WWDC: iMac Pro Offers AMD Vega GPUs, Up to 128GB of ECC Memory

All the iMac Pro's teraflops and ECC memory can be yours in December for $4999.

73

Apple announced updates for all of its Mac computers at today's WWDC, but carved out time to showcase its upgraded iMac Pro, which will launch in December.

The iMac Pro delivers up to 22 teraflops of computation, ideal for machine-learning capabilities. You'll be able to deck it out with up to 128GB of ECC memory (twice the maximum allowance in the standard 27-inch iMac) and up to 4TB of SSD storage that reads and writes data at up to 3GBs per second. Additionally, you'll get high-performance input/output as well as built-in, 10-gigabit Internet.

The price starts at $4999 and will be available beginning in December.

Long Reads Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 5, 2017 11:04 AM

    David Craddock posted a new article, WWDC: iMac Pro Offers up to 128GB of Memory, up to 4TB of SSD Storage

    • reply
      June 5, 2017 11:39 AM

      That's nuts. Wonder if they're trying to get back into the server arena or just future proofing?

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 11:43 AM

        Have doubts Apple will get back into server stuff: you need to support both hardware and software to be in that game. Look at where Apple is making money and their "server" and "enterprise" line was a pittance. Lots of Mac shops run heavily with cloud services and/or MS' AD -- there isn't any need to run OSX Server for anything.

        • reply
          June 5, 2017 11:44 AM

          Agreed, but that's a lot of (traditionally) server level hardware in the Mac Pro, makes me wonder if someone over there is thinking about it.

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 10:54 PM

        64-128gb of memory is not really uncommon on a 3D workstation.

    • reply
      June 5, 2017 11:50 AM

      Again Apple continues to treat there Desktop line like there phones. What Happens when I spend 5k on a desktop that is Completely and utterly non expandable? Apples answer 'Buy the newer one 2 years later for 5k"

      Unbelievable. we waste so many resources making tech like this. I've been asking apple for years to just give us a Desktop we can expand INTERNALLY! Miss the mark yet again.

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 11:52 AM

        They are also developing a new Mac Pro as you've described. They invited a few reporters and discussed it specifically -- maybe a month or two ago? It sounds like your needs would be better served by waiting for that unit. Sucks there's nothing in the line right now though.

        • reply
          June 5, 2017 12:06 PM

          I wanna see that. Having a powerhouse PC Desktop that i can upgrade the processor and or GFX card every 2-4 years would be a step in the right direction.

        • reply
          June 5, 2017 3:24 PM

          What one part of Apple asks the community doesn't always translate to the other part of Apple acting on it. It's such a huge complex organism these days where the brain isn't sure what the kidneys are doing.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 3:31 PM

            I don't doubt that for a second. I wonder what kind of peripheral vision is granted and where.

            • reply
              June 5, 2017 3:41 PM

              A classic example was when Steve Jobs introduced Bungie tunning on a Mac showing off the Halo before they ended up on Xbox.

              It was a great showcase for gaming on macs and definitely drew in the gaming crowd. But Jobs didn't give a shit about gamers or promoting macs to in that role. In the end Bungie was barely solvent and Apple didnt do anything by raise their profile from which MSFT showed up with money. Rest is history.

              IIRC, the Halo demo was kind of shoehorned in at the last minute. They talked about it better in the Bungie documentary I saw years back. They were so innocent back then haha.

              Now they are forced to make Halo-esque games and had a falling out with Marty O'Donnell.

              • reply
                June 5, 2017 3:50 PM

                I'm not sure how instructive 16 year old examples of Apple are, especially in the context of org wide communication and coordination. Apple's scale now is completely unlike that era.

                • reply
                  June 5, 2017 3:55 PM

                  It's more that Apple is big enough to think of everything, but those higher won't give it another thought. Especially those at the top who don't have any experience in the areas people want them to improve in.

                  • reply
                    June 5, 2017 3:57 PM

                    no one (person or org or company) can think of everything, that's the entire premise of our capitalist system.

                    They fucked up on their pro dev market. They're taking forever to fix it because Apple insists on perfection (for good and bad).

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 11:57 AM

        iMac's are all about spending the money up front on CPU and memory. With Thunderbolt3, you can expand storage and GPU -- this will give you many many years of use.

