Mac are by far the most popular editing machines used by professional video editors so we’ve looked at the best Macs for video editing of 2022.
We think that Macs are by far the best computers for video editing and the latest generation of Apple Silicon Macs have taken things to a new level.
The latest M1 MacBook Pro with M1 Max chip can not only edit up to 30 streams of 4K video but even 7 streams of 8K video which is as good as any portable video editing workstation out there.
The new Mac Studio with the M1 Ultra goes even one step further can handle up to 18 streams of 8K ProRes video which only Apple’s very top of the range (and very expensive) Mac Pro can come close to.
Although at one time there was less video editing software for Mac than Windows PCs, almost all of the best video editing software are also now compatible with macOS although some are still playing catch-up with the latest M1 and M2 Macs.
So it’s no surprise that many filmmakers use Macs instead of PCs for video editing nowadays.
However, with so many Macs now on the market, with various versions of M1 Macs and now M2 Macs available, it can be hard to know where to start when choosing the best Mac to edit video on.
In our extensive research, we found the best Mac for video editing is the incredible 16 inch 2021 M1 MacBook Pro with M1 Pro or M1 Max chip especially for editors on the move.
- Best Mac For Video Editing: M1 vs Intel
- eGPUs & Video Editing on a Mac
- External Monitors & Video Editing on a Mac
- External Hard Drives For Video Editing
- 1. 2021 M1 MacBook Pro 16/14 inch (M1 Pro/Max)
- 2. M1 Mac Studio
- 3. 2020 M1 MacBook Pro 13, 14 or 16 inch
- 4. M1 Mac Mini
- 5. M1 MacBook Air
- 6. M1 iMac
- 7. iMac Pro
- Best Macs For Video Editing Compared
- Video Editing Software For M1 & M2 Macs
Best Mac For Video Editing: M1 vs Intel
It’s important to be aware from the start that at the moment there are two types of Mac on the market: older Macs that have Intel chips and the latest Macs with Apple Silicon M1 or M2 chips.
Older Intel Macs have anything ranging from an Intel Core i5 to i9 all of which are suitable for video editing on macOS.
The M1 & M2 chips however are based on Apple’s own ARM architecture and is much faster than Intel chips at delivering rendering speeds of around twice the speed.
At the moment, there are 4 types of M1 chip: the standard M1 chip released in the first 2020 M1 MacBook Pros, the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips launched with the 2021 MacBook Pro and the M1 Ultra launched with the new Mac Studio.
Most model of new Macs sold by Apple now come with one of these M1 processors and we strongly recommend choosing an M1 Mac over buying an older Intel Mac.
Apple Silicon chips are now standard on all new Macs so it makes sense to buy an M1 or M2 Mac over an older Intel Mac if your budget allows.
Note that the more recent M2 chip offers some performance enhancements on the M1 chip although as yet, there is no M2 Pro, M2 Max or M2 Ultra chip to meet the demands of more serious professional video editing.
eGPUs & Video Editing on a Mac
There is still one benefit to Intel Macs compared to M1 & M2 Macs – eGPUs.
You can boost the performance of an Intel Mac with an External Graphics Unit or eGPUs as they are commonly known.
eGPUs are able to process graphics much faster than your Mac and many musicians use them as a cost effective way to enhance Intel Macs for video editing.
At the moment, eGPUs do not work with M1 or M2 Macs so if you’re thinking of getting an eGPU for video editing on your Mac, you’ll definitely need an Intel Mac.
External Monitors & Video Editing on a Mac
Another thing to consider is that you will probably want to get an external display or monitor for serious video editing on a Mac.
It’s important to be aware that the 2020 M1 Macs and 2022 M2 Macs can only support a maximum of 2 displays at once although there are still ways to connect multiple monitors to M1 & M2 Macs.
This is not a problem with the 2021 M1 MacBook Pro with M1 Pro or M1 Max chip which can support up to 4 external monitors.
The same goes for the new Mac Studio which can support up to 5 external monitors (4 via Thunderbolt plus 1 via HDMI) and has the latest M1 Ultra chip.
For more on this, check out our guide the best external displays for Mac.
