When was the last time you needed to buy a new PC? Two years ago? Three years ago? The last PC I built was in 2009. I had to upgrade because I pushed the previous one I built to the limit and that was in 2004. A 2009 desktop is old in computer years, but not so much in processing power. It maybe true that there are a zillion new processors out in the market and their benchmark show exponential improvement. But to me benchmarking is just a marketing gimmick. PC sales are plunging but they are the wrong indicator to determine the advancement of the technology. The reason we are not buying PCs anymore is because those we have are already pretty amazing. - Ibrahim Diallo, idiallo.com

I have to agree, part of Apple locking down upgrades is insurance on future Mac sales. My 2008 Mac Pro is 5 years old, making it by far the longest I’ve owned a computer. Previously, my upgrade cycle was 2-3 years… then…. the Mac Pro happened. 

There’s some significant advances that’s happened since my computer’s release: 802.11 ac, USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.0, Thunderbolt, SSD’s wider adoption and the expected round of CPU updates for smaller/lower power/more powerful chipsets. Only one of these cannot be added to my Mac Pro… Thunderbolt.

Still, while the current class of desktop i7s can best my Mac Pro, there aren’t many laptops playing in the same league as it. My AMD Radeon 6870 is only bested in the mobile sphere by the GeForce GTX 780m, and it still lacks the clock speeds of my graphics card.

There are compelling reasons to upgrade around the corner, with high density displays soon to become to the norm, 4k video already widely adopted for videography, 36 bit color slowly marching into displays, the every increasing megapixel count on digital cameras, faster SSD with PCIe connections, richer internet experiences, a new generation of videogames focusing on the next generation consoles which will set a new standard, and that is bound to usher in march of upgrades as these will require faster CPUs/GPUs to fully realize. 

Tablets are interesting but they’re limited by their capacity to present information and their form factors. This may not always be the case but for the foreseeable future if you’re in the game of not simply consuming media but participating in its creation / alteration, a Mac or PC will be your first choice.