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If you’re wondering which is the best Mac for video editing we’ve taken a closer look at the best Macs and MacBooks for video editing of 2023 ranging from professional to amateur.

We think that Macs are by far the best computers for video editing and the latest generation of Apple Silicon Macs M1/M2 have taken things to a new level.

In our extensive research, we found the best Mac for video editing is the incredible 2021 M1 MacBook Pro with M1 Pro or M1 Max chip especially for editors on the move.

The portable 2021 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 professional video editing workstation out there.

The new desktop 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 far 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 being updated to work natively with the latest M1 and M2 Macs.

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M1 & M2 vs Intel Macs For Video Editing

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 Apple Silicon chip:

  • The original M1 chip released in the first 2020 M1 MacBook Pros
  • The M1 Pro and M1 Max chips launched with the 2021 MacBook Pro
  • The M1 Ultra launched with the new Mac Studio
  • The M2 chip released in 2022 with the MacBook Air and 14 inch MacBook Pro and in 2023 with the new M2 Mac Mini. The M2 chip offers slight 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.

Most model of new Macs sold by Apple now come with one of these M1 processors and we strongly recommend choosing an Apple Silicon Mac over buying an older Intel Mac.

Apple has dropped Intel chips in favor of its own Apple Silicon M1/M2 chips which are now standard on all new Macs so it makes sense to buy an Apple Silicon Mac over an older Intel Mac if your budget allows.

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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.

As you might expect, Apple’s own video editing software Final Cut Pro X (FCPX) works natively with the Apple Silicon M1 or M2 chip as does the incredibly popular free DaVinci Resolve.

Adobe have also now released native M1/M2 compatible versions of Adobe Premiere and Adobe Premiere Elements.

For those that don’t have native M1/M2 Mac versions of the software, you can still use them as macOS uses a clever system called Rosetta to translate them to work on Apple Silicon 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.

Best Macs For Video Editing Of 2023

With this in mind, here are the best Macs for video editing of 2023 in order of ranking.

1. 2021 M1 Pro/Max MacBook Pro 16/14 inch (Best Overall)

best mac for video editing

The 2021 M1 MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chip is the best Mac for video editing of 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 yet which is why we recommend sticking with the M1 MacBook Pro or Max at the moment.

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Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Price
  • Not upgradable

2. Mac Studio (Best For Pros)

best desktop mac for video editors

The incredible Mac Studio is aimed at creative professionals and was released in March 2022 alongside a stunning new monitor the 27 inch 5K Studio Display.

The Mac Studio is a hybrid mix between the Mac Mini and M1 MacBook Pro but with the option to add an even more powerful M1 Ultra chip with 20-core or 64-core performance.

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.

This makes rendering video in video editing software such as Premiere Pro or Apple’s Final Cut Pro almost instant – there’s no waiting around for rendering to complete.

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.

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Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Price
  • Not upgradable after purchase

3. M2 MacBook Pro 16 inch (M2 Pro/M2 Max)

best macbook for video editing

The M2 MacBook Pro is Apple’s latest version of the MacBook Pro released in January 2023 and is easily the most powerful MacBook for video editing.

The M2 MacBook Pro is the replacement for the M1 MacBook Pro and features modest speed improvements on the M1 chip although it does cost a few hundred dollars more than the M1 version.

The new M2 Pro MacBook Pro supports up to 95GB of unified RAM with the 16-inch M2 Pro MacBook Pro version capable of up to 22 hours video playback on battery power and 15 hours of web surfing.

The Liquid Retina XDR display also supports the P3 color gamut which is essential for professional filmmakers.

Apple claims the new M2 MacBook Pros will render video six times faster than an Intel MacBook Pro and perform color grading twice as fast.

Compared to the M1 MacBook Pro with M1 Pro chip, the M2 Pro chip offers up to 20% faster performance according to Apple with 200 GB/s of unified memory bandwidth.

It also has a 19 core GPU that offers up to 30% more graphics performance compared to the M1 Pro.

There’s also a 40% faster Neural Engine for video/image processing and other graphic intensive tasks.

If you max out the M2 MacBook Pro with an M2 Max chip, it has a whopping 38 core GPU which promises another 30% faster graphics performance compared to the M1 Max according to Apple.

This includes 400 GB/s of unified memory and 96GB of unified memory which will handle the most demanding graphic intensive applications.

