Watch: Apple's iMac Pro vs 2013 Mac Pro (Part 1) - benchmarks and specs

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 34
    Completely uninterested. It’s grey. Brilliant. It’s still an iMac. Great for those that are happy. 

    Not for me. Get it out of the way and deliver a new Mac Pro please. Then I’ll be excited. If done correctly it should breeze past the iMac “Pro”

    New Mac Pro!!! New Mac Pro!!!
    williamlondonGeorgeBMacxzu
  • Reply 22 of 34
    Completely uninterested. It’s grey. Brilliant. It’s still an iMac. Great for those that are happy. 

    Not for me. Get it out of the way and deliver a new Mac Pro please. Then I’ll be excited. If done correctly it should breeze past the iMac “Pro”

    New Mac Pro!!! New Mac Pro!!!
    Yeah sure, if you want to pay for that performance. there’s always a price-to-performance ratio to consider. for software devs this imac pro hits a sweet spot: three times faster but not insanely expensive. if the past is an indicator of the future, it should last a solid 5-7+ years for the indy guy like myself. my desktop dev machine is a maxed out imac on a vesa arm mount on a sit-stand desk and it’s super clean and ergo and this set up suits me just fine. according to Craig F., i’m not alone — they’re guessing software devs are their biggest group of pros judging by machines with Xcode installed. 
    edited January 2018 watto_cobrapscooter63williamlondon
  • Reply 23 of 34
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    macxpress said:
    Maybe the iMac Pro is 3x the price, but you also have to factor in that the Mac Pro's you're seeing will get older far quicker than the iMac Pro. Its already 6yrs old and counting. So is it worth getting a 6yr old Mac just to save a few coins? 
    Fair point. But, in my particular case, the iMac Pro isn't my ideal machine even if I had the budget for it. So, it's a curious question. I'm actually surprised - especially regarding GPU - that it did as well as it did in comparison. Also, maybe spending $2k now for a time-extension to see what Apple comes up with (assuming they are re-committed to the Mac) might be money well spent if the Mac Pro can do that job (which it could for me).

    BittySon said:
    You're also getting the best 5K screen available in the bargain.
    I wouldn't mind the screen at all, but since I'd like to run other devices, I'd rather it not be my primary, sole display. I'd have to add another display on some arm or something, and I'll likely be dealing with limited space later this year. I can't say it isn't tempting, though, if I could budget it and justify it. :)

    tnw2933 said:
    The Senior Advisors that I have talked with do not have an iMac Pro to even attempt to replicate the problems with.  I have not only asked for a replacement but I have offered to have Apple put a charge on my credit card for a second iMac Pro identical to the one I now have in order to send me a new iMac Pro by Advance Placement ensuring the minimum down time while an exchange is made.  So far, all I get out of The Senior Advisors is "let's keep working on this" and that is the status that has held for The last two weeks plus. 
    I don't think Apple support is what it once was (or the OS has gotten so complex they sometimes just can't fix stuff). Last year, I spent like 6-8 hours of phone time on a laptop based AppleID issue that they were never able to resolve. I finally gave up and wiped it and re-built from scratch from backups. (And, having worked supporting Macs for decades, I'd never run into an issue like that I couldn't solve either, aside from true OS corruption, which this wasn't.)

    sflocal said:
    So, if Apple is falling asleep at the wheel, complain loudly on their forums and make the problem know.  They certainly don't like bad press.  Considering the size that Apple is and the cash hoard they have, they should have an army of engineers working on problems like these instead of the small(er) group they have.

    I'd love to have the iMac Pro.  I just can't justify the price since I honestly don't have a "need" for it.  It's all want.  Perhaps some day, but I bought a new iMac in late 2015 and by the time that machine fails years down the road, maybe that next iMac will be as fast (if not faster) than the current iMac Pro? 
    I think their support (aside from iOS) is still geared more towards when macOS (OS X) was higher quality and more simple (pre-iCloud).

