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iMac 5K (Late 2015) vs Mac Pro: Photoshop Filters

Get iMac 5K at B&H Photo and see also MPG’s computer gear wishlist.
See also diglloyd-recommended performance packages for iMac at OWC.

Save money on 32GB or 64GB OWC memory (about $400 savings vs Apple!)

MPG recommends this iMac 5K: 27" Retina 5K Display, 4.0 GHz Intel Core i7 (Skylake), 1TB Flash, 8GB memory, AMD Radeon R9 M395X GPU (4GB GDDR5) + 32GB or 64GB OWC memory.

The machines tested here are the fastest possible models for this type of work. The iMac 5K as tested here edges into low-end Mac Pro pricing territory, at around $4K as configured with 64GB OWC memory.

A note on the 8-core 3.3 GHz Mac Pro

Apple offers a 3.0 GHz 8 core (slower than 3.3 GHz), and it would be a bit slower than the 3.3 GHz 8-core Mac Pro tested here. However, since Photoshop generally utilizes fewer than 8 cores (or even 6), it is likely that the 3.5 GHz 6-core Mac Pro would perform similarly to the 8-core Mac Pro tested here, since the 3.3 GHz 8 core and 3.5 GHz 6-core CPUs have nearly identical turbo boost behaviors.

Photoshop filters

These tests are not sensitive to the amount of memory and are thus pure CPU/GPU tests.

The late 2015 iMac 5K sometimes beats the 3.3 GHz 8-core 2013 Mac Pro, sometimes is neck and neck, and sometimes beats the Mac Pro. It’s an impressive performance for the iMac 5K.

Photoshop Filters
late 2015 iMac 5K 4.0 GHz, 1TB SSD, M395X vs others
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