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What might a 2018 iMac 5K look like? That’s assuming that Apple wants to produce a high-end iMac 5K—it’s possible that Apple will dumb-down the performance of an iMac 5K to avoid competing with the iMac Pro and thus avoid offering a 6-core iMac 5K.
The 8th Generation Intel® Core Desktop Processor Line lays out what is already available. It’s unclear why Apple has not made an iMac 5K revision already to incorporate this newer and faster set of processors—maybe a redesign of the internals is needed, ideally one along the lines of the iMac Pro, which has is a much more robust cooling design (I have yet to hear the iMac Pro fans, even under the heaviest loads).
In particular, the 6-core / 12 virtual core Intel Core i7-7800X processor or the Intel Core i7-8700K processor holds out terrific promise for speeds substantially faster than the 2017 iMac 5K, which would beat the iMac Pro (any model) decisively on the key things I do, and narrow the performance gap considerably, because 10/14/18 cores yield only incremental gains in most cases. Intel’s CPU lineup is quite a mess to understand, but surely there is a suitable CPU for a 2018 iMac 5K.
Then there is the Intel Core i9 series, with up to 18 CPU cores. While Apple has never gone in for these high-end “gamer” CPUs for its iMacs, but the 12-core Intel Core i9-7920X looks highly appealing. Product segmentation between the iMac Pro and iMac 5K will likely mean we won’t see the best possible CPUs in an iMac 5K.
For most users, holding off purchasing an iMac Pro or iMac 5K until June makes sense, because a 2018 iMac 5K should emerge by then and it might well prove a better choice for many than an iMac Pro.
Another assumption is that the engineering done for the iMac Pro should make it into the iMac 5K, offering at least the possibility of much better cooling and less noisy fans.