I've been using professional Mac towers for as long as I can remember. While I have a variety of different Mac models in use around my home, there is always a Mac Pro tower in use for my video editing, rendering, ripping, encoding and any other processor intensive tasks. I waited about 4 years between my last Mac Pro (original model) to the current Mac Pro.Although I was ready for a new one sooner, I didn't want to buy the previous year's (2009) model assuming that Apple was going to release an updated model. That led me to my current 12 core model (and another year of waiting). While making this decision I did entertain the idea of just going with a tricked out 27" iMac instead. After all it would certainly cost less than a Mac Pro and for most tasks it would definitely be fast enough. My main reason for going with the Mac Pro was the ability to insert both a high-end Nvida Quadro 4000 card and a USB 3.0 card (that I have yet to use). I also figured that with a 12 Core Mac Pro speed would not be an issue and I'd be able to install as much RAM as I could afford. The Mac Pro has not been a disappointment and I'm happily using the Adobe Production Premium CS 5.5 Suite on it. The Production Premium Apps (Premiere Pro, After Effects, Media Encoder, etc. are all 64 bit native and take advantage of all the cores and all the RAM).
The New iMacs have me thinking again
I'm not in the market for a new Mac today. After all I just got one last year and it rocks. However, I can't help but think that this might be my last Mac Pro. The New iMacs are now using the Sandy Bridge Core i7 Processors as well as Thunderbolt ports. The way I see it is that by the time I'm ready for a New Video Editing Mac (at least a year or two from now), the New iMacs at that time will be more than enough to meet my needs. Will the iMac be as fast as or as expandable as the Mac Pro. Definitely not. After all, Apple always puts their fastest processors in the Mac Pro line. However, for my "editing at home" needs, the current and future iMacs will most likely do the job just fine. By that time we should also have a good selection of Thunderbolt enabled peripherals. That's why I say, "this may be my last Mac Pro."