First look: Benchmarks put Apple's entry-level $4999 iMac Pro to the test

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 65
    Bacillus3 said:
    Nice.
    ....until it gets throttled in favor of iPad Pro to fulfill Tim's vision of the PostPC era.
    It wouldn't even surprise me anymore
    So, why would that happen, exactly? I'd think there's no low-voltage condition on an old battery to compensate for, here.
    There's significant thermal/ ventilation compromise in housing this type of machine in a consumer enclosure - especially with glue being the main mounting method instead of slightly more expensive but for thermal conductivity far more preferable screwed mounting on metal chassis parts.
    This class of machine deserves its own casing - not a grey-sprayed consumer case where fancyness is the main design objective.
    With all dust collection/overheating consequences of the closed setting.
    Note: it is free for anyone to misinterpret criticism like this as trolling, but that says more about "offended" readers and their ability to reason with solid counter arguments
    edited December 2017 xzuwilliamlondonwozwozVRing
  • Reply 22 of 65
    I'm a bit disappointed to hear about the thermal throttling which I was sure would happen in such a smallish case as the iMac Pro is sporting. The idea of keeping the iMac Pro quiet as opposed to allowing heat to escape is quite upsetting. Personally, I'll take the noise instead of throttling because I'm not in an office setting. I had always somewhat expected this to happen. It still won't stop me from buying an iMac Pro because I won't be taxing it nearly as much and as often but I think it's going to force many potential buyers to take a pass on it. I don't think Apple will ever attempt to beat the Windows platform and I find that rather sad how no one at Apple has the pride to butt-hurt Windows desktops.

    I assure everyone I have no intention of abandoning Apple as a user or shareholder but I continue to think Apple could do a lot better in terms of performance desktop design with the amount of money they have at their disposal. I know for certain it takes a large case with plenty of fans to stop thermal throttling and I only hoped Apple had found some perfect solution. They didn't find that perfect solution and that's the end of that. Jony Ive might be some hotshot designer but he sure can't beat the laws of thermodynamics.  Would it really have hurt Apple that much if they went with a slightly larger case with larger fans for the iMac Pro?  I'm going to try my best to get a 10-core that won't have to work as hard. It will still be more powerful than any CTO iMac and will surely last me for more than five satisfying years.
    edited December 2017 Bacillus3xzumuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 23 of 65
    wizard69 said:
    The thermal throttling is a huge problem in a professional machine.   Sadly AI is seeing throttling in extremely light usage imagine how much you would loose over 8 hours. 

    Frankly this is not unexpected!   Apples history with the word "pro" and cramming hot parts into a tight enclosure isnt good.  Every day im becoming more and more convinced that Apple just doesnt understand the "PRO" market.   

    As a point of record i was looking at a iPad Pro in a store yesterday.    Nice device but there is nothing about it that stands out as being pro.   I do believe that common sense has left the building at Apple and has been replaced by marketing morons that likely have never engaged in professional work.  Sad.  
    Indeed I have mixed feelings about the latest design decisions, without knowing more of course... On the one hand 'Apple giveth' (back) - the new thermal design seems to have allowed restoration of user changeable VESA mount ie. something that in my work I have found very useful... And yet the RAM is inaccessible...? Time will tell if ram and drive upgrades are possible, if bizarrely inconvenient - and I do ask about 'common sense' and any number of design decisions relating to future proofing of such premium hardware since the passing of the torch, so to speak...
    We already know the answer — the RAM is slotted and can be removed or upgraded, even if inconvenient. This makes sense however as the primary aim of the machine is performance and cooling today, and not making it convenient to DIY tinker years later. 
    Is the term 'inconvenient' appropriate?  I view the potential more like open heart surgery if at all ?  Surely a ram access door might have been added at minimal cost? Years later it may be for others, yet perhaps not for some, and I've even swapped applicable ram from one machine to another as 'pro' usage changed and drives and configurations became reprioritized in house.
    I see it as no different than getting some piece of equipment on my car worked on -- taking stuff apart and dicking around. As a user it's inconvenient, yes, but that isn't the objective of this model. It just isn't geared toward monkeying around as a priority. It's a workstation.

