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" 5120×2880 "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 3840×2160 10-bit displays, or four 4096×2304 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.

Comments closed
    • adisor19
    • 5 years ago

    Love the attitude. Enjoy your crap WiFi.

    Adi

    • adisor19
    • 5 years ago

    Some iMacs can be used as a screen in Target Display mode like the 27″ beast sitting on my desk right now. Yes, it warms up the room a bit, but is sure is a nice display.

    Adi

    • the
    • 5 years ago

    It apparently works dog. The Apple Stores I’ve wondered into recently have had TB2 to TB3 adapters on several older Macs that Apple still sells [b<]*cough* Mac Pro *cough*[/b<] that use the new LG UltraFine displays. They're good displays and work well on those models even if they're only driven at half the stock refresh rate.

    • tipoo
    • 5 years ago

    “Yo dog, I heard you like thunderbolt”

    • tipoo
    • 5 years ago

    The actively cooled A10X in the Apple TV made me start pondering about a Mini in that form factor, but with a slew of TB3 ports.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 5 years ago

    No! It must be Raven Ridge! (Which also plays into Apple’s thing for AMD GPUs.)

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    Yeah because the one and literally only place where anyone on earth has ever cared about Wifi is in a large desktop computer that’s movement (or lack thereof) will produce a really neat dust ring around its base over its lifetime.

    Wifi in a > $1000 tablet that claims to be better than that desktop in every single way?

    Who the hell cares about that!

    • adisor19
    • 5 years ago

    For tablets and phones with small battery life, it’s understandable why WiFi is only 2×2. For laptops and desktops, there is no excuse.

    Why is the PC industry lagging on 3×3 WiFi ?

    Adi

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    Just us a sharpy to black out 686 rows of pixels and it’s 21:9!

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 5 years ago

    21:9 or no deal

    • tipoo
    • 5 years ago

    They have a new Pro as well.

    [url<]https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/06/transcript-phil-schiller-craig-federighi-and-john-ternus-on-the-state-of-apples-pro-macs/[/url<] I'm hoping Volta is too good to ignore as a way of differentiating from the iMac.

    • SuperSpy
    • 5 years ago

    I wonder if this is intended as the replacement for the cylinder Mac Pro, or if they have something in the works to update that as well.

    If they plan on also releasing an updated Mac Pro, because I would expect it to have even higher-end hardware, which would be quite a feat.

    • tipoo
    • 5 years ago

    Impressions I’ve heard was that it stays quiet even under a heavy video editing load, but we don’t have much better than that for objective tests since youtubers got it first again.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 5 years ago

    Have you seen [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN_VgVEZD0k<]this boy[/url<]?

    • Inverter
    • 5 years ago

    Same here, I’d like the 18 core CPU, but an ET4000 would be enough graphics for me.

    • nico1982
    • 5 years ago

    5K is nice and all, I get they are limited by the availability of panels and their margins enjoy the reuse of the vanilla iMac chassis, but 27″ falls a bit short for the “Pro” moniker. I’m running two of them side by side and I’m on the fence between a 38″ ultrawide or a 32″.

    Hopefully the new twin fan cooler it is a lot quieter than the current iMac. Their tiny 80-90 (?) mm fan sounds like a jet taking off when compiling heavy stuff.

    • ptsant
    • 5 years ago

    +1 for the 10GBps Ethernet.

    A decently configured version (64GB DDR4, 10-core) is probably going to be insanely expensive. Especially for people who don’t care about (a) form factor and (b) OS.

    • the
    • 5 years ago

    This will be compensated by a 15% increase in prices roughly 6 months after launch.

    • the
    • 5 years ago

    Ummm…. [url=https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204592<]you can use the 2011 model as just a screen.[/url<] The catch is that you'd need a Thunderbolt 2-to-Thunderbolt-3 adapter on top of a Thunderbolt 3 cable to use the 2011 model with the new iMac Pro.

    • End User
    • 5 years ago

    I am disgusted.

    • DancinJack
    • 5 years ago

    Nope. They already stated when they announced it, the only way to get the space grey KB+M is with the unit. 🙁

    • EzioAs
    • 5 years ago

    Dude never gives up does he?

    That shows commitment at least.

    • davidbowser
    • 5 years ago

    I never even thought about it until you wrote it, but that would be sweet.

    • tipoo
    • 5 years ago

    I’m suspecting a Fusion (heh) of both these truths here. What Steve Smith was poking around with looked like an A10, but now people are seeing a T2…The T2 could be a modified A10 that swallowed the SSD controller, SMC, etc.

