iMac 2019 i9 vs base iMac Pro

Sam Marks

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 5, 2019
89
25
I am deciding between two iMacs (new) and I do not know what option I should buy. I will select one of them. The current prices that they offered me (both new) are the following:

1. iMac 2019 (i9, Vega 48, 1TB SSD, 40GB RAM): €3,290 (I recently returned one wih this configuration because it died during the first days due to a manufacturing defect or overheating)

2. Base iMac Pro (8 core, Vega 56, 1TB SSD, 32GB RAM): €3,884 (this model has been almost two years in the market)

So the price difference is about €600, and I am deciding which one to buy.

Is the €600 difference justified to go for the iMac Pro or should I buy the 2019 iMac i9. Difficult decision. What would you do in my case? Should I wait for the iMac Pro 2? Do the better cooling and the 4 TB ports compensate for the fixed 32GB RAM and price difference?

Thank you in advance.
 

ruslan120

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2009
950
668
Depends on what you do. The T2 and better graphics is better for video editing (iMac Pro). If you edit photos I would go with the regular iMac i9 since you can upgrade the RAM to 128GB (not easy to upgrade RAM in the iMac Pro).

How many Thunderbolt 3 ports do you realistically need?

I use a regular 2019 iMac and use an eGPU on one port, and a 1TB SSD on the other.

When I upgrade to 10GBe I'll get a TB3 dock which supports it and plug the SSD into the dock.
 
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askunk

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2011
406
280
London
Intel Xeon W 2000 series have just been updated (market availability in a few days), AMD could have already given them GPU chips based on RDNA to replace the current Vegas. It's up to Apple now, if they want to come up with an iMP 2,1.
 

ridgero

macrumors member
Dec 16, 2017
79
104
Intel Xeon W 2000 series have just been updated (market availability in a few days), AMD could have already given them GPU chips based on RDNA to replace the current Vegas. It's up to Apple now, if they want to come up with an iMP 2,1.
Exactly, and if not I would wait until the Mac Pro is released, I guess there will be a better availability of iMac Pros.
 

fpenta

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2016
107
56
I went with the iMac i9, Vega 48, 1TB, 8GB RAM that I upgraded to 64GB. I vote for the iMac only for the option of upgrading the ram to 128 GB which is insane (I really don’t think the next generation of iMacs will have this option so I‘d take advantage of it.)
 

Sam Marks

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 5, 2019
89
25
I went with the iMac i9, Vega 48, 1TB, 8GB RAM that I upgraded to 64GB. I vote for the iMac only for the option of upgrading the ram to 128 GB which is insane (I really don’t think the next generation of iMacs will have this option so I‘d take advantage of it.)
Very good point, the user RAM upgradeability. I work with big sample libraries so this option is very interesting for me.
 
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Hexley

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2009
984
65
2019 iMac does not have a built-in 10GbE port. You can add it through a Thunderbolt 3 to 10GbE dongle.
 

ondert

macrumors 6502
Aug 11, 2017
412
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Italy
I have started to read about those 2019 i9 imacs dying instantly, is there any issue?
 

MacRS4

macrumors regular
Aug 18, 2010
159
207
London, UK
I use both an imac Pro and an i9 iMac quite regularly. You can see my views on them here. Video exports are faster on the i9 than the iMac Pro.

In general day to day use I don't feel much active difference in operation. Where the iMac Pro shines however is how scalable it is. I can do a lot more on that before it starts to slow down. So for example I may kick off some video exports, minimise, then start working on some work Virtual Machines. The iMac Pro excels at that, the i9 not so much - it gets bogged down easier.

There's also the expansion point of view - the 4 TB3 ports & 10Gbe ports are important for me as I use all of them, they may not be for you.

The RAM in the iMac Pro should be upgradable...however...it was a big pain in the ***. See here as to why.

Which do I enjoy using the most? A very subjective question I know, but I'd have to say the iMac Pro. It's probably my fave bit of Tech that I've used for several years - and I get access to a lot of stuff.

I don't think you'd be unhappy with either purchase tbh! I know that doesn't help much.
 
