Though it flew largely under the radar, Apple introduced a new custom T2 chip in iMac Pro that combines a number of system controllers into a single secure package. The company detailed what, exactly, the silicon does in an update to its iMac Pro product webpage on Thursday.
Apple began selling its first-ever self-branded Thunderbolt 3 cable on Thursday, timed alongside the introduction of the iMac Pro, which has four Thunderbolt/USB-C ports for monitors, external storage, and other add-ons.
Apple is making the decision for customers acquiring the iMac Pro to pick up AppleCare with their purchase easier, by keeping the price of the extended warranty service the same as for the iMac despite the increase in hardware cost.
The start of iMac Pro sales means customers now know exactly how much their custom configurations will cost, and when they are expected to ship. Buyers interested in the top-of-the-line desktop can expect to fork over more than $7,000 for an 18-core beast, though it won't ship until February.
Apple on Thursday kicked off sales of the iMac Pro, its first all-in-one professional-grade desktop, packing 8 Intel Xeon processing cores and 32 gigabytes of RAM into the entry-level $4,999 model. The first orders via Apple's website arrive just after Christmas.
Apple's iMac Pro desktop will also sport an a new custom chip dubbed the T2, serving as a secure enclave for encrypted keys, giving users the ability to lock down their Mac's boot process and also handling system functions like the camera, audio control, and managing the solid-state hard drive.
Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller continues his media rounds talking about all things Apple, with the latest interview delving into the internal thought process when the company decided to move away from Touch ID in the iPhone X, thoughts on Apple's collaborative environment, and the iMac Pro's imminent release.
Accessory producer Twelve South has unveiled a new stand designed for the iMac, iMac Pro, and compatible monitors, with the HiRise Pro capable of raising the viewing angle of the screen to help lower the risk of neck strain while working, as well as reducing the amount of desk clutter.
In addition to giving testers a first look at the new iMac Pro desktop, Apple also supplied them with an upcoming release of Final Cut Pro X, which will add support for an 8K-resolution timeline and 8K ProRes files.
Two more iMac Pro impressions have been posted, with benchmarks from both showing massive gains in processing power in the iMac Pro over older models — plus the inclusion of AVX-512 vector processing optimization in the W-series Xeon processor giving an added push to properly optimized apps.
Power users wanting the fastest possible iMac Pros will have to wait until sometime in 2018, when 14- and 18-core models will ship, according to a well-known YouTube celebrity who received an early unit.
AppleInsider has learned that enterprise sales staff within Apple have begun asking long-time clients about what "custom configurations" of the iMac Pro that they may seek, and are making preparations to take orders for the device as soon as this week.
While little else solid is known about the iMac Pro's shipping configuration with only a matter of days before it ships, it appears that a regulatory filing associated with the device calls it model A1862.
Developers Guilherme Rambo and Stephen Troughton-Smith have found "Hey Siri" functionality in the macOS code base with support for multiple user accounts all driven by what appears to be the A10 Fusion processor, according to the pair. AppleInsider talks about why Apple might do that, and what it would mean for the iMac Pro.