This morning I awoke to discover that Apple had released the iMac Pro to the world. Product leaks and rumours aplenty let me know generally what would be offered under the hood, but I was more interested in what a decently-configured machine might actually cost. My next machine will most likely be a desktop1 and, while the purchase of a new machine isn't something I can afford right away given the recent mortgage, having a general idea of how much one needs to save is a good idea.
That said, the sticker price was just a bit higher than I was expecting.
On the left is a really nice iMac, and on the right is a decently mid-level iMac Pro. Both of these units are way out of my price range, and one just hurts to look at. It's true that the iMac is using consumer-grade notebook components behind the glass compared to the mobile workstation-class hardware that powers the more professional device, but I wonder if I would ever really need that sort of power. All of my notebooks since 2010 have been powered by Core i5 processors aside from a Lenovo supplied by the day job. While these machines are not the fastest, they can typically keep up with me without breaking a sweat … which means I actually have a good idea of what sort of machine I will not be considering for my next computer purchase. And this is a good thing.
The iMac Pro is certainly an exciting bit of kit, and it would likely last a good seven or eight years before feeling long in the tooth. My current MacBook Pro is reaching 3 years2 in its five year expected cycle. A regular iMac should be sufficient. The model in the picture above is certainly nice but, if I'm completely honest with myself, I could be quite content with something simpler.
Something like this, with it's ample memory and a decent amount of local storage, would give me at least half a decade. Heck, even at the day job I'd be content with a humbler iMac over the Pro. There are likely a lot of other people who could make better use of a Xeon processor and ECC RAM than I.
Yes, I understand that the iMac uses notebook-grade equipment. As I've been using notebooks almost exclusively since 2002, this is not something I'm particularly concerned about.
Time flies …