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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:01 PM   #1
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Entry-Level Mac Pro Offers Comparable Pricing Versus OEM PCs, DIY Systems More Affordable




Anandtech today published its comprehensive review of the Mac Pro, including a price comparison between the Mac Pro and similar systems from competitors HP and Lenovo.

When comparing the entry-level 3.7GHz quad-core Mac Pro with dual AMD FirePro D300s to both the similarly specced HP Z420 and the Lenovo ThinkStation S30, Anandtech found the Mac Pro to be competitively priced at $3248 (priced with AppleCare) vs. $4490 for the HP and $4373 for the Lenovo.

While there are some important distinctions between the computers, such as the fact that the HP system only offers a single FirePro W7000 and supports more displays, the pricing experiment suggests that Apple's pricing is in line with other Ivy Bridge EP systems.

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As I learned last time, there are typically some hefty discounts associated with workstation orders so take this pricing with a grain of salt. I also had to fudge the HP numbers a bit as I can only get a single FirePro W7000 in the Z420 configuration - I just doubled the W7000 adder in order to simulate what a theoretical dual GPU version would cost. There are other imbalances between the comparison (HP supports more displays, Apple features more Thunderbolt 2 ports, FirePro W7000 features ECC GDDR5, etc...), but the point here is to see if Apple's pricing is out of touch with reality. It's not.
While Apple's pricing is competitive with similar PCs from HP and Lenovo, AnandTech found that building a comparative PC from individual parts was far less expensive, at least for lower-end systems. Pricing out an option with an Ivy Bridge E Core i7 PC with 12GB of RAM, two FirePro W7000 GPUs, and a fast SATA SSD came to $2730, a good bit less than the approximately $3499 a similar lower-end Mac Pro would cost from Apple.

AnandTech did not price out a higher-end DIY system, but earlier this month, FutureLooks attempted to build a PC equal to the top-of-the-line 12-core Mac Pro with 64GB of RAM, 1TB of flash storage, and Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs. Using similar parts (several Mac Pro parts - like the FirePro GPUs - were built exclusively for Apple) a PC equivalent to the high-end Mac Pro was actually priced at $11530.54, far above Apple's asking price of $9599 for its professional workstation.

AnandTech's full review, which includes benchmarks comparing the Mac Pro to previous Mac Pros and other offerings from Apple as well as comments on 4K displays, is well worth reading.

Article Link: Entry-Level Mac Pro Offers Comparable Pricing Versus OEM PCs, DIY Systems More Affordable
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:06 PM   #2
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Not bad.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:07 PM   #3
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Seems like a fair summation.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:07 PM   #4
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Interesting comparison. Having never really compared the new Mac Pro to other comparable PC builds, this puts things into perspective somewhat.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:12 PM   #5
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Impressive
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:13 PM   #6
Analog Kid
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As is usually the case, it's possible to get a cheaper PC, but it's not easy to find the same PC for cheaper.

I'm amazed that they ship with that many USB ports on a PC though. Are they all independent, or is it basically an internal hub?
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:15 PM   #7
el-John-o
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Seems fair!

One of the silly things about the "I can build it cheaper" is that it really shows those folks don't know what they are talking about. I don't own a Mac Pro. I don't want a Mac Pro (well, I do.. but...) I have a homebuilt PC as my desktop. BUT, my homebuilt PC is not a 'Mac Pro' killer by any means! It's a gaming PC.

Sure you can slap a 6 core CPU, lots of RAM and a nice GPU, but try and price it with a Xeon CPU, high end RAM, and FirePro workstation GPU's? Suddenly things change. And for what the Mac Pro market uses it for, those things are a must. Comparing a Mac Pro to a homebuilt gaming PC is like telling a contractor that his $60,000 diesel dually truck he uses to haul materials to job sites was a stupid purchase, and a Mercedes CLA would've been a much better way to spend that money because it's fast, sexy, and fun; and costs a bit less than his big truck! What they fail to realize is, the CLA won't do the WORK he needs done!
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:18 PM   #8
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Anandtech's review really convinced this skeptic. I especially enjoyed the charts devoted to performance gains for x86 and GPU performance since 2006. Now if Apple wasn't holding up OpenCL almost on its own.

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And for what the Mac Pro market uses it for, those things are a must. Comparing a Mac Pro to a homebuilt gaming PC is like telling a contractor that his $60,000 diesel dually truck he uses to haul materials to job sites was a stupid purchase, and a Mercedes CLA would've been a much better way to spend that money because it's fast, sexy, and fun; and costs a bit less than his big truck! What they fail to realize is, the CLA won't do the WORK he needs done!
Everyone loses with analogies.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:19 PM   #9
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One thing that isn't a fair comparison is the D300 vs W7000 on the HP. If you bump up the nMP to dual D500 or D700 it's another $400-$700. Otherwise pretty close.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:19 PM   #10
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Anandtech's review really convinced this skeptic. I especially enjoyed the charts devoted to performance gains for x86 and GPU performance since 2006. Now if Apple wasn't holding up OpenCL almost on its own.
Can you elaborate?
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:21 PM   #11
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Great news.

Good journalism AnandTech - this is the news that customers want to read, the fact that it's good news is a bonus.

