Does anyone have any guesses as to when the first Spec Update / Price Drop for the imac pro line will be? This year you think?
I'm saving up to get one but they're really expensive so it's taking me a while haha
Intel updates Xeon's on a slower schedule than consumer CPUs. However, if rumors and speculation are true, then the Basin Falls refresh of the iMac Pro's Xeon W-Series CPUs should occur this year. A 22-core version ran through the rumor mill last year, but things cooled off once the Xeon W-3175X was demoed in October of 2018. Since the W-3175X is completely unsuitable for the iMac Pro, nothing has really changed.
Give Apple's track record, I would not expect a spec update until Intel updates the Xeon W lineup and AMD has something ready to replace the Vega 56 and Vega 64 (which is not the RADEON VII). I think an update this year is 50/50, especially considering the Apple will be pushing the Mac Pro hard once (if) they release it to the public.
Depending your location, you might do well to look at an Apple Certified Refurbished iMac Pro. You can currently find the 8-Core Xeon with 64GB DRAM/2TB SSD/Vega 56 for $5,609.00.
I'd imagine Apple will offer a baseline 4/6 Core Mac Pro that could be priced well below the iMac Pro. As ever, things will start to get rapidly more expensive when you start to spec a Xeon CPU, RAM, storage etc.
At this stage of the game, and given the way Apple has been pricing and speccing their Macs, I would expect at least a 10- or 12-Core Xeon for the base CPU with a starting price of $4999. Starting at anything less than 8-Core is a complete non-starter for the professionals they are seeking to recapture after 6 years of the previous Mac Pro and over 2 years since they admitted they had engineered themselves into a corner.
I do agree that things will get rapidly more expensive when you start adding BTO items to the bill of sale.