iMac Pro i Will buy a iMac Pro, or should i wait until June 2018?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by imacpro22, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. imacpro22 macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2018
    Hello. I have been debating back and forth with myself about buying a iMac Pro or wait until June 2018 for news. But I think I've decided, but please tell me if i am stupid.

    - Base model iMac Pro. Nothing added.
    - New 2018 iMac 5K, maxed out.

    Last one would of course be if there would be a new iMac in 2018.
    This would of course make me have to wait until June 2018 for the news.

    I don't mind the price of the iMac Pro. And i don't mind waiting if the new 2018 iMac 5K would be better than the base iMac Pro, or close to.

    My needs, i edit big photoshoots, with 500-800ex images per time. Have multiple things on at the same time. I use Lr and Ps for the most stuff, but also Apples own 'images'. So i need a machine that understands me, responds instant. And will work with me for many years to come without lagging what so ever.. (i do not want to change / upgrade my iMac for the next 5-6 years at least.)


    - If i bought the base iMac Pro, would the performance and inside still be superior to the 'maxed out 2018 iMac 5k'..? This is my concern. Or would the now new iMac 2018 maxed out be close to the iMac Pro?

    - Iv'e read that the iMac Pro is slow? How can this be? Is this information true? Or is this just people trying to make headlines?

    Thanks a lot, any advice would help things out.
  2. afir93 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2018
    If you're sure that you want/need an iMac Pro and have the money ready, then I would just buy it right now. Yes the iMac Pro, even the base model, will be superior to what the general expectation of the next 5K iMac is, so you'll still end up with the superior device in practically every way.

    That said, the next iMac might be released as soon as WWDC if we're lucky (seeing as the relevant Coffeelake that Apple will most likely use are already announced by Intel, I think?), so if you're not sure that you actually need the power of an iMac Pro and think that you'll be fine with the normal iMac maxed out, you might want to hold off for another 2 months which would give you the chance to read reviews and compare benchmarks between the 2018 iMac (if it's released at WWDC) and the iMac Pro. The 2018 iMac is expected to get hexa core chips which are no joke either in terms of speed and raw power, but without benchmarks and real-world tests, nobody can make a definite judgement on how they compare to the iMac Pro. But again if you want the superior device anyway and don't mind the extra money then you don't need to do that, only if you're afraid that the iMac Pro might be overkill for your needs.

    About the iMac Pro being slow... that's a very inexact statement, you might want to specify in which context you have read that or in which tasks it is supposedly slow. From everything I heard and read, it's supposed to be blazing fast (compared to normal iMacs, 2013 Mac Pros etc.) with pretty much every task you throw at it, but again I advise you to look at benchmarks and real-world usage scenarios that mirror your own workflows; that's the best way to find out how satisfied you'll be with the things you intend to do on it.
  3. smirking macrumors 68000


    Aug 31, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Until Adobe completely re-engineers how Lightroom works under the hood, you're probably not likely to see any massive difference between one option or the other so just get the workstation you feel the best about right now.

    If you haven't read this guy's account of custom designing the ultimate Lightroom workstation, have a read:

    He custom built a $6000 PC that was configured with Lightroom and only Lightroom in mind. Spoiler alert: It was faster than his iMac, but it was still slow.
  4. ThatSandWyrm macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2017
    Most software out there is either single-threaded (only runs on one core), or is multi-threaded such that it works best with roughly 4-6 cores. As such, a new 4+GHZ iMac would run most software faster than a 10+ core iMac Pro at 3GHZ. This will change over time, as Apple and other release machines with more cores. But most software is optimized for whatever machines sold 1-2 years ago, if at all.

    But... If you work in a niche industry, like 3D rendering, that long ago optimized their software for as many cores as are available, then the iMac Pro will compute at least twice as fast as a 4-core i7 iMac. So it depends on your software. If you don't know that your software is aggressively multi-core optimized, then it probably isn't.

    As for Adobe, performance is all over the place. You'll be frustrated at their sloppy mix of single and multi-threaded programming. Photoshop will run faster on some tasks, but slower on most. Bridge and Camera RAW will load images quicker, and you'll see changes to multiple images update much faster. But saving out image sets is no faster.

    After Effects is a multithreading disaster, and peaks at about 15% CPU utilization on my 10-core iMP.

    The other issue is that many heavy compute tasks run faster on the GPU than even a high-core count CPU. So when I'm doing photogrammetry (3D models from photos), it's actually faster to just let the Pro Vega 64 do much of the work, while the CPU all but idles.

