Apple’s latest silicon M2 is capable of doing a lot of things and it includes video editing too. There is no doubt that the pro versions of the M2 chipset are one of the best processors for video editing. But what about the basic M2 used in devices like the MacBook Air? Can it perform the same?
In this article, we are going to discuss whether the MacBook Air with M2 chipset can perform video editing and how well it can do. Also, we will look at some benchmarks to understand its potential.
Is the MacBook Air M2 good for Video Editing?
The MacBook Air M2 is good for video editing but not great. You can rely on it for simple 4K projects and when you go to multi-layered 4K editing or 6K projects, it will struggle.
Although it can do the deed with 6K projects, you can experience stuttering in the timeline and this can affect your editing experience. The best way you can use MacBook Air M2 for video editing is for lighter projects. Also, it can assist you in the best way if you are traveling.
But for a device like the MacBook Air M2, the level of multitasking it can perform and the editing experience is absolutely great. It is due to the following reasons and these factors cause the M2 chipset to outperform.
Presence of Media Engine in M2
The earlier versions of the Apple Silicon M1 did not have the media engine in its basic processors. This resulted in less efficient video editing performance with devices that had the basic M1 chipset. Apple introduced Media Engine with the M1 Pro and M1 Max SoCs.
But with the latest M2, the media engine is incorporated with it and this makes the video editing experience better than others. Media engine is a technology that helps accelerate the video processing task while maintaining the battery life to the maximum level.
Therefore, the presence of a media engine in MacBook Air M2 helps in the faster performance of video editing and processing.
Faster CPU and GPU
The M2’s CPU is 18% faster than its predecessor and the M2 has a 35% faster GPU performance. Also, the 8-core GPU of M1 is replaced with a 10-core GPU in M2.
Due to this, the M2 SoC can process video footage faster and has enabled smooth playbacks along with faster render times.
Also, the high-performing GPU has enabled us with better handling of complex video effects and transitions.
The SoC configuration also enables increased performance and efficiency. So, the overall video editing performance is enhanced with the help of the new M2 chipset.
The efficiency of the chipset has also improved due to the presence of a media engine. This media engine has enabled high performance with very less consumption of power. So, you can process, render, and export video files faster than ever.
Also, the overall efficiency of the chipset has considerably increased. The M2 SoC has proven to have more battery life when compared to M1.
Better Thermal Efficiency
This efficiency is combined with better thermal performance too. You can find that the MacBook Air M2 does not have cooling fans and it is very quiet. Despite the lack of cooling fans, the device doesn’t heat up or show signs of throttling when pushed above its limits.
When editing normal 4K files with lot of effects and transitions, the device performed the best and didn’t show any considerable increase in temperature. Also, the export time was pretty quick and it didn’t consume much battery life too.
So, due to these reasons you can find the MacBook Air M2 to perform better than its predecessor in terms of video editing and overall performance.
How well does the M2 Chipset perform for video editing tasks?
The M2 SoC performs better than its predecessor when it comes to video editing. Both benchmarks and real time testing has brought good results even with heavy video file processing and editing.
When benchmarked with Pugetbench Premiere Pro, the MacBook Air M2 resulted a score of 452. The test was done with two 60fps clip and the export was done with 4K ultra HD video. This score is not bad because the MacBook Pro with M2 chipset scored 552 in the same test.
Similarly, when tested in Realtime, the M2 in MacBook Air performed really well with 4K videos. A single 4K video with 24 FPS that spanned for 10 minutes was very smooth to edit and it just exported under 9 minutes.
The editing was done in premiere pro and throughout the edit there wasn’t a speck of stuttering or freezing at all. The editing experience was smooth and it can perform more faster if you give light weight video footages.
Even with the use of transition effects, the video editing performance was ultimate and throughout the process there weren’t any heating or throttling issues.
But when it comes to more than 4K resolution, there was some struggle in timeline as well as in the export time. You can find the editing experience to be stuttering at 6K and exporting it takes a longer time than usual. Even though it went through the edit and resulted good, the overall experience is not as good as 4K.
So, the MacBook Air M2 is trustworthy when it comes to 4K editing with minimal footage time and less effects. But when you push it further, it may struggle a bit.
What potential issues may arise when using the M2 MacBook Air for video editing?
When you are using MacBook Air M2 particularly for video editing, it may not be very efficient. Especially for professional editors who work with projects more than 4K res can find it very difficult to work with.
MacBook Air M2 is a beast until you feed it with up to simple 4K projects. You can even multitask while editing and it will still perform good. But when you push it further, you can have the following issues with it:
The MacBook Air M2 is designed without a cooling fan underneath. It is simply flat at the bottom and doesn’t even have a small vent. So, if you throttle it with heavy tasks, it will start to overheat. You can feel the heat in your keyboard since it is a thin device. Therefore, pushing it above the limits will result in thermal throttling.
Decrease in Battery Life
M2 has a great battery life. But when it is throttled, you cannot expect it to perform the same. You can find the battery life to decrease and the efficiency will also decrease along with it.
Which video editing software works best on the MacBook Air M2?
Final Cut Pro can be the best choice for MacBook Air M2 for video editing. It is tailor made for M2 chipsets and it will work better than any other software.
If you want to explore other options, you can choose Adobe Premiere Pro which will perform similar to FCP. You can also try Davinci Resolve which is good but not as good as the FCP or Premiere Pro for M2.
Other MacBook Air Posts:
- How Can I Connect 2 Monitors to MacBook Air M1?
- Is MacBook Air OK for programming?
- Can you charge MacBook with any USB C?
When it comes to video editing, the performance of processor is highly important. Apple has nailed it with the M2 and has significantly increased the performance in terms of video editing. You can rely even on a basic MacBook Air M2 for high quality 4K editing. So, Yes, the MacBook Air M2 is good for video editing.