The $10,000 iMac Pro – 2 Weeks Later!

– Hey guys, Jonathan here, and the iMac Pro is here, like now, and I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little excited. So, first things first, we got that box within a box. Clearly, I’ve opened up one too many Amazon boxes where you don’t need a knife, you know exactly what I’m talking about. With this one, I probably should have used one. So getting to the first box, excitement level just went from here to here, seeing that space gray iMac Pro right smack on the front of the box. So iMac Pro is stamped on the top of the box, and on one side we see that beautiful 5K display, but as we flip things, there’s a side profile shot of the iMac Pro, and because of that space gray, it looks like this shadowy silhouette, which is kind of awesome.

And before we get into the iMac Pro, first we gotta get to those sweet, sweet space gray accessories. First is the Apple wireless keyboard with number pad and those black keys paired with that space gray finish looks really good. Next is the Apple magic mouse, and as much as I love that space gray finish, not sure exactly how much I’ll be using this, at the very least, though, it is reflective as all hell, so much so, you can see right bouncing right off of it. Next is that space gray track pad which looks– – Very nice. – This, I definitely will use, I’ll probably pair it with a Logitech Performance MX or something like that. Last but not least, we have a black lightning cable, I’m not sure why this excites me, because I know you can pick up a black lightning cable on Amazon, but it is still cool nonetheless. Update, I was looking for some black Apple stickers, thought there would be maybe a hidden compartment here or somewhere inside, but sadly, we are out of luck.

So now finally, it is time to get to the iMac Pro. I can see the space gray. Now, if you’ve ever un-boxed an iMac, from what I can remember, it’s always been styrofoam, so this, nope. That’s kinda different, kinda nice! So we got one more box before we get to that iMac Pro, and nothing exciting here, we got that black power cord. Last but not least, we got the iMac Pro. They even got the space gray wrapping around it. Oh my goodness! It looks so good! Plastic off. But I have wanted, I think along with many people out there for a while now, a space gray iMac, and the fact that it is a space gray iMac, and an iMac Pro, it’s kind of awesome.

Last one. Look at that. Space gray. Holy crap, I feel like I’m sweating getting that thing out of the box. The plan is to use it over the next couple days, test it, edit with it. Tonight I just wanted to get it out of the box so I can get a early start tomorrow and set it up. So that next day has kinda turned into about a week and 1/2, but within that time, we got a chance to extensively test out the iMac Pro.

To quickly recap and reflect on my thoughts on this configuration, which is a 10-core AMD Vega 64 model, 120 gigabytes of RAM and two terabytes of flash storage, I think the sweet spot in terms of price to performance would be taking that base model, and solely upgrading the process of two 10-cores. Now, the reason behind that is yeah, those 14 and 18 core machines, they’re gonna be monsters, but they’re much more expensive and in terms of the 10-core, that’s actually the fastest clock speed you’re gonna get in terms of single threaded performance. As far as that performance, actually the livestream this week showcasing performance and comparing the iMac Pro versus a maxed out 2017 iMac, and finally a MacBook Pro it was more so a real time kinda benchmark archive so you can go back and watch that if you wanted to. I will drop a link down below. In terms of single core performance, they’re all pretty close across the board which really wasn’t too much of a surprise.

The iMac and MacBook Pro, those were close with multi core scores. Where the big difference was though, was with the iMac Pro. Those 10-cores pumped out a score of over 36,000. From there, in terms of disc speed, I kinda assumed all these would also perform very similarly. It was mostly true except where the big standout was on the iMac Pro, the write speeds were nearly three gigabytes a second, which is kinda crazy. So yeah, benchmarks, those are cool, but to kinda showcases some real world examples for me– I shoot video, I edit video. That is what I do for a living, so my main use with this iMac Pro is Final Cut Pro 10 and editing video. With that said, though, I realize not everyone edits video, especially within Final Cut Pro. I got a chance to sync up with my buddy Matt Workman who is an insanely smart and talented dude.

He was awesome enough to tweak a Cinema 4D scene so I could render it across the iMac Pro, the iMac and the MacBook Pro. What’s interesting is he actually tested this out on this system which is a 16-core AMD Threadripper. Configured total cost in that machine is about 5400 bucks. That kinda puts some perspective on the iMac Pro that’s not crazy, because with that configuration you gotta remember you’re also not getting a 5K display. Regardless, though, his system is an absolute monster and to render out that scene, which is purely CPU based, no GPU, it took about three minutes and 18 seconds on his machine.

The iMac Pro was just over five minutes. The iMac non Pro is about 12 minutes and the MacBook Pro finally finished up at 22 minutes. You can kinda see the performance across all these systems. For reference I do shoot on an AK RED camera. Prior to the iMac Pro for the most part I would shoot in 4K ProRes. What that does, it takes a beautiful AK sensor, kinda down samples it into a buttery smooth 4K ProRes which is amazingly fast to edit.

You do lose those raw controls, but you get a super sharp image, great color, and more importantly, an insanely smooth editing experience. You definitely could edit AK raw footage on an iMac or even if you wanted to, a MacBook Pro but it’s not the smoothest experience and rendering and export takes absolutely forever. On the iMac Pro it’s almost like you unlocked this completely new level of editing. AK raw on the iMac Pro kinda felt like I was editing 4K ProRes on a MacBook Pro. If that makes sense, it’s crazy. For me what was the most impressive thing about this was taking that AK footage. It was shot at a 12 to one compression which is actually pretty demanding on a computer and from that take in that footage put it into a timeline, playing everything back. While that is happening, tweak the raw controls, ISO, white balance. It is kind of mind blowing. If you caught the livestream essentially what I had going on was AK footage dropped into a 4K timeline.

I turned background rendering off to kinda make this a little harder on the iMac Pro. It took that AK footage in the 4K timeline then trans-coded it into ASOT 264 un-rendered. The total time was about just over five minutes for a three minute timeline which is bonkers. From there, while the MacBook Pro and the iMac were still painfully chugging along I turned background rendering on, exported again and that was about a minute and 40 seconds which is faster than real time. That kind of power has enabled me to take full advantage of AK raw, RED’s new IPPII color science which has been incredible. But then, Final Cut Pro 10.4, the new color controls are amazing. There’s built in light, so you can see here this is pure RED raw footage. The next step from there would be to apply a REC7 and light to give us a great starting point, and then from there, I can then tweak things to really fine tune and dial everything out so you can see before and after.

So, that’s kinda been my impressions with the iMac Pro so far. I definitely wanna do some more extensive testing and kinda complete these tests on the iMac Pro and MacBook Pro and kinda do maybe a little more realistic tests. This was kind of an extreme example to showcase the pure power on the iMac Pro. So, as I continue to test this, definitely let me know what you wanna see in the full, blown out crazy review. Aside from that, thank you guy very much for watching, hopefully you enjoyed it.

If you did, make sure you smash that like button. If you missed the livestream which kinda showcases these benchmarks in real time, I’ll drop the link down below. This is Jonathon and I will catch you guys later..

As found on Youtube