This is definitely the product Mac users have wanted Apple to produce, a modular and a high-performance Mac tower. Users’ demand for such a machine is good and genuinely expressed. Apple’s previous Mac Pro was released in 2013, having a bold cylindrical design that Apple couldn’t update for years due to thermal problems.
The consternation Apple faced concerning the future Mac made them admit they needed to start all over with the Mac Pro in 2017. A few years later, they released one of the most precise and intelligently engineered desktop computers in history.
iMac Pro Design
Apple really surpassed itself by maintaining the all-in-one machine’s design. All the efficient and powerful internal components are gathered behind the 27-inch display, making it an elegant, stark machine that looks beautiful anywhere it’s been placed. Apple did their best in maintaining the slim body and the exact design consideration they put into designing the iMac Pro. Its edges are 5mm or 0.2 inches thick, which means it won’t take too much space on your desk, and it weighs 0.78kg or 21.38 pounds.
Pitching such formidable components requires more power and typically produces more heat. It implies that there’s an efficient cooling system that the engineers designed. They designed effective dual fans that help in eliminating hot air and circulate cool air over the components. The iMac Pro’s cooling system produces about 75% more airflow and about 80% increase in system thermal capacity. The cooling system is tranquil so that it won’t distract you whenever you’re using it to work.
A major difference between the standard iMac and the iMac Pro’s design is that it has a new color scheme: Space Gray. And the Space Gray iMac is attractive. The added Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad 2, and Magic Keyboard come with a new color, so you’re free to keep the color theme going.
Apple stated that the 27-inch 5K screen is the best, talking boldly about 500 nits of brightness which has about 43% increment of brightness over the previous iMac. The 5,120 x 2,880 resolution is impressive here as it is on high-end iMacs, which also come with this resolution. The improvement over standard 4K resolution implies that video editors can work on 4K video at full resolution and still have more space for their music player, editing tools, or browser.
Since the iMac Pro is produced for professionals, color reproduction must be accurate. It’s essential for photographers, graphic artists and video editors, and others. To provide precise color reproduction, the display fully supports the P3 wide-gamut color space, an RGB color space that’s generally used in digital movie production.
Well, the P3 is more expensive than sRGB but not as wide as Adobe RGB. If you need Adobe RGB for your work, primarily if you work in printing and publishing, then you may be irritated by the absence of Adobe RGB support. But for several people, the P3 color space will be more than sufficient, not to mention the enhancement over sRGB.
Like other iMacs, the FaceTime camera is placed on the bezel at the top of the screen and has few major improvements. It can now record in 1080p resolution; before now, FaceTime cameras on iMacs were 720p. This increased resolution made video calls on iMac Pro superb, even with the enhanced video quality.
The webcam has four microphones, compared to a single one on the 5K iMac. These microphones assist in decreasing background noise, and since they are at the top of the screen, they do an excellent job in noise canceling.
At the back of the base of the iMac Pro, there’s an SDXC card slot, 3.5mm headphone jack, four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, four full-size USB 3.0 ports, and a 10Gb Ethernet port that affords fast network speeds. The four USB 3.0 ports are accurate for old, legacy peripherals and devices, while the Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports support Thunderbolt USB 3.1 devices and devices with about 40Gbps data transfers. Thunderbolt 3 ports can also connect to extra displays, like two 5K external displays at 60Hz, or four 4K UHD displays at 60Hz.
Generally, iMac Pro’s design is everything you’d expect from Apple: elegantly made, with some genuinely innovative features and essential details that are geared towards professionals. All these help justify the price tag.
iMac Pro Display
The built-in Retina 5K display is the same incredible screen as ever. It is diagonally 27 inches, and it has a 5,120-by-2,880-pixel native resolution having support for 1 billion colors and the whole P3 color gamut. The backlight has 500 nits of brightness, giving more light to a room where the light is dim.
If you have an extremely bright room, you’ll be excited about the option for a nano-texture gloss finish rather than the standard glossy finish. There’s a big difference in choosing the nano-texture than buying a traditional matte display. Although they have the same goal, it decreases glare from ambient light, but the nano-texture smartly does it more by etching the glare decreasing texture into the glass at a microscope level. Well, Apple stated that this process doesn’t affect the display’s contrast that implies reduced glare without a decreased color brilliance.
We tested the nano-texture aspect throughout the day in changing light conditions, well Apple was right about the advantages, but there are two disadvantages. Compared with the standard glossy finish, the glare-decreasing texture is apparent, especially when you’re working on a white background document, which betrays the texture and causes it to look a bit muddied. And this cannot be very pleasant until you get used to it.
The other disadvantage to the nano-texture display is the $500 extra charge. It makes it inaccessible for casual buyers. Besides, the iMac is the cheaper option out of the two Apple products that offers nano-texture, the Pro display XDR’s price is from $5,000.
