2019 iMac vs. iMac Pro (And 2014 iMac) →

April 2, 2019 · 13:28

Rob Griffiths, on Robservatory:

How does the new iMac compare to the iMac Pro? Unfortunately, I don’t have one of those lying around to directly test against. However, thanks to the Geekbench 4 Results Browser, it’s easy to find the iMac Pro’s results. I looked for the 10-core iMac Pro, as that’s supposedly the best balance of price, raw CPU speed (GHz), and multi-core performance. Here’s what I found…

I would actually consider getting an iMac if it had the iMac Pro’s cooling system, Apple lowered their SSD and RAM prices to reasonable levels, and on the condition that Apple fix the screen dust issue. Basically, the only Mac I would even consider buying today, is the Mac Mini, despite it being a bit expensive for what it offers.


MacBook Pro (mid 2018) throttling

July 19, 2018 · 11:14

As expected, the #ThrottleGate controversy is being looked into by anyone who has their hands on the new MacBook Pros.

John Poole on Geekbench’s blog, running a CPU-only test:

Why does this test not replicate the throttling seen in other tests? Part of the issue is the test themselves. Premiere uses both the CPU and the GPU, while Geekbench only uses the CPU.

The i7 ran at an average 3.0-3.1 GHz, which is above the CPUs base 2.6 GHz frequency, but below the advertised 4.0 GHz Turbo Boost for 6 cores. So is it throttling or is the test just not maximizing load on the CPU?

Jeff Benjamin, for 9to5Mac, ran a test based on Final Cut Pro X:

Leaving the Core-i9 configured as default, I exported the video in 5 minutes and 30 seconds. Throttling was definitely noticeable during the export, as you can see from the following chart created from Intel Power Gadget log data.

Curiously, when he set the CPU to utilize only four cores, it was faster than when using all six.

Mike Wuerthele, for AppleInsider, opted for Cinebench 15:

We shifted to a different benchmark for our own series of tests. Using Cinebench 15, we ran 10 total runs on the i9 MacBook Pro.

Immediately after starting the first test, the CPU clock speed shot up to 4.17 GHz. It rapidly drops to 3.86GHz until it hits the chip critical temperature of 100C. It then drops nearly immediately to 2.57GHz and also nearly immediately drops to 84C.

The speed of the processor varied between 2.33GHz and 2.9GHz generally, with one profound dip to 2.02GHz, and then the range drops to a peak of 2.65Ghz.

I think it’s same to assume that all MacBook Pros will throttle under load, especially when both the CPU and GPU are being taxed. A potential solution for this problem is running an eGPU, which should help (in addition to being significantly faster than the one on-board). Surprisingly, an iMac Pro may not solve everyone’s problems when it comes to video editing — it was a slower in 9to5Mac’s test than the MacBook Pro:

Xeon CPUs lack onboard hardware video encoding, dubbed Intel Quick Sync Video. So even though the iMac Pro runs circles around the MacBook Pro from a thermal perspective, it doesn’t really matter in this test.


iMac Pro & Hasselblad H6D Photo Review: Antarctica →

May 9, 2018 · 13:48

Austin Mann, on his blog:

Twenty years ago today (May 6, 1998), my dad walked into my classroom on the last day of school holding an inkjet print. He handed it me and said, “You’re going to want one of these!” On this piece of paper was the just-announced Bondi Blue iMac […]

Today, after a few months with the iMac Pro, I can say in many ways it stays true to its original ancestor. It packs a powerful punch and continues to deliver on its promise to be a simple yet powerful tool that unlocks creative potential in people.

Screw the iMac Pro review (just kidding, don’t) and look at his shots from Antarctica!


iMac vs. iMac Pro — Apple’s Bad Design Priorities →

January 11, 2018 · 12:51

Stephen Hackett, writing for iMore:

I decided to take the conservative route, so I ordered the regular iMac. It showed up the day after Christmas. I slapped 32GB of OWC RAM in it — for a total of 40GB — and migrated my data from my trusty 2015 model.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to realize that I had made a mistake. Even during the migration, I could hear the new iMac’s fan blowing, and once I was logged in, it was even louder.

After any data migration, a Mac has a lot to do behind the scenes. Photos.app was busy reindexing my library, and Dropbox was working hard to make sure everything in its folder was supposed to be there. I let things run over night, thinking that by the next morning, this new iMac would be as quiet as my old one in normal usage.

Sadly, that wasn’t the case. I’ve heard very mixed things about this from people on Twitter and friends with 2017 iMacs, so I can’t say this is a universal truth, but the Core i7-powered iMac on my desk seemed to ramp up its fan far more often than my older i5, and when it did, the noise was noticeably louder than before.

