Apple makes Macs great again with iMac Pro, the most powerful Mac ever

“In what may turn out to be this year’s most significant news for Mac users, Apple managed to squeeze one more product release into the year this side of Christmas, confirming that its iMac Pro will be ‘available to order’ starting Dec. 14,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld.

“On first glance, the new iMac Pro looks like any other iMac, apart from its distinctive grey (Apple calls this ‘Space Grey’) chassis,” Evans writes. “Inside the system is a lot more powerful, a tangible articulation of Apple’s promise to deliver something nice for Mac users while we wait on the next-generation Mac Pro.”

“The iMac Pro is the most powerful Mac ever — at least it will be until Apple ships the Mac Pro next year,” Evans writes. “If you are in the business of high-end video creation, want to build augmented reality (AR) apps, or are involved in music, CAD or any other form of professional digital creative expression, these are (for now at least) the Mac desktops you might aspire to use… While it seems likely the price will be too high to boost mass market Mac sales, the release does provide a tangible expression of Apple’s much-needed commitment to its pro users.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’ll be interesting to see how these things sell – surely we’ll get some analyst estimates even in the absence of hard numbers from Apple – especially once the Mac Pro is revealed and professional users can make their choice between the two.

And, of course, about that Computerworld headline: Macs have always been great! Even the lowliest Performa, dusty and shoved in a corner of Sears, was great, thanks to its operating system!

41 Comments

        1. Thanks for your insighful contributions, King Whine. I’m sure you’ve saved many people from buying this terrible computer.

          Now — I’m still waiting to hear about your vast business success that makes you know better than the Apple Board how the company should be run.

    1. Remember, “Pro Computer” means “Computer for those who use a computer in connection with their profession.” In that light:

      Most Powerful—Yes.

      Least upgradeable—Most users will not be upgrading it before they buy a new computer to replace it. For a professional, it is a business expense. If its anticipated service life

      Most difficult to repair—Who cares? A professional videographer, photographer, or whatever isn’t going to be fixing it in any case. AppleCare will take care of that, so difficulty to repair is Apple’s problem, not the user’s.

      1. You know I bought more ram nearly Year ago to install, since I retrofitted my iMac with an SSD I have never bothered to install it, RAM usage is so damn efficient I have never run short. Adding RAM indeed is otherwise all I have needed to change despite putting all my Macs to hard PS use with very large files. 30 years and 5 Macs (2 concurrent) that’s how long I get out of them for my work. Great value for money in my book especially as I generally don’t go for top spec.

    2. Premature post, continued…

      Least upgradeable—Most users will not be upgrading it before they buy a new computer to replace it. For a professional, it is a business expense. If its anticipated service life is less than five years, they can write it off directly against income.

      If it can be expected to last longer than that (because it can easily be upgraded), their auditors and the IRS are going to require them to treat it as a capital expenditure and amortize it across its projected lifetime. So, buying something upgradable will actually cost a professional money, at least in the short run.

      Most technologically limited iMac ever—if true, I could dig out my Bondi Blue iMac and work rings around this one. If you are comparing it to other computers currently on the market, please point out the specific non-Apple machine available with greater capabilities for a lower price.

      1. > Least upgradeable—Most users will not be upgrading it before they buy a new computer to replace it.

        Only if the BTO offerings allow a sufficiently capable machine right out of the gate. For example, my Mac Pro currently has 17TB internal storage … and sure, one can buy a stack of TB externals to mimic that with the Trashcan or this iMac, but that (a) costs more, and (b) is ugly as sin.

        > If it can be expected to last longer than that (because it can easily be upgraded), their auditors and the IRS are going to require them to treat it as a capital expenditure ..

        Only if you choose to deliberately ignore the tax break in IRS Section 179…it allows a single-year writeoff of computer purchases of up to $500,000 (per year).

        1. There are some limits on Sec. 179, particularly for larger businesses, and your accountant will go crazy if you buy a capital asset with funds from a line in your operating budget.

          1. True, there’s more fine print in the Tax Code …

            Such as your business has to have a net income (profit) greater than the 179 write-off…

            Such as how some durable goods aren’t eligible for the 179 write-off (such as an HVAC system) …

            But a PC isn’t one of these. Particularly from the perspective of if its degree of upgradability is supposedly a factor in the Tax Code.

            And of course, there’s always the proportionality of business decisions to minimize the odds of triggering an audit…but that’s across far more than merely the 179 provision.

          2. If a taxpayer buys more than $2MM in qualifying items in a fiscal year, the $500,000 that can be expensed is reduced dollar for dollar, reaching zero at $2.5MM. That pretty much rules out the use of 179 for larger companies.

        1. You said on a different thread, of the new iMac Pro “Not even close to sufficient speed for sli or crossfire”. Isn’t that stuff for gaming? Apple built a workstation not a gaming PC, and the reviews I’ve read so far all say the iMac Pro is a monster across all types of pro work. Do we care about the gaming performance of a workstation? I thought the big complaint about iOS devices was they weren’t for real work and were mostly for games. Surely no one would slag on the iMac Pro for not being a great game machine, that seems hypocritical.

