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iMac Pro may pack both server-grade Xeon and ARM CPUs

The iMac Pro was introduced at WWDC in early June but will not be available until December. (Source: Associated Press)
The iMac Pro was introduced at WWDC in early June but will not be available until December. (Source: Associated Press)
An enthusiast rummaging through firmware files for macOS High Sierra found information suggesting that the upcoming iMac Pro will be powered by server-grade Xeon processors and protected by an ARM chip known as a Security Enclave Processor. The existence of an ARM chip the same as those found in the MacBook Pro with TouchBar sparks speculation that the iMac may ship with a similar feature.

Apple's iMac Pro raised eyebrows not just for its price (which starts at US$5000 and tops out at a staggering US$17,000) but also on the word that it would be packing some serious power. Apple claimed that the Pro would use a "pro-level" Intel Xeon processor with up to 18 cores and next-gen Radeon Vega graphics, but a tinkerer and blogger going by the name Pikeralpha found some interesting information about the upcoming iMac by digging through its firmware packages.

Initially, most assumed the Xeon CPUs would be Intel's Core-X series chips. However, firmware for the iMac Pro found in the next update of MacOS, High Sierra, has revealed that the iMac Pro will be socketed for Intel's server-grade Xeon chips — Skylake-EX and EP processors — instead of regular desktop CPUs. Additionally, though there was no mention of a TouchBar in the promotion of the all-in-one, the iMac Pro will also be packing an ARM processor in the form of what's known as a Security Enclave Processor, which is the same chip found on Apple's MacBook Pros. Due to this, there has been speculation that the iMac Pro could have the option of shipping with a keyboard with a TouchBar or, at least, TouchID.

More information should be available as the launch of the iMac Pro in December nears.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 06 > iMac Pro may pack both server-grade Xeon and ARM CPUs
Douglas Black, 2017-06-23 (Update: 2017-06-23)
Douglas Black
Douglas Black - News Editor
Douglas Black is a technology analyst, teacher, writer, and DJ. He is also Managing Editor of UltrabookReview.