New iMac VS iMac Pro

Discussion in 'iMac' started by brucie1dog, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. brucie1dog macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2015
    New iMac VS iMac Pro
    Considering upgrading my iMac. I usually run Safari, Mail, MS office and X-Plane Flight Simulator

    which is very graphically intense. My options are:

    1/ iMac 27" 5k Retina (price with Apple re & Tax about 4K)


    • 4.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
    • 32GB 2400MHz DDR4
    • 1TB SSD
    • Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB video memory

    2/ Or waiting till the iMac Pro 27" 5K comes out in December. (total price about 6K)

    *8 core Xeon processor

    * 1TB SSD

    * 32GB of 2666MHz DDR4 ECC Memory

    *Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics processor with 8GB of HBM2

    Price is really important. I can't even imagine spending 6k or more on a computer. So my question is for the extra @2000.00 do I get a significantly better machine wit iMacPro for using Mail, Safari, MS Office and X-Plane or can can I save that money and go with the iMac that was released the other day?
  2. Falcon80 macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    Your current iMac still serving you well? If it is struggling and slowing you down, I would recommend go for option 1 instead of waiting for at least 6 more months. Else you can wait and check out the benchmark results when both options are available.
  3. brucie1dog thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2015
    I am constantly running out of VRAM or running very close to it.
  4. jerwin macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2015
    Is your heart set on running XPlane at 5k Ultra?

    The rest of your software isn't even close to being demanding. And the Mac version of Office is a single threaded, so an eight core CPU won't help you.

  5. brucie1dog thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2015
    I could probably do without running X-Plane at 5K ultra. It sounds like in your opinion spending the extra 2k or so on the iMAC Pro is not something you would do? My primary reason for getting a new iMAC is for the VRAM. My late 2015 iMac has 4GB of VRAM and the new iMac they just put out has 8GB VRAM which should make a big difference I believe. I get frequent warnings from an X-Plane plug in called SkyMaxx Pro (cloud program) that I am running out of VRAM.
  6. jerwin macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2015
    ROFL. At those prices, a imac 5k with a tb3 break out box makes sense, and that's if the 580 doesn't get you to where you need to go.
    The developers specifically say "If you want to invest in 8 Xeon cores, it may help... but we aren't going to go tell you to spend that kind of money for a little more performance."
  7. Trebuin macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2008
    Central Cali
    & be aware if your projects use single core'll take a decent hit vs higher speed cores...unless the xeon they use is actually faster than what they have now.
  8. brucie1dog thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2015
    Keep in mind guys I am not that technical astute. What I am hearing is for my use the iMac Pro is not necessary.
  9. Trebuin macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2008
    Central Cali
    You're right. People who could benefit from the iMac Pro would be able to tell you they need the multi-core CPU for some sort of encoding work that they do all the time. The other group of people are the ones waiting for a wicked graphics card.
  10. jerwin macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2015
    The CPU in the iMac Pro can work on between 8 and 16 things simultaneously. An ordinary Core i7 can work on between 4 and 8 things simultaneously. (thousands of other minor tasks can be handled through time slicing)

    Now, if you're working on a really complex spreadsheet, or playing a game, you might not be terribly impressed by the theoretical ability of your computer to also compress a video, or manage a backup in the background. What you'd really like is for Excel to divide the task of updating the spreadsheet and conquer the workload that much quicker.
    But Excel is single threaded, it doesn't divide and conquer, and so you may be stuck waiting.

    A multithreaded application however, is programmed to do many things at once. For instance, in a multithreaded game, the AI might run on one thread, the graphics routines on another thread, and so on. Trouble is, it's sometimes difficult for a programmer to keep all those threads in sync, or even to divide up the workload in an efficient manner.

    And so, if you have a CPU with many cores, it may end up being no faster than a CPU with a much smaller number of cores. Often, such multicored chips are clocked slower than an ordinary 4 core chip, and the result is that the owner has paid a lot of money for a purely theoretical multithreaded advantage that's outweighed by a very real slower single threaded performance.

    I suspect that the 8GB 580 card in the ordinary top end imac has more than enough VRAM for your needs.

