Online privacy and security has gone to hell in a hand basket recently so I’ll take a break and write about something else near and dear to my impoverished heart. The Mac. Specifically a Mac I cannot afford. Why not?
The iMac Pro in 2018 dollars is just too expensive, even at the $4,999 entry-level price tag. Recently I read a thoughtful article on Why A $4,999 iMac Pro Is A Bargain. It is. But I can’t afford it. The price tag scares me.
Why is that price tag significant? Adjusting for inflation, 34 years after the original Mac was introduced at $2,495, the same Mac would be $5,919, which makes a fully tricked out iMac, fully loaded with every option, a bargain at more than $600 less.
That’s just the high end iMac. An entry-level iMac Pro– even more powerful– is less. And adjusted for inflation is less expensive than the original Mac back in 1984.
Out of the box, the newest and most powerful iMac has an 8-core Intel Xeon CPU inside, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, a 27-inch Retina display powered by a Radeon Pro Vega 56 with 8GB of RAM, and ports galore; 4 USB 3, 4 Thunderbolt 3, 10GB Ethernet, Wi-Fi, 1080p HD FaceTime camera, and more.
Yes, adjusting for inflation, and what I hope is a similar increase in buying power, an entry-level iMac Pro is a bargain. But it’s still a hair under $5,000. And as much as I lust over the power inside and that cool Space Gray finish and all those ports, iMac Pro is still a Mac; more of a Mac than my three year old iMac with 5K Retina display and a quad-core i5 Intel Inside.
In a few years my current iMac will no longer handle the latest upgrade, perhaps to macOS Bakersfield. It will still be usable so I’ll hand it off to a deserving relative or neighbor kid and go shopping. But not for an iMac Pro, even if it’s a bargain in 2020 dollars.
That much power is more power than I could possibly use. Even my iMac– with that creaky old Fusion Drive– seldom peaks anywhere the CPU or RAM on iStatistica or Activity Monitor. An iMac Pro on my home desktop would never be challenged, but in five years or so, may not be upgradeable to macOS Bakersfield or macOS Half Moon Bay or whatever else Apple comes up with.
I cannot justify the Mac I want because I won’t use it for what it was intended. Power.
This is the Bugatti Veyron of Macs but made affordable if you don’t mind owning it just to show off. The iMac Pro is a special vehicle. Back in 1908 a Model-T Ford was priced at $850. Adjusting for inflation, it would be about $24,000 now. Or, the price of an average Honda Accord.
The iMac Pro is no Accord. I have the money for both, and the Accord is a good quality vehicle, but I would hate to see the iMac Pro and all that power and capability languish while I play iTunes while typing.