When you’re shopping for a new video editing computer, a lot of questions can come to mind. You might be concerned about processing power, speed, and memory (among other things). But one of the first decisions you have to make is whether you should choose Mac vs PC for video editing.
This battle of the operating systems has been ongoing for more than 35 years. Videographers keep arguing about which one is better for productivity and overall user experience.
It’s been said multiple times that it depends on what you’re planning to use the device for. Both operating systems are unique and cater to different needs. But in the case of needing a video editing computer, which OS can give you a high-quality video without sacrificing other aspects of performance?
Below, we’ll be discussing the pros and cons of Mac vs PC for video editing.
Which is better for video editing?
MacOS: Pros and Cons
- Build quality
The premium cost of Mac computers guarantees that you’ll get years out of your device before it starts to break down. The strict manufacturing standards and quality control of Apple are what made the tech giant stand out in the industry. You know exactly what you’re going to get every time you purchase an Apple product.
- Optimized workflow across other Mac devices
Since macOS is part of the large Apple ecosystem, all of these devices are designed to work together. Integrated apps, files, and other important data can be synchronized across multiple devices with just one button. One way to achieve a high quality video is to have an effective workflow, so it’s definitely easier with Apple devices on hand.
- Color presentation
Apple products have strict colorization standards. The software ensures a consistent output across all types of screens. They also use retina displays and TrueTone technology for an extremely accurate color display while editing.
This isn’t that relevant for casual users, but for a video editing computer, it’s a great feature to have. Some users that decide between Mac vs PC for video editing go with Mac just for the screen quality and color reproduction.
- Limited customization
Apple is the only company that makes devices running on macOS. This makes customization difficult, and you’re limited only to the range of products that one tech company sells. It’s impossible to modify or update your computer outside of stock specifications.
Apple products are designed to integrate seamlessly with everything in the ecosystem. If you have incompatible devices, it’s hard to navigate importing files and other resources. This isn’t a problem if all your hardware works within the ecosystem, but that isn’t the case for everyone. It can be inconvenient to design an effective workflow if your devices operate on different systems.
Taking into consideration all of the pros of a Mac computer (build quality, hardware power, and app integration), it’s no surprise that the price tag is a little steep. It can be hard to invest in such an expensive product, especially for a beginner, but you definitely get what you pay for.
A good video editing computer does not come cheap, and this is one thing you don’t want to skimp out on. This first investment will last several years in your video editing career.
PC: Pros and Cons
- Highly customizable and compatible
The versatility of a PC means that you can do whatever you want with your device. You can choose your own GPU, monitor, peripherals, and other essentials when shopping for your preferred PC. There are also more available ports on PCs to process and transfer files, whereas Mac users need to buy adapters to accommodate everything.
Another benefit of choosing a PC is the ability to choose a manufacturer. You have a lot more options if you choose to buy a PC. There are many companies that make PCs and you can even build your own rig to suit your personal needs.
- Open platform
With macOS, you have to deal with Apple gatekeeping everything in your operating system. You’re stuck with required updates and not a lot of freedom with regards to settings and other software tweaks. If you want to update the hardware on a Mac computer, you’ll have to purchase an entirely new device.
You have none of these problems with a PC. You can actually even DIY your hardware upgrades if you’re tech-savvy enough. It’s also possible to choose your preferred operating system (most commonly Windows or Linux).
- Lower cost
The greatest advantage that PCs have over Macs is the lower price. On average, a good video editing computer will cost you about $650. This price can fluctuate depending on the specs you need to create a high quality video.
A good setup will still cost you a lot of money upfront, but it’s still a lot cheaper than shelling out a $1000 minimum for an entry-level Mac video editing computer.
- Difficult learning curve
The one issue that certain users may have with PCs is that it’s harder to set up at first. If you were a native macOS user before or you’re not familiar with the new OS, it can be more difficult to get used to. With Mac computers, everything is already set up for you when you take it out of the box. PC users, on the other hand, have to dive deep into the settings first to make sure everything is well-suited to their work style.
- Less available programs
The most commonly used programs for video editing are Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, and DaVinci Resolve (among others). Two out of four of these programs are Apple Store exclusives: Final Cut Pro and iMovie.
If you’re an editor who wants to use either software to make a high quality video, you’re out of luck. It’s possible to use other programs that are PC-compatible, but there are a couple of features they offer that aren’t available in other software.
- Not as user-friendly
Operating systems like Windows or Linux aren’t as intuitive as MacOS for first-time users. Apple products are designed to work seamlessly with macOS. For PC, other operating systems can be clunky or have trouble optimizing performance with the hardware. It can be hard to set up or troubleshoot a PC without dedicated customer support like AppleCare.
The Final Verdict
The question of choosing a Mac vs PC for video editing was always a hard one, and this time it’s no different. As a videographer, wanting to create a high quality video is a must. In order to do that, you need to ask yourself whether a Mac vs PC for video editing is right for you.
To summarize all the points listed above, creating a high quality video isn’t really dependent on your computer. Both ends of the spectrum possess powerful hardware, competitive specs, and their own unique characteristics. At the end of the day, it’s what you do with your device that matters.
Here’s the final conclusion to end the battle of Mac vs PC for video editing.
Choose a Mac if you:
- Already have (and use) other Apple devices
- Want a premium build quality and style for your device
- Aren’t worried about budget or customizing your workspace
Choose a PC if you:
- Prefer working with Windows or Linux
- Want a customized rig that you can upgrade yourself over time
- Don’t need Mac-exclusive software
Whether it’s edited with Mac or PC, the visual experience we want to convey in our work at Outside Collective is a universal language. Learn more about us to find out what we do, and how we produce our videos with purpose.
Alt text: A Mac computer desk setup with a white iMac and Apple peripherals.
Alt text: A MacBook Pro on a table being used together with an iMac.
Alt text: A black PC setup running Windows 10.
Alt text: Video editing using Adobe Premiere Pro on a Windows 10 PC.