We knew they were coming. Apple recently stated that it would launch new iMacs this year and it delivered the goods with new Kaby Lake-equipped models. But in an unexpected turn of events, the Cupertino company also announced a much more powerful iMac Pro for power users.
The new iMac Pro is basically a supercharged 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display that includes 18-core Intel Xeon processors and AMD Vega graphics.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Apple’s most powerful all-in-one desktop PC
- When is it out? December 2017
- What will it cost? $4,999 (about £3,870, AU$6,680)
iMac Pro release date
When Apple first confirmed that new iMacs would arrive in 2017, naturally executives offered nothing as to when these new computers would release. However, at WWDC, Apple fully laid out its release plans for its new iMac family.
The freshly updated iMac equipped with Kaby Lake processors has been available since June; meanwhile, the iMac Pro will be available in December 2017. Although we didn’t find out the release date of the iMac Pro as of the iPhone 8 launch event, we did some news pertaining to macOS High Sierra.
More specifically, we now know that the operating system that the iMac Pro will natively run upon its launch this holiday will be available for download on September 25. This iteration of the Mac operating system will debut the new APFS (Apple File System), alongside HEVC compression, improvements to the Photos app and more.
iMac Pro price
The entry-level iMac Pro configuration starts at a kingly sum of $4,999, but at that lofty price point you get a hardy all-in-one that includes a 27-inch Retina 5K display, 8-core Intel Xeon processor, AMD Radeon Vega graphics, 32GB ECC memory and an 1TB SSD.
Of course, for those who don’t need that much power the consumer grade iMac isn’t going anywhere. In fact, you can already buy a refurbished 2017 iMac from Apple starting at $1,099 in the United States. As far as new, unopened models go, prices remain the same as last gen.
That’s $1,099 (£1,049, AU$1,699) to start for the 21.5-inch iMac and $1,799 ($1,749, AU$2,799) for the 27-inch model to start. The iMac Retina 4K 21.5-inch model, however, has gone from a starting price of $1,499 to $1,299 (£1,249, AU$1,899).
iMac Pro design
As a Reddit thread predicted in early June, the latest generation of Apple’s all-in-ones doesn’t look much different from the current iMac design. The iMac Pro is the only exception, but that’s really only thanks its Space Gray coat of paint.
While the new iMac Pro features same all-aluminum, curved shell we’ve all known and loved since its introduction with the iMac 2017, Apple claims to have revolutionized the iMac Pro’s internal cooling system to be 80% more efficient.
That said, it’s suggested that Apple plans to introduce a major industrial design overhaul for its all-in-one iMac brand in 2018, according to that same Reddit thread.
This refresh could include a black finish and “more glass” in addition to the revival of the light-up Apple logo in the form of a micro-LED panel. It may even bring dynamic audio technology that adjusts the Mac’s speaker volume based on where you’re sitting relative to the display.
iMac Pro Specs
Apple was expected to put an Intel Xeon chip inside its all-in-one, but we didn’t think the iMac Pro would come with an up to 18-core processor. The other processor choices include 8- and 10- core Intel Xeon processors.
AMD Radeon Vega graphics are also on the docket. While Apple didn’t say specifically what chips will come onboard, the company promised up to 11 teraflops of single precision and 22 teraflops of half precision compute power.
All of this high-octane computing power is backed up by up to 128GB ECC memory, 4TB 3Gbps SSDs, four Thunderbolt 3.0 ports and a 10GB ethernet port.
The regular iMacs also see their own fair share of upgrades including updated 7th generation Intel Kaby Lake processors. Graphics-wise, the 21.5-inch iMac features Intel Iris graphics and AMD Radeon Pro 555 or 560 graphics with up to 4GB of VRAM on the 27-inch iMac. The 27-inch 5K iMac tops out with Radeon Pro 570, 575 and 580 graphics with 8GB of VRAM.
The 2017 iMacs also get twice the standard memory capacity for both the 21.5- and 27-inch model with 32GB and 64GB of RAM, respectively. Apple also promised it has equipped its latest Fusion Drives 50% faster SSDs and the maximum capacity has been elevated to two terabytes.
Last, but not least, Apple claims to have made its iMac displays 43% brighter thanks to a panel that goes up to 500-nits in brightness. 10 bit dithering also lends its hand in rendering a billion colors on the screen.