Everything in life has multiple perspectives, including how professional the new Mac Pro is. It’s not a MacBook Pro, right? Is it better than an iMac Pro? Does Mac Pro equal iPhone 11 Pro?
See the quandary?
Pro just doesn’t mean what it used to mean, but no matter how you look at it, Apple has just stretched the limits of professional and given us yet another Mac with pro characteristics that both surprise and disappoint.
The Mac Pro and iMac Pro have helped to differentiate the so-called professional customer. Both are Pro-like machines because pro means more. Get this.
iMac Pro starts at $4,999 and Mac Pro starts at $5,999. What’s the difference between the two? To keep it brief, while both are screaming fast Macs with Intel Xeon Inside, the iMac comes with a Retina 5K display, while the Mac Pro does not have a display. That will cost you another $6,000-ish, so the price segregation becomes enormous while performance does not.
Wait. What was that? Price doubles but performance remains about the same between the two Macs with a Pro name? Tyler Lee explains:
According to the benchmark scores, in terms of single-core scores, the new base Mac Pro model scores considerably lower than the iMac Pro, which at the moment currently sits at the top of Geekbench’s charts amongst Apple’s computers. On the multi-core front, it’s not that much different as the iMac Pro once again trumps the Mac Pro’s base model.
Along the lines of lies, damned lies, and statistics, what does that mean?
Well, that means both iMac Pro and Mac Pro are screaming monsters, even at the base hardware level. Comparable. It also means you’re going to have to spend lots more money on upgrading the Mac Pro to get the big power differential you might want.
So, I maxed out an iMac Pro to see how it compares to the $53,000 maxed-out Mac Pro. The iMac comes with 18-cores of Intel Xeon Inside, 256GB RAM, and 4TB SSD storage. It’s a honking machine, but still pales when compared to what you can get for, what, oh, is it almost four times as much money for a maxed-out Mac Pro?
For almost the same money you get similar power on specific benchmarks, but if you spend more money you get better benchmarks, so the key to all of this is just as it has always been.
Know what you want. Know what you need. Know what you can afford.
Oh, one other issue has to do with upgradeability. The iMac Pro is a build-to-order beast, but after that, upgrading is problematic. The Mac Pro is a build-to-order beast, but after that, you can upgrade it again, and again, and again.
Maybe Pro should mean upgradeability. Everything else is just Pro-like.