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shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
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I'm having these thoughts myself as I look to replace an aging PC and deciding the Mac Pro isn't worth the money. I'm leaning towards the iMac Pro because of the better cooling and 10GigE (I work from a NAS). However I'm holding off both of them for a few months as it looks like a replacement for the iMac could be imminent. I expect if a replacement iMac does come it will have the networking I want and quite probably a redesign with better cooling.
 

shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
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It would be interesting to see a 2021 iMac with a built-in 10GbE port.
2021? The current iMac is looking very stale, not that aging hardware has had much effect on Apple's pace of development in that past mind you. I'd hope they would release something this year, and by this year I mean before the end of Q2
 

Hexley

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2009
984
65
2021? The current iMac is looking very stale, not that aging hardware has had much effect on Apple's pace of development in that past mind you. I'd hope they would release something this year, and by this year I mean before the end of Q2

Mar 2019 iMac 321 days as of today

Jun 2017 iMac 652 days until 2019 refresh

Oct 2015 iMac 601 days until 2017 refresh
 

shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
1,782
1,355

Mar 2019 iMac 321 days as of today

Jun 2017 iMac 652 days until 2019 refresh

Oct 2015 iMac 601 days until 2017 refresh
The case has basically been the same since around 2012, and the I/O and cooling having improved much either.
 

Hexley

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2009
984
65
The case has basically been the same since around 2012, and the I/O and cooling having improved much either.
You mean a new body? That could come in 2021 or 2023.

When the late 2012 was introduced stocks of it only started shipping in later half of December 2012.

If that were to happen again you'd probably get your iMac come January 2021.

My 1 wish is that they maintain the user upgradeable RAM.

In 2021 I want the option to upgrading to 4x64GB (total 256GB) for as little as $460.
 
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shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
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You mean a new body? That could come in 2021 or 2023.

When the late 2012 was introduced stocks of it only started shipping in later half of December 2012.

If that were to happen again you'd probably get your iMac come January 2021.

My 1 wish is that they maintain the user upgradeable RAM.

In 2021 I want the option to upgrading to 4x64GB (total 256GB) for as little as $460.
Agree on the RAM, it has to be user upgradeable. Would be nice if there was a user accessible NVME slot too, but I can't see that happening because the next iMac will have a T2 chip no doubt.

As for the timings, unless they are going down the path to use their own CPUs it wouldn't make sense to wait until 2021 or 2022 to replace the current design. It's looking really dated now compared to many PCs.
 

Hexley

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2009
984
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As for the timings, unless they are going down the path to use their own CPUs it wouldn't make sense to wait until 2021 or 2022 to replace the current design. It's looking really dated now compared to many PCs.
I noticed that the release of any Apple product tends to be connected to consumer demand.

Most popular Mac & Mac notebook is the Macbook Pro hence the upgrade cycle of 9-12 months.

Most popular Mac desktop is the iMac hence the upgrade cycle of every 2 years.

Other Macs get updated after 4-6 years or the product line gets discontinued entirely.

So even if Intel & AMD have parts available if it does not makes sales-sense they let it stagnate.

I honestly do not mind them doing this if they did annual price cuts on older models.
 

shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
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I noticed that the release of any Apple product tends to be connected to consumer demand.

Most popular Mac & Mac notebook is the Macbook Pro hence the upgrade cycle of 9-12 months.

Most popular Mac desktop is the iMac hence the upgrade cycle of every 2 years.

Other Macs get updated after 4-6 years or the product line gets discontinued entirely.

So even if Intel & AMD have parts available if it does not makes sales-sense they let it stagnate.

I honestly do not mind them doing this if they did annual price cuts on older models.
Honestly I'm not too fussed about the size of the bezels, etc (although I know that is the primary requirement for a computer for many on here), I'd buy an iMac now if it had 10GigE. I don't need an iMac Pro. But I still think they will replace it this year which is why I'm holding off for now, so I don't have to buy an iMac Pro just to get the networking I want.
 

MacRS4

macrumors regular
Aug 18, 2010
159
207
London, UK
And lose a port in the process? When you only have two on the normal iMac. So normal iMac, buy a 10Gbe TB adapter, then a TB hub cos you need more than one other TB port....and you're approaching the iMac Pro price point?
 

Hexley

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2009
984
65
And lose a port in the process? When you only have two on the normal iMac. So normal iMac, buy a 10Gbe TB adapter, then a TB hub cos you need more than one other TB port....and you're approaching the iMac Pro price point?
 
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