Will the iMac Pro throttle?

As was expected to happen at some point, Intel today introduced its new Xeon-W workstation CPUs.

Intel has had to overhaul its product portfolio due to the massive challenges and delays of its 10nm process. Apple actually pre-announced these new Xeons at WWDC while giving minimal detail. It was clear, however, that the CPUs would essentially be Skylake-X.

Xeon CPUs are not “faster” than Core CPUs, because they use the same microarchitecture. Xeon chipsets, however, come with important features for workstations and servers such as ECC RAM.

To oversimplify, Intel advertises TDPs (thermal design power ratings) of up to 140W for a Xeon-W. AMD’s Vega 56 and 64 GPUs are rated at TBPs (thermal board power ratings) of 210W and 295W, respectively*.

For the iMac Pro, Apple has redesigned the airflow of the chassis and finally added a second fan. Philosophically, though, the company has a low tolerance for fan noise.

Will the iMac Pro significantly throttle? We’ll see.


* I’m only referencing the official vendor thermal ratings, and TDP and TBP mean different things.