    Consult in the coming weeks. I believe they regularly post XPlane benchmarks for new macs.
  11. brucie1dog thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2015
    Great information. Thank you all very much. With all my apps installed including all the X-Plane file I still have 151GB free out of the 500 GB flash storage. So do I really need 1TB of flash storage or can I get away with the 500GB of flash storage?
  12. Luba macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2009
    You're supposed to leave a certain percentage free, say 20% . . . that would leave you with 50GB for additional apps/games. You could off load plain data to an external, only apps and the OS really need to be on the main SSD. So it does sounds like you could get away with a 500GB SSD. But the thing with storage, at least with me, is that you think you got plenty and then a year down the road or so, you feel you don't have enough?!?
  13. NMSUballa macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2012
    If you really want the iMac Pro then you could wait until some hit the refurbished store. I'm sure they will go fast though. That way you don't have to spend the $6,000
  14. fokmik macrumors 68030

    Oct 28, 2016
    i think its a tricky thing, think about it, you wait for imac pro until December probably January 2018, but then, in that year the modular mac pro will be release. A mac that you can exchange in its lifetime it ram ssd and probably the gpu
    this imac pro is a very tricky thing, from what it is and when it will be release
  15. iMcLovin macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2009
    From the programs you mention, buying an iMac Pro would be complete overkill. Unless you are going to do some heavy calculations, the iMac Pro would be a bad investment. Not even if you are a graphic designer or video editor (adobe user) , unless using a lot of motion graphics and 3D the iMac Pro would be overkill. If gaming is the purpose of heavy usage, its not overkill but just a bad deal.
  16. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think a iMac Pro for office apps and flight simulator is a bit over the top. I'd opt for the 5k iMac with SSD (skip the fusion drive). Configure it with the fastest GPU and you'll be fine.
  17. Darajavahus macrumors member


    Aug 8, 2015
    You should read about AMD Vega HBM2 VRAM, if that what you care the most you should know it's the biggest improvement in VRAM in a long time, 8GB is like 16GB thanks to HBCC, and that's wayyyy more than yours 4GB
    But I have no idea if your particular applications will use it, you should do research.
    I actually thought new regular iMacs will have vega, because we know vega for laptops will come in couple months, but they released iMac now with old polaris, that disappointed me so much, looking long term, I keep computers for at least 5 years, vega is so much more future proof than polaris which is already not that impressive. That price is insane, probably next year regular iMacs will have vega, but that's a whole year of waiting..
  18. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "I usually run Safari, Mail, MS office and X-Plane Flight Simulator"

    Lemme get this straight...

    You're gonna spend $5,000 for a Xeon processor to run Safari, Mail, Office, and Flight Simulator?

    Well... if you have that kind of $$$ to throw around, more power to ya! ;)
  19. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Just buy a dedicated Windows gaming PC for X-Plane. Chances are the Vega GPU in the iMac Pro is going to have drivers optimized for stability rather than raw performance. The Xeon and ECC memory are useless for all of your applications listed.
  20. Torgo81 macrumors newbie


    Oct 20, 2012
    Maybe the OP is a pilot :)
  21. Thunderbird macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2005
    If you really need at least 8 cores, ECC RAM and that high end Vega GPU, then an iMac Pro might be worth it to you at that price. Especially if you don't think you'll need to do any upgrading for several years (because you won't be able to).

    If you need that kind of workstation horsepower, you might on the other hand be better off waiting for the Mac Pro in late 2018/early 2019. It will be modular and upgradable, and even possibly at a lower price than the iMac Pro (sans monitor).

    Apple is taking a huge gamble on the iMac Pro at that price and not being upgradable. I wonder who is going to buy it. The specs should have been not so far above the regular 5K iMac and the price should have started only slightly above the 5K.

    The Mac Pro in 2018 might end up cannibalizing the iMac Pro.
  22. Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012
    Honestly just get a base model iMac, get a tb3 enclosure and a 1080 and you'll be more than good for years to come. Great part is when new grafx cards come out you'll be able to upgrade your gpu as you see fit.
  23. fourthtunz macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2002
    Why not just buy a used Mac Pro and soup it up?
    That may be what I do, as they aren't going to make what I want :)

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