If you’ve got a Mac Mini, you can also check out our guide to the best external monitors for the Mac Mini.
External Hard Drives For Video Editing
Many video editors require external hard drive space, not only to store large video files, but also to edit video from instead of on the Mac’s internal drive.
SSD drives are much faster than mechanical HDD drives and video editing software requires high-speed read/write capabilities that only Thunderbolt connections can offer.
You May Also Like:
- 6 Best Video Editing Software For Mac
- 10 Best External Drives For Mac
- 5 Best eGPUs For Mac
- 6 Best External Monitors For Mac
With this in mind then, here are the best Macs for video editing of 2022 in order of ranking.
The 2021 M1 MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chip is the best Mac for video editing in 2022 due to the incredibly powerful processing power of the M1 Max and M1 Pro chips.
Launched in October 2021, the M1 MacBook Pro is by far the most powerful MacBook on the market and is tailor made for video editors that need maximum video editing and rendering speeds.
It’s twice as powerful as the older 2020 M1 MacBook Pro and the M1 Max is even twice as powerful again as the M1 Pro chip so we strongly recommend getting the M1 Max chip model if your budget allows.
The only downside is that it is 200g heavier than the 2020 MacBook Pro – but it’s more than worth it.
Highlights of the M1 MacBook Pro 16 inch with M1 Pro or M1 Max chip include:
- Edit up to 7 streams of up 8K video without rendering. The M1 MacBook Pro with M1 Pro or M1 Max is easily the best Mac for 8K video editing and 4k video editing.
- Two ProRes accelerators in the M1 Max to make video rendering a breeze even on battery power
- Up to 8TB of internal storage
- Stunning Liquid Retina XDR display for crystal clear images
- 16 inch screen to make it easier to watch edits (although you can of course connect external monitors).
The 14 inch M1 MacBook Pro with M1 Pro or M1 Max is around $500 cheaper and around 100g lighter than the 16 inch model but we strongly recommend going for the 16 inch M1 MacBook Pro screen estate for video editing.
If you’re unsure whether to go for the M1 Max or M1 Pro, we also recommend checking out our look at the M1 Max vs M1 Pro.
You can read more about this amazing laptop in our M1 MacBook Pro review.
Note that there is now a 13 inch 2022 M2 MacBook Pro available with the slightly enhanced M2 chip although there’s no M2 Pro or Max version which is why we recommend sticking with the M1 MacBook Pro or Max at the moment.
- The most powerful MacBook on the market
- Incredibly fast rendering even on battery power
- Twice as fast as the old Intel MacBook Pro
- Up to 8TB of internal storage
- Stunning display
- Supports multiple external displays
- Battery power for up to 21 hours
- Not upgradable
The incredible Mac Studio is aimed at creative professionals like professional video editors and was released in March 2022 alongside a stunning new monitor the 27 inch 5K Studio Display.
Apple calls the M1 Ultra chip “the worlds most powerful chip for a personal computer” and it’s tailor made for the demands of video editing and special effects rendering with up to 64-core performance.
Apple claims the M1 Ultra Mac Studio is 80% faster than even a Mac Pro with 28-core Intel Xeon processor.
When it comes to video editing, the Mac Studio can handle up to 18 streams of 8K ProRes video which only the Mac Pro can come close to.
It also includes the option to add 128GB of unified memory, 800GB/s or memory bandwidth and an 8TB SSD which dwarfs the processing power and storage capacity of both the Mac Mini and MacBook Pro.
The Mac Studio is also jam packed with ports for connectivity including four Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 10GB ethernet port, two USB-A ports, HDMI and a Pro audio jack.
Pricing for the Mac Studio starts at $1,999 (£1,999) for the M1 Max with the M1 Ultra starting at $3,999 (£3,999) If you bought a top of the range Mac Studio with M1 Ultra chip, 8TB of SSD it would cost $7,999 (£6,100).
On top of this is the new 27 inch 5K Studio Display which costs $1599 (£1499) – so it’s by far the most expensive Mac for graphic designers on the market.
However, you could also use a cheaper alternative external display for the Mac Studio instead.
Check-out our full Mac Studio review to see what we thought of this unbelievably powerful compact Mac.
