Mac Pro versus iMac Pro: how to choose the best pro Mac

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 53
    rain22 said:
    I don’t know a single ‘Pro’ that cares about how slim their iMac is.
    Given the choice of ultra slim vs easily replace ram, HDD and Video - 100% would pick the latter. 
    Apple needlessly designed itself into a corner getting stuck in Ives slim paradigm.

    This is why the iMac Pro is a failure. It accomplishes something nobody wants or asked for. 
    A glued-down all-in-one un-upgradable un-expandable slim iMac for enterprise computing money... to what end? Why does it need to be ultra slim at the expense of functionality?

    This is Apples worst selling computer since the Cube - and for very good reason. 

    This is Apples worst selling computer since the Cube - and for very good reason. 
    Got some sales figures to back that up? I don't think you do.

    The depth of the iMac Pro is irrelevant, it sells because it performs. Now with the Mac Pro out as a comparison, people can further appreciate just how much bang for the buck the iMac Pro provides. Your feelings towards upgradability don't match the market demand - which is both the reason: (i) why Apple took so long to re-enter this segment and (ii) why Apple can get away with BTO specs that are literally thousands of dollars more than the price of aftermarket upgrades.

    StrangeDaysfastasleep
  • Reply 22 of 53
    entropys said:
    The iMac Pro is two years old. Why plunk serious money down for something that could be replaced in a couple of months? 
    Same with any iMac really. I don’t know why Apple lets macs get out of date so much. It’s depressing.
    You could not recommend any current iMac  in good conscience. Better to go 16 inch MBP. At least it’s current tech.
    Huh? The regular iMac was updated in March, I bought one end of July. You expect multiple updates in the same calendar year? Not likely. I do expect it will be updated again before long. And for normals, I'd have no qualms recommending they walk into the Apple Store and buy one today. They won't be disappointed...I got 8 years on my last personal iMac and expect I will again.

    What updated Xeon processor would be appropriate for the iMac Pro? Daring Fireball's John Gruber said on a recent podcast episode he didn't believe there were any. I don't follow them closely tho.
    edited December 2019
  • Reply 23 of 53
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,946member
    The upgradeability is the primary difference between these two machines, but it comes with a big price tag attached. 

    The iMac Pro you buy today is basically everything it can ever be on the day you bring it home. Sure, you can hang some new capabilities and capacities to it through its provided extensibility mechanisms, I.e., TB3 busses. But the core will remain the same as the day you bought it. 

    The Mac Pro has many more paths to follow for extensibility, including many of its core components. The ability to add more capability, capacity, and application specific tailored modifications is part of the equation from day one and can be tapped as needed. However, you’re paying a premium for its potential and if you never tap into that potential you may end up paying for something you never get to exploit. 

    As complex as all of this all sounds, this type of decision process is par for the course for everyone who runs a business and who has to make business decisions regarding capital expenditures on all manner of resources. There is no one-size-fits-all decision tree or pros-vs-cons matrix to fall back on because every business has its own set of business specific set of criteria, priorities, realities, schedules, sources of funding, risk tolerance, customer expectations, short & long term roadmaps, etc., driving their decision processes. 

    The process for deciding whether to buy an iMac Pro vs a Mac Pro is no different for businesses than purchase decisions about production machinery, automation equipment, supplementing staffing with contractors, build vs buy, and a plethora of other capital expenses. 

    Those of us who are Apple “fans” probably expend a lot more cognitive energy on this topic than do the vast majority of business people who are actually buying these machines to support their businesses. We’re a lot more passionate about the technology and have a personal attachment to it. Business people mostly just want to hire a tool to get a job done in the most cost effective manner within the full scope of their current business priorities. 
    StrangeDayspscooter63muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 24 of 53
    entropys said:
    The iMac Pro is two years old. Why plunk serious money down for something that could be replaced in a couple of months? 
    Same with any iMac really. I don’t know why Apple lets macs get out of date so much. It’s depressing.
    You could not recommend any current iMac  in good conscience. Better to go 16 inch MBP. At least it’s current tech.
    Huh? The regular iMac was updated in March, I bought one end of July. You expect multiple updates in the same calendar year? Not likely. I do expect it will be updated again before long. And for normals, I'd have no qualms recommending they walk into the Apple Store and buy one today. They won't be disappointed...I got 8 years on my last personal iMac and expect I will again.

