Mac vs. PC for Video Editing in 2019

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Mac vs. PC is an age-old debate. Some people prefer Macs, others prefer PCs, while yet another group likes them all. It’s generally understood that either system is good for regular computer work, depending on your preferences. But what about video editing?


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Could a Mac or a PC be better than the other if you are a video editor? It’s not an easy question to answer right away. It’s difficult to say that one machine has a significant advantage over the other.

But there’s a way to find out. Read below to find out about the distinct advantages Macs and PCs offer that can help you decide which system to choose:

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Reasons to Use a Mac

Apple Mac

Enthusiasts would say that the Mac is really the machine that introduced personal computing to the world. The modern Mac is known for style and exclusivity.

Macs have long been associated with creative work, especially graphic design. Here are the top reasons why Macs would be great for video editing as well:

Macs are Preferred by Creative Artists

Ask any expert graphic designing professional what their preferred operating system is. Most would say they like Macs the best.

Macs embody that trendy style the creative types prefer. That’s definitely a point of attraction for designers and editors. However, Macs also offer excellent usability levels and features that make the creative process convenient for many artists.

Video editing is closely related to graphic design. Therefore, most editors also go with their graphics counterparts’ preference and choose Macs.

Macs are Historically Associated with Arts and Design  

Video Editing

The Mac became quite popular among artists in the early 2000s. Apple actively started promoting the Mac to graphic designers and video artists. At the time, PCs did not offer such specialized services.

Back in the day, just about all design colleges and art schools used Macs to teach. Students and teachers both learned the Apple operating system. Naturally, when these students graduated, they started using Macs to do their work.

Designers and editors rarely change their tools of the trade, so the Mac took hold. For its part, Apple offered a number of specialized software to cater to graphic design needs.

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Many video editors still use Apple iMovie. Apple designed early software and gadgets specifically for artists and creators back in the day. Therefore, since the turn of the century, content creators have naturally gravitated towards the Mac.

Macs Might be Better for Large File Transfers

A lot has changed in the graphics and video field since the early 2000s. Now we are dealing with Full HD and 4k video. The files content creators use have gotten bigger and bigger.

While Macs don’t churn out great software as it used to, it has retained an important feature video editors can benefit from. Macs have the best ports and gadgets for large file transfers.

Apple’s ports are uniquely suited for connecting to 4k monitors. You can be assured that the data transfer speed won’t suffer when using a Mac.

What’s more, Macs have Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt 2 peripheral cables is still a formidable device for large file transfers. The modern Thunderbolt is even better, as it’s combined with USB-C ports.

Thunderbolt is particularly advantageous for laptops. The port can transmit data at a rate as fast as 40 Gbps.

The Best Operating System for Working with Apple Devices

Obviously, Macs are the best for operating with other Apple devices. Video editors who rely on Apple handheld devices, printers, or other gadgets may benefit more from Macs than PCs.

Apple designs its devices to work near exclusively with Macs. In recent years, there has been some compatibility with PCs. But for optimal Apple device compatibility, you should use a Mac.

Macs are Highly User-Friendly

Macs were designed from the beginning to be as user-friendly as possible, as opposed to PCs. The early PCs were bulky with confusing and industrial interfaces. Apple changed all that to focus on user-friendliness.

Most creative types hold onto Macs because of this user-friendly advantage the computers offer. Apple ensures smooth integration between applications, easing the workflow. Plus, the company always introduces new features with each software release to increase ease of use.

Apple still has an advantage with iMovie, the easiest video editing software to use. Some editors may still use it, and if you want to do so, you would need a Mac.

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Apple has an Edge on Colors and Fonts

Video editors also rely on the key design elements of color, typography, and graphics. Apple has a slight advantage on all three. That’s because the company has really focused on improving color and graphic elements from the start to attract creative artists.

Video editors can benefit from the font standardization Macs offer. Even better, Macs have the best color standards, perfect for both print and video design.

Reasons to Use a PC

Video Editor

Microsoft’s personal computers are known for their utility and versatility. PCs are everywhere, especially in offices.

The PC is best known for affordable home computing and gaming. Here are the main reasons why a PC might be best for video editing as well:

PCs are Cheaper

When it comes down to the cost of equipment, PCs are clearly cheaper. A Mac would easily put you north of $1,000. Whereas a PC costs considerably less for the same features.

You would need a high-end PC to get the processing power video editing requires. Even these cost around $1,000. The MacBook Pro is the Apple equivalent of a high-end PC. And that would cost you a cool $1,500 or more.

Budget-wise, PCs are advantageous for video editors. Especially given the fact that the low cost is paired with good features you can rely on.

PCs are More Compatible with Software

Compared to notoriously patent-loving Apple, PCs are more compatible with software. There is a range of software products available for PCs that you won’t usually get with Macs.

That being said, most popular video editing software, such as Adobe Premium Pro, is available for both Macs and PCs. While Mac users near exclusively use Apple Final Cut Pro, Windows users get more options, such as Corel VideoStudio and Pinnacle Studio among them.

Large Scale Video Production Teams Use PCs Now

Video Editor

PCs are the standard operating system for large scale commercial video production teams. There are several reasons for this.

It’s easier to design a tailor-made video build for a PC than for a Mac. A lot of video suppliers do this for TV, which requires specific hardware.

Also, commercial production teams rely on multiple machines at once. It’s more economical to get PCs, which deliver good performance for considerably less than Macs.

Upgrades are Readily Available

The Windows operating system and software programs on PC receive regular updates. It’s not so frequent with Apple.

Apple does release Mac update for security purposes. But the Mac OS commonly get updates with a new release, rather than in-between.

If you want software that is constantly updated to ward off security threats and keep performance optimal, then a PC would be the best way to go.

PCs have More Ports

It may sound like a minor benefit, but the ports on PCs can be really beneficial for users. Apple has been getting rid of ports on proprietary devices. On the other hand, PCs have been adding more.

You might spend a lot of money on buying a Mac. But you would need to spend even more for adapters and dongles to connect hardware. Video editors might be concerned that Macs no longer have an SD card slot.

PCs retail SD card slots, USB ports, and headphone jacks for what it’s worth. So if you want to eliminate the clutter on your desktop, a PC would be the best choice.

You Can Build a Custom PC

Computer Parts

PCs are highly popular among gamers and enthusiasts for the ability to assemble one from scratch. Do you want to increase processing power, RAM capacity, or storage to meet your specific requirements? You can build a PC to match all that.

You can’t custom build a Mac because each part is exclusively proprietary. No such restrictions apply to PCs. In fact, a desktop PC might be highly advantageous to video editors who hope to upgrade the GPU unit every couple of years or so.

Making Your Ultimate Choice

Both Macs and PCs offer unique advantages for video editors. Now the big question: how should you choose between the two?

It really boils down to your specific needs and preferences. For example, a PC might be best for you, if:

  • You are on a budget
  • You need a highly customizable machine
  • You need to purchase more than one computer for a video production team
  • You need to use different types of software
  • You need to connect many different types of hardware, including SD cards

A Mac might be best for you, if:

  • You want to use Final Cut Pro and Adobe software only
  • You have other Apple devices to connect to the computer
  • You are accustomed to using a Mac and are familiar with the OS
  • You prefer high levels of user-friendliness
  • You love a sleek and stylish machine for work

There might be other reasons why you might choose a Mac or a PC for video editing. Refer to the pros listed above and choose what’s best for you.

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