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New iMacPro vs. iMac

sparkhill

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 27, 2010
169
57
Any thoughts regarding the performance of a base 2017 iMac Pro vs. top spec 2019 iMac, assuming similar RAM, drive, etc. The primary use is heavy computations, mostly in Excel. The price difference is relatively narrow and it will be employer purchased.
 
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mcnallym

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2008
734
248
Well would expect that run cooler as has better cooling in the iMac Pro.
Would also have ecc if doing computational work as well.

For that would just the Pro personally.
 
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CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
8,088
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Seattle, WA
iMac Pro will have better SSD performance since it is striped drives and has the T2 chip for the controller.

It will also likely run a fair bit cooler.

Barefeets will no doubt compare them soon enough.
 
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CPx

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2013
570
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Will the iMac Pro still have a big advantage exporting HEVC video?
 
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ondert

macrumors 6502a
Aug 11, 2017
529
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Please consider the iMac's cooling system. It was already struggling with 4 core i7-7700k. I just can't imagine that beefy i9-9900k. There is no way it will work at full capacity if there is no change in cooling system of new iMac.
 
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sparkhill

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 27, 2010
169
57
I should have just asked, "any real to not get the iMac Pro?" Sounds like, if somebody else is paying, the answer is no.
 
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macduke

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Jun 27, 2007
11,157
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There is no 2019 iMac Pro. They offered two BTO options: 256GB RAM and Vega 64X (whatever that means—Radeon VII?). Everything else under the hood and on the outside is the same.
 
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Kier-XF

macrumors member
Nov 17, 2014
80
33
The 2019 i9 iMac savages both the 8 and 10 core iMac Pro in several important benchmarks. Of course, Apple can't do anything about that because Intel haven't released updated Xeon processors that would allow the Pro to take the lead again, but one has to wonder if Apple actually cares?

I suspect that the iMac Pro was a relatively low-cost-to-develop stop-gap solution for Apple who needed something to sell to those users that need Xeon/ECC in the absence of updates to the 2013 Mac Pro. Now however, with the new Mac Pro on its way, the iMac Pro won't really have a place in the Mac line-up, so Apple isn't particularly concerned about sales being cannibalised - those buyers who are looking for a new Xeon Mac will be inclined to wait for the new Mac Pro, and those who have to have a Xeon/ECC now will buy the iMac Pro regardless of the i9 iMac lurking in the corner.
 
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theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
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The 2019 i9 iMac savages both the 8 and 10 core iMac Pro in several important benchmarks. Of course, Apple can't do anything about that because Intel haven't released updated Xeon processors that would allow the Pro to take the lead again, but one has to wonder if Apple actually cares?

The Xeons have always run a year or two behind the core-i series on raw-speed-per-core.

But part of the claimed advantage of Xeon chips + ECC RAM over Core i is not raw speed, but stability, plus extra I/O bandwidth. In general you'd buy Xeon because it is more important that your massive render job would complete dependably in 48 hours than in 40 hours with a 10% chance of crashing. Likewise with workstation-class GPUS: you'd expect optimisation for GPU-based computing rather than world-beating FPS on Devil May Far Dead Cry Redemption.

Whether the iMP actually delivers on the above is another debate. Personally, I wouldn't touch the i9 iMac until we've seen some independent reports on performance and heat/noise issues.

In a way, the more interesting comparison is how the i5 hex-core compares on performance vs. noise with the old i7 4+Hyperthreading model.
 
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macduke

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Jun 27, 2007
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Central U.S.
The 2019 i9 iMac savages both the 8 and 10 core iMac Pro in several important benchmarks. Of course, Apple can't do anything about that because Intel haven't released updated Xeon processors that would allow the Pro to take the lead again, but one has to wonder if Apple actually cares?

I suspect that the iMac Pro was a relatively low-cost-to-develop stop-gap solution for Apple who needed something to sell to those users that need Xeon/ECC in the absence of updates to the 2013 Mac Pro. Now however, with the new Mac Pro on its way, the iMac Pro won't really have a place in the Mac line-up, so Apple isn't particularly concerned about sales being cannibalised - those buyers who are looking for a new Xeon Mac will be inclined to wait for the new Mac Pro, and those who have to have a Xeon/ECC now will buy the iMac Pro regardless of the i9 iMac lurking in the corner.

