iMac Pro Review – Is It Worth the Money?

January 17th, 2018
iMac Pro Review - Is It Worth the Money?

As we reported last month, Apple is now shipping the new iMac Pro. Like a lot of people, I was excited to get my hands on the fastest Mac ever created. Having tried it out on a project for the past two weeks, I thought I’d share my iMac Pro hands-on review with you all now.

Out of the box

The first thing I noticed, of course, was the beautiful slate grey finish of both the iMac Pro and its accessories. Now that black is back, I guess champagne gold won’t be far around the corner! Aside from its good looks, the next thing to tickle my fancy was the huge array of ports on the back. Having committed to updating all my peripherals to USB-C last year, I was already in good shape to take advantage of the four Thunderbolt 3 ports. The inclusion of four USB 3 ports were still welcome, however, as it meant my legacy external SSDs and DaVinci Resolve 14 dongle could easily be accommodated too.

Configuration

The unit I’ve been reviewing is the mid-range iMac Pro, which I think gives the best balance between cost and performance. This configuration can be yours for the princely sum of £6,332.50 excluding VAT…

  • 27-inch, 10-bit, 500 nits brightness, Wide colour (P3), Retina 5K display (5120×2880)
  • 3.0GHz 10-core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
  • 64GB 2666MHz DDR4 ECC memory
  • 2TB SSD
  • Radeon Pro Vega 64 with 16GB of HBM2 memory
  • Magic Mouse 2 – Space Grey
  • Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad – Space Grey

Now, I’m not for a minute going to pretend that that isn’t a lot of money to spend on a computer. However, those that refuse to see beyond the price are ignoring that this is a hell of a lot of premium hardware Apple are giving us. I’d argue it represents better cost per performance than the Mac Pro did when it re-launched in 2013, and pretty much every facility I visit has a Mac Pro in their suite(s).

iMac Pro

Upgradibility

As you may have heard, the iMac Pro can’t be opened up by the end user, have its innards ripped out and be upgraded with new bits. This seems to have got some people rather cross, which I must say I find amusing. You can’t even stick a micro SD card in the £1,000 iPhone X, for goodness sake; why are people surprised that the iMac Pro isn’t user-upgradeable?! Seriously, though, while this may be of concern to a facility looking to kit out a building with many, many workstations – where their priority will be prolonging the usefulness of these systems to avoid having to sell/chuck out kit for as long as possible – it is of no concern to me, nor to most small businesses. For those who do want user-upgradeability, Apple is working on two new solutions right now – an external Thunderbolt 3 breakout box and an all-new modular Mac Pro. But for me personally, the last thing I am interested in is ripping apart my computer and swapping out components. After all, it’s not 1977 and I don’t spend my evenings at a home brew computer club! These days, I think most individuals simply buy the best thing they can afford that will eat up everything they throw at it, and when they feel like it’s not quite coping with what they’re asking it do to (probably in two or three years’ time) they will sell it and put that money towards the next one. And Apple computers still keep their value remarkably well, just check listings on eBay.

Speed

OK, I’ll be honest, this is not one of those reviews with lots of benchmarks. That information is already out there anyway and, to save you the bother of reading them, they all show that the iMac Pro is faster than anything else Apple has ever made. For me, I was far more interested in knowing whether or not it felt faster. Too often I buy something because it is 30% better at this, or 2x better at that, but you get it home and play with it, and those numbers just don’t translate into real life gains. So, rather unscientifically, I started editing a project I had logged on my MacBook Pro to see if I would immediately feel the difference.

I did. Oh, boy, did I feel it! I mean, this thing is just silly fast. Every time it rendered, or analysed my clips for stabilisation or optical flow, I would watch with delight as the little background process wheel span around so fast, you’d miss it if you blinked. Playing back 4K, 6K, even 8K footage didn’t seem to bother it in the least. It would occasionally drop a frame here or there if I was playing back 8K ProRes 422 HQ, but 8K ProRes LT was fine and, quite frankly, the odd dropped frame here and there doesn’t stop you editing. The big real-world test for me was, could I edit 10-bit 50p 4K raw from my C200 natively, with no dropped frames and seamless changes in direction with the transport keys (I do like to rock back and forth on J and L when editing on the fly). The answer was a big fat YES. In fact, even if I deliberately whizzed my playhead back and forth as quickly as possible, it still skimmed through with ease, as if it were just some 8-bit compressed HD rubbish! ;)

