AMD Radeon Vega 56, 64 officially announced; bound for Apple’s forthcoming iMac Pro

“AMD has officially rolled out PCI-E versions of the Vega 56 and 64 GPUs that will be in the iMac Pro in December, with cards seeing retail in the middle of August,” Mike Wuerthele reports for AppleInsider.

“AMD will ship a trio of cards based on the Vega architecture. The air-cooled Radeon RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64, plus the water-cooled Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid. All three cards feature 8GB of VRAM, differing in compute units, and clockspeed,” Wuerthele reports. “It is not clear at this time if ‘classic’ Mac Pro owners with PCI-E slots will be able to utilize the cards, or if they will be able to be used with external GPU solutions in High Sierra.”

Apple's all new iMac Pro staring at $4999, available in December 2017
Apple’s all new iMac Pro staring at $4999, available in December 2017


Apple's all new iMac Pro with rear case removed
Apple’s all new iMac Pro with rear case removed

“The iMac Pro made a brief appearance at the 2017 WWDC,” Wuerthele reports. “It will feature a 5K display, Vega Graphics, up to 18-core Xeon processors, up to 4TB of SSD storage, and will start at $4999 when it ships in December.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That iMac Pro, even the “entry-level” model, is going to be an absolute beast!

Apple’s forthcoming iMac Pro will cover at least 75% of Mac-using professionals. The Mac Pro will be for the rest of the professionals who use the world’s most advanced operating system.

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Apple squelches Mac commitment critics with new ‘beast’ workstation – June 7, 2017
Apple’s iMac Pro is an odd beast: Meet the ultra high-end workstation all-in-one – June 7, 2017
What does the iMac Pro tell us about the forthcoming all-new Mac Pro? – June 6, 2017
Apple’s all new iMac Pro, the most powerful Mac ever, starts at $4,999; arrives this December – June 5, 2017


  1. So many pro’s cry out for Nvidia & CUDA acceleration and Apple turns a deaf ear and as usual does whatever the hell THEY want instead of what many end users NEED. (I guess there’s always an eGPU box.)

      1. I will be satisfied when Apple ships a proper workstation. That means not sealed, takes standard cards and storage, is user upgradeable and is not a skinny all in one.

        It is not about being a malcontent. if you can do your stuff on an iMac with a game grade GPU, feel free to do so. Just do not call a consumer item Pro just to jack up the price.

    1. Well Im a Pro and its well beyond what I and indeed most other Pros actually need but many creatives wanting the fastest will actually buy be it for marketing, ego or time saving or whatever. You really do NOT know what you are talking about as opposed to my experience of ‘Pro’ environments in some 50 creative studios working for some World leading agencies. Those who need more than this is as MDN says no more than 25%, indeed from my experience probably a little less.

      1. It is a throwaway and few shops want throwaway toys. Color me skeptical on heat management as Xeons are well known to throw off plenty.

        It would not be the first time Apple made a self cooking computer. The Apple III ran so hot on early models that chips popped out of the circuit boards.

        As to not knowing what I am talking about, I have worked in Medical Imaging for 30 years and worked in Photography Video – and Still Professionally before that. The image processing involved in our business and computing needs swamp what most video requires and requires custom video cards.

        I was using digital video over fiber for secure purposes (Defense Department) when Ronald Reagan was in the White House during my time in the Army. When we put our system together it was so new they field engineers from various component makers came to Germany with the custom made stuff to cobble it into one. This would be about the time civilians thought BetaCam on NTSC or PAL was state of the art. We were using digital video over fiber optic straight out of the R&D lab.

        Hobbies still include Photography, Video and Music. Never left following the business. Now go edit your iPhone video in iMovie.

  2. The iMacPro might not be a great bargain, but I still want one and I’m not even a pro user. I’ll use it for at least five years (as I have with my current iMac) and not be b*tching and be moaning about the initial cost like some commenters constantly do. I’ll likely end up with the base model which will serve my purposes but I’ll see what other lesser options there are that might be of some use to me. My only concerns are CPU/GPU thermal throttling no matter what Apple claims they have under control. I find it hard to imagine a case that size can dissipate heat very quickly unless those fans are as powerful as a couple of turboprops. I don’t care if they’re loud as long as they can do the job they’re supposed to do.

