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iMac Pro Available Now (apple.com)
92 points by rbanffy 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 212 comments

I wouldn't buy one of these with my own money, but I might try to get one for work. We don't upgrade anything. All of our PCs and Macs now are leased for three years and replaced. Maybe I can get one on our next refresh cycle. It's true, from a user's perspective, the configuration may not be the best, from a certain accounting perspective, it works out.

1TB SSD increase costs $800. 2TB SSD increase costs $2000 (from 2TB to 4TB).

Apple tax hits hard.

For reference, 1TB NVMe SSDs retail for $600+ and 2TB NVMe SSDs retail for $1700+. Lower-priced 2TB NVMe SSDs will probably come out soon, driving the cost down hard.

And a year from now when those prices have been cut in half, Apple will still be charging the same amount.

A year from now there will be a modular Mac Pro.

Indeed. I still can’t believe Apple pre-announced it a year in advance, so out of character for them: https://daringfireball.net/2017/04/the_mac_pro_lives

Well, they don't have any currently well-selling model whose sales would get ruined by the Osborne effect, and the pre-announcement may keep a few customers from defecting to Windows, Linux, or Hackintoshes.

Did Apple say that? Or are you making a prediction?

Schiller told Gruber "it is, by definition, a modular system":


I remember they mentioning it during the iMac Pro announcement. I think it was Phil Schiller.

Well, to be fair, I was looking at the 960 Pro rather than 960 Evo. Maybe Apple will go for lower-quality components, maybe.

Apple is famous for paying less for hardware than any other manufacture so I don't see how MSRP is pertinent.

Sure. But, from his numbers, if you were buying it at MSRP as a consumer, the $800 upgrade would cost you around $1100.

Except that if there are problems with the ssd and it was built in, it’s covered by the Apple warranty.

So it's both cheaper and covered by Apple warranty (which tends to be quite good). Your point being?

It's not cheaper. $2000 is the price difference to go from the 2TB upgrade to the 4TB from Apple. $1100 is the price difference to go from 2TB to 4TB if you paid retail.

Apple is getting all of the profit that a retailer would, plus an additional $900 profit on top of that.

With the money you save you can self insure because the SSD isn't guaranteed to fail.

What numbers are you looking at? I don't see how you follow this:

> 1TB NVMe SSDs retail for $600+ and 2TB NVMe SSDs retail for $1700+.

with this:

> It's not cheaper. $2000 is the price difference to go from the 2TB upgrade to the 4TB from Apple. $1100 is the price difference to go from 2TB to 4TB if you paid retail.

I misread the above post as prices for 2/4TB SSDs instead of 1/2 TB SSDs. My bad.

The real difference between Apple and DIY is $300. On their configuration page, Apple's prices are +$800 to go to the 2TB SSD, and +$2800 to go to the 4TB SSD. That's a $2000 price jump to add 2TB. If I did it myself I could add 2TB for $1700. That means that Apple gets all the profit that a retailer would, plus $300.

A $300 premium is still a little gougey from Apple considering it takes them all of five seconds to slap the extra SSD in on the assembly line.

Is it 2x2TB or 1x4TB, though? Obviously, it'd be cheaper to do 2x2, but there's a decent chance you're actually getting 1x4 on the iMac.

The biggest NVME drive I can find is 2TB. Apple might be offering a 4TB option, but isn't that less good? You lose all your data at once instead vs losing half.

I doubt they are hurting for real estate with that screen size, it might just be better to add another M.2 spot on the board. Then they wouldn't have to push manufacturing limits to source a 4TB drive and can get higher yield 2TB drives.

But not if you consider they have to honor the warranty.

Most SSD manufacturers offer a warranty that is included in the price of the drive. The Samsung 950 PRO warranty is 5 years or 400 terabytes written.

Apple honoring the warranty costs them more than just the replacement costs of the drive. They have to deal with disassembling and reassembling, logistics, customer dissatisfaction and more.

Publicly traded corporations do not extend savings created from economies of scale to their costumers - they extend them to their shareholders.

They may, if competing on price, but that is a decision for C-level executive suite with direction from the Board.

MSRP is what the customer can expect to pay, so gp is probably thinking of it from the consumer's perspective.

For comparison, 1TB NVMe SSD is $450 on Amazon, rated at 3,200 MB/s reads and 1,900 MB/s writes.

There are cheaper ones, at $290, rated at around ~$530MB/s reads and writes.

I doubt that many professionals will experience much difference between these in most applications, as most are now CPU-bound.

530MB/sec is what you would expect from a SATA3 SSD. Are you sure you're looking at the right product?

Right. No difference at all. If you're editing hours of high resolution video, you're going to notice the difference.

Video is one of a few examples when a faster SSD could make a difference. Any non-trivial operations you do on the video will still be bound by the CPU. 530MB/s is enough to completely read a 5GB video into RAM in under 10 seconds. That's orders of magnitude faster than you can edit it and then render it.

NAND SSDs have stopped improving.

Smaller lithography processes impact write cycles negatively.

The write cycles shrink faster than the capacity grows.

The same applies to storing multiple bits within a single cell via multiple voltage levels. MLC, TLC and QLC all require more accurate voltage measurements which become less and less reliable as the voltage drops with each write.

The only remaining way to increase capacity without downsides is by adding more layers.

After that there is no option other than switching away from NAND.

I had a similar issue deciding to upgrade my newest MacBook Pro. It was $400 to upgrade from something like 500GB to 1TB. I'm speechless with some of these decisions from them.

$2400 for an extra 96 GiB of RAM is even worse.

Does anyone know if these at least are nvme?

Yeah they are all nvme

Fully loaded price in the UK is £12,927.98

When is Apple going to recognize that we want Nvidia GPUs? Come on Apple. People are literally buying outdated MacBook Pros to have a CUDA compatible GPU.

It won't matter, because the NVidia driver provided by Apple would only talk Metal Compute anyway.

I don't see them doing otherwise.

NVidia provides drivers, I'm using one on a Hackintosh now.


The golden question is if they would be allowed on an actual macOS image without hacks, Hackintoshes don't count.

What? The page linked has drivers for macOS. They work on a hackintosh and on any regular Mac. Nvidia wouldn’t release official drivers that only work on a hackintosh.

Today, the OP question was about a future Mac Pro.

