Why you should or shouldn’t buy Apple’s iMac Pro

“Apple’s sure-sellers for the holiday season have been on store shelves for a while now, but for fans of high-powered Macs, Christmas comes early this week with the release of the iMac Pro on Thursday,” Jason Snell writes for Macworld. “It’s undoubtedly going to take the crown as the most powerful Mac ever made—and will undoubtedly hold onto that distinction until a new Mac Pro arrives on the scene.”

“There’s a lot to be said for the iMac Pro. It’s the first Mac with workstation-level processors with a plethora of processor cores (8 and up!) since the Mac Pro in 2013. The Radeon Pro Vega is the most powerful graphic processor ever in a Mac,” Snell writes. “If you’re someone who uses a 5K iMac to get work done today, should you consider buying the iMac Pro or not?”

Apple's all new iMac Pro staring at $4999, available in December 2017
Apple’s all new iMac Pro starts at $4999, available on December 14, 2017

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

“If you’re someone who uses Macs to get work done, and who needs the fastest Mac in existence to do that job, you might consider this: There will probably be a robust resale market for the iMac Pro when the Mac Pro comes out,” Snell writes. “You could always buy this thing and use it until 2018 or 2019 or whenever the Mac Pro arrives, then sell it and put that money toward the Mac Pro.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The iMac Pro is the most powerful Macintosh ever made.

That’s reason enough for many pros to get one now, even if they’re waiting for the Mac Pro.

Apple makes Macs great again with iMac Pro, the most powerful Mac ever – December 12, 2017
Aerospace engineer Dr. Craig Hunter reviews Apple’s new iMac Pro: Strong performance, productivity, and a stunning display – December 12, 2017
With iMac Pro, has Apple once again changed its approach to media? – December 12, 2017
Apple’s new iMac Pro offers a remarkable 200%-300% speed increase – December 12, 2017
One week with Apple’s iMac Pro: Completely sealed, non-upgradeable, and super powerful – December 12, 2017
Apple’s powerful new iMac Pro launches December 14 – December 12, 2017<


    1. That’s a pretty narrow view of what constitutes a “Pro” machine. Remember that this is the “iMac” Pro, and that Apple is working on a new “Mac” Pro, which hopefully will be the machine you want. But there is no question that for a great number of Professional users, this iMac will be more than sufficient. And if you have the time and skill, you can upgrade RAM and storage (I don’t know about anything else).

      I am a Pro user, who spends all day working with FCP, Motion, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Cinema 4D, Excel, Accounting package, etc. Everything I earn money on goes through my Mac. When my last Mac Pro died, I switched to a 27″ iMac. I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t served me well for many years (it is a 2011 model with RAM and SSD upgrades). As much as I’d like a more configurable/upgradable Mac tower like I always used for decades, this iMac Pro could easily serve me very well.

    2. D: Like the “MacBook Pro”?? 😀

      So, now that we’ve established that “Pro” machines aren’t necessarily upgradeable … this new iMac Pro is upgradeable in the same way the MBPs are — through Thunderbolt 3, which is extremely fast.

      Yes, I’m unhappy that the RAM isn’t upgradeable as well (at least for now, someone at OWC is working overtime to prove Apple wrong on that), but in truth TB3 is more than fast enough for the expansion options (other than RAM) you might have wanted, including graphics card upgrades (which won’t even be a thing for a long time yet). As with the 2013 Mac Pro, storage expansion wasn’t a thing, and is even less of a thing with TB3. But of course, Apple has kindly let us know there *IS* a Mac Pro coming next year, so if this isn’t the machine for you, you only have (probably) less than a year to wait.

  1. Given it’s beginning price point, this will rule out many schools. They will purchase the less expensive models, hold out for more powerful less costly iMacs as well as keeping old Mac Pros longer.

    Someone may step in again and take more of Apple’s lunch since the intro of the trash can Mac. Even Apple has admitted the trash can Mac was not a good idea.

    1. Maybe true, but our trashcan has been running our business, as its server since 2013 without a hitch. We do a lot of video, audio, business network database, etc. Everyone has their own needs.

  2. “There will probably be a robust resale market for the iMac Pro when the Mac Pro comes out,””

    Not if consumers wait. Apple barely upgraded the old Mac Pro the last years of it’s life. Then we have the three years of the trash can Mac Pro.

    This expensive iMac Pro seems targeted at a very niche market. Why would people who never purchased this iMac Pro at launch buy a used one a few months to a year later? Especially when the new mod Mac Pro ships that proves to be a better purchase.