    • tipoo
    • 5 years ago

    I do wish it was more configurable, but didn’t expect it with Apples streamlining. I.e my big data workload is entirely CPU dependent but doesn’t use a GPU, so the Vega Pro is a wasted cost while I’d max the CPU. But if someone was training GPU neural nets, they’d go Vega Pro 64 with that sweet 16GB HBM2, but probably wouldn’t need the 18 core Xeon to back it.

    Hope the Mac Pro allows this kind of min/maxing.

    • mcarson09
    • 5 years ago

    That’s the eye of Jobs!

    • mcarson09
    • 5 years ago

    Pity it doesn’t have front facing speakers.

    • mcarson09
    • 5 years ago

    Those import fees just became 10% higher.

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    T2 is the best T.

    • blastdoor
    • 5 years ago

    According to Appleinsider, there’s not an A10 in there after all, instead something dubbed T2.

    • sreams
    • 5 years ago

    Oooh… 2nd pic is proof that it comes with a cassette player!

    • curtisb
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]USB 3.0[/quote<] How dare you! This is Apple. That's a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port to you, good sir!

    • juzz86
    • 5 years ago

    It looks like Roberto from Futurama. “I’ma stab it!1!”

    • rwburnham
    • 5 years ago

    I have been using iMacs at work for many years, and I think it’s time for them to update the screen size. I would love the option to have an ultrawide screen. I would find that far more beneficial than the 5K resolution.

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    and made in…. what you thought I was going to say China?

    NO! VIETNAM bitchez!!! (China was getting too expensive)

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    Why yes, Apple does deserve to be smacked down for crippling the iPad Pro with 2×2 wifi: [url<]https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPad+Pro+12.9-Inch+Teardown/52599[/url<] Oh wait, that actual fact just caused a decoherence event in your RDF.

    • adisor19
    • 5 years ago

    Don’t hold your breath for that new MacMini.. I have a feeling it will no longer be that Mini that we all loved ( 2010 – 2012), but rather some sort of small unupgradable appliance reminiscing of the crap 2014 model yet in a smaller form factor.

    Adi

    • adisor19
    • 5 years ago

    Look at that guys, 3×3 802.11ac WiFi ! See folks, it’s not that complicated to include proper WiFi in a computer.

    Take note Intel.

    Adi

    • derFunkenstein
    • 5 years ago

    That’s what I’m expecting. I’ve been drooling over the MBPs but in my case the Mac Mini you describe would be perfect. 16+ GB of RAM and a 500GB+ SSD as options and I’m set.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 5 years ago

    There are no ports on the sides because the sides are too thin, if the renders on Apple’s site are accurate. It bubbles out like the other iMacs.

    edit: but you’re absolutely right that side ports would limit display arrangement options, unless they were on the bottom.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 5 years ago

    My guess is that there are no ports on the sides so as not to preclude the use of external monitors.

    • gerryg
    • 5 years ago

    Anyone else notice the Eye of Sauron there? Looks like he’s back (again!).

    • End User
    • 5 years ago

    Fingers crossed that the space grey keyboard and Magic trackpad are stand alone items.

    • End User
    • 5 years ago

    I’d be happy with quad core Kaby Lake Mac mini that has a slew of TB3 ports.

    • bthylafh
    • 5 years ago

    and designed in California.

    • cygnus1
    • 5 years ago

    Not just any aluminum though, an amazing new alloy. It’s organically made by hand and blessed by monks.

    • LocalCitizen
    • 5 years ago

    great design apple. that card slot is at such a convenient location

    • bthylafh
    • 5 years ago

    Made of brushed aluminum and thin enough to cut, for no practical reason.

    • tipoo
    • 5 years ago

    Here’s the most detailed performance take I’ve seen so far:

    [url<]http://hrtapps.com/blogs/20171212/[/url<] I'll be looking for more in depth reviews. That Vega Pro 64 is about at 83% the Gflops (and working backwards, core clock) and memory bandwidth of the regular desktop part, so heat should be under control, there's also the Xeon though, wondering about peak load throttling.

    • tay
    • 5 years ago

    Great machine, but as an owner of two previous iMacs (2007, 2011) I can’t imagine buying a 3rd because I don’t want to throw away the screens. A screen lasts me 10 years, while an desktop lasts me 6. Waiting for a new mac mini but “the mini is a product in our lineup”.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 5 years ago

    I love the trend where the ratio of ports for TB3:USB is >= 1. My laptop is a 1:4 ratio, which is better than 0:4.

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]Suffice to say, they pack a ton of hardware.[/quote<] Apple's next product line: specially reinforced desks.

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