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

The blog states that OWC will offer a turnkey program to upgrade the 2017 iMac Pro Memory (requires opening up the machine, unlike the 2017 iMac 5K. See the video below. Some key points stand out:

  • Memory will be upgradeable via OWC.
  • The SSD capacity consists of two NVME modules (fast!), which implies speeds up to 6GB/sec if each module is of a similar speed to the speed of the single-module SSD in the 2017 iMac 5K. If true, that means spending more for a higher capacity SSD could make a lot of sense because it’s going to be hard to get that kind of performance any other way.
  • The CPU might be upgradeable—stay tuned.

OWC has indicated that they are testing for up to 256GB with more information expected soon. I also wonder if OWC will be able to install a faster CPU, such as an 8-core 3.7 GHz or 10-core 3.3 GHz. With the same TPD (total power dissipation), it ought to be feasible.

This important news for iMac Pro owners: it means that at least for memory, you can order what you think you need now (I recommend 64GB), but if 128GB becomes necessary at some future time, upgrading is possible. I’d rather get one with 64GB and take the money saved to use towards a larger SSD.

I’ll be travelling to OWC’s Woodstock, IL facility to start testing the iMac Pro Jan 2nd, so I’ll have a lot to say on how it compares to the 2017 iMac 5K.

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.”

If video is not high-res, click on the gear icon at lower right and change to 1080p or 1440p.

Buying an iMac Pro

Go in with eyes wide open—marketing hype is neither workflow efficiency, nor value.

Before spending for an iMac Pro, the following articles should be read, for plusses and minuses as as well as pending possibilities for whether the iMac Pro is upgradeable.

CLICK TO VIEW: 2017 iMac Pro Suggested Configurations

Note: the Thunderbay 4 is a terrific solution (I have 5 of them) but a Thunderbolt 3 version should be out soon. Hard drives go into the Thunderbay 4 or an external enclosure.

CLICK TO VIEW: Upgrades and Storage for 2017 iMac 5K

CLICK TO VIEW: Add-Ons for 2017 iMac 5K

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