The upcoming iMac Pro will be available this December and Apple shared that the base model will cost $4,999. However, some of the most impressive specs will be pricey upgrade options like an 18-Core processor, 128GB ECC memory, 4TB SSD, and more.
Apple hasn’t shared any pricing details on custom configuration options, but ZDNet has taken a fascinating in-depth look at estimating what you’ll need to fork over to obtain Apple’s most powerful iMac Pro…
Whoosh! Screen Cleaner
The four component upgrades that ZDNet used in its estimation are the processor, RAM, video RAM, and SSD, making a fully loaded iMac Pro feature an 18-core CPU, 128GB RAM, 4TB SSD, and a Radeon Pro Vega video card with 16GB HBM2 memory.
Apple hasn’t shared exactly what CPU it will be using for the iMac Pro, but ZDNet used the Xeon E5-2697 for its estimate. Subtracting the recommended $419 cost of the 8-Core processor brings the 18-core Xeon to $2,282…but you still need to factor in Apple’s markup.
Based on a comparison between what Apple charges for processor upgrades in the latest iMac and what iFixit found in its latest teardown, it looks like Apple is charging a roughly 75% upcharge.
18-Core upgrade ≈ $4,000
To estimate the upgrade to 128GB RAM, ZDNet compared Apple’s current upgrade pricing for iMacs versus the costs from Crucial and Kingston. Apple’s current markup on RAM upgrades comes in a bit above processor upgrades at an 80% markup.
Even if not entirely accurate based on what we’ll find with the new iMac Pros, they based the estimate on a four SO-DIMM configuration, with the $1899 RAM cost coming from an average of the 32GB ECC DDR4-2666 Kit and 128GB Kit (4 x 32GB) DDR4-2666 LRDIMM from Crucial.
Subtract the $404 value of the 32GB RAM included with the base iMac Pro and add in the Apple tax…
128GB RAM upgrade ≈ $2,700
Radeon Pro Vega
Figuring out a projected cost for this upgrade was a bit trickier as the Pro Vega isn’t available yet. ZDNet used a comparison between Nvidia’s GTX Titan X with 6GB and 12GB memory to reach its estimate for this component and added in an 80% Apple markup.
Pro Vega 16GB HBM2 memory upgrade ≈ $2,000
For this final component upgrade ZDNet used Samsung’s M.2 flash SSDs that iFixit found in the MacBook Pro as a comparison, because the iMac uses slower SSDs. Using the same process applied to the above upgrades and with another 80% Apple markup, here is the SSD upgrade estimate:
4TB SSD upgrade ≈ $3,600
So here’s all of the estimated upgrade costs in addition to the base price:
- iMac Pro base model = $4,999
- 18-Core upgrade ≈ $4,000
- 128GB RAM upgrade ≈ $2,700
- Pro Vega 16GB HBM2 memory upgrade ≈ $2,000
- 4TB SSD upgrade ≈ $3,600
Grand total estimate for maxed out iMac Pro ≈ $17,299
Keep in mind this is just an estimate, it will be a while longer until we have a firm idea about the iMac Pro’s true upgrade costs.
ZDNet notes that while this may seem very expensive for a desktop, when considered as a professional workstation this isn’t an unreasonable cost and that many will be glad Apple is making such a powerful machine. However, it will be interesting to see how many iMac Pro units Apple sells with a modular Mac Pro also coming around the corner.