OWC Tears Down the 2017 iMac Pro, Announces Future Memory Upgrade Programs

We’re celebrating Apple’s new iMac Pro with a teardown video! Join Mike and Matt as they teardown one of the fastest Macs ever made and reveal a look into what makes it work and the upgrade possibilities.
 
Memory Upgrade Options Coming Soon!
“OWC is excited to announce that it has confirmed OWC memory compatibility and that both DIY Kit and Turnkey Upgrade programs for iMac Pro will be forthcoming. Being able to upgrade the iMac Pro with more memory should an existing memory config prove to be inadequate is a great benefit for the longevity of these impressive, powerful new systems,” said OWC CEO Larry O’Connor. 
 
“That being said, with consideration to the relatively limited trade-in value of the lowest base 32GB option, the current cost of a full 64GB or 128GB kit and the labor involved with the upgrade – we currently recommend purchasing an iMac Pro with the amount of memory you believe will be needed. While it is huge benefit to have the option in the future, at present the financial benefit is relatively small vs. the factory cost differences to upgrade from that base 32GB. Over time this difference will likely grow and a real benefit will come to be, but for now we do feel the knowledge that an upgrade is possible is of more benefit than choosing to upgrade aftermarket at this time.”
 
For current owners of Apple Mac Pro and 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display, we offer a wide range of memory upgrade options. Find out which upgrades are compatible with your Mac using our My Upgrades tool! Check out our unboxing of the iMac Pro here!

 


iMac Pro tech specs:

RELEASE DATE: December 14, 2017
MODEL NUMBER: A1862
OPERATING SYSTEM: macOS High Sierra

MEMORY: 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of 2666 MHz DDR4 ECC memory (Note: No “void” stickers for replacing the memory were encountered during our teardown)

Memory featured in our teardown:

  • 32GB DDR4 ECC memory Total Memory / 4 x 8GB Memory Modules:
    • SK hynix 8GB 1Rx8 PC4 – 2666V – RD1 – 11
    • HMA81GR7AFR8N – VK BF AC  1740

STORAGE: 1TB PCIe-based NVMe SSD, Expandable up to 2TB or 4TB

Storage featured in our teardown: 

  • 1TB SSD – RAID (Dual 512GB SSDs)
    • Apple Inc. 512GB EMC 3197 Model: 656-0061A, C0275030, 10YHQR019, D33057 ROHSM MSIP-REI-APL-6560061 

Void sticker note: The screws securing the SSDs in place featured tamper-resistant “VOID” stickers that require punching through the sticker with the screwdriver head to remove (see images below).

PROCESSOR:

  • 3.2GHz 8-core Intel Xeon W (Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz)
  • 3.0GHz 10-core Intel Xeon W (Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz)
  • 2.5GHz 14-core Intel Xeon W (Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz)
  • 2.3GHz 18-core Intel Xeon W (Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz)

Processor featured in our teardown:

  • 3.2GHz 8-core Intel Xeon W (Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz)

Void sticker note: The screws securing the processor’s heatsink in place featured tamper resistant “VOID” stickers that require punching through the sticker with the screwdriver head to remove (see images below).

GRAPHICS: AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56 or AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64, up to 16 GB HBM2 memory. Note: The GPU is fully integrated. 

PORTS: 

  • Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports with support for DisplayPort 1.2, Thunderbolt and USB 3.1 Gen 2
  • 10Gb Ethernet: Nbase-T Ethernet with support for 1Gb, 2.5Gb, 5Gb, and 10Gb Ethernet using a RJ-45 connector
  • Four USB ports
  • Thunderbolt 2, HDMI, DVI, and VGA support via adapters
  • SDXC card slot
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 


LEAVE A COMMENT


  • Is it a possibility of also upgrading the SSD in future?




  • Thanks. I watched your breakdown of my present model before buying it. I waited almost 2 years for the release of a new iMac or Mac Pro.
    When one wasn’t released in Fall 2016 I ordered this iMac in Dec (which I’m very happy with).
    Maxed every possible upgrade to at least give minimal future proofing. I’m not any sort of developer …I’m a musician & audio/video/editor/artist & learning Motion 5 and I keep my equipment a long time.

    I’m wondering when the best value will be for trading this in for the basic iMac Pro?

    I’m not interested in gaming or virtual reality. Should I wait another year or two before trading in? I see where some of you are buying fleets of Macs do you have a rule of thumb about when it’s time to trade-in?

