MacBook Pro/iMac Suggestions for 4k Video Editing?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MellowD, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. MellowD macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2018
    I have an early 2011 13" MacBook Pro (2.3 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, etc.) that really struggles with playing and editing video. I've tried just about everything I can to make the machine run smoother, but it seems my computer just can't handle the video files from my drone or DSLR. I threw the SD card from my drone into my friends 2015 15" MacBook Pro (Retina, 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7, 18 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, etc.) and it played and edited 4k video flawlessly. Not sure if it's his graphics card or processor that makes such a difference... maybe a combination of both?

    Anyways... I plan on doing a lot of video editing and looking for some suggestions that won't break the bank. I'll probably get something used or refurbished. Also I'd keep my Macbook Pro if I went the iMac route.

    What are the main things I should look for... processor, graphics card, etc?

    - Do i need an i7 or will an i5 do?
    - Iris Pro vs Radeon graphics card? Will I see a difference
    - Performance wise, how would the Macbook Pro i7 compare to an iMac i5?
    - Should I definitely get an iMac if I'm focused on performance?
    - Anything else I should consider?

    Any help or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
  2. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    Which apps are you using for video editing? Start with the applications then choose the approrpriate hardware.
  3. MellowD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2018
    For video editing I use Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere... I also use Photoshop and Lightroom to edit photos.
  4. chscag macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    An iMac will give you the best bang for your buck. A dedicated graphics card with 2 or 3 GB of video ram is probably what you should shoot for. The difference between an i7 and i5 is speed and how many threads can be handled at the same time. Keep in mind that if you buy a new iMac with High Sierra installed, you'll likely need to upgrade your copy of Final Cut Pro so that it will be compatible. I'm not sure but I think Apple says you need Final Cut Pro X with High Sierra. I don't know about Adobe Premiere.
  5. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    Your friend's MBP is newer, which means faster SSD, more capable processor (QuickSync may be helping here), some i& voodoo. It also has more RAM.

    Was your friends MBP using FCPX?

    FCPX runs on a variety of Mac OS X versions. The latest, FCPx 10.4, has some very nice new capabilities. It requires 10.12.4 or later. FCPX updates are included with the original license.
  6. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    If you absolutely must use FCPX then an iMac is probably the way to go, otherwise if you can live with just Adobe products then get a PC. You will get more performance for money and once you are in the app the OS becomes irrelevant. I've run LR and PS on both PC and Mac and and they work just as well on either. Actually I lie, LR runs better on a PC as it support GPU accelleration without crashing and now Adobe have updated LR to make better use of CPU cores the PC is always going to give you more for your money as the entry point for 6+ cores is lower on the PC.

    I'm not Mac bashing here, just saying from a hardware perspective you get more for your money on a PC and Adobe apps work the same on both platforms.

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5 February 26, 2018