Do you need the new iMac Pro? (Keep in mind that “need” is different than “want.”)
Without a doubt the new iMac Pro is a great high-level production computer. And, it’s easy to talk yourself into it by saying, “I’m in media production. I ‘need’ it for my work.” But, what kind of work do you do which requires that kind of muscle?
If you are in web/mobile development, and that means you work with images in Photoshop and craft websites with Dreamweaver or Muse plus create some AIR app versions of those sites with Animate, you can get that kind of work done with the basic iMac or a MacBook Pro.
How about document creation in Acrobat and InDesign, with some Photoshop and Illustrator as an essential workflow? That could go either way. You have to ask yourself, “Are the documents huge books with big two page spread photos and intense colorful vector art gradients and painted or 3D illustrations?” Then, without a question, you need big horsepower. But, if your work is literature, which totals 16 or so pages, you’re probably in the same category as the people with the basic web/mobile work.
Then there’s video/audio. Isn’t that a career which demands big power? Well, what kind of motion do you do? Are you rough cutting clips in Prelude? How about editing in Premiere Pro for 3 minute YouTube Internet promotional work? That might be another situation where you are just not being truthful with yourself. Your hardware needs may not be much more powerful than the basic document creator we just mentioned.
On the “Go ahead. It’s okay. Jump!” side of the coin, there’s also big editing, processing, and output projects in Bridge, Camera Raw, Lightroom, and Media Encoder. The raw photos and clips which ARRI, Canon, Hasselblad, Nikon, Red, and Sony produce need big power. Doing electronic and print output, of monster projects, in Acrobat, InDesign, and Media Coder devours your workday efficiency without the computer power you need. Let’s not forget the elaborate presentations in Keynote/PowerPoint or the huge formula-heavy Numbers/Excel workbooks. (Warning: An iMac Pro will dramatically cut into your forced coffee break, bathroom break, and text messaging time.)
So, who also needs the 6-pack abs version of a computer? We already mentioned the people who do the painting and 3D in Photoshop and Illustrator. Add 3D in After Effects to that list. While we’re talking After Effects, consider Ae’s animation and gaming and animation created with Animate. Of course, beyond little web videos, there’s the ongoing demand for big motion picture, in the 4K format. We’ve already had the discussion of the MacBook Pro and the HP ZBook bumping their heads on Intel’s mandated 16GB RAM ceiling. The iMac Pro is an AC powered desktop which can pack 128GB of RAM.
But, you still have to ask the same question, which IT buyers at big media enterprise operations, ponder: is the iMac Pro worth it?
To fully load one of those beauties, with all the strength it can eat, costs $13,348. A fully loaded Mac Pro is around half that price at $7,128. On the Windows 10 side, HP has Z towers for around the same price. Okay. The new iMac Pro is all new technology with twice the RAM of the Mac Pro, four times the storage, and a 18-core Intel Xeon W processor.
And, Apple has told the technology press that a new Mac Pro is coming, probably in 2018 (the Spring, maybe?). And, when that new Mac Pro gets here, it will surely bump the iMac Pro spec up to much higher ground. Plus, is HP going to sit by and watch Apple steal its thunder? HP usually dazzles the tech world at CES, which is around 3 weeks away. So, you have to ask yourself if competition, even from within the Apple line-up, will drive the price of the iMac Pro downward?
But, it’s still a question of “want” or “need”?
Okay. We’ll answer “yes” to both. But, in all candor, as cool as the iMac Pro might be, we’re going to press the pause button on a buying decision until we see the new Mac Pro. The serious Apple and HP stuff is with you for 3, 4, or maybe 5 years. We’re not going to kick ourselves for jumping the starter pistol, just because we see a bright, shiny (and very expensive) object appear on the horizon. Be smart. Slow and studied is what purchasing should be. This is not a buying race.