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Apple Announces the iMac Pro, a New Workstation for Professional Users

Apple has given a sneak peek of the iMac Pro, an entirely new workstation-class product line designed for pro users with the most demanding workflows. It will be available in December and replaces the circular Mac Pro that met its demise earlier this year due to thermal limits to its design.

The iMac Pro, with a 27-inch Retina 5K display, has up to 18-core Xeon processors and up to 22 Teraflops of graphics computation. Apple said it’s the most powerful Mac ever made. It joins a refresh of the entire Mac Pro laptop line, also announced by Apple.

It features a new space gray enclosure and offers major performance increases for advanced graphics editing, virtual reality content creation and real-time 3D rendering. The iMac Pro will start at $4,999.

In addition, Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro built for pro customers who need the highest-end, high-throughput system in a modular design, as well as a new high-end pro display.

“This will be our fastest and most powerful Mac ever, which brings workstation-class computing to iMac for the first time,” said John Ternus, Apple’s vice president of hardware engineering. “We re-engineered the whole system and designed an entirely new thermal architecture to pack extraordinary performance into the elegant, quiet iMac enclosure.”

Apple said the thermal architecture gives the new computer 80 percent more cooling capacity. With an all-flash architecture and new thermal cooling, the iMac Pro has the same thin and seamless iMac design as current models. It will support one billion colors.

The iMac Pro comes with the new Radeon Pro Vega GPU, the most advanced graphics ever built into a Mac. Featuring a new next-generation computer core and up to 16GB of high-bandwidth memory (HBM2), iMac Pro with the Vega GPU delivers up to 11 Teraflops of single-precision computing power for real-time 3D rendering and immersive, high frame rate VR.

For half-precision computation, iMac Pro delivers up to 22 Teraflops of performance. It has four Thunderbolt 3 ports and can connect to up to two high-performance RAID arrays and two 5K displays at the same time. It also supports up to 4TB of SSD and up to 128GB of ECC memory and features 10Gb Ethernet for up to 10 times faster networking.

Apple also previewed macOS High Sierra, the latest version of the Mac operating system. It offers an all-new file system, support for High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and an update to Metal, Apple’s advanced graphics technology that powers everything from machine learning to virtual reality content creation.

Apple File System (APFS) features enhanced performance, security and reliability of data and provides a foundation for future storage enhancements. APFS makes common operations such as copying files and directories instantaneous, helps protect data from power outages and system crashes and keeps files secure with native encryption.

MacOS High Sierra also maintains complete read-and-write compatibility with previously formatted HFS drives and data and is designed to accommodate future advancements in storage technology.

Support for industry-standard HEVC (H.265) enables video streaming and playback of 4K video files at higher quality that are also up to 40 percent smaller than with the current H.264 standard.

With HEVC, Apple is enabling high-quality video streaming on networks where only HD streaming was previously possible, while hardware acceleration on the new iMac and MacBook Pro deliver fast and power-efficient HEVC encoding and editing.

The new macOS will be available to all Mac users for free this fall.

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