Apple suppliers now prepping AMD Vega video cards for upcoming iMac Pro

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Signalling that the iMac Pro will likely meet its December ship date, Apple suppliers are reportedly preparing the AMD Radeon Pro Vega cards that will power the computer's graphics.




Apple orders have been picking up since September, according to sources for Taiwan's DigiTimes, which noted that local firm SPIL is packaging the GPUs, with testing helping from King Yuan Electronics. The firms will are expected to be busy "through the end of 2017" in tandem with the iMac Pro's rollout.

General fabrication of the Vegas is reportedly being done by U.S.-based firm GlobalFoundries, using a 14-nanometer process.

iMac Pro buyers will have an option to choose between the Vega 56 or 64, which have 8 and 16 gigabytes of HBM2 memory, respectively. The GPUs are likely a major contributor to the cost of the iMac Pro, which will start at $4,999.

The machine will sport a 5K display however, as well as an 8-core Intel Xeon processor, scalable up to 10 or 18 cores. By default it will also come with 32 gigabytes of RAM and a 1 terabyte SSD, with options to push those specifications still higher.

The iMac Pro is the first half of Apple's response to complaints it has neglected professional-level Macs. The second is a modular Mac Pro, as well as a matching first-party display, both due in 2018.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    I hope that everyone that takes to the forums to bemoan the lack of professional mac will step up and buy this iMac Pro. 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 24
    netroxnetrox Posts: 792member
    I just wish I could have the dark iMac, I don't care about the GPU.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 24
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,765member
    I hope that everyone that takes to the forums to bemoan the lack of professional mac will step up and buy this iMac Pro. 


    No, they’ll find something else to complain about, namely the price:

    ”Whhhhhaaat?? I can build a PC with…”

    You get the picture. 
    llamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 24
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,701member
    I think Apple is in a moment of decision here.  They botched the (then new) Mac Pro in 2013.  If they get it right this time, and coupled with this new beast of an iMac Pro, I believe it will be a stellar year for Apple's shipments of pro-level hardware again.  I'm crossing fingers.

    I had an 2009 iMac (for the office) and a 2015 iMac 5K.  It was my hope that I would retire my 2009 machine, demote my 2015 to the office and get the new iMac Pro.  Unfortunately, my 2009 died a few weeks ago and as it was costing me lost revenue, I ended up buying a new MacBook Pro (along with my TB2 LED display).  So no (x)Mac Pro for me for a while.  

    I will be watching closely though at how this segment plays out.  I'd love to get the MacPro, but just don't have that business-need (yet) for it.  Looks like an incredible machine though.
    oneof52watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 24
    netrox said:
    I just wish I could have the dark iMac, I don't care about the GPU.
    A roll of masking tape and a can of metallic deep grey spray paint from Home Depot will do. Cost you less that $15.
  • Reply 6 of 24
    neilmneilm Posts: 640member
    sflocal said:
    If they get it right this time, and coupled with this new beast of an iMac Pro, I believe it will be a stellar year for Apple's shipments of pro-level hardware again. 
    Bear in mind that a stellar year for pro-level Macs would still be lost in the rounding for Apple. 

    It'll be interesting to see what the price/performance relationship of the iMac Pro turns out to be. We have 7 or 8 moderately well optioned 27" iMacs at the office that generally run around $3 grand with a 32GB third party RAM upgrade. For our graphic design work (Adobe CC apps) the machine speed really isn't a limiting factor at present. I'm not sure that the forthcoming iMac Pro could be justified for this type of work.

    On the other hand we still have a 6-core Mac Pro tower (much upgraded with SSD's, etc.) used for video editing that might well be a candidate for replacement by an iMac Pro. We don't usually mind spending the money on good hardware, but Apple being Apple this iMac Pro might stretch that beyond the limit.
    edited October 2017 gregg thurmanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,866member
    I hope that everyone that takes to the forums to bemoan the lack of professional mac will step up and buy this iMac Pro. 


    The iMac isnt and likely never will be considered a "Professional Mac" whatever that means.   For one thing an integrated monitor is a no go for many professional users.   Then there is the issue service accessd.   

    Beyond all of that Apple needs to pull head from ass here and supply complete systems.    I still beleve one of the great failings of the Mac Pro was Apples lack of a complete system not so much the Mac Pro itself.  That is the lack of a monitor and a decent storage solution from Apple left the Mac Pro looking half baked.    While this might be debatable, the lack of supporting hardware on stage at the Mac Pros debut meant that potential buyers could not see a complete system.  The result was a magnification of new concepts in the Mac Pro as faults. 

