5K Display and Powerful AMD Graphics Set These Powerful Desktop Systems Apart
It’s not the promised Mac Pro re-reboot, but Apple hopes it’s the next best thing — the company today said the new iMac Pro workstation, billed as the most powerful Mac released to date, will ship in December, starting at $4,999.
Yes, it’s a powerful system — the baseline systems ship with a 27-inch 500-nit 5K display and eight-core Intel Xeon processors, and 18-core systems can be configured. All-Flash storage is configurable at up to 4 TB, 2666 MHz DDR4 ECC RAM scales to 128 GB, and two Thunderbolt 3 controllers are built in for accessing external storage and other devices. Included on a Mac for the first time is 10Gb Ethernet connectivity.
Graphics are driven by the new AMD Radeon Vega GPU with up to 16 GB of on-package HBM2 memory and performance of up to 11 teraflops (single precision). Apple said the system is designed for “advanced graphics editing, virtual reality content creation and real-time 3D rendering.”
“This will be our fastest and most powerful Mac ever, which brings workstation-class computing to iMac for the first time,” said Apple VP of Hardware Engineering John Ternus in a prepared statement. “We re-engineered the whole system and designed an entirely new thermal architecture to pack extraordinary performance into the elegant, quiet iMac enclosure our customers love.”
Apple reaffirmed that, separately, a new high-end Mac Pro and associated pro display are still coming at some point in the future — this time it will be designed for expandability, a shortcoming of the previous “trash can” design — but the presence of a powerful desktop machine in the Mac line-up should help Apple meet the expectations of at least some of its pro user base.
Finally, Apple will be releasing new space gray wireless accessories — Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 — to go with the space gray design of the iMac Pro.
At any rate, plan ahead — the new Mac Pro design isn’t expected until 2018 or perhaps 2019, while the iMac Pro is scheduled to ship in December of this year.
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