After a year, the iMac Pro benefits from better performance, proving its value

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 16
Apple's iMac Pro has been on the market for just over a year now, and what initially seemed like an overpriced machine compared to the high-end iMac 5K now looks a lot more reasonable. In this follow up examination after living with the machine for a year, we'll be looking at what's changed in Mac alternatives, complaints we've heard, and specific performance tests which have varied with software updates.

2017 iMac Pro
2017 iMac Pro


The iMac Pro $5,000 price tag has been mocked, with most at the complaints at the time of the debut of the machine unaware of, or under-valuing "server-grade" components. Most of the complaints ignore the target market -- take a quick look at the iMac Pro's product page and you'll see examples of particle simulation, 3D modeling, animation, motion graphics, rendering, video and photo editing, machine learning, and more. Facebook and email are notably absent.

The iMac Pro isn't intended for everybody, and it's easy to forget what it comes with, so let's take a look at the numbers first.

The iMac Pro

The base iMac Pro comes with all of the fundamentals -- an eight-core Xeon processor, Vega graphics, 32GB of error-correcting RAM, 1TB of PCI-E based flash storage, and all of the connectivity options you'll ever need including four Thunderbolt 3 ports and 10-gigabit Ethernet. This is all tied to a color-accurate 5K display -- but not a HDR one, and more on that in a while.






At this point, more than a year after release, it's possible to build a PC that can match the iMac Pro performance for less than $5,000 with similar but not identical components, especially if you opt out of having a 5K display. This invariably also leads to some cut corners by the builder, delivering slightly less than the iMac Pro has, because in the opinion of the builder the sacrifice is worth it based on a metric of their own.

Being able to do this isn't a bad thing, of course, but it neglects the fact that it won't run macOS legally and without compromise. Besides, many professionals and the vast majority of enterprises that need a high-end machine would rather invest that time elsewhere, in more profitable places than dumping time into to researching, constructing, and setting up that machine, to say nothing of supporting it.

One of the standout features of the iMac Pro is a cooling system that allows it to stay whisper-quiet when the 5K iMac's fans would start ramping up. We've been using a iMac 5K to develop a good portion of our videos, and it constantly ramps up and gets quite loud while exporting 4K videos. The iMac Pro, on the other hand, stays silent even under heavy use. How much this matters to you, is left as an exercise for the reader.

Apple uses the fastest storage available, and the iMac Pro is the only Mac that packs two of them in a RAID configuration using the new T2 Chip, leading to incredibly quick storage speeds. We initially measured a write speed of 3,058 MB/s, and 2,485 MB/s for reading data, and this has come up a bit since launch.

The iMac Pro is also the first Mac to feature a 1080p FaceTime camera. Alongside the white balance and tone mapping improvements that came alongside the T2 chip, it looks dramatically better compared to the one used in the 5K iMac.

Performance Tests Redux

When we first got our hands on the iMac Pro, we tested various professional apps and compared it to the top-of-the-line 5K iMac, priced at $3,299.

iMac 5K versus iMac Pro
iMac 5K versus iMac Pro


The general consensus at the time was that the iMac Pro shined in very high-demanding tasks like video editing of RAW footage and 3D animation. The 5K iMac was faster in a few of our tests because of QuickSync, which uses a processor's integrated graphics to help speed up export times.

Unfortunately, like all workstations with a similar generation of Xeon, the iMac Pro's Xeon processors don't ship with integrated Intel graphics, so it can't make use of QuickSync. However, professional software like Final Cut Pro X is now better optimized to take advantage of the high-end hardware in the iMac Pro, so we re-ran a few of our tests to see if there are any improvements.

Initially, stabilizing a 20-second 4K clip, the 5K iMac initially finished in just 7.5 seconds compared to 13 seconds on the iMac Pro. That was because the iMac 5K graphics was at 100-percent utilization compared to only 40 percent on the Pro.

One year later, the iMac Pro finished the same test in just 6.5 seconds, now utilizing about 70 percent of the graphics and cutting the time in half.