Apple claims the M2 Max 12-core CPU is 20% faster than even the M1 Max.

The new M2 MacBook Pros have also been upgraded with Wi-Fi 6E connectivity which is twice as fast as the previous WiFi standard on the MacBook Pro.

There’s also an upgraded HDMI port with support for higher resolution external monitors including 8K displays and 4K displays up to 240Hz.

There are an additional three Thunderbolt 4 ports, MagSafe charging connector and a headphone jack.

Pricing for the base model M2 MacBook Pro 14-inch model starts at $1,999 (£2,149) and the M2 MacBook Pro 16-inch MacBook starts at $2,499 (£2,699)

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Pros:

  • Apple’s latest and most powerful MacBook Pro
  • 20% faster than the M1 MacBook Pro
  • 30% better graphics performance than the M1 MacBook Pro
  • Up to 38 core GPU
  • Up to 96GB of unified memory
  • Upgraded HDMI 2.1 ports
  • Supports multiple 8K and 4K displays up to 240Hz
  • Lots of ports for connecting external devices

Cons:

  • Price

4. M2 Mac Mini (Best Budget)

cheapest mac for video editing

The M2 Mac Mini is the smallest Mac you can get but the latest M2 Mac Mini packs an incredible punch and is easily the cheapest Mac for video editing.

Released in January 2023, the M2 Mac Mini starts at just $599 which is actually $100 cheaper than the original M1 Mac Mini released in 2020.

You can customize up to 32GB of unified memory RAM with the M1 Mac Mini when purchasing with storage of up to 8TB.

One advantage of the Mac Mini over a MacBook is that you can also upgrade this RAM and SSD drive in an M2 Mac Mini even after the original purchase (although this would only be possible by a specialist technician).

Remember that since the M2 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.

Check out our guide to the best external monitors for the Mac Mini for more.

Although it’s more expensive than the basic M2 chip, we strongly recommend going for the more powerful M2 Mac Mini with M2 Pro chip as it also supports up to three external displays – two via Thunderbolt and one via HDMI 2.1.

The basic M2 Mac Mini supports two external displays but only one via Thunderbolt, the other via HDMI.

The HDMI port in both models of Mac Mini is also useful if you want to connect your Mac Mini to a TV too.

Note that unlike Intel Mac Minis, you can’t connect an eGPU to the M2 Mac Mini as eGPUs don’t work with the M1/M2 chip.

If you’re looking for the best Mac for graphic design on a budget, the M2 Mac Mini offers great value for money and portability.

You can read our full M2 Mac Mini review for more on this incredibly powerful budget Mac.

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Pros:

  • Incredible value
  • Works with Logic Pro X and GarageBand
  • Can support 3 displays simultaneously
  • Up to 8TB of storage
  • Easily portable
  • Upgraded HDMI 2.1 port
  • Cheaper than the M1 Mac Mini

Cons:

  • Requires keyboard, monitor and mouse separately
  • M2 Pro chip not as powerful as the M1 Ultra chip in Mac Studio

5. M1 MacBook Air (Best For Portability)

mobile mac video editing

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 Final Cut 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 an editing 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.

However it costs a few hundred dollars 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.

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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
  • Doesn’t support more than one external monitor natively

6. M1 iMac (Best For Screen Estate)

best imac video editing

If you’re going to be making music professionally mainly in a studio or at home and like a big screen, 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 screen has plenty of space for video editing 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 voice overs 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.

Note that the 27 inch iMac is no longer available as Apple has replaced it with the Mac Studio and Apple Studio Display.

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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
  • 27 inch model discontinued

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.

