Mining on the iMac Pro (Base Model)

I had been considering one of these for video and photo work at home but wondered how it'd work as a mining machine too (it'd help the sticker shock a bit maybe).  Searched the internet for any info about it and came up with nothing except other people asking about it so I figured I'd take matters into my own hands.  Best Buy had a $250 discount on the base model so I went and picked one up.


Initial impressions: It's gorgeous. I use a Late 2014 5K iMac at work and the new screen in the Pro blows it away by a large margin, the colors are fantastic.  The base model comes with a Xeon W-2140B CPU @ 3.2ghz and a Radeon Pro Vega 56.


After Windows was set up, I first tried mining with Claymore and... it's slightly faster than an r9 380 at mining ether.


Disappointed with this result I decided to check out other options. Benchmarking with Nicehash:


After the benchmarking things really started to heat up.  It's a shame nothing is able to do fan control yet.


Afterburner basically can only monitor temps and clocks, overclocking doesn't work.  The clock hovered around 1250mhz but would dip down a bit to around 1200mhz when things got super toasty. The memory seemed stuck at 786mhz no matter what.  A reference Vega 56 is clocked at 1471mhz for the core and 800mhz for the ram so this along with being stuck on an older driver (Windows AMD drivers are notoriously behind because they need Apple's approval and it won't let you install the regular updated drivers) partially explains some of the relatively poor performance compared to a reference card.  Plus side is that even at full load on both the processor and the videocard, the computer was very quiet.


In the end, because there isn't much tuning that can be done (pretty much everything is locked down from the fanspeed to the clocks), this is what I ended up with. It fluctuates as NiceHash swaps around but it ends up around $6.16 a day with what I imagine is about 500 watts of power usage.  YMMV but...  Assuming 100% profit and constant difficulty (not a good thing to assume), it'd take well over 2 years for it to pay itself off.  So yeah, pretty much what I went in assuming, this is not a great mining machine.  This is particularly rough when on the same trip I bought a machine with a Ryzen 1700X and a GTX 1070 in it for around $1400 and with a mild overclock it just blows the iMac out of the water by just about every (performance) metric, but we all already expected that. ROI in less than 200 days.


In summation, don't bother probably.