The 27-inch iMac engages with the macOS Catalina operating system. It’ll be compatible with the next version of macOS, known as Big Sur, presently in a public beta. Like other Apple’s macOS-based computer portfolios, the iMac doesn’t have any form of direct touch-screen support.
iMac Pro Peripherals
Apple added a wireless Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2 with the iMac, and it’s upgradable to a Magic Keyboard with a number pad and a Magic Trackpad 2 for an extra charge. The peripherals are incredibly designed as the rest of the iMac. Besides, it’s exciting that they come already charged and paired with the computer, right out of the box.
Using the Magic Keyboard isn’t comfy for long typing sessions. It provides shallow key travel, almost the same distance as what’s provided on the new Magic Keyboard-equipped MacBook Pro. All of the peripherals (keyboard, trackpad, and mouse) can be charged with the added Lightning cable.
Wireless abilities include 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0. Apple is yet to equip any of the newly-introduced computers with the latest 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) abilities. As the Wi-Fi 6 doesn’t offer a massive advantage over 802.11ac for most everyday users, it does imply that the iMac loses out on a specific degree of future-proofing. People who will depend on the Ethernet port won’t care much.
Apple fully supports the iMac with the normal one-year warranty and 90 days of complementary technical support. And an optional, added-cost coverage can elongate the warranty period’s coverage period to three years and include accidental damage protection.
iMac Pro Webcam
One of the major things absent from last year’s iMac refresh was a camera that can shoot a full HD 1080p video. iMac Pro’s camera has provided this ability from the beginning, and including it in the 2727-inch iMac is accessible in a time when several buyers will be using an AIO for their remote videoconferencing.
The increased resolution is beneficial, and it’s obvious on a multi-person video call using either a 1089p camera or 720p laptop webcam. Apple stated that the new camera doesn’t offer a low-light performance due to the switch from back-side illumination to front-side illumination. The new aperture allows 33% extra light than the old ones.
The camera doesn’t have face recognition, but it has a face detection algorithm similar to the one iPhone had for many generations. The algorithm detects your face and automatically applies auto-exposure and tone mapping, making the background different from your face.
Another fantastic new feature of the camera is the inclusion of Apple’s T2 coprocessor. It was formally available only on Mac laptops, and the T2 chip manages several tasks in addition to image processing. It also has a personal audio controller and storage controller, which allows it to protect the iMac’s boot drive with on-the-fly encryption.
iMac Pro Audio
There aren’t any new changes to the iMac’s speaker hardware which isn’t bad. The stereo speakers provide dimensional sound and notable robust bass. The outstanding bass is due to the new audio controller in the T2 chip, which allows a variable equalizer applied at all volume levels, ascertaining that the bass richness doesn’t change even if the volume is increased.
But the iMac isn’t an option for an audiophile as the HP Envy 32 All-in-One is. The prominent AIO has an impressive soundbar running the entire width of the chassis, complete with two medium drivers, a woofer, and two tweeters. It provides more volume and quality than iMac stereo speakers.
Some great hardware improvements were made to Mac’s microphones. It had three studio-quality mics, repeating the setup on the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Two mics are positioned near the AIO’s chin to grasp the sound of your voice, while the third mic is placed at the back of the chassis to pick up ambient noise so it can be selectively removed.
More Graphics and Compute Horsepower
iMac refresh doesn’t only bring new features, and It also brings more graphics and computing horsepower due to the latest processors from Intel and AMD. The 27-inch iMac uses Intel’s latest 10th Generation “Comet Lake” desktop CPUs. The entry-level model possesses a six-core Core i5 with a base clock speed of 3.1GHz. Also, a faster Core i5 is currently available as an upgrade.
These new processors support Hyper-Threading. Apple noted that the 27-inch configuration is the first to have this feature, allowing each CPU core to manage two instruction threads simultaneously.
The graphic processor was also upgraded due to the added AMD Radeon Pro GPUs that use Apple’s latest RDNA processor architecture. There are four varieties, from the entry-level Radeon Pro 5300 to the flagship Radeon Pro 5700 XT. The essential feature of the Radeon PTO 5700 XT is its 16GB video memory, an elegant amount that doubles the allotment of VRAM in last year’s flagship iMac.
The storage options have been upgraded. Apple now provides only fast SSDs for Mac’s boot drive instead of the option for outdated Fusion drives (a combination of an SSD and a hard drive). Our unit has 1TB, and the entry-level configuration has 256GB, and the spacious one available is a massive 8TB. Well, the memory ceiling doubled to 128GB of 2,666MHz DDR4, but the entry-level has 8GB. Our test unit has 32GB, which is excessive for most users but an excellent addition for users who use multiple-intensive applications and still manage their budget.
Apple learned many lessons from the 2013 Mac Pro, which is why this latest one has the excellent raw capability, great cooling ability, and room to improve itself than the old one. Apple did try their best with the new iMac Pro.