    What updated Xeon processor would be appropriate for the iMac Pro? Daring Fireball's John Gruber said on a recent podcast episode he didn't believe there were any. I don't follow them closely tho.
    I think this is also why Apple are so keen on getting their A-series performance up. Certainly the iOS devices have benefitted from the extra performance, but it seems Apple have bigger aspirations.

    Apple's hesitation to upgrade their macs can be largely traced to the availability of high performance processors from intel. Even now we see the latest Mac Pro is showing benchmarks similar to a 2 year old machine. While it's not a great comparison to make, the A-series processors have added around 50% to their geekbench scores in that time.

    There are also significant performance optimisations available when you're the one steering the chip ship. (Not to forget the additional end-user benefits that control/exclusivity provide.)
    fastasleep
  • Reply 25 of 53
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,686member
    tht said:
    eightzero said:
    jhalmos said:
    You know what, just take the processor out of the iMac Pro, put it in a nice box, and sell that. I don't need the monitor.

    Oh ya, and because I'm talking to Apple, remember to drop the price accordingly since NO MONITOR.
    That would be an very interesting (dare we say it?) Mac Mini Pro. 
    I call it the Mac Half Pro.


    Lop off 5 inches from the Mac Pro resulting in only enough room for 6.5” PCIe cards (so half length 250W MPX modules, half length PCIe cards, 2 x16 PCIe slots at most, but the 4 double wide slots stay), remove 8 DIMM slots (512 GB max memory), remove 2 PCIe slots, downsize the PSU to 700 W, use Xeon W 2200 series (loses 24 lanes of PCI), so on and so forth. 

    2 HDD sled as a half MPX model. Single Vega II, Navi GPU cards would be half MPX modules that are quad wide. PCIe SSD, Afterburner, I/O cards, etc. After market GPU cards if they can be found that short. 

    Basically half a Mac Pro. Would have sounded better if the Mac Pro was a 2 socket system, so it would be half the CPU sockets, but Xeon W 2200 versus 3200 series is almost half. Apple could start the Half Pro with a 6-core and the Full Pro with a 12-core and there you go. Half.
    If anything they'd make it shorter not shallower. So it can take a single new or second-hand MPX module plus an afterburn card from bigger brother.
    So say 2 fans high not 3. Could still take 2 regular GPU cards or one larger fan with CPU on back of board so it and power supply form L shape arround MPX.

    Anyway if they do something it will MPX modules will be the same size as the MacPro.

    bageljoey
  • Reply 26 of 53
    rain22 said:
    This is Apples worst selling computer since the Cube - and for very good reason. 

    I can hardly trust someone who lie with something like this.
    StrangeDaysEsquireCatsfastasleep
  • Reply 27 of 53
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,350member
    I think anyone who bought the iMac Pro in 2017 is feeling pretty good about it today compared to the Mac Pro.   They’ve used it for two years and it’s still a great performer.  

    EsquireCats
  • Reply 28 of 53
    On Gruber's podcast he said there are no suitable new Xeon chips to put in the iMac Pro. Is this correct?
    The refreshed Xeon W-2000 second-generation line have been "announced," and three of the four have "launched," but one still hasn't (according to ark.intel.com as of right now ) -- all are listed as "Q4'19," so it's not like they've been available for long. Basically since November.

