iMac or iMac Pro

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Digital_Sousaphone, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Digital_Sousaphone, Jun 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019

    Digital_Sousaphone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2019
    #1
    Hello,

    I am trying to decide between an iMac or a Modestly Spec'd Imac Pro. I've come across a lot of information comparing the Imac Pro to the previous revision of the iMac so I was wondering if anybody had a bit more up to date suggestions. I do a lot of illustration and design in the adobe suite. A bunch of Zbrush and Keyshot. Most of my work is 2D, but i use 3D apps when I've got to figure out some difficult perspective or lighting... or what not. I don't really do a ton of batch rendering, it's usually pre renders to set up my lighting and then a final render. (I also make really bad electronic music for fun, but mostly visual stuff) What do you guys recommend? Any help with configurations or even resources that would help me making a decision would be great. I don't have a strict budget, but I'd rather not over spend. Thanks for your time in reading this.
    - DS
     
  2. MacRS4 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    I don't know your workloads - mine are different - but I do fortunately have an 8 core iMac Pro, and an 8 core i9 iMac (both for work). You can see my run through of the iMac Pro here, and the i9 iMac here. I never put much effort in to the iMac Pro video...sorry!

    Anyway, my go to machine is still the iMac Pro over the i9, but that's due to my workloads. I find the iMac Pro scales better as in I can run more things at once before performance degrades, compared to the i9. In single tasks I don't find much difference between the i9 and the iMac Pro.

    The iMP wins out for me because of the number of TB3 ports and screen support too - I have two 5k screens on the iMP, the iMac only supports one additional 5k. Not a show stopper that tbh, I only use one of the screens to hold reference stuff I don't often look at.

    Now, I also have a 10 core iMP - these are legitimate work machines, I don't just collect computers :) Anyway, this spends its day running lots of 'finished' virtual machines - and again the performance is similar to the i9 in single tasks BUT it scales out better, as in I can do a lot more things on it before it starts to slow down for the foreground task.

    Again the TB3 ports are handy on that, as it has a lot of external storage plugged in, and a 10Gbe Ethernet connection.

    How you apply the above to your workloads I'm not sure, as I'm not that familiar with the stuff you're talking about.

    Not sure if that helps, but seeing as I have both I'd thought I'd try to attempt a reply for you! Personally, if I had to choose, I'd go with the iMP because of its expandability, but then it's +$ more than the i9.
     
  3. Zwhaler macrumors 604

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #3
    I don't own either, but based on specs it sounds like an iMac would be a better deal for OP. Mostly 2D work, electronics music for fun, and pre-renders with occasional 3D...

    The iMac Pro uses 2017 components. You're paying a pretty hefty premium for that when the 8-core iMac with Vega 48 comes darn close to the base $5,000 iMac Pro. In fact it scores 7% higher at 64-bit Geekbench multi-core, which I know is far from an ideal benchmark but for my personal use it is actually pretty excellent (maxed out multi-core rendering). Thermals may be an issue for heavy-duty use, but I don't suspect it will be for OP. By the way, 2019 iMac 8-core is top dog for single core performance for now https://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks

    I don't think it's worth spending nearly $1,500+ dollars for the iMac Pro with the same amount of RAM (after upgrading the 2019 iMac's yourself). If the iMac Pro were updated this year, it would be a whole different discussion, although I do think it would be slightly overkill for OP's needs.

    My vote is a high-end iMac with 8-core, Vega 48, 32 or 64GB RAM aftermarket, and SSD storage up to you (don't get fusion drive).
     
  4. BeatCrazy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #4
    If you live near a Microcenter, they occasionally run the base iMac Pro for $3999. At that price, it becomes an easier choice.
     
  5. Digital_Sousaphone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2019
    #5
    Thanks for the reply and links to videos. I'm still up in the air. The i9 would probably be better for me as a lot of my software is still stuck on single core performance, but the iMac Pro's better thermals would be better suited. I noticed it's been 500 some odd days since the last iMac Pro's update. I can't help but wonder if they will see a refresh sooner than later. I am thinking I'll have to make a trip to the Apple store and see if they have an i9 to test out.

    Yeah, I'm thinking the i9 in the iMac would be better as well, but the beefier fans and heatsinks on the iMac Pro would be better suited....now if that's worth the several thousand more, I haven't a clue.
     
  6. mikehalloran, Jun 13, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019

    mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #6
    Hard to tell but I'd lean towards the iMac Pro based on this.
    But is it? Take a look at the various options in the Refurb Store. Same warranty and same $169 to cover for three years under AppleCare.
    https://www.apple.com/shop/refurbished/mac/imac-pro

    The base model is always there meaning that it's a way for Apple to drop the price without actually dropping it. Lots of BTO options at the moment. This also makes sense: With the recent announcement of the new Mac Pro, they have to keep this line moving. Normally, the BTO options appear for a day or two and then they're gone—if actual refurbs and returns, this would be the case.

    Also remember that the minimum GPU is a Vega 56, minimum RAM is 32G and minimum on-board storage is 1TB configured in a RAID 0 (sort of) plus the heavier cooling.

    Photoshop and similar apps like more RAM and the iMP has a Quad-channel memory controller unlike the i9. For that reason, based on what you stated, I would think the 64GB versions such as this one for $5099 that includes 2TB storage onboard hits the sweet spot.
    https://www.apple.com/shop/product/...dbcaa739c7f62e0b449d9ca4455695ce42b817f83cca8

    As to multicore performance, yes, heavy rendering likes more cores but you aren't doing that.

    Music, OTOH, if using a ton of VIs (virtual instruments), you assign each VI to its own instance of a player (Kontakt, Aria, UVI etc.). Each instance uses one core and the OS will balance the load automatically. A 10-Core iMP can handle well over 300 instances with heavy plug use on each one and not break a sweat. 250 instances are a piece of cake for an 8 core iMP. By contrast, the cylinder Mac Pro 12 core was working hard at 150 in the same test.

    Food for thought.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 13, 2019 ---
    Yes, certain authorized resellers get these. Sometimes listed as new; other times as Refurbs. It doesn't matter as long as you can add AppleCare (something you can't do with so-called "seller refurbished")

    They buy 'em in lots of 100 when Apple offers them. A bunch of resellers had these last March incl. MicroCenter, B&H, Audorama and OWC.

    To quote the legendary Smokey Robinson: My mama told me, "You better shop around."
     
  7. BeatCrazy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #7
    Can confirm, the base iMac Pro I picked up from my local Microcenter @ $3999 was indeed new (not refurb). And I was able to add AppleCare+ for $169.
     
  8. Zwhaler macrumors 604

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #8
    I wasn't clear by your original post how heavy-duty your use is. If it is for full-time professional use, the better cooling would suit you well. I didn't mention this in my post (others did), but I would strongly recommend getting a discount on an iMac Pro instead of a brand new one if you go that route. That is, unless Apple updates it.
     
  9. Digital_Sousaphone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2019
    #9
    Hi, yes, it would be for making money. Thanks for the thoughtful reply I really appreciate it. Refurbished section seems empty right now. Probably some sort of maintenance, but I'll keep my eye out for a suitably spec'd machine.
     
  10. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #10
    It was down most of the day but came back up a few minutes ago.

    Happy hunting!
     
  11. Digital_Sousaphone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2019
    #11
    Thanks for all your help too! This thread and reading other threads has been really insightful. It's really helped me put these machines in perspective.
     
  12. Zwhaler macrumors 604

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #12
    Brand new is also okay but much better if it's a sale like the $3,999 base models that have sold in the past.
     

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11 June 10, 2019