Are Macs Better For Video Editing? Here’s The Truth


Are Macs Better For Video Editing – Do you think better video editing on a mac than a PC is possible? We’ve seen many people make the switch from PCs to Macs for this reason.

The truth is, both are capable of great video editing. However, there are some key differences that make one better than the other.

In general, there are more cores and more power in modern Macs. That’s why if you’re looking to get the best possible performance when editing videos then choose between those two choices depending on what your needs are.

If you eventually choose it, will the price be worth the cost? Equally important, are there other better alternatives? By the end of the piece, you will have learned the answers and much more. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Why Macs Were Better For Video Editing

For quite a while, editors considered Macs better for several reasons. As a matter of fact, they were the best in the beginning. After all, the alternative, which was Windows, left much to be desired.

  1. Ease of use

If one were to compare how easy it was to use PCs and Macs years ago, one would say that the comparison was unjustified. After all, users of the former had to type commands to perform tasks. On the other hand, Macs used Graphic User Interface (GUI), making them better for video editing.

  1. Stability

In addition to being complicated, PCs were also unstable. Again, that gave Macs the upper hand in everything, including video editing.

  1. Compatibility to a great video editing software

One of the best video editing software was only compatible with Macs. The software in question is Final Cut Pro. Earlier it was Avid. Under such circumstances, it would only wise for a video editor to look for good results.

Have Macs Excelled Changed Over The Years?

The truth is that a considerable number of video editors prefer Macs up to date. Several things have made it remain relevant many years down the line. It is also important to acknowledge that it hasn’t stagnated in terms of features. It is also evolving, giving its buyers better options as time goes by. Let’s take a look at what makes Macs better for video editing.

  1. They keep improving their good traits

Nevertheless, as much as their alternatives are catching up, Macs are still true to the things that made them great choices since the beginning. They are still easy to use up to date. It is interesting how, unlike their PC counterparts, their usability is still the best.

Once you buy an on-the-shelf software for your Mac, you can rest assured that installing will be a breeze. In short, you won’t be required to update the software now and then. Drivers that are the order of the day when it comes to PCs are things that Mac users have never had to deal with.

  1. Optimization

The Final Cut Pro is an excellent example of how Mac is ideal for optimization. It exhibits quite a remarkable performance level, which is precisely what any video editor is looking for, no doubt. When it comes to editing 4K video files, the Final Cut Pro X makes it as easy as ABC. Why? The reason is the fact that it communicates directly with the Intel Quick Sync Technology.

What do you expect in a scenario where the hardware, software, and operating system manufacturer are the same? The answer is maximum power and top-notch performance.

  1. Audio Compatibility

As much as compatibility is not something often associated with Macs like it is the case for PCs, they take the lead when dealing with audio equipment. That’s thanks to the class-compliant hardware, which works for later versions of iOS devices and Macs. Due to the protocols and settings, it achieves broad compatibility.

An excellent example is how USB works with an extensive range of devices, but it is a wide array of audio gear in this case. The app can easily communicate with your hardware and works as a plugin or a DAW.

However, that cannot be said about PCs. Not even a single PC will be in a position to support any audio equipment when right out of the box. On the contrary, it will only work upon installing the ASIO driver.

are macs better for video editing

The worst part of it all is that various music gear needs different ASIO drivers. Therefore, there is a high possibility that there will be a situation whereby one installs several ASIO drivers to work with the audio equipment perfectly. That’s not the end of the woes since audio routing is pathetic. The case becomes dire when using the hardware, software, and various DAWs simultaneously.

  1. Color Accuracy

When it comes to color accuracy, Macs will always carry the day. That’s one reason why some people would find them better for video editing than their PC counterparts. They are usually ready right out of the box. As a result, the pain of screens calibration goes away immediately. Equally important, you get to save a lot of time.

  1. Portability

Macs are among the slimmest laptops that you will ever come across. The fact that they are lightweight makes them easy to carry around whenever a need arises; therefore if circumstances demand that you do video editing while in the movie, a Mac will be an ideal choice thanks to its portability.

  1. Battery Life

The manufacturer understands that an unreliable battery could make it hard to carry a laptop when traveling despite being easy to move with, no doubt.

After all, what’s the need for a computer or any electronic if it doesn’t have power. Video editing requires a lot of power, and if you are on the move with no access to power, the Mac battery will last longer than that of a PC.

  1. User Experience

Many creative people agree that the elegance and user experience that comes with the Macs GUI are incredible. That has seen many musicians and filmmakers chose Macs over PCs. It saves them from the agony of dealing with hardware conflicts.

They are also easy to use and configure, not forgetting the absence of the IRQs nightmare. The fact that it stays technically feasible for a relatively long time is also a plus.

  1. Handles demanding output well

If you plan to achieve XDCAM codecs output, Mac will ensure that the workflow is incredible. The case is no different if you are handling a broadcasting output. As much as Windows can also play the trick, you will have to spend a lot of time to achieve a nice workflow which is not the case when using Mac.

  1. Ideal for beginners

Since it works right out of the box, beginners will find it a great choice. After all, you don’t have to configure the machine or install plugins to work, which is a great thing.

  1. Great Customer Support

If you own a Mac, you must have experience with its customer support. It is excellent and whenever a need for a fix arises. As a matter of fact, it is as simple as walking into their offices, and you take home a machine that’s working perfectly.

  1. Perfect WYSIWYG

Macs are well known for their dimensional accuracy, which PCs are yet to catch up with, no doubt. The way the former manages fonts is also impressive.

How Are PCs Catching Up With Mac For Video Editing?

