iMac 2019 or iMac Pro...?

snillemikke

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 1, 2019
7
2
Hi,

I just ordered an iMac 2019, 3.6GHz i9 8 core, 8GB ram, Vega 48 and 512 GB SSD. I also ordered 32GB ram from amazon. I then found an ad from a local company selling a 4 months old iMac Pro (base model: 3.2GHz Xeon, 32GB ram, Vega 56 and 1TB SSD). He was selling because of going laptop instead of desktop, and had warranty and receipt from Apple Store. Hence, no bogus. I am lucky enough to run my own company so I can deduct the "investment" of my taxes, but I'm not able to deduct the VAT. Being a company that is selling to me I will get a full receipt that is tax deductable.

Hence, if buying this and upgrading with FCPX, LOGIC and rest of the "pro app pack", the used iMac Pro ends up costing me only 15% more ($385). I can afford this if really recommended.

I have absolutely no experience with comparing computer components or reading performance tests. Further, I am by no means a creative pro, nor is my usual work based on Mac. I am a guy who mostly works in excel and powerpoint on Windows. My current Mac is a MBP 2008, which basically takes forever to start up. I have used this for writing and recording songs for my band in Logic. Reason for buying a Mac now is to transfer all L9 files over to Lx and continue writing music, and also to convert from Premiere to FCPX for the occasional video editing of family holidays. I waited for the 2019 iMac and figured I would go for the high end just to future proof it as much as possible, or eventually to make it as attractive as possible for the second hand market a few years down the road.

Question is, should I cancel my iMac 2019 order and go for this iMac Pro? Or is the iMac Pro less future proof being already two years old (by design that is, the machine in question is only 4 months) and this model being the entry level one.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks,
 

Freida

macrumors 68000
Oct 22, 2010
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I was just about to post this as well but then noticed this thread so I won't double it. :)
I'm basically interested in iMac vs iMac Pro because if I spec the 2019 to have similar specs the price is not that far off so I wonder if the iMac Pro base one is worth it and gives an edge over similary priced iMac or if the iMac is now on par and will beat the old iMac Pro?
Any tests out there or still too early?
 

Mark_EL

macrumors newbie
Mar 20, 2019
12
6
Netherlands
If I look at the geekbench scores, the I9 outperformes the base model iMac Pro. Ofcourse the GPU in the Pro is better and the bigger SSD is nice too. But then, the ram is not upgradable in the Pro so you will be stuck with 32GB. I doubt this would ever be an issue though, although I also believe the better GPU would be an overkill for your useage.

I would rather buy brand new, so I would get the iMac 2019 and save the cash...
 

mpe

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2010
314
184
Performance wise to the maxed-out iMac 2019 is very close to the entry level iMac Pro. The iMac fares favourably in synthetic benchmarks like Geekbench, but once we'll see more practical real world benchmarks I am sure the iMac Pro will reclaim its crown. Performance in heavy productivity tasks is all about thermals these days and the reguar iMac is no match to iMac Pro in that respect.

iMac Pro has several bonus features (ECC, quad-channel RAM, faster GPUs, 10gb ethernet, silent operation, better camera, PCI-e based SD card reader, more USB-C ports on two separate buses, 1TB SSD in two sticks with insane write speed as standard, better speakers, more microphones, better support for external screens, T2 chip for extra security/performance/future proofing, etc.). Is designed to support 18-core CPU 256GB RAM when required. Also, IMHO, it looks better.

My advice is that If you have an option getting an iMac Pro for a price close to regular iMac, and have use for its performance don't hesitate.
 
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spaceblaster

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2019
2
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Does anyone know how much it would cost for Apple to upgrade the base iMac Pro 32 GB of RAM to 64 GB of RAM (post-purchase)? I'm considering buying a refurbished model, but there are no refurbished ones with 64 GB of RAM..
 

mikehalloran

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Oct 14, 2018
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My advice is that If you have an option getting an iMac Pro for a price close to regular iMac, and have use for its performance don't hesitate.
My budget is saying i9 iMac while my mind is saying iMac Pro. I need 2TB storage onboard.

When all is said and done, the price difference isn't very much... but there's still a difference.

We'll see...
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,571
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For me I was either going maxed iMac or low end iMac Pro.

In the end I chose the maxed iMac. Note: I qualify for education pricing so that is a factor.