Exporting a 5-minute 4K h.264 project with effects was around 25 percent faster on the 5K iMac. A recent re-run has the iMac Pro beating the standard iMac by about 6 percent taking 3 minutes and 3 seconds compared to 4 minutes and 2 seconds one year ago.

When it came to RAW video editing, the iMac Pro blew the 5K iMac out of the water last year. Exporting a 5 minute 4.5K RED RAW project took only 6 minutes and 12 seconds on the Pro, compared to a whopping 33 minutes and 24 seconds on the 5K iMac.

iMac Pro vs iMac 5K 5-minute project 4.5K RED RAW
iMac Pro vs iMac 5K 5-minute project 4.5K RED RAW


After a year, the iMac Pro has the same exact performance, 6 minutes and 11 seconds, which makes sense since at launch it was already running all 8 cores at maximum capacity.

Video Testing

Canon Cinema RAW lite is a tough codec to work with, but it is clearly well-optimized for Apple's Metal API.

A 5-minute cinema 4K 60P project used to be 12 percent faster with the iMac Pro compared to the regular 5K iMac. Now its 30 percent faster, improving 13 percent since last year, taking 6 minutes 40 seconds instead of 7 minutes and 38 seconds.

iMac Pro vs iMac 5K 5min Canon RAW
iMac Pro vs iMac 5K 5min Canon RAW


In those tests, software optimization has really brought the iMac Pro to the next level, widening the gap between it and the 5K iMac, and making the Pro even more valuable than it was when it was first released.

If you're someone who needs a powerful Mac for video and you can afford the iMac Pro, we highly recommend it. Everyone we know who purchased one has been very happy with their decision, and we think you will too.

If you don't really need all of the extra performance the 8-core processor and Vega graphics offer for things like RAW video editing and 3D animation, the 5K iMac will probably get the job done. However, it's missing a few key things that some professionals need that come standard on the iMac Pro, specifically four Thunderbolt 3 ports and 10 gigabit Ethernet.

Back of the iMac Pro
Back of the iMac Pro


Some professionals spent the extra cash over the 5K iMac for those reasons alone.

Pro Mini

Apple is now offering the updated 2018 Mac mini, which ships with four Thunderbolt 3 ports, and users can opt for 10 gigabit Ethernet for only $99 more.

It's definitely not as powerful since it lacks a discrete GPU, amongst a host of other features that the iMac Pro has. But if you really want those extra ports and you're doing work that's not graphics intensive, like photo editing, for example, the Mac mini should do the job for a heck of a lot less cash assuming you're patient. This is especially true if you already own an external monitor.

2018 Mac mini
2018 Mac mini


However, if you end up trying to replicate the experience by maxing out the Mac mini's specs, adding an LG 5K monitor and then a Blackmagic Pro graphics which uses similar Vega 56 graphics, you get far, far too close to the iMac Pro retail, and you should just go for that instead.

Because, if you go that beefy Mac mini route, you'll end up with a much slower processor, slower graphics due to native PCI-E bus GPU speeds compared to what is effectively a x4 PCI-E bus with Thunderbolt 3, a $347 higher price tag, and on top of all that, the Mac mini is still not packing workstation hardware like the iMac Pro ECC RAM and Xeon CPU. All told, you'd get a less coherent experience compared to an all-in-one.

No, the iMac Pro isn't readily upgradeable despite having slotted RAM and a socketed processor entombed behind a glued-on screen. For the vast majority of potential buyers, this isn't a deal-breaker, but we might understand where it may be for any individual buyer. As we've kept saying, Apple's "Pro" designation is nothing more than a marketing term. There is no one true vanguard Pro, compelling all others to genuflect before that definition.

All this said, if we would have to complain about one thing concerning the iMac Pro, it would have to be the lack of an HDR display. Final Cut Pro X has supported HDR video since before the iMac Pro was released, but the iMac Pro somehow doesn't.

To edit HDR video, Apple recommends buying an external reference HDR monitor, which isn't something many people would want to do, especially if they're already paying $5,000. We expect future iMac Pros and maybe even high-end iMacs at some point to come with HDR displays, but we have no idea when.

