New iMac Pro Wicked Fast & Wicked Expensive

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Apple has announced that the iMac Pro – a workstation-class version of its popular iMac line, will be available order starting 12/14/2017.

The iMac Pro promises to be wicked expensive, with an 8-core, 32 GB model starting at $4,999. But it also promises to be wicked fast – the most powerful Mac ever made.

It’s an iMac Pro for professional media producers, offering up to 18-core Xeon processors, up to 22 Teraflops of graphics computation, 32-128 GB RAM, a 27″ 5K display and up to 4TB of internal SSD.

Geekbench scores for the mid-level iMac Pro are three times the current Macbook Pro’s Multi-Core performance:

These are scores from the mid-level iMac Pro – so the 18-core version should blow these scores away.

The iMac Pro also breaks with Apple’s recent trend of reducing connectivity options, offering 10GbE Ethernet, four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, and four USB 3.0 ports

The first user previews of the iMac Pro are starting to appear. Here’s the first impressions of tech gear reviewer Marques Brownlee:

Tech video blogger Jonathan Morrison also has shared his impressions:

We have not seen any perspectives yet from musicians or audio producers. But video producer Vincent Laforet has tested the 10-core model and calls it ‘a killer machine for any serious photographer, filmmaker, or VR producer’.

He notes: “I’ve seldom seen a jump this dramatic before on any new generation of Macs – 20%-30% speed increases are the norm … NOT 200%-300% increases.”

Pricing and Availability

The iMac Pro will be available to order starting Dec 14, 2017, with prices starting at US $4,999. See the Apple site for details.

32 thoughts on “New iMac Pro Wicked Fast & Wicked Expensive

  1. If I dropped $5k on this Mac, I wouldn’t have money left for the kind of hungry music apps it can no doubt run like a breeze! 😀 I’m impressed in the same way I was when Dave Bowen’s Solaris came along: Stare-in-wonder-with-your-mouth-open mode. Fortunately, I’ve been a committed Mac type for years and the much punier iMac I use is still a music powerhouse. I won’t pine away for a bigger one unless I go mad & decide I need a Pink-Floyd-sized track count.

      1. Just like on iPad, iPhone and all other iOS devices that blames app developers for not being compatible with forced updates (no joke).

  2. My company almost put getting me a new iMac on hold to wait for apple to announce when they were releasing this. Couldn’t wait from August to whenever Apple gives a date so I got a souped up iMac but this looks like a beast! Even souped up it still can’t handle photoshop CC 3d graphics feature or After Effects high end rendering and ray tracing.

    Dam I sound like a real nerd right now.

    1. I hear You, real-nerd-sounding-guy!
      To add my 2 cents, Photoshop 3D graphics are slow, because they are half-baked & badly optimised mess, don’t expect miracles. Their material & lightning UI from 90’s doesn’t help much either…
      About that extra muscle for After Effects, it’s rendering engine is still mostly CPU dependent and still can’t spread workload across many cores. It is software limitation that Adobe tries to remove for last 2-3 years and eventually they will make it, but it’s not an easy task with “beast” as large as After Effects. Same goes for C4D rendering inside AE.
      About ray-tracing in AE, it is a legacy functionality 100% CUDA dependant (NVidia only) and is officially on a way out. It won’t work at all on AMD Vega 64 GPU.
      I humbly suggest You to check out Video Copilot Element 3D, if You don’t use it already. It is a true game changer in word of AE. It makes full use of any GPU provided & renders in REALTIME!

      Forgive me such long post about graphics software, my fellow synth geeks! 🙂

  3. I feel the 3.0 GHz single core performance will not be very good considering a lot of audio applications rely heavily on single core speed. Thoughts?

    1. What DAW are you using that isn’t optimized for multiple processors?

      I can’t imagine what you’d have to do with this thing to get the fan to turn on….

      1. That’s not the point. Every individual track/audiopath is still limited by the single core speed. For example, a single core 4.7ghz machine will run one track with dozens of effects better on low latency than an 18-core 2.4ghz machine…

        For example, an ultra low latency vocal performance track for monitoring could easily have more than 10 plugins if you want the singer to hear the effects while performing.

        Multi-processor support in a DAW does not mean that a single track is split among several processors.