I could get a slightly faster CPU, upgradeable RAM (went with 8GB+32GB myself for 40GB vs 32GB), and twice the SSD at 2TB for $600 less than the base iMac Pro. For me there was only one big downside to consider: Vega 48 instead of 56. Although the space gray is pretty badass too and was a small consideration. The two extra TB/USB-C ports aren’t needed, I already have a UHS-II SD card adapter, and I don’t need 10Gbps Ethernet yet (could get an adapter in the future since USB 3.1 is 10Gbps). I don’t do really long video renders so less concerned with thermals (which have been fine so far) and don’t need ECC RAM. I might add an eGPU in the future if the Vega 48 doesn’t seem like enough but looking at benchmarks it doesn’t seem very far behind the 56 so the $600 saved is probably better spent going towards a future eGPU that can work together with Vega 48 to be even more powerful.

I don’t really buy used but that was my logic for what it’s worth. Just make sure you can get what is left of the one year warranty with it in case something goes wrong. Always risky to buy something that expensive used unless you go through Apple refurbished.
 

joema2

macrumors 68000
Sep 3, 2013
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...I just ordered an iMac 2019, 3.6GHz i9 8 core, 8GB ram, Vega 48 and 512 GB SSD. I also ordered 32GB ram from amazon. I then found an ad from a local company selling a 4 months old iMac Pro (base model: 3.2GHz Xeon, 32GB ram, Vega 56 and 1TB SSD)....if buying this and upgrading with FCPX, LOGIC and rest of the "pro app pack", the used iMac Pro ends up costing me only 15% more ($385). I can afford this if really recommended.

I have absolutely no experience with comparing computer components or reading performance tests. Further, I am by no means a creative pro, nor is my usual work based on Mac. I am a guy who mostly works in excel and powerpoint on Windows. My current Mac is a MBP 2008, which basically takes forever to start up. I have used this for writing and recording songs for my band in Logic. Reason for buying a Mac now is to transfer all L9 files over to Lx and continue writing music, and also to convert from Premiere to FCPX for the occasional video editing of family holidays...should I cancel my iMac 2019 order and go for this iMac Pro?...
They are both good machines and you would probably be happy with either one. The iMac Pro is probably a little quieter under high load and has a bit better GPU performance, whereas the iMac has a CPU two generations newer and modestly better single-thread performance.

I have both 10-core Vega64 iMac Pro and the top-spec 2017 iMac. If I didn't have either one I'd probably get the i9 iMac, however as a video editor I have many drive arrays and like all the ports on the iMac Pro. For 4k H264 video the i9 iMac has Intel's Quick Sync which in FCPX is somewhat smoother than the AMD UVD/VCE video hardware.

The latest reviews (see below) say the i9 iMac is very quiet (for an iMac). But I doubt it is as quiet as an iMac Pro under sustained high load -- this might be a factor for music editing.

Max Yuryev just did a review of the i9 iMac 27 for video editing, and he will soon be posting a comparison to the iMac Pro. He said the i9 iMac is very quiet but I'm sure he will revisit that in his upcoming comparison to the iMac Pro. If you can wait on that it might be informative:

 

Colonel Blimp

macrumors 6502
Dec 1, 2016
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The latest reviews (see below) say the i9 iMac is very quiet (for an iMac). But I doubt it is as quiet as an iMac Pro under sustained high load -- this might be a factor for music editing.
I’m pretty sure I saw a review on YouTube yesterday by a guy who said his 2019 Core i9 iMac was quieter than his iMac Pro (which I was not expecting).

Update: Yep, here it is.
[doublepost=1554196190][/doublepost]
I just ordered an iMac 2019, 3.6GHz i9 8 core, 8GB ram, Vega 48 and 512 GB SSD. I also ordered 32GB ram from amazon. I then found an ad from a local company selling a 4 months old iMac Pro (base model: 3.2GHz Xeon, 32GB ram, Vega 56 and 1TB SSD).…

I am by no means a creative pro, nor is my usual work based on Mac. I am a guy who mostly works in excel and powerpoint on Windows. My current Mac is a MBP 2008, which basically takes forever to start up. I have used this for writing and recording songs for my band in Logic. Reason for buying a Mac now is to transfer all L9 files over to Lx and continue writing music, and also to convert from Premiere to FCPX for the occasional video editing of family holidays.…

Question is, should I cancel my iMac 2019 order and go for this iMac Pro?
Speaking as someone who just ordered a 2019 iMac with Core i9 and Vega 48, my honest advice to you would be to cancel your order and instead get the cheapest 27-inch 2019 iMac and configure it with a 512 GB SSD (or even a 2 TB Fusion Drive). The CPU and GPU you ordered are sheer overkill for how you say you use your Mac, and in all likelihood will be even a few years down the road.
 
