Mid-Range iMac Pro is Nearly Twice as Fast as High-End 5K iMac and Up to 45% Faster Than 2013 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. PickUrPoison macrumors 65816

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    #76
    You’ve read the transcript, yet you’re afraid that Apple’s next (modular) Mac Pro could be either a “hermetically sealed super-thin slither of alloy primarily designed to look good on your plate-glass desk” or just another “nMP cylinder” or a “sealed unit.”

    I’m telling you you’re wrong. But I’m sure you’ll disagree.
     
  2. smirking macrumors 65816

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    #77
    I believe you can use the current class of iMacs as external monitors (albeit a heavier monitor). If the previous generation iMac 5Ks had Thunderbolt ready connections to allow them to be external displays, I would have bought one of those years ago and just hung onto them as a display after they were no longer my daily driver.
     
  3. phairphan macrumors 6502a

    phairphan

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    #78
    I believe target display mode is still missing from iMacs, as it has been since the move to 5K. TB3 didn't correct that deficiency. I would love for this not to be the case, so please let me know if TDM is back!
     
  4. smirking macrumors 65816

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    #79
    Oh that sucks. Yeah, it looks like you're right. I had the erroneous idea that TDM was reintroduced now that the iMac was supporting a set of TB3 ports. What's holding it back?
     
  5. theluggage macrumors 68040

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    #80
    Oh dear, that's the second time you've re-quoted that - it obviously upsets you. I don't think I'm the one that's been "triggered" here.

    Yes. Have you? It gives away almost nothing about the design of the new Mac Pro except that it won't have a built-in display and it won't follow the nMP dead-end of requiring the heat to be spread evenly between a CPU and two GPUs, and it won't be coming this year.

    Then I repeat my invitation for you to point out the bits of the transcript where they commit to the new Mac Pro having "slots and drive bays".

    Here's the bit where someone asks the relevant question and Apple pretty much fail to answer it:

    So, first there's that very important phrase: "and that we can efficiently keep it up to date with the best technologies over years." - "we" being Apple - not the end user. They're talking about their ability to produce updated modules and BTO options, not user expandability. (The following paragraph contains the only occurrence of the word "slot" in the transcript, BTW - PCIe is never mentioned). The problem they're acknowledging with the cylinder is that they haven't been able to offer an updated model for three years.

    Then, does the second paragraph say that external-only expansion of the nMP was an "interesting idea" that paid off, or didn't pay off? Clue: it doesn't say either, they're being completely ambiguous about it. Probably because they hadn't decided back in April.

    Lets try again: I'm not saying that the new Mac Pro is definitely going to be a sealed unit. I'm just pointing out that nothing in the April announcement promised otherwise... and since in the last 5 years Apple have shown a strong preference towards "no user serviceable parts inside" (Mac Mini, rMBP, 2016 MBP, iMac Pro) and increased miniaturisation (even in "pro" products) that is hardly an extraordinary possibility.

    You're the one claiming as fact that the new Mac Pro will have slots and drive bays - a massive U-turn for Apple.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 14, 2017 ---
    I'm guessing that the 1440p iMacs used a simple DisplayPort interface to the display panel, and it was cheap and simple to offer switching between the on-board graphics and a DisplayPort signal arriving via Thunderbolt.

    The 5k iMac reportedly uses some sort of custom high-speed display interface, since DisplayPort 1.2 can't drive a 5k display over a single 4-lane stream. Its not hard to imagine how that would complicate driving the display from a DP1.2 stream from the Thunderbolt input. I haven't seen any technical details of this internal interface - including whether the screen is driven by a single stream (possible with DP1.4 data rates or a proprietary interface) or treated as two panels in multi-stream mode. If its single stream, then even TB3 won't be able to drive it - TB's DisplayPort tops out at DP1.2a speeds and only supports 5k in multi-stream mode.

    Not sure if/why this applies to the 4k 21.5" iMac (maybe it uses a custom display interface, too?)

    Just speculating. Corrections from people with actual data welcome...
     
  6. vertical smile macrumors 68020

    vertical smile

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    Sep 23, 2014
    #81
    So, I finally got an answer for this. The price of the iMac Pro tested is at least $9,599. It might be more, as I was just referencing the test model from the information given in the article.

    So, it is over 4 times the cost of the top of the line iMac 5K, but has less than twice as fast?

    Yea, but this one is $10,000, I think I would opt for the custom $5,000 rig you mentioned.

    imac cost.JPG
     
  7. PickUrPoison macrumors 65816

    Joined:
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    Sunnyvale, CA
    #82
    You’re afraid that Apple’s next (modular) Mac Pro could be either a “hermetically sealed super-thin slither of alloy primarily designed to look good on your plate-glass desk” or just another “nMP cylinder” or a “sealed unit.”