    The problem for me, is that I want a reasonably powerful, but quiet machine. The only thing Apple has that fits that bill is a 2013 Mac Pro or the new iMac Pro. So, I either pick a noisy machine, a really old machine, or a really expensive machine. None of them are optimal solutions for me.

    sevenfeet said:
    i concur on this.  USB hubs can be finicky beasts.  Sometimes they are the cause and sometimes they are the solution to problems.
    USB-C... the future! ;) Yes, this is my issue too with this 'couple USB-C ports and external gidgets and gadgets' stuff. A LOT of problems get introduced this way vs just having known good quality internal stuff.

    BuffyzDead said:For that kind of money, and after reading Fochers feedback above, I would Not walk, but I would Run to the Genius Bar and Demand an immediate Brand New replacement, and accept nothing less. Sometimes we just need to speak up for ourselves !! Great Luck !!!
    If they are in a situation like me, that's a 10+ hour trip. Apple used to cross-ship for stuff like this years ago, but I don't think they do anymore without some special contract/program.
  • Reply 24 of 34
    Still waiting for a pro modular. The cylinder was ridiculous – form over function and the all-in-one approach is only for mid-range pros. I'll continue to use my tower until an actual from-the-ground-up Mac _finally_ arrives. We haven't seen the introduction of a totally _serious_ pro machine in a new form factor since the arrival of the G5, which was FOURTEEN years ago. I will never understand Apple's mentality regarding high-end pro users. It is ridiculous.
    williamlondontoysandmeGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 25 of 34
    It’s... it’s.... such a frickin’ cool machine. After long time finally again a Mac that inspires “me want” on a completely emotional basis (9700, sunflower iMac, G4 cube, titanium MBP... come  to my mind) - apart from being objectively a beast as well. 
    I’m thinking to exchange my new 2017 iMac with the basic pro version. 
    Must.... resist. 

    Maybe. 
    “The best way to handle temptation is to yield to it” —Oscar Wilde
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 26 of 34
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,917member
    tyancy said:
    Still waiting for a pro modular. The cylinder was ridiculous – form over function and the all-in-one approach is only for mid-range pros. I'll continue to use my tower until an actual from-the-ground-up Mac _finally_ arrives. We haven't seen the introduction of a totally _serious_ pro machine in a new form factor since the arrival of the G5, which was FOURTEEN years ago. I will never understand Apple's mentality regarding high-end pro users. It is ridiculous.
    Yeah except not really. They said they didn’t set out to make a cylinder and that it was the result of their functional design. They bet on parallel processing with dual GPUs and it didn’t pan out, industry didn’t go that way. That’s not ridiculous, that’s just what happens sometimes when you’re taking risks and doing things other people aren’t doing. Try it sometime. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 27 of 34
    Completely uninterested. It’s grey. Brilliant. It’s still an iMac. Great for those that are happy. 

    Not for me. Get it out of the way and deliver a new Mac Pro please. Then I’ll be excited. If done correctly it should breeze past the iMac “Pro”

    New Mac Pro!!! New Mac Pro!!!
    Yeah sure, if you want to pay for that performance. there’s always a price-to-performance ratio to consider. for software devs this imac pro hits a sweet spot: three times faster but not insanely expensive. if the past is an indicator of the future, it should last a solid 5-7+ years for the indy guy like myself. my desktop dev machine is a maxed out imac on a vesa arm mount on a sit-stand desk and it’s super clean and ergo and this set up suits me just fine. according to Craig F., i’m not alone — they’re guessing software devs are their biggest group of pros judging by machines with Xcode installed. 
    Yeah its not that its a bad machine. It hits a spot - i'm personally not a fan of iMac's after the initial two years. Too many issues with bad screens after that. Waiting less patiently than normal now for a modular machine and an Apple screen!
    williamlondon
  • Reply 28 of 34
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    StrangeDays said:
    Yeah except not really. They said they didn’t set out to make a cylinder and that it was the result of their functional design. They bet on parallel processing with dual GPUs and it didn’t pan out, industry didn’t go that way. That’s not ridiculous, that’s just what happens sometimes when you’re taking risks and doing things other people aren’t doing. Try it sometime. 
    But, what possessed them to head that direction in the first place? They could have achieved the same goal in the 'cheese-grater' form factor without the downsides. The high end pros who complained the loudest don't need a small cylinder that looks fancy on their desks. The parallel processing GPU thing seems more like an after-thought excuse. Any pros I know either replace machines or upgrade GPUs. Even if the industry had gone that direction, it isn't like this was some kind of optimal machine to fit that situation.

