One surprise hardware announcement in this year's WWDC was that of the 27-inch iMac Pro, an all-in-one desktop that will cater to video and graphics professionals who demand workstation-level performance.
Apple promised that it will start shipping at the end of this year. That time is now - the iMac Pro is finally available starting today!
So what's so special about the iMac Pro? For one, it's merely "the most powerful Mac ever built" (for now, at least until the Mac Pro gets a refresh next year). It's an engineering wonder how Apple managed to cram professional level hardware inside the all-in-one form factor of an iMac.
With top-end options of up to an 18-core Xeon processor, 128GB of RAM, a 4TB solid state drive and up to 16GB of video memory, it can truly be a monster all-in-one.
But of course, with all that performance comes a very steep price tag. The base model starts at $4,999 but it ramps up to over $10,000 if you get all the fancy trimmings.
So an average consumer like you may ask, "Is the iMac Pro worth it?"
Do you need all that power anyway?
The iMac Pro entry-level price is $4,999 and it still packs a punch. Check out the specs of the base model:
- a 27-inch 5K display
- an 8-core Xeon processor
- a whopping 32GB of RAM
- a 1TB solid state drive
- a Radeon Vega 56 graphics processor with 8GB of memory
- Ultra-bright 500 nits 5K Retina display
- SDXC card slot, 4 USB 3.0 and 4 Thunderbolt/USB-C ports
- 10 Gb Ethernet
Compared to even the top-end 5K iMac, that's a very significant jump in hardware specs! But the thing is, you probably don't need all that extra horsepower if you're just a typical consumer.
If you're just looking for a speedy all-in-one Mac that can capably edit and consume 4K videos at home, then the regular 27-inch iMac should be enough. There's not a lot of consumer software out there that utilizes multiple cores yet so you'll be wasting your money on extra muscle that you don't need.
However, if you're a semi-pro/pro graphics, 3D animation and video editor who constantly works with tight deadlines and multiple projects, the iMac Pro's superior rendering speed and performance will be a godsend. You can even run up to four extra 4K displays or two 5K displays on the iMac Pro!
Bottom line is this - if you're in desperate need of a very powerful all-in-one computer like your life depended on it, then the iMac Pro's absurdly high admission price is worth it.
The iMac Pro is definitely a beast of a machine but there's this one thing that might discourage people looking to get more out of their $5,000 purchase down the road.
Nope, the iMac Pro is not user-upgradable so you can't bump up its storage nor its RAM whenever you feel like it. That's a downer for tinkerers who always want the ability to expand their machines with aftermarket parts. If you're one them, just wait for the Mac Pro.
You really like Space Gray, don't you?
I know, it's quite an absurd reason to shell out $5,000, but if you really, really, I mean, really like Apple's Space Gray, then the iMac Pro is the one for you.
Why? Well, it's the only machine that comes with Space Gray accessories - a Space Gray Magic Keyboard, a Space Gray Magic Mouse, a Space Gray Magic Trackpad, heck, even a Space Gray Lightning cable. Apple said that it has no plans of selling these Space Gray peripherals separately so if you really want your magical mouse to match your Space Gray iPhone X, then by all means, drop that $5K. (Pro-tip: Don't.)
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