    So it's a bit of a mixed bag on the iMP at the moment. Unless you need more than 64GB of RAM. Then the CPU matters a lot less than if your machine is constantly swapping memory or not.

    In any case, if you go with the iMP, upgrade to the Vega 64 at least. It will more than pay for itself.
  5. imacpro22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2018
    Is it pretty much 100% sure that there will be a new iMac 2018?

    People are saying this pretty confident..

    When can we see the new one if they release it? Already in June?
  6. FredT2 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2009
    My guess: highly unlikely in June, possible late in year, but I wouldn't bet on it.
  7. imacpro22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2018
    What type of improvements would the 2018 model iMac be compared to the 2017 iMac? And what would those improvements do?
  8. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    I also think it’s unlikely that Apple will make any announcements about the iMac at the June WWDC and it’s way too early for even a hint of a rumor about a future iMac speed bump.

    If you’re going to go for the base iMac Pro, B&H Photo is selling them right now at $500 off list price.
  9. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Easier to ask how long is a piece of string.

    Apple have very strong security surrounding any new development and releases so no one knows the answer to you question. If there is a release it will not be until October when OS X.14 will be released.

    This is always the question ~ buy now or wait. You need it, you want it so buy an iMac Pro with enough oomph to do more than you necessarily need. Order with at least 32GB of memory and a 2TB SSD if money is no object.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Microcenter had the base iMac Pro for 1,000 under list. I don't know if that's still occuring though.

    Lagging is unavoidable, especially if we're talking about Lightroom. I'm extremely happy with LR's performance on my 2015 iMac, but then I'm only shooting on a M43, and I'm not a professional. I really don't do too much with my images.

    As for upgrading your iMac, if your intent is not to have the option of upgrading, then I suggestion not spending all that money on the iMac which has upgradeable components.

    Tbh, I think I'm biased against the iMac Pro because for most consumers and many other prosumers its overkill, yet I see people justifying their purchase of it. Personally you don't need to justify the purchase because its your own money, regardless of it being overkill. My point remains many people want this, even though it may not fit their needs any better then a regular iMac (or other computer). Just my $.02
  11. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    If there is a new iMac, it will likely get a Coffee Lake processor (so 6 cores instead of 4 and some marginal performance improvements), and improved GPU. Maybe storage options with more SSD. If there is an update, I think I expect it to affect the low end much more than the high end. I don't think there are any equivalent processor improvements available in the Xeon line, so I think it's highly unlikely we'll see a updated iMac Pro this year.

    If you need a machine now, buy it. I don't see any valid basis for expecting a major improvement from an update, at least not at the top of the line.
  12. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    We can only speculate on when the next iMac update will occur. The likely times are either in June or sometime this fall. Pure speculation on my part, but I give it a 30% chance of this June and a 55% chance this fall. (15% chance is reserved for 2019, which I would not put past Apple.)

    The next update will likely bring the new 6-core i7 processors, but that is assuming the iMac’s cooling system can handle it. It should be able to, but expect to hear the fan during moderate to intensive use. The performance gains will be a moderately good improvement.

    With the limited knowledge we have of your usage and workflow requirements, a well-equipped iMac will more than handle your needs. An iMac Pro is not necessary by any means, but at $4,500 from B&H with no tax or shipping, it is a compelling buy since you have the money. The biggest issue with that though is you really owe it to yourself to get the upgraded GPU since you want the machine to run smoothly for 5-6 years...and that is not offered at this time with the discount. However, B&H does offer additional discounts from time to time on upgraded models, so I would keep a close eye on that if you decide on the iMac Pro.

    I do not have any expectations that the next top of the line iMac will outperform the current base level iMac Pro. It is highly unlikely.

    Again, the iMac is more than capable of handling your needs (as we know them) and handling them quite well. I would balance final cost in your decision and I would also balance in when you need the machine. WWDC is only 9 weeks away and you might learn something then.
  13. fokmik macrumors 68040

    Oct 28, 2016
    i think the real question is that the next gpu in 2018 imac will be on par or better than the vega 56 ?!
  14. craigrusse11 macrumors member

    May 24, 2017
    if a new iMac is released in '18, i think it's about time that there were some stock configurations higher up the offerings that had SSD as standard. A spinning disk in $1500-$2000 machine is just not acceptable anymore.
  15. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2009
    At this current time the iMac Pro is the fastest machine Apple make for use with lightroom. Its still not fast or instantaneous by any means which is frustrating. Still a £5k machine should be overkill for photographic work but lightroom is a hog. Its also probably not the best future investment either because you cant upgrade anything and nobody knows when Adobe will resolve lightroom so for the lifetime of the product it may never reach its potential for your workflow.

