iMAC Pro Update

Ifti

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Dec 14, 2010
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What are the chances of an updates iMac Pro this year??

I dabble in video editing via FCPX and have been making do with my MBP13 while I waited for a iMac refresh. Any new computer I purchase needs to last me around 5-8 years at least...

With the iMac delays I'm now leaning towards waiting to see what the Mac Pro brings to the table (although it will probably be hugely expensive) or towards a base iMac Pro with upgraded GPU.

Only thing holding me back is feeling like Im spending a lot on an iMAc Pro, which incorporates 2017 technology...? When spending so much I like to know I'm getting the latest components that will last a good few years. With the Mac pro imminent, do you think we'll see an iMac Pro refresh, or will the iMac Pro be replaced by updated 'regular' iMacs, making it a gap filler for the Mac pro all along?......
 

Steve121178

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Apr 13, 2010
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If you don't make enough money from your video work to pay for your equipment then just go down the PC route. You'll get far more value for money than you will with an iMac Pro. Plus you can upgrade the hardware as & when you like. The iMac Pro just seems like a complete waste of time unless you're generating enough money to to just write the cost off.
 

joema2

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Sep 3, 2013
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If you don't make enough money from your video work to pay for your equipment then just go down the PC route....
His NLE is FCPX -- you can't run that on a PC unless it's a Hackintosh, and in that case Quick Sync typically doesn't work.

A similarly-configured pre-built, professionally-supported Windows Xeon workstation with 4k or 5k monitor is also not cheap. You can get one without Xeon and without ECC memory and without NVMe SSD capable of 3,000 MB/sec, but then it's a different machine, not feature comparable.

You can build a powerful Windows workstation but everybody doesn't want to build and support their own machine.

If he wants to give up Macs, give up macOS, give up FCPX, build and debug his own machine, learn DaVinci Resolve or subscribe to Adobe Premiere Pro, yes he can do that. However if he wanted to do that, I'm not sure why he'd be posting in an iMac forum.
 

SecuritySteve

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Jul 6, 2017
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The odds are medium. There is one of two possibilities:

The Mac Pro kills the iMac Pro line, which existed only temporarily to bridge the gap between Mac Pro releases.

The Mac Pro is an even beefier option for hardware than the iMac Pro, as well as being modular. I.e. the Mac Pro supports dual-CPU / dual-GPU configurations.

Until we know which of those two options Apple is going to elect, we can't say for sure. I would wait if I were you, because the Mac Pro will likely be far better at just about everything over the iMac Pro.
 

theluggage

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Jul 29, 2011
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What are the chances of an updates iMac Pro this year??
Nobody knows - and I don't think there have even been any suggestive leaks. As for speculation and numerology:

- the lifecycle of Xeon/Workstation-class hardware tends to be a bit slower than the mainstream, desktop hardware anyway, which is partly OK because this stuff is as much about stability as raw performance. The lifecycle of Apple's high-end hardware resembles that of an unlikely hybrid of a mayfly and a giant sequoia... (6 years and counting for the Mac Pro, while the 15" MacBook Pro got a GPU bump after 4 months...)

- the regular iMac is overdue an update based on past cycles (but that's about the only evidence) but its going to start to smell if its not updated this year. There's no 'past cycle' to consider for the iMac Pro.

- the MMMP (Mythical Modular Mac Pro) has been promised for 2019 (my guess would be pre-announcement at WWDC and a late-2019 launch as happened with both the current Mac Pro and the iMac Pro - so based on that experience don't count on getting your mitts on one before next January. Nobody has the faintest clue what its specs or price will be, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that its not gonna be an "impulse buy"... It seems unlikely that a Mac Pro + 5k display (+ 1TB SSD and eGPU if the design falls that way) will cost less than an iMac Pro, so I'd expect it to be the thick end of $4000.

- double underline the "nobody knows" but the idea that the current iMac Pro was just a stop-gap until the MMMP comes out, and will never get updated, seems horribly plausible to me. Maybe it will get a price cut (if I'd been in the US some of the cut-price offers on the iMP would have had me tempted) - and maybe Hades will win the bid for the next Winter Olympics.