        1. Wise words.

          I just want to add, that potential improvements in single thread performance are not only defined by CPU frequency. Cache size, bus speed & CPU architecture are just few of factors that affect overall performance. That these new machines use Xeon processors – workstation grade CPU’s – much more beefy than your average i7. Safe bet is to wait for real life tests done by people not affiliated with Apple PR machine 🙂

          1. Agree, single core performance is still important despite support for multi core in DAWs. I tend to add more processing per track rather than more tracks with less processing.
            Also agree that cache size bus speed and other things will come into play. I would like to see how well this performs against a 2017 iMac with 4.2gHz single core speed.

              1. Good point there. But the regular 27inch iMac pro also goes up to 4.5GHz turbo boost. So I guess it will boil down to all the other components,(Bus speed, cache etc.) Not sure if it will be worth the price difference though.

    2. I might be wrong but I think I have seen some articles about DAWs being able to run separate plugins on the same track as different threads and thereby splitting the processing on one track to multiple cores.
      I also think the speed is dependent on the thread handling, not necessarily the number of cores and I think Xeon processor architecture is generally better at this than i7. Also Xeon offers memory parity bit check and memory error handling so is less prone to errors which is kind of a big thing with long sessions and fast memory/buss speeds.
      So Xeon is overall more stable and better built to be up and running for days in large data clusters with no resets and no error/crashes, which could be an important aspect for many people also in music production.
      I would also say that the trend in high performance computers are to go towards more threads/cores instead of increasing the speed. This is probably since Moore’s law is no longer valid when we start reaching transistor sizes of just a few atoms and the size/heat/voltage/current cannot be increased more by conventional means.
      Then the way to more power is parallelization, doing more things at the same time instead of doing the same thing faster. I think this trend and new Apple and other computers will push programmers in that direction so even if your DAW currently is not optimized for multiple threads my bet is it soon will be…
      If you have a computer with more than one core it is also very easy to test.
      Run one track with a high plugin count and see if the load gets distributed to the different cores.

  4. Who really needs this kind of power? Probably not a single home user. Studios, well maybe. But when you need that kind of power now and then you may ask yourself if this is the way or something else, for example a graphic rack workstation which gives you all that power even at a tablet, or a contract with Rescale for example, a cloudcomputing company able to provide you with all the computer power you’ll ever need.
    Still a nice machine. But I probably will not buy one, don’t need the power of it.

  5. sad to see a xeon in there where the new intel cpu is available.
    still would stay with windows anytime for half the price and for that I got two Nvidia 1080 with total of 22 gb ram on the Graka. Since the tools are the same on both systems anyway. its also no surprise since the current macs are outdated for a while already. but def. would be curious to try this for my 3d renderings for comparison.

    1. Current Macs are not outdated in any way. They fulfill lots of tasks for lots of people very well. You may prefer Windows but don’t pretend Macs are outdated. Because they are not.

      1. When was the last hardware update to the current Mac Pro?
        If I remember correctly it was in 2015. Today it is outdated by any new PC build in the same price range I would say…

  6. As usual with Apple, it’s quite easy to create a Windows PC(threadripper) that urinates all over these specs for half the price, I’ll pass. Recommend if you can’t build your own though.

    1. “that urinates all over these specs for half the price” – it’s not that simple, Bob just because you say it is. And I say it as user of custom built PC (win10+hackintosh), that I had to build because my MacBook Pro was not enough to cope with some of my work.

      Cheers

    2. bob show us the PC please, because its atm not possible to rebuild, the closest components you can get you end up with 5100 bucks AND still missing a 5k Display which costs 2k+

      then windows machines are user upgradable, that nearly eradicates resell value, as usual there is close to none on windows.

      this imac will sell for 4k in 5 years easily

      as usual the apple haters wanna show us the knowledge they have………0

  7. For 5000 you can buy a Make Noise Shared system and your music will sound way better than what you can do with software. Get away from the computers and make music!

    1. Thats debatable. I’d rather hear a great song done in Garageband than another Eurocrack R2D2 farts, volume 249 uTube video. But I do concede your point about taking a break from computers!

    2. No thanks, I’d much rather have the computer than the poor man’s Buchla. I love modular hardware but Make Noise is all hype and very overpriced compared to other manufacturers who offer competitive modules without the eye-gouging graphics.

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