Still I'm sure this will do nothing to sooth the pain that the music professional is no doubt feeling when he looks at those needlessly powerful and expensive GPUs that he doesn't need.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:22 PM   #12
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Not bad.
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Originally Posted by Skika View Post
Impressive
Look, guys, I understand that you want to cover your opinions in full detail, but could you at least make some effort to be more concise?
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Last edited by Fresh Pie; Dec 31, 2013 at 04:32 PM. Reason: concision
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Anandtech found the Mac Pro to be competitively priced at $3248 (priced with AppleCare) vs. $4490 for the HP and $4373 for the Lenovo.
Quote:
AnandTech found that building a comparative PC from individual parts was far less expensive, at least for lower-end systems. Pricing out an option with an Ivy Bridge E Core i7 PC with 12GB of RAM, two FirePro W7000 GPUs, and a fast SATA SSD came to $2730, a good bit less than the approximately $3499 a similar lower-end Mac Pro would cost from Apple.
Wait...so if the Apple computer is $700 less it's "competitively priced" but if the PC is $700 less it's "far less expensive?"

This sounds like a Rob Enderle piece.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:25 PM   #14
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Also while a great write up from Anandtech I really wish someone with an entry level 4c would do a comparison benchmark against the same machines. I really want to know if the base nMP is $800 faster than the BTO iMac.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:29 PM   #15
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I'd rather have the HP or Lenovo. Said no one ever.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:30 PM   #16
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Wow all the skeptics were way off. But I know the trolls will appear.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:37 PM   #17
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It's impressive that the thermal core can hold up and able to dissipate the heat when the CPU and 2 GPU's are running at full tilt. Only doing something very unrealistic will cause the CPU to be throttled.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:37 PM   #18
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Wow all the skeptics were way off. But I know the trolls will appear.
What is it that you (and others like you) get out of the whole finger-pointy, I-told-you-so, denouncing of so-called 'haters' that makes you want to fill threads up with it? What does it achieve that makes behaving so childishly acceptable?

Everyone has an opinion, sometimes in the fullness of time the opinions turn out to be wrong. Why dwell on it? Why take up space in threads with it? What does it achieve?

Why am I wasting my time finding out?
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:42 PM   #19
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This is for all the stupid apple haters that say **** without even analyzing it.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:42 PM   #20
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Anandtech's review really convinced this skeptic. I especially enjoyed the charts devoted to performance gains for x86 and GPU performance since 2006. Now if Apple wasn't holding up OpenCL almost on its own.
haha. I actually know about Apple/AMD/Nvidia's OpenCL support and Apple's the worst link by far in helping people move to OpenCL. It's great for their one program that uses dual GPUs but I dare you to try and get some documentation or answers from Apple when trying to move your program from CUDA to OpenCL. Nvidia is actually better at supporting OpenCL than Apple is.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:44 PM   #21
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The comparison with a DIY machine is not fair - it uses a SATA SSD which is half speed of the Mac Pro's storage. Were Anandtech to use a comparable enterprise-level PCI-e SSD, the price of the DIY machine would be MUCH closer to the MP.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:44 PM   #22
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It's interesting how the nMP has been abused before release compared to the iPad. Both took it on the chin before their releases, coming from opposite ends.

The iPad showed its specs before anyone knew the price. Everyone was convinced before release that it was going to be close to $1,000. It was getting some bad press because it was so unlikely that it was going to be cheaper than that, and if the $1k price was true, why not just buy a laptop. Then the price comes out at $500, and it was just unbelievable.

Now the nMP comes out, and people know general specs and a price. But without details, everyone crushed it on being completely proprietary and too expensive. (I know there were some here that pointed out that the gpu's alone cost that much, but that didn't make it out to the world at large) Now that it finally comes out and people can tinker, we find out that it is completely upgradeable and cheaper than any comparable computer out there.

If anything, this should show you just how good Apple is when it puts its mind toward creating something great. The article earlier today about upgrade-ability and this about price just really impress me with the nMP. And I'm not even remotely someone who should care, as I'm not in the market for anything more powerful than my iPhone. I just appreciate the product Apple has put out.

Last edited by ToomeyND; Dec 31, 2013 at 04:50 PM.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:46 PM   #23
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People thought I was crazy when I thought it was a great price for the machine. Those processors, ECC RAM, and GDDR5 RAM ain't cheap.

At work they sometimes have multiple computers consisting of specked out MacBook Pros that put them around the same price range. Now they can get one of these for about the same price, with far more performance and an iPad or MacBook Air to carry around with them. Unless someone finds a way to attach a monitor on those things, than I wont be surprised to see people walking around with Mac Pros
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:50 PM   #24
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actually, after doing a "build your own" comparison of my own (which i know, is NOT corporate friendly, nor would i ever recommend to those who aren't comfortable doing themselves).

but i did it for my own "***** and giggles"

All the system builders put a hefty premium on Workstation grade systems. Apple, HP, Dell. Doesn't matter who. There is going to be a significantly large markup compared to everyone else.

What else also is noticable is that some of the parts of the Apple's nMP are actually good deals and some of the ugprades are horrendous deals.

For example: the upgrade from 12 to 16gb ram is $400. this is done via adding 1 stick of memory. (3x4gb v 4x4gb). Currently the price for 1 stick of 1866mhz DDR3 ECC ram on Newegg.ca (yes, even in Canadian prices) is $80. Making the upgrade cost for 16GB v 12GB completely and utterly a rip off.

yet, the upgrade price for the 32gb version is much Much closer in price!

similar went for the other manufacturers.

its just very inconsistent that its really hard to say what is a good deal or not
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 04:54 PM   #25
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Hardware costs only. The big factor not included in OS X. That's where the true power comes from. So many people ignore that when determining the value of a system. Any Mac is far more valuable than any "comparable" PC.
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