        • reply
          June 5, 2017 12:04 PM

          Isn't thunderbolt dead? I've only ever seen it on mac. I went through ADCP, Fire Wire 400, fire Wire 800. And honestly USB/HDMI eventually won out. So I'm a bit skeptical about thunderbolt being the "Future"

          I also worry about the lack of support apple gives it's "Older" Machines. How many years will the 5k PC work well on Mac Os, before they only optimize the new OS for the latest and greatest?

          Sorry, I'm not trying to rant. i really want to like apple again, But they really stabbed me in the back years ago, gonna take awhile to gain back trust.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 12:05 PM

            It's port compatible with USB-C IIRC, so I wouldn't call it dead just yet.

            • reply
              June 5, 2017 12:07 PM

              That's good to know. I didn't know that.

            • reply
              June 5, 2017 12:10 PM

              My point is at one Time Apple told us that ADCP was the "Future" Fire Wire was the "Future". Then those technologys got beat out and apple quietly stopped supporting it. and never spoke about them again.

            • reply
              June 5, 2017 12:14 PM

              Apple has used more interfaces than ANYONE, yes. Apple has also spent more time than even SONY with their proprietary ports.

              Thunderbolt is different: physically USB-C, backed by Intel. The same USB-C on Dells are the same thing on Macs. Want to use an external GPU enclosure on your Mac and PC? One cable does it all.

              I fully agree with your lamenting/ranting about Apple pivoting on their physical ports, but TB3 is really where their future is: fast enough I/O for external GPU displays, flash storage, and connectable to PCs.

              • reply
                June 5, 2017 12:20 PM

                I get that. I mean With tech you have to do experimentation and such and I commend them for that. But this sounds exactly like that ADCP port they made many years ago to compete with DVI. Does anyone remember that? I think it was Called ADCP or maybe AGCP. But eventfully DVI won out, and all those expensive Mac Desktops that had 1 Video Port on there GFX card now needed a 200$ converter to work with Newer monitors. I would know, i had to buy one.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 12:07 PM

            I have a Thunderbolt port on my PC motherboard but I don't use it for anything.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 12:13 PM

            No, thunderbolt 3 is not dead. It's available on a huge number of high end laptops and many high end motherboards.

            • reply
              June 5, 2017 12:16 PM

              The bigger problem is a lot of devices are just developed for USB-C 3.1 instead of full on Thunderbolt 3 because it's compatible with a lot more. The other end of that spectrum is the bigger problem at the moment (particularly when you go beyond storage and displays).

              • reply
                June 5, 2017 12:18 PM

                That's not a problem, that's just the way it's going to be. Not every device needs 4 pcie lanes worth of bandwidth.

                • reply
                  June 5, 2017 12:19 PM

                  Just makes the expensive thunderbolt ports less likely to be added to all but top end devices. You need active/active in order to get full support and that's not cheap.

                  • reply
                    June 5, 2017 12:23 PM

                    It's a significant set of PCIe lanes, it's not ever going to be something as broadly supported as USB. But given it can handle a number of things other ports currently do, along with new things like external GPUs, it ain't going away anytime soon.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 12:42 PM

            My midrange'ish Z170 board with a Skylake has a USB-C port with thunderbolt functionality on it, it's slowly creeping in all over the place.

        • reply
          June 5, 2017 4:09 PM

          That's what we heard with the Mac Pro launch years ago...

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 12:18 PM

        And Tim Cook has the gall to lecture Trump about the Paris thing. Oy.

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 12:38 PM

        But you get to be a part of the Apple experience!

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 4:45 PM

        Macs are shit anyway nowadays imo

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 5:19 PM

        This is a work station. It's meant for corporate life cycle of four to five years. Work stations like that don't get upgraded. They get replaced when the lease ends.

        • reply
          June 5, 2017 5:23 PM

          What 3D House or Post house is going to use this in a business environment? and if not them, why would any business, Retails, Accounting or otherwise spend 5k for a Desktop that's going to crunch emails and google cal appointments?

          Maybe a college/School environment, But 5k per machine is an insane amount of money for a Public School to drop on an apple product.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 5:27 PM

            Why are you talking about accounting and calendars? This isn't for that and Apple already has products that cost a quarter as much for those markets. Even their current high-end iMac is half the cost.

            You're trying to make points but keep pulling these weird strawmen

            • reply
              June 5, 2017 5:35 PM

              what business would order 100 of these?