They're meant for the older Mac Pros that could still have normal Nvidia GPUs in them. They just happen to work perfectly fine in Hackintoshes.

That was my point, we are playing "what if" here regarding future Mac Pros.

Given the move away from OpenGL/OpenCL into Metal, I don't have big hopes for future models.

Agreed wholeheartedly. This is (allegedly) a workstation. I'm a big AMD and OpenCL fanboy, but at the moment CUDA the only game in town.

I just don't get it. How can you make a tool for the pro market with no thoughts about price/performance or upgradeability?

Apple seems to think that deviating from their consumer oriented design philosophy is anathema, even when dealing with pros.

There are a lot of different types of professionals, with different types of needs. I would suspect that for the vast majority of the target demographic here, upgradability just isn't that important.

You can make ethical arguments about whether people ought to care, or whether the option should be available for the few people that do, but I just don't personally see a lot of people doing upgrades these days.

For businesses, the cost of paying someone to upgrade a fleet of machines isn't there compared to just depreciating them over 3 years instead of 5 and replacing them more often. For a lot of independent professionals and home users it's just not worth the effort. The machine works until it doesn't and then they buy a new machine, and this one will get resold on craigslist or eBay, or get handed off as a substantial upgrade to some less technical family member.

Who in Professional Video Editing world should trust Apple in regards to Hardware anymore? More and more video production is moving back to Windows and for good reason, hardware and Apple's handling of Final Cut Pro X years ago still scares everyone.

In graphic design I see this as a good solution for those shops, but video really has been leaving Apple.

After their meeting to set the record straight in April 2017 about Professional Hardware and Apple support for the industry with Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi they give people this? This is not what a workstation should be. It isn't upgradable GPU, and it is using ports again like the Pro of 4 years ago.

This was very far along when that April meeting occurred. Many people speculated that this was going to be their answer to the Pro market, but they took the feedback, held that meeting and promised to release a new "modular" Mac Pro.

So, this isn't what they are releasing in response to that feedback or what they were discussing in that meeting.

> but they took the feedback, held that meeting and promised to release a new "modular" Mac Pro.

What would be really awesome (at least for video) would be offloaded rendering for Linux. Doesn't macOS offer something like that that's used for Xcode?

however with modular people are reading too much into it. Apple more likely meant modular for them, as in being able to adjust to changes in technology where the previous Mac Pro could not be changed.

I doubt we will go back to the old tower style similar to PC versions

> the previous Mac Pro could not be changed.

Apple could have changed it rather easily.

> Apple's handling of Final Cut Pro X years ago still scares everyone.

I still remember watching Conan O' Brian and they lampooned it mercilessly with a rather long bit about it. I never thought I would see a late night comedian roasting Apple for their video editing software. You knew it had to be bad if it reached that level.

Here's the clip: https://youtu.be/vZXsI84nRMg

Pro people don’t upgrade parts, it costs too much time and is too risky. Pro people just upgrade the whole machine. And they don’t care if it costs $500 extra if it saves them a few hours of grief.

Pro people keep expensive machines running for a long time before they buy a new one. If one part goes bad, they'll buy a replacement part before they buy a new machine. So the machine has to be easy to service.

If one part goes bad, you send the machine to the shop for repairs and either loan a temp replacement or shuffle your work to other machines.

No serious pro should have only one high price asset.

What shop have you been to? Even the multi-million dollar shops have zombie rooms where they throw old out of warranty computers up to the ceiling. They will cannibalize two machines to make add to the render farm. I have seen them add memory switch out hard drives.

When people went to 4K they bought new cameras and they upgraded their computers with more ram, bigger drives and new cards.

Within a year of release FCP X surpassed FCP 7 seats [1]. In 2017 FCP X hit 2 million seats [2]. Now maybe everyone in Hollywood jumped ship after FCP X, but it's pretty clear that FCP X massively expanded the market for Apple. And looking at Avid's stock price over the past 5 years [3] it doesn't seem like their focus on "professionals" has paid off (no idea what Adobe Premiere's numbers are). Since FCP X launched, Apple has steadily iterated on it (with the last major update releasing today [4]). It's clear FCP X was a good move, not just from a business perspective, but technically as well; it performs much better on Macs than Premiere or Media Composer (search YouTube for comparisons). Randy Ubillos confirmed that in an interview after he retired [5]:

>One of the things I like about working at Apple was that Apple didn’t have a problem with starting over again - if that was the right thing to do. You don’t want to talk about ‘sunk cost.’ The effort you’ve put in in the past has gone. From now on, what is the best way to go forward? It doesn’t matter if we spent six months working on some feature. That doesn’t matter. Is it the right feature? If so, great, continue forward with it. If you don’t do that with a product and somebody else who doesn’t have the history, the legacy you’re trying to hold on to will jump in and take things out from under you.


>The very last conversation I had with Steve Jobs was right after the launch of Final Cut Pro X. I was getting ready to get on a plane to go to London to record the second set of movie trailers - we’d hired the London Symphony Orchestra [to perform the music that was going to be bundled with the next version of iMovie] - and Steve caught me at home: “What the heck is going on with this Final Cut X thing?” I said “We knew this was coming, we knew that people were going to freak out when we changed everything out from under them. We could have done this better. We should have. Final Cut 7 should be back on the market. We should have an FAQ that lists what this is all about.” He said “Yeah, let’s get out and fund this thing, let’s make sure we get on top of this thing, move quickly with releases…” and he finished by asking: “Do you believe in this?” I said “Yes.” He said “then I do too.”

[1] http://www.philiphodgetts.com/2012/04/some-final-cut-pro-x-d...

[2] https://www.cultofmac.com/478369/final-cut-pro-x-hits-massiv...

[3] https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/AVID?p=AVID

[4] https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2017/12/final-cut-pro-x-intro...

[5] http://alex4d.com/notes/item/back-to-1-0-randy-ubillos-inter...

Okay I'll add my anecdotal evidence, I work around the TV industry in the UK and nobody I've talked to uses final cut anymore. It's all either Avid or Premiere, with Resolve to do colour work on.

Sure they've sold more copies with FCP X but it's not to professionals as far as I can tell, it's hitting the niche that Final Cut Express was at in the past.

>Sure they've sold more copies with FCP X but it's not to professionals as far as I can tell

This isn't a problem for Apple.

They have a pro line of tablets.