- It is very, very frustrating that the current iMac hasn't been updated to 8th gen processors (with extra cores) and newer GPUs - but its a solid machine that should thrash your 13" MBP and the flipside is that it hasn't been updated to non-user-upgradeable RAM, 'Bridge OS' errors and excitingly higher prices.

- The new Mac Mini offers good bangs per buck, but any upgrade from baseline is expensive and your probably gonna need an eGPU - and if you want a 5k display it will have to be one of the reassuringly expensive Apple/BlackMagic ones (I'd probably go with a cheaper option + a pair of 4k displays, or one 32"+ one).

You can get one without Xeon and without ECC memory and without NVMe SSD capable of 3,000 MB/sec, but then it's a different machine, not feature comparable.
OK, so the thread starter has now explicitly said that Windows isn't an option for them so this is a bit moot, but...

The thing with the iMac Pro vs. Windows isn't that Xeon/ECC PCs with workstation-class graphics are dramatically cheaper, but that Apple doesn't really offer anything between the i7 + mobile-class graphics in the iMac and the workstation-class iMac Pro. There are some jobs for which an i7/i9 mini-tower with a decent midrange PCIe GPU and your choice of display(s) is the right tool.

Plus, although the 5k display makes the iMacs look like better value, that's largely because 5k displays have become an Apple-only thing due to the way Mac OS handles screen scaling - and hence have stayed expensive. Although the variable-DPI feature in Windows has its faults (i.e. apps that don't implement it properly) it does mostly work, and means that you don't need an ultra-expensive 5k screen just to get your icons and system text at a sensible size.

The new Mini does add some new options - but eGPUs and external SSD housings really are an expensive solution to an unnecessary problem caused by making the computer ridiculously tiny. Its a perfect solution to high density Mac Mini co-location though, so both people still doing that will be happy (though not so much that Apple have thrown OS X Server under the bus).
 
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MRrainer

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I think with the current 8th (or 9th) generation Intel CPUs, there's a (potentially big) overlap between an iMac, an iMac Pro and the supposed MacPro.

You can get 8 and 10 core i9 for not extreme amounts of money. Even the Mac Mini can be upgraded to 64GB RAM.

For this reason, I believe Apple might be realigning their desktop-portfolio completely. Maybe the iMac Pro gets axed and we just get 8 and 10 core BTO options for the normal iMac (with 64GB of nonECC as maximum RAM). Anybody who needs ECC, more RAM, more Cores will need to open the wallet veeeery wide for a MacPro.

LGA2011 even seems to support 512GB RAM, depending on the board).

In any case, there'll be a lot of new stuff in the new iMac. As we've seen with the Mini, that doesn't always end well.
I'd wait for whatever Apple releases next and see if the discount one can get for the current Quad-Core model is worth the performance penalty (vs. the stability).

Now is certainly the worst time to buy a 2017 model.
 
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MandiMac

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Maybe the iMac Pro gets axed and we just get 8 and 10 core BTO options for the normal iMac (with 64GB of nonECC as maximum RAM). Anybody who needs ECC, more RAM, more Cores will need to open the wallet veeeery wide for a MacPro.

Now is certainly the worst time to buy a 2017 model.
Here's what I think: iMac and iMac Pro will prevail, just like iPad and iPad Pro or MacBook and MacBook Pro. The only difference will be in CPUs (consumer-level and server-level), RAM (consumer-level and ECC), GPU (Navi and Vega), maybe storage (higher configurable in the iMac Pro) the PSU - wait, there's a lot already, right?
There are pros out there who prefer a powerful all-in-one, so they go iMac Pro. Consumers can stay with the regular iMac, and because of economies of scale, maybe they'll get the iMac Pro chassis with better cooling "for free". Pros who want to upgrade their innards can go Mac Pro that is almost sure to launch in 2019 (WWDC is a great stage for it to be released in front of a Pro crowd). But yes: The 2017 model is something I personally wouldn't buy at this time.
 

danwells

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Apr 4, 2015
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Right now, the iMac Pro is not meaningfully upgradeable...