    The MAJOR differences I can see at this level is the Xeon 8 core and raid 2 x 512GB SSD. That is double my 500 GB.
    I see “some” difference in the pixels but nothing that would be significant for my needs.
    “Occasionally” I push this one beyond it’s capabilities by doing other things while rendering large FCPX projects out of multiple libraries (bad practice I know). Simultaneously editing in Logic Pro X or Photoshop. Flying/walking around in Google Maps (not Earth) in 3D seems to be the thing that most often causes the black screen and automatic restart
    Cheers. Thanks for any advice
    xoxo :)




  • I wish i could be more enthusiastic. We were all hoping for a new MacPro. Can we work with this new release? Maybe, if we go all-in with a bet on Thunderbolt. I’m not happy.




  • What is the 10Gb NIC? Intel?




  • Thanks for the show. It is always great to see the guts of a new Mac exposed by you guys!




  • Is the SSD’s RAID 0 array tied to the motherboard BIOS? Or is it Mac OS software-based? Asked differently, if you put the pair of SSD’s into a different/new motherboard, does it boot and act right?




  • OK, I have seen that RAM is from SK hynix (7 min 16 sec on video).

    TO ADMINS: Again, the same previously reported issue arises. I cannot see previous comments until I post this.




  • Another question Are CPU & GPU heat sinks with liquid cooling?

    TO ADMINS: I cannot see comments when I return to this article (or others in this server) until I write and post another comment. I have reported such issue before. I visit hundreds of sites without such issue. Using Safari 11.0.2 (12604.4.7.1.4) on macOS 10.12.6 (16G1114) Sierra.




  • Great. Thanks. Two disks in RAID 0 & paired to logic board is NOT good (data lost if one or controller or board fails!!!). Check out:


    Number of RAM slots, SSD modules and Thunderbolt data paths

    Three questions:

    1. What is the RAM manufacturer? Micron?

    2. What does mean the letter M (or whatever in other case) at the end of AP1024M showing at “Apple – About This Mac – System Report – Hardware – Storage – Physical Drive – Device Name – APPLE SSD AP1024M”?

    3. How much time does it take to boot from pressing the power button to showing Desktop?

    Thanks again and Happy New Year!




    • #1 – The systems we’ve opened into so far have been equipped with Hynix built memory. We also see a lot of factory Hynix in the other Macs – but also Samsung, Micron, and Elpida as well.

      #2 – I don’t know what Apple’s letters in AP1024M mean… the M might mean ‘multi – The SSDs use Apple’s proprietary controller and in the case of this iMac Pro – they are RAIDing 2 x 512GB via what looks to be a hardware RAID with the AP1024M being the resulting displayed Flash Drive in profiler.

      #3 – it’s a slow boot on one I’m playing with… about 40 seconds. Next week we will be publishing a substantial array of different performance tests with precision on this. Note the unit I just boot tested has the AP1024M 1TB SSD volume and 64GB. Memory testing is part of the start time.




    • about the two disk RAID – this isn’t like a mechanical disc. Other than the controller itself as one additional unique fail vector, that’s a super low fail probability and the rest really is just more device placements and moot whether on a single blade or on two blades.

      SSD failure curves do not at all align with the curve of a mechanical HDD – where two drives is a duplication of everything and moving parts that have the highest failure probabilities.

      Finally saying all of this with consideration that today’s hard drives are amazingly reliable as well.

      I do not see the dual SSD Raid as having any significant impact on failure probability in the iMac Pro.

      Be it a single drive or multi-drive raid in any system – always have good backups.




      • Thanks Larry. Yet, even if the failure rate is low on a single SSD; even extremely low, having two in RAID 0 more than doubles such probability in this case (one SSD, the other, the controller and the main board may fail and then all is lost, since SSD is paired with it).

        Happy New Year!




      • Replying to see all comments.




  • I am so impressed by OWC; the sheer honesty in this post—in fact arguing against buying OWC memory for these new machines, at this time, anyway—is just a breath of fresh air in the business world.

    I have bought from you for ten years now, and even though you are located in the US, far from us, would never think of buying anywhere else.

    Please keep going with the same ethical stance you have been exemplifying: many people notice these things. Best wishes for the New Year.




    • Hi Kit,
      I have the same observation. It was like a breath of fresh air hearing OWC stating facts rather than getting people to spend their hard earned money on things not needed.

      Like you Kit, I have purchased all my Mac requirements and that of my grown kids (attorney, professor, and a teacher) for as long as I can remember. My son buys all his computer and server needs for his law office of 12 attorneys from OWC. The other two kids buy OWC products for their respective university and elementary school from OWC. I even buy my presents for my nieces and nephews located in Europe from OWC and send them there.

      Occasional exchanges and returns were always accommodated courteously. A great bunch of folks to do business with.

      Regards,

      Guenther