerful as their desktop counterparts. Therefore, both the MacBook Air and MacBook pro are great options for video editing.
Before we look at the best MacBook for video editing, let’s examine at some of the important specs and computing requirements to look for in your next laptop computer:
Specs For Video Editing
The specs you need for quality video editing will largely depend on the kind of editing you need to do. For example, 4k video editing system requirements are far more stringent than the minimum specs for video editing. In any case, there are a few elements that any video editor should look for in a MacBook or similar laptop computer: CPU, RAM, Hard Drive, and Graphics Card.
CPU stands for “Central Processing Unit.” The CPU is akin to the internal control hub of your device, where instructions are processed and executed. It is generally comprised of a small chip housed somewhere on your computer’s primary circuit board. Without a processor, your keystrokes, clicks, and other actions would have no effect onscreen or in your device. In essence, the CPU ensures that you can do everything you would expect to do on your computer — from sending an email to editing a video.
Consequently, the power of your CPU can have a major effect on your ability to execute various actions quickly and efficiently. CPU technology is constantly evolving, allowing each new generation of MacBooks to operate faster than previous iterations. The power of your CPU is especially important for video editing, which requires a large percentage of your computer’s processing resources. Therefore, video editing laptop specs often begin and end with the quality of the CPU. Fortunately, Apple designs and manufacturers new CPUs for every generation of MacBooks, ensuring that you get the absolute best processor that the computing world has to offer.
RAM stands for “Random Access Memory.” In layman’s terms, RAM is like your computer’s short-term memory bank. It allows different websites, programs, and applications to store important data for a short period of time. This, in turn, makes it easier for you to execute different actions as quickly as possible. Without sufficient RAM, your computer would need to search for relevant data every time you need to do something.
Typically, if you like to run multiple programs at once (as many people do), you will need to have enough RAM to store data that you’re actively using. Like CPU, RAM has a direct effect on the speed and overall performance of your machine. Apple offers MacBooks with various RAM options to accommodate consumers with different needs. That said, greater RAM storage generally equates to better performance when editing videos.
While RAM allows your computer’s system to manage short-term memory, you will still need a way to store data for the long-term. This is where a hard drives and SSDs (Solid State Drives) come into play. In the past, HDDs (Hard Drive Discs) were the standard way to store information on your computer or even a removable device. However, as storage technology advanced, SSDs became a more popular way to quickly store and access data via flash memory cells.
Apple is always creating MacBook devices that are customizable based on the amount of storage space you need. As a result, you can choose to get a MacBook with HDD or SSD storage. However, you will need a fast hard drive for video editing. Therefore, if you are looking for a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air for video editing, you are better off opting for the faster, more efficient SSD technology.
Graphics cards have often been associated with gaming, but if you are looking for the best laptop for photo and video editing, these cards also play an important role. Commonly known as the video card or GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), the graphics card facilitates the creation and rendering of all kinds of images on your computer. Whether you are viewing photos in your iCloud or recording video content, your graphics card is working hard to make sure it can happen seamlessly.
In many ways, your graphics card serves as a relief to your CPU. If all of your photo and video rendering was left up to the CPU, the performance of other tasks on your computer would inevitably suffer. When it comes to video editing on a MacBook, a strong, built-in GPU ensures that you can create, view, edit, and render videos without experiencing significant slowdown with the rest of your system.
Is a MacBook Air Good For Video Editing?
As the lightest and most portable MacBook in the Apple product line, the MacBook Air is an obvious choice for video editing. It packs a lot of power into a small frame, giving both casual and professional video editors the right specs to get the job done. However, the MacBook Air does make a few sacrifices to be so small. As a result, when experts compare the MacBook Air vs. the Pro for video editing, the MacBook Pro almost always comes out on top.
That said, the MacBook Air has all the necessary specs to facilitate seamless video rendering and editing. Ultimately, your ability to edit long, 4k videos will come down to using the right video editing apps. For example, iMovie is the built-in Apple video editing software, though it does not offer as many features as Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro. In short, while the MacBook Air is not quite as powerful as the MacBook Pro when it comes to video editing, you can still get the job done with the right software.
Which MacBook Pro Is Best For Video Editing?
As the most powerful Apple laptop on the market, the MacBook Pro is definitely the best MacBook for video editing. The larger screen, more powerful CPU, and more ample storage options make it the clear winner. However, this still leaves consumers with different options when it comes time to buy a MacBook Pro. So, which is the best MacBook pro for video editing?
In truth, Apple makes it pretty easy to customize your own MacBook Pro. You can choose between different screen sizes, varied storage options, as well as high powered CPUs. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your needs and budget. If you can afford to get the MacBook Pro with the most powerful CPU and maxed out specs, then you can rest assured knowing that you have got a great computing machine for video editing.
Nonetheless, even the baseline, “budget” MacBook Pros are powerful computers. With virtually any iteration of the MacBook Pro, you can handle photo and video editing with ease. In short, any MacBook Pro in the Apple product line could qualify as the best MacBook to buy for video editing.
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