iMac Pro review

iMac Pro is the most powerful Mac ever released to the public, but it is not for everyone

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iMac Pro is Apple’s most powerful Mac ever made. First debuted back in 2017, the iMac Pro quickly gained its popularity on the market, serving as a workstation for those who frequently engage in intense-graphics tasks.

One of the biggest changes Apple has made on its Mac family in recent years is that you can choose exactly how to configure your computer. For instance, you can get more RAM, storage space, or upgrade your GPUs. Of course, that’s a big investment.

One question is that “Is the iMac Pro right for you?”. Well, buying a new iMac Pro costs a fortune, but if you are a pro user with advanced needs, then it may be worth a shot.

First, pricing

iMac Pro is one of the most expensive PCs on the market. The base model now costs around $5000, while the maxed-out iMac Pro retails for up to $15,000. For that price, you will get what’s best of Apple in terms of hardware and software.

Of course, you can build a Windows PC that can match the iMac Pro’s specs and performance for less than $5000. However, if you are a professional who doesn’t have much time to do some research and build a PC, then the iMac Pro comes to the rescue.

Key features

Apple iMac Pro is packed with a new cooling system that allows it to run more quietly when compared the 2019 5K iMac with Vega 48 GPU, especially when you export 4K videos. I tried exporting two 4K videos at the same time, and the iMac Pro surprisingly stayed quiet, while the 2019 iMac ran a little bit louder.

Another highlight of iMac Pro lies in its 1080p FaceTime camera. To be honest, the webcam on the iMac series is an embarrassment when compared to the front-facing cameras on iPhones. Indeed, the FaceTime camera on the iMac Pro does very little to improve things, but it is better compared to the one on the 5k iMac.

I have heard a lot of speculation that Apple will bring its TrueDepth technology to the iMac series, and it could use the same module you find on the current iPhones. However, a TrueDepth camera on an iMac will not be ready until 2020.

Performance

iMac Pro is a beast when it comes to overall performance. Indeed, it can handle every task you throw at it, from editing photos to exporting 4K videos. I ran some video-editing tests to see how the iMac Pro stacks up to the 2019 5k iMac.

iMac Pro test
iMac Pro (20-sec 4K stabilization test)

When it comes to stabilizing 4K videos, the 5k iMac is around 15% faster than the iMac Pro in Final Cut, while the iMac Pro is 25% faster in Premiere Pro. In reality, Premiere Pro mainly relies on only one core of the processor while the Intel Xeon W found inside the iMac Pro can boost up to 5 GHz, which is why it is faster. The 5k 2019 iMac is faster in some of my tests because it still uses Intel’s quick sync that helps to boost export times.

In short, both iMac Pro and 5k iMac offer amazing performance. It’s hard to tell who wins as picking one of these depends on what app you are using them with. If you now have a 2019 5K iMac, then stick with it. Personally, I don’t think the reason to upgrade to the Pro is the performance.

When it comes to gaming, the iMac Pro really shines thanks to its upgraded GPUs under the hood. Apple also made things much easier as it added Radeon Pro Vega 64X graphics options to the iMac Pro in March 2019 for superior performance. Unfortunately, I did get the chance to test games on the Vega 64X, but I tried running some games like Rise of the Tomb Raider, GTA 5, and Wolfenstein 2 the new colossus on the Vega 56 model.

iMac Pro with Vega 56 gaming performance

Rise of the Tomb Raider

 

5K resolution with high presets

 

1440p, with high presets

Minimum: 20fps

Average: 28 fps

Maximum: 45 fps

 

Minimum: 31fps

Average: 83 fps

Maximum: 144 fps

 

Grand Theft Auto 5 5K resolution with high settings

1440p with high settings

Average: 30 fps

Average: 60fps

Wolfenstein 2 the new colossus 5K resolution with high presets

1440p with high presets

Average: 37fps

Average: 117 fps

Apple Macs are never meant for gaming, but if you want to play some games on your computer, you are good to go. In reality, native macOS gaming still lags behind Windows, so I recommend you run BootCamp or an external GPU for better performance.

Verdict

iMac Pro review

Pros Cons
Very powerful The Vega 64X option is very expensive
New cooling system Boot Camp still needed for gaming
1080p FaceTime camera FaceTime webcam is still not good
Good gaming performance Not for everyone

iMac Pro is one of the best Mac machines on the market. It’s really powerful when compared to the MacBook Pro and 2017 iMac. However, the base model does not make a huge difference over the 2019 5K iMac.

When it comes to gaming, the Vega 56 really stands out, but it’s not massive. If you now have a 2017 iMac or later, then there is no reason to upgrade right now.

Don’t forget to share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment in the section below.

 

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