- The most powerful Mac on the market with M1 Ultra chip
- Up to 64-core processing power
- Up to 8TB internal SSD
- Can handle up to 18 streams of 8K ProRes video
- Supports up to 5 external monitors
- Incredibly high quality images when paired with Apple Studio Display
- Not upgradable after purchase
3. 2020 M1 MacBook Pro 13, 14 or 16 inch
The standard 2020 M1 chip MacBook Pro was the first Mac to have the M1 chip and is the next best thing to the 2021 M1 MacBook Pro for video editing.
The 2020 M1 MacBook Pro provides a powerful and portable video editing studio that can handle most video editing needs.
The 2020 M1 MacBook Pro was the first MacBook to have an incredible Liquid Retina XDR display with mini-LED which offers amazing clarity and resolution.
It even supports the P3 color gamut which is essential for professional filmmakers.
The 13, 14 and 16 inch M1 MacBook Pro all now have the M1 chip having now switched from the old Intel Core i9 processors.
The 13 inch M1 MacBook Pro is obviously more compact for editing on the move as its lighter although we strongly recommend going for the screen estate advantages of the 16 inch model.
The 13 inch model also only has two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports compared to four on the 16 inch model which is worth bearing in mind if you need to connect lots of external devices such as multiple monitors or external hard drives.
However, bear in mind that the 2020 M1 MacBook Pro with the basic M1 chip only supports one external monitor natively although there are workarounds to connect two or more monitors to base M1 Macs.
All M1 MacBook Pros also have an HDMI port and an SDXC card slot.
Like the M1 Max and M1 Pro models, you can customize the storage capacity of the M1 MacBook Pro although only up to 1TB which is less than the 8TB available in the M1 Max and M1 Pro.
If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to the M1 Pro or M1 Max then the standard M1 MacBook Pro is still an incredible computer for video editing.
Note that there is now a 13 inch 2022 M2 MacBook Pro available which offers slight performance improvements on the M1 version although it costs more and our advice would be to invest in a 2021 MacBook Pro than spend a bit more on a base model M2.
- Incredible Liquid Retina XDR display
- 13 and 14 inch models ideal for video editors that need to edit out in the field
- Very high specs
- Supports 4K and 8K video
- Long battery life
- Cheaper than the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro
- Not upgradable after purchase
- Doesn’t support more than one external monitor natively
- Similar price range to more powerful iMac
- Not as powerful as the M1 Pro or M1 Max chips
- Lacks ports compared to M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro
4. M1 Mac Mini
The M1 Mac Mini is the smallest Mac you can get but it packs an incredible punch and is the best Mac for video editing on a budget.
The M1 Mac Mini is the cheapest Mac for video editing with the basic model starting at just under $900.
Unlike MacBooks, the Mac Mini also has the advantage of an audio-in port for those that want to connect an instrument to it without a USB audio interface.
It also has an Ethernet port for hard wiring internet connections instead of relying on WiFi.
The other great advantage of the Mac Mini is that you can also upgrade the RAM and SSD drive in an M1 Mac Mini even after the original purchase (although this would only be possible by a specialist technician).
You can customize up to 64GB of RAM with the M1 Mac Mini with storage of up to 2TB.
Remember that since the M1 Mac Mini has no monitor, keyboard or mouse, you’ll have to buy them separately although you can use pretty much any monitor, keyboard or mouse with it.
Unlike Intel Mac Minis, you also can’t connect an eGPU to it as eGPUs don’t work with the M1 chip.
If you’re looking for the best Mac for video editing on a budget, the M1 Mac Mini offers great value for money and portability.
- Great for Beginners or Amateur Musicians on a budget
- Works with Logic Pro X and GarageBand
- Can support 2 displays simultaneously
- Up to 2TB of storage
- Easily portable
- Requires purchasing of keyboard, monitor and mouse
- Internal storage limited
5. M1 MacBook Air
Although the MacBook Air is the least powerful MacBook on the market, it’s also the most lightweight MacBook for video production and offers the best budget MacBook for video editing.
