Is concern over future-proofing a reason to consider T2 (iMac Pro)?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rob97ag, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. rob97ag macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2019
    I am about to pull the trigger on an I9 iMac with 2TB SSD, and maybe the Vega (don't think it's necessary, as wont' be playing games, and wife only uses Lightroom and Photoshop)...but noticed the refurb iMac Pro for ~$700-800 more if I got the Vega / $1.1k more if didn't. (I get the edu discount on a new machine).

    I certainly don't need the Pro from a performance standpoint (wont be using a second monitor and no intense workflows), and I have read all the the threads about the +/- of the T2 chip. But I keep wondering if purchasing an iMac without the T2 (the only mac left without it) will be regretted a few years down the more OS features are released that may require the T2.

    Thanks for your feedback
  2. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley

    It depends on how intensely she uses those.

    These apps are among those that the iMac Pro is designed to handle. The Vega 56 or 64 (depending on the refurb) can make a difference here—with large files, a lot. Also, the cooling is designed for these tasks.
  3. Luis Ortega macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2007
    If they are transitioning from Intel to arm chips soon, won't that be more of a problem for future proofing than the t2 feature?
  4. dcpmark, Jul 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019

    dcpmark macrumors 6502a

    Oct 20, 2009
    Depends what you mean by “future-proofing.” As a 2-year newer machine the 2019 iMac SHOULD receive support longer than the 2017 iMac Pro. The ability to add RAM to the iMac is another measure of “future-proofing.” The dual TB3 bus is one way of future-proofing the iMac Pro.

    However, if you consider new features important, Apple has already announced one feature that will only be available on T2 machines: if you want hands-free “Hey Siri” voice control of Siri on your Mac, you will need a iMac Pro instead of the 2019 iMac. I am unaware of any other feature that will be limited to T2 machines, but it is certainly possible more features in the future will be limited to T2 machines.
  5. rob97ag thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2019
    Thanks for all of the feedback. Good point on the transition to ARM, that would certainly change the outlook quite a bit. I don't care any about the "Hey Siri" functionality in my Mac, so that alone wouldn't sway me...just the endless game of "what will come next" that requires the T2.

    I'll think about it another day or two and pull the trigger one way or the other. Leaning towards the I9 with the standard GPU, as not sure for our use the Vega is worth the $.
  6. Wolf1701 macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2006

    The T2 is not only about security but much more, in my case I'm waiting an iMac with T2 for my ip cameras encoding/decoding h264/h265.

    But T2 is about security, encryption, encoding/decoding, audio, ... and for a machine with a lifespan of 4-6 years his absence could indeed be a problem for future-proofing, Apple is doubling down in privacy/security...
  7. Ledgem macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Mixed feelings about this. On one hand, having the T2 chip is "future proofing" and giving you some additional benefits that aren't always obvious (such as improved SSD speeds, some speed-ups with video encoding, and so on).

    On the other hand, Apple could release a T3 chip with next year's iMacs, and then whether you had a T2 or nothing you'd essentially be in the same situation. (That's a hypothetical - I don't have any insider information, nor have I heard of any rumors, that there's a T3 chip imminently going to be released.) In that case, saving money now and putting it toward an upgrade sooner in the future (assuming the features were really useful to you) would be a more prudent form of "future-proofing."

    I guess I lean toward not doing the upgrade just for the T2 chip. If there are other features of the iMac Pro that would be useful to you then go for it. Otherwise, you're going for the T2 chip and you're also forcing yourself into ECC RAM, which will be pricier than the standard RAM that the 2019 iMac uses.
  8. Vjosullivan macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2013
    There's no such thing as future proofing. It's all just guess work and optimism.

    Either you need a new machine now (buy the best you can justify and afford) or you don't (forget about it for a year).
  9. Dutch60 macrumors member

    May 18, 2019
    I agree 100% here. That’s why I got the 2019 iMac. I’m glad I did!
  10. Sam Marks macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2019
    In my case, I have different USB 2.0 professional audio interfaces that I used with my previous MBP and the T2 chip in the new Macs was a possible problem for their integration and usage, based on user reports.

    So I got the new iMac 2019 i9 vega 48 and I am very happy with it. The audio interfaces work perfectly with this iMac. It is also a very cool and silent machine at high CPU loads which is something very good for my music production needs.
  11. frou, Jul 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019

    frou macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2009
    It's at least conceivable that some distant future version of macOS could be "requires T2 or later" because it'd be a very tidy cutoff point in terms of code, given how the chip is deeply involved in the boot process (and a lot more besides).

    Personally I'd lean towards the iMac Pro because it received the internal redesign that's way nicer in terms of thermals and fans. If you look at teardowns, it's night and day.


  12. Dutch60 macrumors member

    May 18, 2019
    More open space inside the iMac 2019. Maybe contributes to cooling as well (?)
  13. Sam Marks macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2019
    One of my main concerns regarding the iMac i9 9900K was the possible heat or noise compared to the iMac Pro.

    In my case, I also went for the Vega 48, because it is supposedly 0cooler than the 580X. And I have to admit that I am suprised with the low heat and silent behaviour of my iMac 2019, even at full CPU usage with some Logic Pro stress test sessions with lots of virtual synths.

    I think that this is, in part, related to the new CPU STIM of the i9 9900K (soldered metal instead of thermal paste as in the iMac Pro Xeons) and the less cluttered interior that it is good for the air circulation. The iMac case also acts as a big heatsink.

    I do not know about the iMac Pro thermals under the same CPU stress but the i9 2019 iMac is dead silent most of the time, even using it intensively. Some Youtube reviewers with both machines iMac 2019 i9 and iMac Pro even declared that the iMac 2019 i9 is more silent than the iMac Pro comparing them side by side for similar tasks.

    And my ambient temperature iMac sensor is at 43°-45° C during these heatwave days in my country (I do not have A/C in this studio), so the thermals of the 2019 iMac are excellent for this processor and GPU, in my experience, even at high room temperatures and high CPU loads.
  14. Dutch60 macrumors member

    May 18, 2019
    No heatwave here, but my experiences on noise are the sound whatsoever.
  15. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'd prefer a Mac WITHOUT the t2 inside.

    But didn't have the choice (I wanted a 2018 Mac Mini).

    If I was "an iMac guy", I would jump on one of the 2019 models WITHOUT the t2, rather than wait for a 2020 model which almost certainly will have one.
  16. kis macrumors 68000

    Aug 10, 2007
    Wouldn’t worry about the T2 chip, honestly. The 2019 iMac will be supported for years to come
  17. Trusteft macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2014
  18. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I wouldn't worry about it, and I'd imagine there are many more things you can spend the money one.

    At this time the T2 won't impact the OP's uses that much. Great for security, but since it's an iMac perhaps less an issue than say a machine with public access or laptop. The T2 does have some advantages for video, but that's not a big factor here. And the iMac Pro isn't optimized for most Ps and Lr use either; those applications aren't it's best use case although they'll certainly run fine on it. I seem to recall the T2 also helps with HEIC files, but those still aren't used much and given reliance on Lr/Ps instead of Apple Photos the T2 seems unnecessary for that.No one knows about the future, and sometimes AVOIDING new features is a better strategy: ask those who opted for the new keyboards on the recent MBPs.

    I'd go with the regular iMac, and use the money saved for more RAM. And save some in case you need a Thunderbolt dock, second monitor, or external graphics or super fast storage, like a Samsung X5 for say booting a second system.

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17 July 11, 2019