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snillemikke

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 1, 2019
7
2
Thanks for all replies guys. I still haven't concluded. It seems iMac Pro is performing slightly better on most tests, but having discussed with a bunch of average joes, many are afraid the iMac Pro may loose its resale value and hype once the new mac pro comes out later this year. Consensus is also that its probably gonna be easier to resell an iMac 2019 in 202x than an iMac Pro 2017. If I ever find myself in a position of needing more ram, the imac could also be updated easily. Some are also hesitant about buying used, even though it's been a photo editor that is selling, and he has receipt from Apple Store dated Nov-18.

On the other hand, until 202x, the iMac Pro will look better (space gray), perform more quiet, include the trackpad, have double the SSD capacity (1TB), and have more ports (not that I need them I think). For the setup I'm thinking one extra screen, either the new one expected soon, or something cheaper but probably not 5k, as well as the Apogee Duet audio card.

I did some more calculations, and the price difference is actually down to USD270, as I forgot to include the additional ram in the first post.

These decisions.. damn, I havent' done anything other than reading about imacs over the past week.
 

Shivetya

macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2008
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If I take the iMac to 32g RAM (Apple installed), i9, 1tb SSD, V48 it is nearly 4k with our corporate discount, a refurb Pro is 4250 after discount which makes it very tempting. Still it is a four thousand dollar computer.

how much is Apple care for the iMac Pro?
 

mpe

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2010
314
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Arguably the maxed out iMac with all those pricey upgrades won't hold its value either. It is like paying for extras when buying a car. It is always the base config that hold its value the best. No chance to recover the money apple is charging for extra storage or RAM. You won't find much buyer willing to spent $3000+ for an used computer. It is always an expenditure, not investment. You need/want it or not.

It is true that if they really release the Mac Pro, some people will sell their iMacs Pros so there will be likely more options on the used market later this year. But most likely you will have a computer by then, so this should concern you. And if you think you might be tempted to get a Mac Pro and could be selling, don’t buy anything now :)

As for the TB ports, it is not just 2 vs 4 thing, the biggest advantage is that on iMac Pro. they are on separate buses. Connect an extra 5k screen or eGPU and the single controller is maxed out. If you want to use things like 10g ethernet, external GPU, really fast external storage, future 8k screen, all at the same time then they will be competing with each other. Same for the quad-channel memory controller. Quad-channel memory isn't something that excels in Geekbench, but has double the bandwidth and more importantly reduces the cpu contention which helps to keep 8+ cores busy in pro tasks.

Then there is missing T2 chip with ARM core and secure enclave which could bring unique features to iMac Pro and could prove to be future proofing. Could there be a macOS version or feartures requiring secure boot/T2 in the future? Just like 64bit UEFI in the past which effectively deprecated otherwise OK machines...
 

Colonel Blimp

macrumors 6502
Dec 1, 2016
262
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If I take the iMac to 32g RAM (Apple installed), i9, 1tb SSD, V48 it is nearly 4k with our corporate discount, a refurb Pro is 4250 after discount which makes it very tempting. Still it is a four thousand dollar computer.

how much is Apple care for the iMac Pro?
You can save US $400 on the iMac’s RAM by buying it yourself, giving you a total of 40 GB.

AppleCare is US $169 for the iMac Pro (same as the iMac).
 

xgman

macrumors 601
Aug 6, 2007
4,785
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Unless you need the 2nd TB3 bus the imac pro brings I would get the maxed 19 imac, whihc is what I would probably do if I had to do it again. What I have found by personal experience is that having maxed spec and ssd capacity does hold good value on imac resale. All that said, I sure am curious what the mac pro has in store. Hopefully it won't meet the fate of the recent cancelled power mat.
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
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The two extra TB/USB-C ports aren’t needed,
I run two additional monitors—not optional for me. For that reason, the additional TB bus makes the iMac Pro more desirable to me. I am unlikely to add a pair of 5K monitors but if I got the Vega 64, I could without adding an eGPU (only way according to Apple Support bulletins). I'll likely get a TB audio interface. Easier to add to an iMac Pro if running two side monitors.