    Take a look at the pictures of the iMP. I very much doubt the lack of a ram door is about the financial cost of cutting one into the shell. After all, the regular iMac has this and it isn't hard to manufacture. But the iMP has a very different internal design and I would bet it's more about the thermal envelope. 
    macpluspluswilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 65
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    wizard69 said:
    The thermal throttling is a huge problem in a professional machine.   Sadly AI is seeing throttling in extremely light usage imagine how much you would loose over 8 hours.

    Frankly this is not unexpected!   Apples history with the word "pro" and cramming hot parts into a tight enclosure isnt good.  Every day im becoming more and more convinced that Apple just doesnt understand the "PRO" market.  
    Hot parts in a tight enclosure hold less heat. There is a reason Apple choose aluminum for enclosure: to dissipate heat faster. This is also the reason Apple makes iMacs and Macbooks thinner. That thinness serves to dissipate heat by natural means. The thinnest Retina Macbook is one of the first fanless computers.
    That is a very warped way to look at it.   For one unless parts are in direct contact with the aluminum the air barrier creates a high resistance path to that aluminum.    Like wise for any heat sinks mounted on a device the higher you air stream velocity needs to be to remove the same amount of heat.   The only time a tight enclosure  works to an advantage is when air flow can be piped precisely over the various heat sinks in the system.   This is why servers can actually work well as the air flow is highly managed to cool the important parts of the machine.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 25 of 65

    Bacillus3 said:
    Bacillus3 said:
    Nice.
    ....until it gets throttled in favor of iPad Pro to fulfill Tim's vision of the PostPC era.
    It wouldn't even surprise me anymore
    So, why would that happen, exactly? I'd think there's no low-voltage condition on an old battery to compensate for, here.
    There's significant thermal/ ventilation compromise in housing this type of machine in a consumer enclosure - especially with glue being the main mounting method instead of slightly more expensive but far better screwed mounting on metal chassis parts.
    This class of machine deserves its own casing - not a grey-sprayed consumer case where fancyness is the main design objective.
    With all dust collection/overheating consquences of the closed setting.
    Note: it is free for anyone to misinterpret criticism like this as trolling, which says the more about "offended" readers and their ability to come up with counter arguments
    No, it just says something about the posters who seemingly whine endlessly even on threads unrelated to their other whining. Coming to this thread and claiming CEO Tim Cook is going to push for iMP hardware to be performance throttled in order to sell more iPads (if I'm even understanding your BS claim correctly) is asinine trolling, nothing more.

    There is no such thing as a "consumer enclosure". There is consumer computing and workstation computing. I'm a pro and for me a "fancy" VESA arm mount is a key point, and the iMP and its "consumer enclosure" supports mounting it onto my existing work space's arm, floating it to the perfect ergonomic position, readily adjustable to sit or stand heights depending on how my desk is adjusted; in addition I get an awesomely clean desk with room for other equipment. 

    Oh but it's space gray! Boo! Hiss! 

    Seriously. Whine on bro.
    edited December 2017 pscooter63chia2old4funfrankeedwilliamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 26 of 65
    I'm a bit disappointed to hear about the thermal throttling which I was sure would happen in such a smallish case as the iMac Pro is sporting. The idea of keeping the iMac Pro quiet as opposed to allowing heat to escape is quite upsetting. Personally, I'll take the noise instead of throttling because I'm not in an office setting. I had always somewhat expected this to happen. It still won't stop me from buying an iMac Pro because I won't be taxing it nearly as much and as often but I think it's going to force many potential buyers to take a pass on it. I don't think Apple will ever attempt to beat the Windows platform and I find that rather sad how no one at Apple has the pride to butt-hurt Windows desktops.