The MacBook Air is only available with the M1 chip however so while GarageBand and Logic Pro X will be able to perform amazingly fast on it, you may not experience the best results with non native M1 chip music production software.
One advantage of the MacBook Air is that it has no fan so if you’re recording in a studio and need total silence, then it may be a better option for you than the MacBook Pro.
The M1 MacBook Pro also supports the P3 color gamut which is essential for professional filmmakers.
However, the small 13-inch screen size isn’t ideal for music production and you may want to consider getting an external monitor for when you’re in a studio or using it at home.
You can also only get a maximum of 16GB of RAM in the M1 MacBook Air with 2TB of internal storage which may be not be enough for professional video editors but suitable for amateur home movie makers.
Like the base model M1 MacBook Pro, the 2020 M1 MacBook Air doesn’t support more than one external display natively although there are workarounds for this.
Also like the base model M1 MacBook Pro, there is now a 13 inch 2022 M2 MacBook Air available with the latest M2 chip which offers slight performance improvements on the M1 MacBook Air version although it costs more and our advice would be to invest in a 2021 MacBook Pro than spend a bit more on a base model MacBook Air M2.
- Incredibly light and portable
- No fans makes it totally silent
- Good value for money
- Lacks power and spec of the pro version
- Not upgradable after purchase
- Doesn’t support more than one external monitor natively
6. M1 iMac
If you’re going to be making music professionally mainly in a studio or at home, then look no further than the new M1 iMac.
The iMac is a far superior standalone work station compared to the Mac Mini if you need more RAM, better graphics and of course, an amazing 4.5K display with the 24 inch model.
In fact, any iMac is good enough for music production although we recommend avoiding the 21 inch model unless your budget really won’t stretch.
All processors in iMacs support what’s known has Hyper Threading which means more than one core processor can handle instructions threads at the same time.
The iMac comes with silent SSD drives and the latest iMacs have the M1 chip. The 24 inch iMac also has a mic input for recording vocals directly into it.
The iMac also comes with 3 USB ports and 2 Thunderbolt ports so there’s plenty of room for connecting peripherals. All of this of course is built into the display which makes the iMac such a clean and clutter free video editing workstation.
- Ideal for recording artists and engineers
- Amazing 4.5K display
- Supports hyper threading
- Includes mic input
- Not portable
- Lack of ports
- 27 inch model discontinued
7. iMac Pro
The iMac Pro is Apple’s high end iMac and is really only suitable for professional video editors, studio producers, engineers or recording artists that need an incredibly powerful DAW.
The iMac Pro looks just like the regular iMac but inside is supercharged with a 28-core Intel Xeon W CPU (3.5 GHz), an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics card with 8GB of HBM2 memory, up to 1.5TB of DDR4 RAM and support for either two 5k or two Pro Display XDRs.
In terms of connectivity, it doesn’t get better than the iMac Pro either with four Thunderbolt 4 ports.
The amazing thing is that even when performing at its limits, the iMac Pro is incredibly cool and quiet and this is all without an M1 chip which isn’t available in the iMac Pro yet.
Although the iMac Pro Intel Xeon chip isn’t quite as powerful as the MacBook Pro’s with the M1 chip, it’s pretty close and is compatible with a wider range of video editing software.
Plus of course, it has a much bigger display for comfort when video editing.
The iMac Pro is definitely more than most people looking for a computer to video edit on their Mac but for those with a big unlimited budget, it’s the ultimate Intel based iMac.
- Unbelievably fast and powerful
- All the advantages of the regular iMac and more
- Silent performance
- Lots of ports for connecting external devices
- Very expensive
Best Macs For Video Editing Compared
If you’re still not sure which Mac to choose for video editing based on these reviews, here’s a side-by-side comparison to help.
Video Editing Software For M1 & M2 Macs
One thing to bear in mind when deciding which Mac to buy for video editing is that some video editing software don’t have a native M1 or M2 compatible version yet.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t use them on M1 Macs though as macOS uses a clever system called Rosetta to translate them to work on M1 and M2 Macs.
It does however mean that you may encounter problems from time to time and slower performance compared to using video editing tools that have been built to work specifically with the M1/M2 chips.
You can read more about this in our guide to the best video editing software for Macs.