iMac Pro testing shows 10-core model dramatically faster than any other Mac on intensive t...

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited December 2017
Two more iMac Pro impressions have been posted, with benchmarks from both showing massive gains in processing power in the iMac Pro over older models -- plus the inclusion of AVX-512 vector processing optimization in the W-series Xeon processor giving an added push to properly optimized apps.




The first set, published on Tuesday by Theodolite developer Craig Hunter, is with the same configuration that Apple provided to YouTube channel MKBHD -- a 10-core iMac Pro with the W-2155 Xeon processor running at 3.0GHz, 128GB of RAM, the Vega 64 GPU, and 2TB of flash storage.

Performing a computational fluid dynamics study, used in aerodynamic design and development on a single core, the iMac Pro completed the task in 128 seconds, with the 2016 2.6GHz MacBook pro knocking it out in 175 seconds, and the late 2013 Mac Pro with a 3.5GHz processor completing it in 209 seconds.




When a flow simulation is performed on multiple cores, the performance advantage the iMac Pro has only gets wider.

In Xcode, Hunter saw reductions in compile times of apps with 20,000 to 30,000 lines of code spread out over 80 to 120 source files falling between 30 and 60 percent, when compared to the 2016 MacBook pro, and a 2013 iMac. He notes that there are still bottlenecks in the time it takes to fully deploy an app while installing and launching the app on iOS -- but the iMac Pro "makes a pretty noticeable improvement in repetitive code-compile-test cycles."

Vectorization

The W-2155 supports AVX-512, and the iMac Pro is the first Mac to support the wider vector registers. As a result, it gets a big boost in non-scalar calculations, where each instruction is run one at a time, versus multiple calculations in the same instruction.




Hunter notes that Intel's Math Kernel Library is optimized for AVX-512, and says that he's been told that Apple's Accelerate Framework has been optimized for it as well -- but AppleInsider couldn't confirm Apple's optimizations.

When used in comparison with a 2017 iMac with a 4.2Ghz quad-core i7 processor, Hunter obsserves that the faster clock speed in the iMac edges out the iMac Pro in single-core operations -- but is completely blown out of the water at calculations involving more than four processors. Additionally, with calculations that use AVX-512, the iMac Pro "runs away" in performance.

Photography and video editing

Videographer Vincent LaForet also was also granted an iMac by Apple for early testing, with his work more or less focused on scientific calculation.

One test involved 10.96 GB of 4K, H.264 footage being transcoded to ProRes 422 in Final Cut Pro X. The iMac Pro completed it in 7 minutes and 56 seconds, with a 4GHz iMac 5K with 32GB of RAM knocking it out in 15 minutes and 47 seconds.

Using DaVinci Resolve, one hour and 17 minutes of RED 8K Helium at 60 frames per second was exported to ProRes 422 in 2 hours and 6 minutes on the iMac Pro, and 7 hours and 15 minutes on the iMac.

With Lightroom Classic, LaForet imported 50.74GB of RAW images, with the application building 1:1 previews. The iMac Pro completed it in 25 minutes and 26 seconds, with the iMac taking twice as long at 50 minutes and 45 seconds.

BlackMagic's disk speed test found that the drive writes at 2996MB/sec, with a read speed of 2450MB/sec.
Rayz2016

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    200% improvement in RAW photo processing over the reviewer’s prior iMac. Sounds like a good start!

    I wonder about multi-GB Photoshop documents with lots of layers, Smart Objects, effects, etc. 
    repressthisxzu
  • Reply 2 of 16
    I wonder about multi-GB Photoshop documents with lots of layers, Smart Objects, effects, etc.
    Probably eat that for a light snack. 2D editing in Photoshop is probably a low-end use for these machines.
    watto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 3 of 16
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,337member
    You mean when you put desktop parts instead of laptop parts in a desktop computer you get massive increases in performance?

    Get out of here!
    repressthiswilliamlondonxzucgWerksmaltz
  • Reply 4 of 16
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,337member
    appex said:
    No way. Programmed obsolescence. All-in-one (AIO) computers like iMac are a huge aggression to planet Earth. Computers may last for seven years or less, whereas displays may last for more than 20 years. I am using an Apple Cinema Display 22-inch purchased almost 18 years ago and it works great. And it has been on an average of 15 hours a day, 356 days each year.