Wow that thing is a beast. Glad I opted for the i9. The difference between it and the i5 are massive.

The Xeons have always run a year or two behind the core-i series on raw-speed-per-core.

But part of the claimed advantage of Xeon chips + ECC RAM over Core i is not raw speed, but stability, plus extra I/O bandwidth. In general you'd buy Xeon because it is more important that your massive render job would complete dependably in 48 hours than in 40 hours with a 10% chance of crashing. Likewise with workstation-class GPUS: you'd expect optimisation for GPU-based computing rather than world-beating FPS on Devil May Far Dead Cry Redemption.

Whether the iMP actually delivers on the above is another debate. Personally, I wouldn't touch the i9 iMac until we've seen some independent reports on performance and heat/noise issues.

In a way, the more interesting comparison is how the i5 hex-core compares on performance vs. noise with the old i7 4+Hyperthreading model.

The 9th gen i5 and i9 both have 95W TDP so will there be much difference? Maybe the i5 will be throttled a little less under load. Personally I don't care much about noise because I'm used to having screaming kids in the house and I don't work with recording audio. Just as long as it doesn't affect the lifespan of the device. When I'm gaming using bootcamp I'll have headphones in, so won't even notice it. It will also in the basement where my studio/office is, so most of the time it's on the cooler side. So for some people like me it's not a big deal at all. I had the top end quad-core i7 CPU in the 2017 iMac in a work machine for about 6 months before changing jobs and even that would get kinda noisy compared to the old 2012 iMac I had before at work, which was nearly silent 95% of the time and had the second fastest processor available on that model.
 
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fathergll

macrumors 65832
Sep 3, 2014
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The 2019 i9 iMac savages both the 8 and 10 core iMac Pro in several important benchmarks. Of course, Apple can't do anything about that because Intel haven't released updated Xeon processors that would allow the Pro to take the lead again, but one has to wonder if Apple actually cares?

I can't see why they would care. Majority of iMac Pros were sold last year. This was released over a year later.


I suspect that the iMac Pro was a relatively low-cost-to-develop stop-gap solution for Apple who needed something to sell to those users that need Xeon/ECC in the absence of updates to the 2013 Mac Pro. Now however, with the new Mac Pro on its way, the iMac Pro won't really have a place in the Mac line-up, so Apple isn't particularly concerned about sales being cannibalised - those buyers who are looking for a new Xeon Mac will be inclined to wait for the new Mac Pro, and those who have to have a Xeon/ECC now will buy the iMac Pro regardless of the i9 iMac lurking in the corner.

Agreed. I can't see any chance of a new iMac Pro coming out for a while if at all. Late 2019 is meant for the Mac Pro.
 
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Zdigital2015

macrumors 68030
Jul 14, 2015
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The new W-Series Xeons are supposed to launch in May so we might see an iMac Pro spec refresh later this year.

Not trying to be a wise guy, but do you have a link? I have been looking and the usual suspects have said dink about basin Falls Refresh Xeons...still wondering about that rumored 22-core version. My gut tells me
that Apple will ditch the 8-core as the base version and make the 10-core the $4999 base CPU model.
 
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rossgrant

macrumors newbie
Jun 7, 2016
13
5
I'm interested in this too folks - sorry, I lack a little in CPU knowledge etc.

I've been desperate to upgrade a 2011 Mac Pro, for about 18 months.

I use my machine purely to edit video in FCPX and audio in Adobe Premiere.

Until now, I've shot everything in 1080p, and have been surprised at how long I have had out of this Mac Pro - about 8 years.

It doesn't do well with 4k video - and you need to use proxy files.

Would this new 2019 iMac, with the i9 CPU upgrade handle raw 4k video?

And is the RAM user-upgradeable?

Really appreciate the help - and sorry again if these seem like basic questions.

Ross :)
 
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theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
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The 9th gen i5 and i9 both have 95W TDP so will there be much difference?

Hadn’t caught that. Still, other things being equal, faster peak clock=hotter, more cores=hotter, and AFIK the 65/95W just refers to the peak thermal output, not how quickly or how often it hits it.

I’m not suggesting it’s going to be faster than the i9, but wondering if the lesser CPU options would give power as good as, or better than, the old i7 without the heat & noise. Being at the top of the cinebench list isn’t everything.
 
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xgman

macrumors 603
Aug 6, 2007
5,147
901
iMac Pro will have better SSD performance since it is striped drives and has the T2 chip for the controller.