    It's a cool machine for someone like me. In fact if it were updated, I'd easily buy it over the iMac Pro. The problem wasn't that it failed to be cool and forward-thinking in some ways, etc. (TB2 to move things external, though a generation, at least, ahead of doing that well.) The failure was that it didn't match the wants/needs of the target customer.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 29 of 34
    The problem I have with this comparison is that this the iMac Pro chosen would NOT be what is chosen by a real professional.

    Here is a real professional review:


    The comparison Macs are:

    2013 Mac Pro 
    - 8 core, 3.0GHz Intel Xeon E5 CPU with 3.9GHz turbo boost.
    - 32 GB RAM
    - Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6 GB of 1866MHz GDDR5 VRAM each. 
    - 1 TB system drive
    - 27” Apple 2560x1440 max, Thunderbolt Display. 
    - Cost = $9,626.78 in 2013

    2017 iMac Pro
    - 10 core, 3.0GHz Intel Xeon W CPU with 4.5GHz turbo boost.
    - 64 GB of 2666MHz RAM
    - Radeon Pro Vega 64 GPU with 16 GB HBM2 VRAM. 
    - 2 TB SSD system drive
    - built-in 27” 5120x2880 max, 5K monitor.
    - Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad
    - Cost = $9,050.89 in 2017

    All media and Libraries are on a Promise Pegasus 16 TB RAID 5, with Thunderbolt 2 connections. All of the tests were run strictly off of the RAID for a real world performance test. Professionals don't store video on the Mac. They store the files on an external RAID.

    Both Macs are running macOS 10.13.2 High Sierra with the current versions of FCPX 10.4.0, Motion 5.4.0 and Compressor 4.4.0.

    -------------------------

    You can read the numbers on the website's review. But I converted them to how much faster the iMac Pro is compared to the Mac Pro 2013.

    USING FINAL CUT PRO X 10.4.0:

    IMPORT CLIPS: 1.046x faster
    COVERT CLIPS TO PROXY MEDIA: 2.09x faster
    COVERT CLIPS TO OPTIMIZED MEDIA: 3.65x faster
    RENDER TIMELINE OF CLIPS: 4.44x faster
    MULTICAM PLAYBACK AND RENDER: 4.42x faster
    FILE EXPORT TO H.264: 6.7x faster
    FILE EXPORT TO MXF BROADCAST FILE: 5.69x faster
    BRUCEX XML TEST: 1.39x faster
    REAL WORLD TV SHOW EXPORT TO H.264: 2.14x faster

    -------------------------

    USING COMPRESSOR 4.4.0:

    REAL WORLD TV SHOW IMPORT PRORES 422 AND EXPORT TO MXF PLUS H.264: 3.069x faster

    -------------------------

    The iMac Pro 2017 is simply mind-blowingly faster than the Mac Pro 2013 when doing real world video work.
    Exporting files - which can take longer than editing the files - is 2 to 3 times faster on the iMac Pro than the Mac Pro 2013. 
    This is a huge savings in time for real Video Professionals.
    The iMac Pro easily pays for itself. 
    For real Video Professionals, the iMac Pro essentially is a free computer because of the time and money it saves the pro.