I am not going to buy one, but I suspect many people will love them. Really PRO is just a marketing term.

Though, 5k screen, 10Gbit Ethernet, 600$ graphics card, 1TB NVMe SSDs are also ~$600 etc that's far from a normal office desktop.

> Really PRO is just a marketing term

This seems to be what everyone forgets when airing their grievances towards Apple's "Pro" line.

It's unfortunate but the number of people that may dislike this because of a lack of upgradability, etc is probably smaller than the number of people that just want a cool looking "pro" computer and have money to burn.

My rule of thumb lately has been that if something is marketed as 'Pro', it is usually intended for average joe who wants to feel pro, not to meet the requirements of people that are actually professionals.

My favorite thing about coming into these threads is constantly being told that I'm "not actually a professional" because I'm able to use a Macbook Pro for my job.

I'm not in any way saying that a macbook pro (or any 'pro' thing) can't/shouldn't be used by professionals, or that people that use them are not professionals. It is just that I find more often than not when 'Pro' is used to market something, the primary audience appears to be consumers that want have a pro feeling, regardless of whether or not it was designed primarily for the requirements of a professional. If you are a professional and a Macbook Pro fits your requirements, great! It just feels lately that the 'Pro' moniker doesn't mean it is specifically designed with professionals in mind as the primary audience.

"Being able to use a tool" does not mean that it's the best choice for you. People here are saying that these new "Pro" computers are actually really bad choices for Professional, mainly because of the lack of modularity and high price.

If you feel offended by those comment, that's on you, no one is actually judging you.

Most corporate computers are never upgraded. In part because computers are just not nearly as expensive as people seem to think.

So, modularity is useful just not not as important as people assume. Computers are also not getting faster as quickly so using the same computer for ~4 years is now completely reasonable. Spread out of that period these start at ~80$ a month. You might drop that price some, but not as much as you probably assume without sacrificing.

They might not be optimal, but it's a reasonable option.

I disagree. The idea that a Macbook Pro does "not... meet the requirements of people that are actually professionals" inherently says "if you're a professional, you don't use a Mac", and inversely, "if you use a Mac, you're not a professional". There is no reason to make that statement unless you are looking to strictly define who is and who is not considered a professional in your opinion, and that definition most certainly leaves a lot of people out in the cold.

Now it might be a true statement that "if you're a professional video editor working with lots of files and 4k video, the Mac Pro doesn't meet your needs" or "if you're a professional data scientist working on cutting-edge machine learning with CUDA, the Mac Pro doesn't meet your needs".

But "professional" is a broad term. Very broad. It's hard to imagine a broader term. Even if we restricted that to "IT professional" or "professional programmer", it's still a very broad range of needs within that statement. And the Mac Pro lacks a very specific set of things that "professionals" may need, depending on their profession.

I'm willing to bet the number of professionals who need a Unix machine with a nice GUI that's well-supported by major software vendors and also well-supported by the manufacturer with retail stores (including tech support) in every city of any size far outweighs the number of professionals who need anything specific the Macbook Pro or Mac Pro are missing. Why, then, are they not considered "professionals"? And what other machine meets those very broadly applicable requirements?

Or how about this one? I need a Unix machine with a serial port and an Ethernet port for my job, and I also need the machine to be lightweight because I travel constantly, it needs to be able to be held with one hand as I'm standing in a datacenter, and I need long battery life because I can't carry a ton of cables through the datacenter as I'm moving around. What meets my needs as a professional? Sure, my needs are very specific... so are the needs of this hypothetical gold standard "professional" who needs what the Mac Pro doesn't have. I certainly don't need a powerful video card. Guess I'm not a professional, then?

It's the constant gatekeeping of "Mac(book) Pro computers aren't made for professionals because I made up my own definition of professional and you're not in it" that really grinds me the wrong way. I don't need to upgrade my RAM because by the time I need more, my work will just buy me a new one. Guess that means I'm not a professional?

Sorry I didn't intend it to be a gatekeeping thing or trying to define who isn't or is a professional. I apologize it was poorly worded.

I think a diagram better explains what I'm trying to say.

What I feel like Apple's target audience was in the past with their 'Pro' lines:


What I feel like Apple's target audience is now with their 'Pro' lines:


It still meets the requirements of a lot of professionals, and a lot of professionals are still going to use them. I'm not trying to say 'whether or not you are a professional is directly related to whether or not you use a macbook pro'. It is just that apple seems to be slowly targeting their "pro" lines more towards the consumer who like pro stuff side to capture more of that market than they are trying to move toward the professional side to capture more of that market. Instead of getting more ports and longer battery life at the sacrifice of weight, we get things like the touchbar and ever thinner machines that have trouble living upto the battery expectations. For a bunch of professionals that doesn't matter, it isn't what makes a macbook pro fit their requirements. But there seems to be a very vocal segment of professionals who sit on that left most edge concerned that what apple calls 'pro' is moving further away from meeting their requirements than closer.

Edit: it might be more clear to say the green circle is people who find a macbook pro to meet their requirements.

I disagree. This is all workstation hardware. Even when people spend $6,000 on a gaming PC, they don't put ECC RAM, Xeons, and workstation GPUs in it. And if you read the page, it's clearly being marketed as a workstation rather than as a high-end computer.

Maybe clueless people will buy this as a consumer machine, but it's designed and marketed as a workstation.

If you dial all the knobs up to the max on the configure page the dollar value is an eye-watering $13,926.98

While I love my MacBook pro's for dev, if I needed beefy machines for work, presumably 3D graphics related, I can't imagine paying those prices. That is really, really rough. Especially considering that you could make a monster of a machine for $5k, let alone $13k.

Like, I justify my $3k laptop, because it's a quality piece of mobile hardware. Yet, I don't lug around my desktop everywhere.. The "quality" that I interact with is the OS and the keyboard/mouse, nearly nothing with the monitor/computer. So.. what am I getting for that $13k? It just feels so crazily over priced.. am I wrong?

Hell, my $3k laptop is blatantly overpriced imo, but I pay it because there's not many options on my personal ranked list. This however... I can't help but feel there are a ton of options. So I'm honestly asking, what am I missing here? Clearly they think that some people will feel $13k is reasonable.. but why, specifically, is it reasonable to those people?