.
I have one and would have paid extra NOt to have the T2 chip. that said, coming from the 17 27 top end imac, my imac pro 10 core is quieter and manages heat better. But I suspect the performance of the 8 core 3.6-5 imac will be comparable or even better (as shown above) in some areas for most of us.
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,157
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Central U.S.
Hadn’t caught that. Still, other things being equal, faster peak clock=hotter, more cores=hotter, and AFIK the 65/95W just refers to the peak thermal output, not how quickly or how often it hits it.

I’m not suggesting it’s going to be faster than the i9, but wondering if the lesser CPU options would give power as good as, or better than, the old i7 without the heat & noise. Being at the top of the cinebench list isn’t everything.
Yes, but it's the thermal design power—usually it means they design the machine to be able to handle that much heat.

From what I can tell in this article: https://macperformanceguide.com/iMacPro_2017-TurboBoostClockSpeed.html

The chips in the iMac Pro are slightly different from the Intel ones listed on their site, but should have the same TDP. The TDP for the iMac Pro Xeon W chips is 140W: https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/series/125035/intel-xeon-w-processor.html

This is probably why the iMac Pro needed the new thermal system, combined with beefier GPUs. There is also an outside chance that the Vega 48 is on AMD's new 7nm process, but I'm not for certain whether that makes sense to do and we'll have to see the teardown. Another thing to consider is the iMac Pro has larger 288-pin desktop sized RAM modules. I think the whole thing just sucks down more power and takes up more space inside. I think the enclosure on the 5K iMac should be large enough to dissipate the heat at 95W, but we'll see. Why? The i7-7700K I had in my mid-2017 5K iMac at my old job had a TDP of 91W.

There is also a chance they did make some small changes to the internals, such as larger heatsinks, better fans, better thermal paste, etc. This sort of change wouldn't be apparent until there is a teardown. You'd think after the i9 cooling issues on the MBP they would make certain this thing didn't suffer the same fate—but this is also the company that kept releasing crappy flawed keyboard designs year after year—so who freaking knows, lol.
 
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CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
8,088
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Seattle, WA
Not trying to be a wise guy, but do you have a link? I have been looking and the usual suspects have said dink about basin Falls Refresh Xeons...still wondering about that rumored 22-core version. My gut tells me that Apple will ditch the 8-core as the base version and make the 10-core the $4999 base CPU model.

I cannot find the specific link (it was the the "Waiting for Mac Pro 7.1" thread), but based on a search, Cascade Lake-X is supposed to be announced at Computex with Glacier Falls (the Xeons) due by end of year: https://hothardware.com/news/intel-cascade-lake-x-hedt-cpus-glacier-falls-x399-late-2019-launch
 
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mikehalloran

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Oct 14, 2018
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Briax

macrumors member
Mar 11, 2011
42
22
The iMac Pro gets my vote, here is why. The cooling system. It's such a pleasant machine to use - you never hear any fan noise (unless you're gaming). The regular iMac 27" sounds like a jet engine the minute you start taxing it. I've tried both, and I agree with the concerns above, if they did not revamp the cooling system in the iMac, that i9 will be a throttle party.
 
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Zdigital2015

macrumors 68030
Jul 14, 2015
2,689
3,291
East Coast, United States
I'm interested in this too folks - sorry, I lack a little in CPU knowledge etc.

I've been desperate to upgrade a 2011 Mac Pro, for about 18 months.

I use my machine purely to edit video in FCPX and audio in Adobe Premiere.

Until now, I've shot everything in 1080p, and have been surprised at how long I have had out of this Mac Pro - about 8 years.

It doesn't do well with 4k video - and you need to use proxy files.

Would this new 2019 iMac, with the i9 CPU upgrade handle raw 4k video?

And is the RAM user-upgradeable?

Really appreciate the help - and sorry again if these seem like basic questions.

Ross :)

DRAM is user upgradeable...the Core i9 is extremely powerful, but you only state raw 4K video. Are you shooting RAW and if so, what kind? Different formats have different bandwidth requirements. I take it you are shooting RAW to an Atomos recorder or at least want to do that?
 
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TheTuesdaydude

macrumors newbie
Jun 11, 2013
20
8
So the only 6+ Core including HT cores is the i9 option right? Because all the other CPU's have no HT? Or am I totally wrong?
 
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