After a long wait, Apple finally released its workstation-class iMac Pro on December 14.
Launched at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose in June, it’ll be the first iMac to feature an Intel Xeon processor now only found in the ageing Mac Pro (and PC workstations such as Dell’s Precision, HP’s Z-Series and Lenovo’s ThinkStation ranges).
However, no replacement for the Mac Pro was announced it was reiterated that Apple is working on a traditional desktop workstation to replace the Mac Pro in 2018.
Apple’s site informs that one will be able to purchase the iMac Pro with a W-series 8-, 10- or 18-core Xeon processor (the current iMacs use Core i5 and Core i7 chips).
The clock speeds for these have not been announced, though a based on testing an iMac Pro under embargo states that the 10-core chip runs at 3GHz.
Xeon processors have a number of benefits for creative pros over Core chips. Xeon chips are generally more robust and reliable than Core chips. They can use ECC (error-correcting code) RAM, which can prevent errors that could, for example, crash one’s computer during a long render.
They also have larger caches. This means better performance with more complex data – whether large, multi-layered Photoshop files, 4K video or 3D scenes with huge textures.