However, the conversation changed about Macs being better for video editing than PCs changed. These are some of the things that turned out to be game-changers for PCs in the video editing sector.

PC video editing

Photo : Evgeniy Shkolenko

  1. Compatibility with excellent video editing software as well

In 1999 when Avid became open to even Windows users, the conversation about Macs being the ultimate choice for video editing changed. The fact that the compatibility with avid was probably why people stuck to Macs saw a rapid transition to PCs.

As of now, it works even with PCs, and users will attest that the experience is way better than even when using it with Macs. For instance, there are fewer Avid bugs for Windows than for Macs. In addition to that, the Avid Media Composer is also relatively slick on PCs.

  1. Little initial cost

Out of the blue, PCs became better choices for some people for yet another apparent reason, cheap alternatives. It is no secret that Macs’ prices are always slightly higher than those of PCs, even when everything else, including specs, is the same.

Consequently, most video editors saw PCs better for video editing than Macs since there was no need for substantial initial pay. However, this mostly worked for people who hadn’t bought the Mac before. After all, Mac owners had already incurred the initial cost making a cheaper PC a non-issue.

  1. Portability

PCs are also changing their stories as far as portability is concerned. Therefore, it is possible to come across a laptop that’s not only sleek but also lightweight. The fact that they are also compact makes them the best traveling companions. So, if you have a video editing task that will require your attention when in the move, they will not disappoint.

  1. Power

It would be unfair to say that Macs are not powerful enough to handle video editing. It is also indisputable that video editing is a power-intensive exercise. However, PCs are a better choice since you don’t have to pay as much as you do for Mac to get the same amount of power.

  1. A variety of video editing software available

It is important to note that the only exclusive video editing software that Mac can boast about is the Final Cut Pro.  It was scalable and affordable, making Apple users often use it over Media 100 and Avid Media Composer. However, its users are not happy with its latest release, Final Cut Pro X, which makes it more of a disadvantage than an advantage for existing users.

Avid was once a plus for Macs, but that is now null and void since PCs are also compatible with this video editing software. However, one would argue that even Adobe Premiere Pro runs on Macs now. As much as that’s the case, the software runs faster on the Windows OS than the macOS. That’s because the software isn’t optimized for Macs and is quite intense as far as GPU is concerned.

Since time is essential during video editing, PCs become the better alternative when using Adobe Premiere Pro, a great video editing software.

  1. Ideal for substantial commercial operations

From unreliable and unstable to something you can rely on for massive commercial video operations, PCs have made a significant milestone over the years. Therefore, if that’s what your job entails, then PCs are better for video editing.

  1. Upgradability

With PCs, what you get from your purchase is not final, which is not Macs’ case. After all, the former allows you to upgrade almost anything that makes video editing easy and fast. Therefore, it is possible to upgrade video graphics, hard disk, and RAM whenever needed. Interestingly, these components, including the latest gear, technology, and graphics processors, are readily available in the market. Consequently, you have the power to make your old PC as robust as possible.

  1. Stability

A while back, the words PCs and stability hardly appeared in the same sentence. However, almost two decades later, the story has changed, and people feel that the operating system is stable. No wonder even production companies, including those working on TV productions, have shifted to PCs over the years. Even Avid started focusing on PC versions of its Media Composer hence work excellently.

  1. Leaves Room for DIY

The customer support for PCs is not as great as what Apple provides its Mac users. Fortunately for PC users, many times, they don’t need it. After all, there’s quite a lot of problems that they can fix on their own.

  1. High Chances of Surviving a Crash

For so long, people assumed that Macs don’t crash, which made it hard to convince people that they were not the better option. However, it is now crystal clear that they are also victims of the same. They are rare, which is a good thing, but restoration chances are pretty slim when they do. On the other hand, it is easier is most likely to revive your PC after a crash.

Are More Cores Better For Video Editing?

When it comes to the difference the number of cores makes during video editing, a few things stand out. One of them is that various video editing programs have different demands when it cores. For instance, if you will be using Adobe Premier for encoding and rendering, eight cores will give you the best results. After that, you can expect diminishing returns.

As for Handbrake, the optimum number of cores is 6. When it comes to Vegas Pro, the most recommended figure is 16 cores. The other key issue is how you intend to edit the video. If you want to perform 3D rendering, more cores are better than less if you are looking for efficiency. That way, the program can assign the rendering of every frame to the different cores.

Nevertheless, there is no need for many cores in the event that you are dealing with H264. After all, some programs use the split then stitch method. It means that they split the video into various potions. Each portion is sent to the cores, and after the transcoding, they are stitched back together.

Usually, it applies the concept of the more, the merrier. Therefore, you should expect the performance to be excellent with an increase in cores. However, once you exceed the maximum number of cores recommended for the program that you are using, then you can rest assured that there will be little if no difference as far as the performance is concerned.

It is important to note that there are things more crucial than the number of cores when video editing. They include storage and RAM, which means the more, the faster and efficient your video editing will be. Never forget that 4K videos need double what the 1080p videos require.

Final Words

Are Macs better for video editing? From the above discussion, it would be unjust to say yes or no. After all, it has its advantages and disadvantages. They stand out when it comes to usability, resale, accessories, customer support, battery life, resales, and audio equipment compatibility.

On the other hand, PCs lead when talking about initial price, upgradability, video editing software options, and power. Therefore, the user gets to decide his minimum and, upon identifying that, takes home what they think is worth investing in their every hard-earned penny.

Fortunately, given the information above, it becomes easy to make an informed decision that’s right by your pocket and reason for buying. Always remember that there is more to what video editing requires besides the operating system. Other things such as RAM, storage, and processor speed are equally essential and never make the mistake of ignoring them.

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