Ooof that is a dilemma! No doubt Forest will chime in here with his thoughts. He possibly may suggest you switch to PC. I’ll try to address these scenarios as someone who’s used Mac for 20 years, switched to PC for a minute, then went back to Mac, and is now considering PC again, but it’s not decided.
The new ARM chip has certainly thrown a wrench out there for us. I will say: a 2012 machine will be very slow and likely give you problems in Photoshop, LR and especially Premiere - and especially if your 2012 chip can’t support the most recent Mac OS. I recently bought a MacBook Pro and so I’ll be living with it and counting the days until it becomes a paperweight. I will say that Adobe held onto legacy CS6 downloads for a really long time before getting rid of them. (CS6 came out in 2012.) I know this because the only way I could easily burn a DVD was using Encore CS6. But now that DVD players are in thrift stores, computers aren’t being built with them, and everyone is streaming movies - seemed time to for Adobe to dump CS6. But they held on for 8 years! Which is really a long time for computers.
I think one sobering reality that we all face is that we want to believe our laptop will last 10 years and that it’s a long term investment. Truth is, it’s probably more like 5 years, max.
So, if you are thinking on a 10 year investment line, then you’ll be disappointed when they change chips or OS and things get buggy and slow or die. But if you think more along the lines of “this thing’s probably good for 3-5 years” then choose wisely.
If Adobe held onto CS6 legacy for 8 years, there’s a decent chance they’ll hold onto Intel software for a few years, in which case you can squeeze the life out of an Intel MacBook now and get good work done. The 2012 machine will slow you down.
Ok - the next option (which will make Forest & Tony smile with joy) is to switch to PC.
you can get A LOT more performance out of a PC for the money than a Mac.
You can build extreme PCs that are so fast they might just do the task before you even think of it (!!) for cheap!! — compared to a Mac.
PCs still have ports! Macs keep trying to go thinner and thinner for consumers and eliminating USB, HDMI, monitor, Ethernet and other ports in lieu of 4 Thunderbolt ports, saddling Mac users with dongles forever. Maybe they’ll change and offer ports on future Pro machines, but that doesn’t seem to be the trend.
PC OS is a horrid user experience (in my opinion) and is not intuitive (to Mac users). That’s the preference part of the debate.
It also lacks certain organizational features. Like: color coding. I like to color code a file Green for ‘ready,’ Blue for ‘finished,’ and Grey for ‘uploaded to client.’ PC does not have that function which makes managing assets a chore for my process.
If your hard drives (I have 17 of them) are Mac formatted from years of Mac use, you’ll need additional utilities to see those on a PC. Or move your assets to cross-platform hard drives. Doable, but a pain.
PCs are common in video editing and animation houses - but not nearly as common on commercial photography sets. In my 20 years I never ran into a PC because art directors are on Mac. We’ll see if that changes in time…
I bought a Razer Blade 15” laptop for $1900 a few years ago. It absolutely performed and allowed me to do a few shoots with Capture One and I edited a video on a flight without a single problem. But if you are used to the Command-Option-Control keys on a Mac using Photoshop, the PC placement will drive you batty. There’s a script that re-maps the keys on a PC to emulate a Mac but it’s a bit klunky. The keyboard layout was different in terms of key spacing, so typing was problematic. I had to relearn typing a bit to not have so many miss-strokes. But between my Macs, the keyboards are the same.
If you are new to Photoshop then the key placement / keystrokes will be easier to learn fresh.
I sold my PC because I just couldn’t deal with all the preferential differences. My iMac at home, my wife’s Mac - we needed one ecosystem.
Sure you can get a NAS and run two different machines off it, but NASs aren’t portable! (And will add another $1200+ to all this)
In a nutshell:
If performance and a bit more longevity out of your machine and the ability to build your own screamin’ desktop are your primary considerations: PC
If using Mac OS, being used to where the Command-Option-Control keys are, being used to the actual keyboard for typing, some color coding, and the Mac ecosystem are important: Mac. You’ll still have fine photo/video performance if you get one with the top graphics card. More expensive, fingers-crossed Adobe holds onto legacy software for at least 3 years, when you should (realistically, and unfortunately) be thinking about a new machine anyhow. But if you can squeeze 5+ years of life out of it = winning!
If it were me, I’d get the MacBook knowing that in 3 years I’d be getting another. But I’m a Mac guy… until their Apps and dongle issues frustrate me so much that I feel I have to make the switch.
The ONLY reason I’d get a PC (and welcome one in) is for video editing/animation because the software functionality is so similar to Mac it doesn’t matter as much - but the PC performance is much higher. Trade-offs! Funny command key placement vs performance. For my Photoshop work, I just could not deal because I use those 3 keystrokes constantly - but for Premiere, not as often.
(Can’t wait to see what Forest says!)