              • reply
                June 5, 2017 6:05 PM

                That's not who its for. Post facilities and editorial suites are a whole different thing, and those don't buy in volumes of hundreds either

                • reply
                  June 5, 2017 6:06 PM

                  Then who is it for?!? No one seems to be able to gimme a straight answer.

                  • reply
                    June 5, 2017 6:07 PM

                    I literally said who its for in my post. Can you read?

                    • reply
                      June 5, 2017 6:08 PM

                      Not in this mess of a "forum"

                    • reply
                      June 5, 2017 6:12 PM

                      Tell me again, I don't see it in your post.

                      • reply
                        June 5, 2017 7:03 PM

                        Post production facilities, editorial suites, places like that which can use the horsepower and expandablity

                        • reply
                          June 5, 2017 7:39 PM

                          I've never seen an iMac at any post house i've been to in LA

                          Digital Jungle
                          Ant Farm
                          iPost LLC
                          G4
                          Budda Jones
                          Trailer Park

                          • reply
                            June 5, 2017 7:46 PM

                            I've seen more than my share of Macs in LA post facilities and sets. A high end iMac, as its been stated in the thread several times, is a stop-gap solution while they get their Mac Pro ready.

                            • reply
                              June 5, 2017 8:16 PM

                              Well looks like we've had different experience.

                              I've seen Mac Pros,. new and Old, but never iMacs.

                              • reply
                                June 5, 2017 8:18 PM

                                I said Macs, not iMacs. This is a new application for them and its to make up for the gap in their desktop lineup.

    • reply
      June 5, 2017 12:13 PM

      I just don't understand who their target audience is. A Hardcore PC Gamer or 3D Artist I don't think would ever spend 5k on a "All in One" PC. which is what the iMac is. A laptop, maybe. for sure. But an All in One?

      They do realize that the new generation is pretty poor compared to the boomer gen?

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 12:20 PM

        Creators and developers that are stuck on mac for whatever reason will buy it because it's the only option at this point and they know that.

        • reply
          June 5, 2017 3:20 PM

          Anecdotally I've seen so many acquaintances move off the platform because of this.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 6:37 PM

            Don't have a choice if you develop for iOS, but yeah.

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 12:25 PM

        Lots of people switched to iMacs with the Mac Pro being shit. Apple thinks there's a market there so they're going for it.

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 12:28 PM

        Seriously - why would they want a non-upgradeable workstation? Makes no sense.

        • reply
          June 5, 2017 12:36 PM

          it's so they can funnel die hard fans to upgrade by buying yet another, 5k workstations 2-3 years from now.

          https://www.getyarn.io/yarn-clip/bc020f7d-3fe0-4607-b664-ae381491c24a/gif#rkZXTf4QMb.copy

        • reply
          June 5, 2017 1:38 PM

          besides a graphics card, what would you upgrade? you dont swap out cpus and mobos on work machines.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 1:40 PM

            RAM, and Processor,

            I did swamp out a Processor on my old Mac Pro. Was a big pain in the ass.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 1:51 PM

            Mostly RAM, storage and GPUs.

            • reply
              June 5, 2017 2:08 PM

              RAM - Can be upgraded in iMacs
              Storage - Can be upgraded with external drives
              GPUs - Can now be upgraded with external GPUs with Thunderbolt 3

              Seriously most iMac users are happy with their options, and professional users won’t have a problem either.

              • reply
                June 5, 2017 2:30 PM

                arent those external gpu solutions pure shit? You only gain a fraction of the performance, and the enclosure costs as much as the GPU itself.

                • reply
                  June 5, 2017 3:27 PM

                  Yeah, those enclosures are ridiculous in price and by the time your first external upgrade is due for a change there's going to be a newer system and the enclosure irrelevant until the next upgrade and by then, all new tech to replace it.

                • reply
                  June 5, 2017 3:47 PM

                  I don't know where you've seen that? Thunderbolt 3 and similar external GPU setups can be _very_ performant.

                  hell, I know someone with an alienware X51 and one of their "Graphics amplifier" things, which they've put a Titan XP in and that machine is very much quick.

                • reply
                  June 5, 2017 4:15 PM

                  They're janky as fuck, and hella expensive, even on the PC side.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 2:00 PM

            besides a graphics card? that, alone, is reason enough.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 3:29 PM

            The monitor, you know, that thing that's now welded to your computer. So now when your monitor goes on the fritz you need to rma your entire machine, barf.

