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Filmmaker pits a maxed-out $14,000 iMac Pro against a top-of-the-line iMac

iMac Pro Vs iMac

After years of essentially ignoring its pro users — a group which largely consists of loyal developers and creative professionals — Apple finally seems eager to right the ship. Not only is the company working on a completely redesigned Mac Pro, the company late last year introduced the iMac Pro, an absolute beast of a machine that is easily the most powerful computer Apple has ever released. The iMac Pro features a Retina 5K display, can support up to 128GB of RAM, and can be tricked out with an 18 core configuration. And that, of course, is just small taste of what the iMac Pro brings to the table.

Naturally, the iMac Pro doesn’t come cheap. While Apple hardware is always pricey, the iMac Pro — when it comes to price — is in another realm entirely. To wit, the base model starts at $4,999. And if you opt to really max out the machine, you’ll be shelling out nearly $14,000.

That said, filmmaker Parker Walbeck recently decided to put Apple’s new iMac Pro through the ringer by pitting a fully loaded $14,000 iMac Pro against a fully loaded iMac priced at about $5,700. While we can talk about and compare specs all day long, what really matters is real-world performance; and if you’re looking to get some serious video editing work in, it’s only natural to wonder whether or not the iMac Pro’s extra power is worth the extra cash.

As evidenced via the video below, full res video playback of 8K clips in Adobe Premiere Pro appears to be much smoother on the iMac Pro than on the tricked out iMac. When looking at 4K footage shot with a 1DX Mark II, playback on both machines was silky smooth. However, when Walbeck decided to watch the 4K footage at twice the normal speed, performance on the iMac began to show a few hiccups relative to its more expensive brethren.

With respect to rendering and exporting, Walbeck found that the iMac Pro is a good 2x faster than the fully loaded iMac. This is a particularly compelling stat, especially for users who have vivid memories of patiently suffering through painfully long rendering and export times on older machines.

You can check out the full head-to-head battle 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.