I’ll be travelling to OWC’s Woodstock, IL facility to start testing the Apple iMac Pro on Jan 2nd, so I’ll have a lot to say on how it compares to the 2017 iMac 5K and other machines.
I’m taking the iMac Pro seriously and committing some time to this project, because for myself and many photographers it appears to be the high-end option for best performance (little doubt bout that for videographers). I buy machines on a 3+ year time frame, so “small” gains are worth it over several years, given how much time I spend using it. For example, I used my 2013 Mac Pro for 3.6 years.
If the iMac Pro proves itself as a winner over the 2017 iMac 5K for my own work, then I’ll be getting the iMac Pro. I already have the return shipping slip on my desk for the 2017 iMac 5K. But if it’s a wash, I’m not spending thousands more into an iMac Pro for minimal gains and a cool gray finish.
It remains an open question as to whether the iMac Pro is worth its much higher cost versus the 4.2 GHz 2017 iMac 5K. For starters, it is not a given that the iMac Pro will be faster for any or all or some of my work. Actually, I expect it to be slower on some tasks. I’m making an informed prediction that the iMac Pro will be faster and slower than the 2017 iMac 5K, which then turns it into a question of value and of application for specific purposes: how much time would I save (or lose) over a year by going with the iMac Pro.
Just before I get back from the OWC lab testing, this 10-core iMac Pro (below) will show up at my home, so I’ll be able to add 10 core results to the 8-core results. We (OWC and myself) wanted to also have 3.7 GHz 8-core CPU and 14/18 core CPUS to test, but availability is just not there to test out CPU upgrades. Still, having solid 8 vs 10 core data and the 2017 iMac 5K will go a long way towards understanding the performance envelopes of each machine across a variety of tasks.
Below, some reading and guidance on buying an iMac Pro or 2017 iMac 5K.
Go in with eyes wide open—marketing hype is neither workflow efficiency, nor value.
Before spending for an iMac Pro, the following articles should be read, for plusses and minuses as as well as pending possibilities for whether the iMac Pro is upgradeable.
- iMac Pro posts and articles
- iMac Pro Models for Photographers
- iMac Pro: Pricing and Thoughts
- Why More CPU Cores Often Run no Faster, and Sometimes Slower than Fewer CPU Cores
- iMac Pro: Downclocked CPUs
- Turbo Boost and the Intel Xeon W CPUs in the Apple iMac Pro
- Using Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports to Build Out a System
Suggested machines and add-ons below.