iMac Pro details and release date come into focus

We last wrote about Apple's upcoming Xeon-and-Vega-powered iMac Pro all-in-one workstation machines back in June. The company has updated the product page for the iMac Pro and announced a launch date for the high-powered all-in-one computers. Suffice to say, they pack a ton of hardware.

We knew back in June that iMac Pros would be built around Intel Xeon CPUs with eight, 10, or 18 cores. Those core count figures are still valid, but YouTube celebrity Marques Brownlee says that a 14-core version will be available at some point in the future. Apple doesn't mention base clock speeds but lets on that Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.5 GHz are on tap. The product page says iMac Pro CPUs will come bearing as much as 42 MB of cache, a number that we figure applies to the 18-core version. 

Graphics and GPU compute capability come courtesy of AMD's Radeon Pro Vega silicon. Base model iMac Pros will have Radeon Pro Vega 56 cards with 8 GB of on-package HBM2 memory, but Radeon Pro Vega 64 boards with 16 GB of video memory will be an available option.

All iMac Pros get the same 27" 5120x2880 "5K" 10-bit display that can hit 500 cd/m² brightness. Apple says the panels support the DCI-P3 color space. Although the company stops short of specifying how much of that space is covered, previous iMacs offered 100% coverage, so it's likely that the Pro model will follow suit. Users with a need for lots of screen space can add a pair of 5K 10-bit displays, four 3840x2160 10-bit displays, or four 4096x2304 eight-bit panels.

Buyers will have a number of options with respect to memory and storage. Entry-level machines get 32 GB of 2666 MT/s DDR4 ECC memory, and those with the need for greater capacity can also choose 64 GB and 128 GB loadouts. A 1 TB SSD is standard equipment, and 2 TB and 4 TB versions are also available. Apple was tight-lipped as to the manufacturer and interface used for the SSDs, but given the computers' price tags and pro-duty aspirations, we'd imagine they're speedy NVMe units.

All of those screens connect using the four Thunderbolt 3-enabled USB-C ports on the back of the machine. The Thunderbolt ports are joined by a smattering of USB 3.0 Type-A connectors, audio jacks, a card reader, and a 10-Gigabit Ethernet port. If wires are too twentieth century, buyers can use 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity. The whole machine is decked out in a Space Grey finish and includes an Apple Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2. As one would expect, macOS High Sierra comes pre-installed.

The iMac Pro product page says the machine will be available on December 14, though Appleinsider says that 14- and 18-core models won't ship until sometime next year. MacRumors claims that the iMac Pro's starting price of $4,999 refers to a version with an eight-core Xeon, 32 GB of 2666 MT/s DDR4 memory, a Radeon Pro Vega 56 with 8 GB of HBM2 memory, and a 1 TB SSD.

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