The CPUs are current (while there is a long-rumored 22-core model of the Xeon-W, it isn't out yet). The 28-core "Xeon-W 3175" uses the much larger Xeon-SP socket, and would require a substantial motherboard redesign, which is not worth it for an upgrade chip that won't see huge sales (the chip itself would suggest that Apple would charge $3000+ for the upgrade, while a unique motherboard would add thousands more).

There is a possible GPU to add at the top end, either replacing the Vega 64 or as a new option, with two caveats. One is that it's not clear the Radeon VII exists in Apple quantities, even for a niche product like the iMac Pro. The other is that it consumes too much power for the iMac Pro - if underclocked to Vega 64 power levels, how much faster is it than a Vega 64?

They could possibly offer 8 TB of SSD and/or 256 GB of RAM at enormous cost. There's no reason except a software limit by Apple that the iMac Pro shouldn't support 256 GB of RAM if you use expensive 64 GB DIMMs. The SSD is completely custom with two theoretically replaceable sticks of NAND controlled by the T2, and it's unclear whether there's enough room with present chip densities to use two 4TB sticks?

That's about all they can do without something unreleased...
 
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MRrainer

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I hope they learned their lesson and did something for the thermal profile of the Really New(TM) MacPro!

Of course, at the end of the day, there are only so many BTUs you can remove from the chassis without the thing sounding like a helicopter taking off (I once (2003-ish) built a custom PC with a Tyan workstation motherboard and Dual Xeons (socket 603, IIRC). That thing, even in a special insulated case created so much noise and so many vibrations that I dreaded switching it on, even after placing it on a vibration-insulation mat normally used for washing-machines.
Only using SCSI-drives didn't help.

A similar setup today would be much, much more expensive and I simply do not need it anymore.
 

KonaBlend

macrumors member
Oct 18, 2008
31
4
What are the chances of an updates iMac Pro this year??

I dabble in video editing via FCPX and have been making do with my MBP13 while I waited for a iMac refresh. Any new computer I purchase needs to last me around 5-8 years at least...

With the iMac delays I'm now leaning towards waiting to see what the Mac Pro brings to the table (although it will probably be hugely expensive) or towards a base iMac Pro with upgraded GPU.

Only thing holding me back is feeling like Im spending a lot on an iMAc Pro, which incorporates 2017 technology...? When spending so much I like to know I'm getting the latest components that will last a good few years. With the Mac pro imminent, do you think we'll see an iMac Pro refresh, or will the iMac Pro be replaced by updated 'regular' iMacs, making it a gap filler for the Mac pro all along?......
today: iMac Pro w/ 8-core, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD → $5000
today: iMac 5K w/ i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD → $3700

- external storage via Thunderbolt 3

scenerio 1

- pay $5000 today for 5-8 years FCPX system
- total iMac spend → $5000
- also consider will perform better than '2017 iMac in scenerio 2

scenerio 2

- pay $3700 today for 5 years FCPX system
- sell iMac on ebay for $1500
- pay $3700 in 5 years for another higher-end iMac probably with 8+ cores at that time
- total iMac spend: $3700 * 2 - $1500 = $5900
- not counting present value of money
- also consider that at > 5 years, your new iMac will be outperforming '2018 the (more or less base) iMac Pro example

personally, I'd go with scenerio 2. future-proofing from Apple is really really expensive. Just buy what you need for today, and as time goes on trade-up when it suits you.
 
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danwells

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The only problem with your Scenario 2 is that, unlike the iMac Pro, the conventional iMac will almost certainly be upgraded in the next few months. They just can't leave a quad-core system with a processor that is now two generations old on the market for $3700. I agree with you that the $3700 configuration is the most usable for heavy work - don't be fooled by the low entry price of the 27" iMac (which has a Fusion Drive that is mostly hard drive) - once you get a good-sized SSD and a bunch of RAM in it, it's over $3000 anyway, and $3700 is certainly not a crazily high-end configuration.

If you're (sensibly) using TB3 storage, remember that the iMac Pro has an extra Thunderbolt bus, too.

To me, the question to ask is:

Scenario 1: pay $4250 - $4700 for an iMac Pro today (Apple has refurbs for $4250 right now, several of the big mail-order vendors have new ones for $4700, and new ones for $4500 are not an uncommon sale - there was once a sale that got new ones down to $4000 at MicroCenter, although I haven't seen that in a while).

