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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Forthcoming iMac Pro versus In Development MacPro

Forthcoming iMac Pro versus In Development MacPro
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Anto39x
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Nov 1, 2017, 09:22 AM
 
Hi there....

I'm a seasoned MacPro user... never actually had an iMac before as I just really felt it didn't suit my needs, not powerful or upgradeable enough for my needs.... but the world has changed and so has the limits of my uses for a computer. I'm an old school graphic designer from the prehistoric print days... so I use Quark Xpress 2017, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Lightroom, Parallels, Suitcase Fusion as my Core apps for my day to day... then for my hobby activities and free time I use Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects only for editing home video essentially in 1080p... maybe possibly the new iPhone X 4K @ 60fps footage.... but that would be it really. I'm not a video editing expert and never really will be. I do a lot of brochure design work, annual reports and a lot of signage, large format... but my MacPro 2010 12 Core with 64GB is pretty much able to handle anything I throw at it... actually when I visit my signage suppliers they even struggle to open and process my file sizes as their standard iMacs all have about 8-16GB Ram and just aren't fully spec'd up like my MacPro... but.... the imminent arrival of the new iMac pro changes all that... I had been anxiously waiting for the new MacPro... and the announcement that it would be 2018 was amazing.... but then this new iMac Pro got sneak previewed and I said to myself... this machine actually delivers on all my needs and more.

I would love to wait for the new MacPro... but I will need a new 5K screen with that... my last MacPro cost €9,000 Euros for the box only... 512GB SSD and I used Crucial Memory to top up over the years to a new current 64GB. The new MacPro I reckon is going to cost me a hell of a lot more than that... I always go for the maxed out specs... just the way I have always been and my machines have lasted me and my family a long time (still using a MacPro Dual Core). I reckon new MacPro could be in the €13,000 Euros range.

Starting at $4,999... not sure of the equivalent in Euros... I reckon a spec'd out iMac could be all I need.

What would you suggest.... I recently purchased a new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, full spec.. as far as I could push it and I love all the modern features and the modern connectivity I/O..... not sure if I can wait until the end of 2018 or start of 2019 for a new MacPro.... do you think for my needs the new iMac Pro can more than deliver ? I love the idea of a super computer and 5K screen all in one... with 128GB Ram... possibly 18 cores... depending on price.

I'm 50 years old next year and I would hope this next purchase would last me another 7 - 10 years just like my last MacPro 12 Core so loyaly has.

is the new MacPro going to be really targeted at the hardcore 4K content creator or VR or AR creator using insane 3D computing power, stuff I will never be involved with or have expertise in.

Any comments suggestions most welcome.
     
P
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Nov 1, 2017, 09:51 AM
 
Well, it is hard to speculate on what the next Mac Pro will contain, but it is clear from Apple's comments elsewhere that lots of GPU power is a big selling point. They will also allow even more cores, at least 18 right now (max what Intel offers in the HCC Xeons. Apple clearly means to avoid the headache of certifying XCC Xeons for now).

Quite frankly I don't think you need lots of GPU power with your use case. You don't even need lots of cores, because Adobe can't thread things worth a d*mn, so single-threaded performance is what counts.

A 5K display would be great for what you do, but honestly... do you even need an iMac Pro with your use case? A regular high-end 5K iMac is $2300. Upgraded with the i7 and top GPU it's $2500. You should probably have external storage for backup, maybe upgrade the RAM all the way to 32GB, but the main advantage with the higher models is lots of cores and better GPU. Perhaps might be worth waiting to see what the iMac Pro brings, but really, I think a regular iMac 5K would be plenty.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
OreoCookie
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Nov 1, 2017, 12:41 PM
 
I second P’s remarks. Let me add something on core count: if you opt for the more expensive models with more cores, some applications might actually be slower as a result. That is because as the number of cores increases, the clock speed at which cores run tends to decrease. From the use cases you outline, I don’t think you actually need that many cores, with the possible exception of Final Cut Pro X. When it comes to the GPU and to RAM, I also don’t see anything in the use cases you outline that would obviously benefit from more than 64 GB RAM. If anything, 64 GB seems like overkill.