Did you check to see what the $13K gets you? 18-core Xeon with 4.3GHz Turbo, 4TB SSD, 128GB of fast DDR4 w/ECC. The option price for the Xeon alone is almost as much as your entire laptop. Same with the SSD.

The base hardware is just generally expensive.

Oh it's a beast of a machine that you'll get for that wedge but I feel like they've rounded all the component parts up to the nearest $1,000 just because they can.

That display panel, that motherboard, that case, that PSU, that graphics card, that memory, the CPU – would you expect to pay the bones of $14K?

From Amazon:

   - 18-core Xeon $2,826.20
   - 128GB of ECC memory from Kingston in 32 GB chunks $1,569.63
   - can't find the GPU but the Vega Frontier Edition with 16GB is $999
   - Samsung 850 EVO 4TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD $1,469
   - Apple's own 5K monitor is $1,350
That's $8K – which means that the motherboard (which Apple make design and source themselves), the case, the peripherals and cables, the assembly and testing, and software make up the other $6K …

$6K ???

[0] https://smile.amazon.com/INTEL-PROCESSOR-E5-2697V4-2-3GHZ-SM... [1] https://smile.amazon.com/Kingston-ValueRAM-2133MHz-KVR21R15D... [2] https://smile.amazon.com/Radeon-Vega-Frontier-Air-Retail/dp/... [3] https://smile.amazon.com/Samsung-2-5-Inch-Internal-MZ-75E4T0... [4] https://smile.amazon.com/Apple-MK462LL-27-Inch-Discontinued-...

I’d argue that’s a totally reasonable margin on high end hardware.

By the way, who’s gonna pay all those engineers who fit all those components in such a nice box?

Not I. Even if I had that kind of money burning a hole in my pocket I think it would be better spent elsewhere.

- Replacing that 18-core Xeon with ThreadRipper 1950x: -2000 USD

- Buying that ECC RAM yourself: -600 USD

- Buying those NVMe SSDs yourself -600 USD

Enjoing your new, affordable workstation: priceless :)

Or repairability. And, before anyone mentions that it's impossible to fix SMD, it's totally doable. Just as an example, https://www.youtube.com/user/rossmanngroup click any of the board level repair videos. (and I mean, this is HackerNews, the ability to tinker with stuff or keep a historical/cultural legacy of these things for decades is pretty ingrained in the general "computer crowd").

I just find this user hostile to be honest, they would probably lose 0 customers over publishing board schematics and making the back pop off. Now in a few years, all you have is a pile of steaming metal, with no hope of ever repairing it (for any reasonable price) after Apple decides they're done with it. It's planned obsolescence for a market that should know better: pro's. I would think twice about rolling this out in an enterprise setting or any critical piece of infrastructure. It's a toy, an expensive one at that.

EDIT: typo

Pay the $169 and get 3 years of AppleCare. Easy.

AppleCare covers almost nothing. Any cosmetic thing they can find "out of warranty". And 3 years is not a lot for a machine that can cost up to $10k. Besides, they erase your data and it often takes weeks to fix (or even 1,5 months in case of my Macbook). They require you to give up your password (a nuisance to say the least if it doesn't boot at all to change it). And besides, there are a lot of places on earth where there is no certified Apple Dealer without a substantial drive or even flight. It just bugs me that a consumer electronic vendors have aggressively started implementing a model where it's no longer /your/ machine. You rent it, and with the flick of a switch they can brick it or decide to no longer support it. This icks me particularly because it's labeled a "Pro" machine.

None of this is true on any issue I’ve had with computers, phones or accessories. Always fast, always cover everything.

Although I would never provide a computer that wasn’t wiped that’s just good opsec and takes less than an hour to reimage anything.

Maybe it’s different in Europe. But I’ve had nothing but bad experiences with AppleCare. Except maybe for that time where they replaced a charger free of charge that literally caught fire.

Possibly. My experiences have all been from Australia.

It is AppleCare+, which is slightly better.


This is a midway solution, there are plans for the Mac Pro line: https://www.macrumors.com/2017/04/04/apple-updates-mac-pro-a...

They didn't have the time to put RAM slots in a "midway" solution?

Though, the image of the motherboard halfway down Apple's product page shows four slots. Might just need the tools to pry open the back.

Did this change for the iMac pro, ram has at least been user-serviceable on the latest iMacs https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/ram-upgrade-comp...

That's correct: https://9to5mac.com/2017/06/05/imac-pro-ram-and-space-gray-a...

> Additionally, Apple has confirmed to us that the RAM in the iMac Pro will not be user-replaceable. This shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise given Apple’s other recent products, but nevertheless it means users are stuck with however much RAM they purchase from Apple. Currently, the 27-inch iMac features user-upgradeable RAM, while the 21.5-inch model does not.

Past the edit window, but apparently the RAM is in slots rather than soldered to the motherboard, meaning it can be so if you take the computer apart.

So instead of the hatch on the back you need to have it done at service center (or be very confident in your $5000 Mac disassembly/reassembly skills and not mind voiding the warranty). Not clear if you can supply your own RAM for them to install or if you pay Apple prices on it. ECC RAM isn't cheap either way, but I assume buying it from Apple would be even pricier. Maybe the independent authorized repair centers will take user supplied parts.


ugh Apple is insufferable right now...

Pro in Apple-speak just means "deluxe" now.

Agreed. As a hobby software developer and long-time Mac person, the low end 13" MBP is a really great computer for me. But I can see how even the top of the line versions are lacking for a lot of professional uses.

It feels like a computer designed for trendy college students who want something faster than the mini-Macbook or made for web developers who don't use any external devices.

> "One of the things we’ve learned over the last few years is the depth of love and loyalty for macOS by our pro customers. And pro is a very large term. It encompasses many different people with different needs.

> “What we find is, across all of our Mac products, we have a lot of pros on MacBook Pro; we have a lot of pros on iMac; and we have pros on Mac Pro. And so, a number of years ago, when we talked about where we need to move all our products forward for pros, we knew we needed to, along with MacBook Pro – and doing a new Mac pro – that there’s an iMac need there. > "This time, we decided to push it further. We asked our engineering teams, 'Can you make an iMac Pro that’s truly designed for pros?' It really, inside, is a different computer.

> Phil Schiller[0]

Clearly, they missed the mark. But honestly, I just think their definition of "pro" is watered down.


