One week with Apple’s iMac Pro: Completely sealed, non-upgradeable, and super powerful

“iMac Pro has been in the house for a week – this has been my experience so far!” Marques Brownlee writes on YouTube.

Apple’s powerful new iMac Pro launches the general public on December 14th.

Brownlee tested a 3GHz 10-core Intel Xeon W iMac Pro with 128GB DDR4 RAM, Radeon Pro Vega 16GB HBM2 memory, and a 2TB SSD. iMac Pro is a completely sealed computer, so the specs you order are the specs you’ll be using. Choose wisely, Padawans.

The all-new iMac Pro, with its 27-inch Retina 5K display, up to 18-core Xeon processors and up to 22 Teraflops of graphics computation, is the most powerful Mac Apple has ever made. Featuring a new space gray enclosure, iMac Pro packs serious performance for advanced graphics editing, virtual reality content creation and real-time 3D rendering. iMac Pro starts at $4,999.

MacDailyNews Take: For the right type of user, iMac Pro is the stuff of which dreams are made.

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69 Comments

  1. Can anyone give a logical reason for this machine to be completely non-upgradeable?

    What does sealing the unit add to its usefulness? How is it better than having some sort of openings, or – remember when Steve Jobs introduced the revolutionary “door” on the G3 Mac?

    1. Yep.
      Phil wants you to buy another one in 2 years- just like your phone.
      Apple does not want you to buy a Workstation you can upgrade and keep for years on end.

      Throwaway phone- iPhone
      Throwaway laptop-MacBook
      Throwaway tablet- iPad
      Throwaway desktop- iMac

    2. > Can anyone give a logical reason for this machine to be completely non-upgradeable?

      A “Manufacturing Efficiency Expert” will note that eliminating pieces such as access doors results in a lower parts count, and lower parts counts mean that it is cheaper to assemble. For a given price point, this increases profits.

      Real world customers, OTOH, will point out that it also makes the device disposable, which will mean earlier replacement and a net higher lifecycle cost. Which means that the product represents an inferior value.

    1. I wonder how many people are looking at the money they could make, that would more than pay for the iMac Pro over time, but will still wait for a Mac Pro? I mean, you could take on more jobs OR do the jobs you have faster in the months where you’re waiting to be able to, say, swap out RAM. I think this system is made for REAL Pro’s that are pulling in the 10’s of thousands of dollars a month at least, not the “Pro” that just wants a computer to tinker with the internals of.

      This is actually exactly what I’d predicted they would release, and I’m guessing I’ll be correct about the Mac Pro that starts at or above $10,000.

      1. For those businesses, I would imagine buying 1 or 2 to replace older Macs than a wholesale replacement and wait for the fully upgrade-able Mac Pro to replace the rest.

        Wait get too long, Pros move on to PCs, Apple decides Pros are no longer interested in Macs and produce less the ‘next’ time feeding a vicious circle downward.

  2. iMac Pro is designed for a professional that will spend $6-10K on a Machine to save themselves 2 to 3 hours a month. That’s big money. After 24 to 36 months they’ll buy another machine. The iMac will sit cleanly, quietly, and nicely on their desk and be a real screamer.

    My iMac is almost 5 years old and it will be replaced when my client comes out with their new software specs. My iMac is 24 months past its replacement time. It saves me 5 hours a month. $5 to 6 K is chump change, the iMac Pro very well could be the last computer I’ll buy in my professional life.

      1. It wouldn’t slow down the pro user at all, obviously. But it would slow down the manufacturer and their carefully crafted and intricate production and marketing plans. — they are literally in the business of making money and have demonstrated a knack for doing just that. Look, it pisses me off, too. I want to believe that a company as rich as they are should at least have a mercy unit that delivers what you and I crave. But even if Tim Cook appealed to Apple’s Board of Directors on our behalf, and even if the directors felt pangs of sympathy for our plight, the cost of running a mercy unit would run too high. Yes, they could afford it, but would anyone responsibly do it? No.

        1. Which brings me, a Mac owner since 1989, a Mac sales rep for several years, and an Apple Certified Technician at one time, to begin building my first Hackintosh in the coming weeks.

          I’ve owned in the past a Mac Plus, a Mac LC, a Performa 630, two MacBooks, a PowerMac 7100, and two iMacs. Currently own a nine-year-old iMac and my daughter’s MacBook Air.

          Would I be OK with a new standard iMac? Probably, but the lack of upgrade-ability kills that idea.

  3. I don’t have a problem with the sealed iMac Pro. To me, it will be a souped-up version of an iMac and should suffice for my needs for the next five years or so. I’m just going to go with the base model and pay for more RAM upfront. Except for the non-upgradeability, it’s good enough for me. I’m past the age of tinkering.

    I hope enterprise users can appreciate the iMac Pro and Apple sells a lot of them. If they’re trouble-free, it should be a good deal.

  4. Right now there are a million PC hackers who could easily assemble the hardware that professional mac users want, and instal Mac OS on it. The idea that Apple is struggling to figure out how to make a serious Pro Mac is just insulting. Apple is trying to slowly kill the mac.

    The reason: I think they have given up on the market. If Apple produces something new and innovative that encourages mac sales, the PC market will just copy it, and the copy will likely make more money for Microsoft then the original does for Apple. So they figure if they neglect the mac, PC sales will languish too, and all the interest will be where Apple is already strong; with phones and tablets.

  5. The CASH REGISTERS where I work have several features I’d love to see on an iMac. HDMI input, Accessible USB and memory card slots, a slider to cover the camera, space to add an extra hard drive without a rats nest of cables on my desk. (I have 10 external drives right now.) It is so frustrating to see apple simplify their own production costs at my expense.

  6. The specs for this iMac are way more than sufficient for most people making a living with a iMac. I use a 2012 every day for Inventor, 3D printing, CAM, 4K / 8K video editing, photo editing, adobe suite, etc. I routinely use CAD files over 2GB in size and video in the 30gb range and properly maintained it keeps pace.

    After 5 years I recently upgraded the SSD and the HDD, took me about an hour with $50 in tools. Thank you iFixIt.

    Its a good practice with technology that when you buy a new piece of equipment always have plan that it will pay itself off in less than 24 months. If not you are not doing enough work to warrant this level of investment.

    The new iMac looks to save me even more time. Good tools cost more and are worth it. If you want to build a franken Mac and futz with it – knock yourself out. You want easy expandability – use the tool that works for you. Stop your winging and move on.

    For 95% of us the iMac Pro is a welcome addition to our stable.

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