We’ve already posted an open letter or two to Apple on the need for significant improvements in their PC range, however, this week’s announcement of new Intel and AMD processors begs for more. Apple, let’s get serious about Pro computers across the range, especially an iMac Pro.
iMac 27″ 5k is no ‘Pro’ machine
While the current top of the line iMac 27″ with its fabulous 5k display is a nice piece of kit, any argument it’s a pro machine falls flat, with a less than top-of-the-line processor and weak AMD mobile video. What is needed is a commitment to stuffing some serious power into the iMac.
Time to give AMD and Nvidia a run?
Although Intel’s rumoured i9 family looks impressive, the current AMD range seems to be giving them more than a run for their money. Any move to AMD and Nvidia would entail additional design and software engineering, however, the benefits may well outweigh that effort and cost. Apart from the undeniable performance benefits, I’m certain both AMD and Nvidia would negotiate with extremely sharp pencils to get on board with one of the few PC companies seeing growth. While wanting to see AMD get a shot at supplying CPU’s, reality is Nvidia is kicking them around the performance market in GPU’s at present, with little sign of change in the near future. In addition to performance, the recently released Nvidia beta drivers for MacOS already show a maturity not always seen from AMD.
Time for a ‘Fat iMac’?
The current skinny iMac may be a designers dream in style, yet it imposes significant hurdles on any attempt to build a true Pro iMac. Thermal considerations potentially limit the ability to build in any to- of the market processors and video cards. A ‘Fat iMac’ would undoubtedly give room for more pro-level components and a number of other potential benefits.
A truly upgradeable iMac Pro?
With any modular Mac Pro being more than 12 months away, an upgradeable iMac would bring appeal to a wider market of high end consumer and a segment of the Pro market. To truly appeal to that market, there would be several caveats. With a Fat iMac, make use of that space to allow user hard drive upgrades, either through SATA, or and more preferably, making the Apple NVMe drive interface chip available for ‘made for Apple’ accessory drives. It’s either that, or settle on the industry standard interface and controller. As the Apple controller seems to achieve higher performance, the first option would be the better, and as a side benefit, if practical, make it Optane compatible. Second, enough User Upgradeable memory slots to be able to stuff this beast with 64GB of RAM. Third option, perhaps make the video interface PCIe compatible for later updates. This would require special form factor boards from accessory manufacturers, however, if the demand was there, boards would follow. The simple reality is many higher end users want to upgrade their systems severest times during their lifespan. Rushing out to purchase a new Fat iMac just because you need a larger or additional internal drive or more video grunt isn’t entirely practical given the price point this monster would inhabit.
Let’s face it the above wishes are wild enough and unlikely to be featured in any Apple roadmap for 2017, if ever. There are several more outrageous. Give us a 34″ widescreen (even curved), and get rid of the large chin under the monitor. Apart from hosting the Apple logo, it serves no end-user purpose. Thinner bezels, leaving just enough on top for the camera would look sexy as well.
Highly unlikely, but then sometimes Apple surprises us.
Let’s face it, this wish list, even if brought to the attention at the highest level, is unlikely to receive even the most fleeting consideration, however, it’s out there. If you like it, link it, feel free to refer to it, retweet it from our Twitter account @applehqnews.