Which MacBook is the Best for Video Editing?

When it comes to video editing, most of our clients are looking for a fast, reliable computer that can keep up with heavy software and plenty of multitasking. For editing 4K, 6K, 8K, or even raw video specifically, processing speed and storage is of the utmost importance. To that end, most experts agree that Apple’s MacBook Pro 16” series offers the best option for various reasons.

At the time of publication, it’s rumored that Apple is planning to release an updated version of their 16” MacBook Pro sometime later in 2021.  This means it may be unwise to purchase an expensive MacBook Pro for video editing right now, just a few months away from a potential new release that is sure to have various exciting upgrades. If you’ve got an editing or film project that you’ll need a high-powered machine for, we’ve got the latest Apple MacBook Pro models available for rent so that you can utilize the excellent technology without making an investment in a model that is soon to change.

In fact, we have a variety of MacBook Pro options, and our clients are often unsure about which model is best for their projects. Below, we’ve broken down how to choose the MacBook Pro that is best for video editing.

MacBook Pro 13” for Video Editing

The MacBook Pro 13” is a great machine. Its new M1 chip that replaced the previous Intel Core i5 chip in 2020 has increased its speed and battery life. It’s also super lightweight and compact, making it ideal for on-the-go projects. That said, its smaller display may be less desirable for longer production projects, and its maximum offer of 16GB of memory means that it wouldn’t be as great for multitasking. Another aspect to keep in mind is that the MacBook Pro 13” models don’t contain a separate graphics card. This means that they won’t be able to handle editing 4K video as easily as one of the higher-end 16” models might. With all of this in mind, for clients with video editing projects, we recommend using the MacBook Pro 16”.

How to Choose the Best MacBook Pro 16” for Video Editing

macbook pro processor

The Processor

The MacBook Pro 16” series’ 8-core Intel Core i9 processor is where we’d recommend starting. As Lizzie Peirce aptly explains, it’s helpful to think of the “core” as “lanes” in your laptop. With more lanes, traffic is free to flow more smoothly. With regard to editing on a MacBook Pro, in other words, a higher-core option allows you to more easily manage your video editing software while simultaneously running other programs. Fewer than eight cores may cause a bit more “congestion,” which translates to slower speeds and more difficulty managing multiple applications at once.


In our opinion, storage is less important than some of the other elements. Most of our video editing customers tend to store through external SSD storage. That said, you want to have enough storage capability on your MacBook Pro to allow it to easily handle everything you’ll need for any given project or workflow. We’d recommend choosing at least 2TB of storage so that you’ll have plenty of capacity but not more than you actually need.


The graphics card is important because it is the piece of the machine that provides excellent playback for video. In 2020, Apple upgraded their graphics card to the AMD Radeon Pro 5600M. If you’re purchasing a MacBook, this is an expensive upgrade, but according to most experts, it’s a worthy one. If you tend to edit raw video or anything higher than 4K resolution, it will give you seamless, quality video playback that is literally the top of the line right now. What is now considered “middle tier” at 5500M is also great if that’s more affordable or more in line with your specific project.


If you’re a multitasker, memory matters since it allows more “space” for projects, files, and software. We’d recommend choosing at least 32GB if possible so that you have plenty of memory and your work or software doesn’t cause your computer to lag. If you can swing it, though, upping that to 64GB is even better. That should allow plenty of opportunity for multitasking without bogging down the machine.

The 2021 MacBook Pro 16”

macbook pro 16" laptop used for video editing software

While the 2020 MacBook Pro 16” is great, we’d be remiss not to spill some of the tea we’re hearing about the 2021 MacBook Pro 16”. While we’re hearing the display will stay ultimately the same, the processor will likely change from the Intel i9 to Apple’s silicon chip. The 2020 MacBook Pro 13” already has this integrated, and it’s being met with great reviews and user experience. We expect that their higher-tier model of the 16” will gain this upgrade, which will increase its speed and power. Apple states that the M1 chip “rips through complex workflows and heavy workloads, with up to 2.8x faster processing performance than the previous generation — all with unbelievable energy efficiency.” It sounds intriguing — and we’re looking forward to seeing how well a MacBook Pro 16” performs with the M1 chip rather than the Intel chip.

Whatever your project or need, we’ve got plenty of MacBook Pro options that are excellent for video editing. While we bide our time waiting on Apple’s latest releases which may be delayed due to Covid production times, we’ll help you choose the right MacBook Pro 16” rental for your current video editing project.

About eTech Rentals

eTech Rentals is a national technology solutions provider located in Southern California specializing in rental technology integration. eTech is committed to long-standing client relationships and consistent, reliable local service, trusted by expert event planners, film and entertainment production companies, and businesses in California and nationwide.
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