    1. If you are not going to use this machine for what is designed for it makes no sense to get an iMac Pro. The Pro Graphic card will be obsolete in the 5 years you plan to use it (even in 3 years), and with a price of 5000 you could buy 2 top regular iMacs in the same period of time and stay much more current and get more interesting features.

      Also you have to acknowledge the “Pro” CPU, motherboard and memory. Those are designed for heavy use 24/7 and you are paying good money for this privilege. Using all this hardware for more casual applications again makes no sense. However ignore all I am saying if you just want to have a machine like this because you just find it amazing.

      1. You are absolutely right but for some, especially those who have money to burn that sort of logic means nothing its the feel good factor that counts and you see it everywhere. Indeed I am probably not going to tell someone who buys a Ferrari that they can get as good or more suitable experience for their needs from something around half the price. For some rational buying decisions simply aren’t what its all about.

      2. Be careful how you use the word “obsolete”. Even the then top of the line 2009 Mac Pro with AMD 5870 is not “obsolete”. Yes, if you have one still running, its quite a dog compared to just about any top of the line iMac or trashcan Mac Pro today, but it’s not obsolete. It will still do 99% of what anyone wants to do — just a LOT more slowly.

        The upcoming iMac Pro is NOT designed for heavy use 24/7. It just is NOT. Even the trashcan Mac Pro was not designed to run flat out 24/7. I guarantee, after they are finally shipping, if I run the top of the line iMac Pro 24/7 for a week or more under full, heavy load tasks, I will find thermal fatigue.

        I am sure the iMac Pro will be designed to handle prosumer loads for many hours a day without any problems (probably not constant load but rather with a high duty cycle). It will be fine for almost all prosumers and for many that consider themselves “Pros”. (Just because you are a professional photographer and average 3-4 hours a day Photoshopping the photographs you’ve taken, does not mean you qualify as a Pro User for Macs. [I know I’ll likely get downvoted and flamed for that statement.])

        I know I’m squarely in that 25% that MDN mentions — running a specially hopped up 2012 Mac Pro on simulations that take 72 hours or more of that Mac Pro full out to complete probably puts me in the 5%.

        However, the new iMac Pro machines are squarely in the upper end of the prosumer market and maybe catching the low end of the pro market.

    1. Yep, this was a bad move on Apple’s part. I had high hopes for AMD after Ryzen dropped, but these video cards didn’t come close to measuring up. Really a shame.

  3. The iMac Pro has a specific Pro market it is designed for, it is not comparable with a regular iMac in the pure sense and it is not necessarily faster than a regular iMac on regular tasks. If you can take advantage of the expensive Pro parts it includes you are just expending more money doing almost the same.

    This Pro model is inherently different from a regular iMac as all the parts are top workstation parts, not mobile parts, and they are optimized to do a specific job: resist a lot of stress, fail as little doing it and keep working cool for years. But it is way more expensive and its GPU may never be upgraded. And even if you use an external box it is not clear now if you could use a more powerful GPU with the internal screen. All this may not be important to some users but it may make no sense for others.

  4. 4k HDR video is the entry level for content going forward and anything under that will be hopelessly outdated within the life cycle of your next computer.

    If Apple cannot deliver a machine with decent graphics for less than $5,000 the need to shut down the Mac division.

  5. My biggest concern is the potential fan noise. There have been some reports that even the new Core i7 iMacs kick in the fans quickly when doing light video editing and rendering. I HATE the turbojet-level fan noise on my 2009 i7 27″ iMac. Kicks in a lot even with SSD. I am waiting for more reports before I upgrade. If the iMac Pros don’t have some kind of amazing ability to disipate heat, the fans will be running loudly constantly, it seems to me.

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