        • reply
          June 5, 2017 1:58 PM

          It's not a law that every workstation will be upgraded. Ram is the number one, which is not problem on iMacs. Storage is external or server based anyway.

          That leaves the gpu which is not that important.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 3:10 PM

            yeah rapidly changing GPU cards isn't a thing that happens in a workstation environment. this is pretty much a non-issue in the professional world. it only affects gamers, which apple isn't targeting with this hardware here anyway.

            • reply
              June 5, 2017 3:40 PM

              GPU rendering has become a mainstay at this point and is a distinct reality in vfx and animation especially for contractors who can't afford to pay for cloud or a large render farm. You'd be hard pressed to find guys involved in illustration, motion graphics or just the commercial world in general that aren't rendering on a gpu.

              The fact that GPU's are far outpacing cpu's in performance gains every year means constantly upgrading your video card. The performance difference between a 980 and a 1080 is massive and would make a huge difference to a guy rendering off frames on his machine at night.

            • reply
              June 5, 2017 4:17 PM

              GPU rendering matters in After Effects.

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 12:30 PM

        Gamers of any sort avoid Macs, their Pro model is a non issue.

        Who uses iMac's that want that sort of hardware? Plenty of AV production work are dying to get their hands on this iMac Pro. The trashcan Mac is very outdated with both CPU/GPU/disk, no production shop in their right mind would buy one. iMac Pro represents a huge upgrade over current iMacs: way more CPU, memory, disk, GPU ... AND it's more expandable.

        Remember: buying a Mac isn't just about hardware, it's heavily about workflow and ecosystem that goes along with it.

        • reply
          June 5, 2017 1:58 PM

          Unless they run fcpx they already switched to pc.

        • reply
          June 5, 2017 4:19 PM

          It's expandable... in theory. It was supposed to happen with the pro, and it didn't. I know, because we have one. :/

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 12:31 PM

        the same people who always bought Mac Pros before

        • reply
          June 5, 2017 5:34 PM

          So 1%ers and rich white kids?

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 5:36 PM

            is there a problem with targeting a lucrative, niche demographic with particular needs/desires that differ from the masses?

            • reply
              June 5, 2017 5:37 PM

              Nope. just makes me sad.

              • reply
                June 5, 2017 5:38 PM

                but why? You don't need this compute power so if you want the form factor you can get the regular iMac. If you do need the power then you can get this or wait for the full Mac Pro refresh that Apple already teased, or you can go with a Windows workstation, same as always.

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 3:44 PM

        I used to think that, but the all in one market is growing. HP, Asus and Dell all released new all in ones over the past 12 months.

        • reply
          June 5, 2017 3:57 PM

          right, but those don't baseline at 5k.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 4:00 PM

            how price sensitive are people already considering a $3k+ all in one? (like a Surface Studio that goes up to $4.2k).

            • reply
              June 5, 2017 4:03 PM

              Still. 800$ less it a big gap for Microsoft's flag ship all in one.

              Is the iMac Pro a touch screen?

              • reply
                June 5, 2017 4:06 PM

                how much does $800 matter to someone who can think about spending $4-5k on a computer based in part on its design/looks?

                MBP's don't have a touchscreen but they're having no trouble massively outselling the Surface Pro.

              • reply
                June 5, 2017 5:06 PM

                That iMac is going to stop the surface studio power wise. Isn’t the surface studio pretty much laptop parts?

                • reply
                  June 5, 2017 5:20 PM

                  The Surface Studio was underpowered for a laptop before they announced it. Huge difference between that and a workstation class machine with Xeons, ECC RAM, etc.

                  • reply
                    June 5, 2017 5:22 PM

                    Yea, people here are not understanding how much of a beast this thing is going to be.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 4:22 PM

            The iMac 21.5" starts at $1,100 USD. But if we go balls out the 27" with Retina 5K, 2TB fusion drive and Radeon Pro 580 is $2,300.

            Comparatively, the Dell mid-range Inspirion 5000 series 24" starts at $900. The high end XPS series 27" is $2,850.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 4:32 PM

            Neither do iMacs. A 27" 5k display model is still under half the price of the Pro

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 4:52 PM

            They do for workstation class desktops with 5k monitors.
            Heck the 5k monitor alone is over $1000.

