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Apple iMac Pro: Apple’s powerful new desktop is impressive, but it isn’t cheap

Thomas McMullan Nathan Spendelow
7 Jun 2017
Price when reviewed 
3,870
($4,999)

Apple refreshes its all-in-one computer lineup, including the all-powerful iMac Pro

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Apple’s new iMac Pro is “the most powerful Mac ever” they say. Apple seems to finally be caving in to power users’ concerns, with professional types previously shoehorned into getting either the regular 27in 5K iMac or the now four-year-old Mac Pro. This new iMac Pro trumps both, and it’s one that definitely should be on your radar.

Announced at the firm’s annual tech conference in California, Apple’s iMac Pro sticks with the same technical wizardry as its Mac brethren: a powerful workhorse crammed into a super-skinny all-in-one.

If it weren’t for its slim sides, this 25.6 x 20.3in computer with its space-age silver frame would look much more imposing. In fact, it looks particularly tame – with that Apple minimalism we’ve come to expect. The iMac Pro is bloody gorgeous, even if it can’t be laid flat and drawn on like Microsoft’s Surface Studio.

And the display is a treat, too. Macs have, typically, been marvellous to gawk at – but this iMac Pro steps things up. Apple says it’s the firm’s “best display ever” and it shows: with a blinding 500 nits of brightness spread across all 14.7 million pixels. Despite appearances, however, its display isn’t touch-enabled and thus can’t be used with the Apple Pencil.

We haven’t even reached the best bit yet. This beefy iMac Pro comes equipped with up to an 18-core Intel Xeon processor. Yep, that’s not a typo – 18 cores with Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.5GHz. Apple says this iMac Pro is designed specifically with 3D animators in mind, with that 11-teraFLOP AMD Radeon Vega graphics chip and up to 16GB RAM pushing for performance-heavy graphics processing.

This is the high end of course, and it will be overkill for the vast majority of workflows. If you want to settle down on an iMac Pro that isn’t quite so beefed up, Apple does start configurations at a (still impressive) eight cores for the low, low price of £3,870 ($4,999). There’s still no word on pricing for the other configurations, but don’t expect them to come cheap.

Apple iMac Pro: Early verdict

With the iMac Pro expecting to ship in December, Apple’s latest high-performance Mac is all set to impress. It’s not for anyone on a budget, and we still don’t know exactly how much those top-end configurations will set us back. But this year’s iMac Pro is generously well-specced, and perfectly suited for any performance-hogging task you put before it. I can’t wait to put it through its paces.

Expect to read my full Apple iMac Pro review in the near future.

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