Should I buy a Mac Pro?
The Mac Pro released in 2013
A long time ago, in 2011, it was time for me to upgrade my main working computer. At the time I was using a PC for all my video editing, graphics and web design work. In 2011 this wasn't the norm—it was pretty standard for any self-respecting creative professional to use a Mac Pro. Indeed, I intended to upgrade my old iMac to a Mac Pro and use it as my main working computer.
Unfortunately, word on the street was that the Mac Pro might not be a priority for Apple any more. There were delays and then the disastrous Final Cut X launch seemed to confirm that Apple was abandoning the professional market. I couldn't wait any longer, and when I weighed up the various costs and other factors I made the difficult decision to stay in the PC world. Here were my top three reasons:
- Windows had become usable and stable enough to kill the old arguments about MacOS being more reliable.
- I could buy a seriously pimped Lenovo D20 for less than the cost of a Mac Pro with much lower specs.
- Premiere Pro had overtaken Final Cut as a professional editing tool.
Over the next couple of years I watched the ongoing carnage from the Final Cut X debacle and the disappointment when the next Mac Pro finally did come out in 2012. I felt vindicated but still uncomfortable about being a "creative" that uses a PC. At least I still had my iMac to appease clients who expected to see an Apple logo on my computer!
In 2013 a new-look Mac Pro was released and I wondered if it might be time to reconsider my position. After looking into it, I decided the answer was no. Some of my reasoning:
- There are no internal expansion capabilities. My workstations are full of extra drives, video cards and other things—I can't imagine not being able to do this.
- Sure you can connect all the extras externally but I don't want to do that. I want additional internal hard drives and capture cards, safely and tidily out of the way, not requiring additional power supplies for each one.
- I have a tablet running the exact same Windows OS and software that my desktop uses. Using Google Drive (or Adobe CC, etc) I move seamlessly between them. I can't do the same thing with an Apple tablet/desktop combination.
- It's semi-portable but so what? Professional workstations don't need to be portable.
- Like it or not, there is still a larger range of software available for the PC than the Mac.
In the end there's just no compelling reason to move my main workstation to Mac, but there are reasons not to.
Bottom line: In the old days it was fair to say that MacOS was a more suitable operating system for creatives than Windows. It was also true that Final Cut Pro was better than the equivalent Windows options (most notably Premiere Pro). These arguments no longer hold true, so what's left to encourage the professional to use a Mac? Apart from peer pressure, not much that I can see.
If you'd like to comment on this, please do so on the related blog post.