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Help me configure my imac Pro


macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2018
I am a motion designer. I use Cinema 4D and After effects a lot. I can afford one upgrade from the base model. Do I go with 64gb of RAM on an 8core machine? Or should I upgrade to 10 cores but only have 32gb of RAM?


macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
Central U.S.
I would think Vega 64 would be a better upgrade for Open CL, right? The RAM would be upgradeable at some point down the road by bringing the machine to an Apple Store.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2017
you should go with better 10-cores CPU, RAM is upgradable (after some of hassle with opening the screen), CPU is more difficult to upgrade and will be very expensive
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macrumors 68020
Dec 14, 2010
I was looking at the same thing to be honest, although have decided to see what WWDC will bring as if an updated iMac is released I may save some money and max one of those out.
Nevertheless, if I were to go with the iMAC Pro in your case I would probably get the more powerful GPU rather then the CPU or RAM.
Both RAM and CPU are not soldered onto the logic board. RAM can therefore be upgraded at a later date (although not as easily as the 2017 27" iMAC as it would include some disassembly etc) but it is do-able, either via yourself if you feel brave enough, or via an Apple service centre. The CPU is also upgradeable - again not very easily, but its not soldered into place and can be removed from its socket.
The GPU is NOT upgradeable at all though, and in your use case you may benefit more from that then anything else anyways....


macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2008
Brooklyn, NY
That would be incorrect. The GPU is actually "upgradable," as the iMac Pro can accommodate a Thunderbolt 3-connected eGPU, although I don't think there are too many yet.


macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2008
I am a motion designer. I use Cinema 4D and After effects a lot. I can afford one upgrade from the base model. Do I go with 64gb of RAM on an 8core machine? Or should I upgrade to 10 cores but only have 32gb of RAM?

I was doing the same kind of decision awhile ago. I looked at the activity monitors report for RAM usage which my typical workflow and found all green , so I opted for the 10 cores and spent the $800 on a large TB3 drive instead of RAM. There are work flows where RAM helps, but even in those work flows you get more bang for your buck with the 10 core upgrade, I think if I recall the bench marks correctly. I also think upgrading the internal GPU provides more bang for your buck than RAM. For me a 2TB internal SSD upgrade provides more bang than RAM.

So your workflow does matter and, since I don't use these apps, you can take my opinion with a grain of salt.
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macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2009
Might be worth looking at a PC instead... There are areas that PCs are just quicker and better bang for buck. That 5k display has a lot to answer for too 14mps 60fps any high end card is going to struggle for a smooth experience.

worth a read

The above to keep it fair ran metal vs open CL.

Its also worth noting that yes you can add another GPU via TB3 but it doesn't mean apple will support it, there will be no official CUDA support which is important depending on what your doing. CUDA outperforms metal in quite a few area. There will only be support for cards that have drivers.

There's no point in buying something and hoping support is added later.

Its also a fact that you need to add £400 to your GPU price if you do buy another because you need an enclosure for it. Adding 50% the cost to a card then only get 90% of its performance is a poor prospect IMO. Putting a card in a tower and it being out of the way and running at full speed is a far better idea imo.

The nice thing about the PC is that for the time being and it has been this way for a while is that CC runs better on selective hardware and apple doesn't give you much option like only ATI cards. Instead of £800 for every upgrade with the PC you can add hardware as you need it without the upfront cost. CC's code isnt great and hopefully will improve and if apple are serious about getting back into the pro field hopefully it will improve.

Need to evaluate your needs and get some more information before considering spending that sort of money and being disappointed.

The other thing worth mentioning is that CC is cloud based. The UI is the same and is essentially the same experience running on mac vs windows. I swapped 2 years ago and I continue to use a mac for casual use but at work everything is now running W10.

I hadn't used it since XP and it did take me a week or so to get used to it but... it does a lot really well and with HS being so poor on launch haven't really looked back. I was interested when the iMac pro came out but just hate the fact its an AIO.

Programs like after effects hare hardware intensive and it being an AIO really doesn't give you the best longevity regardless of the specs, in a year they will be outdated and apple in its infinate wisdom is unlikely to update this thing. Look at the mac pro... 5 years.

On a PC if better hardware comes out thats worth upgrading to its as simple as swapping the MB and processor out, or stick a new GPU in. What I used to do with my 5,1 mac pro for years as you see in my sig, apple doesn't offer this anymore and as impressive as the iMac pro is... your stuck with what you buy. Its incredibly difficult to upgrade and although you can upgrade it... how much will it cost and from people who have tired they have ruined them. Look at linus tech tips... I would be mortified.

Just dont think its worth it. Its a beautiful machine... but for work does it really matter... rather have a smooth powerful experience and get work done faster, its not easy to find on the mac anymore.

Really depends on your use.


macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2008
A little off topic for sure, but If you are stuck with Adobe, and can deal with the Windose ecosystem perhaps. But puget is selling PCs... and they seem to omit what may be important work flow and support inefficiencies. It really does depend on your use and just how much technical background you have. There are those that can work around anything and have fun doing it.


macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
I went with the base model, purchasing 5 from Apple's Amazon Store when they matched Best Buy's deal of $1k off the base model. I'm the boss and kept one for me. :evil grin: But I'm not here to gloat, just offer a different take...

In my company I've got around 20 designers working for me with mainly CAD and geospatial design/analysis but with some rendering from ProE, AE, FCPX, MicroStation. The rendering takes place in ingest stations, either 2012 i7 Mini Servers or Intel NUCs providing the computational power - those ingest workstations crunch data while my employees get back to designing...

Get a decent PC or base iMP and invest the rest of your budget in a decent Mini or NUC that can render while you work/sleep/play... Also, +1 with Puget Systems quality of work.
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