I already have a Display Link box so I could add a monitor to a USB port—those work pretty well as long as you aren't running OS 10.13.4–6 on a 2010 or earlier iMac.

Just make sure you can get what is left of the one year warranty with it in case something goes wrong
Yes! Yes! Yes! If you have remaining time, you can add AppleCare before that year is up.

Even though last week's OS 10.14.4 update appears to have fixed the kernel panic issues with USB 2 interfaces on T2 equipped iMacs, I still want Apple to own that issue for another couple of years on anything I buy. So, while I am considering used, no way will I buy used without AppleCare.
 
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MacRS4

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Aug 18, 2010
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That was my review posted up above. I had the i9 and the 8 core iMP right next to each other - the iMac *is* quieter than both the 8 core and the 10 core I have.
 
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Freida

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That was my review posted up above. I had the i9 and the 8 core iMP right next to each other - the iMac *is* quieter than both the 8 core and the 10 core I have.
I wonder why that is? iMP is meant to have superior cooling compared to the normal one and the i9 is not that much cooler than the previous gen so how come the 2017 was loud monster and 2019 is super quiet even when compared to the iMP? Can't wait for tear down as this is a bit weird
 

mpe

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Sep 3, 2010
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Something isn't right here. I wonder how it can be quieter as the iMP is pretty much inaudible.

The iMac 2015 I had before was quite noisy only after a few seconds of sustained load. Why would the 2019 with the similar internal design be any different?
 

snillemikke

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 1, 2019
7
2
I ended up canceling my iMac 2019 order and am now waiting for the iMac Pro. For the price I pay it makes more sense. I can then also store all sound libraries on the 1tb disk instead of running externals. Albeit some performance tests so far indicates the iMac may fare just as well as the iMP for Logic, if not even faster some say (i9 faster on logic than xeon?), I do think I will be happy in the long run.

Thanks for all feedback guys. Feels good to have made a decision!
 

Freida

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Oct 22, 2010
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I ended up canceling my iMac 2019 order and am now waiting for the iMac Pro. For the price I pay it makes more sense. I can then also store all sound libraries on the 1tb disk instead of running externals. Albeit some performance tests so far indicates the iMac may fare just as well as the iMP for Logic, if not even faster some say (i9 faster on logic than xeon?), I do think I will be happy in the long run.

Thanks for all feedback guys. Feels good to have made a decision!
do you/can you wait for WWDC? Maybe there will be refresh so worth to check? If not the Mac Pro will get some stage time so maybe that?
 

MacRS4

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Aug 18, 2010
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London, UK
If I just had one iMP I could imagine mine is a bit noisier- I have two, and they both sound the same under load. To be fair the 8 core does get more of an actual hammering as it does all my video stuff too.

I wouldn't say they were noisy either...just that the i9 I have is a bit quieter. I left it stress testing for a while too.
 
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snillemikke

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 1, 2019
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do you/can you wait for WWDC? Maybe there will be refresh so worth to check? If not the Mac Pro will get some stage time so maybe that?
Well, me personally can wait, but the chances are this used iMP then is sold (live in Northern Europe - smaller 2nd hand market, this is the first one I've ever seen for sale). Other ones that may come out may be more used than this one and/or also pricier. I'm now getting it at a 30% discount off listing price after only 4 months usage.

I've been waiting many years for a new mac already, never having been able to settle for either iMac or MBP and then continously waiting for a new type to come out. However, as I'm beginning to grow impatient I had therefore decided to go for the new iMac once released. After it came out with the old design I was thinking about waiting for WWDC to check for an eventual new iMac design, but later figured the chances for this are slim. iMP is normally out of my budget, and I don't expect the Mac Pro to be any cheaper when you include display etc, probably the opposite.

Hence, I found myself with three options:
1. Wait for new iMac design (2020?)
2. Get the new iMac now
Then all of a sudden, the third option; 3. purchase a four months old base model iMac Pro at a 30% discount

As no one can answer option number one, I started this thread to help decide between 2 and 3. I ended up going for option number 3 :)