    Unfortunately its Adobe not apple.

    The same old same old applies. Apple has been making 8+ core Pro machines for more 10 years and we still talk about waiting for software to be updated to make use of the system. The 2008 mac pro never really got software optimized for it except very specific software like scientific computation and video editing. At the time it was a complete waste for any of the standard adobe products like lightroom, photoshop, illustrator and indesign because they were all single core processes. Later down the line programs got better but there was newer tech and it was more efficient etc etc it is a never ending game of catch up.

    Lightroom uses the cores its just not very well optimized, for export it does slam it. My 5,1 hex will show all 6 and the 6 virtual cores maxed at import and export but will use only 6 for edits, the virtual cores arent used at all.

    The positive news is that Adobe know and its getting better. Another speed update was released this week which does help but its not night and day.

    It also depends what type of files your using. My 5DMKIII files seem to work ok but my 6DMKII which is a 30% pixel increase is slower, the 30mp 5DMKIV even slower and 50mp 5DSr files are the worst offender.

    Im using a 27" ACD with my mac pro and its really slow. So i upgraded the GPU from a 5770 to an RX580 and it made no difference. So basically its a processor heavy task so getting the fastest turbo boost processor you can is the best current advice.

    Its mostly 100% zoom, local adjustments and spot removal that are slow and sometimes the lag with sliders. The display makes it worce too as its more pixels to push if you use a 1080 panel the lag almost disappears as there are far fewer pixels to re-render every adjustment. I have a 23" ACD also and if i use this instead lightroom works like a dream... but I like the bigger display.

    I tried out a 2017 15" macbook pro to replace my Mac Pro and it took roughly 5-6 seconds to render 100% zoom. If your editing weddings for example, 300-500 images at a time thats near enough an extra hour just sitting waiting every time you zoom to 100%. Thats only if you do it once per image. Using local adjustments im at 100% a lot its can quickly mount up.

    I bought my dad a base 2017 5k iMac with the 3.4 16gb ram and the RX570 4gb, its pushing far more pixel than my 27" ACD. Its not as fast as my 8 year old Mac Pro for lightroom work yet on paper it blitzes the single core and is similar multi. I doubt that the higher end i5s will perform to a perceivable difference and the i7 throttles so whether its worth spending the extra to not get the potential performance is questionable.

    Currently the i7 iMac should on paper perform better but its thermal system isnt adequate for the machine so it tends not to reach its turbo for extended periods. I haven't tried the i7 so I cant say.

    If Apple release a newer iMac it will have the newer 6 core processors as standard and by all accounts they scream. PC benchmarks have shown these newer generation CPUs are screamers and will certainly be close to the iMac pro on paper.

    But we dont know what they will choose, if they will at all and whether the newer iMac will get the iMac pro cooling system. If it doesnt these the same issues will apply.

    Apple may not bother if these new CPUs are getting close to the iMac Pro, especially when they have just released a press release telling pros not to hold off buying the iMac pro because the Mac Pro isnt coming this year.

    Its a bit of an up in the air time really. Hopefully we will see soon.

    If you arent desperate wait until WWDC if nothing fruitful arrives reevaluate.
  16. Guy Clark Suspended

    Guy Clark

    Nov 28, 2013
    London United Kingdom.
    Wait until June 2018 when the updated model is released then purchase the 2017 iMac Pro when old stock is being cleared at significantly lower prices.
  17. imacpro22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2018
    I think i will go a head and buy the 2017 mid lvl iMac 27 inch with i5 and add 512 ssd and then also add 32 gb of ram myself. I think for my usage that would be more than enough and i don't really need a updated version.

    Since i only edit images in todays 'Iphoto on the macbook' and a little bit in Lightroom i would think the mid lvl 2017 would work fine for many years to come. Don't u guys agree?

    It is always the question 'Will there be a new, and when is it going to come'?..
    It can easily be late 2018, and that long i can't wait.
  18. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2009
    With it only being just over a month to wait its worth if what your doing isnt critical.

    The difference could be stark for the same money you may get 50% more CPU cores and an SSD as standard so that 512 may be less money.

