Advice on 2nd hand Mac for amateur video editing

icebergx

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 27, 2012
201
3
Copenhagen, Denmark
Hi all,
My 11 year old niece has been making amateur Vlog style YouTube videos he iPhone for a few years (currently has an iPhone X) and wants to start to learn how to edit on a 'real' computer. I don't want to buy he a new laptop, so figured a second handsome would do her.

She makes 2-3 video per week, not lasting more than 10 minutes each, and unto 1080p in resolution.
She'll also be using it for regular school work (Word, Excel, etc.) and browsing the internet.

Can anyone recommend a good model/year MBP, Air or Macbook that would be suitable for this? I have a 2012 Retina MBP, and thought of going for something similar for her. Would that be overkill.

I don't want to spend more than £370/$500.

Thanks in advance.
 

treekram

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
1,849
401
Honolulu HI
Hi all,
My 11 year old niece has been making amateur Vlog style YouTube videos he iPhone for a few years (currently has an iPhone X) and wants to start to learn how to edit on a 'real' computer. I don't want to buy he a new laptop, so figured a second handsome would do her.

She makes 2-3 video per week, not lasting more than 10 minutes each, and unto 1080p in resolution.
She'll also be using it for regular school work (Word, Excel, etc.) and browsing the internet.

Can anyone recommend a good model/year MBP, Air or Macbook that would be suitable for this? I have a 2012 Retina MBP, and thought of going for something similar for her. Would that be overkill.

I don't want to spend more than £370/$500.

Thanks in advance.
In general, I think an MBP of this vintage would be OK for your niece. I had a 2012 Mac Mini which I used for video editing which had the same CPU as one of the 2012 non-Retina MBP's.

Are you looking at a 15-inch or 13-inch MBP? If it's a 13", you have a dual-core CPU where a quad-core would reduce the amount of time when doing the rendering of the video. The rendering is the preparation of the file which would be uploaded to YouTube. One may think that this is only going to be done 2-3 times a week but chances are that after rendering the video, upon viewing it or even after uploading it, one will see something that needs to be edited and then while it might be quick to edit, the rendering process will take the same amount of time it did for the original rendering. It might take 15 minutes to render a 10-minute 1080p video on a quad-core computer, for a dual-core, it would take something less than double the amount of time. That may not seem so bad, but if you have a glitch you want to fix, that can seem like forever.

The disadvantage of a 15" 2012 Retina MBP is that it was subject to a repair extension program for GPU issues. It looks like Apple has removed the page on it's site that discussed this (the extension program ended a couple of years ago), but here's a link that describes it.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/8994/apple-initiates-video-repair-program-for-20112013-macbook-pros

The interesting thing about this GPU problem is that for the 2012 15" Retina MBP's, not many people on these forums were reporting problems until High Sierra, I think it was 10.13.3 (not sure). In any case whatever the release level was, people started reporting GPU problems with this release level. After a few more release levels, the number of people reporting the issue decreased and now, I don't see people reporting the same issue. So maybe for most people, this was an OS issue.

The 2012 non-Retina MBP, while it doesn't have the Retina display, has components that are easier to replace and for computers of this age, that may be important (Retina computers have RAM which cannot be replaced, glued-in batteries, SSD slot which requires an adapter for 3rd-party SSD's). So you may want to consider that. In any case, you may (or have the parents pay for it) want to consider an inexpensive 1080p external monitor. I think that could help with the video editing.
 
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icebergx

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 27, 2012
201
3
Copenhagen, Denmark
In general, I think an MBP of this vintage would be OK for your niece. I had a 2012 Mac Mini which I used for video editing which had the same CPU as one of the 2012 non-Retina MBP's.

Are you looking at a 15-inch or 13-inch MBP? If it's a 13", you have a dual-core CPU where a quad-core would reduce the amount of time when doing the rendering of the video. The rendering is the preparation of the file which would be uploaded to YouTube. One may think that this is only going to be done 2-3 times a week but chances are that after rendering the video, upon viewing it or even after uploading it, one will see something that needs to be edited and then while it might be quick to edit, the rendering process will take the same amount of time it did for the original rendering. It might take 15 minutes to render a 10-minute 1080p video on a quad-core computer, for a dual-core, it would take something less than double the amount of time. That may not seem so bad, but if you have a glitch you want to fix, that can seem like forever.

The disadvantage of a 15" 2012 Retina MBP is that it was subject to a repair extension program for GPU issues. It looks like Apple has removed the page on it's site that discussed this (the extension program ended a couple of years ago), but here's a link that describes it.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/8994/apple-initiates-video-repair-program-for-20112013-macbook-pros

The interesting thing about this GPU problem is that for the 2012 15" Retina MBP's, not many people on these forums were reporting problems until High Sierra, I think it was 10.13.3 (not sure). In any case whatever the release level was, people started reporting GPU problems with this release level. After a few more release levels, the number of people reporting the issue decreased and now, I don't see people reporting the same issue. So maybe for most people, this was an OS issue.

The 2012 non-Retina MBP, while it doesn't have the Retina display, has components that are easier to replace and for computers of this age, that may be important (Retina computers have RAM which cannot be replaced, glued-in batteries, SSD slot which requires an adapter for 3rd-party SSD's). So you may want to consider that. In any case, you may (or have the parents pay for it) want to consider an inexpensive 1080p external monitor. I think that could help with the video editing.
Thanks Treekram for your very detailed reply.
I have the 15-Inch 2012 Retina, so have experienced the GPU issue personally. However, it's the 13-inch Retina I'm going to get for her... I figure that's more than enough for an 11 year old!!! :)
I saw a 13-Inch Late 2012 Retina sell for £300 on eBay today, so figure there might even be enough in the budget to stretch to the late 2013 model, with 9hr battery life... Might be a nice bonus.
Thanks again for your suggestions.