    So in the context of the IMac Pro we could land in the same situation.   If the supporting hardware isnt there many will not see a "Pro" solution at all.  This doesnt even get into the problem of running the machine 24/7 without thermal throttling.   Apple has a big hill to climb before people accept that an IMac can actually deliver "PRO" like performance.  
    dysamoria
  • Reply 8 of 24
    Do we know what these are expected to cost?

    I'd due (overdue really) to replace my son's iMac, so I'll get him a new computer for Christmas.  These will (probably) be outside my (self-enforced) price range, but I can hope (and/or hope that they reprice the existing iMac range).
    watto_cobrafolarin2012
  • Reply 9 of 24
    neilm said:
    It'll be interesting to see what the price/performance relationship of the iMac Pro turns out to be. We have 7 or 8 moderately well optioned 27" iMacs at the office that generally run around $3 grand with a 32GB third party RAM upgrade. For our graphic design work (Adobe CC apps) the machine speed really isn't a limiting factor at present. I'm not sure that the forthcoming iMac Pro could be justified for this type of work.
    Probably not. Anyone who is mainly doing 2D work for design is not going to need anything beyond the standard 27" iMacs from 2017. The iMac Pro would be more relevant if you frequently needed to run 3D renders.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 24
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,979member
    Rayz2016 said:
    I hope that everyone that takes to the forums to bemoan the lack of professional mac will step up and buy this iMac Pro. 


    No, they’ll find something else to complain about, namely the price:

    ”Whhhhhaaat?? I can build a PC with…”

    You get the picture. 
    Or the fact that you can't upgrade anything so its not truly a Pro Mac. This is why you buy as much as you can afford. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 24
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,979member

    Do we know what these are expected to cost?

    I'd due (overdue really) to replace my son's iMac, so I'll get him a new computer for Christmas.  These will (probably) be outside my (self-enforced) price range, but I can hope (and/or hope that they reprice the existing iMac range).
    Starting price for the iMac Pro is $4999...and its expected that you can configure an iMac Pro up to around $15,000. So unless you plan on spending at least $5,000 for one, you'd be better off just getting a higher end 27" iMac. 
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 24
    Rayz2016 said:
    I hope that everyone that takes to the forums to bemoan the lack of professional mac will step up and buy this iMac Pro. 


    No, they’ll find something else to complain about, namely the price:

    ”Whhhhhaaat?? I can build a PC with…”

    You get the picture. 
    I will wait until I see what the Mac Pro offers.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 13 of 24
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    iMac Pro buyers will have an option to choose between the Vega 56 or 64, which have 8 and 16 gigabytes of HBM2 memory, respectively. The GPUs are likely a major contributor to the cost of the iMac Pro, which will start at $4,999.

    The machine will sport a 5K display however, as well as an 8-core Intel Xeon processor, scalable up to 10 or 18 cores. By default it will also come with 32 gigabytes of RAM and a 1 terabyte SSD, with options to push those specifications still higher.
    The price is mostly down to the spec options: 8-core/32GB RAM/1TB SSD. Vega 56/64 prices are pretty reasonable at $399/499:

    https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Radeon_RX_Vega_56/

    On the current Mac Pro page, it starts at $3k with 6-core, 16GB, 256GB SSD. Going to 8-core adds $800, 32GB RAM adds $400, 1TB SSD adds $600 so $4800 without a display.

    Upgrading an iMac with a quad-core i7 to 32GB/1TB goes to $3700. Intel's quad-cores aren't all that expensive but the prices above that are crazy, the following is the 8-core Apple uses:

    https://ark.intel.com/products/77912/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E5-1680-v2-25M-Cache-3_00-GHz ($1723)

    Basically 1/3 of the iMac Pro's retail price is going to Intel. If they started with a regular quad-Xeon, the iMac Pro would start at about $3500.

    The iMac Pro is effectively a 2013 Mac Pro inside an iMac. The reasons people didn't buy the 2013 Mac Pro won't change (lack of Nvidia option, high price, low internal storage). The entry price is $2k higher.

    8-core Xeon = $1700
    AMD 56 = $400
    32GB = $600
    1TB SSD = $800
    5K display = $1000
    That's $4500 before casing, PSU, motherboard, margin on the GPU, keyboard/mouse etc.

