Apple only promised two more products for 2017: the iMac Pro and the HomePod. While the company pushed back the HomePod release to 2018, there was no news on the iMac front, and we were starting to get worried we wouldn't see the device anytime soon.
Apple today announced not only a launch date, but one that comes really soon: this Thursday, December 14.
The iMac Pro was originally announced at WWDC back in June, with a starting price of $4999. While that price is, indeed, pretty steep, it's important to remember that this unit is specifically targeted at working professionals.
If you bill by the hour but waste hours of your life waiting on renders, it saves to buy a more powerful machine once factoring in the hours you get back from faster renders and overall workflow speed.
The iMac Pro is also the first Mac to fully support VR. While VR has been "the next big thing" for awhile now (it hasn't quite had the cultural impact many were hoping for), its appearance on the Mac platform certainly boosts its status.
Early units have made their way into the hands of Vince LaForet, Marques Brownlee, and Mike Seymour, all of whom seem pretty happy with the improved offerings. One frustration, however, comes from Apple continuing to stick with AMD graphics rather than NVIDIA; for pro video applications, NVIDIA is still the king, and is one of the reasons why a 2013 Macbook Pro (with its Nvidia GeForce GT750M discrete graphics) still beats the brand new 2017 Macbook Pro.
However, we're four years into an all AMD Apple, and software developers have taken note, working hard to make themselves graphics card-agonistic, with developer reports saying they can get equal performance from either graphics vendor when the specs are equal.
While we're the first to acknowledge that the new Macbook Pro was a miss for filmmakers, we can't help but be a bit excited by the prospect of the iMac Pro.
While we're the first to acknowledge that the new Macbook Pro was a miss for filmmakers, we can't help but be a bit excited by the prospect of the iMac Pro. The mix of ports (between T3 and classic USB) is the perfect blend of present and future. Even better, these T3 ports are vertical, which should make it easier to put wide plugs into ports right next to each other. 10GB ethernet is something posties have been dreaming about for years.
In terms of pure horsepower, 128GB of Ram, 10 cores, and a 16GB graphics card will please demanding pro users, making their lives easier throughout the pipeline. While some might be tempted to wait on the full sized Pro towers announced for 2018, the iMac form factor has always been attractive for its ease of setup, and it occasionally even shows up on set because it packs pretty quickly back into its box.
Available this coming Thursday.