There is nothing unusual about the requirement to upgrade your software to keep up with new hardware. Apple, in particular, have always been fairly ruthless about upgrading their OS at the expense of backward compatibility.
Adobe released CS 5.5 in April 2011. It's just not practical for them to go back two generations of software and maintain compatibility with new OS's. The average After Effects user is going to upgrade their hardware and software fairly regularly to take advantage of new features and better performance. If your budget is restraining you from upgrading your software, I suggest you stick with compatible hardware until it's practical for you to upgrade both. Remember that the new subscription model of the CC suite works out slightly cheaper over time than upgrading the old fashioned way.
I have several clients who have recently purchased the last of Apple's silver Mac Pro systems, to tide them over a few years with hardware that retains the same internal cards and drives, plus older software, until they are prepared for complete software and hardware overhauls, once they've also assessed the long-term viabilty of the new Mac Pros, which are a fairly unknown quantity at this point. You could do the same and source a silver Mac Pro before they're all gone.
Thank you for your reply and advice Andrew. Yes I agree, you have to upgrade software and hardware and keep up with the technology, I have used Apple Macs and Adobe all my life. I feel though that CS5.5 is not very old and for the amount of money it cost me at the time, I think that I should not have to upgrade so soon, it is not good value for money, if I had CS3 or 4 I would understand it. The reason I wanted a new Mac Pro is because they are faster and can handle rendering and large file sizes much better and as I do animation this would make a considerable enhancement to my workflow. I already have an old Mac Pro which is just too slow and a Laptop computer. The trouble is if you take out a cloud membership it is a bit like renting software, so when you cancel the contract you would have no software and no way of opening your files, so you are almost buying into something for many years as long as you want to continue using Adobe products. The costs will eventually rise as well. Also the plans on offer are not user friendly as you have to purchase all Adobe software or one individual software. Has Adobe thought about a pick and mix option as some people may not need all the software but just a few. For instance I use Photoshop and After Effects/premiere mostly but occasionaly use Illustrator and Indesign. Adobe could have a baseline cost for one program and then an add on figure for each additional software but it should work out cheaper than the whole suite of software. Perhaps Adobe could consider customers who purchase the New Mac Pro a special offer of a free one year membership to cloud - that would be good. Well I am very disappointed and I hope perhaps Apple will take the initiative to solve some of the problems with Adobe Software, I think they will be concerned that many people may be put off from buying their products because of incompatible Adobe Software. If Adobe can fix problems for CS6 and above, I am sure they can fix it for older software. I think Adobe should consider the loyalty of their customers.
> If Adobe can fix problems for CS6 and above, I am sure they can fix it for older software.
Not so. Going back and "fixing" older versions to work with modern operating systems is a lot of extra work. If we spent the extra time to do this for After Effects CS5.5, then we'd have less time to fix issues in After Effects CC (12) and After Effects CS6 (11), the versions that we're currently selling. We have a small team with finite resources, so each thing that we work on subtracts effort somewhere else.
> I think Adobe should consider the loyalty of their customers.
Consider how customers who have recently paid us for After Effects CC (12) and After Effects CS6 (11) would feel if we took time away from addressing their issues so that we could fix an older version for someone who hasn't paid us recently. Those current customers would have a rather convincing case to claim that we were not honoring the loyalty of these current customers.
Hi Todd, Thanks very much for your reply. I am sure fixing bugs for software takes a long time and I appreciate that you have many other more current versions to fix as the internet is full of customers having software related problems with Mavericks. However, I am not technicial but I would have thought you would be able to eventually fix the problems related to the other software, 5.5 is probably not that different to 6. I can also understand that customers who have bought software recently will be frustrated if you did not concentrate on their issues first but I also think Adobe should consider the needs of all the people who have bought their software in the past for many years and as far as I am concerned 5.5 is not that old. I have invested a lot of money over the years and I feel Adobe has abondoned some of its customers. I don't think it should be about customers paying you recently getting priority, if any customer has bought from you, then they should be a priority too at some point. Anyway perhaps Apple will help to solve this problem. Thanks for your comments.