Help needed with what specs to go for (Music + Video)


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 13, 2020
Hi all,

I've had a good browse of the forums and as with everything there's always a little bit of conflicting information and a 'what suits one person won't suit someone else' vibe going on so I was hoping creating my own post might help with my decision making. (I know you're probably all sick of these posts by now, sorry.)

To give you a bit of background I currently have a mid-2010 13 inch MBP that I've upgraded to a 1TB SSD and from 4GB ram to 8GB ram a few years ago and more recently to 16GB ram. Whilst this has helped speed it up and keep it alive, it's hitting a lot of stumbling blocks when it comes to performance and is pretty much only useful for day to day browsing and downloading now. Having used Reason, Ableton and Final Cut on my MBP a few years ago it all ran ok back then but given the advancement in software and hardware I'm not sure what specs I'd need now and for the coming years. As you can see I've had my current MBP for almost 10 years now, I'd be hoping to get around 6 - 7 out of a new one before having to buy another and am aware that I can't upgrade any components on the new ones like I have with my current one.

I'm looking at getting one of the new 16 inch MBP's but not sure what spec to go for. It will be used for music production and video editing primarily although the more I see work created using software like Cinema 4D, the more it's making me want to try my hand at it so there's that to consider. The DAW I'll be using is FL Studio along with Arturia Pigments 2 and Kilohearts Phase Plant VST's to begin with, more will eventually be added in the coming years as and when needed. For video I always used to use Final Cut so would anticipate continuing to use that as it's what I'm familiar with. I've never done any videos higher than 1080p (mainly because my MBP couldn't handle it) but as it's 2020 I should really start looking at 4k and these would mainly be videos to go with the music I'd be making so anything from 3 - 10 minutes a piece.

As it's been a few years since I've done any of this work and wanting to now get back in to it again it's difficult for me to measure what I'll need against what I'm using now as not only has it been a few years since I've done it, most of the software simply doesn't run well enough to even use on my current MBP any more so it's hard to gauge.

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.


macrumors member
Sep 11, 2014
I think you could get a good 6-7 years out of any of the current 16” MBPs. In terms of FCP and editing short 4K video, even a 13” MacBook Pro from 2016 onwards can handle what you need, albeit not as well. The GPU in the 16” will give you a lot more headroom than your 13” MBP ever had.


macrumors 65816
Nov 26, 2014
Yeah, even the base model is pretty stacked this year and will be a huge improvement over the 2010 MacBook. The 5300M gpu in the base configuration is better than the highest end option available on the previous 2019 models. If you’re looking at upgrades for the 16-inch, I’d personally prioritize RAM & GPU over CPU and storage. Running your audio libraries and editing video on external SSDs can be beneficial to performance.

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
If you’re interested in Cinema 4D graphics, you should check out Blender at It’s 100% free and open source. Blender has just gone through a major release (2.8), which refined its UI quite a bit while adding new features and faster rendering technologies.