            • reply
              June 5, 2017 5:19 PM

              Honestly i've been around the block a few time. I only know 1 person who uses mac in a business/Studio environment and he's like a HARDKORE (with a K that's how hardcore he is) Mac Fanboy. And designed his whole studio around The Trash Can Mac Pro.


              5k for a All in One seems like a "look how big my dick is" sort of thing. I mean I get PC people do it too. But those PC people would never spent 5k on a All In One Desktop, let alone a Apple Desktop.

              I feel this machine is for people like my Dad, someone who likes macs and just wants the best regardless of the cost or what they're doing with it.

              I feel this is another miss, and a sad attempt to Target weeathly Baby boomers who don't know any better, but hey, they love mac, so why not?

              Kind of sad really.

              • reply
                June 5, 2017 5:23 PM

                I feel this machine is for people like my Dad, someone who likes macs and just wants the best regardless of the cost or what they're doing with it.

                eh, the iMac is for him, not this. Was your dad buying the spaceship Mac Pro instead of the iMac before?

                • reply
                  June 5, 2017 5:23 PM

                  always the latest and greatest.

                  • reply
                    June 5, 2017 5:25 PM

                    Then I'm guessing your dad doesn't gaf about the price, so I'm not seeing your point.

                    • reply
                      June 5, 2017 5:30 PM

                      Apple likes to target the elite. Who else would buy a 2,000 dollar pad? that does the same shit as a 600$ iPad.

                      • reply
                        June 5, 2017 5:42 PM

                        Why is creating a good product aimed at consumers with high disposable income and willing to spend it a bad thing? Name one business that isn't envious of the position that Apple is in when it comes to their revenues and profit margins.

                        What are you actually arguing here?

                        • reply
                          June 5, 2017 5:57 PM

                          "good product" in this case is subjective. The things a monster. But not in a good way.

                • reply
                  June 5, 2017 5:27 PM

                  Then I honestly don't know who this machine is for.

                  Too Expensive for College kids or high school kids.

                  Youtubers already have a beast machine to game on so they won't need this.

                  Any Business in 3d or otherwise will most likely has a render farm of some type.

                  Maybe its for that one guy who "Just can't enough of Mac" but honestly i feel Apple's alienated so many of its creative community base, I'm surprised anyone is left or loyal for that matter.

              • reply
                June 5, 2017 5:24 PM

                It's a Pro iMac, it's not for normies like the MacBook Pros are. It's for the people like our video editing team that are maxing out their high end macpros with Adobe CC.

                They literally make a consumer iMac with reasonable specs for normal use that's $1800.

              • reply
                June 5, 2017 5:38 PM

                You keep throwing around this mythical $5k iMac for consumers. Where are you seeing this?

                • reply
                  June 5, 2017 5:41 PM

                  *iMac Pro. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

                  • reply
                    June 5, 2017 5:44 PM

                    The iMac Pro isn't targeted to hardcore gamers. It's targeted to pro users until a new Mac Pro is available.

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 8:11 PM

        For video production studios, it looks like a great machine. AfterEffects is a RAM hog like no other.

      • reply
        June 6, 2017 4:47 AM

        I think people who work for companies that let them buy very expensive computers is the target audience.

        • reply
          June 6, 2017 4:48 AM

          And youtubers. That YouTube cash flow is ridiculous.

    • reply
      June 5, 2017 12:26 PM

      Well iOS 11 on the new iPad Pro looked sweet but I doubt I'll get one.

    • reply
      June 5, 2017 2:29 PM

      This feels like a band aid to try and stop their pro market from completely dissolving.

      • reply
        June 5, 2017 2:38 PM

        Yup, its a stop-gap before they get their next Mac Pros out

        • reply
          June 5, 2017 5:01 PM

          It looks like an awesome machine though.

          • reply
            June 5, 2017 5:23 PM

            Yeah, no doubt the specs are great. Either way its still a stop-gap before their new Mac Pro comes out.

            • reply
              June 5, 2017 6:15 PM

              Not much of a stop gap. This thing comes out in December. Isn’t the new MacPro supposed to be early next year. They wouldn’t bother with it if they didn’t think it would have a solid place in the lineup.

              • reply
                June 5, 2017 6:51 PM

                The Intel i9 Core X-Series in the iMac Pro don't come out til "Late 2017" as per Intel.

              • reply
                June 5, 2017 7:04 PM

                Nobody knows exactly when its coming out. 2018 is a very broad window