    I’m telling you you’re wrong. You’ll get your slots and drive bays. But I wouldn’t expect dual processor, as I said before.

    You have your opinion, I have mine. Your opinion of the upcoming Mac Pro happens to be wrong, but you’re entitled to your wrong opinion. It apparently makes you happy to continue thinking that it will be either a “hermetically sealed super-thin slither of alloy primarily designed to look good on your plate-glass desk” or just another “nMP cylinder” or a “sealed unit.”

    But you’re wrong. I’m sure you’ll disagree.
     
  8. smirking macrumors 65816

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    #83
    I know they came up with some creative hacky ways to delivery 5K resolution that made it incompatible with the rest of the world, but I thought that the limitations in the Intel CPU chips were what was blocking the ability to allow 5K iMacs to be used as target displays.

    Even though the iMac and its Kaby Lake chipset is powerful enough to drive the pixels to power external 5K displays, they stuck to their old hacky 5K monitor for the display that's inside the iMac?
     
  9. GeneralChang macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    #84
    So just out of curiosity I went and started pricing out a system with the specs of that particular configuration. It's difficult to get a direct 1-to-1 comparison, but suffice it to say, if you're shopping for that performance with that monitor, you probably won't get a better deal than the iMac Pro, regardless of configuration.
     
  10. BayouTiger macrumors 6502

    BayouTiger

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #85
    Knew the trolls would be out in force today! I've been trying to decide whether to get a regular loaded iMac for about $3500 or wait. My 2013 12C trash can is actually doing fine, but I have decided that the tradeoff I made swapping the 6C proc for the 12C might not have been so great. So now for about $1500 more than the loaded iMac, I get just about the same single thread performance, basically double the multicore performance, 10GB Ethernet, twice the TB3 ports, MUCH better graphics, MUCH faster SSD along with more minor improvements in the overall hardware. Then I can go further and bump the CPU, RAM and SSD if I choose.

    My 2006 Cheese Grater lasted me several years, though it was pricey at the time, my trash can has lasted me 4 years and is STILL faster than any other Mac other than the new Pro, and my Pegasus R6 and Qnap TVS1282T are still perfectly compatible with whichever direction I go. All the hate on the trash can is way overstated. It's been an awesome machine when used as intended with the right peripherals.

    It's a tough decision, I wonder how the new machines handle Windows either via Bootcamp or Fusion? Revit is only single threaded, but can be a dog on huge models. Being able to hit IMac i7 numbers in single thread and still ramp up to 16 or 20 threads is incredibly enticing.
     
  11. vertical smile macrumors 68020

    vertical smile

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    Sep 23, 2014
    #86
    As it was already pointed out, the test machine is not the base $4,999 iMac Pro, but the "mid-level" $10,000 iMac Pro. It will be a lot more than $1,500 over the 5K iMac.

    AFAIK, the base model Geekbench score has not been posted yet.
     
  12. Luap macrumors 65816

    Luap

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    Jul 5, 2004
    #87
    Hey, at least it was Mac related ;) As much as I like iOS stuff, Macrumors swamps this place with too much of it.
     
  13. BayouTiger macrumors 6502

    BayouTiger

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #88
    No, most everything is from the 10core, but you can get an idea from the clock speed. Clock on the 8C and 10C is very similar, if you do a little interpolation the base is probably about 50% faster than the top silver iMac. Real world the SSD will make more difference. I find most well threaded apps still only go to about 1800% cpu on my 12 core while the 6core routinely got maxed out.

    I think the 10 core is going to be the sweet spot just as the 6 and 8 core was on the cylinder. As always, the top and bottom are the worst values.
     
  14. macsforever macrumors regular

    macsforever

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2014
    #89
    And running windows and a real UGLY box he he.... sorry, no viruses here and the PCIe storage controller isn’t as fast as the Macs!
     
  15. vertical smile macrumors 68020

    vertical smile

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    Sep 23, 2014
    #90
    Hopefully we will see some reviews and benchmarks from the base model soon, but I have a feeling that some people might be disappointed of the performance of it compared to the iMac that is half the cost.

    I wonder if you could hackintosh that rig that you quoted? It sounds like it might be worth it if it worked, at least from a cost and performance POV.

    If it had a similar performance to the iMac Pro tested, and ran as a hackintosh, you can have all the nice things about the iMac Pro, minus the looks, for a little more than half the price.
     
  16. theluggage macrumors 68040

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    Jul 29, 2011
    #91
    No, its all existing external 5k displays that are "hacky" because of Intel*: Neither Intel’s GPUs nor their Thunderbolt chipset support DisplayPort 1.3 or 1.4, which provides the higher data rate needed to support 5k over a single stream. Hence all 5k displays - including the LG/Apple Thunderbolt Display - rely on two separate DisplayPort cables each driving half the screen - TB3 just sweeps that under the carpet by combining two virtual DP1.2 streams into a single Thunderbolt signal, they get split apart again in the TB controller.