Indexing Photos and Dropbox is not something that should make a powerful iMac, equipped with a Core i7, costing close to $3K, sweat. I know that because I built a Hackintosh based on an iMac’s specs — it has a much beefier GPU but it’s basically a 2013 iMac on paper. Its fans still spin at their slowest speed when the machine is chugging along, crunching 4K data in Final Cut Pro X. If the top-of-the-line iMac starts screaming at the top of its lungs during the basic stuff, then something’s wrong. It could be a software issue, but I’ve heard enough people complaining about the fans in various scenarios, that this sounds like a bad design decision.

Granted, the iMac Pro does seem to solve the problems Stephen’s having, but to me it sound as if his issues are the most basic tasks, which most Mac users do. A $5K+ iMac Pro should not be a “solution” to this problem. An iMac Pro is a workstation, aimed at demanding workflows. And I still have my doubts whether this is the appropriate machine for the task, especially since a 2010 Mac Pro equipped with a Vega 64 is still faster in OpenCL than a 2017 iMac Pro.

Apple’s crusade for making everything thinner and sleeker is ruining their machines. They are making their products more and more niche, while not providing computers for the masses. I’m sure there’s a market for a desktop computer like a Mac Pro, but with cheaper hardware and full-sized GPUs – I know I’d switch to that from my Hackintosh in a heartbeat, if the GPU was upgradeable, and I’m sure many more would too.

 


The Mac Is Not at the Top of Its Game →

January 4, 2018 · 10:26

John Gruber:

But Apple has invested significant time and resources into the MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, and now iMac Pro as they are.

Why hasn’t Apple yet shipped the Kaby Lake Refresh quad-core 15 W parts in the 13” MacBook Pros? They used to be the first manufacturer to put out machines based on new CPUs, with everyone waiting their turn. Today? They’re months behind.

The Mac is not at the top of its game, even if we skip the Surface innovation angle. Apple really needs to get its shit together, because at this point, I don’t trust them to ever update anything again, whatever Tim Cook says. I’m not a fan of their current lineup either. The iMac is a huge compromise, as is the new iMac Pro. The Mac Pro is still dead and there is no word on when the new one will arrive. The Mac Mini hasn’t been updated in close to 1200 days. The MacBook Pros still haven’t gotten new CPUs and the Touch Bar is horrific to use. The MacBook is… cute.1

All I want is a Pro laptop, with a normal keyboard and a quad-core CPU, with a footprint no larger than the current 13” model. And a no-compromise, upgradeable desktop with a full GPU and Core-series CPU, not costing a fortune. This isn’t asking much.

  1. Its screen is too small for my aging eyes.

The iMac Pro Is Amazingly Silent →

December 28, 2017 · 14:13

Jason Snell, writing for Six Colours:

When running HandBrake, the fan on my 5K iMac would always crank up and was quite audible when it did so. So far as I can tell, the iMac Pro’s fan may always be running, but it’s amazingly quiet. In my normal office environment, I can’t hear it—only when I spun the iMac Pro around and listened with all other devices off could I hear it, faintly blowing. When HandBrake was running at full speed, the iMac Pro sounded pretty much the same—but the air coming out of the vents on the back was definitely warmer!

I wonder how well the components inside that unnecessarily small case will fare from the heat over an extended period of time. This is my biggest iMac complaint — the back of the display could be both thicker and deeper, like the older iMacs. I’ll admit it looks good, but I’ll take cooler running internals over visual aesthetics every day of the week.


How to Restore an iMac Pro →

December 15, 2017 · 23:15

Apple Support:

In certain circumstances, such as a power failure during a macOS upgrade, an iMac Pro may become unresponsive and must be restored. The requirements for doing an iMac Pro restore are […]

You will need to have another Mac on hand to perform the restore.


Craig Federighi Confirms There’s No October Event in the Works →

October 20, 2017 · 20:34

Juli Clover, writing for MacRumours:

This shouldn’t come as any surprise given that it’s already the 20th of October, but Apple has no plans to hold an event to introduce new products this month. Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi confirmed there will be no October event in an email to MacRumors reader Luke.

“Will we see an October keynote event?” Luke asked. “I think we’re all Keynoted out for the season! :-)” Federighi replied.

While I understand that there’s not much need for an iMac Pro unveiling — it will be a niche product — I’d be truly surprised if they don’t show off the HomePod. Perhaps they’ll go for personal briefings with select journalists? They’ve been known to do that before.


Quick Thoughts on WWDC 2017

June 13, 2017 · 21:44

I haven’t had enough time to think about all the WWDC 2017 announcements yet — there were so many — so I’ll most likely voice my thoughts and perhaps even come to some conclusions on a future podcast episode, but in the meantime, I wanted to share some of my thoughts and worries.

Continue reading →