iMac Pro Updates?


#7

I still live in hope the next Mac Pro will be a replacement for my mid-2010 machine. I guess we’ll see at some point.


#8

The company I’m working for hired one to help me out rendering lots of X-Particles shots. Not much to say apart from it’s doing exactly what it should be doing, render times scale to what you’d expect from the hardware. Also very quiet. All 18 cores going and it’s silent. It’s nice and sleek looking and eye wateringly expensive.


#9

Yeah, I’m still sticking with my mid 2010 Mac Pro for the time being. Until I can be sure that you can successfully run, let’s say TWO eGPUs on either the iMac Pro or the current (or speculated forthcoming) Mac Pro, I would feel very uncomfortable about making such a large financial investment
Although I’ve read reports of people successfully running two eGPUs on the current Mac Pro, I understand that it’s not without issues and I personally haven’t found enough quality information on the subject to convince me
(I’d be very keen to speak with someone who’s successfully done this!)
I would feel very sickened if I were to spend in the region of £10k on a brand new workstation that couldn’t offer me as a minimum what my current 2010 workstation does
But let’s be clear, if I was convinced it was currently possible run one or even two eGPUS on the iMac Pro without any hacks or problems in order to run Redshift or Octane, I would buy one today.


#10

I think Barefeats did some testing with iMac pro and 2 eGPU. http://barefeats.com/imacpro_vs_pt7.html
The big question is of course if the app you need is supporting this already.

odo


#11

Yeah, I saw that Barefeats test
for me a couple of things stood out which I’ve copied and pasted below
All in all, to me it currently seems like a bit of a minefield and you need to do a lot of homework before jumping in
To be frank, I don’t want to spend tons of time researching the subject and I don’t want to gamble with my cash! I want to be sure before making the commitment.

Firstly

‘Once High Sierra eGPU support is available for NVIDIA Pascal GPUs, we will publish results for one or more of them connected to the iMac Pro via eGPU box.’

Secondly

In each case, we used the Mac Pro’s built-in 5K Retina display. Some apps ignore the external GPU unless you connect it directly to an external display and make it primary. But be aware that the performance of a faster external GPU can be hampered by the lower bandwidth of the Thunderbolt 3 connection compared to the internal GPU’s connection.’


#12

Barefeats, has been oddly slow with much in the way of additional brute-force tests with the 18-core. They’ve done more exploratory reviews of items such as USB-C external drives, and the few external GPU tests.

I suppose, the loaded 18-core is simply too expensive, for too many people, so the lack of new, in-depth reviews simply reflect that fact.


#13

Haven’t tried the 18 core iMac Pro but I have tried both the 8 and 10 core. One at work and the other one at home.
The 10 core I think is the better choice between the 3. Has the fastest single core of the 3 and it has enough cores to be fast but not insanely expensive as the 18 core.

I have reviewed the 10 core iMac Pro over at my youtube channel and I’m focusing mostly on Cinema 4D. So might be worth a look if you’re in the market of buying one.

It’s definitely an expensive machine but I love how fast and silent it is at the same time.


#14

The Bare Feats results are in for 10-core vs 8-core. Pretty much as expected. When I find a machine that’s twice as fast as the one I’m working on, I’ll upgrade.


#15

I picked up the 8-Core model a couple of weeks ago and I’m really happy with it. It’s a HUGE upgrade in performance from the 2013 macbookpro i was using!

What made my decision a lot easier is the special that Micro Center has on them… You can pick up the base model for $3999, that’s $1k off. For that price, I see actual value and it’s an easier pill to swallow. The display on this thing is incredible and it’s completely silent.


#16

$1K off - that’s fantastic - wish we saw deals like that in the UK!


#17

I’m waiting on the coming official eGPU support from Apple and for nVidia to get their Mac stuff sorted. I’m on the regular iMac but it’s top of the line single core speed makes most work a joy and buying refurb means I didn’t break the bank and I can upgrade ram at my leisure. And the 5k display is SO NICE. Mac apps handle hi-dpi displays so well.

System level eGPU support is coming to Mac OS soon! It’s already in the Mac OS beta according to the folks at eGPU.io:
https://egpu.io/external-gpu-macos-10-13-4-update/

Perhaps by the time apple supports eGPUs natively, graphics cards will have come down in price to sane levels.


#18

Yeah, I saw the newest Barefeats comparison, between the eight and ten-core models. But, unfortunately, they have still not touched an 18-core. I will say, that the difference between the eight and ten is, for the most part, not a significant difference.

For me, it all comes down to how a loaded iMac Pro will compare with the number of older 12-core Mac Pro models I already have in my stable. The eight and ten core iMP are certainly close, but I really want to see how the 18-core model would compare with the older 12-core Mac Pro.

I can definitely appreciate the value of “quiet” that the iMac Pro affords. I’m used that that with my trash can Mac Pro models. It pains me to have to boot up any of my old silver towers.


#19

Don’t forget power efficiency as well. I’m willing to bet rendering with the iMac Pro is going to be cheaper (electricity wise) than any of the older 12 core mac pros.


#20

I’d have to agree. The heat which blasts out of the older silver towers is measurably much higher than that from my trash can units. I’d have to imagine that the new iMac Pro models are even a touch more efficient than the trash cans.


#21

Joining the thread with interest, as I am still running a 2010 12 core Mac Pro, and haven’t yet seen a compelling/affordable upgrade path within Apple’s own machines.


#22

Ditto. As time goes on, though, the iMac Pro looks a decent option – throw in the ability to add eGPUs (plus the work OTOY is doing on Octane) and I wonder if it’s worth a punt. Still no idea if the new Mac Pro will even surface this year…


#23

If you’re waiting for the new Mac Pro, I’d recommend checking out this guy
Peter Paul Chato

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL0QSFSUfW8cHua_rDpltTg

Interestingly I’ve heard a couple of reports which say the single core speed of the 18 core is on a level with the 10 core
Compelling argument to consider the 18 core !


#24

Yeah, I enjoy Chato’s stuff, but he’s not really any more informed than someone with access to the Internet and an afternoon to spend Googling ‘Mac Pro’. However he does make some compelling arguments that Apple might not be terribly interested in making a new Mac Pro that might cannibalise the success of the iMac Pro – and if it does, it might well be really bloody expensive.

It’s certainly a fact that when I bought my mid-2020 Mac Pro, I never thought I’d still be using it seven years later. It runs just as well as the day I got it and, more amazingly, it’s really not that much slower than the Mac hardware I can buy today. In CPU rendering tasks the 10-core iMac Pro seems to be about 60%-70% faster, so for what I do (which is less and less these days) there’s not a massive desire to upgrade. Ho hum.


#25

Yes, from an expense point of view I have been wondering about this. If they can price an iMac this high (regardless of it’s built in 27" 5k screen), then what are they going to charge for the new base Mac Pro? - LONG gone are the days of replacing or superseding my main workstation with a newer, X% faster model every 2-3 years, which is why I too, am still running that 2010 MP. But, as you say, it’s no slouch in reality. For me the biggest area of frustration is still in the GFX board arena, and not seeing any huge benefits of newer/faster cards installed in this machine.


#26

Yeah, and the lack of Thunderbolt expansion makes adding an eGPU rather expensive too – and somewhat limited. The Netstor NA255A PCIe enclosure is now nearly £2K! I bought one a few years ago, but it only ever worked with two cards, and got returned. So at least the iMac Pro will happily play with eGPU solutions via Thunderbolt 3. If I could painlessly and seamlessly use two Nvidia cards with the iMac Pro, I think that setup would be just fine for me.