Honestly, I think you’d be well-served with a 5K iMac. The current model officially supports 64 GB RAM. But since your current machine runs smoothly, I would probably wait for the iMac Pro.

PS I have the same machine under my desk at work.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
reader50
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Nov 1, 2017, 01:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Anto39x View Post
... but my MacPro 2010 12 Core with 64GB is pretty much able to handle anything I throw at it... but I will need a new 5K screen with that...
Your old MacPro is still a monster. And you can run a 5K monitor or two from it with the right graphics card and drivers for a heck of a lot less than a new iMacPro or MacPro. You need an nVidia card with their web drivers and 2 or 4 displayport/minidisplayports (for 1 or 2 5K monitors). Current 5K monitors use two DP/mDP connections each, otherwise they work at 4K.

AMD drivers do not yet support port aggregation for a 5K monitor, hence the nVidia card requirement.
     
andi*pandi
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Nov 1, 2017, 02:26 PM
 
I'm just posting because you said you used Quark 2017. They still make Quark!?!? wow!
     
P
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Nov 1, 2017, 07:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Your old MacPro is still a monster. And you can run a 5K monitor or two from it with the right graphics card and drivers for a heck of a lot less than a new iMacPro or MacPro. You need an nVidia card with their web drivers and 2 or 4 displayport/minidisplayports (for 1 or 2 5K monitors). Current 5K monitors use two DP/mDP connections each, otherwise they work at 4K.

AMD drivers do not yet support port aggregation for a 5K monitor, hence the nVidia card requirement.
That Mac Pro is in its last year of OS support. Unless Apple makes an exception (which is not unlikely given its long life time, but we don’t know that), it will be dropped from 10.14. It seems unwise to pour more money into it when you don’t even know for how long it will run.

Also note that even if CPU improvements have been slow recently, a 2010 Mac Pro is Westmere. Even a middling iMac will beat it on single-threaded code today. Yes it will win on multithreaded code, but that won’t matter until Adobe learns to thread.

IF you want to upgrade that model, I would recommend multiple 4K displays instead of one 5K. A lot more bang for buck, a lot less hassle.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
OreoCookie
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Nov 1, 2017, 08:14 PM
 
@P
I would still say that such a maxed out Mac Pro has quite a bit of life left. The only thing I am missing in mine is a Retina display, if it had that, I don’t think I’d even be tempted to upgrade for quite a while. You are right about single core performance, but there is something to be said about a machine that is almost idling at ~85-87 % while you are pegging two cores. In any case, I don’t think the machine is outdated yet from a CPU performance standpoint.

I would upgrade to high-res monitors (seconding reader’s and P’s suggestions) and the graphics card, and then wait until something really enticing comes along.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
reader50
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Nov 1, 2017, 08:45 PM
 
There is no need to worry about the old MacPro support for now. The 2009/2010/2012 MacPros all use the same motherboard. The 2009 had different firmware, but one firmware update and it's current with 2010. The 2012 was just a speed bump, same board again.

So count from the 2012 model, which wasn't discontinued until October 2013. Apple will be supporting this motherboard until the end of 2020 at least.
     
P
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Nov 2, 2017, 06:13 AM
 
I know the motherboard designs, but when High Sierra was announced with slight adjustments to the list of supported Macs, Apple stated that it was because it wanted to sync up OS support with when products go from "vintage" to "obsolete" - it would no longer support products that are obsolete by the time the OS drops. The 2010 Mac Pro may survive in 2018 because it wasn't replaced during 2011, but the 2012 model certainly counts as a replacement. I'm sure you will be able to hack your way around it, but the official bar will in all likelihood drop during 2019.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
   
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