I'm facing a complicated dilemma right now. I'm going to give you all the facts so you can understand my situation. First of all, I would like to make it clear that I am French, hence the euro as a currency and the fact that the screenshot is in that language.
Since July 2013, I have a MacBook Air 2013 with all the options: i7, 8Gb of RAM and 512Gb of storage at 1850 euros. For the first 3 years, I had a standard use of my computer: Office, browsing and streaming. Since 2016, I have a YouTube channel. So, since 4 years, I use Final Cut Pro X and Photoshop for the thumbnails of my videos. At the moment, my machine works perfectly for standard use and basic video editing. However, as soon as they get pushed, it gets saturated and becomes unreadable on my timeline. My YouTube channel is not my job, a passion that I have on the side in addition to my work. Year-round, I produce about sixty videos and thus about sixty miniatures. For the majority, they are face-camera videos with a few extra effects (text, image, music etc.). I produce 3-4 VLOGs per year. All this to tell you that I'm far from being a filmmaker and a great YouTuber who makes a living out of that.
I was patiently waiting for the announcement of the new MacBook Pro 2020. Finally, having been disappointed, I'm going to turn to a 16-inch MacBook Pro 2019. My dilemma is this: I was thinking of turning to the entry-level model, but on several forums, many people have made me doubt that I would go for the 32GB RAM model, which means an additional cost of 500 euros (which I will be able to use to buy connectors and accessories).
My question is the following: Do I need 16 or 32 GB of RAM?
On top of that, I have a fixation on the longevity of a product and its durability. Indeed, I kept an Air model for 7 years, and even for 4 years, I used this machine for assembly. The Pro being more expensive, I bet on a life span of at least 9 years.
Having a larger screen, it will also encourage me to slightly complexify my videos, I wish to have a safety margin in the years to come all the same (we can add to that the evolution of the 4K in potential 8K ...) to improve the quality of my videos editing. Do I have a sufficient margin with 16 GB of RAM? Honestly, from a financial point of view, I'd like to be able to keep its 500 euros. But from a long term point of view, I'm afraid that by saving money, I'll lose the life of the product.
I put a screenshot of my current Air during a big edit, I couldn't capture the "peak" of it. FCPX is mounted up to 4 GB of RAM, and all the memory used is 6.4 GB:
Thank you for your advice, which I hope will make me make a final decision.
If you plan on doing long and complex Projects, 32GB RAM.
If your Projects will be shorter (under 30 minutes) and simple (even if in 4K) I'd say 16 GB RAM.
I've seen thousands of students over the years do various upgrades, some work well, some don't, so I'm working from that accumulated technical information.
MacBook Air is not the most powerful machine and will have limitations.
A MBP 2019 would give you better performance.
Be sure your Libraries and media are on a FAST external drive, not your system drive, that will help.
Keep your system drive at least 20% left as free space.
Turn off Background Rendering.
Get "FCP Library Manager" (Arctic Whitness) and keep your render and other files managed so your Libraries are lean and mean.
Now that FCPX is more reliant on Metal, GPU will play a big roll, so you want the best GPU possible. There's not monstrous differences in CPUs these days, so go for better GPU and more CPU cores over CPU speed.
Keep your system clean, drives uncluttered, run Disk Utilities First Aid from Recover Mode monthly.
A 2019 MBP would also allow you to eventually hook up an eGPU to help performance, too.
Thank you. Thank you. My videos will always average between 5 and 15 minutes. Only my VLOGs will be 20-30 minutes (4-5 per year). The editing will be simple but I want to keep a small margin of progress. And of course, it's maintenance. Additional question: Is it better to have an entry level 16" MBP or a 2020 13" MBP with all the options including i7 and 32GB of RAM?
16 GB RAM will do you fine for the few small projects you do every year. When you say 16" MBP, what year is that made? The new 13" that was just released doesn't impress me too, too much. For what you do specifically, you don't need much horse power at all.