    I assure everyone I have no intention of abandoning Apple as a user or shareholder but I continue to think Apple could do a lot better in terms of performance desktop design with the amount of money they have at their disposal. I know for certain it takes a large case with plenty of fans to stop thermal throttling and I only hoped Apple had found some perfect solution. They didn't find that perfect solution and that's the end of that. Jony Ive might be some hotshot designer but he sure can't beat the laws of thermodynamics.  Would it really have hurt Apple that much if they went with a slightly larger case with larger fans for the iMac Pro?  I'm going to try my best to get a 10-core that won't have to work as hard. It will still be more powerful than any CTO iMac and will surely last me for more than five satisfying years.
    Don’t dump your Apple stock because of 0.3 GHz adjustment for a second or two. No one would notice that minus 0.3 GHz in real life usage. The stock throttles more than that 0.3 GHz by the way...

    the clock speed to drop from 3.9GHz to about 3.6GHz for a second or two. This allowed the CPU to drop below 92 degrees, and the clock speed to rise back to the maximum 3.9GHz
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 65
    Would it really have hurt Apple that much if they went with a slightly larger case with larger fans for the iMac Pro?
    Hmm sounds like you're not in the market for a VESA-mountable AIO design and would be better suited with the upcoming modular Mac Pro. It's a good thing for you that you'll have options and not be forced into buying the AIO design.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 65
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    wizard69 said:
    The thermal throttling is a huge problem in a professional machine.   Sadly AI is seeing throttling in extremely light usage imagine how much you would loose over 8 hours. 

    Frankly this is not unexpected!   Apples history with the word "pro" and cramming hot parts into a tight enclosure isnt good.  Every day im becoming more and more convinced that Apple just doesnt understand the "PRO" market.   

    As a point of record i was looking at a iPad Pro in a store yesterday.    Nice device but there is nothing about it that stands out as being pro.   I do believe that common sense has left the building at Apple and has been replaced by marketing morons that likely have never engaged in professional work.  Sad.  
    Indeed I have mixed feelings about the latest design decisions, without knowing more of course... On the one hand 'Apple giveth' (back) - the new thermal design seems to have allowed restoration of user changeable VESA mount ie. something that in my work I have found very useful... And yet the RAM is inaccessible...? Time will tell if ram and drive upgrades are possible, if bizarrely inconvenient - and I do ask about 'common sense' and any number of design decisions relating to future proofing of such premium hardware since the passing of the torch, so to speak...
    It is like the machine is half there as far as meeting the targeted users need.    Take that RAM for example, on a consumer grade machine and even laptops for advanced users I have no problem with soldered in RAM, on a machine like this I can hardly see it as ideal.   Now it appears that he RAM is indeed socketed on this machine but extremely difficult to get to, that is odd beyond belief.   

    Now there is a wide array of what might be called professional users that may be attracted to this machine.   The problem is many of those are the same types of people that might find need for a RAM upgrade, an upgrade that doesn't require a magician to perform.

    Some might have taken my concerns about throttling a little personally in this thread, but that shouldn't be taken as meaning I find the whole machine appalling, just that you have to consider the machines worth based upon how much it will throttle with your work load.    for some people that throttling could have a significant impact on the machines value.    In the end the "pro" tag just doesn't seem genuine.   
    williamlondon
  • Reply 29 of 65
    wizard69 said:
    wizard69 said:
    The thermal throttling is a huge problem in a professional machine.   Sadly AI is seeing throttling in extremely light usage imagine how much you would loose over 8 hours.

    Frankly this is not unexpected!   Apples history with the word "pro" and cramming hot parts into a tight enclosure isnt good.  Every day im becoming more and more convinced that Apple just doesnt understand the "PRO" market.  
    Hot parts in a tight enclosure hold less heat. There is a reason Apple choose aluminum for enclosure: to dissipate heat faster. This is also the reason Apple makes iMacs and Macbooks thinner. That thinness serves to dissipate heat by natural means. The thinnest Retina Macbook is one of the first fanless computers.
    That is a very warped way to look at it.   For one unless parts are in direct contact with the aluminum the air barrier creates a high resistance path to that aluminum.    Like wise for any heat sinks mounted on a device the higher you air stream velocity needs to be to remove the same amount of heat.   The only time a tight enclosure  works to an advantage is when air flow can be piped precisely over the various heat sinks in the system.   This is why servers can actually work well as the air flow is highly managed to cool the important parts of the machine.
    The iMac has a very cleverly designed fans and heatsinks. I believe iMac Pro’s are even better. But if the design allows you get 1 or 2 degrees less overall then that design is justified. This is the Apple way. Other approaches may be also valid but AIO computers from other brands have all thin and slick designs.