    Any way you look at it the 2018 version will be better bang for buck. Unless they make the ram non user up gradable then that will cost more because you cant buy it from a third party.
  19. fokmik macrumors 68040

    Oct 28, 2016
    They should go with only ssd in every 27” and use that empty space to rethink the cooling
  20. craigrusse11 macrumors member

    May 24, 2017
    I think some people are missing the point of the iMac Pro. Making a choice between 5K iMac or iMac Pro is not one that Apple are looking for you to make because it's not just a faster iMac in their eyes, it's a professional workstation that has EEC ram, Xeon CPUs etc.. The iMac Pro is built to run for days at a time and not throttle or crash out. It can also be upgraded way, way beyond anything a 5K iMac can be.

    If there is an updated to the standard iMac then i can see the 6 core i5 / i7 with a custom vega 28 / 32 being used. Hopefully, there is some ssd in there as standard (which i wouldn't mind being 512).
  21. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2009
    TBH the workstation components are becoming a luxury that many dont need, they end up increasing the cost of entry and the cost of upgrades.

    Take a large grain of salt with those comments. Yes the components are designed to be more durable but the i series are so good that in the perceived lifetime of the product 3-5 years for a pro I doubt it will make a difference. ECC is a nice option but again how many times do people have issues with standard ram...

    The iMac may have workstation server hardware but I doubt anyone will use one in this regard. It will be a 9-5 machine for most people there is no need to run it for days on end, anything that takes more than a day to render the user would most probably have a far more powerful machine to do such tasks.

    Same with upgrading it, the standard imac doesnt have soldiered CPUs etc so you can upgrade the iMac to what ever cpu you want in the same series same with the ram.

    The iMac pro you can do the same... but if you just want a ram upgrade you cant do it yourself but pay an apple technician probably hundreds of dollars to ensure you dont ruin the thing opening it up. It is essentially made not to be upgraded a closed system.

    In my mind the iMac pro is no different to an iMac it has a perceived lifespan and I doubt many will be modified outside their BTO options and it will age at a similar pace to an iMac. Unlike a cMP that many people are still using today.

    The i series also has its advantages over the xeons too like quick sync etc for many pros the i series be quicker depending on the task. Even tho the thermals are better in the imac pro it certainly will throttle the difference is it will take longer to throttle.

    If the standards iMac thermal architecture was better it would perform far better.
  22. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    I'd edit that to say "should" instead of "likely".
    --- Post Merged, Apr 11, 2018 ---
    I don't really understand why they even made the imac pro. It doesn't make much business sense. I can't imagine it can be very profitable. I think maybe it was simply a pr mechanism to bridge to the 2019 mac pro.
  23. bigtomato macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2015
    I doubt they will upgrade the iMac since AMD has not updated their graphics cards for mobile.

    Also, the only upgrade path for an iMac would be the intel i8700k chip which is 6 cores but they won't go this route as it might blow away the iMac pro in terms of performance.

    The current high end iMac is pretty fast just go with SSD options
  24. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014

    To be fair editing big photoshoots isn't the same as 24/7 mission critical applications where a lot of that hardware really gets used.
  25. HoFo macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2019
    I bought one (10 core base model) today, getting a great offer I couldn't turn down (don't have to pay sales tax, so the 10-core model was even clearly cheaper than the 8-core model).
    I was on the fence getting a PC (as I stated above), but my wife who owns a photography business wanted to stay with macOs.
    The iMac pro for sure is a great piece of equipment. I couldn't manage to get a comparable custom built PC (not home-buld, no time for that) with Xeon processors at a cheaper price, but could do so for a PC with the z390 or x299 chipset motherboards. However, it is extremely difficult to get Thunderbolt 3 support (in fact I found only one x299 motherboard with 2 ports). I think the connectivity of the iMac Pro with 4 TBP 3 ports to be fantastic. Easy to use a Samsung X5 SSD at 2,8/2.3 GB/s or a 860 Pro at full speed for reliability (1200TBW), or add an eGPU later.

    If you want to use LR and PS the 10-core model is better due to the higher Boost-Clock for single cores. For certain applications like LR and PS, the 2017 iMac with i7 4.2 GHz processor will often have an advantage, as those programs
    aren't optimised in many aspects for parallel computations. But the comparisons show that LR improved clearly with version 8.2. I bet this will get a lot better with time. For us, having to process 5000+ images after a wedding, importing, exporting etc. is very important. The iMac Pro excels at that.

    The display is great. I think you need an Eizo to surpass it:

    If you need a good computer now, I would not hesitate. We just don't know what a Mac Pro will offer, or what price it will have.

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