iMac Pro arrives – Did Apple screw up?
After announcing a Pro iMac would be coming early this year, and an official announcement of the iMac Pro at the WWDC, with a few weeks to spare, Apple delivered an indisputably sexy iMac Pro.
You would have to be an Apple hater to consider the iMac Pro anything other than a standout looker, however, did they screw up?
Early tests of the iMac Pro point to throttling to hold heat on the absolute limits of the CPU and GPU under heavy professional work such as Final Cut Pro rendering, or multiple high load tasks.
Most of the tests to date, comment on an apparent trade-off in absolute performance to maintain extremely quiet fans. Those same reviewers have considered apps that may allow them to control fan speed, and eak a few more Hz in speed under the heaviest loads.
To me, talk of speeding up fans (and noise) to minimising throttling misses the point.
In my April 30 post, I suggested a return to a ‘Fat’ iMac as the solution. Johnny, in his quest to design ever thinner and sexier devices, is limiting Apple’s ability to truly address the market. A ‘Fat’ iMac Pro with the same attention to cooling as the current iMac Pro may have been capable of running at full boost for considerably longer and would, without doubt, have placed less thermal stress on the CPU and GPU. We know from bitter experience that Apple runs most CPUs on the ragged edge of heat tolerance, a practice that has led to several replacement programs in the past.
Using a ‘Fat’ iMac Pro would enable them to provide more effective cooling, even better sound, and at the same time, the opportunity to design away some of the fat bezels of the current design. (and they MAY have been able to allow for user upgrades).
14 and 18 Core Users Beware?
With current tests and reports of throttling being from initial 10 core test units, what lies in store for 14 and 18 core users when they push them to the limit? Greater throttling? Early component failures?
No Doubt It Is a Not Unreasonably Priced Screamer
When you look at apples comparative performance graphs, such as the Final cut one below, there is no doubt the iMac Pro is an absolute performer.
Comparing pricing to other prime manufacturer equivalent product shows the initial price shock, not to be out of line with that competition, none of which offer the beautiful built-in 5K screen.
Did Apple Screw Up?
IMHO, while not a screw-up, the design and implementation of the iMac Pro has its compromises. Would I buy one? If I were in that market, probably yes. There is not going to be a better workstation class system from anyone in the near future, and certainly not in an all-in-one package like the iMac Pro.
I hope Apple is already designing the next iMac Pro model with an eye to Intel’s next processor family AND with a more efficient thermal design.
Tim, what’s needed is a ‘Fat’ iMac Pro!