One of my favorite websites for product comparisons is Rob Art Martin’s BareFeats. Nowhere else around the Applesphere will you find more head-to-head product comparisons and in-depth performance reviews. One of the most recent was a look at Apple’s powerful iMac Pro. December seemed to be iMac Pro Month with a variety of configurations and tests which prove Apple’s venture into an all-in-one with power has legs.
For example, back in late December BareFeats ran a comparison of the basic iMac Pro vs. two Mac Pro models and one iMac with 5K Retina display. While a fully equipped iMac is a fine machine it was creamed in benchmarks by the two Mac Pro models, which, in turn, were creamed by the two iMac Pro models; eight core and 10 core respectively.
A fully loaded iMac with Intel’s latest Inside is priced higher than an entry-level iMac Pro but is not as powerful (power being defined as using applications that can take advantage of the Xeon CPUs inside; faster browsing or faster typing won’t happen).
When testing and comparing just the iMac Pro 8 and 10-core machines vs. an iMac, guess who wins? Cores matter. At least, if you have the right benchmarks. 10 cores are faster than 8 cores, which, depending upon the benchmark test, can be twice as fast as the iMac 5K with 4 cores.
What Apple has accomplished with the new iMac Pro is a remarkable change from the Mac Pro. For the same money and a similar configuration, the iMac Pro is a more powerful machine, and with so many ports, as flexible as the canister Mac Pro.
BareFeats does what Apple does not do any longer. Compare performance between machines, and between the same machines with different configurations. That’s no mean feat.
Throughout December and into January Bare Feats compared and benchmarked iMac Pro models with different GPUs, PCIe-based SSD storage, Thunderbolt 3, and more.
iMac Pro is a bargain in any sense of the word– if you have applications that can use all that horsepower; browsing the web, editing photos, using Microsoft Office, and email won’t be any more productive on an iMac Pro, though.
Therein lies my problem with the decision making process.
For my basic needs, screen real estate is more important than CPU speed. Second on the list of needs is SSD speed. Then graphics, ports, etc. iMac Po is a beast in every category so it could easily last beyond the four years or so that I keep an iMac. What we don’t know is when does the iMac Pro circa 2018 no longer handle the latest macOS version. Five years? Six years?
As an investment, an original Mac– the 128k version with a black and white display and a built-in floppy disk drive– was priced at $2,495, which, in 2018 dollars thanks to inflation, is nearly $1,000 more than an iMac Pro.
That’s a bargain with power.