Mac Pro versus Dell equivalent - price comparison

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Dunepilot, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. Dunepilot macrumors 6502a

    Dunepilot

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    #1
  2. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    #2
    The Mac will always be slightly more expensive but you get what you pay for.

    EDIT: Well except for the Mac Pro. That is a good deal. Just too pricy for me. Not to mention i'd want front row.
     
  3. BenHoleton macrumors regular

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    #3
  4. Dunepilot thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dunepilot

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    #4
    Can anyone please tell me what the Xeons are that are currently in the MacPro for the sake of my comparison?

    (Interesting that Dell is offering quad-core Xeons already, but they're not yet in the MacPro).
     
  5. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

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    #5
    Here's an article that may help you. There are many if you search for them. In general, spec for spec, Macs come out cheaper or about the same as PC's. The problem is that many PC users don't value the hardware "extras" that are built into a Mac and they can not believe that the software that ships with the machine is anything other than the crappy place-holderware they are used to.

    Most of my PC using friends don't want to spend more than $500 on a computer because they expect to throw it out in two years. Apple has nothing for people like this. Such discussions have been going on forever and they are not worth your time. Enjoy your machine and let your friends enjoy theirs. If they are going to be convinced, personal experience will do it more effectively then you can. Best wishes.
     
  6. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    #6
    mac pros are more expensive when you look at the numbers.

    when you look at the intangibles which are:

    1. fantastic, rarely failing software and leading edge software (max os) at that
    2. high quality hardware
    3. fantastic support. mac lovers always help each other and it's very rare to have a problem on a mac that can't be solved either by apple themselves or our community.

    can't be $$$ figures on those, but that is why i mac is more expensive, but well worth it.

    ask your buddy if he would want a dodge neon or a lexus?

    what would he prefer?

    :)
     
  7. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    #7
    Actually they are cheaper.
    Windows is a very powerful piece of software and on the right hard ware (like OSX always is) it is fabulously stable.
    You can get excellent quality PC hardware too, most people just take the el cheapo option.
    All windows users i've met have been more than helpful with regards to helping others. Equally as helpful as apple users.

    Personally i'd put it as comparing a VW Golf to a Seat Ibiza or a Skoda Octavia. They are basically the same car underneath, except the golf has a better badge.

    Or for you americans... comparing a European Ford Focus to an american Ford Focus. You'd think they'd be the same but the european one wins awards and the american one breaks down :)
     
  8. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #8
    Supportwise, Dell offers next-day onsite response as standard (try getting that on Applecare everywhere), and same-day support as an option. I upgraded my Precision 690's to same day and with rare exceptions they have turned up as per the support contract.

    I'd also dispute the engineering competence of Apple vs Dell. The Apple is a beautiful thing to look at for sure, but basic things - such as the ruggedness of the subsystems seems to have been left out. I ought to say that I actually own several examples of both - and the Apples have fallen somewhat short on 'workstation' suitability in comparison to the 690, including basic engineering and product reliability under environmental extremes.

    There's also the advantages of calling someone as opposed to just pricing it up on the web. I never buy a Dell by pricing it up on the web. As a corporate account holder I enjoy significant discounts which makes the 690 now cheaper than the Pro by some degree (when the 690 first came out, the same-spec machine worked out to about the same as the Pro even with the discount) even with uplifted support - but even if you are a first-time buyer you should be able to secure some sort of discount. Apple don't seem to offer that flexibility.

    I'm not going to debate the pros and cons of OS X vs Windows - It's pointless for me to argue it with the vast majority of people here. All I'll say is that all the relatively unimportant things for me personally remain on OS X and the critical software, as well as ironically all my media-related activities have moved back to Windows, and I am not hampered. Some creative software does remain on OS X but I don't consider that a critical use. There is one exception though: The Pros will be redundant after the current testing period, but I will be moving one very important app to XServes - I do hope they aren't engineered like the Pro.
     
  9. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    Thanks Sesshi for that good honest unbiased take on things.
     
  10. 2ndPath macrumors 6502

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    #10
    You can always make the price comparison by looking up a PC with the same features as a Mac and will probably end up at a similar price. This shows that Mac are not a rip off.

    However, if you do it the other way around, the mac will most likely look a lot more expensive, which comes from the limited selection of models. For instance most PCs for a couple of hundred dollars can take expansion cards, change the graphics card and take multiple hard and optical drives. If you want any of these features on a Mac you have to buy the Mac Pro, which costs a lot more. Of course you get more powerful CPUs and other benefits, but if you don't need those the Mac hardware costs much more for the same use you get.
     
