A fully loaded iMac Pro will cost you an eye-watering $13,200… but if you’re set on an Apple all-in-one, is it really almost $8,000 better than a fully-loaded 5K iMac? Parker Walbeck of Full Time Filmmaker ran some tests to find out, putting both all-in-ones through their paces using RED 8K footage, Canon 1D X Mark II 4K footage, and DJI Phantom 4 Pro 4K footage.
He also tested the machines using both Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X, to eliminate the CPU-crushing effects of Adobe’s software.
As you might expect, the iMac Pro outperformed the iMac in nearly every test, playing back full resolution footage flawlessly while the iMac dropped frames, and rendering/exporting at about 2x the speed. However, it didn’t win in every regard. The iMac actually outperformed the iMac Pro by 25% when it came to applying Warp Stabilizer, because this feature is only using an individual core to do the work.
|Playing back 8K RED footage on the iMac Pro was much smoother than the iMac, which had to be dropped to 1/8th resolution to match performance.|
All of this leads Parker to his very reasonable conclusion:
“I definitely think there is a point of diminishing returns, where you’re paying a premium for slight, incremental improvements,” says Walbeck. “But that’s how it is with most new technology, it’s overpriced and you’re going to pay a premium for the latest and greatest.”
As for the value, he sums it up pretty well in the video, and it’s probably exactly what you expected coming into this comparison. Is it worth the money?
For most people? No. For a select few, yeah, it may be a difference maker. Do I personally need a computer this powerful? No. I’m sure → continue…