Now, one of the things that I do think is worth measuring accurately, is export times. I wanted to quantify how much time someone could expect to save when exporting multiple deliverables, as this is something that has a direct impact on everyone’s working day. I timed how long it took to do two exports of a 5m 46s case study I was delivering, and then compared that to my top-spec 2017 15” MacBook Pro. I exported a ProRes 422 4K 25p master and an H.264 HD 25p deliverable and here are the results:

  • 15” MacBook Pro 2017 – Master Export – 11m 01s
  • 15” MacBook Pro 2017 – Client Deliverable – 21m 43s
  • iMac Pro – Master Export – 3m 10s
  • iMac Pro – Client Deliverable – 6m 27s

Just look at those numbers! People who buy the new iMac Pro might have to take up an extra hobby to fill up all their spare time!

**UPDATE**

My friend and fellow cinema5D writer, Tim Fok, asked me to do a head-to-head with his iMac 5K, as he was wondering if it was worth upgrading and wanted a direct comparison. So we both did a basic transcode with the same 51 second, 6K, .r3d file. We exported to HD Pro Res 4444, making sure all our settings were exactly the same in REDCINE-X PRO and here are our results:

  • iMac Pro – 0m 56s
  • iMac 5K (Late 2014), 4Ghz i7, 32GB RAM, AMD Radeon R9 4GB GPU – 2m 53s

Conclusion

I have several jobs booked in for February and March that need to be shot in raw and mastered in 4K, HDR. For me, the iMac Pro was designed for exactly these types of workflow. The incredible display is clearly designed to showcase this type of content and the horsepower is more than enough to cut and grade this stuff natively and quickly. As long as you configure it with a spec that will see you through the next two to three years, you won’t care about the lack of upgradability. And if you think that building a PC with the same spec hardware is going to save you a fortune, think again too. Once you factor in that outstanding display, you really aren’t that far off and, besides, you can’t put a cost on that lovely, shiny, black Apple logo ;)

Are you considering spending big bucks on the new iMac Pro? Let us know in the comments!

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 Dru C
Dru C
Member
April 18th, 2019

Can I build a more powerful PC for less than the cost of an imac pro? Well let’s see, I already have a newer Nvidia gpu, I already have the power supply and the liquid cooler and the case and half the RAM I need. I have 2 27 inch monitors a license for Windows, nvme ssd’s plus sata drives for archiving. I could get a 32 core threadripper for $1700,a real nice board for it for $400, a case for $100, more RAM for $200. So yeah, for $2400 I could use the existing parts I already have and build a far more powerful computer that can run redshift and vray and octane and all the other stuff that requires CUDA. That’s why we “whine” about it being user serviceable.

SYN'S K C
Guest
February 3rd, 2019

Thank you !! Fox regarding to get the 10 cores 64GRam with the Vega64 just waitedto long on that New Macpro s never there since 2013!!!
Steve

E K
E K
Guest
November 3rd, 2018

What 2nd monitor would you recommend to go alongside it?

 R G
R G
Member
March 14th, 2018

Ok did a quick search, look what I found:

iMac Pro
with
Xeon W 2140B 10 cores at 3 GHz
64 GB ECC 2666 RAM
1 TB ssd “apple-made” hd
Radeon Pro Vega 56 8GB HBM2

Price: 7519 EUR

VS

HP Z4 Workstation
with
Intel Xeon W-2155 3.3 2666MHz 13.75 10C CPU
64GB (4x16GB) DDR4 2666 DIMM ECC Registered Memory
NVIDIA Quadro P4000 8GB (4)DP GFX
HP Z Turbo Drive M.2 1TB SSD
Premium FIO 2xUSB3.1 TypeC 2xUSB3 TypeA
HP SD Card Reader
Intel X550-T2 10GbE Dual Port NIC
HP Z4 G4 Fan and Front Card Guide Kit
HP Z4 G4 Memory Cooling Solution

HP Z27n 27-inch Narrow Bezel IPS Display K7C09A4

Price 7520 EUR

I tried to get the two solutions as similar as possible. The HP is configured with their online configurator, and would be built and tested in a similar way as the iMac Pro.
There are small differences everywhere: the CPU is different, the GPU is different, I didn’t check the caches or the HD speed yet, feel free to fill me in.

I was surprised to find out that the Z4 ended up being pretty much the same price as the iMac Pro.

Correct me if any of this information is wrong.

