iMac Pro iMac Pro: Which Configuration ($9000 Budget)?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iMac2018, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. iMac2018 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
    #1
    My workplace has given me a budget of $9,000 to buy a desktop with, as my previous desktop is no longer working sadly. The budget is a 'use it or lose it' situation - in other words, even if I spend less than $9,000 on a desktop, I won't get to keep the money saved. So it's better/optimal if I spend the entire $9,000 (as my work does not care if I spend $9,000 or $500, as long as I just get a desktop).

    My two options for the iMac Pro thus are:
    • 10-Core 3.0GHz, Boost Up To 4.5GHz
    • 128GB RAM Memory
    • 1TB SSD
    • Radeon Pro Vega with 16GB HBM2 Memory

      OR

    • 18-Core 2.3GHz, Boost Up To 4.3GHz
    • 64GB RAM Memory
    • 1TB SSD
    • Radeon Pro Vega with 16GB HBM2 Memory

    The difference between the two options comes down to; do I want an extra 64GB of RAM, or an extra 8-Cores?

    The applications that I normally use (and which usually run at the same time) are: Chrome Browser (40-50 Tabs Open Usually), Email Client, Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Indesign, Adobe Dreamweaver, Spotify and Skype. Occasionally I'll also have the Parallels application open for VM Windows.

    As my desktop is no longer working, I'm unfortunately not able to provide an overview of my daily CPU/RAM usage etc, but I thought that the more tech experienced users of this forum could help.

    Thank you in advance for your time :)
     
  2. ThatSandWyrm macrumors regular

    ThatSandWyrm

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2017
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    Depends on whether you need more than 64GB of memory or not.

    If so, go with the 10-core. If not, (and you don't care about single-threaded performance) then go for the 18-core.

    Though... Based on your apps, I'd go 10-core with a larger SSD. :)
     
  3. Glmnet1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #3
    That's quite a nice budget and definitely overkill, have fun! ;)

    I recommend the 128GB of RAM. For your use, I doubt you'll notice a difference between the 10 and 18 cores. I also doubt you'll reach 64GB of RAM but I think it's more likely.

    I"m not sure if you're allowed that in your budget, but maybe it'd be more useful to get 1-2 extra monitors? Also you need to budget for AC+.
     
  4. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

    Joined:
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    Location:
    somewhere
    #4
    You could always pay Apple down the road to upgrade your memory
     
  5. bxs, Feb 5, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018

    bxs macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #5
    If I had the $9000 budget... BTW... what about tax ?

    For 'bragging rights' choose the 18-core.... extra RAM can be added later if the need arises.

    There's little to worry about for single core workload between the 10 and 18 core models. The 10 core might be slightly faster but not by a huge or noticeable amount. Having the extra 8 cores will mean your workload will never be short of getting a core when it needs it.

    Avoid any future angst you might have thinking about having not decided on the 18 core in the first place.
     
  6. pixelatedscraps macrumors 6502

    pixelatedscraps

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #6
    Your budget is certainly overkill for that usage scenario but hell, if you've got the money to burn (or someone else does) then why not? I'd go for the following:

    • 10-core 3Ghz
    • 128Gb RAM
    • 2TB SSD
    • Vega 64
    • Magic Mouse 2 + Trackpad 2
     
  7. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #7
    You have all that stuff open at the same time, but are they all actually doing stuff simultaneously? I'm very slightly inclined to suggest that the 10-core with more memory will better meet your needs (and you can jack up the storage too, as others have said). I don't think you will be far wrong either way, though.
     
  8. SecuritySteve macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    California
    #8
    So from my experience with the 18 core iMP, the single core performance is epic. I've compared my geek bench single core scores against the 10 core versions, and I'm almost exactly the same as some of them. If you're not actively using more than 3-4 VMs, you really don't need more than 64 GB of RAM. I ran 10-12 VMs all running simultaneously, and it can eat up all 128 GB.

    You're going to be happy either way, but don't let the single core concern on the 18 core bother you. It's really not that big of a difference.
     
  9. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #9
    Firstly, that is a problem I would like to have.

    To answer your question... that is a tough one.

    There is the potential you could leverage both at time to some extent. Both seem a bit excessive. You probably know best, with your old system which were you hitting bottle necks with if either?

    Will this Mac be on your iCloud? Final Cut and Logic Pro would interest me more than cores or memory lol.

