I took a few weeks off there to recharge the batteries and get away for a bit. Sorry for the radio silence, but now I'm back.
This will be a little different than the gear posts that I've done in the past. Today, I wanted to review what I'm using for a desktop computer, but more importantly I wanted to go over why I'm still using it.
Sitting on my desk right now is a 2008 Mac Pro. I know what you're thinking, "That's a dated computer!" But in reality it's not. When I purchased this computer (used in 2010) I bought the best I could afford. It came with a high-definition Apple 30" Cinema Display and the internal stats were impressive. Dual quad core processors, 4 x 500GB hard drives, 8GB of RAM, dual DVD burners, and a 512GB video card.
Since then, I've spent money on upgrades here and there and it's still running lightning fast today. I'm currently running the same processors, 16GB of upgraded RAM, a newer 1GB video card, a 600GB 15,000 RPM hard drive for my operating system and 3 x 2TB storage drives for photos/video. Additionally, I added a 23" Cinema Display to accompany the original 30" and inserted a USB 3.0 PCIe expansion card to increase data transfer speeds from external drives and memory cards. I can run the latest version of OS X and I've had no problems with Photoshop, Lightroom or the Adobe Suite of products. Could I get something newer and faster? Of course. But I like that I spent roughly double what I wanted to spend for the initial computer, and still haven't had the need to upgrade the entire system.
That's my main point here. Instead of purchasing a new computer every 2-4 years, I go for broke on a new computer and then update along the way. Not a bad strategy for saving money in the long run. Also, I can still sell my current computer as a used system after removing the storage drives and adding them to a powered enclosure.
My next computer purchase will likely be a slightly used, new-model Mac Pro with full stats. I'm a little reluctant to go that route because of all the required peripherals to accomplish what I can self-contain in my current Mac Pro tower, but that's the price you pay to move forward. In the meantime, I still use a 13" Macbook Pro alongside my desktop and in the field.
Hope this helped!