  11. iPhil macrumors 68040

    iPhil

    #11


    It's the Xeon 5100 series chip from the server sector from intel ..

    Well the Quad-Core chips from intel is still a lil high for apple .. Apple likes to try keep the pricing bracket the same even thru PPC to Intel :eek:
     
  12. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #12
    I think the Apple halo effect comes partially from the price points of their gear vs their capabilities. I think the limited range is an asset for Apple - it nearly always means that you'll be spending more on Apple kit than you would do if you weren't switching, and most people on a budget buy under what they will actually need - so it means that by buying Apple, you have a better chance of choosing what you actually might have wanted. The resulting effect is better satisfaction for many who don't quite know what they want. Does that make sense? It needn't even be down to the OS.
     
  13. PNW macrumors regular

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    #13
    If you're talking about people who usually buy a sub $600 PC then probably yes but for those of us in the $1200-$1800 PC market no. In that price range you can get all the PC you’ll need for several years, plus if you came up short you can easily upgrade video, sound, whatever down the road for not too much more. With a Mac in that price range you’re stuck with a less powerful iMac because you paid for a monitor you probably didn’t need and no PCI slots if you want to add some upgrades later. With the Mac Pro you go way over budget and get twice the computer you need for almost twice the money you don't have.

    This is in fact why I've resisted buying a Mac for so long despite a strong preference for OS X. Vista, however, is likely to change that.
     
  14. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #14
    I disagree with that. I prefer the choice on the PC side too, but think about it - what expansion does the sort of person who would be in the market for a mainstream Mac *really* need? How many multi-PCI-slotted desktops go without having anything extra populated in them throughout their entire lifetime? An awful lot.

    Bearing that in mind, I would also say the vast majority of Switchers at this time aren't like me. They're not keeping their Windows systems up to date in parallel. They're moving up from something about three years old - and if they have a P4 based system, well damn that's going to be an improvement. Even if they have an Athlon which is a lot more stable, a 3000-ish A64 can't hold a candle up to the Core Duos. And if you're moving up from a 3-year old Xeon to dual Xeon 51x0... woo wee. They're going to be impressed. The fact that they'd be just as impressed with the stability and speed of a current Windows Core Duo / 51x0 rig (And I don't mean a Boot camp setup, which regardless of what people here say is not 100% a PC in terms of stability and compatibility) had they moved that way is neither here nor there to the shiny-eyed new Switcher. Apple really couldn't have switched to Intel at a better time.

    I'm not talking about the sort of person who is an enthusiast: I'm talking about the average user. Is there a decent gaming soundcard for Mac? No. Is there a decent midrange soundcard (not module) that can improve sound better than the onboard audio? No. Are there physics engines for gaming? No. Is there in fact even a decent display adapter choice worth a damn these days even if you had cards to populate expansion slots? Not really.

    I don't think the lack of expansion of the lower-end Macs are an issue because there isn't really anything that much to expand for the average guy, and you can do all the rest of the expansion via USB and Firewire. They buy a monitor size they want, and although that is potentially a limiting factor the fact is that if you want to extend your display area, you add another one. The halo effect extends all the way to the Pro. A lot of the Pro buyers would be people who might have been considering upper-model Dimensions et al.
     
  15. PNW macrumors regular

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    #15
    Given my ignorance on what is and isn’t available for Mac PCI slots I’ll have to concede the lack of expansion part of the argument.

    None the less while someone used to a ~$500 PC is going to be infinitely more blown away by the transition to the mini than they were to their last PC. Someone used to a ~$1500 PC is not going to be any more blown away by the transition to the iMac than they were at their last upgrade. In fact they’ll be getting less computer (with an extra monitor) than had they just bought a new PC. And after dropping $2.5 - $3K on a Pro they’re going to be pissed-off if it doesn’t blow them away.


    edited to add --
    That may have been true in the past, but if the talk around the water cooler in our IT department is any indication. Vista is making a lot of enthusiasts / professionals take a fresh look at Mac
     
  16. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

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    Things can only go so fast. I mean buying a Mac Pro expecting faster internet speeds is a bit ridiculous. You buy a Mac Pro when you need things like FCP, Aperture, etc.

    iTunes can only que up a song so fast. You can only encode songs from a CD as fast as the drive will allow the data to come.