    My build with a 9000 dollar budget that I’d lose if I didn’t spend.

    14 core (to fluff the price)
    64gb ram
    Vega 64
    Magic Mouse AND Magic Trackpad (your workload can benefit from both if you aren’t using both currently)
    Final Cut Pro X
    Logic Pro X

    Forego the AppleCare+ if you company will cover repairs obviously.

    That is about $8647. Do you need to pay taxes? Are you able to get a discount via education or business (assuming it applies)? If so I would bump it up to the 18 core.

    I don’t want to sound like I’m intentionally ripping off Apple but they hand out these discounts like candy in my experience. I just grab a buddy that works for (insert any big corporation/local federal government/misc institution) and they will just apply their discount to my purchase (in store). Geico, John Hopkins, etc... May sound like a lot of effort but you’ll be using this machine for a very long time.
     
  10. Bigdog9586 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    #10
    Ed discount even applies to home schoolers too. That could be anybody.
     
  11. iMac2018, Feb 7, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018

    iMac2018 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
    #11
    TLDR:

    The post below is very long and I appreciate some of you may not have the time to read it, which is understandable. The one question that I need help with thus is the following:

    Is the lower clock-speed and lower single-thread score on the 18-core model vs the 10-core model going to affect me and the work that I do? I've listed the programmes that I use on a regular basis at the end of this post (and in my original post above).

    Or is the turbo-boost of the 18-core version (4.3GHz) enough to make up for any such differences in speed (with the 10-core having a turbo boost of 4.5GHz which is only 0.2Ghz higher than the 18-core).

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    First and foremost, thank you so much for all the replies :)

    To answer a few questions:

    Budget:

    The budget of $9,000 does not need to include tax, so its purely for the iMac Pro and upgrading it components. I have also discovered (thanks to you guys!) that my business has a 10% discount for Apple, so in effect, the budget is really $10,000.

    Configuration:

    With the additional $1,000 in budget I've now got, these are the two options I've come to:
    • 10-Core 3.0GHz, Boost Up To 4.5GHz
    • 128GB RAM Memory
    • 2TB SSD
    • Radeon Pro Vega with 16GB HBM2 Memory
    • Total = $8890
    OR
    • 18-Core 2.3GHz, Boost Up To 4.3GHz
    • 128GB RAM Memory
    • 1TB SSD
    • Radeon Pro Vega with 16GB HBM2 Memory
    • Total = $9608
    RIGHT NOW THE DILEMMA IS DO I WANT 8 EXTRA CORES OR 1TB MORE IN SSD MEMORY?

    Pro 2TB SDD Argument:
    I've listed the programmes I use below (and in my original post above), but would any of those programmes I use even make use of those 8 extra cores? Moreover, if those programmes are single-core heavy, wouldn't it make sense to get the 10 core version, as it has a higher single-core score than the 18 core version I believe?

    Pro 8 Extra Core Argument:
    That said, I don't think I'd approach the 1TB limit very quickly. Even if I do, it's probably the easiest part of the iMac Pro to upgrade surely? I can just purchase an external SSD; sure it won't be as lightening fast as the internal SSD of the iMac Pro, but I'm guessing the difference is milliseconds (and at most 1-2 seconds) saved, which makes no difference to me.

    Usage:


    I use only the programmes stated in the original post above. Again, these are: Chrome Browser (40-50 Tabs Open Usually), Email Client, Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Indesign, Adobe Dreamweaver, Spotify and Skype. Occasionally I'll also have a VM running Windows open too.

    Whilst the programmes run at the same time as each other, most of the time they're not actively doing anything - for example, I may be actively using Chrome, Outlook, Photoshop and Spotify, but the Dreamweaver and Indesign programmes are just in the background stationary etc.

    I will also NEVER be using any programmes such as Final Cut Pro or Logic X Pro, or doing any work which involves rendering large video files (be it 4K/8K) and/or VR etc - sadly I do not possess the smarts for such work and moreover, my work does not require it.

    I look forward to more thoughts.
     
  12. Bigdog9586 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    #12
    --- Post Merged, Feb 7, 2018 ---
    I know you said you weren’t getting the AppleCare+ but you have extra money to do it and for $159 for 3 years of Apple fixing it while would you want to stick your company with what could be a huge bill after all they are doing to give you a top notch computer.
     
