AU­TOPSY

Maximum PC - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - presents:

This month, we peel away the skin of the Ap­ple iMac Pro.

BACK­GROUND

We dropped $4,999 to get our hands on the hot new space-gray Magic Mouse and Magic Key­board—and Ap­ple was gen­er­ous enough to throw in a brand-new iMac Pro for no extra charge! Let’s take it apart and see what makes it tick.

MA­JOR TECH SPECS

• Eight-core, 3.2GHz In­tel Xeon W pro­ces­sor,

with Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz

• 32GB (4x 8GB) of 2,666MHz DDR4 ECC

• AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56 GPU with 8GB of HBM 2.0 mem­ory • 27-inch dis­play with 5120x2880 res­o­lu­tion and sup­port for

one billion colors (P3 color gamut)

• 1TB SSD

KEY FIND­INGS

• We’re bet­ting the open­ing pro­ce­dure will be the same as it was on the iMac 5K—which is to say, if you can use a pizza cut­ter, you can open an iMac Pro. With all that glass out of the way, we have a per­fect view of the iMac Pro’s pris­tine in­te­rior. It would make a lovely wall­pa­per for some­one. • The first com­po­nent out is the enor­mous dual-fan cooler. Looks like Ap­ple sac­ri­ficed the 5K’s full-size desk­top hard drive (not that you’d want that in a pro ma­chine) to make some room here. Also sac­ri­ficed to the cool­ing gods: the ex­ter­nal RAM ac­cess hatch. Sad face. In ex­change, we get a big rear vent and an 80 per­cent in­crease in cool­ing ca­pac­ity. • The power sup­ply con­nects to the logic board by way of not one, not two, but four shiny ter­mi­nals se­cured with Torx screws. This de­sign is much closer to what we saw on the 2013 Mac Pro than the pla­s­ticky con­nec­tors we’re used to rip­ping out of the iMac 5K. It also makes ac­cess­ing logic board com­po­nents (apart from the RAM, of course) much, much eas­ier. With the power sup­ply tucked back into the rear shell, we can re­move the board right away. • Time to take a closer look at that dis­play. Turns out it’s the same dis­play panel we found in the iMac 5K: LG Dis­play model LM270QQ1. That said, the ca­bling ar­range­ment and we­b­cam hard­ware have been moved around—so you can’t swap dis­plays be­tween mod­els. • Re­pairabil­ity Score: 3 out of 10 (10 is eas­i­est to re­pair). The RAM and CPU are both mod­u­lar, mean­ing re­pairs and up­grades are a go—de­spite what Ap­ple tells you. The dual SSDs are mod­u­lar, but cus­tom-made by Ap­ple, com­pli­cat­ing re­place­ment. Cut­ting the tape to open the iMac isn’t too hard (with the right tools), but it must be re­placed to com­plete any re­pair. Key re­place­able com­po­nents are buried be­hind the logic board, re­quir­ing a lot of dis­as­sem­bly for ac­cess. The loss of the ex­ter­nal RAM ac­cess hatch makes for much more chal­leng­ing up­grades com­pared with the 27-inch iMac 5K. The GPU is BGA-sol­dered in place—po­ten­tially a ma­jor draw­back on a “pro” work­sta­tion. No easy graph­ics up­grades are pos­si­ble, so choose your con­fig­u­ra­tion wisely.

Un­for­tu­nately, the SSDs still use a pro­pri­etary con­nec­tion stan­dard.

It’s al­most like a real PC—you can change the mem­ory and ev­ery­thing.

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