    A general user will not be blown away by a Mac Pro when all they need is a $500 computer.

    It doesn't matter what costs more or less. I don't even know why this is an argument anymore. What does anyone gain by thinking someone else is an idiot for buying product X when you think product Y is better? It is ridiculous.

    Buy what you want. Done. If you want a Mac. Get a Mac. If you want a $500 windows box get it, a $2000 windows box get it. As long as you enjoy what you buy that is what matters. Be an informed consumer and make choices based on that information. This, I hate everything Apple so I am going to buy a Dell and a Zune is ridiculous. And this "Mac is better than everything else" crap is insane too.

    You think Macs are better. That is fine! If someone asks explain why. Don't argue just list the points. If they say I disagree so be it! Ask if you can clarify something. If not let it go. I find all too often though that most people have no idea about the other side, they just spout off the crap they heard from sources on their side.

    Sorry for the rant. I am just sick of these arguments. If the Mac is more expensive and doesn't offer you more value for that expense, don't buy it. Simple as that. And instead of finding figures to see who is cheaper, this is what you should be responding with. :apple:
     
  17. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    #17
    Here here! I agree totally!

    I usually respond to such arguments by pointing out the fallacies in the argument. Playing devils advocate in case of Windows or Mac, depending which is being attacked.

    There is no point being one sided. Weigh up both options and pick what is best. There is no reason to slam a mac, it's a good system which does what a lot of people want, and there is no reason to slam windows, if it was that bad then millions of people around the world wouldn't be using it. There are always bad experiences with both systems but the majority of people are happy with their purchases.

    (Although i have been known to argue but i'm usually just going for a reaction rather than meaning anything :) )
     
  18. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #18
    VERY good post! I totally agree. As a graphic designer apple will be my choice for various reasons, but there are other fields of pro work where a pc is the better sollution by far.

    No need to argue which platform is better with someone who has completely different needs.
     
  19. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #19
    A bit "Jobs & DRM" aren't we, given your other posts?
     
  20. PNW macrumors regular

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    #20
    The problem is what I want (just one dual core 2.6-3.0 GHz processor, 2GB RAM (that I can expand later), 128MB Nvidia graphics card (that I can easily upgrade later if needed), just a box no peripherals, running OS X) doesn't exist. My posts were never about one company being better than the other. I posted simply to point out that the holes in Apple's hardware line force some people to spend significantly more money than they want to in order to switch, and to express my opinion that while this might be a good thing at the bottom end of the spectrum. It's not in the middle.
     
  21. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

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    #21
    I'm not following...
     
  22. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

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    #22
    That has nothing to do with the original thread. We are dealing with the Mac Pro and an equivelent Dell.

    If you want to start a headless iMac debate take it somewhere else.
     
  23. PNW macrumors regular

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    #23
    Oh please that's pure sophistry.

    It's because people can go to Dell, configure a pretty sweet box that is all the computer they need for under 2K then go to Apple looking for the equivalent and see the MP strating as 2.5K that the whole MP is more expensive than Dell argument exists in the first place.
     
  24. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

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    #24
    EQUIVELENT! Regardless of how cheap it is, is it equivelent? Spec for spec equal?

    Talk about sophisty. This isn't a "I want a headless iMac" thread. This is about spec for spec comparisons.

    If you want to argue that a normal person could get a Dell cheaper than a Mac Pro. Well guess what, you are right! I am not going to argue that.

    I will tell you this, most people who would buy a Dell computer would be just as happy with an iMac and not care about it not being "headless." If you want to make the argument that one can configure a Dell cheaper than the Mac Pro when it isn't equivelent in the specs, well you win that argument. Remember though that the iMac is right to fill that $2000 you are talking about.

    And again if you want to have a headless Mac debate there are plenty of threads for you to revive and have your way.
     
  25. PNW macrumors regular

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    #25
    In a black and white world it may be limited to the Dell vs MP "Spec for spec equal?"

    In a world that allows for shades of gray it's about whether Mac's are more expensive than PC's. Given that we're talking about people moving from PC to Mac, you have to consider the PCs for which there is no Mac equivalent. The iMac tops out at a 2.3 gHz processor and you have to pay for a 24" monitor to be allowed to upgrade to a solid video card. That comes out to > $2000. So really I'm not even talking about a "headless iMac". I'm talking about a "Pro-Lite". And all I'm saying is that since it doesn't exist Macs wind up being significantly more expensive than PCs for people in that market.
     

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