It's just a fleeting term. It'll be Pro until it's not - then you need to buy a new one. Some pros are fine with that. Lots of them can write this stuff off, or request it from their employer. It's not much sweat off their back.

> their consumer oriented design philosophy

That design does matter when the pros are creative professionals.

It’s still technically serviceable, but you can’t just pop off the rear door line you can in the 27” iMac - you need to disassemble the machine instead.

Are there really people willing to pay $5,000 for a computer built in to a monitor? If you want to run 2 screens, then they won’t match.

If you going to build the same exact spec it's not that far off from the actual BOM for the parts, in fact going for the exact same build will cost you more that that what Apple is charging.

So Vega Pro 64 (Vega FE equivalent) 8 core Xeon-W build from Apple is $5599

If you would build the same PC it would be:

~$1200 for the CPU (Xeon W-2145, not available to the public yet)

~$400 for 32GB ECC 2666mhz RAM from a good vendor

~$500 for a Xeon-W workstation motherboard

~$480 for 1 TB PCIE SSD like the Samsung 960 Pro

~$1000 for VEGA Frontier Edition

~$250 for a good case

~$220 for a good power supply

~$120 for CLC water cooling for the CPU

~$100 for case fans

~$1300 for a professional 4K monitor

This comes out to the total of ~$6870

Sure you can build an almost comparable PC from other parts at a fraction of the price but if you want to replicate the build in the iMac it will cost you much more.

Also AFAIK you can connect a second screen the TB ports do support Thunderbolt displays and DisplayPort.

Your prices are really inflated. Here's a smattering of parts from PCPP: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/tRW3VY

Note the memory is 2133. This total comes out to ~$2300. Add a mobo, the cpu, and a monitor, you're looking at a grand total of about $4500.

I actually forgot the motherboard in my build that’s another $500 since Xeon-W is only supported on the workstation chipsets.

The cooler won’t be enough, the case is pretty low end and the PSU isn’t something you want to touch the EVGA G2 line is pretty bad.

You can easily do 70% for 50% of the cost but that isn’t the point.

> This comes out to the total of ~$6370

Except that you don't have to throw it up when you want to upgrade a couple of parts.

Isn't that offset by the fact that you can resell a Mac for a decent amount of return, versus reselling a PC for pennies on the dollar?

This. I'm not going to shell out $3k for a desktop computer that can't be upgraded. That's just stupid, even if it does look nice.

I didn't said you should, but in all honesty upgrade-ability is so overrated in the PC world.

Other than storage I haven't upgraded a single PC I've owned in the past decade if not more simply because at the point when upgrade was needed it was pointless.

Don't get me wrong I wouldn't buy this iMac, I don't need it, and I don't want it, and I would buy a PC, but Apple is pretty far from skinning people on prices this time around.

> I haven't upgraded a single PC I've owned in the past decade if not more simply because at the point when upgrade was needed it was pointless.

Maybe it's becoming less common to upgrade, but it doesn't mean people don't still do it. I've upgraded several machines in the last decade, for myself and others. Not everyone can afford to just chuck out an upgradeable PC and buy a new one.

> I didn't said you should, but in all honesty upgrade-ability is so overrated in the PC world.

You can keep a screen for example longer than the internals of the PC. Macs are just a waste in general because they are not made to be taken apart and to be serviced. And certainly NOT by the user.

> Other than storage I haven't upgraded a single PC I've owned in the past decade if not more simply because at the point when upgrade was needed it was pointless.

Me neither, but for a different reason: I moved over to the Mac ecosystem 6 years ago, and haven't been able to upgrade since then. Except for adding some memory to a mac mini.

I'm holding out for the new Mac Pro. If it's upgradable in a meaningful way, I'll snap one up.

Guessing you don't play a lot of PC games?

This is a workstation-grade computer, as in "not a playstation".

Nah my SLI 1080TIs and custom loop are just for benching minesweeper.

>~$250 for a good case

what? $250 is really overpriced for a case. it will get you a really good case (see: https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&I...)

>~$220 for a good power supply

that's definitely overkill.

>~$120 for CLC water cooling for the CPU

>~$100 for case fans

that's like, at least 6 really expensive case fans + watercooling. does the mac pro even have that good of a cooling system?

High end case which is similarly visually pleasing, $250 is actually fairly cheap I could've suggested a custom case :)

With a Xeon-W and a Vega64 ~200$ for a decent power supply isn't that far fetched, you'll be looking at 850W with preferably 1000W+ PSU so it could stay cool under pressure.

And no the iMac doesn't have a CLC but it has a cooling system you cannot replicate, and if you haven't noticed an air cooler that can keep a socket 2066 CPU sufficiently cool would cost you about as much as a CLC

$100 buys you a few maglev low noise fans nothing too fancy.

> you'll be looking at 850W with preferably 1000W+ PSU

I will eat my hat if the iMac Pro comes with a kilowatt PSU.

VEGA64 has a 300W TDP and can pull over 400W underload.

The Xeon-W has a TDP of 140W and can pull 200W under load.

Add in cooling, most radial fans are 4-6A @ 12V which means they can pull upto 80W.... The Delta radial fan on the Vega 64/56 air pulls 60W on it's own at full speed.

High end motherboards consume 40-80W, memory also will consume about 5W per DIMM.

And you have the built in screen which can easily consume 200W or more at peak brightness.

So I hope you have a tasty hat, because there is no way that the iMac Pro isn't coming with a near 1kW PSU.

I have a 2017 loaded iMac, i7 (TDP 90W), Radeon 580 (TDP 150W). Fans etc, abound.

It's certainly not the same, but the built in screen definitely does not consume 200W, and though I can't determine the raw number, going from 'dimmest' to 'brightest' increases power draw 70W.

Guess what size PSU all of the above comes with? 310W.

We shall see. I actually really like the iMac Pro, and would enjoy having one, I don't want to see it fail, I'm just struggling to see how you're getting more than three times the heat dissipation load in what they say is the same 'body size'.

I know it's subjective, but those cases you linked are disgusting. In terms of value, I'd opt for the iMac 'case' for $250 over all of those.

> you can connect a second screen the TB ports do support Thunderbolt displays and DisplayPort.

