The new iMac Pro from Apple is upon us and it’s a beautiful all-in-one dream of a computing machine. It can turn any desk into a work of art, any room into a visual feast of technological inspiration. It’s packed full of power, has a screen you could dive into and a form factor of some futuristic utopia. It’s a lovely thing.
The specs are impressive. Up to 18 Core Xeon processors and 128GB of RAM. AMD Vega graphics and up to 4TB of SSD storage. Thunderbolt 3, USB2, Ethernet and an SD Card Reader. And then there’s the 27″ 5K display. There’s no doubt that Apple have knocked it out of the park in transforming the iMac concept into a phenomenal powerhouse of a machine. First reports from the couple of lucky people who have been able to try it out say that this thing is awesome – but then how can it not be looking at the specs.
But is it really for pros?
Once the initial infatuation passes then a few questions do begin to arise from people working in the “pro” end of things. Questions like where are my drives going to go? Am I going to have loads of cables coming out the back to connect to my interfaces, drives and peripherals? How can I upgrade it a couple of years down the line?
The answers are that your drives have to go in external drive cases. With a computer with an integrated screen you can’t put it under the desk and have all the cables running out of sight and as messy as you like. Then you run just a single cable coming up to the screen. With this iMac Pro your cables will be on show. Looks like it’s time to get posher cables or you might ruin that dazzling desktop effect. Upgrades? There’s no access to the internals so you’ll just have to replace the whole thing if you want more power down the line.
I’m not sure that professionals working in the audio industry are really going to be seeing many advantages. It’s lovely to look at but may bring a few problems to their working environment.
Also, the price is always a thing. It starts at $5000 for 8 cores and 32GB of RAM. Which is the equivalent in terms of processing power to a $2000 PC from last year. Or if you push it, because you’re going to need to if you can’t upgrade it, then it can take you beyond $15,000. Wow!
It’s a beautiful machine, fast, powerful, sleek and desirable. I understand the need to build all-in-one, job-done machines. No manufacturer really wants people messing about with the insides of their machines. And actually, maybe we shouldn’t be. Maybe we should just make better use of what we have and stop moaning that we can’t upgrade something that few of us actually do.
- Apple’s iMac Pro webpage.