iMac Pro Vs Mac Pro Series: Processor and Storage Performance

Hopefully, we’ve given you enough time to cool down after results of GPU testing in the previous article.
We like to set the scene a little before we move into the technical side of things. Essentially, this gives us a chance to explain just why we conduct these tests, what systems we used etc., so if you are learning about the technical side before you buy refurbished Macs, then you’re a little more clued up – we’re here to help, after all!

What Did Our Tests Involve?


iMac Pro 1,1 (2018)

AMD Vega 64
1TB Flash SSD

Mac Pro 6,1 (2013)

512GB Flash SSD

Mac Pro 5,1 (2012)

Let’s not waste any more time though, we’re sure you want to know what happened when we put these two systems up against each other.
Here goes…

Processor Performance 


Geekbench 4 CPU Benchmark + Processor Performance Comparison

 Geekbench 4 CPU Benchmark + Processor Performance Comparison
It was the iMac Pro that came out as the clear best performer following the Geekbench testing; Geekbench testing, with its use of the high-performance Xeon processors, however, this does put the option at a much higher price point. The Mac Pro 6,1’s inefficiency was evident here; despite the age of the 5,1 it still outperformed every processor apart from the top specification of the 6,1.
Speaking of the Mac Pro 5,1, it still didn’t have an issue with keeping up with the latest systems and at a cost of several thousand pounds less, it definitely didn’t show that in performance.
From the scores, it was the Mac Pro 5,1 6 Core that came out as the best price vs performance Mac currently available for users.

What else do you need to know about processor performance?

Even with all the power, the iMac Pro offers it still lacks expandability outside of its available IO. Even the SSDs inside are serialised to the system if you thought you’d be clever and upgrade yourself!
We have a range of processors en-route and shortly, we will be posting the exact details of what can actually be done to the iMac Pro.
For cost vs performance, the Mac Pro 5,1 still wins hands down, but if you are working with Final Cut Pro X and an all-in-one would be suitable for you, then the iMac is certainly something to consider.
Moving on from what’s been revealed in the first round of testing, we set about finding which system was going to be dominant in the storage performance elements.
Here’s what we found…

Storage Performance

One of the main things revealed in the testing was that storage was a strong point of the iMac Pro. Predominantly, users don’t need over 1Gb/s (1000Mb/s) – that is, unless you are working with complex projects using a large amount of raw ‘high bit-rate’ footage; this reason is a standout example of when you require a high amount of storage. However, unless this is the case, you wouldn’t see a difference.
Turning to the Mac Pro 5,1 2012, 3Gb/s is still easily achieved using RAID SSDs. Even with all that speed, the iMac Pro is still limited to a maximum of 4TB internal storage. The Mac Pro’s maximum storage is 72TB of HDD space and a further 12TB of SSD storage using enterprise HDDs and PCi-e mounted 2TB SSDs.
It’s possible to alter the storage in a Mac Pro 5,1; something you cannot in the iMac Pro. Therefore, if you were to suffer drive failure in the iMac Pro your data is gone without expensive data recovery. By reverting to using a RAID in the Mac Pro, you can rebuild a drive simply by replacing it and repairing the RAID.
We’d love to know your thoughts on the findings. As ever, let us know on the social media channels!