    The new ones are 165W, instead of 140W. They use the same socket, and support more memory (up to 1 TB instead of 512 GB in the first-generation).

    https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/series/125035/intel-xeon-w-processor.html
    edited December 2019 StrangeDaysEsquireCatsfastasleep
  • Reply 29 of 53
    tht said:
    eightzero said:
    jhalmos said:
    You know what, just take the processor out of the iMac Pro, put it in a nice box, and sell that. I don't need the monitor.

    Oh ya, and because I'm talking to Apple, remember to drop the price accordingly since NO MONITOR.
    That would be an very interesting (dare we say it?) Mac Mini Pro. 
    I call it the Mac Half Pro.


    Lop off 5 inches from the Mac Pro resulting in only enough room for 6.5” PCIe cards (so half length 250W MPX modules, half length PCIe cards, 2 x16 PCIe slots at most, but the 4 double wide slots stay), remove 8 DIMM slots (512 GB max memory), remove 2 PCIe slots, downsize the PSU to 700 W, use Xeon W 2200 series (loses 24 lanes of PCI), so on and so forth. 

    2 HDD sled as a half MPX model. Single Vega II, Navi GPU cards would be half MPX modules that are quad wide. PCIe SSD, Afterburner, I/O cards, etc. After market GPU cards if they can be found that short. 

    Basically half a Mac Pro. Would have sounded better if the Mac Pro was a 2 socket system, so it would be half the CPU sockets, but Xeon W 2200 versus 3200 series is almost half. Apple could start the Half Pro with a 6-core and the Full Pro with a 12-core and there you go. Half.

    A consumer-grade 4 slots wide Graphics Card and bigger heatsink than the higher-level Pro?  Sorry but I don't think so.

    The current Xeon W isn't going to be cheaper because of the platform, it would make more sense to adopt LGA2066 instead.

    Even so, another tower won't make much profit, a lot of the technology in the Mac Pro isn't going to be cheap even "slice it in half", the fundamental remains the same.
    edited December 2019 macplusplus
  • Reply 30 of 53
    You can dream about the xMac all day long, but just so you know, there won't be a watered-down LGA3647 Xeon W Platform for "Pros".

    You'll be complained about how much cheaper the Ryzen is.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 31 of 53
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,837member
    Assuming that the Hollywood market Apple is aiming for is satisfied with the new Pro, I think it would make sense for Apple to next offer a lower-end Pro machine targeted at the more traditional pros in the Mac market (Photoshoppers, Science/Government, Game-studios etc.) If they do offer a lower-end Pro next Fall, I don't see any need for the iMac Pro.

    It was a great stop-gap while the Mac Pro was under construction, but it doesn't offer any unique benefits outside of the screen and thinness.

    The traditional iMac already has that covered. Bump up the 'Best' config of the iMac next fall, and eliminate the engineering overlap.

    Does the Mac platform really need three separate engineering teams for the iMac, iMac Pro and Mac Pro?


    P.S. If they take the engineers from the iMac Pro and task them with making the iMac display capable of rotation, Apple will win 2020.
    edited December 2019
  • Reply 32 of 53
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,127member
    frank777 said:
    Assuming that the Hollywood market Apple is aiming for is satisfied with the new Pro, I think it would make sense for Apple to next offer a lower-end Pro machine targeted at the more traditional pros in the Mac market (Photoshoppers, Science/Government, Game-studios etc.) If they do offer a lower-end Pro next Fall, I don't see any need for the iMac Pro.

    It was a great stop-gap while the Mac Pro was under construction, but it doesn't offer any unique benefits outside of the screen and thinness.

    The traditional iMac already has that covered. Bump up the 'Best' config of the iMac next fall, and eliminate the engineering overlap.

    Does the Mac platform really need three separate engineering teams for the iMac, iMac Pro and Mac Pro?


    P.S. If they take the engineers from the iMac Pro and task them with making the iMac display capable of rotation, Apple will win 2020.
    Well, Apple already has four different laptops (Air, entry-Pro, and higher-end 13" and 16") to cover different usage & price range.

