I have been totally pleased with what Adobe has done up to CS6. I own the Production Premium for photography and video. Updates in the last 2 years have been significant like the content aware delete tool in Photoshop or the many enhancements made in Premiere Pro and Audition. Now with the Creative Cloud I feel like I will be locked in to monthly payments which will end up costing me more each year than I have paid in the past. The introductory rate for CS6 users is $19.95/month. After one year I’ll be paying $49.95/month or $600/year. I have no need for Illustrator, In Design, and a few other apps. I don’t have the time or desire to share images with the world using Behance. I don’t want constant upgrades of my software because it takes time to learn the new tools. If an upgrade is significant, I need to pick the time for the upgrade so that I have enough down-time to learn the new processes. You shouldn’t change your software in the middle of a large project especially if you are sharing the work with a colleague.
This week at the WWDC Apple announced many of the specs for the new Mac Pro. It is so uniquely different that I feel that Steve Jobs is still alive. By that I mean that Apple has created a product that they think we need, and not based on what graphics professionals say we need (That’s how he developed the iPhone). We will not be able to add or replace parts (no internal hard drive bays) in the new 9″ tall cylindrical desktop machine. Yup, it’s tiny compared to the 60 Lb Macs of the past. It will be amazingly fast. Some of it’s contents are: Next generation Intel Xeon E5 processors with up to 12 core configurations, dual Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 1.4, six Thunderbolt 2.0 with DisplayPort 1.2 support for up to three 4K displays, four USB 3.0 ports, 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, 1866MHz ECC RAM, PCIe-based flash storage, and dual AMD FirePro GPUs with up to 6GB of VRAM.
The dual AMD FirePro GPUs concern me. They are screwed in and can’t be replaced. AMD says they will work with Adobe Premiere Pro CC ( http://www.fireprographics.com/adobe/ ) but I am not sure if they will work with CS6 which is what I am editing on. If Adobe adds the AMD FirePro graphics card to it’s list of preferred hardware I will add it to my blog. Or, you can check for approved graphics cards for Mac here, http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/tech-specs.html .
PCIe based flash storage is much faster than current SSDs or 7200 SATA drives. Apple says that the flash storage will be 2.5 times faster than the fastest SATA-based solid-state drives and up to 10 times faster than 7200 rpm SATA hard drives.
Now, what will all this cost? It’s good that it will be produced in the USA but that will make it more costly. Also, adding external Thunderbolt drives will be more expensive than those connecting with FW800 or USB 3.0, but a FW800 to Thunderbolt adapter is only $29. I know that I will opt for the Thunderbolt drives for editing.