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Author Topic: iMac Pro  (Read 5333 times)

Kevin Gallagher

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iMac Pro
« on: December 12, 2017, 11:07:43 AM »

 Just wondering if any here are gearing up to purchase one of these beasts for video production? Could we please not let this degenerate into the Windows/Mac thing?

 Thanks Guys!

 Kevin in CT
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Kevin Raber

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2017, 11:25:08 AM »

I have been speaking with my Apple rep already today.  Will most likely order one tomorrow.  Apparently, the RAM is not upgradeable thus you need to make sure you get the RAM needed when ordering.  Lots of decision on drives, processor etc.  Should be a heck of a machine.
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Kevin Raber
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rdonson

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2017, 12:11:46 PM »

RAM is NOT upgradeable???  That will turn off a lot of people.  C'mon Apple, these are computers not toaster ovens.
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Dan Wells

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2017, 12:23:00 PM »

There are still a couple of critical questions that will determine its value to a lot of users - mostly video pros, people working on VR and AR and related professions but also any photographers who can afford the darn thing and scientists (etc.) who work with huge data sets.

1.) How expensive will the processor upgraded versions be? The 8-core is actually a pretty good value - I hadn't realized just how expensive fast Xeons actually are. The (significant) problem with the 8 core is that the next generation of (non-Pro) iMacs will almost certainly include at least 6-core models, and conceivably 8-core models. Fast 6-core desktop chips that don't use the "big" socket are already here, and I wouldn't rule out an 8-core halo model in a random release next year. Even if the next iMac is "merely" 6-core, there's not much difference between a 6-core 3.7 gHz chip that turbos to 4.7 (buy it from Newegg today for $400, certain to pop up in an iMac pretty soon) and an 8-core 3.7 that turbos to 4.2 (a likely spec for the $2000+ Xeon in the entry iMac Pro). Apple doesn't like to use the "big" non-Xeon socket in Macs, for whatever reason, so we probably won't see a $1000-$2000 Core i9 with more than 6 (or possibly 8 - Intel could release an 8-core small-socket processor pretty easily) cores in any Mac.
    What this means is that, while the 8-core won't be much faster than other iMacs for long, the many-core versions will be unique. Most software that uses more than 4 cores well also uses more than 8... For a lot of applications, a 6-core iMac will be just fine (4 cores for primary applications, which is what most photo and video stuff is optimized for, plus 2 "spare" cores that keep Mail, Safari and friends off of the main cores). For applications that can use more than that, the 14 and 18-core models will be uniquely fast. If they're good values, they'll tempt a particular type of user.

2.) Are they really non (end-user) RAM-upgradeable? Will Apple charge reasonable prices for RAM? Same question for the SSD. 32 Gb is pretty minimal for this type of machine (and is a common configuration for higher-end iMacs).

3.) Is the display just the 27" iMac display, or is it something special? I wish it was Adobe RGB and highly color-accurate! A really good 27" Adobe RGB display is not cheap...

4.) How much faster is the GPU than what they'll get into the next regular iMac?

Right now, the 8-core looks like a dubious value proposition for a lot of uses, especially when we're less than 6 months from a 6-core iMac. Assuming the top "regular" iMac stays the same price (the 6-core Coffee Lake i8700K is within $50 of the i7700K that is presently in the top iMac), it'll be about $3500 with a 1 TB SSD and 32 GB of (3rd party) RAM. $1500 for 2 more (slightly slower) cores and some extra Thunderbolt ports is a lot.

What could make it appealing is if the GPU is massively faster, or if the versions with more cores are relatively close in price, or if the display is something special that rivals NEC and Eizo.
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rdonson

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2017, 12:26:06 PM »

The iMac Pro is definitely faster than stink.  Getting one may significantly alter your net worth though.  Pricing should be available on Thurs according to one article I saw.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/12/12/imac-pro-testing-shows-10-core-model-dramatically-faster-than-any-other-mac-on-intensive-tasks
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Ron

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Andrew Rodney
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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2017, 02:10:38 PM »

Hard to believe the built in monitor is as good as say an Eizo or NEC
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digitaldog

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2017, 02:12:17 PM »

Hard to believe the built in monitor is as good as say an Eizo or NEC
It isn't. Nothing at all special about Apple displays other than the gamut (based on DCI-P3), a tiny bit larger in some areas of color space than Adobe RGB (1998) gamut, smaller in others.
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Andrew Rodney
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rdonson

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2017, 03:29:34 PM »

I've always been curious about the monitor debates with regards to Apple monitors.

In what ways are the Apple monitors deficient to say the Eizo or NEC models?
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Ron

digitaldog

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2017, 03:44:33 PM »

I've always been curious about the monitor debates with regards to Apple monitors.

In what ways are the Apple monitors deficient to say the Eizo or NEC models?