    The problem is how Intel sold its platforms.  You're not just buying a processor with x amount of cores, but also a platform that's built for your workload, that difference makes processors overlap & appears overpriced for different customers, but no matter how much you upgrade, you won't get the same amount of everything.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 33 of 53
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,127member
    Consider that Intel will probably not going to make Xeons on the 2066 Platform, I think it would be better to opt the i9 instead:
    https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/198017/intel-core-i9-10980xe-extreme-edition-processor-24-75m-cache-3-00-ghz.html

    It's pretty much a faster processor but without the workstation stuff.  Apple could also adopt SO-DIMMs for RAM which just doubles from the current iMac.

    Then, what else?  Making the graphics card removable?  Re-adopt the MXM or even a custom-made expansion module?

    I wonder if it's probable to use 16 lanes for Thunderbolt, that would give you 32 lanes already, then another 8 for the SSD.
    edited December 2019 fastasleep
  • Reply 34 of 53
    thttht Posts: 4,131member
    DuhSesame said:
    tht said:
    eightzero said:
    jhalmos said:
    You know what, just take the processor out of the iMac Pro, put it in a nice box, and sell that. I don't need the monitor.

    Oh ya, and because I'm talking to Apple, remember to drop the price accordingly since NO MONITOR.
    That would be an very interesting (dare we say it?) Mac Mini Pro. 
    I call it the Mac Half Pro.


    Lop off 5 inches from the Mac Pro resulting in only enough room for 6.5” PCIe cards (so half length 250W MPX modules, half length PCIe cards, 2 x16 PCIe slots at most, but the 4 double wide slots stay), remove 8 DIMM slots (512 GB max memory), remove 2 PCIe slots, downsize the PSU to 700 W, use Xeon W 2200 series (loses 24 lanes of PCI), so on and so forth. 

    2 HDD sled as a half MPX model. Single Vega II, Navi GPU cards would be half MPX modules that are quad wide. PCIe SSD, Afterburner, I/O cards, etc. After market GPU cards if they can be found that short. 

    Basically half a Mac Pro. Would have sounded better if the Mac Pro was a 2 socket system, so it would be half the CPU sockets, but Xeon W 2200 versus 3200 series is almost half. Apple could start the Half Pro with a 6-core and the Full Pro with a 12-core and there you go. Half.

    A consumer-grade 4 slots wide Graphics Card?  Bigger heatsink than the higher-level Pro?

    The current 3647-style Xeon W isn't going to be anywhere cheaper because of Intel.  It would make more sense to adopt LGA2066 instead.

    Even so, from Apple's perspective, another tower won't make too much profit.  A lot of the technology that comes with the Mac Pro isn't going to be cheap, even slice it in half, the fundamental remains the same.
    Oh, a Mac Half Pro would have half the starting price at $3000. Not cheap, and likely with a 6-core. I just outlined a Xeon W-2200 series platform system: Xeon W 2200 versus 3200 series is almost half.

    So, yes, we are thinking of the same thing here. A Xeon W-2200 series system (uses LGA2066 socket), which is the successor Xeon W to the one in the current iMac Pro (uses Xeon W-2100 series), but with 2019 Mac Pro industrial design. I did count the PCIe lane difference wrong.

    It’s not consumer grade GPUs. It’s the same ones in the Mac Pro: Pro Vega II (Vega 20 arch), Radeon Pro W5700X (Navi), and probably the Radeon Pro 580X too with the corresponding 8, 16, 32 GB memory. For half, you take the Pro Vega II Duo MPX module, and cut it in half. It would still be quad wide for the same reasons: 250W, the needed heat sink wetted surface area and flow rate for the axial fans. Quad wide is also convenient as it would fit 2 3.5” HDD, a 250 W GPU, PCIe SSDs, IO cards, and specialty cards. Or whatever combination with 2 half MPX modules, 1 double wide and 1 normal width PCIe slot.
    muthuk_vanalingamfastasleep
  • Reply 35 of 53
    thttht Posts: 4,131member

    DuhSesame said:
    Consider that Intel will probably not going to make Xeons on the 2066 Platform, I think it would be better to opt the i9 instead:
    https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/198017/intel-core-i9-10980xe-extreme-edition-processor-24-75m-cache-3-00-ghz.html

    It's pretty much a faster processor but without the workstation stuff.  Apple could also adopt SO-DIMMs for RAM which just doubles from the current iMac.

