According to a number of early reviews, Apple’s brand new iMac Pro is an absolute beast of a machine. Hardly a surprise, Apple at WWDC this past summer proudly boasted that it’s the fastest and most powerful Mac ever created. While detailed performance reviews will likely emerge over the next few weeks, it’s worth pointing out that Apple’s next-gen desktop will bring with it some interesting changes compared to currently shipping iMacs.

Most notably, Caleb Sasser was given a few days to play around with Apple’s upcoming iMac Pro and took to Twitter to relay a brand new T2 chip. If the nomenclature sounds at all familiar, you might recall that Apple first introduced a T-series chip last year when it rolled out the MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar and support for Touch ID. The MacBook Pro’s T1 chipset, therefore, is tasked with handling the notebook’s Secure Enclave along with other encryption oriented duties.

With the introduction of the T2 chip now confirmed, Sasser shed some light on what the custom designed chip handles.

“[The T2 chip] integrates previously discrete components, like the SMC, ISP for the camera, audio control, SSD control… plus a secure enclave, and a hardware encryption engine,” Sasser explained via Twitter earlier this afternoon.

In short, with the T2 bearing more responsibility than its predecessor, the iMac Pro’s primary processor will be able to handle primary computing tasks far more quickly.

As far as security is concerned, Sasser notes: “This new chip means storage encryption keys pass from the secure enclave to the hardware encryption engine in-chip, your key never leaves the chip. And, they it allows for hardware verification of OS, kernel, boot loader, firmware, etc…”

The iMac Pro will be available for pre-orders on December 14 and will start at $4,999.

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