iMac Pro PCIe-based flash storage: How fast versus other Macs?

“The 2017 iMac Pro has dual NVMe PCIe-based flash modules as a boot volume,” Rob Art Morgan writes for Bare Feats. “Let’s see if older Mac Pros can compete with it when upgraded to fast PCIe-based flash blade or striped blades.”

“The 2017 iMac Pro’s PCIe flash storage is fast but, with the right combination of flash blade and PCIe M.2 carrier board, the 2010 Mac Pro can compete,” Morgan writes. “(NOTE: The iMac Pro had the fastest WRITE speed but was beat by three other examples on READ speed.)”

“The 2013 Mac Pro is limited to 1500MB/s internally due to the 5.0GT/s link speed,” Morgan writes. “(The iMac Pro and iMac 5K both have 8.0GT/s link speed.) [To] go faster you will have to boot from multiple striped (RAID 0) Thunderbolt 2 drives like we did with three LaCie Little Big Disks which achieved 3740MB/s by bridging the 3 Thunderbolt 2 busses.”

Read more and see all of the benchmarks in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, that iMac Pro write speed is blazing!


  1. Why compare the iMac Pro to Apple hardware that was around when dinosaurs roamed the Earth?

    Compare Apple hardware to state-of-the-art motherboards from other vendors. You’ll find that they too max out the performance of M.2 NVMe SSDs.

  2. Yeah, it is nice to see the performance boost …

    … but what’s not-so-nice is that the way that Apple did their hardware configuration, 3rd party upgrades are virtually impossible.

    The trick to the iMac Pro right now is to ask an Apple Store genius what the retail price is for an SSD upgrade AFTER you’ve already taken the machine home.

          1. > Very good for it’s era.

            Still is, considering that it beats Apple’s ‘Fusion Drive” systems – – which are still for sale in iMacs at Apple (just not in this ‘Pro’ variant).

            Of course, this also illustrates why Apple loathes selling machines that the users can upgrade themselves – – it extends the product’s useful life and in doing so, can significantly delay Apple the revenue of the sale of an entire new box.

            Which is why I pointed out that the trick to the iMac Pro right now is to go ask an Apple Store genius what the retail price is for an SSD upgrade AFTER you’ve already taken this machine home.

            Apple has already done spin-control over the lack of DIY RAM upgrades by stating that Apple will do refits – – but no one has apparently asked the question yet on upgrading the SSD.

            Granted, anyone who needs monster storage levels is probably not going to be able to physically stuff it into this slimmed down iMac case, but just like how this design is once again thermally limited and has throttled components – – these are separate suitability issues.

            1. Wholeheartedly agree. I also don’t think we will ever get an answer to the question of why a desktop needs to be so thin, while keeping the footprint constant. Outcome is non-serviceability plain and simple.

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