    A Puget system without display can be compared here:

    https://www.pugetsystems.com/nav/peak/tower_single/customize.php

    It's under $3500 with the lowest quad-core but over $5k with the E5-1680v4 8-core. Upgrading to a 22-core takes it over $8k. The iMac Pro will go up to 18-core, which is just over $6k on the Puget. That sounds like good value with an extra 10-cores for just <$1000 but it's only 50% faster than the 8-core.
    GG1dysamoriawatto_cobrafolarin2012
  • Reply 14 of 24
    oneof52oneof52 Posts: 110member
    sflocal said:
    I think Apple is in a moment of decision here.  They botched the (then new) Mac Pro in 2013.  If they get it right this time, and coupled with this new beast of an iMac Pro, I believe it will be a stellar year for Apple's shipments of pro-level hardware again.  I'm crossing fingers.

    I had an 2009 iMac (for the office) and a 2015 iMac 5K.  It was my hope that I would retire my 2009 machine, demote my 2015 to the office and get the new iMac Pro.  Unfortunately, my 2009 died a few weeks ago and as it was costing me lost revenue, I ended up buying a new MacBook Pro (along with my TB2 LED display).  So no (x)Mac Pro for me for a while.  

    I will be watching closely though at how this segment plays out.  I'd love to get the MacPro, but just don't have that business-need (yet) for it.  Looks like an incredible machine though.
    I'm nursing my 2009 Pro along.  I have replaced several parts.  Still kicks the ass off my other Macs.  I can't wait for the the MacPro.
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 24
    I wish they'd make a Vega upgrade option for the Mac Pro 2013. It seems entirely possible to do. IMHO the Mac Pro is a great workstation that is whisper quiet at full load. My Promise Raid system is louder than it, and you should hear my MacBook Pro when I push it. I'm not sure what the fuss regarding internal storage is about. How many actual users of these things keep projects on internal storage? NLE projects should always be on external storage. If you're in a big studio, you probably have a SAN or at least a high-speed NAS. I mostly deal with video and some photo, but I like to keep my photos in a RAID volume, too. I would assume most photo editors would do the same.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 24
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,283member
    Still not interested.

    This was probably going to be the replacement for the Mac Pro until the pro anger, and losses in content creation studios, finally reached Apple management. So then they pre-announced the iMac Pro, and declared they were working on a Mac Pro replacement that covered the bases the 2013 Mac Pro failed to cover and the iMac Pro cannot possibly cover. I've read somewhere that insiders claim the Mac Pro replacement project only just started at that time, so we probably wont even see any details until late 2018. I'm sick of waiting, but there's no alternative and I'm not going back to Windows or PC hardware.

    Anyone complaining about the complaints of the pros doesn't understand what matters to pros. No amount of explaining it to them on these forums has thus far helped stop their whining about pro complaints. Just look at this thread...
  • Reply 17 of 24
    dysamoria said:
    Anyone complaining about the complaints of the pros doesn't understand what matters to pros. No amount of explaining it to them on these forums has thus far helped stop their whining about pro complaints. Just look at this thread...
    One thing to remember though: a significant chunk of the market that DID need to buy a Mac Pro ten years ago does NOT need to buy one now. I recently replaced my 2009 eight-core Xeon Nehalem Mac Pro with the 2017 low-end model of the 27" 5K iMac and it's definitely an improvement in performance. If you just look at the benchmarks, the single core score absolutely smokes the 2009 Mac Pro and the multicore score is still higher with half the cores...and that's with an i5, not an i7. Plus, the GPU is way better. 

    These days, the iMac Pro and the still-to-be-announced Mac Pro are mainly for the heaviest of heavy lifting. 
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobramacxpress
  • Reply 18 of 24
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,765member
    Rayz2016 said:
    I hope that everyone that takes to the forums to bemoan the lack of professional mac will step up and buy this iMac Pro. 


    No, they’ll find something else to complain about, namely the price:

    ”Whhhhhaaat?? I can build a PC with…”

    You get the picture. 
    I will wait until I see what the Mac Pro offers.
    I think you’ll be disappointed.  I have a feeling that ‘modular’ is not the same as ‘internally expandable’ in Apple’s book. 
  • Reply 19 of 24
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,765member
    macxpress said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    I hope that everyone that takes to the forums to bemoan the lack of professional mac will step up and buy this iMac Pro. 


    No, they’ll find something else to complain about, namely the price:

    ”Whhhhhaaat?? I can build a PC with…”

    You get the picture. 
    Or the fact that you can't upgrade anything so its not truly a Pro Mac. This is why you buy as much as you can afford. 
    Or is it the fact that you have a very narrow definition of ‘pro’. For me, a pro machine is one that I use for work. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 24

    These are the stories I hate... Macs I cannot afford to splurge on, because I don't do enough work on them to justify the price.

    Maybe if I took my kids out of school...

    watto_cobra
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