The new iMac Pro, to buy or not to buy

The iMac Pro 2017 has been first announced this April in a briefing, being touted as a beast of a machine and, from what I've seen so far, it delivers on that promise. We've got a preview of the device at Apple's WWDC in June this year when it was officially revealed and it impressed everyone with its dark design and amazingly silent hardware. The iMac Pro 2017 should officially start shipping out this December, so now seems like a great time to see if it's worth buying or not.

Let's begin with the technical specifications, so we can get a general idea about what the machine can actually do. The iMac Pro 2017 will feature Intel Xeon Purely processors with 8, 10 or 18 cores, which are specifically designed for 3D rendering and working with 4K images and 32, 64 or 128 GB of RAM. As far as storage is concerned, the default version will include an 1TB SSD, but customers can opt for an SSD of up to 4TB. The chosen graphics card is AMD's Radeon RX Vega with up to 16 GB of memory, which is designed to offer the highest framerate possible in both regular as well as VR environments. Lastly, the device will include a 10Gb Ethernet port and four Thunderbolt 3.0 ports used for connecting RAID devices or additional displays.

iMac Pro 2017 Dark DesigniMac Pro 2017 Dark Design

Just like the regular iMac, the iMac Pro will include a 27-inch Retina display with a 5K (5,120x2,880) resolution, but as far as I know it won't feature a touchscreen. Additionally Apple's representatives have also said something about the possibility of selling another display alongside the device, but things aren't quite clear. Rumors say it could be a screen with 8K resolution, but at the moment, this is pure speculation. Besides the display, the iMac Pro will also ship out with a keyboard and trackpad, both in a Space Grey color to match the dark overall design of the machine.

As I'm quite interested in DIY computers, one of the things that really impressed me about the iMac Pro 2017 was its redesigned thermal architecture as keeping such a beast cool as well as quiet seems like a real challenge. According to Apple, this new system comprised of two big fans and a huge radiator is about 80% more effective than the previous one, without any increase in the noise level.

iMac Pro 2017iMac Pro 2017

Now that we've marveled at this technological wonder, it's time for a rude awakening: the pricing. The iMac Pro 2017 is going to retail for the whooping price of $4,999 and that's just for the basic components. In all fairness, Apple said that if you would buy the components individually and put them together yourself, it would cost you about $7,000 and that's without a display, but I cannot confirm or deny this statement. On the other hand, according to ZDnet, if you want to deck out your iMac Pro and choose only the best components, you could end up paying more than $17,0000.

As you can see, that's a whole lot of money, so you might not want to buy the iMac Pro 2017 unless you really require its full capabilities. However, if you're one of the many people who can't afford Apple's latest devices, the best thing left to do is to optimize your slow, old Mac.