   1.   Nearly all if not all current SpectraView displays are wide gamut, Apple's and most other's are not (sRGB like gamut) with the exception of the new iMac P3 displays. But SpectraView can emulate sRGB with a push of a button. The new P3 iMac cannot. Best of both worlds!
   2.    SpectraView uses a high bit internal processing path (at least 10-bit) with internal 3D LUTs, many other's do not. These high bit LUTs allow precise adjustments to be made to the display’s Tone Response Curve without reducing the number of displayable colors or introducing color banding artifacts.
   3.   Newer NEC SpectraView's use GBr LED which produce far more precise control of White Point, run cooler, use less energy, run far longer than CCFL.
   4.   SpectraView has 3-4 year on site warranty.
   5.   SpectraView panels are hand selected from the manufacturer line (pick of the litter).
   6.   SpectraView has electric technologies like ColorComp, which adjusts and improves screen (brightness) uniformity using individually measured matrices for each display at the factory. All done high bit with compensation for operating time and temperature. 
   7.   SpectraView has electric technologies like GammaComp, to adjust the monitor's internal 10-bit gamma Look-Up-Table, allowing various custom display gamma or Tone-Response-Curves to be achieved. Apple and many other's don't have anything like this.
   8.   SpectraView is a smart display system that integrates custom software for calibration including multiple target calibration's which can be loaded to adjust the display while loading the associated ICC profile, Apple (and few other products aside from Eizo) cannot do this. To quote from the manual: “SpectraView communicates with the display monitors using Display Data Channel - Command Interface (DDC/CI) which is a two-way communications link between the video graphics adapter and display monitor using the normal video signal cable. No extra cables are necessary. All adjustments to the monitor settings are done automatically using this communications link. It is not necessary to manually configure the monitor as all of the necessary settings are made by the software“. Apple and other's has nothing like this, nor can 3rd party software you have to pay for extra do this. This is an attribute built from the ground up in SpectraView to serve as a 'reference display system' ala Barco, PressView, Sony Artisan of the past.
   9.   SpectraView will bundle a custom mated Colorimeter with their software for calibration. The price you pay for software and colorimeter with the SpectraView, depending on what country you live in costs significantly less than buying the hardware and software for a non SpectraView. And that extra money will not provide a fraction of the capabilities outlined.
   10.   SpectraView PA series offer the ability to calibrate WITHOUT a Colorimeter with the FREE Multiprofiler software since each panel is measured with a very expensive spectroradiometer and that data is embedded in a chip in the panel. It can update the calibration as the unit ages to ensure calibration.
   11.   SpectraView can emulate with a single click other behaviors, again on the fly, so it can simulate a non wide gamut display (sRGB) among other standardized behaviors (Broadcast Video DICOM, etc)
   12.   SpectraView has internal electronic control over contrast ratio, few others can provide this control over black. Real useful for soft proofing on media that has differing contrast ratio's (matt vs. glossy papers).
   13.   SpectraView has Network support (Windows only).
   14.   SpectraView has provisions to lock the display controls so no accidental alteration to behavior by mistake. 
   15.   SpectraView displays allow the user to raise and lower the display for best viewing position AND it can be rotated 90 degrees for Portrait.
   16.   Several SpectraView's support Picture in Picture (you can have two differing calibration's per picture).
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Andrew Rodney
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Dan Wells

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2017, 04:43:24 PM »

Let me put in a (very) good word for the Eizo monitor line, which also have the wide gamut and internal calibration (along with the other features) of the NEC SpectraView series. The Eizo CS and CG lines are the other real choice in a serious pro monitor (besides NEC).

I use three monitors (generally not all at once) - the internal display of my MacBook Pro, a four year old "Adobe RGB" Dell 27" that they claim as part of their highest end PremierColor (they may have have called it something different four years ago) series - it was a $900 monitor four years ago, and an Eizo CS2730.

It's night and day how much better the CS2730 is than either the Apple or Dell monitors (the Apple is actually better than the Dell, because the Dell has a green cast that can't be calibrated out, although it has a wider gamut than the Mac).

I've used iMacs extensively (of course not iMac Pros), and their display is essentially a big, bright version of my laptop display - quite neutral, with OK or better gamut, but no special features, and relatively accurate (but not unbelievably accurate like an Eizo or a NEC).

I was hoping the iMac Pro might have a screen like my $1200 Eizo, because that would go a long way towards covering the price difference from a regular iMac  (and most people using an iMac Pro would want that kind of screen). It would need to be Adobe RGB, which is a larger (overall) gamut  than DCI-P3, calibrate as accurately as an Eizo, and possibly have sRGB emulation. Not all "Adobe RGB" monitors are high-end pro monitors - it is amazing how different my Eizo and my older Dell look, even though they claim the same gamut, and I've calibrated both.

