After a few years of mostly neglecting the Mac professional, Apple introduced a beautiful Mac Pro back in 2013 and then let it gather dust for four years. Maybe Apple’s executives were miffed because we didn’t bow down to their iconic Trash can design.
Earlier this year Apple recognized the error of their erroneous ways and decided to kick the can down the road. The Mac Pro is end-of-life. If you need one, great. They’re powerful but not exactly bleeding edge. That bloody edge comes later this year with renewed emphasis on the Mac pro user in iMac Pro.
Xeon, Meet Retina 5k
What can you get with a Mac Pro for $5000? A Mac Pro and $2,000 to spend on screens, keyboard, mouse, et al. The same money will get you more power in the iMac Pro, due later this year. The base model will arrive with 32GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, an 8-core Xeon CPU, and a Radeon Pro Vega 56 GPU with 16GB of HBM2 memory. I don’t know what that means, either, but it must be good.
Oh, and speaking of professionals, we all know they love anything but beige or white so the iMac Pro comes in space gray. Space gray iMac case. Space gray keyboard. Space gray mouse. How professional is that, amirite?
Sinister looking means powerful, and powerful means professional, so Apple’s professional customers are probably like all quiet and peaceful inside right now. Or, drunk. Drunk with power-to-come, I say.
Just look at the power exuding from the ports behind the screen. There’s the ubiquitous on everything but iPhone 3.5-inch headphone jack, an SDXC card slot because nothing says power like ‘sneaker net’, four USB 3 standard sized ports, four USB-C and Thunderbolt ports, and the ever present on power devices, the Ethernet port, but this one does 10GBps. All that comes in a 21-pound package for less than $5,000.
If you have a house or condo then you may want to double up on the mortgage because this pretty beast can go to 18 cores of lush Xeon power (10-core option in the middle), and holds up to 128GB of RAM, and up to 4TB of SSD storage. I’m thinking that either I get this, or a trailer home on Tiny House Nation. They’re priced about the same. This iMac has four microphones, and can power dual 5k external displays or four 4k external displays. All Retina, natch.
Clearly, this is the iMac Pro that Tim ‘The Toolman’ Taylor would buy. And then customize it so it had even more power.
Now, think about the 180-degree turn Apple is making with the Mac. First, the Mac Pro trash can arrives and is ignored. By everyone. Including Apple. Then, Apple turns around and announces a powerful, modular Mac Pro due next year. How powerful? It needs to be real powerful because this new iMac Pro comes at you with 128GB of RAM, 16GB GPU RAM, 4TB of SSD storage, and an 18-core Xeon CPU.
Good grief. What’s more powerful than that?