Scenario 2: Wait until summer(?) and buy a new model 27" iMac for ~$3700. It will probably be an 8-core that is just about the same speed as the base iMac Pro - the CPU speed may even be slightly faster (a higher clock will trade off against the iMac Pro's better memory bandwidth). Its graphics are likely to be decidedly inferior to the iMac Pro's (either yet another warmed-over Polaris or a smaller Vega more similar to what's in the MacBook Pro than the iMac Pro). It probably won't have the extra Thunderbolt bus. They may or may not improve the cooling, likely by using the iMac Pro cooling system - if they don't, the 8-core CPU will probably throttle under load

The real question is whether a significantly better GPU, a second Thunderbolt bus and greater RAM expandability is worth $500-$1000 (and whether saving that $500-$1000 is something you're willing to wait 3-6 months for)? For some uses, that probably depends on whether the new iMac has good enough cooling not to throttle frequently.
 

mikehalloran

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Oct 14, 2018
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What are the chances of an updates iMac Pro this year??
Zero

The Mac Pro kills the iMac Pro line, which existed only temporarily to bridge the gap between Mac Pro releases.
Not likely

The Mac Pro is an even beefier option for hardware than the iMac Pro, as well as being modular. I.e. the Mac Pro supports dual-CPU / dual-GPU configurations.
All indicators including what Apple has shared indicate this is the most likely scenario. What Apple has demonstrated with multiple linked Minis and eGPUs makes it extremely likely that much of this will be in the same box. The $14–$150k Maya box currently being used by the motion picture industry has been out a few years and does this already on Windows 10.

Only thing holding me back is feeling like Im spending a lot on an iMAc Pro, which incorporates 2017 technology...?
If you need it now, buy now.

If the iMac Pro is not powerful enough, watch those YouTube videos where Apple is crunching monster video and animation files with 10–40 linked i7 Minis and eGPU. OK, that's $30k and up but half the price of a Maya of similar specs. That, too, is available today.
 

fathergll

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Sep 3, 2014
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I dabble in video editing via FCPX and have been making do with my MBP13 while I waited for a iMac refresh. Any new computer I purchase needs to last me around 5-8 years at least...

Only thing holding me back is feeling like Im spending a lot on an iMAc Pro, which incorporates 2017 technology...? When spending so much I like to know I'm getting the latest components that will last a good few years. With the Mac pro imminent, do you think we'll see an iMac Pro refresh, or will the iMac Pro be replaced by updated 'regular' iMacs, making it a gap filler for the Mac pro all along?......



Well it was released December 14, 2017. So it's 14 months old and not some really old piece of hardware.

With that said how is your 2018 MBP13 (2.3 i5/16/512) holding you back if your use case is dabbling in video editing? Unless you have some major bottleneck I would wait until the winter regardless.
 

Glockworkorange

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Feb 10, 2015
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If you don't make enough money from your video work to pay for your equipment then just go down the PC route. You'll get far more value for money than you will with an iMac Pro. Plus you can upgrade the hardware as & when you like. The iMac Pro just seems like a complete waste of time unless you're generating enough money to to just write the cost off.
Even a higher end iMac might be enough for your needs if you sort of dabble in video. You could probably save yourself a few thousand dollars.
 

BluefinTuna

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Feb 10, 2019
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I'm hoping that a new iMac Pro is released so that the old ones drop in price. Would it be foolish to get an iMac pro for gaming and future proofing?
 

Glockworkorange

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I'm hoping that a new iMac Pro is released so that the old ones drop in price. Would it be foolish to get an iMac pro for gaming and future proofing?
It would be foolish to get a Mac for gaming, yes.

As to “future proofing,” the machine will probably LAST for many years, but depending on your needs, it might be behind in three or four years.

If you are going to spend that kind of $$ and are looking of a more powerful and customizable system that is more “future proof,” why not wait for a Mac Pro?
 