    My point here is to reject the urban legend that says the thinness of Mac computers is the obsession of the designer. No, it is not. The Apple Watch by the same designer is as thick as a brick for example.
    edited December 2017 williamlondontenthousandthingswatto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 65
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    wizard69 said:
    The thermal throttling is a huge problem in a professional machine.   Sadly AI is seeing throttling in extremely light usage imagine how much you would loose over 8 hours. 

    Frankly this is not unexpected!   Apples history with the word "pro" and cramming hot parts into a tight enclosure isnt good.  Every day im becoming more and more convinced that Apple just doesnt understand the "PRO" market.   

    As a point of record i was looking at a iPad Pro in a store yesterday.    Nice device but there is nothing about it that stands out as being pro.   I do believe that common sense has left the building at Apple and has been replaced by marketing morons that likely have never engaged in professional work.  Sad.  
    "Apples history with the word "pro" and cramming hot parts into a tight enclosure isnt good.  Every day im becoming more and more convinced that Apple just doesnt understand the "PRO" market"

    To their credit, they are hitting the restart button the Mac Pro.  So we'll have to wait and see until that gets released to see if you're correct (or not).
    It is more speculation at this point until we can get testing done in a way that replicates what a pro would do all day at the machine.    I only brought up the concept because AI was seeing throttling in very basic and light usage. 

    As for the coming Mac Pro; well I've had ideas for a long time on how that should unfold but here is the problem, Apple user base is too small and too fractured for a ground swell of happiness out of any new Mac Pro design.   Frankly I didn't think that the trash can was that bad of a design and frankly don't understand the lack of upgrades!    The excuses coming out of Apple don't make any sense either as suitable new chips did arrive that had more performance per watt especially with regards to the GPU?   All that talk about thermal limitations don't pan out if you look at Intels chip lineup, Same thing for GPU's.    I'm strongly in favor of a Mac Pro with a far lower entry point price wise to pull in more users to the platform with a wide spread in possible performance improvements on up sell models.    In other words Apple has to get more volume out of a Mac Pro chassis to pay for development costs.   More so they need to keep revising the machine instead of these years long delays in model revamps.   Same thing goes for the Mini, I'm sitting at a PC with an old Dell Model Dx0D, from 2015, that is in many ways a better Mini that Apples Mini.

    Personally I think somebody at Apple got a bug up their ass with respect to the desktop and decided to ignore the whole area for years.   When it became obvious that this was hurting them, they started to back pedal but had nothing in the line up for any of the markets targeted by Mini, the iMac and Mac Pro.   The iMac was simply the platform they could address the quickest thus the iMac Pro.   Given that I'm not sure they can even design machines anymore that will meet user needs or set them apart from generic machines running Linux.   Why they haven't come out with a ARM based laptop is beyond me.
    xzuwilliamlondon
  • Reply 31 of 65
    wizard69 said:
    wizard69 said:
    The thermal throttling is a huge problem in a professional machine.   Sadly AI is seeing throttling in extremely light usage imagine how much you would loose over 8 hours. 

    Frankly this is not unexpected!   Apples history with the word "pro" and cramming hot parts into a tight enclosure isnt good.  Every day im becoming more and more convinced that Apple just doesnt understand the "PRO" market.   

    As a point of record i was looking at a iPad Pro in a store yesterday.    Nice device but there is nothing about it that stands out as being pro.   I do believe that common sense has left the building at Apple and has been replaced by marketing morons that likely have never engaged in professional work.  Sad.  
    "Apples history with the word "pro" and cramming hot parts into a tight enclosure isnt good.  Every day im becoming more and more convinced that Apple just doesnt understand the "PRO" market"

    To their credit, they are hitting the restart button the Mac Pro.  So we'll have to wait and see until that gets released to see if you're correct (or not).
    It is more speculation at this point until we can get testing done in a way that replicates what a pro would do all day at the machine.    I only brought up the concept because AI was seeing throttling in very basic and light usage. 