 Peter H
Peter H
Member
March 1st, 2018

Hello Ollie

Thank-you for this review it was exactly what I was looking for. I would like to upgrade my 2011 iMac (which has made me tons of money editing PROFESSIONAL content for television and commercial clients in North America). When I read comments that cry about how the machine is not worth the money and you can buy a PC machine for cheaper it screams to me that the poster clearly is either a) a rookie b) is terrible at business c) only charges for their time and not a suite rental.

It’s so terribly rude when I know you have worked very hard to target this article to professionals and some cock who clearly still lives with their parents and has no idea how having this machine makes editing and running a business so much easier. If you are not charging at least $250/day for your suite on top of your daily rate than you are doing it wrong!!!!

Your article has helped me decide that the iMac Pro is a better choice over the current iMac 5K.

Thank-you for your time.
Have a pleasant week and keep writing these articles for professionals.

Member
January 23rd, 2018

Well it’s not worth it, because an old Mac Pro 12 core tower with a good raid card and a top on GPU card will five you much better performance for far less money – and the you can upgrade any part it any time you like.

 Dino Schachten
Member
January 22nd, 2018

I am an Apple fan. Or I used to be. Now I am a mostly content Apple user.

I was fascinated to see the iMac Pro announced, but when I looked at the prices and the same locked-down design, it was clear I was never going to get me one.
The reason is simple: If that +10K investment develops a RAM or CPU failure, I’ll possibly have to throw it away entirely (if you disregard selling the display, SSD and power supply as spare parts on eBay).

I think it’s horrifying to invest that much money into something that is entirely useless once one component starts failing.
I have already had to replace the power supply of my 2012 iMac (against the adhesive stripes that glue that thing together – and no, I’m not paying an Apple Store several hundred bucks to do that for me).

That’s why I’m looking forward to the modular Mac Pro.

I do love smooth designs. The thing is: They don’t have to get in the way of replacing things. They must not. And again: They don’t HAVE to. The iMac Pro design was just another “let’s see how far we can go” move by Apple. These moves are disappointing and disturbing.

I will continue to use Apple products, but I’ll always keep in mind what happens if one of these components fails (and no, the extended warranty (which you have to pay for) is not good enough, I want my workhorse to last longer than three years!), and I’ll always go with the most repairable solution available.

 Carmi Weinzweig
Carmi Weinzweig
Member
January 23rd, 2018
Reply to  Dino Schachten

First, how many Macintoshes have you owned that had CPU or RAM failure after the warranty? Secondly, why would you throw away the machine rather than replacing the RAM or the CPU? Both (as well as the M.2 NVMe Flash drive) are socked and easily replaceable by a trained technician.

 Matt Drummond
Matt Drummond
Member
January 23rd, 2018
Reply to  Dino Schachten

Ive had Power PCs, G5s, iMacs in every incarnation, Pro towers, powerbooks, macbook pros and mac minis.
90% of those machines have been on 24/7 360 days per year rendering electric image, mental ray, Renderman or in the last few year Arnold renders from Maya for feature films.

In 20 plus years of professional mac use I’ve never once had component failure except on one old mac screen which was replaced under apple care. This is why I pay the extra money for apple gear. This is why they can call it pro.

 Steven Bujang
Member
February 13th, 2018
Reply to  Matt Drummond

Glad to hear from high calibre and real Professional filmmaker shout out real world experience,rather than some anonymous, impersonating “Real” Professionalism.

 Arturo Marino
Arturo Marino
Member
January 22nd, 2018

Ollie, can you share your “top-spec 2017” mbp specs? many thanks, I´m need mobile device, thanks !

 Mario Trani
Mario Trani
Member
January 20th, 2018

I think one major point the windows slaves/drones here don’t get is, that any product from Apple is superior. Period. Even stuff Apple doesn’t produce is better than their counter parts, or rather, ripoffs! And btw, this high technology product in this review could be ten times as expensive and it still would be cheap. Coz as the writer of this marvelous review stated, in the end, it’s the logo that counts. if you still don’t believe me, then just look at the biggest movies ever done. All created with the power of Macs. Ilm’s vfx: Mac. Weta: 100% Mac. Mercedes-Benz: you name it. As a matter of fact, Stanford University, led by Professor Amir Kassaei just analyzed all types of creative productions, be it moving or still images and concluded that you can only create original content with Macs. Anything else is just chicken scratch! Case closed!

