I am about as big of a fan of Apple as one can be. They got me as a high school sophomore with the red iPod nano, they got me going off to film school with the 15" MacBook Pro, and they even got me as an employee for a few years working at a retail store and then the Genius Bar. I’ve learned the nuts and bolts of macOS, I’ve taught people how to use Apple’s products, I’ve built out Mac-based edit suites, and I eagerly await new product announcements, often watching the keynotes and events in real time when I can.
The past few years have been tough for us post production Apple users. Give any of us a beer and ask a leading question and you’ll hear about Shake, Final Cut Server, Xserve, Color, and of course, Final Cut Pro X. I wrote back in 2015 that it was painfully obvious Apple no longer catered to the post production professional. The lack of hardware updates to the Mac Pro were for me the true sign that you could no longer count on Apple to even be interested in keeping pace with state of the art technology.
At some point in 2016 I decided to build my own PC for my next machine. However, I was recently engaged and most of my time and spare money went into pulling off what ultimately was a fantastic wedding. What I did do during that time was find YouTube channels to subscribe to that catered to PC building. A lot of the content out there is gaming related but generally what makes games play better also helps video work go faster, too. So for the last year and a half I’ve been reading and watching up on everything there is to know about PC components and building, and with the wedding over and enough side color work coming in I’ve been able to put together a part list and order it.
What about the iMac Pro or future Mac Pro?
Great question. While I actually find the press conference thing Apple did regarding pro hardware last year to be an excellent sign of Apple starting to move in the right direction, it is quite frankly too little to late. I don’t mean that to sound disparaging. The iMac Pro is beautiful and very powerful; I was impressed after the day and a half or so I’ve spent with one for work purposes. However, two things are keeping me from using it:
- The seed of this idea has already been planted and like I said, I love computers enough that the idea of building my own system is too exciting to give up.
- I’m building a 12-core machine with a better GPU than the iMac Pro for a few thousand dollars less.
And the Mac Pro? I eagerly await it, but I can’t base current plans on what may come. It may be everything I want, but it may be nothing I want. It will also be expensive. The main thing, though, is that I cannot count on Apple to make hardware worth investing in when there is only one new data point. Let’s talk again in a few years when the Mac Pro exists, is good, and has been updated along with the iMac Pro. Only then would I consider investing in pro Apple hardware again.
So, this is the first in a small series of posts I’ll do about my build process. I’ve done a lot of prep, but I’ve never done this before so I’m confident but anxious. I don’t write this to convince you to ‘jump ship’ too, but merely as a resource for anyone that finds themselves in the same position I’m in.