    As for the coming Mac Pro; well I've had ideas for a long time on how that should unfold but here is the problem, Apple user base is too small and too fractured for a ground swell of happiness out of any new Mac Pro design.   Frankly I didn't think that the trash can was that bad of a design and frankly don't understand the lack of upgrades!    The excuses coming out of Apple don't make any sense either as suitable new chips did arrive that had more performance per watt especially with regards to the GPU?   All that talk about thermal limitations don't pan out if you look at Intels chip lineup, Same thing for GPU's.    I'm strongly in favor of a Mac Pro with a far lower entry point price wise to pull in more users to the platform with a wide spread in possible performance improvements on up sell models.    In other words Apple has to get more volume out of a Mac Pro chassis to pay for development costs.   More so they need to keep revising the machine instead of these years long delays in model revamps.   Same thing goes for the Mini, I'm sitting at a PC with an old Dell Model Dx0D, from 2015, that is in many ways a better Mini that Apples Mini.

    Personally I think somebody at Apple got a bug up their ass with respect to the desktop and decided to ignore the whole area for years.   When it became obvious that this was hurting them, they started to back pedal but had nothing in the line up for any of the markets targeted by Mini, the iMac and Mac Pro.   The iMac was simply the platform they could address the quickest thus the iMac Pro.   Given that I'm not sure they can even design machines anymore that will meet user needs or set them apart from generic machines running Linux.   Why they haven't come out with a ARM based laptop is beyond me.
    What a crackpot theory. So Craig and co are outright lying to the public, to the media, to their customers, about having painted themselves into a thermal corner and the problem with going with parallel processing when the rest of the industry didn't? And the secret truth is they just felt like desktops were a waste of time, but now for some reason, despite the very small percentage of their business it represents, are getting back into it but fabricating an elaborate lie?

    Yeah you got one thing right -- you don't understand.
    williamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 32 of 65
    VRingVRing Posts: 108member

    After the second test, each additional run would cause the iMac Pro to thermal throttle when the CPU reached roughly 94 degrees celsius, which caused the clock speed to drop from 3.9GHz to about 3.6GHz for a second or two. This allowed the CPU to drop below 92 degrees, and the clock speed to rise back to the maximum 3.9GHz. Interestingly, instead of ramping up the fan speed to keep this from happening again, the iMac Pro just kept this cycle going.

    The CPU and GPU are already downclocked and they still throttle. That's not good.

    The regular Xeon W-2145 is supposed to reach 4.5 GHz Turbo. Apple's version is considerably weaker.

    coxnvox7 said:
    Would love to see Logic Pro X test running as many 3rd party orchestral VIs as possible at 48kHz and maybe 96kHz...does AI ever do any tests like that, or is it all video/graphics type tests? Peace.
    I'll pass your requests to our review team.
    Would it be possible to see some SPEC benchmarks for workstation applications (Solidworks, Creo 3.0, Maya, etc.)?  Geekbench is rather useless.

    https://www.spec.org/benchmarks.html
    xzumarkaceto
  • Reply 33 of 65
    stukestuke Posts: 118member
    Pure dream machine!  Have to wait for a good year's bonus or tax return for this baby!
    watto_cobracoxnvox7
  • Reply 34 of 65
    VRingVRing Posts: 108member
    macplusplus said:

    No one would notice that minus 0.3 GHz in real life usage. The stock throttles more than that 0.3 GHz by the way...

    the clock speed to drop from 3.9GHz to about 3.6GHz for a second or two. This allowed the CPU to drop below 92 degrees, and the clock speed to rise back to the maximum 3.9GHz
    The stock Xeon W-2145 is supposed to turbo to 4.5 GHz and will not throttle. Most desktop cooling solutions can likely sustain even higher frequencies without throttling.

    Apple's solution is downclocked and still throttles.
    xzumuthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonmarkaceto
  • Reply 35 of 65
    VRingVRing Posts: 108member
    wizard69 said:
    The thermal throttling is a huge problem in a professional machine.   Sadly AI is seeing throttling in extremely light usage imagine how much you would loose over 8 hours. 