Pro, again

Let's be honest with each other -- if you're patient, any computing job can be completed by anything you can buy today. Looking at any two computers, one will complete a task in X tine and the other in Y. The gap between X and Y might be a small multiple, it might be a big one.

Where the difference lies, is if the price that you pay to deliver tasks more rapidly will save the user enough money or generate enough income because over the course of a year you can get more done, to make the expenditure worth it. The iMac Pro isn't cheap, but it also isn't intended for the Facebook and email-only crowd and is ridiculous overkill for that.

But, over a year, those minutes and seconds do add up to somebody charging for time or for an employer who's tired of complaints that "the compile is taking forever." And, depending on what you do for a living, that can add up to a lot of billable hours, making the iMac Pro worth every penny.

Save $225 to $500 on every iMac Pro

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,306member
    Excellent re-review.  I can hardly wait for the review of the new ... new Mac Pro.  Hopefully this year.
    chasmStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 42
    dougddougd Posts: 256member
    And still no new Mac Pro.  Apple sucks
    williamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 42
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,647administrator
    edited January 16 neo-techchasmStrangeDayswilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,743member
    Yeah, we know. But Apple has said nothing for months. This is unacceptable. For the consumer market, that may be fine, but not for the Pro market, where purchases are planned months in advance. I used to buy about 10 new top line Macs every year for my company, relegating the previous top 10 to secondary status, and moving down the line. We, like most other shops, were on a three year plan. Each level was brought down one step each year, until the forth year, when these oldest machines were either given to employees, or otherwise disposed of.

    apple has made it impossible to carry out any rational schedule. I know of a number of shops which are, or have finished, transitioning over to Windows, buying workstations. Will any of them come back? Maybe some, but Apple is doing irreparable damage to their credibility. At the very least, they needed to update the 2013 Mac Pro every year, but for reasons that are incomprehensible to us, decided not to.

    i’m hoping that a good part of the delay is to include PCI 4, coming this year, and possibly Thunderbolt 4, which should be coming at some point. Remember that Intel stated that in a decade, Thunderbolt would be up to 100Gbs. We’re only at 40 now, and from people I speak to, we should expect the next jump to be to a minimum of 60. There are a number of other technologies I’d like to see. Since this will undoubtedly be a very expensive machine, it needs to at the bleeding edge. If it takes a bit more time for that, considering how long it’s already taking, I’m willing to wait, but they really need to say something more on what this will be.
    bitmodLordeHawkmuthuk_vanalingamd_2
  • Reply 5 of 42
    Yeah, um...the knock on the iMac Pro was never that it was too expensive in general.  It was that it was too expensive for a machine that you cannot upgrade.  You mention a comparatively priced PC that you could build yourself as inferior but that is not an apples to apples comparison (no pun intended) as that PC will most likely last you for 5-7 years because it’s upgradable. I highly doubt that iMac pro will have that same utility in a similar timeframe.  The entire crux of your “review” is based on the idea that all of these straw men were arguing that it wasn’t worth the price because of its performance?  Based on their desire to use for Facebook, seriously???
    edited January 16 williamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 42
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,647administrator
    jason54 said:
    Yeah, um...the knock on the iMac Pro was never that it was too expensive in general.  It was that it was too expensive for a machine that you cannot upgrade.  You mention a comparatively priced PC that you could build yourself as inferior but that is not an apples to apples comparison (no pun intended) as that PC will most likely last you for 5-7 years because it’s upgradable. I highly doubt that iMac pro will have that same utility in a similar timeframe.  The entire crux of your “review” is based on the idea that all of these straw men were arguing that it wasn’t worth the price because of its performance?  Based on their desire to use for Facebook, seriously???
    This may have been your knock, which is fine, but it wasn't the general consensus. This general concept that you speak of is addressed twice in the piece.

    Might be worth a re-read. Or a first read.