OP meant something different, which I agree with:

> If you want to run 2 screens, then they won’t match.

when working with multiple monitors most prefer having equal sized/looking ones

I think you're inflating prices. You can get a really good 4k 27" monitor for about $500,

Same thing there: to get the actual thing: a 5120 x 2880 IPS LED screen you have to pay a pretty hefty premium. Quick search shows the LG is around $1300-$1500. (?)

You can get a computer with "80-90%" the specs of this, and pay 50% the price. But the point is if you want to match 100% of the spec you'll likely pay 100% if not 110% of this price too.

Yep 70-80% for 50-60% of the price is about right, you can replace the Intel Xeon for a cheaper i9 or even cheaper AMD TR or even cheaper Zen if you don't care about matching the performance.

TBH most of the savings are from the CPU/motherboard once you drop the Xeon.

You quickly get into the whole "It's definitely not professional without ECC" and the stupid intel market segmentation. Intel makes it really hard and expensive to build quick (as in single core quick) workstations with ECC. If you are absolutely hellbent on 5K and a 4Ghz+ with ECC then it's going to cost a bit. So while you could get a lot of the performance at a lower price point, things like the ECC makes it hard to compare in some aspects.

I don’t think ECC is needed for FinalCut Pro or similar workloads but then I never had a render fail at the 11th hour so I wouldn’t know.

With 5120 x 2880 resolution and a P3 color gamut?

Dell's UP2715K is very comparable and it is $1300 from B&H. So what similarly spec-ed monitor is $500?

Really good doesn’t mean professional. Reference monitors are well over 10k dollars and the factory calibration on Apple screens is fairly close. Certainly better than you’d get on a < 1000 dollar monitor.

Maybe they meant "5K monitor" which is what the iMac Pro has and would fit this price range better.

Nope, the closest thing you can get to the iMac Pro display is likely something like a the Dell PrimeColor UP2718Q which costs about $1500 or the UP2715K which goes for around $1300.

Isn't the closest thing just any other monitor with the exact same panel? The panel isn't everything - but it's a lot. https://www.amazon.com/LG-27MD5KA-UltraFine-International-Ve...

In any case: you'll need to put up $1500 to get this. Either a "better" Pro 4K or the equivalent 5K.

I specifically didn't suggest it because you can't connect it to anything that doesn't supports Thunderbolt 3 monitors since it doesn't have a display port connection, so you can't use that with a PC in any reliable way.

Odd if LG makes a high end panel and doesn’t maximize the market for it by making e.g a regular DisplayPort monitor.

Smells a bit like Apple has got an exclusivity deal to be the only platform with 5K IPS. Might be paranoid...

Wait, so my 2014 13" rMBP won't be able to connect to it? A coworker has one and it looks amazing, I had it on my "if I win the lottery" list.

Nope neither can my late 2015 MBP...

System Requirements Operating System: macOS Sierra 10.12.1 or later

Connection: Thunderbolt 3–enabled Mac


Nope, Thunderbolt 3 exclusively. That's the 2016/2017 MBP, iMac, and iMac Pro.

Mini-macbook is USB-C without Thunderbolt, Mac Pro and Mac Mini are still Thunderbolt 2.

Yes, that's what I said. Parent price breakdown comment had "~$1300 for a professional 4K monitor" but I'm assuming you meant 5K monitor instead of 4K.

There aren’t good 5K monitors really for the PC they are either 30hz or requir 2 display port connectors which means you see 2 screens and there are calibration and sync issues the LG ones simply don’t work.

So my closest thing would be a 10bit calibrated 4K professional monitor which is well over $1000.

Ah, interesting. I've seen the 27" 5K Dell, didn't realize it needed two DP connections.

I assume that in theory the graphics drivers should be able to merge the displays and present it to the OS as a single screen. That's how my UP2414Q works, which is two halves driven by multi-stream-transport over a single cable. It was rather unreliable in Windows though.

EDIT - While my experience has been that the screen worked better on a Mac and sucked on Windows, other people have had similar experiences with multi-display problems in Mac land, so I wouldn't write it off as just a Windows problem. Recent discussion thread here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15881207

So yes, a built-in display that probably works more reliably is definitely a bonus for the iMac Pro. Counterbalance that with the fact that when the computer's obsolete you're dumping the screen along with it.

Yes, but at least it can do 60hz http://www.dell.com/ae/business/p/dell-up2715k-monitor/pd

The GPU doesn't emulate anything, it sees 2 displays so does the OS. Which causes the problem, you effectively have 2 panels which can have difference in color recreation and there are some sync issues which can cause tearing with full screen applications.

For professional use especially video editing the best monitor I can think of is the UP2718Q.

The UP2718Q is a true 10 bit panel. It supports a very wide color spaces: 100% of sRGB/Adobe RGB and Rec.709, 97.7% of DCI-P3 and of 76.9% Rec.2020.

It supports HDR which is becoming important for content creators these days and has a peak brightness of 1000nits which would allow you to produce HDR content and verify the end result in the same workflow without having to push it to a secondary true HDR display.

And since it's a PrimeColor display from Dell each monitor is individually calibrated at the factory and you get a full calibration chart with each PC monitor (they used to do it for each Ultrasharp, but these days it has to be US Primecolor) like this one: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/images/dell_up2718q/img061.jpg

And most importantly it supports full hardware calibration so you can actually go into the OSD start the calibration process and update the hardware LUT table in the monitor itself rather than having to rely on color profiles.

The screenshots in this review show a single taskbar across the bottom as you'd expect with a single screen. If Windows were treating it as two screens you would expect the clock and systray to be in the middle of the screen, at the bottom right corner of the left half.


I don't know at what level that problem is being solved, but it's getting merged to a single display device somewhere.

FWIW my UP2414Q at 60Hz with left/right driven by multi-stream transport hasn't had any color consistency or sync problems.

Windows has builtin support for multi monitor task bar since Windows 8 ;)

As for issues I would assume you don't have color profiles and aren't gaming on that monitor? Because while they aren't super common they do happen on the dual DP displays.

I've calibrated it with a Spyder 3 Pro and not had issues.

It hasn't been hooked up to my gaming computer for a while, so the tearing problems I can't vouch for.

Some discussion of Linux drivers here https://devtalk.nvidia.com/default/topic/982568/-feature-req...

It discusses the TILE property communicated over EDID informing the drivers that the two signals should be merged into one panel, which is apparently being done automatically for 4K displays in Linux but not for 5K.