 paolo baroni
paolo baroni
Guest
January 20th, 2018
Reply to  Mario Trani

MARIO your comment is fine for a fashion blog……..you make me ashamed of being italian…so ignorant

Einar Davíðsson
Einar Davíðsson
Member
January 21st, 2018
Reply to  paolo baroni

What I find embarrassing as that a such a clearly sarcastic message can STILL ALWAYS be interpreted as sincere by some commenters. I personally find sarcasm like this, without wit and subtlety, to be missing the point of sarcasm – but clearly sarcasm can never be too blunt on the internet…

 Nicola Verdi
Nicola Verdi
Member
January 22nd, 2018
Reply to  Mario Trani

MARIO WHAT DID YOU SMOKE?

As is the case with most, if not all, of the large VFX production houses, their systems are predominantly Linux based PCs. Mostly HP, DELL and IBM linux boxes(Kubuntu) plus “MCP”. You can easily install rpm support on any distribution. Many post production places I have worked for use debian, gentoo, ubuntu, kubuntu…

The Data-Crunching Powerhouse Behind ‘Avatar’: (WETA)
http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2009/12/22/the-data-crunching-powerhouse-behind-avatar
The Weta data center got a major hardware refresh and redesign in 2008 and now uses more than 4,000 HP BL2x220c blades (new BL2x220c G6 blades announced last month), 10 Gigabit Ethernet networking gear from Foundry and storage from BluArc and NetApp. The system now occupies spot 193 through 197 in the Top 500 list of the most powerful supercomputers.

ILM/ PIXAR:
http://www.slashfilm.com/cool-stuff-a-look-at-pixar-and-lucasfilms-renderfarms/
The campus has a 13,500-square-foot data center, which houses a render farm, file servers and storage systems. The set-up includes more than 3,000 AMD processors, proprietary render-management tools, allowing desktop workstations to be added to the render farm pool after hours, expanding the processing capacity to more than 5,000 processors.

In any feature film that Maya or Max is used in, they also likely used scripts and custom plugins for special needs of the production. Autodesk 3ds Max 2018 runs only with: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. (X64)

ILM use Max for environments and 2.5d mate paintings. Maya for animation, rigging etc…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_made_with_Autodesk_3ds_Max
http://www.groundzerofx.com/maxinfilm/index.htm

I been many times at ILM in SF….

Richard Szkiler
Guest
January 20th, 2018

I have the iMac pro 10 core it’s unbelievable quick. The perfect machine !

Member
January 20th, 2018

Thats good to know. I think as people purchase and begin to use their iMac Pro’s we will begin to get a better sense of how these machines really perform and weather or not a user feels it was worth the price they paid.

 Mike Jones
Member
January 20th, 2018

Ollie,

Thanks for putting together this review for the iMac. I do, however, have to agree with those in the “upgradeable” camp. The biggest reason, in my opinion, is that while this beast does everything you want and more, it does so today. But tomorrow will likely bring some requirement that will cause you wish you’d bought the bigger hard drive, or the additional memory, or that one bit of hardware that – in order to save money – you skimped on. It ALWAYS seems to happen, and could happen way before you’ve gotten your money out of this device, given its lofty price.

So if I were buying all-in-one, I’d have to buy the maxed-out version, but at $14k USD that’s unacceptably high (to me). I’m basically purchasing all those upgrades NOW at today’s prices, rather than when I need the upgrade, at tomorrow’s (usually cheaper) prices. And THAT would cause me to just wait until next year or later this year when the new Mac Pro comes out.

Because I’ll buy anything that is shiny and has the Apple logo on it ;-)

 paolo baroni
paolo baroni
Guest
January 19th, 2018

i think apple MUST ABANDON THE PRO WORD…..everything ended with the 17″macbook pro, and the last tower mac pro….i still own 2 macbook pro and a macpro cylinder….but i think for using adobe a pc for 4k gaming is enough and costs half, than you have to deal with windows but how better is osx nowadays? i would like to see a render comparison between imac pro and a top range gaming pc via adobe cc or avid

uri
uri
Guest
February 5th, 2019
Reply to  paolo baroni

You can see here in the article, the iMac Pro is humiliated by the PC.
And all this at half the price of the iMac Pro.

https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/After-Effects-CC-2019-CPU-Roundup-Intel-vs-AMD-vs-Mac-1297/#BenchmarkAnalysis

