Maxed out iMac vs. Basic iMac Pro

Discussion in 'iMac' started by cmcbhi, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. cmcbhi macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2014
    Given that a maxed out IMAX 27 approaches $4700.00 (upgraded processor, upgraded GPU, 32GB RAM, 2TBSSD, etc, what do you gain/lose by stepping up to the iMac Pro similarly equipped?
    It's only ~ $300.00 more.
  2. Chancha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2014
    First of all it is very easy to shave off cost from the "top spec" iMac.
    After market RAM is as easy to buy and install as it gets, and you save 50% from the Apple taxed price.
    2nd, 2TB is massively expensive, if you don't think you can fully utilize a single volume fast SSD in your workflow then it is much more affordable to only get a 512GB option from Apple, and if you need more then add 3rd party ones via TB3/USB-C.

    The iMac Pro isn't coming til December, by then the specs of it may change, also the top end iMac you can get for the same price now may get better value as well. Also the iMac Pro uses "server grade" components that are typically unneeded for normal users, like ECC RAM and Xeon processors.
  3. BurgDog, Jun 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017

    BurgDog macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2012
    A better comparison would be the top processor iMac configured like the base iMac Pro which comes to $3700, $1300 less. For that $1300 you get double the processor cores, two more TB3 ports, and a significantly upgraded graphics card. That is ignoring the server level components which are of little value to most people except people like me who want that. Expect going from 32 to 64GB memory and 1 to 2 TB SSD to cost the same in both cases. Only issue I care about is can they keep the iMac Pro cool without massive fan noise. I'm used to my 2013 Mac Pro fan that lopes along at 800rpm most of the time and is silent and even when working hard doesn't get above 1200rpm and hardly noticed. I think the $1300 upgrade cost is well worth it and plan to buy pending reviews, of course.
  4. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012
    Look at your real needs rather than jumping to "maxed out". Quite likely you can configure an ideal very high performance iMac for $3500 to $4000. Then, the premium for the iMac Pro is put into a more meaningful context.
  5. fotofan macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2008
    New Jersey USA
    Agree with Colodane. If you order the minimum RAM config and buy 3rd party RAM, then order the upgrade to a 512 SSD for $200 on the 27" 4.2 i7 iMac, you will spend a lot less than $4700. Then just buy external SSD's as needed over time (SSD prices should drop quickly as spinning HDD's go the way of the dinosaur).
  6. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011

    Base iMac Pro only comes with 1TB SSD, so take ~$800 off your comparison price.

    32GB extra RAM (total 40GB) from Crucial will cost you $260 vs. $600 for 32GB total from Apple (for shame, guys!) - total no-brainer.

    So, I'm getting $3099 + $260 for RAM = $3359, i.e. $1640 difference. I think that's above most people's "only" threshold.

    The question is, what are you going to be using it for? The iMac Pro's strengths are only likely to materialise if you're running multi-core and/or Open CL-optimised workloads, running 48-hour render jobs where you need ECC RAM, using 10Gbps Ethernet, or really need the bandwidth of 4 full-fat TB3 ports.

    If you're running general purpose/mixed loads with a lot of single-threaded work and where the GPU is just for graphics then don't be surprised if the performance of the iMac Pro is a bit, well, not worth $1640, compared with the iMac.

    Maybe the "Vega" will be good for gaming - maybe it won't. It depends a lot on drivers. Its probably going to be more satisfying than the old new Mac Pro with its dual-but-not-xfire GPUs.

    Of course, this is all speculation given the current level of available information...
  7. cptn.nemo macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2016
    Wow no way, I just spent 2700 on my imac with upgraded processor and 512 ssd. 2900 including the ram I will buy myself, that's 3100 under the imac pro. Not sure how many people would ever use a 2tb ssd, since we just store photos videos and music on an external. That's just an apple scam imo just like the ram upgrade. You cant upgrade ram in the iMac pro yourself either so you'll pay apples premium for that, which is a lot
  8. cptn.nemo macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2016
    2100** type there. I could buy two iMacs for the price of a pro
  9. BurgDog macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2012
    $2100 under the $5000 price. As for upgrading iMac pro, an Apple certified tech should be able to do any upgrades for about $100 labor cost. You are stuck with the 1TB/32GB base though, so can't start cheaper.
  10. mixart macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2012
    I read somewhere, that if you use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign for content creation, 8 cores or more will be slower than an i7 quadcore with same Ghz. Buy the iMac Pro if you are serious about After Effects, Music Production, 3D and so on. An option for a space grey iMac 5K are welcome.
  11. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    Supplementing what mixart offers, do look at your software needs carefully. I own/run a small engineering company with a mixed Mac/PC environment - on the Windows side, some of our software will only run on Xeons (with Quadro GPUs) and some of our software freezes on Xeons but works perfectly on i7 processors with either nVidia or AMD GPUs. Just a thought to keep in mind. Personally I'm leaning toward an i7 iMac and check out the iMP for my shops after the bugs are worked out.
  12. BurgDog macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2012
    It looks like from the specs turbo boost to 4.5Ghz is same for 4 and 8 core so single thread performance should be same. I expect 4 core performance should at least match as well. After that 8 core should start to pull away on anything that can use it. Would need to see benchmarks.
  13. cmcbhi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2014
    --- Post Merged, Jul 2, 2017 ---
    Guys, it's like this. My first machine was an IBM PC with an 8088 processor. Over the intervening years, I've put together several Win machines with purchased bits and pieces. Currently, I have a LianLi 20th edition nautilus case w/ a metallic sparkle custom finish running an old ASUS Maximus Gene V board w 16Gig ram and a 512 SSD for the System and various size HDs for the data. I've always kept 2 machines running (so WHEN one crashes or I'm building new, I have one working.
    In late 2013, after getting frustrated syncing Apple (iPhone, iPad) Win PC various WiFi setups, I bought a full up iMac w/ 3TB fusion disk and Apple router(s) and WiFi. No regrets and more time for Photography. My other hobby, now up to 893GB (yep) of images. I dearly love having everything on one drive. Yes, I use Time Machine and Carbon Copy serial bootable disk locally and Carbonite off site backups. (I've had a disk(s) crashes in the past.)
    Anyway, I now want to replace the late 2013 iMac and am exploring possibilities. I'm not interested in putting in memory or managing multiple disks for system and data. The backups are automatic.
    So I want (not necessarily need) a new machine and the iMac Pro intrigued me. Seems that it will be a bigger step up than a standard iMac.
    When I rebuild the PC, and I will, I'm trying a Hackingtosh, just for the hell of it.
    Anyway, that's the long reason for my question.
  14. driftless macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2011
    I am going to paste a reply that I posted in another iMac thread. I don't think that the better comparison is the iMac Pro vs. nMP 12 core. Here is my reasoning:

    One of features of the new iMac Pro that seems to be often overlooked is the new screen. It is potentially is a big improvement over the 5K iMac's screen.

    FWIW - I am one of those who buys a new iMac every three years. I like the AIO design.

Share This Page