Hands-on with Apple's new Core i9 iMac 5K with Vega graphics: benchmarks and first impress...

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 32
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 251member, editor
    neilm said:
    This machine has so far impressed us -- especially when it comes to comparing against the iMac Pro. If you are in the new market, and don't need the upgradability of the iMac Pro, this is a powerful machine that gets you near the same performance at a much lower cost.

    "Upgradability of the iMac Pro"? What upgradability would that be?

    You can't even add RAM to the iMac Pro, at least not without almost complete disassembly and throwing your warranty out of the window in the process. 
    I believe Andrew was referring to the socketed processor in the iMac Pro, whereas the iMac 5K does not have the same. I'll talk to him about it and see.
    Neilm, as Mike said, I was referring to what you could upgrade the iMac Pro to as far as Apple's configurator while purchasing -- not yourself. Such as an 18-core processor, 256GB of RAM, or the Pro Vega 64X graphics with 16GB of VRAM. Apple won't you add near this amount of power to the standard iMac 5K. So when you compare base model to this spec'd out model, they are quite close. If you are looking for serious performance, you still need to go iMac Pro and pick up those above upgrades.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 32
    So far, in sustained loads, the machine will maintain right around 3.9 GHz for long periods of time. I'll ask Andrew about fan noise, but given that he did the voiceover for the video with it blazing, it probably isn't bad.
    So that's pretty interesting. The earlier 5ks could get pretty loud. If this cooling system is the same... then presumably it can get loud too, and if it didn't, that means it's not being pushed. And if that's true, then you could adjust the fan speed curve to get more cooling at the top end, in which case... well, it depends on how Apple set PL1/PL2/Tau, and maybe some other things. I also vaguely recall reading how someone had messed with PL1/PL2 settings on Macs but I don't remember if it worked or not.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 32
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 251member, editor
    sflocal said:

    All of that is internal as the exterior is largely unchanged from what we've seen before. The design still looks good, but with large bezels and a significant "chin," it seems near enough time for a refresh and is catching some heat for not having a new look. We understand -- it just looks a bit dated at this point after it debuted four years ago in 2015.
    I don't understand the rationale with the iMac's design.  Define "dated"?  Design is form and function, and the iMac is a gorgeous-looking machine.  Compare this "dated" design to any and every current AIO machine from competitors and come back to us. 

    Changing it for the sake of change is just wrong.  This design is elegant and functional.  When Apple feels the design needs updating to factor in internal requirements, all the better, but the public (or more specifically tech-heads) criticizing it just goes to show that it's more about having shiny and new to satisfy their short attention spans.

    That being said, this current i9 iMac is a serious and beautiful machine.  My one key gripe is that it only has two TB3/usbC ports.  It should have at least 4 like my Mac mini.  If Apple wants more folks to go to USBc, they're certainly discouraging me from doing it.


    I think the design does look dated. Easily. The bezels are huge and the chin is giant. Apple could easily slim up some of these lines to make it not appear so chunky. Otherwise, I like the look of the iMac. I just want smaller bezels to look more modern. It is like looking at an older MacBook Pro that had huge bezels as well before Apple updated them. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 24 of 32
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 251member, editor
    Hey Andrew, can you share the specific settings for your Unigene Heaven benchmark?

    You mentioned the default settings but in the very fuzzy screenshot, I can see "Custom" so I know it's not one of their Basic or Extreme presets.  If you're not using a preset you need to share all the Settings details to replicate. (antialias, volumetric shadows, etc).  Just curious because I want to compare this against my Radeon 580 eGPU setup!

    Also as Mdriftmeyer said, Unigine is really just a benchmark of OpenGL performance...something using Metal will perform way better.  But with that caveat, it can still be useful if you want to understand the card's performance for OpenGL games (i.e. most games....)
    For this, quality was set to medium, tesselation was disabled, stereo 3D was disabled, and of course so was multi-monitor. Anti-aliasing was off, it was full screen, and used the default system resolution.

