2017 iMac Pro

Announced in June this year, the iMac Pro is finally available for purchase. The most powerful Mac ever (notice it’s most powerful Mac, not iMac), it’s a workstation-class all-in-one that will beat the best out there. Prices start from MYR20,999.

I’m not going to argue. The thought of an 18-core iMac with a 27-inch Retina 5K display is simply mind-blowing. And up to 22 Teraflops of graphics performance. All that power within an all-in-one form factor? Brilliant.

For Apple, it’s never been done before. Since the debut of the iMac in 1998, it was always designed to be a Mac for “everyone.” It was about great industrial design, incredible simplicity and the internet.

iMac evolution
Credit: Low End Mac

Of course, it has evolved over the years from the original bulbous form factor to the Pixar-inspired lampshade design, and now to the current sleek, ultrathin display-only look.

2017 iMac Pro

“Pros love iMac”

Apple also found that while pros loved the Mac Pro (and previous desktop Macs), some also loved the simplicity of the iMac. Coupling an elegant design, great performance and incredible display, the iMac became popular with not only the general consumer, but also with the pros.

The boys at Cupertino, took heed the call for an uber-powerful, workstation-class all-in-one Mac.

And thus, the iMac Pro was born.

In a nutshell, the iMac Pro packs the best of the best hardware. This includes the latest Intel Xeon processors, stunning Retina 5K display, the most powerful graphics ever in a Mac, super-fast storage and I/O.

It also runs amazingly quiet and cool, thanks to an all-new thermal architecture that Apple says delivers up to 80 percent more cooling capacity.

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The iMac Pro comes in a new space grey finish, and measures just 5mm at its thinnest edge. It comes bundled with a matching Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse and optional Magic Trackpad.

2017 iMac Pro

The 27-inch Retina 5K display is “the best Mac display ever” says Apple, boasting 500 nits of brights, a P3 wide colour gamut and support for 1 billion colours. Graphic pros will appreciate this, no doubt.

There are four mics with beamforming technology built in, as well as a new 1080p FaceTime HD camera, and new speakers that are 50 percent louder.

Power extreme

The base iMac Pro features a 3.2GHz 8-core Intel Xeon W processor (Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz), but why not go all the way up to a 2.3GHz 18-core Intel Xeon W (Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz)?

If extreme performance is what you’re looking for, the iMac Pro brings it to a whole new level. As a comparison, when the iMac Pro is compared to Apple’s fastest quad-core iMac, 3D designers can visualise 3D models and render scenes up to 3.4X faster. Scientists and researchers can visualise data up to 5X faster.

While video editors can edit up to eight streams of 4K video, or edit 4.5K RED RAW video and 8K ProRes 4444 at full resolution in real time without rendering. Additionally, it can export HEVC video 3X faster. Insane.

On the graphics front, you can custom configure the iMac Pro with a Radeon Vega GPU with up to 16GB of on-package high-bandwidth memory (HBM2). The GPU offers up to 11 Teraflops of single precision compute power for real-time 3D rendering and high frame rate VR.

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2017 iMac Pro

At half-precision computation, ideal for machine learning, the iMac Pro delivers up to 22 Teraflops.

Storage-wise, the iMac Pro supports up to 4TB of SSD and up to 128GB of ECC memory.

Ports include 4X Thunderbolt 3, and you can connect up to two high-performance RAID arrays and two 5K display simultaneously.

For the first time ever on a Mac, the powerful AIO also features 10GB Ethernet.

On the security side of things (which is crucial for businesses and enterprises), the iMac Pro features a second-generation T2 chip. The chip integrates several new controllers including the System Management Controller, image signal processor, audio controller and SSD controller.

The chip also has a secure enclave coprocessor that provides a foundation of new encrypted storage and secure boot capabilities. Dedicated AES hardware encrypts data on the SSD without sacrificing performance, and secure boot ensures only trusted software loads at startup.

Pricing and availability

The iMac Pro is available starting 14 December, with prices starting from MYR20,999/USD4,999. For kicks, I custom configured my own and it came up to MYR61,467.80. Hope the Apple Store accepts kidneys as a payment option.

By the way, the Apple Store Online quotes 5-7 weeks shipping time for the base model, while a custom-configured version will take 6-8 weeks.

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