    Frankly this is not unexpected!   Apples history with the word "pro" and cramming hot parts into a tight enclosure isnt good.  Every day im becoming more and more convinced that Apple just doesnt understand the "PRO" market.   

    As a point of record i was looking at a iPad Pro in a store yesterday.    Nice device but there is nothing about it that stands out as being pro.   I do believe that common sense has left the building at Apple and has been replaced by marketing morons that likely have never engaged in professional work.  Sad.  
    This is more of a Final Cut Pro machine than a real workstation, and not because it's the best option, but because it's the only option.

    Then again, I'm not sure what anyone really expected from an all-in-one. 
    xzumuthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonmarkaceto
  • Reply 36 of 65
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,814member
    wizard69 said:
    Personally I think somebody at Apple got a bug up their ass with respect to the desktop and decided to ignore the whole area for years.   
    That would have been Steve Jobs.
  • Reply 37 of 65
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,035member
    "We'll be comparing the iMac Pro to the 2017 5K iMac win the near future."

    That's what we're all waiting for!
    tenthousandthingswatto_cobra
  • Reply 38 of 65
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,606member
    “the clock speed varied from 3.94 to 3.98 GHz —a few hundred hertz away from the max Intel Turbo Boost clock speed of 4.2GHz” Sorry, 4.2GHz - 3.98GHz = 0.22 GHz = 220 Million Hz, not a few hundred.
  • Reply 39 of 65
    wizard69 said:
    The thermal throttling is a huge problem in a professional machine.   Sadly AI is seeing throttling in extremely light usage imagine how much you would loose over 8 hours. 

    Frankly this is not unexpected!   Apples history with the word "pro" and cramming hot parts into a tight enclosure isnt good.  Every day im becoming more and more convinced that Apple just doesnt understand the "PRO" market.   

    As a point of record i was looking at a iPad Pro in a store yesterday.    Nice device but there is nothing about it that stands out as being pro.   I do believe that common sense has left the building at Apple and has been replaced by marketing morons that likely have never engaged in professional work.  Sad.  
    Hmm yes perhaps you could define it for us then, unequivocally? Sorry but no, "Pro" is a non-technical label Apple came up with to designated premium models with more power. It remains impossible to categorize everybody into the same use case box. I'm a professional software dev, and Apple/Craig has said this machine was definitely looking at us. I don't think we'll have any problem, based on the early preview units they seeded.
    Personally I would prefer the use of the term HPC.
  • Reply 40 of 65
    VRing said:
    macplusplus said:

    No one would notice that minus 0.3 GHz in real life usage. The stock throttles more than that 0.3 GHz by the way...

    the clock speed to drop from 3.9GHz to about 3.6GHz for a second or two. This allowed the CPU to drop below 92 degrees, and the clock speed to rise back to the maximum 3.9GHz
    The stock Xeon W-2145 is supposed to turbo to 4.5 GHz and will not throttle. Most desktop cooling solutions can likely sustain even higher frequencies without throttling.

    Apple's solution is downclocked and still throttles.
    Apple isn’t even using a W-2145, let alone downclocking one. 

    That said, I’m confused about the comments re: thermal throttling. From the article:

    In the multi-core benchmark, the 8 cores ran at 3.9 gigahertz, which seems to be the top CPU frequency when maxing out all CPU cores. 

    and, during 10 consecutive multi core tests:

    After the second test, each additional run would cause the iMac Pro to thermal throttle when the CPU reached roughly 94 degrees celsius, which caused the clock speed to drop from 3.9GHz to about 3.6GHz for a second or two. This allowed the CPU to drop below 92 degrees, and the clock speed to rise back to the maximum 3.9GHz. 

    The base frequency of this processor is only 3.2GHz.  So multicore performance seems well beyond spec. 


    That doesn’t explain the single core at 3.9 but if it can do 3.6 to 3.9 with all cores, 4.2 with single core would seem to be attainable wrt thermals. There may be some further optimizations possible, trading off fan speed (which was described as inaudible and seemingly near idle) with maximum clockspeed under various load conditions. 

    Looks very promising so far. 

    macpluspluswilliamlondonwatto_cobra
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