Since I can't find any similar complaints on the Windows side, I would assume that these are correctly tiling automatically at the GPU level, not using the multi-monitor taskbar.

Again not the same monitor (and 4K instead of 5K), but I can confirm that I had a single taskbar across the bottom of my UP2414Q under Windows 7 before the multi-monitor taskbar support was added in Windows 8. No user configuration was required. Similarly, hitting Maximize will make a window cover the entire screen, not just half of it as if they were separate displays.

I think you and me have very different definitions of what "good" stands for, so not I'm not inflating prices.


It's for people who don't want to run 2 screens. I know a couple people who ordered one this morning and do no intense editing whatsoever. They just like having the latest and most expensive toys from Apple.

I bought the 27-inch iMac in 2011. I don't mind the single screen, it helps focus actually.

I think it was the last version before Retina screens and SSDs, and that's why it's really heavy: 30.5 pounds (13.8 kg)! When I moved abroad, it was a massive pain to transport.

The video card gave up last year, and now I can't be bothered to repair it.

A laptop is just so much more convenient. And they're not as expensive and underpowered as their desktop counterparts anymore.

I'll probably never gonna by a desktop PC or Mac ever again.

A $100 video card would make a desktop PC usable. High-Sierra bricked my 2010 27" iMac. Not sure whether it's worth fixing.

Not as pretty but I miss PC hardware. I'd leave the case open so I could save a few minutes when I'd add/change memory, hard drive, video card, CPU... For me, a 7 year old PC would be turned into a Linux box.

Honestly the first thing that came to mind when I saw that was, "It's a laptop that I can't move, and it's more expensive."

I'd love a 10 core Xeon laptop with 128 gigs of RAM.

I'd be more impressed by somebody fitting a 27" screen in a laptop.

that would be awesome. and heavy

I guess it is a glass half-full/half-empty situation but I see a high-spec workstation that you can easily move and is about the same price (compared to other high-spec workstations).

Why cant you move it? Is it cemented to your desk? And it is much more powerful than any mac laptop..

$5000 is the base price. Fully specced it's north of $13,000. I can't imagine who would consider that a good deal, especially with the release of the new Mac Pro expected early next year.

Source for early next year for the new Mac Pro? As far as I am aware, we aren't even 100% sure it will be released in 2018.

> expected early next year.

Those users are likely to be disappointed since Apple did not commit to shipping it in 2018. All they said was that the new Mac Pro would not ship in 2017.

Exactly. Early 2018 is insanely optimistic, since we've heard nothing about it since the pre-announcement. If I had to bet, I'd say 2nd-half 2018 at the absolute earliest.

I'm willing to bet a low-end Mac Pro matched to a 5K 27" display will not start at 5K...

The 2013 Mac Pro launched at $3000 (4 core) and $4000 (6 core), and the LG Ultrafine Display (closest thing to an official Apple 5K monitor) is $1300.

$5000 is about the right ballpark.

I think it'll either start at a slightly lower spec or a slightly larger price so not to cannibalize too much of the iMac Pro. I suspect it'd be a dual socket machine, so Xeon W is not an option, leaving E5 or E7 as possibilities.

It'd be awesome if Apple pulled off the technically amazing feat of having a Xeon Phi as the only CPU, but I am not sure it could even be done (and with no virtualization support for it, if it's even desirable). Still would be cool to a level only Apple uses to do.

The price, compare with a similar PC, is quite competitive. But that other systems are modular, no need to buy all the RAM at the same time for example. I will pass and continue waiting for the Mac Pro.

Early next year you'll probably be able to get a matching display from Apple.

27" is a lot of real estate on your desk. Not everyone have the space to have two of these.


In 2014, I paid $3500 for the original iMac 5K. It's the best desktop I've owned. At the time, the display was unbeatable.

I have another monitor on mine and it doesn't bother me that they don't match.

You can always buy two :)

I wonder how many of these will end up in VC's offices, running Excel.

*Outlook and Apple Calendar

It appears that an Nvidia GPU is not an option, so this machine cannot be realistically used for deep learning.

You can always test the workload on your desktop, then push it to a cloud provider.

Team at Apple:

So we ran into heat sink problems with MacPro. Also, people wanted a pro machine to be extensible and upgradeable.

We learned from our mistakes. We give you the non-upgradable non-extensible iMac Pro that is also a heat sink problem.

(Note: I'm aware there's a MacPro coming sometime next year. And still...)

Just for fun, I added every possible option to the configurator (including VESA mount and software). Nearly $14k.

Since my work (statistics) is compute heavy but data transfer only happens once, I'll be sticking with EC2 at <$5 per hour. An iMac Pro would require me to upgrade before I worked off the difference. EC2 has the upgrading factored into the price and has CUDA GPUs.

I get that not everyone is like me (video editing would be real slow if you had to transfer all the files over the web), but I find it hard to justify when I could hire a kid to build me a comparable system for much cheaper. Sure, Apple's warranty is better, but is is worth as much as the price difference says it is?

Do All Professional Video / Gfx Editor uses large 27" monitor? For Video definitely, but i heard no one is using Apple's hardware for Video any more because they dont give a damn about the Mac. But surely we not everyone in the Gfx side needs a 27". Not everyone has the space to afford the 27" Size. The volume consumed by those component should fit in 21", surely this isn't a technical problem.

And are those Keyboard are butterfly keyboard? ( I hope not )

27" monitors are very common for pros and even enthusiasts (Dell P2715Qs are just $500) who do lots of video or photos/image work, yes.

Interesting – For me the 27" is actually too small!

(I'm a programmer; I have a 15" laptop, and two 32" monitors. It's just right.)

The keyboard is butterfly. I've gotten used to mine on the macbook pro, but it is definitely louder which can annoy friends and family.

Having used both side by side, the desktop butterfly keyboards are markedly different from the mobile ones. They don't even seem to use the same switches or tech. I have the newest version of both

I really think that affording $5000 hardware should mean you can afford some desk space for it.

Not in Hong Kong, Tokyo or Seoul.

I've never used a Magic keyboard. Is it a lot like Macbook keyboards? Do people prefer it over a mechanical keyboard if they want their wrists to not hurt after a day-long use?

I have a 2016 MBP and at work I use a Magic Keyboard.