            1. Good to know, so nobody will be slagging the iMac Pro because it isn’t the best gaming machine on the planet, because it’s for, you know, work. From what I’ve read the iMac Pro should chew through scientific computing tasks very well. One thread was about a science department building a workstation with similar specs and they had $16,000 set aside to build the machine.

    3. Technologically limited, I had to laugh at that one, keep repeating that dribble and you just might believe it yourself. Funny enough I have always been told how difficult an iMac was to repair, well a few months back I had mine repaired at an Apple centre inside 48 hours upgraded at the same time to a SSD and very reasonable in terms of cost. Again such comments are overblown expecially when overall reliability is taken into consideration. Indeed that was only the second repair I had to do in continuous use of Macs since 1988. I know no PC using colleague or friend who has achieved that reliability inside 10 years, indeed 5 is pushing it for many.

      1. Apple gets no money from me. Congratulations, Apple, you have succeeded again in failing to acquire my hard earned income. Now, get to work you lazy bastards, chop chop.

    1. As John Gruber pointed out, pros seem to think a pro machine must be upgradeable. That attitude, however, betrays their lowly geek origins. The very rich do not rebuild the engine of their Maserati; they acquire a newer model. Similarly, captains of industry know better than anyone that time is money, and so replace their personal computers outright rather than tinker with them or pay underlings to tinker with them.

      The notion of professionalism equalling hands-on expertise still persists in the creative arts, but has faded in production arts, much as woodworkers stopped making their own tools after 1950, and simply purchased low-cost mass-produced tools as needed.

      Yes, there remains a residue of jobs requiring high-powered software running on the latest and best graphics processing units available. Apple respects these professionals but is unwilling to undermine its overall business strategy to serve them. And that strategy has remained essentially unchanged for decades.. make computers into appliances as simple to operate as refrigerators.

      1. King Khan: Yes that’s another way to put it.

        Herself: A lovely post as usual, but I think it is more a cultural social male expression that is at risk here. Remember all those guys that used to grab a beer on the weekend while they fixed an old car, never really to run it but mostly to tinker with it. That time is pretty well over now that computers are in vehicles and that you need very expensive machinery to even look at a car. For me that was a driving force in making Windoze machines so popular over Macs initially, you could tinker with a Windoze machine, grab a beer and invite the guys over to install a new graphics card, or a sound card or or or. I’ve seen this time and time again. Windoze machines were for those who tinker. Macs for those who want to do work.

        Now, we tinker less on the machines because there is so much substance from the net to tinker with but rest assured, there are many guys that like and want to tinker. This machine will probably not be for them.

        Prophet: I think there have been some excellent remarks on the niche this “non upgradable” machine will fill and I hope it does. For real context though I’m going to wait and see what the new Mac Pro is like, and drool some more.

  1. A big step forward, no doubt about it, and a vote by Apple for the Mac, which I did not expect.

    So……thanks!

    But………follow it up with a renewed commitment to common sense and stop the trend toward convergence of iOS and Mac.

    Making an iOS device work like a Mac is ok by me, but making a Mac work like iOS gets a big “unprintable language” from me.

    I have made a good part of my living from the Mac since 1988 and I don’t want to stop now.

    All with 3rd party apps, Except for Mail, Safari, Textedit, there is nothing there for me.

  2. It looks very nice and i am sure it will be well suited to some users. But not me.

    I will wait for the Mac Pro, thanks. I absolutely hate all in ones. I use dual monitors and will never reduce my screen real estate, so with an iMac you have the ugly choice of mismatched monitors. I also think putting all the frequent use connections on the back is annoying as hell.

    How about the ability of this thing avoid thermal throttling under sustained operations? Will the fans be blaring against the wall? I like having a tower tucked under the desk, much quieter usually.

    Apple: there is much room in your lineup for all new modular Macs. Mini, Mac tower, and Mac Pro workstation. Please!!!!!!!

  3. I am glad to *invest* in Apple technology, not spend money on something I’ll need to throw away in a couple of years (my old DELL).

    Where is the replacement for my upgradable Mac Pro (Early 2008)? Yes it’s almost 10 years old but so what? It was purchased as a tool AND as an investment with an eye towards future expandability: I’ve upgraded the RAM, and the hard drives, and it’s still trucking (knock on wood).

    I purchased this unit new, was never happier with a computer and I’d purchase another cheese-grater as as long as it was upgradable for another 10 years.

    Let’s go, Apple: I want to eventually expand RAM, so I need space for that … expand hard drives, so I need space for that. And how about you make it possible to expand/upgrade my processor ?

    I know that I am not the only one interested in this version of a future Mac.

  4. Great Machines… ! Powerful and gorgeous!
    Just buy the right configuration from the get go…
    or wait for the modular Mac Pro..

    Or if u are really that unhappy.. buy a PC..
    What is all the commotion about..??

    1. Sad, but so true.

      You would think Apple would be smart enough to evaluate all Pro computers ever made and come up with a competitive Pro line that is not only upgradeable, but also blows out the competition in performance and price.

      What they hell are they doing everyday in the 5 billion space ring?

  5. Well, let’s see the next modulable Mac Pro then…
    If Apple makes it as great with an upgradable base and changeable extras to plug in for more boosts, it’ll be THE lord of personal creative and/or scientific computing.
    Come on, go go go Apple and do the best!

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