iMac Pro Base Model Teardown Reveals 2x SSD RAID Configuration and Four 8GB DIMM Modules

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    [​IMG]


    While we await iFixit's inevitable comprehensive teardown of Apple's new iMac Pro, third party Mac component supplier OWC has just published its own teardown video, providing some interesting tidbits on the internal configuration of the non-user upgradeable machine.

    Whereas standard 27-inch iMacs have a small hatch in the back that allows the RAM in the machine to be upgraded after purchase, the iMac Pro does not. Fortunately, an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider is able to open up the iMac Pro and swap out the RAM, and here's what they can expect to find upon doing so.

    [​IMG]
    Four DIMM memory modules (left) and two solid-state drives (right)

    The teardown reveals that in the 32GB base model, there are four 8GB DIMM modules, a configuration type that appears to be mirrored in the 64GB (4 x 16GB) and 128GB (4 x 32GB) models. The good news is that this means the iMac Pro supports quad-channel memory, but the bad news is that it also means users looking to upgrade from, say, 32GB to 64GB will have to replace all four modules to do so.


    The teardown also reveals that in the iMac Pro 1TB base model, Apple has chosen to use two 512GB SSDs in a RAID configuration. Rather than soldering the flash storage on the main board, both drives exist as separate modules that are attached via screws, so replacing them is at least technically feasible, even if Apple does not make it easy.

    OWC says that in the near future it will be offering a DIY memory upgrade kit for the iMac Pro, although most users are likely to hand over such an undertaking to a qualified service provider. For more details on the iMac Pro's internals, including the Intel Xeon W eight-core processor, be sure to watch the video embedded above.

    Article Link: iMac Pro Base Model Teardown Reveals 2x SSD RAID Configuration and Four 8GB DIMM Modules
     
  2. Aussi3 macrumors 6502

    Aussi3

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    iMac pro is a beast can’t wait to see what the modular Mac Pro will be like
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Great tear down, a little surprising about the SSDs being raided instead of a single SSD

    From the sounds of the video, the memory is not user replaceable - that's a bummer
     
  4. leman macrumors G3

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    No other configuration would make sense. Why would one want to sacrifice 50% performance?
     
  5. Nismo73 macrumors 6502a

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    Is the display part number the same as the regular 5K iMac?
     
  6. justperry macrumors G3

    justperry

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    I am halfway down the Video, shame the lighting is so bad, music sucks too by the way.

    That aside, what a nice looking machine.


    Oh, and no anti static wrist strap, WTF, or do they throw this one away.
     
  7. Appleaker, Dec 28, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017

    Appleaker macrumors 68020

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    ‘Reveals’.....
    Apple revealed these things along with the iMac Pro at WWDC. This teardown confirms it.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Quite different then what you see with ifixit, isn't it :)

    I also didn't like their coy statement of not showing all the steps to disassemble the iMac because its a tear down and not an upgrade video :rolleyes:
     
  9. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

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    Would you really sacrifice 50% of your performance? It would depend how often (or if) you saturate your memory bandwidth. Still, it doesn't make sense to go to the trouble of a big teardown like this and then go cheap on your memory upgrade!

    I've never used a wrist strap in 20 years. No fried components, and we're talking lots of system builds. As long as you take reasonable precautions, static isn't really an issue.
     
  10. H2SO4 macrumors 601

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    Always wondered about this. Technically is it actually a RAID given that the first letter in the acronym stands for redundant?
     
  11. dotKevinWong macrumors newbie

    dotKevinWong

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    Not easily upgradeable but it's better than being soldered to the board like the MacBooks.

    The RAID SSD is really interesting. That's where the speed increase of the SSDs really come from since NVME SSDs are about 1.5Gbps-2Gbps read and we're seeing 3Gbps read speeds
    --- Post Merged, Dec 28, 2017 ---
    Technically a RAID since they're using RAID 0 which has no redundancy. But they're probably using APFS "RAID" instead of actual RAID.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Yes, but RAID 0 is striping so it is using a form of it, or or even just a form of Fusion Drive that we all know and love
    --- Post Merged, Dec 28, 2017 ---
    Yes, but by the same token, my 2015 iMac can have its memory replaced by the user, so in one sense its a step back
     
  13. H2SO4 macrumors 601

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    Just had a read up on Wikipedia, cheers.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 28, 2017 ---
    Bit of a cheat really but yes, I see. Should be called an 'AID'.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Perhaps, but RAID 0 has been with us so long, that its a non-issue
     
  15. dmylrea macrumors 68020

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    RAID 0 with two drives doubles your chances of a complete volume failure. I would never want all my data (or even worse, a "Pro's" data) sitting on a RAID 0 volume. It seems it wouldn't take more than a little "glitch" to render your drives useless.
     
  16. leman macrumors G3

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    Of course, memory performance doesn't translate 1-1 to the overall performance, but I assume that someone that gets a machine like that also would want to use it :) If pages are distributed more or less equally over the channels, the benefit should be noticeable for any data-intensive workload.
     
  17. Elijen macrumors 6502

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    Have you completely missed the fact that the CPU is not soldered in and could potentially be upgraded too?
     
  18. leman macrumors G3

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    Sure, but thats how SSDs have worked in a while now. You have multiple chips that are written in parallel by the controller. Thats also why larger capacity SSDs are usually faster. The reliability is barely an issue here, while added performance is always welcome. Anyway, you are supposed to do backups onto redundant storage anyway, no matter what kind of main storage you run.
     
  19. mikeboss macrumors 65816

    mikeboss

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    bear in mind that every SSD works internally with a similar technology like RAID 0 does.
     
  20. bplein macrumors 6502

    bplein

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    No they are not. There is a single Apple SSD device seen by the OS. I believe they are using the T2 as the RAID controller.

    I have one and I’ve looked at “diskutil list” as well as “ioreg” output in detail. The 1TB option appears as a single drive to the lower layers of the OS.
     
  21. leman macrumors G3

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    And what would the point of that be? If you need the 18-core CPU, get it from Apple now. Even if you can find the W-2195 in retail (which is far from being a certain thing), its still going to cost you at least $2500, maybe more. And you most likely won't be able to upgrade to a future gen CPU, since it's going to be a different socket.

    The only situation where I see a CPU upgrade useful is if you dramatically misjudged your needs and ordered a config thats not up to the task. Its going to be a rather costly mistake in any case.
     
  22. phobos macrumors regular

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    Yep RAID 0 sounds way too dangerous.
    I understand that they wouldn’t be able to reach the 3GB/s speeds but I could settle with half of that speed if that meant a single SSD.
     
  23. leman macrumors G3

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    Again, SSDs internally are essentially RAID0! Read the above posts.
     
  24. phobos macrumors regular

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    Yes I’m aware of that. That’s exactly what I said on my post as well.
    Just in case you’re not aware RAID0 means that if something goes wrong with one drive you lose both drives.
     
  25. Marx55 macrumors 68000

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