Apple products line up

The Mac Pro’s days of being Apple’s biggest and baddest Mac may be numbered, even with that redesign that everyone either loves or hates. Whether it looks like a trash can or not, the Mac Pro has always been the most desirable Mac on the market.

Well, it was.

When Apple showed the new iMac with Retina 5K display to the world everything changed. Not only does the new iMac boast that gorgeous 5K screen, but while that would once be its only claim to fame, the new iMac is more than a one trick pony. The new iMac has plenty of bite to go with its bark.

Speaking of the event, did anyone notice the graphic Apple flashed a couple of times that showed its product line up from the Apple Watch up to the new iMac? Did you notice what was conspicuous by its absence? If the Apple Watch is the beginning of Apple’s new product lineup, you would expect the Mac Pro to be at the other end. But it wasn’t.


The matter of whether the new iMac will eat the Mac Pro’s lunch is something that’s been on my mind for a couple of days, and I’m not the only one who’s been pondering Apple’s new world order – the infamous Marco Arment, himself a Mac Pro owner, has also been discussing the state of play at the top end of Apple’s lineup. In fact, he says he’s even considering moving his fancy Mac Pro on in favor of picking up one of the newer 5K monsters. If it’s good enough for Marco, then it’s good enough for most people.

The crux of the issue is that screen. Users of Mac Pros aren’t exactly flush with choice when it comes to finding a nice, big 4K monitor to go with their Mac. Apple’s launch of the 5K iMac means that its all-in-one is now the proud owner of the highest resolution screen Apple has ever made, and it looks like it’s going to stay that way because as disappointing as it is for Mac Pro owners, there’s no 5K Cinema Display. In fact, there’s no 4K one either. If you want a mental resolution and an Apple badge, then it’s the 5K iMac or nothing.

But buying the iMac instead of the Mac Pro is no longer a case of compromising. As Arment points out, thanks to the new iMac’s speed-bumpted CPUs it packs enough of a punch to even out-perform the epic Mac Pro depending on what you’re using it for. Add that to the benefit of having more pixels than most people will know what to do with, and the iMac starts to become a compelling option.

And then you look at the price.

Let’s take the configurations Arment was speaking about – a reasonable comparison of two similar performing machines. In the red corner, we have the Retina iMac with a 4GHz CPU, 16GB of RAM and half a terabyte of SSD storage. The blue corner has the Mac Pro with its 6-core chip and the same RAM and storage options. Graphics are for the iMac and Mac Pro come in the shape of the M295X and D500 options respectively.

The price? $3,500 for the iMac and $4,300 for the Mac Pro.

Plus a monitor that’s not going to be as good as the screen on the iMac.

If you don’t need loads of cores then the decision is an easy one as far as I can see, and even if you want the extra power it’s not a black and white situation. I know which I’ll be choosing, and it’s the size of a small window.

But before then, I need to sell one of my children to pay for it. Maybe both.

  • Ara Rezaee

    It is the awesomest mac you can get, thats for sure

  • Alan Osborne

    I’m looking forward to getting one in the nest few weeks. It looks like it’s going to be a beast of a machine.

  • David Gitman

    Well yeah! That’s why I sold my house

  • Ariel

    And if you scale the iMac down to 2K or 3K, you’ll still get a fantastic display, while having much less pixles to deal with on the CPU. Gaming Mac much?

  • Daniel Beecham

    mmm. i dont think so, 5K in a “small” screen its no that good, if you have a 40″ or a 60″ tv, yup i will be happy to have a 5k but in 27″ mmm naaaa!!!!

    • Jason Baroni

      TV you watch from a distance, the PC you use near the screen, so even having a 60″ your eyes and brain wouldn’t process the whole experience like they do when you watch TV. You don’t have the same experience for every kind of device. Believe them, it’s right the way it is.

  • ✯Mike✯

    It’s a great machine, let alone the display. The display alone is worth a lot of money then add in the high-quality computer that apple provides and wow

  • Jeffrey

    I’m meeting some guy named Dr. Amir in some alley tomorrow, says he’ll give me 3K for my kidney!

    • Tarek

      are you replacing one of ur kidneys for an iMac ?