Best Overall
Apple 2021 MacBook Pro (16-inch, M1 Pro chip with 10‑core CPU and 16‑core GPU, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD) - Space Gray
Best For Pros
Apple 2022 Mac Studio M1 Max chip with 10‑core CPU and 24‑core GPU, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD
Best MacBook
Apple 2023 MacBook Pro Laptop M2 Pro chip with 12‑core CPU and 19‑core GPU: 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR Display, 16GB Unified Memory, 1TB SSD Storage. Works with iPhone/iPad; Space Gray
Best Budget
Apple 2023 Mac Mini Desktop Computer M2 chip with 8‑core CPU and 10‑core GPU, 8GB Unified Memory, 256GB SSD Storage, Gigabit Ethernet. Works with iPhone/iPad
Best Portability
Apple 2020 MacBook Air Laptop M1 Chip, 13" Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works with iPhone/iPad; Silver
Best For Display
Apple 2021 iMac All-in-one Desktop Computer with M1 chip: 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 24-inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Matching Accessories. Works with iPhone/iPad; Orange
Apple 2021 MacBook Pro (16-inch, M1 Pro chip with 10‑core CPU and 16‑core GPU, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD) - Space Gray
Apple 2022 Mac Studio M1 Max chip with 10‑core CPU and 24‑core GPU, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD
Apple 2023 MacBook Pro Laptop M2 Pro chip with 12‑core CPU and 19‑core GPU: 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR Display, 16GB Unified Memory, 1TB SSD Storage. Works with iPhone/iPad; Space Gray
Apple 2023 Mac Mini Desktop Computer M2 chip with 8‑core CPU and 10‑core GPU, 8GB Unified Memory, 256GB SSD Storage, Gigabit Ethernet. Works with iPhone/iPad
Apple 2020 MacBook Air Laptop M1 Chip, 13" Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works with iPhone/iPad; Silver
Apple 2021 iMac All-in-one Desktop Computer with M1 chip: 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 24-inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Matching Accessories. Works with iPhone/iPad; Orange
$2,199.00
$1,999.00
$2,649.00
$599.00
$979.00
$1,299.99
-
-
Best Overall
Apple 2021 MacBook Pro (16-inch, M1 Pro chip with 10‑core CPU and 16‑core GPU, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD) - Space Gray
Apple 2021 MacBook Pro (16-inch, M1 Pro chip with 10‑core CPU and 16‑core GPU, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD) - Space Gray
$2,199.00
Best For Pros
Apple 2022 Mac Studio M1 Max chip with 10‑core CPU and 24‑core GPU, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD
Apple 2022 Mac Studio M1 Max chip with 10‑core CPU and 24‑core GPU, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD
$1,999.00
-
Best MacBook
Apple 2023 MacBook Pro Laptop M2 Pro chip with 12‑core CPU and 19‑core GPU: 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR Display, 16GB Unified Memory, 1TB SSD Storage. Works with iPhone/iPad; Space Gray
Apple 2023 MacBook Pro Laptop M2 Pro chip with 12‑core CPU and 19‑core GPU: 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR Display, 16GB Unified Memory, 1TB SSD Storage. Works with iPhone/iPad; Space Gray
$2,649.00
Best Budget
Apple 2023 Mac Mini Desktop Computer M2 chip with 8‑core CPU and 10‑core GPU, 8GB Unified Memory, 256GB SSD Storage, Gigabit Ethernet. Works with iPhone/iPad
Apple 2023 Mac Mini Desktop Computer M2 chip with 8‑core CPU and 10‑core GPU, 8GB Unified Memory, 256GB SSD Storage, Gigabit Ethernet. Works with iPhone/iPad
$599.00
Best Portability
Apple 2020 MacBook Air Laptop M1 Chip, 13" Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works with iPhone/iPad; Silver
Apple 2020 MacBook Air Laptop M1 Chip, 13" Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works with iPhone/iPad; Silver
$979.00
-
Best For Display
Apple 2021 iMac All-in-one Desktop Computer with M1 chip: 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 24-inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Matching Accessories. Works with iPhone/iPad; Orange
Apple 2021 iMac All-in-one Desktop Computer with M1 chip: 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 24-inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Matching Accessories. Works with iPhone/iPad; Orange
$1,299.99

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.

There are some excellent external displays for the MacBook Pro and monitors for the Mac Studio which make video editing much easier.

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 guides to:

External Hard Drives For Video Editing

Most video editors require a lot of hard drive space, not only to store large video files, but also to edit video from instead of on the Mac’s internal drive.

To edit video directly from an external hard drive requires a very fast external hard drive that can read and write data very quickly.

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.

The best external drives for video editing are Thunderbolt external drives such as the Samsung X5 which is capable of transfer speeds of up to 40Gb/s.

If you can’t afford a Thunderbolt drive then at least make sure you get an external Solid State Drive (SSD) such as the Samsung T5 for video editing as SSDs are much faster than traditional mechanical drives.

For more on this, check out our guide to the best external SSD drives for Mac and best Thunderbolt drives for Mac.

eGPUs & Video Editing on a Mac

There is however 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 eGPU as they are commonly known.

eGPUs are able to process graphics 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 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.

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