What are you using for hard drives?
Unfortunately you cannot upgrade the GPU's in the MacBook or many laptops. The only real performance increase option on that laptop would be upgrading ram to atleast 16GB. If you want better performance then you really have to start looking at another editing system or laptop.
Im not sure what hard drive it has. So if i were to get a different laptop/PC, what do you guys recommend? If i get another editing system, then whats good for my current mac? i was thinking sony vegas. Is that any good?
Eric's advice is correct.......especially with 4K video becoming more of a standard. Editing 4K or even multiple streams of 1080p with effects requires a much "beefier" laptop than what you have.
In the meantime, before acquring a new machine, you can :
1. increase the laptop's system memory, like Eric suggested, to at least 16GB or more
2. I am assuming that you only have one hard drive bay, and not two in your machine. If you have a spinning, mechanical hard drive....either a 7,200 RPM,or, ESPECIALLY if you have a 5,400 RPM drive.....replace it with a quality SATA III SSD.
The best, esp. for editing purposes, is the Samsung 850 Pro model....prices have come down and they are now more affordable. Start with a 256GB model of this SSD or larger. Crucial MX 200 SSDs are nearly the same in quality, but, are cheaper....no other SSDs are recommended due to other types of controllers used.
You would clone the image of your existing hard drive onto the new SSD by using an external USB 3 dock to plug the SSD into like a"cartridge"....they are cheap, ( ~ $25-$30). Then, place the new drive into the internal bay. Even though you would be using only one drive, the new SSD would greatly improve the speed of data read and write operations and overall computer performance.
3. If your machine has the USB 3 port, it MAY, ( or may NOT ), be able to take advantage of what is called " USAP". This would allow an external drive, like the Samsung T1 SSD to operate at near the same speed as the internall SSD. For example : a new Samsung 850Pro would run at over 500MB/sec read and write as compared to the lowly 150 - 75 MB/sec of the original internal HDD. A Samsung T1 could run externally at over 400 MB/sec read and write vs. 200 MB/sec on USB 3 WITHOUT "USAP". This would allow you to place all media, project files, previews and exports on the T1, while placing media cache and cache files on the internal SSD for easy erasure when projects are completed. The high performance T1 could be plugged into other machines to resume your work. Drive speed is VERY IMPORTANT and may be the major cause of current sluggish performance, as well as inadequate hardware components. Of course, you may ALSO have the high speed "Thunderbolt" external port,but, storage solutions using that port are very expensive.
4. MOST IMPORTANT !! Since it does appear that the GPU on your machine is weak, you may need to "transcode" the footage you want to edit into an EASIER codec for your machine to handle. You may want to try the free " visually lossless" DNxHD codec for Quicktime. Windows users can also use the free "Cineform" codec from the Go Pro webssite......I am not sure if Mac users can use Cineform, being a Windows guy.
If you are a serious editor, you wil DEFINITELY need a new machine sometime soon. For best performance, users are building Haswell E Windows desktop machines with the 5960X CPU overclocked to 4.5 Ghz and an NVidia 980ti GPU and either 32 or 64 GB of system memory. They are using a Samsung 850 Pro SSD as the boot drive for OS, programs, and Windows page file ONLY. All other files are going on the new Samsung 950 Pro NVMe PCI SSD which has over 2 GB/sec read speed and 1.5 GB/sec write speed AND which is " bi-directional", meaning it reads and writes at the same time....unlike SATA, which has to do one or the other and not BOTH at the same time. For larger data capacity, a large RAID 0 array off the motherboard of 3 or moreSamsung 850 Pro SSDs can also provide fast performance.
Thank you! My head is spinning from all the info I'm gonna go check out the Samsung 850 Pro right now.