I'm the somewhat happy owner of a 2011 Mac Pro. It's a decent machine that used to be a damned beast but now when I try to do anything with large PSD's or 4K files it just struggles. Talking with my friends at OWC for help we came to the conclusion that it would cost close to $2000 to update the MacPro and even then the performance gains might only be good for a year, maybe two.
The idea of spending two grand on an aging machine is a tough pill to swallow especially considering that I do most everything on my iPad Pro saving only specific tasks for my MacBook Pro. Thanks to Adobe, we have RAW processing on iOS with Lightroom Mobile which further closes the gap between iOS and OSX.
Right now the iPad Pro is my most used computer but there are things that I still need OSX for such as any time I'm doing complicated Creative Cloud projects that require lots of post processing and render times.
My MacBook Pro cost me nearly $4000 with Apple Care and while it's fast I'm not sure if it's $4000 fast. It's my favorite traditional computer I ever owned and I do like it a lot but overall I'm not sure if it's worth the money I paid for it. Consider that it's running slightly dated hardware, has no Touch ID, battery life is ok at best and the icing on the cake is that it will need to be replaced in two years max. My iPad Pro (256GB, LTE) with the Smart Keyboard, Pencil, USB 3 SD card dongle and Apple Care came in around $1700 which will also need to be replaced in two years but I can also trade it in and get some money towards the purchase of a new iPad. If I'm able to get most work done on my iPad Pro for less than half of what I spent on the MacBook Pro, spending another $4000 on a refreshed MacBook Pro is not appealing in the slightest.
If push came to shove considering that my Creative Cloud workflow on Windows is nearly the same as on OSX, a cost effective Windows machine running CC could be an option.
Apple Ditched the Old-Skool Creative Pro
The people that think Apple has not abandoned the traditional pro market are in denial. They killed off Aperture, FCPX and Logic are hardly updated and their pro computers use three-year-old hardware. Now that doesn't make the aforementioned products bad, just means they're aging. Thinking about the large strides Microsoft made to Windows in the last year or what Adobe has done with CC and I can see a future where creative pro's get sophisticated projects completed on Windows machines running CC while the everyday creative and the consumer does their work on iOS type devices.
When you think of how well-connected Apple Watch, iPads, and iPhones are it makes more sense. Everything is easier on iOS than on OSX with an exception of a few specialized tasks.
Face it. The Game has Changed
Anyone who's been to VidCon or any place where there's loads of young people creating will easily see the generation gap between those that were born into a world of mobile and those that experienced personal computing from the early days.
Most young people are creating content on their smart phones with little to no thought on workflow, backup or what hardware is best. They don't give a damn about what OS is best or if their camera is full frame. What's important to them is getting it online fast. Put most young people in front of traditional PC tower and they're lost, bogged down with antiquated workflows. While adults might look at these young creatives it won't be long before they become the everyday working pro and when that happens they're most likely going to reject the idea of a traditional "computer" with traditional drives, dongles and workflows.
This is the generation that's dominating Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram and will be the generation that brings us the next Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg.
What Matters Most
Does it really matter what work on daily? Not at all. What matters most is the work I do, the art I make and the relationships that come from it. That's what matters most but there's that fantasy of running a thriving business from an iPad Pro that's constantly connected to the web, is cost effective and easy to carry. We're in a strange place right now with computing. The iPad Pro is missing a lot of functionality for the everyday pro, the Mac is lagging and Windows is not quite there for many Mac users looking for an alternative.
Ok, ok, I put in enough thought into this subject today. Time to get to work on my iPad Pro or will it be my MacBook Pro or Mac Pro…damn it all.