    Then, what else?  Making the graphics card removable?  Re-adopt the MXM or even a custom-made expansion module?

    I wonder if it's probable to use 16 lanes for Thunderbolt, that would give you 32 lanes already, then another 8 for the SSD.
    The Cascade Lake Core X models (Core i9-10900 series CPUs) are just Xeon W-2200 series chips, except Intel fused off 2 bits of memory support resulting in 256 GB max memory support versus 1 TB for the Xeon W-2200 series.

    48 lanes of PCIe 3 directly off the CPU, 24 off the I/O platform controller hub. The PCIe lanes off the PCH are really just x4 and really can’t be used for GPUs or other high bandwidth hardware because the bus from the PCH to the CPU is basically equivalent to 4 lanes of PCIe 3. So, SSD cards, network cards, I/O cards etc. PCIe slots can be x16, x16, x8, x8, x4, x4, with the latter two from the PCH, in such a system.

    For the consumer hardware, the 10nm Ice Lake desktop CPUs are going to be pretty good, if Intel can actually ship them sooner rather than later.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 36 of 53
    thttht Posts: 4,131member

    mattinoz said:
    tht said:
    eightzero said:
    jhalmos said:
    You know what, just take the processor out of the iMac Pro, put it in a nice box, and sell that. I don't need the monitor.

    Oh ya, and because I'm talking to Apple, remember to drop the price accordingly since NO MONITOR.
    That would be an very interesting (dare we say it?) Mac Mini Pro. 
    I call it the Mac Half Pro.


    Lop off 5 inches from the Mac Pro resulting in only enough room for 6.5” PCIe cards (so half length 250W MPX modules, half length PCIe cards, 2 x16 PCIe slots at most, but the 4 double wide slots stay), remove 8 DIMM slots (512 GB max memory), remove 2 PCIe slots, downsize the PSU to 700 W, use Xeon W 2200 series (loses 24 lanes of PCI), so on and so forth. 

    2 HDD sled as a half MPX model. Single Vega II, Navi GPU cards would be half MPX modules that are quad wide. PCIe SSD, Afterburner, I/O cards, etc. After market GPU cards if they can be found that short. 

    Basically half a Mac Pro. Would have sounded better if the Mac Pro was a 2 socket system, so it would be half the CPU sockets, but Xeon W 2200 versus 3200 series is almost half. Apple could start the Half Pro with a 6-core and the Full Pro with a 12-core and there you go. Half.
    If anything they'd make it shorter not shallower. So it can take a single new or second-hand MPX module plus an afterburn card from bigger brother.
    So say 2 fans high not 3. Could still take 2 regular GPU cards or one larger fan with CPU on back of board so it and power supply form L shape arround MPX.

    Anyway if they do something it will MPX modules will be the same size as the MacPro.
    Yeah, I debated which way would be the better way to chop, and preferred having more slots with half length cards and a smaller footprint. If the chop is the long way with say 1 axial fan’s height, you lose about 4 slots, maybe 5 slots, and a lose a lot of flexibility. Then, I didn’t think sharing cards was a net-plus, as the cost is in the chips, not the assembly or manufacturing. They would use all the same chips, just be manufactured with different form factors.

    A system with say a 10-core Xeon W-2265, Radeon Pro W5700X 16 GB, 64 GB RAM, and 1 TB storage would cost on order $6k versus the $9k on a Mac Pro. A win on price? I guess so? You would still be able to add a 2nd GPU, a PCIe SSD, or whatever combination you can put in the remaining 4 slots. Frell, it could be priced out to $25k with 1 TB memory, 2 MPX GPUs, 8 TB SSD, and an 18-core.

