Tech by VICE

The Most Powerful iMac Pro Now Costs $15,927

An iMac Pro with 256 GB of RAM pretty much just exists for bragging rights.

by Matthew Gault
Mar 19 2019, 4:40pm

iMac Pro. Image: Shutterstock

Apple recently updated the upgrade options for the iMac Pro, and getting the very best will cost you. A baseline model will cost you just under $5,000, and maxing out the hardware to absurd heights runs a whopping $15,927.

The most expensive possible upgrade is a $5,200 charge for upgrading the RAM from 32GB to a startling 256GB. Other addons include an additional $700 for a 16GB Radeon video card and $2,400 for a 2.3 Ghz Intel processor with 18 cores.

Almost $16,000 is a lot of money for a computer, especially one so overpowered that there are very few reasonable applications of its hardware. Most people will never need more than 16GB of RAM to play video games, and 32-64GB will take care of most video editing and 3D modeling tasks. With 256GB of RAM, you could run advanced AI processes or lease computing power to other people.

I recently built a PC for a friend who does video editing, and it cost me roughly $2,800—that’s including two monitors, a top of the line RTX 2080 video card, and a reasonable 32GB of RAM.

If you’re regularly cutting up 4K video on multiple monitors, then the grotesques amount of RAM found in a fully-upgraded iMac Pro will help, even if it’s a bit like fishing with dynamite. But the price is still ludicrous. Case in point: a community of Mac users hellbent on upgrading old machines has been offering super-powerful iMacs at a fraction of the cost.

The $15,927 iMac Pro is, probably, a future-proof machine—one that the user may not need to upgrade or replace for years. But ultimately, like many of Apple’s high-end products, an iMac Pro with 256 GB of RAM exists only for bragging rights.

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