 Wes Woodland
Member
January 19th, 2018

As a fellow C200 owner, I am happy (jumping for joy happy) to hear that this thing tears through the RAW 4k files. Thanks for the review.

 paolo baroni
paolo baroni
Guest
January 20th, 2018
Reply to  Wes Woodland

edit raw is less demanding than a compressed 4k from a sony or a drone, you just need a faster drive i edited on the street R3d files with a mb pro of 5 years ago 512mega of video ram…..raw is more demanding only in the final render to compression

Alexander James Brown
Guest
January 18th, 2018

I am glad I skimmed the article rather than wasting my time reading it after seeing his note at the end – the author summing up his authority as nothing more than another person who can type a blog post.

” you can’t put a cost on that lovely, shiny, black Apple logo ;)”

Lenny
Lenny
Member
January 18th, 2018

I am always entertained by how aggressive (and forgive me for using the other “n” word) nerds can get on this subject. Sorry for the interruption, please continue.

Member
January 18th, 2018

Hi, Your comment saying its not 1977 makes me bummed because that attitude fuels apple to continue to go down this path of not being able to upgrade your machine. The whole purpose of being with apple in the begining was the ability to upgrade. I like many others had mac pro towers that were workhorses that you could upgrade over time instead of buying a new computer every 3-5 years which is such a waste.

Jarad Clement
Guest
January 18th, 2018

I love mine for video editing and graphic design. ? (prepares for hatemail)

Oscar M
Member
January 18th, 2018

Offcause its not worth it – as always :)

 Claude Chiarot
Member
January 18th, 2018

So much hate for this machine, too bad!
Peoples will pay more than a PC to get this all-in-one Apple computer, because it is an all-in-one and it has the power they need today.
Most peoples that will buy this machine likely already own a single Macbook Pro or an iMac, so there is already a mindset established for accepting non-upgradable machine.
Is that bad?

Eric Darling
Member
January 18th, 2018

Personally, I made the switch to DIY/Windows a long time ago, but then I was using a Mac probably before most of you were born, so…. The trick isn’t to figure out which brand of machine you “should” use, but which machine makes you the most efficient. It’s a machine, after all, and efficiency is its primary objective, even if you just really like the way it looks.

Member
January 18th, 2018
Reply to  Eric Darling

Eric Darling – you right its just a tool of the trade in the end.

Stefano Berg
Guest
January 18th, 2018

Totally agree. Nobody consider the screen quality and how well Apple products keep the price even after 2/3 years.

 Matt Drummond
Matt Drummond
Member
January 18th, 2018

Who the hell has time to build a PC? In fact who has time to troll Pro mac posts with PC specs and hardware configs.

Member
January 18th, 2018
Reply to  Matt Drummond

ROFL

Member
January 18th, 2018
Reply to  Matt Drummond

People whose projects have already finished rendering because they don’t use Apple products.

 Jan Mejlgaard Bliddal
Jan Mejlgaard Bliddal
Member
February 15th, 2018
Reply to  Drew Geraci

You are not really up speed with regards to how fast Final Cut Pro renders on compatible hardware when compared to the poorly optimized Premiere Pro are you. Claming that you can get way faster hardware on the PC site becomes a mute point when a PC with a 16 Core CPU and 2 1080 graphic cards only beat a 8 Core IMac Pro running Premiere and After Effect with less than 20% when the same iMac beats the PC in rendering performance when the same iMac Pro beats the PC hands down in render testes when using FCP, but lack og knowledge seems to be common among you Apple haters.

 Nicola Verdi
Nicola Verdi
Member
January 18th, 2018
Reply to  Matt Drummond

As a tech entrepreneur I’m building render farms and this is just quick breakdown. Very similar parts are used in totally overpriced mac machines.

Johann Hütter
Johann Hütter
Member
January 20th, 2018
Reply to  Matt Drummond

my last hackintosh from 2011 cost about €1,5k and is as fast as an €3k imac from 2015. when time is money, i gladly spend 2 days researching, ordering and building that machine, unfortunately i‘m not going to make >1,5k in that timespan (some might say, the imac pro isn‘t for me then :-). plus, it‘s invaluable nerd-fun.