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MandiMac

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Feb 25, 2012
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I'm hoping that a new iMac Pro is released so that the old ones drop in price. Would it be foolish to get an iMac pro for gaming and future proofing?
Yes, it would be very foolish. Not because of it being a Mac (Bootcamp is always an option), but the GPU isn‘t thaaat great for gaming, plus you won‘t need that CPU or ECC RAM for gaming, that‘s just overkill. The price/performance ratio is way better on the regular iMac with the best GPU.
 
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BluefinTuna

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Feb 10, 2019
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It would be foolish to get a Mac for gaming, yes.

As to “future proofing,” the machine will probably LAST for many years, but depending on your needs, it might be behind in three or four years.

If you are going to spend that kind of $$ and are looking of a more powerful and customizable system that is more “future proof,” why not wait for a Mac Pro?
I figure that the iMac Pro is the best computer that Apple has made so far. Therefore, it should be the best Apple computer for gaming. Perhaps it's still not very good at it but I'm not playing AAA games. Mostly Counter Strike, Starcraft 2, Sunless Sea, Artifact, and the sort. Perhaps I would try newer games if my computer could run them well.

Yes, it would be very foolish. Not because of it being a Mac (Bootcamp is always an option), but the GPU isn‘t thaaat great for gaming, plus you won‘t need that CPU or ECC RAM for gaming, that‘s just overkill. The price/performance ratio is way better on the regular iMac with the best GPU.
Perhaps it's an ego thing for me. I just want the best. Though the best might be a Mac Mini with an external GPU and a Samsung curved ultra wide monitor (or two). I'll see what kind of iMac comes out this year then decide what route to go.
 

MandiMac

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I'll see what kind of iMac comes out this year then decide what route to go.
That is the wisest thing to do. Again, if it's primarily for gaming, server-class CPUs and ECC RAM arguably aren't the best hardware for your use case. If you're doing anything besides it that warrants the hardware of an iMac Pro, like BOINC number crunching, video rendering/editing and so on, iMac Pro is your device. But for gaming, no.
 
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Strider64

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I used to be a very big PC person and I even built my own computers, but switched over to the iMac in 2014. I bought an iMac Pro last March and I have regretted it one day. It has done everything that I have thrown at it and more. I'm not saying I know what Apple has in-store for the iMac Pro when it comes to updating it or even if they plan to continue the product line. I know that the iMac Pro isn't the big kid on the block and by that I mean top of the line when it comes to specifications. I would however not call it underwhelming, for like I said I already said it's a workhorse. I used to be into tech geek talk about processors and other components that made up a computer, but what I have found what really matters is performance. I rather have a computer that I can take a small break if needed to render a video than a computer that is supposed to be a barn burner that has issues from time to time. In summary, there are many options available in the iMac lineup if you are tied in using Apple Applications instead of sacrificing reliability by building a Hackintosh or throwing away all your applications to switch over to the PC. I have read that you can get great performance by using a top of the iMac with little sacrifice to performance. This is just my opinion and you know what they say about opinions. ;):D
 
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tomscott1988

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There is a difference between needs and wants. The current iMac is still very capable.

I picked up a 10 month old base model 27" iMac for £1150 with Applecare and the trackpad. The currently run £2100 in the apple store...

At the end of the day it was a gamble, at that price if it wasnt suitable I could flip it easily and probably make some money. If it does what I need its an absolute bargain and tbh even if I keep it 6-12 months while waiting for a new one I probably will at least break even selling it. My mac pro with all the gear it has is probably worth the same currently so...

£1150 you cant even buy a 5k monitor for that money so its pretty much a free computer.

The problem is when the new one comes out and its £3500 for an i9 vega 7 32gbs of ram (that you will have to buy because its soldiered) and a 512 or 1TB SSD I might look at this and think is it worth spending that amount?

Been doing this for 5 years with my Mac pro. There is technically nothing wrong with it, its just old and takes up a lot of space. Its been so nice to consolidate with so few cables.

Shows residual values of apple products arent what they were. 50% in 12 months, granted a good deal but... places like CEX will pay £777 for that spec.

With FCP it flies through 1080p and 4k footage granted it takes a bit longer to render than the mac pro but were talking minutes not hours and it was 1/5th the price... TBH 4k is usable on the macbook for editing... as I have one of those too the worst slowest 2015 model... rendering forget it but it will edit the footage.

