Apple Rolling Out More Powerful iMac Pro Workstations

The more powerful iMac Pro workstations can be equipped with 8-, 10- or 18-core Intel Xenon CPUs and up to 128GB of memory, with pricing starting at $4,999.

iMac Pro

Apple's most powerful iMac workstation computers yet will go on sale starting Dec. 14, six months after being announced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

The updated iMac Pro, which will start at $4,999 based on Apple's WWDC announcement, will be available in a wide range of configurations, with 8-, 10- or 18-core Intel Xenon processors, up to 128GB of 2666MHz DDR4 ECC memory and solid-state drive (SSD) storage of up to 4TB, according to Apple's website. The Dec. 14 availability date for the new machines was unveiled at Apple.com without any further details on specific pricing.

The more powerful iMac Pro, which includes Turbo Boost speeds of up to 4.5GHz, offers multicore processing for a wide variety of tasks, including rendering files, editing 4K video, creating real-time audio effects and compiling code.

Also included in the new machines is the Radeon Pro Vega 56 video card, which Apple says is more than three times faster than any previous iMac GPU. The video card will provide higher frame rates for virtual reality, real-time 3D rendering and improved special effects, according to Apple. The card is available with 8GB or 16GB of onboard HBM2 memory.

The base system memory configuration starts at 32GB, but is also available with 64GB or 128GB of memory. The base 1TB SSD can be upgraded with a 2TB or 4TB SSD.

Throughput for the iMac Pro is up to 3GB per second, giving users the ability to load large files and launch apps more quickly.

The machines will include four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, which will allow users to connect two 5K monitors at one time, as well as 10Gb Ethernet to accommodate faster network performance. Also included are four USB ports, an SDXC card slot with support for UHS‑II, stereo speakers, four microphones and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

The iMac Pro includes a built-in 27-inch Retina 5K display, with 14.7 million pixels, 5,120‑by‑2,880 resolution and support for more than 1 billion colors. Also included is a 1080p FaceTime HD camera. The machine simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display at 1 billion colors and can be used with dual 5120‑by‑2880 (5K) external displays at 60Hz, four 3,840-by-2,160 (4K UHD) external displays at 60Hz, or with four 4,096‑by‑2,304 (4K) external displays at 60Hz.

The thermal systems of the new iMac Pro were improved with dual blowers, a large heatsink and extra venting, which provide almost 75 percent more airflow and an 80 percent increase in system thermal capacity.

Mac users have been waiting patiently for a seriously revamped iMac Pro machine. Apple hadn't updated its Mac Pro desktop line in several years until this past April, when it bumped up their specifications. The slow workstation updates occurred because the company was busy focusing most of its attention on its iPhone and MacBook lines.

In April, the previous Mac Pro models got faster CPUs, beefier GPUs and more memory, while holding their starting prices to their existing $2,999 and $3,999 totals. The move brought some of the company's higher-end Mac Pro options down to the base models, giving buyers more features and value at the existing prices.