    Already addressed your comment spam here: https://forums.appleinsider.com/discussion/comment/3015574/#Comment_3015574
    repressthis
  • Reply 5 of 16
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,058member
    I remember them mentioning dual SSD modules on the "stuff we couldn't talk about" slide, I wonder what that is about. Is that only the 4TB SSD, as two paired 2TB ones? Would it be even faster than the 3GB/s here, or is it a simple spillover? 
  • Reply 6 of 16
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,002administrator
    tipoo said:
    I remember them mentioning dual SSD modules on the "stuff we couldn't talk about" slide, I wonder what that is about. Is that only the 4TB SSD, as two paired 2TB ones? Would it be even faster than the 3GB/s here, or is it a simple spillover? 
    Based on the speed tests, it looks to be dual SSD in the configurations that Apple doled out. It wouldn't surprise me if the 1TB model had only one drive, and no RAID.
    repressthisxzu
  • Reply 7 of 16
    But... but... but my $1000 Windows PC/Hackintosh is much, much more powerful than that ultra-super-expensive walled-garden iMac Pro. Plus, I can fiddle with my custom-built PC every day to make it that much faster. I think I'll overclock my custom "baby" another 20% tomorrow just because I can.

     /s

     I love how PC builders think everyone wants to be bothered tinkering around with or even capable of modifying their desktop computers. Well, I can't be bothered messing with a computer anymore. I just want to use it and hope it's reliable. End of story.  If something goes wrong with it I can let Apple repair it or replace it.  That's far more suitable for me as a senior citizen.  If it costs me more then so be it.
    edited December 2017 mwhitelkruppjony0watto_cobracintos
  • Reply 8 of 16
    I wonder about multi-GB Photoshop documents with lots of layers, Smart Objects, effects, etc.
    Probably eat that for a light snack. 2D editing in Photoshop is probably a low-end use for these machines.
    I hope you are right. The kind of work I do has taxed every Mac I've ever used.


    xzu
  • Reply 9 of 16
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,314member
    I'm waiting to hear about fan noise and component/internal temps and such after it's been running those big things for hours.
    When it comes to desktops and pro machines, that's what makes them pro, IMO. (That's why I ditched my previous iMac, because I didn't feel I wouldn't harm it by running heavy stuff for long periods of time. I've, unfortunately, harmed a couple of MBPs over the years, and don't want to repeat that again.)
  • Reply 10 of 16
    VRingVRing Posts: 108member
    cgWerks said:
    I'm waiting to hear about fan noise and component/internal temps and such after it's been running those big things for hours.
    When it comes to desktops and pro machines, that's what makes them pro, IMO. (That's why I ditched my previous iMac, because I didn't feel I wouldn't harm it by running heavy stuff for long periods of time. I've, unfortunately, harmed a couple of MBPs over the years, and don't want to repeat that again.)
    The iMac Pro is running a downclocked GPU and can handle up to 500 W of heat. 
    The company does not disclose frequencies of the bespoke Radeon Pro Vega GPUs it uses, but says that their maximum FP32 compute performance is 11 TFLOPS (which points to around 1340 MHz clock-rate for the Vega 64) and their peak memory bandwidth is 400 GB/s (indicating about 1600 MT/s memory speed), which is slower when compared to the Radeon RX Vega cards for desktops. The main reasons why Apple downlocks its GPUs are of course power consumption and heat dissipation. The company says that Mac Pro’s cooling system can cope with up to 500 W of heat, so it cannot use a 140 W CPU and a 295 W GPU in order to avoid overheating.

     
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 11 of 16
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,314member
    VRing said:
    The iMac Pro is running a downclocked GPU and can handle up to 500 W of heat. 
    The company does not disclose frequencies of the bespoke Radeon Pro Vega GPUs it uses, but says that their maximum FP32 compute performance is 11 TFLOPS (which points to around 1340 MHz clock-rate for the Vega 64) and their peak memory bandwidth is 400 GB/s (indicating about 1600 MT/s memory speed), which is slower when compared to the Radeon RX Vega cards for desktops. The main reasons why Apple downlocks its GPUs are of course power consumption and heat dissipation. The company says that Mac Pro’s cooling system can cope with up to 500 W of heat, so it cannot use a 140 W CPU and a 295 W GPU in order to avoid overheating. 
    Presumably... yes, since it's a pro (desktop) machine, it should be able to run full-out 24x7 without negatively impacting lifespan or having any kind of issues. But, I guess wouldn't Apple also say previous iMacs and MBPs and such are capable of handling the heat they generate?