    1. When you are really a “pro”, using the machine to make a living, saving processing time can mean a big plus on the bottom line. It means you can do more jobs, or do a better job because you have more time. To those folks, upgrading the a more powerful machine almost always makes business sense.

    2. It seems to me an iMac pro is a better match for certain pro segments (photo & audio) where this kind of power and a TB3 connection will work for years to come. Those in video editing & 3D CGI know this field (& resolution needs) is constantly on the move demanding the best resources, hence upgradeable machines. We are now getting used to the idea a pro machine that is upgradeable can last 7-10 years. My current 2007 ten year old Mac Pro sure is (upgraded to El Capitan 10.11.6) and an upgraded 2010 Mac Pro with SSD, 64Gb RAM and Nvidia GTX 1080 I’m using is also no slouch. For the moment.

    3. You’re _assuming_ it will be a better purchase. If the Mac Pro STARTS, as I predict, from $9999 to $14999, there may be a LOT of people that decide being able to upgrade their RAM is not worth the up front cost.

      The first thing I’m going to do on the 14th is spec out an iMac Pro with the fullest configuration. Add $1000 to that, and I’d guess that’s where the iMac Pro will start. I actually wouldn’t doubt that they would START at 18 cores as a base configuration, hence the steep cost.

      1. I just configured a top end “regular” iMac and it comes in at $5428. That makes me even more certain any future Mac Pro will have very little crossover in price. The config page for the iMac Pro isn’t up yet, can’t wait to figure out what the Mac Pro will eventually cost 🙂

  3. A “PRO” machine that is locked up and non upgradable? Really Apple. Someone over there needs to be fired, because they screwed the pooch with rushing this bandaid out the door.

  4. SO…….
    There is a Mac PRO THAT’S expandable???
    Where can Can I get info on this? Did Apple actually SAY they are going to do an expandable, rather than just “all in one?”

  5. I don’t care about the definition of the term pro. I see the base model of an iMac Pro as an already upgraded standard iMac. I’m not a professional, nor do I do any video editing or rendering. The most power I need is to do encoding of mp4 to Matroska video files.

    I intend to keep the iMac Pro for at least five years so I’m willing to pay $1000 a year for a decent desktop computer. I don’t see the price as unreasonable as long as I get good reliability from it. Along with AppleCare, that’s all I need. I won’t be the typical iMac Pro user but it suits me perfectly.

    Additionally, I’ll be running VMWare Fusion on it for Windows support and also PLEX Server. It should do everything I need without breaking a sweat. Overkill, maybe, but that’s what I’m looking for. Definitely good for five years, at least.

    1. I share your sentiment, I don’t think upgradeability has anything to do with being a “pro” machine. My Macbook Air is a “pro” machine that gets all of my business-related work done. One disappointment though is the lack of touch bar in the iMac Pro magic keyboard. It means the battery drain was too high, the concept is being abandoned, or the thing is basically a rush job with new paint to tide over the Mac Pro crowd.

  6. All these people are complaining about the iMac being “Pro” without the ability to upgrade after purchase yet don’t complain about the MacBook Pro in the same regard.

    Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. That’s the beauty of capitalism.

  7. If Apple ever gets to the point where I can’t put my own (OWC) RAM into an iMac then I’ll be parting ways with Apple…and that’s after 26 years of being a loyal “Cupertino consumer”.

    My worry is that the Pro move towards a completely sealed iMac is the future direction of the company. If Apple ever stopped gouging us with their widely inflated RAM prices then I wouldn’t be saying this and I’d gladly buy what’s on offer.

    Finally I’d just like to address those comments about “going elsewhere” if you don’t like what Apple is offering; well that’s my point entirely insofar as why is the company potentially (or actually) making decisions that forces us to start thinking of alternatives? Frankly, I feel like it’s a slap in the face to many loyal Apple users

  8. The non-upgradeable iMac Pro is an environmental catastrophe waiting to happen. When the processor, memory, storage, network interface or display become inadequate, the whole unit goes to the dump.

    The concept of a “modular” Mac Pro is laudable, but seemingly will never happen.

    1. No, it wouldn’t have gone down better. There’s a tiny but loud group of people that will not be happy with what anything Apple does in this area because Apple is “PostPC” and they’re not. The folks quibbling about a word are the folks Apple’s trying to push on to other platforms.

  9. Ordering is on line wow, base RAM is ridiculous low and $902 Canadian for an additional 32GB EEC RAM WTF.
    In Canada the Base config is $5921.00 With my corp discount and the first usable config (Extra RAM and better Graphics) is $7,500. I better win the Loto.

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