    Hope that helps!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 32
    madanmadan Posts: 54member
    neilm said:
    This machine has so far impressed us -- especially when it comes to comparing against the iMac Pro. If you are in the new market, and don't need the upgradability of the iMac Pro, this is a powerful machine that gets you near the same performance at a much lower cost.

    "Upgradability of the iMac Pro"? What upgradability would that be?

    You can't even add RAM to the iMac Pro, at least not without almost complete disassembly and throwing your warranty out of the window in the process. 
    I believe Andrew was referring to the socketed processor in the iMac Pro, whereas the iMac 5K does not have the same. I'll talk to him about it and see.
    Neilm, as Mike said, I was referring to what you could upgrade the iMac Pro to as far as Apple's configurator while purchasing -- not yourself. Such as an 18-core processor, 256GB of RAM, or the Pro Vega 64X graphics with 16GB of VRAM. Apple won't you add near this amount of power to the standard iMac 5K. So when you compare base model to this spec'd out model, they are quite close. If you are looking for serious performance, you still need to go iMac Pro and pick up those above upgrades.
    I love how everyone keeps ignoring the elephant in the room.

    Everyone keeps benching and speccing the Core i9.  No one is doubting that the Core i9 is impressive.  The problem is you're spending 3000 dollars on a computer that has a Vega 48 and those graphics benchmarks are a joke.  Like, literally 5-10% better than a RX 580 (a 150 dollar card).  It's an embarrassment to spend that much money on a system with LESS THAN half the performance of a 1080 or 2070.  The machine has literally ZERO future proofing the day you buy it.

    It's like a dude that hits the gym and works out his arms, chest and back but can only squat 125.  And the issue is that eGPUs are not a real solution because for 800 dollars on top of an already astronomically expensive 3000 Mac, you're getting 1070-class performance, which would only be about 20% faster than what's in the iMac.  I suppose you could pony up for an RX Vega 7 and an eGPU but then you're spending well over 1000 dollars for 1070 Ti/1080 performance and your computer is running well over 4000.  Why not just go for an iMac Pro at that point and just bury that system?

    The Vega 48 is the problem.  The Vega 48 is the problem.


    The Vega 48 is the problem.  The Vega 48 is the problem.


    The Vega 48 is the problem.  The Vega 48 is the problem.

    When will people stop disingenously posting CPU benchmarks when a computer is only as fast as its slowest PU and the iMac's GPU is a joke for the price they're charging.  Literally...a  JOKE.




    williamlondon
  • Reply 26 of 32
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,634administrator
    madan said:
    neilm said:
    This machine has so far impressed us -- especially when it comes to comparing against the iMac Pro. If you are in the new market, and don't need the upgradability of the iMac Pro, this is a powerful machine that gets you near the same performance at a much lower cost.

    "Upgradability of the iMac Pro"? What upgradability would that be?

    You can't even add RAM to the iMac Pro, at least not without almost complete disassembly and throwing your warranty out of the window in the process. 
    I believe Andrew was referring to the socketed processor in the iMac Pro, whereas the iMac 5K does not have the same. I'll talk to him about it and see.
    Neilm, as Mike said, I was referring to what you could upgrade the iMac Pro to as far as Apple's configurator while purchasing -- not yourself. Such as an 18-core processor, 256GB of RAM, or the Pro Vega 64X graphics with 16GB of VRAM. Apple won't you add near this amount of power to the standard iMac 5K. So when you compare base model to this spec'd out model, they are quite close. If you are looking for serious performance, you still need to go iMac Pro and pick up those above upgrades.
    I love how everyone keeps ignoring the elephant in the room.

    Everyone keeps benching and speccing the Core i9.  No one is doubting that the Core i9 is impressive.  The problem is you're spending 3000 dollars on a computer that has a Vega 48 and those graphics benchmarks are a joke.  Like, literally 5-10% better than a RX 580 (a 150 dollar card).  It's an embarrassment to spend that much money on a system with LESS THAN half the performance of a 1080 or 2070.  The machine has literally ZERO future proofing the day you buy it.

