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Early iMac Pro reviews are in and the machine is an absolute monster

iMac Pro Review

Apple earlier today confirmed that the company’s long-anticipated iMac Pro will be available on December 14th, though it remains unclear if that’s a pre-order date or if units will be available for pickup by then. Either way, the larger takeaway here is that die-hard Mac users who have been patiently waiting for a completely revamped iMac won’t have to wait much longer.

Originally introduced at WWDC, Apple’s iMac Pro is an absolute screamer that can be outfitted with up to 18 core Xeon processors. Not surprisingly, Apple is touting the machine as the most powerful Mac ever created. You might also recall some rumblings that the iMac Pro will come equipped with an A10 coprocessor running its own variant of iOS as to support features like ‘Hey Siri.’

Ahead of the iMac Pro’s impending release, Apple last week gave out review units to Marques Brownlee, Jonathan Morrison, and others who all shared their thoughts on the machine earlier today.

Brownlee’s review can be seen below, and he notes that he used the new iMac Pro to create the video with Final Cut Pro. Not surprisingly, Brownlee notes that the iMac Pro features a completely sealed enclosure, which is to say that you’ll be stuck with the specs you choose to go with when ordering. The iMac Pro obviously doesn’t come cheap as the entry level model starts at $4,999. But given the iMac’s raw power and impressive specs, Brownlee notes that its actually fairly priced relative to what it would cost to build a comparably capable PC.

Vincent Laforet’s glowing review reads in part:

Whether you’re editing 8K RED video, H.264 4K Drone footage, 6K 3D VR content or 50 Megapixel RAW stills – you can expect a 200-300% increase in performance in almost every industry leading software with the iMac Pro.

I’ve seldom seen a jump this dramatic before on any new generation of Macs – 20%-30% speed increases are the norm … NOT 200%-300% increases. That’s SIGNIFICANT. (Feel free to jump straight to the test results below if you have a short attention span or are a numbers person..)

Basically, if you’re debating whether or not to purchase the iMac Pro you should ask yourself just one question: how much is your time worth to you? Would you rather be waiting for images and video to render or export, or do you want to go back out and shoot as quickly as possible? For me the answer is easy: when compared to the previous generation iMac or the current top of the line 15” MacBook Pro, the iMacPRO tears through footage and images, allowing me to spend less time behind a computer, and more time shooting.

After just under a week I can tell you that I won’t be using any other mac anytime soon.

Craig A. Hunter’s review  — which is the most technical of the bunch — reads in part:

Most of my apps have around 20,000-30,000 lines of code spread out over 80-120 source files (mostly Obj-C and C with a teeny amount of Swift mixed in). There are so many variables that go into compile performance that it’s hard to come up with a benchmark that is universally relevant, so I’ll simply note that I saw reductions in compile time of between 30-60% while working on apps when I compared the iMac Pro to my 2016 MacBook Pro and 2013 iMac. If you’re developing for iOS you’ll still be subject to the bottleneck of installing and launching an app on the simulator or a device, but when developing for the Mac this makes a pretty noticeable improvement in repetitive code-compile-test cycles.

And lastly, Jonathan Morrison’s video review can be seen below.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.