    All 5k iMacs have had discrete, non-Intel GPUs - so potentially they could use a faster internal connection and drive the 5k "properly" with a single stream. The 2017 iMacs have DisplayPort 1.4 capable GPUs so potentially they could use that internally. Now, I don't think the details of Apple's internal display link have been shared, so I've no idea whether this is the case but, if it were, it could make it difficult to easily support an external dual-stream input.

    Of course, it wouldna' break the laws o' physics to add the required circuitry to support TDM - but I guess its not an Apple priority, and just happened to be "low-hanging fruit" on the non-retina iMac.

    (* actually, the whole display industry seems to have been dragging its heels over DP1.3/1.4 support, and there doesn't seem to be much interest in 5k in the Windows world since last time I looked the Dell and HP 5k displays were discontinued).
     
  17. PickUrPoison macrumors 65816

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    #92
    That’s not an option for business professionals, since they don’t steal their software.
     
  18. macsforever macrumors regular

    macsforever

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    Jun 7, 2014
    #93
    Then one little thing you install causes a hosed up system hackitosh are very unstable
     
  19. vertical smile macrumors 68020

    vertical smile

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    #94
    All true, and probably the number one reason I have never built one. Although, I might one day.
     
  20. theluggage macrumors 68040

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    Jul 29, 2011
    #95
    By the way, I'm very happy to partially concede the point now that Apple have actually said:

    ...that is new, as of 14th December. As far as I know that's the first time Apple have said anything unambiguous about the new MP being upgradeable.

    The news that the iMP RAM will be upgradeable by Apple service centres (which suggests that DIY might be feasible once AppleCare is up) is 100% better than nothing, too.
     
  21. BayouTiger macrumors 6502

    BayouTiger

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    Location:
    New Orleans
    #96
    Holy crap! An actual response that is based on accurate facts! WTH are you doing on MR? My real wish for the machine would have been to return to a 16x10 config. I will truly be sad when I finally part with my 30" cinema, but I don't use it much as my world has moved to the very nice (for the cost) LG low end 4K and a couple of the 34" 21x9 displays, but the widescreen is losing it's charm for the same reason that I dislike the 1080P display on my otherwise excellent thinkpad. Real work done outside of the video world really needs more vertical real estate. So many apps have moved to putting so much info in the top ribbon or bottom status (Autodesk, Bluebeam, Adobe) that the center window is cramped. I would really love to see a 3:2 or 4:3 high res screen at some point. Something that MS has seemed to learn (from Apple's own iPad).

    I'm seriously considering moving to 5K just to recover some usable verticality. I
     
  22. Anim, Dec 17, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017

    Anim macrumors 6502a

    Anim

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    Dec 16, 2011
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    Macclesfield, UK
    #97
    I bought the 2013 Mac Pro as on paper it sounded amazing. Two x D700 cards that had a combined 700 teraflops of power. What a let down. Even the promised updates to OpenCL rendering never came.

    Only this year in 2017 did AMD work with Blender.org to make Blender rendering on AMD GPU's compete with NVidia and surprise surprise, Apple's D700 are not supported yet. Apple take control of the drivers and as a result are many versions behind official AMD releases, it is beyond frustrating, especially for those that Bootcamp.

    Also, a £10,000 all-in-one is a high risk purchase compared to a modular machine that can be fixed same day with a swap out part.

    I just don't understand Apple in the "untrendy" professional market anymore. At this price point we want a workhorse not a butterfly.

    Apple if you are listening, please do the following that your customers have been asking for the last 10 years:

    1. Support both NVidia and AMD and let the GPU manufacturers write mac drivers alongside your own.
    2. Make the machines modular again and support multi gpu configurations.

    Just that. Keep it simple, make it for the users.
     
  23. HenryAZ macrumors 6502

    HenryAZ

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    South Congress AZ
    #98
    How true. I bought an iMac in 2011, then within a year went to a Mini with my choice of monitor. Much better. In 2013 (actually 2014 delivery date), I got the Mac Pro, and now run it with an Eizo 32" monitor running at true 4K, 3840x2160 @ 60 Hz. Much, much better.
     
  24. adamw macrumors regular

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    Sep 22, 2006
    #99
    Just got an entry level iMac Pro today from Micro Center's $1000 off special sale. Looking forward to using this machine. Thanks for this review!
     
  25. vertical smile macrumors 68020

    vertical smile

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    Sep 23, 2014
    #100
    Congrats!

    If you get a chance, could you run Geekbench, and post your entry level scores? I am curious if there will be a difference between the entry level and the $10,000 mid-grade level in this article, and how much that difference is...
     

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