Time to Upgrade, Looking for Advice for Video Editing Desktop

I’m still using a mid-2012 Macbook Pro (bought it used, upgraded it over time) and it’s been fine for years. Lately it’s been more sluggish, it won’t run Big Sur, and I’ve started doing video editing projects using Premiere Pro. Like most of us here, I run a lot of CPU and memory-intensive apps. I’ve reformatted and reinstalled the OS many times over the years, so I can do that again but I’m thinking I’ll get diminishing returns.

  • Looking for a replacement, doesn’t need to be another laptop.
  • Hoping to keep the price tag minimized but get the same or better performance as the old model.
  • Looking at the iMac and Mac Mini.
  • Wondering how my current stats compare to the latest (as of Nov. 23) lineup – could I potentially get similar performance (or better) from a new Mac Mini to my current (old) MBP? - Having a hard time comparing the specs because of the new chip architecture.

What I have:

  • CPU: 2.6 GHz Quad-Core i7
  • RAM: 16GB 1600 MHz DDR3
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD HD
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1GB, Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB

Hard to compare apples to apples (no pun intended) between Intel motherboards and the new M1 specs. Suggestions/advice?

Put another way, even if not for the new chips and architecture, would today’s Mac Mini destroy my old MBP in a benchmark test?

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A new Intel Mac mini would definitely outperform your laptop as far as the CPU goes. The laptop ha a discrete GPU, so it might still have the edge over Intel’s integrated graphics. Of course, an M1 mini would blow the laptop away, performance wise.

Honestly, in your position there’s probably a case to be made for waiting for an Apple Silicon powered iMac. Buying a mini immediately would be an easier sell if you ran Final Cut Pro (already available as a universal binary) rather than Premiere Pro (which requires running under Rosetta 2 at the moment).


Based on reviews of the new M1 MacBooks I have seen, your situation is perfect for a new M1 Mac (MacBook or Mini). The link below is a YouTube video with a detailed comparison of a recent-model Intel MacBook Pro vs. the new M1 MacBook Pro:

That same YouTube channel has similar comparisons of the Intel MacBook Air vs. the new M1 MacBook Air and of the new M1 MacBook Air vs. M1 MacBook Pro.

Particular attention is directed to video editing. Spoiler alert: the new M1 MacBooks blow away the recent-model Intel MacBooks for video editing. The difference in performance would be even more striking compared to an older MacBook like your 2012 model. Although Adobe Premier must currently run through Rosetta2 emulation, the performance is still better than on the Intel MacBooks. When the native M1-optimized version of Premier is released, you should see striking performance gains.

Short answer: Yes, but absolutely go with the new M1 Apple Silicon Mac Mini (or MacBook, your choice).

No doubt, new iMacs (maybe next year?) with M1 (or M2, or whatever) Apple Silicon would be even faster for certain heavy-duty applications. But the already-demonstrated performance of the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro (and certainly the Mac Mini) are quite capable of handling video editing tasks far better than you old 2012 MacBook.


If you don’t need to upgrade right now, I would suggest waiting a little bit.

Adobe doesn’t have Apple Silicone native applications out yet. Wait until you see those. I guarantee there will be plenty of videos out once that happens comparing a 13” M1 MacBook Pro vs a 16” Intel MacBook Pro in Premier Pro renders.

My guess is the M1 MacBooks (Air or Pro) will give you plenty of power, but I would wait until we know for sure.

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Thanks for the advice everyone. I was concerned about getting flamed for not doing more research but this is exactly the kind of insight I needed. My current machine is barely hanging on so I will probably go for an M1 mini. Again, thank you very much. :beers:


Let us know how it works for you!

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The story for the M1 Macs just gets better. Another review was posted today (11/25)
comparing the new M1 Mac mini to a recent high-end Intel-powered i7 Mac Mini with and without an external GPU. Result: the M1 Mac Mini mostly blows away the Intel Mac Mini.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59gAjXT7qyw
M1 Mac Mini vs Intel i7 Mac Mini + eGPU for Pro Apps!

Even if you need more than the two USB-C/Thunderbolt ports in the new M1 Mini, you are still in better shape buying the M1 Mini plus a Thunderbolt or USB dock instead of an Intel Mac. Far better performance at much less cost. Plus, little or no fan noise.

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Just to keep you folks up-to-date, Adobe Illustrator now runs natively on Apple Silicon. Progress is being made! :slight_smile:

How do you use Illustrator on video Patrick?

Did you mean to reply to @anon54919170?