    Still way too much for me. There is still “Pro” in the name after all. A base model with 6-cores, 32 GB memory, Radeon Pro 580X and 256 GB SSD could go for $3k. I think I can buy into that, and gradually add internal storage and RAM as time goes on. Not coincidentally, a 6-core Mac mini, 32 GB memory, Blackmagic eGPU (prefer the quiet) is about $2600. I would definitely pay $500 not to have the cable and box clutter from a Mac mini setup, and the footprint would be smaller on my desk.
  • Reply 37 of 53
    If I’m spending 5000 dollars I might as well save up an extra thousand and get the tower. Seems like a no brainer to me. 
    macplusplus
  • Reply 38 of 53
    entropys said:
    The iMac Pro is two years old. Why plunk serious money down for something that could be replaced in a couple of months? 
    Same with any iMac really. I don’t know why Apple lets macs get out of date so much. It’s depressing.
    You could not recommend any current iMac  in good conscience. Better to go 16 inch MBP. At least it’s current tech.
    Huh? The regular iMac was updated in March, I bought one end of July. You expect multiple updates in the same calendar year? Not likely. I do expect it will be updated again before long. And for normals, I'd have no qualms recommending they walk into the Apple Store and buy one today. They won't be disappointed...I got 8 years on my last personal iMac and expect I will again.

    What updated Xeon processor would be appropriate for the iMac Pro? Daring Fireball's John Gruber said on a recent podcast episode he didn't believe there were any. I don't follow them closely tho.
    I think this is also why Apple are so keen on getting their A-series performance up. Certainly the iOS devices have benefitted from the extra performance, but it seems Apple have bigger aspirations.

    Apple's hesitation to upgrade their macs can be largely traced to the availability of high performance processors from intel. Even now we see the latest Mac Pro is showing benchmarks similar to a 2 year old machine. While it's not a great comparison to make, the A-series processors have added around 50% to their geekbench scores in that time.

    There are also significant performance optimisations available when you're the one steering the chip ship. (Not to forget the additional end-user benefits that control/exclusivity provide.)
    "Apple's hesitation to upgrade their macs can be largely traced to the availability of high performance processors from intel"

    Nothing stopping Apple from looking at AMD.  Their Zen 2 architecture performs every bit as good, if not better, than Intel's current processor lineup.  And Zen 3 is coming out Fall 2020
  • Reply 39 of 53
    hexclock said:
    If I’m spending 5000 dollars I might as well save up an extra thousand and get the tower. Seems like a no brainer to me. 
    I agree.  And I suspect many pros who are into video, audio, photography, scientific computing, even software development are probably thinking the same thing.  And for pros that prefer an AIO, a top-end 5K iMac is a better value.   That's why the iMac Pro is stuck between a rock and a had place.
  • Reply 40 of 53
    camccamc Posts: 45member
    entropys said:
    The iMac Pro is two years old. Why plunk serious money down for something that could be replaced in a couple of months? 
    Same with any iMac really. I don’t know why Apple lets macs get out of date so much. It’s depressing.
    You could not recommend any current iMac  in good conscience. Better to go 16 inch MBP. At least it’s current tech.
    Because it is still a monster machine that's running smoothly the software.
    Because it doesn't overheat even with demanding tasks.
    Because the entire experience is far better than on a regular iMac or on a maxed out MacBook Pro that keeps spinning fans all the time.
    Because it's extremely reliable.
    Because you can run multiple virtual machines with no hassle and with a minimal fingerprint on your desk.
    Because it's quiet.
    Because it sits on a price point that fits nicely for the ones that don't need to spend more to have extra-power that would be unused.
    Because it is a beautiful piece of hardware.

    For just one of the above or for any given combination of them, you name it.
     
    macplusplus
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