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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.

All of the best video editing software packages are now compatible with macOS although some are still playing catch-up with the latest Apple Silicon M1 Macs.

The latest M1 Max MacBook can not only edit up to 30 streams of 4K video but even 7 streams of 8K video which is as good as any video editing workstation out there.

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, there’s a lot to consider as we’ll explain.

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 chips.

The M1 chip is based on Apple’s own ARM architecture and is much faster than the Intel chip delivering rendering speeds of around twice as fast as Intel Macs.

At the moment, there are 3 types of M1 chip: the standard M1 chip released in the 2020 MacBook Pros and the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips in the 2021 MacBooks.

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.

The M1 chip will be standard on all Macs made in the future so it makes sense to buy an M1 Mac over an older Intel Mac if your budget allows.

It’s also worth remembering that Apple will release the M1X chip probably sometime in 2022 which will be an even faster version of the current generation of M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.

Older Intel Macs have anything ranging from an Intel Core i5 to i9 all of which are suitable for video editing on macOS.

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With this in mind then, here are the best Macs for video editing in order of ranking.

1. M1 MacBook Pro 16/14 inch (M1 Pro/Max)

2021 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, Apple M1 Pro chip with 10‑core CPU and 16‑core GPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) - Silver
  • Apple M1 Pro or M1 Max chip for a massive leap in CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance
  • Up to 10-core CPU delivers up to 2x faster performance to fly through pro workflows quicker than ever
  • Up to 32-core GPU with up to 4x faster performance for graphics-intensive apps and games
  • 16-core Neural Engine for up to 5x faster machine learning performance
  • Longer battery life, up to 21 hours

The 2021 M1 MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chip is the best Mac for video editing 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 at least a 16 inch screen for video editing.

If you’re unsure whether to go for the M1 Max or M1 Pro, we recommend checking out our look at the M1 Max vs M1 Pro.

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Pros:

  • The most powerful Mac 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
  • Battery power for up to 21 hours

Cons:

  • Price
  • Not upgradable

2. M1 MacBook Pro 13, 14 or 16 inch

Apple MacBook Pro 13.3" with Retina Display, M1 Chip with 8-Core CPU and 8-Core GPU, 16GB Memory, 1TB SSD, Space Gray, Late 2020
  • BTO MacBook Pro 13.3" with Retina Display - 61W USB Type-C Power Adapter - USB Type-C Charge Cable (2m) - Apple 1 Year Limited Warranty with 90 Day Technical Support
  • Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU
  • 16-core Neural Engine
  • 16GB unified memory
  • 1TB SSD storage

The standard 2020 M1 chip MacBook Pro was the first Mac to have the M1 chip and the next best thing to the M1 Pro and M1 Max Macs for video editing.

The M1 MacBook Pro provides a powerful and portable video editing studio that’s good enough for even professional video editing on a Mac.

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 all M1 MacBook Pros have HDMI and SDXC card slots.

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.

The M1 MacBook Pro was also the first to have an incredible Liquid Retina XDR display with mini-LED which offers amazing clarity and resolution.

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.

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Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Not upgradable after purchase
  • 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

3. M1 Mac Mini

Apple BTO Mac Mini Desktop Computer, M1 Chip with 8-Core CPU and 8-Core GPU, 16GB Memory, 1TB SSD, Gigabit Ethernet, Late 2020
  • BTO Mac Mini Desktop Computer - Power Cord - Apple 1 Year Limited Warranty with 90 Day Free Technical Support
  • Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU
  • 16-core Neural Engine
  • 16GB unified memory
  • 1TB SSD storage

The M1 Mac Mini is the smallest Mac you can get but it packs an incredible punch. It’s also 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 it 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.

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Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Requires purchasing of keyboard, monitor and mouse
  • Internal storage limited

4. M1 MacBook Air

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2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works with iPhone/iPad; Silver
  • All-Day Battery Life – Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery life.
  • Powerful Performance – Take on everything from professional-quality editing to action-packed gaming with ease. The Apple M1 chip with an 8-core CPU delivers up to 3.5x faster performance than the previous generation while using way less power.
  • Superfast Memory – 8GB of unified memory makes your entire system speedy and responsive. That way it can support tasks like memory-hogging multitab browsing and opening a huge graphic file quickly and easily.
  • Stunning Display – With a 13.3” Retina display, images come alive with new levels of realism. Text is sharp and clear, and colors are more vibrant.
  • Why Mac – Easy to learn. Easy to set up. Astoundingly powerful. Intuitive. Packed with apps to use right out of the box. Mac is designed to let you work, play, and create like never before.

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.

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Pros:

  • Incredibly light and portable
  • No fans makes it totally silent
  • Good value for money

Cons:

  • Lacks power and spec of the pro version
  • Not upgradable after purchase

5. M1 iMac

2021 Apple iMac (24-inch, Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU and 8‑core GPU, 8GB RAM, 512GB) - Silver
  • Immersive 24-inch 4.5K Retina display with P3 wide color gamut and 500 nits of brightness
  • Apple M1 chip delivers powerful performance with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU
  • Strikingly thin 11.5 mm design in vibrant colors
  • 1080p FaceTime HD camera with M1 ISP for amazing video quality
  • Studio-quality three-mic array for crystal clear calls and voice recordings

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 27 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 and 27 inch iMacs also have 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.

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Pros:

  • Ideal for recording artists and engineers
  • Amazing 4.5K display
  • Supports hyper threading
  • Includes mic input

Cons:

  • Not portable
  • Lack of ports

6. iMac Pro

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Apple iMac Pro 27in All-in-One Desktop, Space Gray (MQ2Y2LL/A) (Renewed)
  • This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic box. Only select sellers who maintain a high performance bar may offer Certified Refurbished products on Amazon.com
  • 3.2GHz 8-core Intel Xeon W processor w/Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz
  • 32GB 2666MHz ECC memory
  • 1TB SSD storage, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports, 10GB Ethernet
  • Radeon Pro Vega 56 with 8GB HBM2 memory

The iMac Pro is Apple’s high end iMac and is really only suitable for professional studio producers, engineers or 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 produce music on their Mac need but for those with a big unlimited budget, it’s the ultimate iMac.

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Pros:

  • Unbelievably fast and powerful
  • All the advantages of the regular iMac and more
  • Silent performance
  • Lots of ports for connecting external devices

Cons:

  • Very expensive

Video Editing Software For M1 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 compatible version yet.

As you might expect, Apple’s own video editing software Final Cut Pro X (FCPX) works natively with the Apple Silicon M1 chip as does the incredibly popular free DaVinci Resolve.

However, notable video editing suites that currently do not have an M1 compatible version include Adobe Premiere and Adobe Premiere Elements.

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 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 chip.

You can read more about this in our guide to the best video editing software for Macs.

Displays & eGPUs For Video Editing

Another thing to consider is that if you require multiple displays, M1 Macs can only support a maximum of 2 displays at once although there are still ways to connect multiple monitors to M1 Macs.

It’s much easier to connect multiple displays to Intel Macs although unless you need more than 3 or 4, we really wouldn’t recommend buying an Intel Mac for this reason alone.

There are also some other benefits to Intel Macs compared to M1 Macs.

One of them is that 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 video much faster than your Mac and many video editors use them as a cost effective way to enhance Intel Macs for video editing.

At the moment, eGPUs do not work with M1 Macs so if you’re thinking of getting an eGPU for video editing, you’ll definitely need an Intel Mac.

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