    Also related? The effectively five year old 6,1 Mac Pro has the same utility now as it did the day it was released. And, it was similarly upgradeable with slotted RAM and a socketed processor -- or not upgradeable depending on the viewpoint.
    edited January 16 chasmStrangeDayswilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 42
    melgross said:
    Yeah, we know. But Apple has said nothing for months. This is unacceptable. For the consumer market, that may be fine, but not for the Pro market, where purchases are planned months in advance. I used to buy about 10 new top line Macs every year for my company, relegating the previous top 10 to secondary status, and moving down the line. We, like most other shops, were on a three year plan. Each level was brought down one step each year, until the forth year, when these oldest machines were either given to employees, or otherwise disposed of.

    apple has made it impossible to carry out any rational schedule. I know of a number of shops which are, or have finished, transitioning over to Windows, buying workstations. Will any of them come back? Maybe some, but Apple is doing irreparable damage to their credibility. At the very least, they needed to update the 2013 Mac Pro every year, but for reasons that are incomprehensible to us, decided not to.

    i’m hoping that a good part of the delay is to include PCI 4, coming this year, and possibly Thunderbolt 4, which should be coming at some point. Remember that Intel stated that in a decade, Thunderbolt would be up to 100Gbs. We’re only at 40 now, and from people I speak to, we should expect the next jump to be to a minimum of 60. There are a number of other technologies I’d like to see. Since this will undoubtedly be a very expensive machine, it needs to at the bleeding edge. If it takes a bit more time for that, considering how long it’s already taking, I’m willing to wait, but they really need to say something more on what this will be.
    Highly considered post @melgross
  • Reply 8 of 42
    When first release there was at least one 3rd party sales that had the entry iMac Pro price of $4,000 USD. It was an in store sale so you had the added sales tax though. I think B&H had it at $4500  and for me would have been without sales tax so that was close to the same price. I configured a moderately upgraded iMac 5K that had less hardware and it came within spitting distance of that $4k price tag. That was a no brained for me, I went and picked up the iMac Pro.

    My point is that a comparison with the 5K iMac can show an even better $ value depending on when and where you bought it. 
    chasmd_2
  • Reply 9 of 42
    I purchased a high-spec i7 iMac a few months prior to iMac Pros launching (Oct 2017). I threw heavy workloads at it ran hot constantly, and it failed after two weeks (I suspect heat related). I spent the extra $1k to purchase an iMac pro once available and it has served me flawlessly for the past year. Same workloads, and can barely hear the fan running (unlike the i7, which was very loud). At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Holistic perf assessment is not as simple as throwing-up a Geekbench score.


    fastasleepd_2watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 42
    thttht Posts: 3,231member
    If Coffee Lake iMacs come out with 6-core and 8-core CPU options, and a 20% more performant GPU, the comparison between these two machines is going to be pretty interesting!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 42
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,597member
    tht said:
    If Coffee Lake iMacs come out with 6-core and 8-core CPU options, and a 20% more performant GPU, the comparison between these two machines is going to be pretty interesting!
    True, but I should think we'll have another iMac Pro revision out by then ... hopefully with an HDR monitor, which to me is one of just two weak points with the iMac Pro (the other being that some parts are upgradable but not really reachable by most owners, so in effect un-upgradeable).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 42
    thttht Posts: 3,231member
    chasm said:
    tht said:
    If Coffee Lake iMacs come out with 6-core and 8-core CPU options, and a 20% more performant GPU, the comparison between these two machines is going to be pretty interesting!
    True, but I should think we'll have another iMac Pro revision out by then ... hopefully with an HDR monitor, which to me is one of just two weak points with the iMac Pro (the other being that some parts are upgradable but not really reachable by most owners, so in effect un-upgradeable).
    CPU wise, there aren’t any Xeons that improves performance other than through more cores. As the core count increases, the less software that can take advantage of it. 6 and 8 core with high single thread performance is a happy medium for Apple’s typical pro machine market.

    Then, the 7 nm Vega is something like 30% more performance, but at 250 to 300 W. It has to fit inside the iMac Pro power-wise. So TBD on how much Apple detunes it and much more performance over the Vega 64 it will have; and, if Apple puts a Vega in the 2019 iMac.

