Mac Pro vs iMac Pro: Which professional Mac is better?

Apple has MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac for consumers. But these computers are not powerful enough to meet the demands of many creatives and professionals. The iMac Pro and the Mac Pro pack high-end hardware and target the professional community. Even though they serve the same user base, the two Macs have a lot of differences. In this Mac Pro vs iMac Pro comparison, let’s find out which one is better for you. The Mac Pro was unveiled at the WWDC event in June this year.

Mac Pro vs iMac Pro: Design

The Mac Pro is yet to hit the store shelves. Let’s ignore the fact that it looks like a cheese grater. The device has a modular design, allowing you to change and upgrade the RAM, storage, and other components to your liking. You can access all the internal components by lifting the top-mounted handle.

It has an aluminum chassis with steel handles. The aluminum housing has cooling holes all over to prevent the Mac Pro from overheating without producing crazy levels of fan noise. The Mac Pro doesn’t have a display, but the Cupertino company sells a separate Apple Pro Display XDR with 6K resolution for Mac Pro. The display alone costs a staggering $5,000.

The Mac Pro has a wide range of ports. It gets two Thunderbolt 3 ports at the top with up to 40GB/s transfer speed. It has another two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the back, two 10GB Ethernet ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and two USB 3 ports. The Mac Pro will be available only in Silver color.

In contrast, the iMac Pro has a sleek all-in-one design similar to the regular iMac. It comes in Space Gray color. While many creative professionals would prefer the all-in-one design of the iMac Pro, it’s not modular. Once you buy the configuration of your choice, you’re stuck with it for as long as you keep the computer. Modularity gives you the freedom to upgrade components in the future to keep it as powerful as new for years to come.

The iMac Pro comes with a built-in 27-inch 5K Retina display. It has 5120 x 2880 pixels of resolution, Wide P3 color gamut, and 500 nits of peak brightness. The display is well-suited for photo-editing, video-editing, graphic designing, animation, and other creative tasks. But users can’t adjust the height or rotate the display.

The iMac Pro has four USB 3 ports, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, one 10GB Ethernet port, and an SDXC card slot for external memory.

Performance and storage

Both the Mac Pro and iMac Pro are insanely powerful devices. But the Mac Pro is newer and packs much more power than the iMac Pro. In its base configuration, the Mac Pro features 32GB of ECC RAM, 256GB SSD storage, an octa-core 3.5GHz Intel Xeon W processor, and AMD Radeon Pro 580X GPU.

Depending on how much you are willing to spend, you can configure the Mac Pro up to 1.5TB (not a typo) of ECC RAM, 4TB of internal SSD storage, and 28-core 2.5GHz Intel Xeon W processor. If you want enormous graphics power, you can add two MPX modules. Each MPX module contains a Radeon Pro Vega II Duo GPU with two graphics cards. It means you get a total of four graphics card with up to 64GB of graphics memory.

The base model of iMac Pro features an octa-core 3.2GHz Intel Xeon W processor with 8GB AMD Radeon Vega 56 graphics, 32GB ECC RAM, and 1TB SSD storage. You can configure it up to 256GB RAM, 18-core 2.3GHz Intel Xeon W processor, AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64X GPU with 16GB VRAM, and 4TB of SSD storage.

Mac Pro vs iMac Pro: Pricing

The Mac Pro will have a starting price of $6,000 when it hits the store shelves later this year. The price would shoot up significantly depending on the configuration you want. Also, buying the Apple Pro Display XDR will set you back by another $5,000.

The iMac Pro is relatively more affordable. It costs $5,000 for the base model, which includes the cost of the 5K display. Opting for the maxed-out version with 256GB RAM, 4TB storage, 18-core Xeon W processor, and Radeon Pro Vega 64X graphics will set you back by a staggering $14,500.

Conclusion

The iMac Pro with up to 256GB RAM, 18-core Xeon W processor, and 4TB storage should easily be able to meet the needs of most creatives and professionals. Its all-in-one design also ensures that the computer looks good in your office.

But if you want even more power than what iMac Pro has to offer, the Mac Pro will be worth the extra money. Also, thanks to the modular design of Mac Pro, you’ll be able to upgrade it and save tons of money in the future by delaying the purchase of an entirely new computer with up-to-date hardware specs.



About the Author

Vikas Shukla
Although he has a background in finance and holds an MBA, Vikas Shukla is a technology reporter. He has a strong interest in gadgets, gizmos, and science. He writes regularly on these topics. - He can be contacted by email at vshukla@valuewalk.com