Last week in the first of a series of articles and polls, we asked you to tell us what Apple Mac you are currently using with Pro Tools. This week we would like to know when you plan to replace your current Apple Mac Pro Tools computer.
Mike Thornton - Mid 2010 Mac Pro 'Cheese-grater'
I currently have a Mac Pro Cheese-grater - 2 x 2.4GHz Quad-core Intel Xeon. It is a Mid 2010 Mac Pro which I bought in December 2011 when I went HDX as my previous machine would not support HDX cards.
I am planning to run this setup for as long as possible as currently I don't like any of the options enough to change what is working very well for me. It's definitely a case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
Dan Cooper - Mid 2010 Mac Pro 'Cheese-grater'
I have the same machine as Mike, which I upgraded in 2013, but it is starting to show signs of its age. I have run this Mac for nearly six years now, so it would be irresponsible of me to try and push it to seven.
Replacing a computer workhorse isn't a costly investment compared to a machine breaking on you unexpectedly when work is booked and deadlines are pending. I had a previous generation Mac Pro before this one and that died at the start of a very busy week. I lost over £1,000 worth of income that week as I had to suddenly cancel a lot of tracking work. I also had to suddenly factor in a repair bill of £1,000 as well. The repair time was estimated at one week and on day three I couldn't sit around and wait anymore so I went out and purchased a replacement Mac Pro for £3,000 and sold my older Mac Pro later that week fresh from the repairman for £900 - All in all my business books looked quite appalling that month and I learnt a very valuable lesson - Plan a computer replacement.
Peter Barter - Late 2013 iMac 27"
I am currently running a late 2013, 3.5GHz Intel Quad Core i7 iMac with 512GB SSD, which I bought in mid 2014. I do appreciate that even though things are rosy at the moment, there will come a day when something critical will malfunction. I would say that owning an iMac as your main production machine is potentially more of a gamble than the ‘screen-less’ more modular approach of tower or trashcan systems as there are more single points of failure however there is nothing I currently feel I am missing out on with my setup.
In terms on when I will upgrade - The day that I feel that my machine is getting sluggish and is costing me unnecessary time and productivity I'll start shopping around - or when it breaks - whichever comes sooner.
James Ivey - Early 2009 Mac Pro 'Cheese-grater'
My main studio machine is a early 2009 Mac Pro Cheese-grater, which originally shipped as a single quad core machine but about 18 months ago it was upgraded to 2 x 3.46GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon processors and 32Gb of RAM. In terms of timescale, the answer is now. I have ordered a replacement machine already that is due in the next few days, but you will have to wait until the last article in this series to see what it is.
Russ Hughes - Mac Pro 'Trash-Can'
My studio computer is a Mac Pro Late 2013 'Trash-can' bought in June, 2014. It is a 6-Core and Dual GPU, 3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor, 32GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory, Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each and 256GB PCIe-based flash storage.
I also own a MacBook Pro MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014), 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7.
I have no plans to replace either of them anytime soon. Both have amazing performance and I made sure I bought into new technologies like Thunderbolt, mitigating the need to upgrade anytime soon.
Furthermore, as both of them are part of my business then they are depreciating over a 4 year period until they owe me nothing.
Julian Rodgers - 2012 Mac Mini
I have a late 2012 2.5Ghz i5 Mac Mini with 16GB and a 512GB SSD, which I bought second hand from Russ Hughes in May 2016. For the time being it is adequate for my needs as I'm not a heavy VI user and in music production that tends to be the thing which tests computers the most. I suspect that video will be the application which convinces me to replace my current machine but I can see that machine staying with me for a couple of years before it gets demoted to the living room.
Alan Sallabank - 2011 MacBook Pro 8.1
I have a reconditioned, "pimped" MacBook Pro 8.1 which I bought in December 2014.
I don't have any immediate plans to replace it, but am aware that its performance is falling behind in several important aspects The urgency may suddenly increase if something fails soon. However, I've found that a clean install of the operating system, flushing out all the junk that's accumulated, can make a computer perform "as new" again. That's also assuming that Apple don't hardware lock me out of the latest operating system.
Tell Us What Your Plans are
So now you have read our stories, in the poll below, please tell us when you plan to replace the Apple Mac that you use with Pro Tools and please share your stories and thoughts in the comments below as well.
PLEASE NOTE: We have split the poll between business users and home users to see if that shows a different trend. Please vote in the poll that fits your situation.
In the next article and poll we will be asking what you intend to replace the Pro Tools Apple Mac with, Mac or Windows perhaps?