  13. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #13
    I gather you have no serious reason to believe you'll exceed 1 Tb any time soon, or you would have decided already. So, what are your filing habits like? Do you regularly delete stuff you don't think you might use, or are you a packrat? If the latter, the right answer is the 2 Tb machine. If you DO exceed a 1 Tb internal SSD, will you have budget for an external drive?

    I think you will rarely do anything that will benefit in noticeable, wall clock speedups from an 18 core machine, unless you were to do the same thing side by side on a 10 core -- and even then I suspect the difference would be sub second. (Using additional cores isn't free, there are cache effects to consider as well.) If you had multiple active VM's, or if you were doing serious database analytics on large tables, my answer would be different. As it is, I think I would lean towards the 10 core, 2 Tb option.
     
  14. bxs macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #14
    Given all that you've posted my vote for you is the 18 core model. The extra 8 cores will alway be useful for providing better response for all things you do now and in the future on the iMP. Spend your $10,000 budget and leave no shekels on the table (other than $392), I say.
     
  15. BlueTide macrumors regular

    BlueTide

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle
    #15
    Sounds like a massive overkill, so I'd just enjoy and get those 18 cores. :)
     
  16. iMac2018 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
    #16
    Thanks for the quick responses guys.

    I'm leaning to the 18-core model at the moment, but my only concern is that it will be WORSE, performance wise, than the 10-core model for the programmes I use?

    I say this because the 18-core model has a lower clock-speed and lower single-thread score than the 10-core model, and won't most of the stuff I will use the iMac Pro for make use of single-core primarily?

    Also with regards to AppleCare, my work has that side covered (thankfully) with its own repair/service programme, so I won't need to budget for that in the $10,000 I've got to spend.
     
  17. bxs macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #17
    I repeat which has been expressed elsewhere here on Mac Rumors, you will not notice any appreciable difference for single core applications on the 10 core vs. the 18 core. An application coded for single core use will bounce around from one core to another so the more cores you have the less interruption the single core application will have to endure.
     
  18. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #18
    Actually, we can hope it won't bounce around, ideally it will stay in one core and keep the L1/L2 caches hot. I have no idea how aggressively OS/X tries to map cores and threads. In any case, I maintain that it's unlikely to matter, so by all means go with what you think best.
     
  19. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #19
    To be honest the imac pro is overkill for you and the i7 in the 5k imac is probably your fastest option considering your software suite, of course xeons with eec ram for business use and piece of mind is a huge bonus so I'd still go with the imac pro.

    However it's like saying which supercar is faster, it really makes bog all difference if you never go past 100mph, they will all be stupidly fast. You will never know the difference between the 10 core and the 18 core so go for more ram and storage and get the 10 core. They will all be stupidly quick and get the job done.
     
  20. ThatSandWyrm macrumors regular

    ThatSandWyrm

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2017
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #20
    First, a 4-core i7 27" iMac with 64GB of RAM will run your stated apps faster than any iMac Pro. And the 8-core has a higher base clock than the 10-core.

    So are you trying to buy a faster machine, or just spend as much money as possible? Because I think you'll end up with an 18-core monster than can't keep up with your buddies' older Macs in the next cube.
     
  21. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #21
    Just something to mull over. From the sound of things. Your work doesn't seem like it will make use of more than the 10-core CPU or 64GB RAM. At least not any time in the near future.

    How about adding one or two 4K/5K displays? With all those programs and Windows open. You should experience a nice productivity boost with all that screen real estate. Once you get the hang of multiple screens. You'll never want to go back to one screen.

    Perhaps even get the iMac with the VESA adapter. Mounting all of them on a single stand bolted to your desk. Much nicer than a bunch of stands on the desk. Plus it frees up a bunch of work space.
     
  22. ThatSandWyrm macrumors regular

    ThatSandWyrm

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2017
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #22
    Agreed on this. Multiple monitors will be way more useful to you in the long run, especially for office and desktop publishing apps, than more cores or RAM. Lower the specs and grab 2 more monitors on arms.

    I Just posted this pic of my setup to another thread, but it seems appropriate to put it up here too given velocity4g's love of VESA arms. :)

    iMac Pro Setup 1.jpg
     
  23. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    #23
    GORGEOUS!

    (sorry for the all caps, but in this case it is justified)
     

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