I added 32gbs of ram for 40gbs in total and a USB 3 gen 2 raid 0 enclosure as a boot drive and it get about 1000-1200mb/s reads and writes. Im about £1400 in and for 90% of what I want to do it is faster than my Mac Pro apart from lightroom - different story.

On this forum there is a lot of buying what you think you want rather than need. People look at specs/benchmarks directly as their only criteria instead of analyzing what they actually do with the machine. The iMac pro is a very niche product with very specific users and a very high price tag.

The 2017 line up also the CPU upgrades are so minimal that the base model might actualy be a smart move. The K processors available run too hot for the machine to cope with so throttle and the difference between the base and mid range is like 10%.

I bought mine as a stand in until the new mac pro or iMac refresh and I have been very impressed with it indeed.

There are good deals to be had and lots of money to be saved. I would start their if your desperate.

7th through 8th and 9th gen is a good upgrade but in all honesty you can get 80% the performance for less than 3rd the price...

All depends on your preference. I use mine professionally and have had no issues at all. Could it be quicker... yes... am I disapointed that its similar performance to my 2010 mac pro 10 years later... yes... On the other hand the iMac is just snappier, has all the latest and greatest without the issues of the T2 chip, the display is gorgeous although it has big downsides like scaling in lightroom and moving 14mp at 60fps it cant keep up...

The new machines will have the T2 and will probably be 30% more expensive which is more of a pain to justify.

But this is where we are and chasing the latest is a loosing battle especially with apple as they usualy take 6 months to implement. The 7th gen CPUs in the iMac were released Jan 17 implemented June 17 so they are already out of date.

That being said I also have PCs too and for bang for buck you cant beat them but they dont run FCP and running a Hackintosh is a no no for me.

TBH with the amount I paid for this iMac I would happily open it up and swap the CPU too.. If I had paid £2100 I would be beyond hesitant.
 
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Kurri

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Mar 6, 2009
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Only thing holding me back is feeling like Im spending a lot on an iMAc Pro, which incorporates 2017 technology...? When spending so much I like to know I'm getting the latest components that will last a good few years.
If you want to stick with Apple, I believe you should buy the day the refresh hits. They don't refresh that often and if you don't you will be buying 2017 tech in 2019 until they decide to refresh (and right now its all just a guessing game). I would wait unless you absolutely need the computer now. If you need it, you need it. The thing that I really wish Apple would do is lower the price after 300 days. Give a little discount since it is 2017 tech at this point. Then buying now wouldn't be such a hard one to make.
 
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tomscott1988

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Just to emphasise my point
[doublepost=1550506558][/doublepost]
If you want to stick with Apple, I believe you should buy the day the refresh hits. They don't refresh that often and if you don't you will be buying 2017 tech in 2019 until they decide to refresh (and right now its all just a guessing game). I would wait unless you absolutely need the computer now. If you need it, you need it. The thing that I really wish Apple would do is lower the price after 300 days. Give a little discount since it is 2017 tech at this point. Then buying now wouldn't be such a hard one to make.
With the issues all recent Apple machines have had it makes little sense to be an early adopter. It Took 12 months for Apple to optimise the iMac Pro and as the video above shows it doesn’t perform crazy amounts better than the 5K especially if you aren’t using it 9-5 and the minutes actually make up a decent amount of time and cost you money with time critical projects.

To average people where you can wait 2-3 more mins for a video to render what’s the big deal?

People get so hooked up on such little gains.

The one benefit with Apple is the hardware is optimised and really in the notebook line the difference between 2013-2017 really isn’t big at all.

The 2017 iMac was a big boost over the 2015 as it has desktop level graphics and although compared to a PC the specs aren’t incredible the day to day performance is incredible.

Watch the video above the 5k iMac holds its own vs the 6 core Mac mini with 50% more cores with a vega 64 and the base iMac Pro which is essentially 50% more expensive.
 
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Kurri

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^^^^^
at the end of this video he talks about how the mac mini would randomly disconnect from the GPU leaving you with a black screen. This happened to me all the time which is why I took it back and am waiting on a new imac. The problem was very frustrating. Really had no other option but return it