We posted an article recently on Pro Tools Expert that explored all current replacements for Mac Pro 5.1 'Cheese Grater' computers for Pro Tools production. We asked The Pro Tools Expert Mac Pro Community to vote for the solution they would go for as a viable Mac Pro 5.1 replacement. The option of waiting for the next 'modular' Mac Pro 7.1 (expected to be announced in 2018) winning the poll at 28.68%
What Do These Results Tell Us?
Interpret the results however you wish, but what these numbers tell me is that around 45% of current Mac Pro 5,1 users are considering replacing their Mac Pro 5.1 systems with brand new computers, may it be the next generation Mac Pro 7.1 or a custom built Windows PC for Pro Tools.
It's interesting to see that, at third place with 14% of the votes, current Mac Pro 5.1 users are considering refurbing their machines, an option I don't believe to be great value for money. The cost of pimping a Mac Pro 5.1 to match the performance of current Mac Pro computers is quite an expensive option with the costs being not too far off the price of buying a brand new Mac or Windows machine with a warranty.
Renting or leasing a Mac Pro 6.1 was voted the least popular of the Mac Pro 5.1 replacements, however, if you are a busy audio professional like me and rely on the Mac Pro 5.1... what if it fails between now and the shipping date of the next-generation Mac Pro 7.1 (date unknown)? Renting a current Mac Pro 6.1 on a short-term basis could be a smart business option that bridges the gap between replacing a Mac Pro 5.1 and the availability of the next Mac Pro 7.1.
I am a Mac Pro 5.1 user. The news we have read online regarding the next generation Mac Pro 7.1 is pretty cagey. There isn't any solid information for me to commit to the idea of purchasing a product that I don't know the price of, the performance of and/or the specification of. Put all of those points to one side for a moment, we don't even know if the next generation Mac Pro 7.1 will even be mainstream enough to cater for all types of professional creative applications including Music & Post Production industries. We could very well end up in another Mac Pro 6.1 scenario, a Mac Pro for the powerhouse creative, built clearly for the photography and/or video production industries.
How do you interpret these results?