It sounds like Apple didn't do that, though! Same old monitor designed for watching movies on a home computer, included on a pro workstation!
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digitaldog

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2017, 04:56:31 PM »

It's night and day how much better the CS2730 is than either the Apple or Dell monitors (the Apple is actually better than the Dell, because the Dell has a green cast that can't be calibrated out, although it has a wider gamut than the Mac).
What software product are you using for calibration? Too few allow control over the magenta/green axis for setting white point.  :-[
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers"

rdonson

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2017, 05:27:01 PM »

Are there any downsides to buying a NEC or EIZO monitor and attaching it to an iMac as a second screen?
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Ron

digitaldog

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2017, 06:17:23 PM »

Are there any downsides to buying a NEC or EIZO monitor and attaching it to an iMac as a second screen?
Only for your wallet  :D
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Andrew Rodney
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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2017, 06:29:31 PM »

Better to wait for the new Mac Pro if you don't want the Apple monitor

Or get the current black model which I have. Plenty fast for processing IQ180 files in C1
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Dan Wells

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2017, 07:30:53 PM »

If you're going to run dual 27" monitors anyway (the best way to work in Lightroom - one for the image and another for the grid and other "extras"), using an iMac screen as one has two drawbacks and one major advantage - its extremely high resolution. Do critical color work on the Eizo or NEC, use the iMac screen as the second screen. The problems are cost (the iMac screen is expensive for a secondary display) and the glossy finish. All professional monitors are matte, so the iMac screen won't match.

At the price of the iMac Pro, they could have afforded a primary-quality display! It would have also been a major differentiator from the other iMacs.

It seems like a major portion of the price is that they are using overpriced Xeons instead of the similar-speed "big-socket" desktop i7s and i9s, which are significantly cheaper. The $600 i7-7820X is a relatively close match to the $1113 8-core Xeon W-2145 Apple is using. The i7 is a little slower, and doesn't use ECC memory, but it's half the price. Interestingly, the price difference of $500 or so between consumer and Xeon CPUs is consistent all the way up to the 18-core model. The 18-core Xeon W-2195 is a $2500 chip - expensive, but not what I'd feared. An 18-core iMac Pro starting at $6500 (the difference in CPU price without a substantial Apple Tax) would be a very interesting machine for software that took advantage of a ton of cores.
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rdonson

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2017, 08:36:08 PM »

I've been running 2 monitors in Lr and PS for many years.  It's necessary in my mind for PS alone.

I have a 2017 27" iMac that's maxed out and an older 25" Acer for PS pallets, etc.

I'm not in the same league as you guys when it comes to color management and printing.  I still have Andrew's book " and Bruce Fraser's though.  I got into things for a while when I had an HP Z3100 and could create my own profiles but these days I've backed off to an Epson P800.  No complaints though.  I get acceptable prints for my needs.  Anything that's very serious or large I farm out to a friend in Palm Desert, CA for printing. 
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Ron

Damon Lynch

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2017, 12:21:50 AM »

It seems like a major portion of the price is that they are using overpriced Xeons instead of the similar-speed "big-socket" desktop i7s and i9s, which are significantly cheaper.

Perhaps Apple is able to get them at such a substantial discount that the price difference is minor? I have no idea, but I guess it's possible.
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davidgp

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2017, 02:23:28 AM »

1.) How expensive will the processor upgraded versions be? The 8-core is actually a pretty good value - I hadn't realized just how expensive fast Xeons actually are. The (significant) problem with the 8 core is that the next generation of (non-Pro) iMacs will almost certainly include at least 6-core models, and conceivably 8-core models. Fast 6-core desktop chips that don't use the "big" socket are already here, and I wouldn't rule out an 8-core halo model in a random release next year. Even if the next iMac is "merely" 6-core, there's not much difference between a 6-core 3.7 gHz chip that turbos to 4.7 (buy it from Newegg today for $400, certain to pop up in an iMac pretty soon) and an 8-core 3.7 that turbos to 4.2 (a likely spec for the $2000+ Xeon in the entry iMac Pro). Apple doesn't like to use the "big" non-Xeon socket in Macs, for whatever reason, so we probably won't see a $1000-$2000 Core i9 with more than 6 (or possibly 8 - Intel could release an 8-core small-socket processor pretty easily) cores in any Mac.
    What this means is that, while the 8-core won't be much faster than other iMacs for long, the many-core versions will be unique. Most software that uses more than 4 cores well also uses more than 8... For a lot of applications, a 6-core iMac will be just fine (4 cores for primary applications, which is what most photo and video stuff is optimized for, plus 2 "spare" cores that keep Mail, Safari and friends off of the main cores). For applications that can use more than that, the 14 and 18-core models will be uniquely fast. If they're good values, they'll tempt a particular type of user.

You will also need to consider the GPU, I highly doubt they will put a Radeon Vega GPU in a normal iMac next year. For things like video editing (the highly optimizing Final Cut for GPU will sure use it) or VR can be critical.

Yes, for pure photography it will be less important, unless you need like a lot 4k/5k monitors (well, in 5k a lot equals to two, still impressive).



http://dgpfotografia.com

ColourPhil

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Re: iMac Pro
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2017, 04:24:09 AM »

Has anyone mentioned display uniformity?
Previous iMacs weren't too good at that. :(
Eizos (and NECs?) are factory calibrated by a radiometer(?) system, called DUE, and contain special internal LUTs to adjust each pixel.
At the price of the iMac Pro you might expect this.
I think it might be worth waiting for the next Mac Pro and plugging a nice 27-inch Eizo or NEC into it.
Cheers,
Phil
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