 Nicola Verdi
Nicola Verdi
Member
January 18th, 2018

Iiyama XB2779QQS 5K (5120×2880) $900
Intel Core i9-7900X Skylake-X 10-Core 3.3 GHz $969 (faster CPU)
CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 64GB 288-Pin DDR4 $750
SAMSUNG 850 PRO 2.5″ 2TB SATA $870
Titan XP 12gb RAM $1,200
MSI X299 M7 ACK LGA 2066 Intel X299 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 $389
__________________________________________________________________

$5078 vs mac $8747.78 (£6,332.50)
You still need a case(upgradeable), power supply, few cables…

 Stephen Withers
Member
January 18th, 2018
Reply to  Nicola Verdi

I priced out a rough build as well: https://secure.newegg.com/Wishlist/PublicWishlistDetail?ID=29969371

6,896 vs 8,799 for the equivalent iMac, and I went with a Vega Pro GPU to be as close as possible.

I run a Hackintosh, and while it works great and has served me well, I have lost a lot of hours to fiddling and troubleshooting over the years. When it comes time to upgrade I will gladly pay the Apple tax.

 Carmi Weinzweig
Carmi Weinzweig
Member
January 23rd, 2018
Reply to  Nicola Verdi

Your monitor is not P3 color space. Your machine does not include 10gb Ethernet, nor does it include ECC RAM. Your CPU is the same speed, but has 4 fewer PCIe lanes, and your SSD is quite a bit slower. You have no Thunderbolt ports. You also have no warranty and have to build it yourself.

Not a terrible machine, but not exactly equivalent.

 Carmi Weinzweig
Carmi Weinzweig
Member
January 23rd, 2018

Some or all those features may not matter to you, but they simply mean you do not have a comparable machine.

Matthew Brooks
Guest
January 18th, 2018

One of the biggest problems with these workstations is that they are only offered in glossy screens. This isn’t best practice for post-production of any kind. Why won’t Apple offer anti-glare versions like every professional monitor on the market? The hardware is finally up to date (thankfully) but this is still a big glossy mirror.

Member
January 18th, 2018

“And if you think that building a PC with the same spec hardware is going to save you a fortune, think again too.”
Exactly right once you price it all out including the display.

Or you can just wait an see what else Apple had planed to replace the Mac Pro that they announced would come out this year,
or ………….. if you want a PC, by all means just buy one.

Johann Hütter
Johann Hütter
Member
January 20th, 2018
Reply to  Clayton Moore

„Now, you won’t see any of those products this year; we’re in the process of that. We think it’s really important to create something great for our pro customers who want a Mac Pro modular system, and that’ll take longer than this year to do.” – Phil Schiller in April 2017, about the new new Mac Pro.

I wouldn‘t bet on 2018 for the new, new Mac Pro, especially as they just released the imac pro, which seems like a bridge-product to give owners of the old nMP an upgrade path until the nnMP comes out.

yes, building a pc with the same specs would cost roughly the same. BUT, building a PC or hackintosh with the same speed as an 8-10 core imac pro would be possible for $2k less – and while it might have a few drawbacks (maybe limited to 32 gig of ram, less thunderbolt ports, maybe only a 4k screen), it’d also have some possible advantages like (multiple) nvidia gpus, multiple SSDs/HDs, a standard (e.g. rack mountable) form factor, user-serviceable components, matte display,…

Johann Hütter
Johann Hütter
Member
January 20th, 2018
Reply to  Johann Hütter

p.s.: i just hope they won‘t pull an iphoneX and that the nnMP will start well below the imac-pro – remember, the old nMP starts at € 3,4k

James Davis
Guest
January 18th, 2018

It’s junk.

Member
January 18th, 2018

I’m just playing devils advocate here, but why would you compare a laptop to a desktop in terms of render speed? Is Apple that slow or bad that you can’t compare it to another desktop-like computer such as the 2013 MacPro or the other iMacs? I would hope for the price it’s faster than everything else that it ran against, considering all of those components are 4-6 years old already. Your last line, “you can’t put a cost on that lovely, shiny, black Apple logo ;)” sealed the deal though that you don’t care about performance, you only care about brand, which is a shame (but exactly what Apple wants you to do).

Johann Hütter
Johann Hütter
Member
January 20th, 2018

still, comparing a laptop to a desktop doesn‘t make much sense, apart from your very personal perspective. i‘d love to see a broader comparison with the 5k imac – although i‘m pretty sure that they are priced accordingly. ~4,3k for the 5k imac with the 4,2 ghz cpu, 32 gig ram and 1tb ssd, and then starting at 5,5k the imac pro with double the cpu-cores (but slower single cores and no quick-sync), more IO-ports and a better gpu. which isn‘t to say that at least the 5k imac isn‘t an overpriced piece of throw-away hardware.

