The top choice in both polls was the Apple MacBook Pro.
Other than the winner the polls showed some significant differences which speak to the unique challenge for Pro Tools users. Pro Tools owners are twice as likely to own a Mac Pro Cheese-grater as Logic Pro users - which stands to reason. Logic Pro users do not need special cards to run their audio interfaces, whereas many Pro Tools owners have had to invest in Pro Tools HD/HDX and HD Native cards to run Pro Tools HD software. We guess that were the Studio One Expert community polled then a similar result would emerge as the one from the Logic Pro Expert.
Pro Tools Users Have A Unique Set Of Needs
Pro Tools owners find themselves in a unique situation when it comes to buying a new Mac - to stick with their Avid HD hardware and reduce their buying choices or to ditch the Pro Tools HD hardware and move to another interface that does not limit their choice of Mac. Of course the same can be said of those who own card based UAD hardware, although in many cases UAD owners would have had more ways to connect their cards to their computer using options like the UAD FireWire and Thunderbolt Satellite devices.
Logic Pro Expert made this comparison about the different user needs that determine buying choices...
Add to this the abundance of connectivity on the Mac cheese grater chassis plus the fact that a certain demographic of Pro Tools users expand their systems with various hardware devices (cards that require the PCIe slots found in the older Macs). It is often much more costly for them to upgrade to new Macs with different connectivity options than Logic Pro users, who don’t generally have as much physical expansion in ageing formats to contend with.
Logic Pro Fans Are Not Mac Pro Trash-Can Users
What is also interesting about the two polls when compared is that Logic Pro users were over half as likely to own Mac Pro Trash-Can than Pro Tools users. At face value, this puts pay to any kind of suggestion that Apple owners are likely to buy anything with an Apple on it, you would expect more brand allegiance from Logic Pro users than from Pro Tools users, but it seems when it comes to the Late 2013 Mac Pro this is not the case. The different results are more than likely to point to the fact that many Pro Tools users have been looking for something to replace the Cheese-grater that contained all their hardware dependencies and the new Mac Pro is the closer thing to answer that. That said, it still requires the investment in external chassis to deal with the lost internal architecture of the older Mac Pro computers.
Are Logic Pro Users Getting Better Performance Than Pro Tools Users?
The higher ranking of the iMac in the Logic Pro poll and the lower ranking of the Mac Pro Late 2013 might also point to the difference in the performance of Logic Pro and Pro Tools on the same Mac. Apple writes the software for the computer and often code their software to take advantage of the latest software and hardware technologies in the Mac computers. However, this is conjecture and not based on any hard evidence.
What the two polls do reveal is that the Pro Tools community, especially those who depend on Avid hardware, have a unique set of requirements for their Mac.
Avid and Apple Have Different Philosophies
What Pro Tools users have to accept is that Apple and Avid have two different philosophies about how to get the best possible performance from a computer when using it for music and audio production. It seems neither company is likely to change strategy anytime soon, Pro Tools users who want to use Macs are likely to continue to be frustrated.
In some ways it's similar to the Flash v HTML5 debate, Apple were convinced that Flash was not the future and so gave Flash less support over each iteration of the Mac OS. Adobe had a different view, hoping to continue to convince people that Flash still had a future. We know how the Flash story played out ... watch this space.