The Dilemma of the Mac Editor
With the announcement of the Adobe CS6, my personal computer at home is really seeming long in the tooth. Don’t get me wrong, I can still open up Premiere Pro CS6 and edit HD ProRes material on my 2006 Mac Pro 1,1. It works shockingly well actually. I can play back without rendering, even add effects and enjoy real time playback for the most part. But I can’t get it out of my head how nice it would be to add an nVidia CUDA card, a new SSD, and a boat load of RAM. Granted, I could do all of that on my Mac Pro. But for a 2006 computer, it just doesn’t seem worth it.
I love the computer. I really do. It has performed amazing well for the past 6 years. Much better than any of the PCs I had previously. Granted, it probably cost twice as much as they did, but it was also a better machine with faster components. One that I could bring work home and know that my home system was capable. Now, I can’t even install Photoshop CS6 on it, because it doesn’t technically support the 64 bit version.
Which brings me to the point of the thread here. It is something that has been discussed at length by the pro industry and that is, does Apple care about us anymore? I could surely get an iMac, and be satified with it. But if Apple stops making the Mac Pro. What will my office and other shops like it do? Its hard to imagine a group of editing and finishing suites running off of iMacs and thunderbolt cards. Sure, it maybe be possible. But its hard to believe that an iMac, and its components which are essentially those of laptops can replace my work computer, a 12 core Mac Pro with 64 GB of Ram and an SSD boot drive. For most editing tasks an iMac would be quite sufficient, but when you throw things like 3D rendering and intense After Effects projects into the mix, it may be another story. Being that these are all things that I regularly deal with…I’m worried. And then, there is the new AE 3D Raytracing. Unless Apple has plans to switch back to nVidia (fingers crossed), I won’t be getting any GPU acceleration there either.
So the question is, does Apple have something amazing up their sleeves or are they going to send the professional editing and graphics industry, kicking and screaming back to to the PC? With the commotion surrounding FCPX, as people look toward cross platform solutions like Avid and Adobe Premiere Pro, the lines get blurred and it gives us a good deal to think about.
As a note, I should say, I own practically every Apple product, and have no desire to leave, but who knows what the future holds. If you would have told me I’d be editing stuff in Adobe Premiere Pro 2 years ago, I would have laughed at that thought too. Now look how far it has come!
Pro editor, Walter Biscardi is already contemplating these same questions and doing some great pieces on the exact ideas I discuss here.
P.S. This article is not meant as any knock on the PC, Windows, or editors and designers already working on PCs. I know a huge portion of the industry is already doing that and was not implying anything is wrong with that.