Marko Hila
Guest
January 17th, 2018

Give a couple of years and Apple will cripple its performance via software updates to force you fork out even more $$$ on a new iMac. Apple no more.

Drew Geraci
Guest
January 17th, 2018

Definitely not a pro-machine.

 Craig Seeman
Craig Seeman
Member
January 17th, 2018

With Xeon processors I’m still concerned about the lack of QuickSync which helps H.264 encoding which is still a large part of my delivery.

Personally I’d buy only the base model because it’s all I need for the time being. Of course if one needs more power go for it buy my feeling if I need more power in three years, I’m going to have to buy a new computer since this isn’t upgradable. I find buying for the long term future doesn’t work with Apple products because the big money components may still be inadequate 3 years down the road.

 Lorenzo Huskamp
Lorenzo Huskamp
Member
January 17th, 2018

For less than 6000€ you still get a nice Windows workstation which is (noticeable) faster, can be upgraded, is probably as silene as the Mac and has several other advantages. Disdvantages: Space, Style, Glamour and the OS if you care (still – Hackintosh is possible).

See it here:
https://geizhals.de/?cat=WL-401194

Johann Hütter
Johann Hütter
Member
January 20th, 2018

good luck building a hackintosh with an AMD-processor. other disadvantages: slower IO (no thunderbolt), slower single-core performance (still pretty important), „only“ 4k display, definitely and noticeable louder than the imac (but nothing a better case and the omission of spinning hard-drives can‘t fix).

still, that’s a pretty nice system. if only I could stand windows or work as fast in premiere/davinci as i can in fcpx…

Nathan Cary
Guest
January 17th, 2018

Schillem Guerine

Witek Kameraman
Guest
January 17th, 2018

Its NOT.

Robert Frank
Guest
January 17th, 2018

Locked down hardware that is not user configurable is NOT ‘Pro’.

Per Gunnar
Guest
January 17th, 2018
Reply to  Robert Frank

It depends…?

Robert Frank
Guest
January 17th, 2018
Reply to  Robert Frank

Per Gunnar I guess it depends on if the configuration Apple sells is the one that fits your needs?

Joelle Mcneil
Guest
January 17th, 2018
Reply to  Robert Frank

If a pro can use it with ease and handles everything thrown at it, as all reviews have indicated, then it is pro.

Robert Frank
Guest
January 17th, 2018
Reply to  Robert Frank

Joelle Mcneil A pro will use whatever is available, but a high performance street car is not a race car.

Mike Silverman
Guest
January 17th, 2018
Reply to  Robert Frank

And a computer isn’t a car.

Robert Frank
Guest
January 18th, 2018
Reply to  Robert Frank

Mike Silverman The analogy is relevant unless you’re too myopic to see it.

Johann Hütter
Johann Hütter
Member
January 19th, 2018
Reply to  Robert Frank

well, if you do professional work with it, meaning „create things and sell them for a living“, then it‘s „pro“ per definition. coming back to your analogy, there‘s probably at least an order of magnitude more professional streetcar drivers than there are professional racecar drivers.

p.s.: i‘m not a fan of those „throwaway“ computers either, but with the hardware race having slowed down considerable and a lot of things that used to be internal getting available as external solutions (video i/o cards, soundcards, external gpus,…) those all-in-one boxes make more sense. if only RAM wasn‘t that expensive at the moment…

Joe Hite
Guest
January 17th, 2018

Would have been great to read some facts rather read a fan boy’s bs review.

Joelle Mcneil
Guest
January 17th, 2018
Reply to  Joe Hite

This is a real world review, he mentioned it if you want to read benchmarks go read any of the other reviews.

Member
January 18th, 2018
Reply to  Joelle Mcneil

Well everyone is looking for something different, but this review told me exactly what I wanted to know. I spec’d one with my Apple guy when they became available and it came to just a few bucks under $14,000. When I caught my breath I decided to wait for some reviews to see if there might be a middle ground that I could live with. Thanks for taking time to compose just that review.

Joe Hite
Guest
January 17th, 2018
Reply to  Joe Hite

Real world if I cared what a 17 year old thought about technology in my field. I’ll leave you with the final sentence: “You can’t put a cost on that lovely, shiny, black Apple logo ;)”

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