I prefer my MBP Butterfly keyboard over the Magic keyboard. While the Magic Keyboard has more travel, the feedback and the feel of the Butterfly keys is more satisfying and feels more rigid.

I prefer the bigger escape button on the Magic Keyboard and the fact that dust can't stop my keys from clicking, but that's about it.

But if we put durability aside, Butterfly keys feel much better in my opinion.

I'm hoping Apple figure out a 3rd gen of Butterfly keyboards, with a little more travel and less failure rate.

Its basically what the Macbook keyboards should be. Much more reliable with a little more travel distance, but with the same key stability as the butterfly ones.

Its the other way aournd.

Looking at my use cases, I rarely need something of this power, but I'm excited that some of the advances will trickle down into the regular iMac line...

I've been watching eBay for space grey magic keyboards / trackpads since they won't sell them individually. No luck.

Even the normal ones are overpriced, I bet the space grey ones will go for ridiculous prices because many seem to want one.

Has that been officially stated? I've been hoping to get a set of the keyboard and trackpad in grey.

Yes -- the configuration page states: "Space Gray accessories are available only at the time of your iMac Pro purchase.".

Yes, you only get them with the iMac pro

Curious how it’s available now? Local pickup is Jan 2 or 3, delivery after Christmas at earliest. Just wondering

Are they selling a standalone monitor? The brochure mentions connecting 2 screens, is that 2 full iMac pros?

LG Ultrafine 5K, same size/resolution

Nice, have a dead one under my desk. Can get it warrantied, but lg won't ship a box, been too lazy to sort it out. Need to take care of that...

Just for fun, I maxed out the configuration all the way--just to see--and the price was $14,000. :o

Notice no 64GB LR-DIMMs. I even sent an email to Cook and Federighi about that one today.

Finally we can build a proper compile/render farm! Oh wait.

Built in KVM for every node in your cluster!

at this price tag, I would have expected a frameless screen.

>10Gb Ethernet

Does any consumer isp offer speeds faster than 1gb?

Maybe not, but a 10GbE connection is useful with higher-end NAS models. A well-configured storage array can easily saturate a 1GbE connection.

Modern NAS don't even need to be configured in a special way. I have a HP Microserver Gen8 (from 2013 with an old Intel Pentium) with HDDs and FreeNAS. My ZFS RAID-Z pushes 1G easily on sequential reads without any special things like SSD caches.

While iMac pro's 10gb is primarily for lan connection, Chattanooga's municipal network offers a 10g connection for $300/mo. (coincidentally, thats the same price I pay for 100mbps 'business fiber' here in Memphis) https://epb.com/home-store/internet#pricing

EPB in Chattanooga charges businesses quite a bit more for fiber, too. One of my clients has a 150 Mbps connection with a routed subnet and pays close to $400/month. There are service level guarantees, though.

On the other hand, I pay $70/month for 1 Gig fiber at home, which I've routinely tested to 950 Mbps up and down.

I've yet to meet anyone who has signed up for 10 Gig service yet, or knows what they'd do with it.

That’s interesting, my company in Chatt only pays $160/month for 270 Mbps and a static IP

That is less for the internet and more for moving stuff around the local network.

This iMac is pointed to a Professional user maybe it is not about internet but connection to servers.

Comcast has a limited fiber to the home network in Central Illinois with unmetered 2Gbps symmetrical fiber for $300/month. I'm told (by a couple friends who have it) that it works pretty well and actually does out-perform their gigabit coax (which is what I have) if you have a router and workstation capable of handling it. As much as I'd like faster than 50Mbps upload, I don't think I'd be willing to double my internet bill to get it (ignoring the $1k non-refundable installation fee for fiber).

That’s because it’s technically delivered through Comcast business. I called about it and it takes quite a while to get setup. But they do give you a pretty solid connection and support.

This is not a pro machine, no one can upgrade the RAM or open this up for anything. This is suitable for rich YouTubers. Apple is now pretty much clueless.

It's the last nail in their coffin for sure. No way they can come back from this.

Look, Pro means a different thing to Apple than it does to you. For Apple Pro means professional content creators - photographers, graphic artists, publishers, video editors, animators and yes, rich Youtubers. Those are creative professionals, which is what Apple means by Pro. It doesn't necessarily mean developer or even techie of any kind. If there's one thing Apple really do have a clue about, it's who their customers are. See the record, industry trend beating sales of the touchbar Macbook Pros despite being widely panned by tech pundits.

Does that mean Apple can't make mistakes? Clearly they misjudged the direction high performance computing was heading a few years back. The Mac Pro is intended to be the definitive answer to that question and this is a step in that direction and it looks like it's already working. The reviews of these machines have been breathless, they're a massive step up in power which was exactly what was needed right now.

Why are you so sure that upgradability is a requirement for a pro machine? I’m asking genuinely, not because I’m a “pro,” but because I’ve read annecdotes of people who use Macs professionally but do not feel the need to upgrade their internals over the life of the machine. Perhaps Apple has recognized that.

Really? I upgraded by Macbook's hard drive and RAM because I can and it was available to sped up the performance, I'm still able to use it up until now and it's an old machine but the upgrade is making it last longer.

I also upgraded my parent's iMac after the hard drive failed and also installed additional RAM to speed up their experience. Those aren't pro machines but day-to-day computing needs.

For this price point I would have expected to be able to do these things, and knowing pros use their machines heavily and rely on it, it's a pain in the ass not to have this ability. Perhaps it's already great out of the box and nothing else is needed, it's perfectly future proof. But honestly, if the option is available to upgrade parts -- I'm sure people would love it more.

In addition -- the commenter above, I'm not bashing on Apple. In fact, I am an Apple stockholder. I am only saying they have failed in many ways to satisfy the customer's needs but instead make decisions now based on the marketing and profit. You can only do that for so long until your supporters start jumping ship. My comment is more of frustration not bashing.

Give me a break. They took their current iMac and added a more powerful configuration. They also pre-announced that a modular Mac Pro is in development and coming soon. What is the possible downside of doing this?

We're playing a game here where someone shouts out a 5-digit number and we have to guess the configuration (s)he picked.

Impressive, but a bit depressing considering that it's a closed system that you'll never be able to upgrade.

More thoughts here: https://mjtsai.com/blog/2017/12/12/the-imac-pro/#comment-279...

Edit: gender neutrality

Wow, that sounds like a really boring game.

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