I think you are way over obsessing about this. I run a Mac office and AE CC 2015 and previous versions run just fine on a brand new loaded MacBook Pro R 15" that is fully loaded, A 2008 Mac Pro with AMD graphics and even a Mac Mini from 2011. Don't spend a second worrying about NVIDIA and CUDA support because that's no longer being developed and it never worked well enough to use in a professional setting anyway. There are much better solutions. I know a lot of folks that are using new 5K iMacs and I'm planning on one of those in the fall. You just have to keep your eyes open and it's always a good idea to keep several versions of any software that you use that will allow multiple versions on the same machine. My main work machine has CS6 - CC 2015 installed and they all are working just as I expect them to. You'll be fine with a MacBook pro or an iMac, especially if you upgrade the ram. The Air and the Mac Book would not be good choices.
There is no perfect machine. I am not trying to start a platform war here. Configure what you can afford and put it to work. Adobe and other software manufacturers are developing all the time and Mac has secured a big enough share of the market that they will not be ignored in the near future. As far as benchmarks go for some things an identically configured Mac compared to a PC a Mac will win, on others a PC will win. Sure you can build an identically configured PC for less money than you can configure a Mac and you have more processor and GPU options in the PC world but more options mean more potential problems, more drivers to worry about and frankly, even though Windows has greatly increased their security, more vulnerability to hacking. Dollar for Dollar, over the life of a machine I do not think you will find a better value than a Mac. My decision go go with and stay with Mac is purely a business decision based on my annual cost of doing business and my bottom line.
On Friday I spend the day at a client's office working on my old first generation intel iMac that I bought at Mac World when they were introduced in January 2006. I carried that machine from client office to coffee shop, to client office for 4 years like it was a laptop in an iLugger case. When I retired the machine one of my client's wanted it so I sold it to them for about 50% of what I paid for it. It has been in use nearly every working day since then. That's 10 years and 6 months. There is one small line of dead pixels about a half an inch long in the lower left corner of the display. It gets cleaned every two years very happily by the Apple Store, the hard drive has been replaced every two or three years and it's just fine. I worked in Illustrator CS4 and AE CS4 to update one of their presentations. You won't find many PC's that will be productive for that many years. My 2008 Mac Pro has been turned on nearly every day since I bought it in 2008 with no more maintenance than an occasional cleaning and my standard hard drive replacement every 3 years. When I wanted a new MacBook Pro R 15" a few months ago I sold my old one, First Generation shipped to me the first week they were available, for 60% of what I paid for it and applied it to the purchase of the new one. The cost of a fully loaded MBPro R had dropped about $300 in those 4 years. Pretty good value. Zero days lost because of mechanical problems with that machine.
I've seen old PC's still running but I've never heard of anyone taking a 5 year old PC laptop to their computer store and had them replace the keyboard because some keys went dead, the wifi / blue tooth module and put in a new battery for the cost of a battery like Apple did last year for the 13" MacBook Pro my daughter uses for school. Nobody beats Apple customer service. Nobody...
Thank you. Needed that!
So, I think I'll pick up a loaded 15" and see where that takes me. Do I need an older version of AE, or will the most recent version be ok? I'm assuming there's a problem because you mention your running an older version on purpose?
I keep previous versions installed just in case of problems or if I have a client that needs and earlier version of a project file. I only deliver templates when asked for. The rest of the time the AEP is my intellectual property and it's not for sale.
You can get any version back to CS6 from the Creative Cloud app. All you need is the hard drive space to run the installs.
Thanks Rick. Sound advice. Rumor has it the new Macpro laptops are due out in June. I'll but the most loaded one I can afford!