    edited January 2018 baconstang
  • Reply 30 of 34
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,354moderator
    cgWerks said:
    StrangeDays said:
    Yeah except not really. They said they didn’t set out to make a cylinder and that it was the result of their functional design. They bet on parallel processing with dual GPUs and it didn’t pan out, industry didn’t go that way. That’s not ridiculous, that’s just what happens sometimes when you’re taking risks and doing things other people aren’t doing. Try it sometime. 
    But, what possessed them to head that direction in the first place? They could have achieved the same goal in the 'cheese-grater' form factor without the downsides. The high end pros who complained the loudest don't need a small cylinder that looks fancy on their desks. The parallel processing GPU thing seems more like an after-thought excuse. Any pros I know either replace machines or upgrade GPUs.
    One reason to use dual GPUs is to have one running the displays and one for the computing so they don't affect each other. Displays can lag really badly if the GPU is maxed out. Final Cut Pro X for example can render in the background but it's not good if it makes the UI lag. It would be nice if GPUs had better co-operative multitasking:

    https://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~trs15/pdfs/fse17.pdf

    It doesn't have to be real-time multitasking, it would be enough to have allocation limits so the OS could only allow a process to use say 90% of a GPU's processing and memory at launch and as far as the process is concerned, it only sees 90% of the GPU capacity. This way you could run a compute task in the background with < 50% of the GPU and use the computer as normal.

    Another benefit to dual GPUs is they can be cooled separately. Upgradeable GPU designs have problems supporting Thunderbolt. I don't see Apple moving away from dual GPUs, the next Mac Pro will need to have two GPUs to be faster than the iMac Pro because the iMac Pro uses the fastest available single GPUs.

    The downside to having dual GPUs in a ~500W product is that if programs can't use both at once, you are stuck with a fairly low power GPU. This shows up in some tests compared to the iMac Pro. The Mac Pro D700 has 7TFLOPs (2x 3.5TFLOP) of GPU power vs 9 TFLOPs (Vega56) or 11 TFLOPs (Vega64) in the iMac Pro. When it can only use one GPU however, the iMac Pro is around 3x faster.

    There would be no point in making another cylinder today because it would have the same thermal capacity as the iMac Pro and each GPU would have to be lower power than the single one in the iMac Pro so a lot of tasks would be half the speed. They have to pretty much double the thermal capacity of the iMac Pro, which means at least doubling the size of the cylinder.

    When it comes to upgrading GPUs, I expect they will want to retain Thunderbolt compatibility because they plan to sell a Retina Pro display so they need the right connectors on the back and not allow a substitute. This means the GPU connectors can't be like the cheese grater. I reckon they'll just have their own boards that are more easily switched out and they can have mid-cycle board upgrade programs where people can buy new GPUs for the machine they have without buying a whole other machine.
    edited January 2018 cgWerks
  • Reply 31 of 34
    The problem I have with this comparison is that this the iMac Pro chosen would NOT be what is chosen by a real professional.
    ...

    Sorry but that's an ill informed comment even though the review you link to is, in and of itself, excellent.

    Video Production and Post has been my sole income for nearly 40 years so I"m most certainly a "real professional."

    A "real" professional
    Knows their current needs
    Anticipates future needs based on the lifecycle of the product
    Consider Return on Investment
    Has a business model to guid purchase decisions based on the above.

    The machine reviewed in the excellent review you point to does NOT meet my business model even though the review itself is very well presented. It's just not the machine that suits my business model.

    Hopefully I'll see the review more important to my business when Appleinsder posts Part 3 and looks at video on base iMac Pro which may (or may not) fit my business model.

    A large portion of my source material is UHD XAVC-L
    Most of my delivery is H.264.
    I may master to ProRes but, only very occasional need that for delivery and usually only short form in those cases.
    A few of my plugins are heavily GPU dependent but I don't use them as frequently as my plugins that more lightly use the GPU
    In the future I may have an increased need for HEVC. I'm not sure how much though in the next 3 years.
    The lifecycle of a non upgradable machine may be shorter than an upgradable machine so I expect about 3 years or 4 with a bit if a stretch before I need to upgrade again.