    Not that this is really the machine for me (as much as I'd love one), but I'd need to see some real-world testing first. Like, that it can truly handle getting rid of 500W and only generates 400W full-out. And, are there areas that get hot where the heat doesn't get drawn away efficiently enough to prevent damaging nearby components. Stuff like that. The old Mac Pros and even cylinder Mac Pro (I think) were pretty darn good at this. I'm wondering if this is in the same class in that regard, or just in terms of top performance.

    The lack of video inputs got me thinking too... are there TB3 based video input methods that replace the lack of ports? I suppose you're always going through some kind of app or processing then, which might introduce lag. Otherwise, I suppose having other systems/devices input into a window wouldn't be necessarily a bad thing. I'm just trying to figure out what possessed Apple to build these all-in-one machines with such beautiful, central displays but then make them single-use.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    polymnia said:
    200% improvement in RAW photo processing over the reviewer’s prior iMac. Sounds like a good start!

    I wonder about multi-GB Photoshop documents with lots of layers, Smart Objects, effects, etc. 
    I'd be more curious about a document like this with Pixelmator Pro, an app that utilizes every (almost anyway) High Sierra API available to developers.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    maltzmaltz Posts: 149member
    But... but... but my $1000 Windows PC/Hackintosh is much, much more powerful than that ultra-super-expensive walled-garden iMac Pro. Plus, I can fiddle with my custom-built PC every day to make it that much faster. I think I'll overclock my custom "baby" another 20% tomorrow just because I can.

     /s

     I love how PC builders think everyone wants to be bothered tinkering around with or even capable of modifying their desktop computers. Well, I can't be bothered messing with a computer anymore. I just want to use it and hope it's reliable. End of story.  If something goes wrong with it I can let Apple repair it or replace it.  That's far more suitable for me as a senior citizen.  If it costs me more then so be it.
    Yes, but there was a time when Apple made lightning-fast, cutting edge machines AND you didn't have to tinker with them.  While that's true "today" because the iMac Pro has just been released, will it still be true in a year?  Three?  Or will they suffer the fate of Apple's other niche machines like the Mac Mini and Mac Pro that for a decade now have had VERY long update cycles?  Apple hasn't released faster models of those lines since 2012 and 2013, respectively.  (Apple released new Mac Minis in 2014, but dropped the quad-core model, so the fastest Mac Mini ever made remains the 2012 model.)
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 14 of 16
    polymnia said:
    200% improvement in RAW photo processing over the reviewer’s prior iMac. Sounds like a good start!

    I wonder about multi-GB Photoshop documents with lots of layers, Smart Objects, effects, etc. 
    Regularly working with +20,000px +100-layer 16-bit 2D images this is precisely what I'm curious about too.
    Seeing that a few creatives get one of the 10-core machines in the mail I couldn't help but email Tim asking for the chance to test it out.   :#
  • Reply 15 of 16
    polymnia said:
    200% improvement in RAW photo processing over the reviewer’s prior iMac. Sounds like a good start!

    I wonder about multi-GB Photoshop documents with lots of layers, Smart Objects, effects, etc. 
    Regularly working with +20,000px +100-layer 16-bit 2D images this is precisely what I'm curious about too.
    Seeing that a few creatives get one of the 10-core machines in the mail I couldn't help but email Tim asking for the chance to test it out.   :#
    Are you a key art designer?
  • Reply 16 of 16
    polymnia said:
    200% improvement in RAW photo processing over the reviewer’s prior iMac. Sounds like a good start!

    I wonder about multi-GB Photoshop documents with lots of layers, Smart Objects, effects, etc. 
    Regularly working with +20,000px +100-layer 16-bit 2D images this is precisely what I'm curious about too.
    Seeing that a few creatives get one of the 10-core machines in the mail I couldn't help but email Tim asking for the chance to test it out.   :#
    Maybe I'll begin doing my Photoshop compositions in 16-bit mode if the performance improves significantly.

    There is clearly an advantage to staying in 16bit for the whole editing process.

    It's been unrealistic up to now for me to do much past the initial RAW conversion in 16-bit.

    Another thing that has kept me out of 16-bit is that certain edits were not available in this mode. Are all the adjustments & filters available in 16-bit these days?
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