    It's like a dude that hits the gym and works out his arms, chest and back but can only squat 125.  And the issue is that eGPUs are not a real solution because for 800 dollars on top of an already astronomically expensive 3000 Mac, you're getting 1070-class performance, which would only be about 20% faster than what's in the iMac.  I suppose you could pony up for an RX Vega 7 and an eGPU but then you're spending well over 1000 dollars for 1070 Ti/1080 performance and your computer is running well over 4000.  Why not just go for an iMac Pro at that point and just bury that system?

    The Vega 48 is the problem.  The Vega 48 is the problem.


    The Vega 48 is the problem.  The Vega 48 is the problem.


    The Vega 48 is the problem.  The Vega 48 is the problem.

    When will people stop disingenously posting CPU benchmarks when a computer is only as fast as its slowest PU and the iMac's GPU is a joke for the price they're charging.  Literally...a  JOKE.




    For what it's worth, we don't recommend an eGPU with an iMac 4K or iMac 5K, unless it's accelerating an external monitor.
  • Reply 27 of 32
    madanmadan Posts: 54member
    That doesn't refute anything I said.  Literally.

    The Vega 48 is still a problem.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 28 of 32
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,634administrator
    madan said:
    That doesn't refute anything I said.  Literally.

    The Vega 48 is still a problem.
    I wasn't trying to?
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 32
    "It never dipped below the advertised frequency":
    Your Cinebench screenshot shows this iMac cannot thermally sustain the 9900k's normal boost clock and is already maxing out close the base clock at 85 degrees Celsius, even without load on the GPU, in a enclosed design.
    In your benchmark the 9900k runs just at 3800mhz, that's only 200mhz above baseclock (3.6), this about 1 Ghz short to the 9900k's intended use:
    The 9900k's Max Turbo Frequency is usually: 2 cores on 5 ghz, 2 cores on 4.8, 4 cores on 4.7-> https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/intel/core_i9/i9-9900k ;
    The Base Clock is 3.6 ghz. 

    -> So the 9900k's boostclock can only actually be utilized for short bursts of time. The Boostclock is where Intel CPU's shine! 
    You are basically paying extra to have a stronger Cpu on paper, but in real life.
    -> Cinebench R20 doesn't stress the GPU. 
    The iMac is an enclosed design, which means that the Vega GPU will generate a lot of additional heat in a lot of real world scenarios, this heat is shared and is highly likely to do additional thermal throttling, which is not shown in your tests! 

    Having a machine under that much heat all the time is not good for its longevity. Especially when there is a lot of glue in use, heatspikes, humidity, chances for failure increase. Don't forget: This things are very expensive to service! 

    The iMacs design, in therms of an High End Device is "design before functionality". Why do not change the iMacs design to have far less of a heat problem and therefor much more computing power? FE: You could put massive Heatsinks on its backside, it could look very cool and perform waaaaaaay better, plus potentially live longer.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 30 of 32
    My main question; will the RAM be upgradable with aftermarket?
    I know with the iMac Pro you have to jump through a lot of hoops to do an aftermarket memory upgrade. If I remember correctly, the regular 27' iMac was easily upgradeable.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 32
    neilmneilm Posts: 618member
    Borderdog said:
    My main question; will the RAM be upgradable with aftermarket?
    I know with the iMac Pro you have to jump through a lot of hoops to do an aftermarket memory upgrade. If I remember correctly, the regular 27' iMac was easily upgradeable.
    And it still is.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 32
    neilm said:
    Borderdog said:
    My main question; will the RAM be upgradable with aftermarket?
    I know with the iMac Pro you have to jump through a lot of hoops to do an aftermarket memory upgrade. If I remember correctly, the regular 27' iMac was easily upgradeable.
    And it still is.
    Does that mean I could get the basic 8 GB of Ram, add 16 GB for a total of 24 GB?
    I know you could do that with the last generation.
    watto_cobra
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