    Coffee Lake will peel away more iMac Pro customers, so, it is going to be interesting how Apple segments them.
    fastasleepd_2
  • Reply 13 of 42
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 267member
    melgross said:
    Yeah, we know. But Apple has said nothing for months. This is unacceptable. For the consumer market, that may be fine, but not for the Pro market, where purchases are planned months in advance. I used to buy about 10 new top line Macs every year for my company, relegating the previous top 10 to secondary status, and moving down the line. We, like most other shops, were on a three year plan. Each level was brought down one step each year, until the forth year, when these oldest machines were either given to employees, or otherwise disposed of.

    apple has made it impossible to carry out any rational schedule. I know of a number of shops which are, or have finished, transitioning over to Windows, buying workstations. Will any of them come back? Maybe some, but Apple is doing irreparable damage to their credibility. At the very least, they needed to update the 2013 Mac Pro every year, but for reasons that are incomprehensible to us, decided not to.

    i’m hoping that a good part of the delay is to include PCI 4, coming this year, and possibly Thunderbolt 4, which should be coming at some point. Remember that Intel stated that in a decade, Thunderbolt would be up to 100Gbs. We’re only at 40 now, and from people I speak to, we should expect the next jump to be to a minimum of 60. There are a number of other technologies I’d like to see. Since this will undoubtedly be a very expensive machine, it needs to at the bleeding edge. If it takes a bit more time for that, considering how long it’s already taking, I’m willing to wait, but they really need to say something more on what this will be.
    My studio has been waiting too. It's getting critical and I've already decided that if the Mac Pro's come out of the gate priced for Saudi oil tycoons  - then our 25 years of staunch Apple loyalty are over.
    I'm expecting that it will be over. I'm expecting a proprietary stack system with some kind of T2 chip registration that will make it absurd to even think about and negate any benefit of 'expandability' that isn't locked to Apple... then we have the same issue... a blind roadmap leaving you reliant on when and if Apple decides to update things, if ever. 
    And what kind of after-market will there be for components that are switched out and chip-locked?

    They could have had a CheeseGrater this whole time and made everyone happy. With their pride on the line, you can be sure we will see some over-engineered nefariously-locked down, over-engineered Ives farewell nightmare that comes with Hermes leather accents... starting at the reasonable price of $34,000. 

    I hope I'm wrong. I seriously do. 
    d_2
  • Reply 14 of 42
    jason54 said:
    Yeah, um...the knock on the iMac Pro was never that it was too expensive in general.  It was that it was too expensive for a machine that you cannot upgrade.  You mention a comparatively priced PC that you could build yourself as inferior but that is not an apples to apples comparison (no pun intended) as that PC will most likely last you for 5-7 years because it’s upgradable. I highly doubt that iMac pro will have that same utility in a similar timeframe.  The entire crux of your “review” is based on the idea that all of these straw men were arguing that it wasn’t worth the price because of its performance?  Based on their desire to use for Facebook, seriously???
    This may have been your knock, which is fine, but it wasn't the general consensus. This general concept that you speak of is addressed twice in the piece.

    Might be worth a re-read. Or a first read.

    Also related? The effectively five year old 6,1 Mac Pro has the same utility now as it did the day it was released. And, it was similarly upgradeable with slotted RAM and a socketed processor -- or not upgradeable depending on the viewpoint.
    “Socketed processor entombed behind a glued-on screen.”  Yeah, I read that the first time, still there the second time, sounds as upgradable as the hyothetical PC mentioned that was built “with similar but not identical components” to me.  How much glue and glass do I need to get through to upgrade the graphics card?  I will now rush out to buy one at the bargain price of $5K.  

