iMac Pro 2017 vs. Microsoft Surface Studio 2016
Since the Surface Studio last year debut Apple’s fans have been looking forward to the iMac and they aren’t disappointed. The new Cupertino’s baby sports an Intel server CPU, a 5k display and the top AMD video card Vega 56. When it comes to RAM both all-in-one desktops are square and storage-wise the Surface Studio wins – it features 2 TB vs. 1 TB. Besides, the Surface Studio boasts the greatest advantage – the touch display, the one that can ‘understand’ pencil work.
But the iMac 2017 core quality is the Xeon CPU with 4.5 GHz of speed and at least 10 cores. Can it be considered as the coup de grace to Surface all-in-one project? 10 or 18 (for top class iMacs Pro) cores versus 4 cores of Intel i7 Skylake with hyper threading. Let me remind you, hyper threading means that every core can work like two, so i7 features 4 physical but 8 virtual cores.
And in the modern computer universe a virtual core is as good as the material one. On the other hand, Intel Core i7 Skylake is the top CPU for the Surface Studio family, while Xeon with 10 cores is being installed in entry level iterations of iMacs Pro. The only strong feature left for the Surface Studio is the touch display and the flexibility of it.
Apple still has an odd idiosyncrasy to touch interface. They came back down and made the Touch Bar, but iMacs still hold the fortress. The resolutions and the gamut of colors of both competitors are more or less square. One billion of colors and more than 4k resolution is now the must-haves for premium level desktops, no surprises here.
If only one: AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56. After all these years Apple switched from the Nvidia chip. The new video card has the following features:
- Floating-point performance: 9,677 GFLOPS.
- Texture rate: 302.4 GTexel/s.
- Shading units: 3,584.
- Texture mapping units: 224.
- Memory clock speed: 8,008 MHz.
- Higher clock speed: 1,506 MHz.
- Much higher memory clock speed: 2,002 MHz.
- Higher turbo clock speed: 1,683 MHz.
- Higher pixel rate: 96.4 GPixel/s.
- Lower TDP: 150W.
In other words, it’s terribly quick and precise and cold. Which is a good point since it goes into the slim iMac casing. And it is EIGHT times quicker than Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M that features the prefix M in its name going for ‘mobile’.
I don’t know if one can control the space orbit station with one iMac, but it’s a good bet. Add to this the most cumbersome, freezing, uncomfortable OS of all times – Windows 10 and you know what’s the best choice is.
But, perhaps, it’s not fair to compare the two desktop systems with the one-year gap between them. Obviously, the iMac Pro is to be better as its’ engineers had a year to go. Besides, these systems are meant for different target groups. Microsoft had artists and constructors in mind, while developing the Studio. Indeed, they highly appreciate the opportunity to work with a pencil in a hand. It comes natural to them as the part and parcel of their work. The iMac Pro is meant for other species of creators though. The ones who work with video, video effects and remastering. That’s what they need the high-performance video card for. So, the choice between the two is easy. It depends rather on a user’s career than on his or her inclinations and likings.
It’s a shame though that iMacs are leaving the home systems segment. But with tablets and hybrids taking up the space of our lives iMacs have to cut some new path. The first hands-on reviews of these ‘apples’ will get a huge following online, that’s for sure. Let’s wait and see.
Specifications: iMac Pro 2017 vs. Microsoft Surface Studio 2016
- Processor Name: Intel Xeon vs. Intel Core i7-6820HQ.
- Processor Speed: 4.5 GHz vs. 2.7 GHz.
- Operating System: Apple macOS High Sierra vs. Windows 10 Pro.
- RAM: 32 GB vs. 32 GB.
- Storage Capacity: 1 TB vs. 2 TB.
- Graphics Card: AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56 vs. Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M.
- Screen Size: 27 inches vs. 28 inches.
- Resolution: 5120 x 2880 vs.4500 x 3000.
- Storage Type: SSD vs. HDD, SSD.
- Price: $4,999 vs. $2,999.