    H.264 export generally has significant more speed benefits with a quad i7 with QuickSync (Apple H.264) over Xeon processors short of much faster and greater number of core Xeons. Given more source and export needs and GPU needs I really am looking at comparing my aging Late 2013 Mac Pro compared to a built out 2017 iMac vs a base model iMac Pro. If I have to spend thousands beyond the base model to equal or exceed the BTO '17 Quad i7 iMac that would be a bad purchase based on my business model.


  • Reply 32 of 34
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    cseeman said:
    ... I really am looking at comparing my aging Late 2013 Mac Pro compared to a built out 2017 iMac vs a base model iMac Pro. If I have to spend thousands beyond the base model to equal or exceed the BTO '17 Quad i7 iMac that would be a bad purchase based on my business model.
    Can you reliably run a Quad i7 iMac like that though? Besides the noise, I'd be concerned about stability/longevity. The Mac Pro mostly solves that, as does, it seems, the new iMac Pro.
  • Reply 33 of 34
    GPUs evolve quite fast, sometimes VERY fast from one year to another. The dual AMD D700 in the high end Mac Pro has been custom-built for Apple in 2013 on the basis of two downsized Firecore W9000. Yet due to its age, one W9000, a $3000 graphic card, is outrun by any cheap Polaris 11 GPU, starting from the (now old) low-power Radeon RX 470. Current iMac 21.5 and 5K have a MOBILE version of AMD GPUs, but they are from the gen AFTER Polaris 11 at the minimum (500 series, which will itself be refreshed soon). As Apple never went into the AMD Crossfire tech (!) applications that are not developed and optimized with multi-GPU in mind from start for Grand Central Dispatch will NEVER use the two GPUS on macOS, meaning that nowadays in 2018 the Mac Pro has a graphic tech that you can find on sale for less than 50 bucks. This is not a problem in the computer world. It is a problem when you still sell a 2013 machine at a stratospheric price in 2018 (the Mac Pro with D700s cost $3999) .
  • Reply 34 of 34
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    GPUs evolve quite fast, sometimes VERY fast from one year to another. The dual AMD D700 in the high end Mac Pro has been custom-built for Apple in 2013 on the basis of two downsized Firecore W9000. Yet due to its age, one W9000, a $3000 graphic card, is outrun by any cheap Polaris 11 GPU, starting from the (now old) low-power Radeon RX 470. Current iMac 21.5 and 5K have a MOBILE version of AMD GPUs, but they are from the gen AFTER Polaris 11 at the minimum (500 series, which will itself be refreshed soon). As Apple never went into the AMD Crossfire tech (!) applications that are not developed and optimized with multi-GPU in mind from start for Grand Central Dispatch will NEVER use the two GPUS on macOS, meaning that nowadays in 2018 the Mac Pro has a graphic tech that you can find on sale for less than 50 bucks. This is not a problem in the computer world. It is a problem when you still sell a 2013 machine at a stratospheric price in 2018 (the Mac Pro with D700s cost $3999) .
    Yeah, if I get one, I'll buy a refurb base model (maybe even a 4-core) and then just, maybe, update CPU or RAM. Then, when I need more GPU power, the TB2 can handle about 80% performance of whatever I'd hook up to it.... which would be acceptable for my needs.

    The new MBP is an interesting option, but I just wonder if I could stand the noise when I push it (same for iMac). The possibility of a Mini update is interesting, though I didn't want to wait until fall, but might try now. Noise could still be an issue there, but at least I would have an arm and leg invested.

    The only machine Apple has that is mostly what I want is the iMac Pro, but that's a bit too spendy right now, as I'm sure the 2019 Mac Pro will be, too. It would be nice to have video-in, but otherwise, the iMac could work.

    One wouldn't think a prosumer level machine that relatively powerful and quiet would be such an elusive thing.
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