      • Jeffrey

        I’m just kidding dude hahah;)

    • Paul

      He is ripping you off. Your kidney for a 5k. He is giving the other 2k-pixels if you throw a part of your liver. That’s a fair business hahahaha

      • Jeffrey

        Oh damn… Guess I’ll have to look further then, thanks! Hahah:P

    • Alberto Espinal


  • obada

    You’re gonna have to sell your whole family to afford this, not just your two kids 😉

    • Alberto Espinal

      $2,500 it’s not that much money, dude!

  • mrgerbik

    The only thing lacking really is subpar graphics… Essentially they went with a 2012 gpu (radeon m290x is equivelant to a 7870)
    It will drive a desktop enviroment okay, but you’ll have to drop resolution to something like 1080p to get decent framerates in any 3d application/game

  • Geoffrey Spencer

    Is it because the Mac Pro is too small to be after the iMac? You start with the Apple Watch (smallest) to iMac (largest) then you would drop to second-smallest if they had the Mac Pro in the picture. IMHO, it is just the way the picture was taken not because of Mac Pro is losing steam.

    • Wesh

      its because the mac pro is small and chubby 🙂
      The line up pic displays all ultra thin devices. The mac pro just wouldn’t fit; unless they’d only show a line of reflecting light on it, and the pro remains invisible in the darkness.

  • @dongiuj

    Well, if it isn’t then it probably means apple needs to sort itself out.

  • prl99

    The Mac Pro will be around and bought by those professionals who can really make use of the extra GPUs. This is the biggest limitation on the iMac. The Mac Pro also has 6 TB2 ports all connected to the PCIe bus. You can’t simply daisy chain TB devices onto the iMac to get this additional access. Is the new iMac a powerful device? Absolutely!!! Will it cut into Mac Pro purchases? Yes and no. I’ve been waiting to decide on a new Mac to see what the new iMac had to offer. I can justify the iMac 5K over the Mac Pro but could justify a Mac Pro over an older iMac. I bet there’s more like me out there who have been waiting to decide. Now that the new iMac has been released, I see users buying the computer they need for their work, whether that’s an iMac 5K or Mac Pro. I envision seeing an upswing in the number of Mac Pros purchased along with a good number of iMac 5Ks. I also see Apple releasing a 5K display for the Mac Pro but I also wonder if they will include a port-less version for the Mac Pro (it already has plenty) and an upgrade to the Apple Thunderbolt Display for other Macs. Somehow Apple was able to build a 5K display that probably knocks the socks off all those $3K 4K displays not to mention the garbage consumer 4K displays. A standalone 5K monitor shouldn’t cost much more than $1200-$1500 or the rest of an iMac 5K is basically free.

  • Jeffrey

    Well the MacBook Air isn’t present either, how do you explain that? Maybe, just maybe, they just showed a lineup of their current products with retina screens.

    • Urname

      but then where’s the iPod touch?

      • Jeffrey

        Well I think they didn’t put it in the picture because they stopped updating the iPod lineup. They didn’t update the iPod lineup this year as they should, and they won’t update it ever again because it got cancelled.

  • Darrick

    It’s a valid argument but I would imagine that the people who went for the Mac Pro actually do need the horsepower and it would be a compromise to go down to an iMac in terms of processing power and other perks the Mac Pro offers compared to the iMac

  • Alberto Espinal

    I didn’t read your post but yes it’s the best iMac ever

  • Urname

    Pretty sure the Mac Pro wasn’t in the image the same reasons as the iPod or Apple TV wasn’t. Because it’s not part of the “core” product line. You might be reading too much into their imagery

  • Well as much as this is a no brainer I’m struggling with this unique question. I’m a video editor looking to buy a machine to carry me for at least 5yrs. I’ve been considering price but I would not mind spending extract if longevity plays a factor. I just want a good machine to last me for a while. Now we all know the screen on the 5k iMac makes it the ultimate machine. But if you are using multithreaded apps will it still stand the test of time? I’ve been looking at the latest Mac pro, the older model and the new 5k display iMac. I can’t decide base on price. I know the older Mac Pro have some performance to it still and if I get the 12core with the maximum clock performance will I be loosing out?