    And I’ll give you that maybe it wasn’t the only part of the general consensus on the iMac Pro (the others being “WTF” and “Where is/Is this the new Mac Pro?” among other things) but you have to admit, upgradability is a key consideration when considering the “value” of a new computer.  Just because Apple optimized it through software updates (for Apples software), and its performance has improved (compared to the 5K iMac apparently) doesn’t justify the value of a computer whose upgrade path involves chucking it out the window and buying another one in a few years.   
    edited January 16 williamlondon
  • Reply 15 of 42
    dougd said:
    And still no new Mac Pro.  Apple sucks
    Apple has already spoken about the issues with the MP in great detail, and given a rough idea of when. They don’t “suck” simply because people who likely won’t even be buying one are easily bored and need external stimulation from new things to talk about.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 42
    melgross said:
    apple has made it impossible to carry out any rational schedule. I know of a number of shops which are, or have finished, transitioning over to Windows, buying workstations. Will any of them come back? Maybe some, but Apple is doing irreparable damage to their credibility. At the very least, they needed to update the 2013 Mac Pro every year, but for reasons that are incomprehensible to us, decided not to.
    Did you not read the TechCrunch article, where Apple spoke very plainly about the MP issues, which was indeed comprehensible?

    In any event, the MP market is “single digits” of Mac sales, and probably a low digit at that. 
    fastasleepwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 42

    jason54 said:
    Yeah, um...the knock on the iMac Pro was never that it was too expensive in general.  It was that it was too expensive for a machine that you cannot upgrade.  You mention a comparatively priced PC that you could build yourself as inferior but that is not an apples to apples comparison (no pun intended) as that PC will most likely last you for 5-7 years because it’s upgradable. I highly doubt that iMac pro will have that same utility in a similar timeframe.  The entire crux of your “review” is based on the idea that all of these straw men were arguing that it wasn’t worth the price because of its performance?  Based on their desire to use for Facebook, seriously???
    You’re confused — DIY and pro market are different things. DIY tinkerers aren’t the pro market... Here in pro land (software dev, which per Craigh is there #1 pro market) we don’t tinker, we replace. Procurement orders new machines, IT drops them off and carts out the old. Accountants write off the investments over tax periods of use.  

    The rest of your post is still bunk tho. My personal desktop machine at home is a 2011 iMac, loaded at the time and still very capable despite not being able to upgrade its video card.

    But yes, you can upgrade the RAM if you forgot to order the proper amount. 
    fastasleepLordeHawkwilliamlondond_2watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 42
    bitmod said:
    melgross said:
    Yeah, we know. But Apple has said nothing for months. This is unacceptable. For the consumer market, that may be fine, but not for the Pro market, where purchases are planned months in advance. I used to buy about 10 new top line Macs every year for my company, relegating the previous top 10 to secondary status, and moving down the line. We, like most other shops, were on a three year plan. Each level was brought down one step each year, until the forth year, when these oldest machines were either given to employees, or otherwise disposed of.

    apple has made it impossible to carry out any rational schedule. I know of a number of shops which are, or have finished, transitioning over to Windows, buying workstations. Will any of them come back? Maybe some, but Apple is doing irreparable damage to their credibility. At the very least, they needed to update the 2013 Mac Pro every year, but for reasons that are incomprehensible to us, decided not to.

    i’m hoping that a good part of the delay is to include PCI 4, coming this year, and possibly Thunderbolt 4, which should be coming at some point. Remember that Intel stated that in a decade, Thunderbolt would be up to 100Gbs. We’re only at 40 now, and from people I speak to, we should expect the next jump to be to a minimum of 60. There are a number of other technologies I’d like to see. Since this will undoubtedly be a very expensive machine, it needs to at the bleeding edge. If it takes a bit more time for that, considering how long it’s already taking, I’m willing to wait, but they really need to say something more on what this will be.
    My studio has been waiting too. It's getting critical and I've already decided that if the Mac Pro's come out of the gate priced for Saudi oil tycoons  - then our 25 years of staunch Apple loyalty are over.
    I'm expecting that it will be over. I'm expecting a proprietary stack system with some kind of T2 chip registration that will make it absurd to even think about and negate any benefit of 'expandability' that isn't locked to Apple... then we have the same issue... a blind roadmap leaving you reliant on when and if Apple decides to update things, if ever. 
    And what kind of after-market will there be for components that are switched out and chip-locked?

    They could have had a CheeseGrater this whole time and made everyone happy. With their pride on the line, you can be sure we will see some over-engineered nefariously-locked down, over-engineered Ives farewell nightmare that comes with Hermes leather accents... starting at the reasonable price of $34,000. 

    I hope I'm wrong. I seriously do. 
    Judging by your posting history of being wrong (enjoyed your claims of the iPhone eavesdropping at all times and selling your talk topics to Facebook), I can guarantee you will be again. 
    edited January 16 fastasleepwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 42

    jason54 said:
    jason54 said:
    Yeah, um...the knock on the iMac Pro was never that it was too expensive in general.  It was that it was too expensive for a machine that you cannot upgrade.  You mention a comparatively priced PC that you could build yourself as inferior but that is not an apples to apples comparison (no pun intended) as that PC will most likely last you for 5-7 years because it’s upgradable. I highly doubt that iMac pro will have that same utility in a similar timeframe.  The entire crux of your “review” is based on the idea that all of these straw men were arguing that it wasn’t worth the price because of its performance?  Based on their desire to use for Facebook, seriously???
    This may have been your knock, which is fine, but it wasn't the general consensus. This general concept that you speak of is addressed twice in the piece.

    Might be worth a re-read. Or a first read.

    Also related? The effectively five year old 6,1 Mac Pro has the same utility now as it did the day it was released. And, it was similarly upgradeable with slotted RAM and a socketed processor -- or not upgradeable depending on the viewpoint.
    “Socketed processor entombed behind a glued-on screen.”  Yeah, I read that the first time, still there the second time, sounds as upgradable as the hyothetical PC mentioned that was built “with similar but not identical components” to me.  How much glue and glass do I need to get through to upgrade the graphics card?  I will now rush out to buy one at the bargain price of $5K.  

    And I’ll give you that maybe it wasn’t the only part of the general consensus on the iMac Pro (the others being “WTF” and “Where is/Is this the new Mac Pro?” among other things) but you have to admit, upgradability is a key consideration when considering the “value” of a new computer.  Just because Apple optimized it through software updates (for Apples software), and its performance has improved (compared to the 5K iMac apparently) doesn’t justify the value of a computer whose upgrade path involves chucking it out the window and buying another one in a few years.   
    Again, upgradability is absolutely not a cornern for pros and enterprise. I’ve worked for household brands in retail, banking and energy, and we never, ever upgrade user machines. Replaced. Tons of users go with notebooks anyway so there is no possible upgrade path. I suspect you’re confusing your DIY/gamer/personal use to being in the pro or enterprise market. 

    And only a complete idiot would throw away Macs they are replacing, considering how well they hold their value. 

    And we won’t even get into the documented lower TCO of Macs.


    fastasleepLordeHawkd_2watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 42

    jason54 said:
    Yeah, um...the knock on the iMac Pro was never that it was too expensive in general.  It was that it was too expensive for a machine that you cannot upgrade.  You mention a comparatively priced PC that you could build yourself as inferior but that is not an apples to apples comparison (no pun intended) as that PC will most likely last you for 5-7 years because it’s upgradable. I highly doubt that iMac pro will have that same utility in a similar timeframe.  The entire crux of your “review” is based on the idea that all of these straw men were arguing that it wasn’t worth the price because of its performance?  Based on their desire to use for Facebook, seriously???
    You’re confused — DIY and pro market are different things. DIY tinkerers aren’t the pro market... Here in pro land (software dev, which per Craigh is there #1 pro market) we don’t tinker, we replace. Procurement orders new machines, IT drops them off and carts out the old. Accountants write off the investments over tax periods of use.  

    The rest of your post is still bunk tho. My personal desktop machine at home is a 2011 iMac, loaded at the time and still very capable despite not being able to upgrade its video card.

    But yes, you can upgrade the RAM if you forgot to order the proper amount. 
    Yeah, thanks for the insight. I’m not going to get into what’s “pro-market” and “DIY tinkerer” to you in your software-dev land...I’m come from the land of professional video editors,  3D animation and motion graphics where little things like graphic card upgrades are actually quite important.  I’m sure your 2011 iMac at home is quite capable in your land, it’s completely inadequate in mine.  How’s that for “bunk”? 
    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamgatorguy
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