$4000 for A Hex Core?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by slughead, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. slughead, Oct 23, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013

    slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    I just read a thread about someone who built a $4000 PC with similar specs to the nMP... I thought I'd give it a shot. After totaling it all together, perhaps I should've compared it to the Quad core?

    Mobo: ASUS P9X79-E WS [3 Year Warranty] = $500
    - Dual Intel Gigabit NIC
    - 6 x SATA III
    - 2 x eSATA III
    - 4 x SATA II
    - USB 3.0 - 4 ports
    - USB 2.0 - 10 ports
    - Firewire
    - 8 RAM slots - w/ or w/o ECC (up to 64GB)
    - 7 PCIe 3.0 slots - Holy Moley!
    - ASUS Spec page
    CPU: Xeon E5-1650 V2 (3.5GHz, 6 cores) = $583
    RAM: Crucial 4GB 1866 ECC ($83) x 4 [Lifetime Warranty] = $332
    Hard Drive: 2 x Samsung 840 Pro 128GB ($133) in RAID 0 [5 year Warranty] = $266
    GPU: XFX 7970 3GB ($309) x 2 [Lifetime Warranty] = $620
    Case: Cooler Master case [2 year Warranty]- $200
    - 5 x 3.5"
    - 6 x 5.25" bays
    - USB 3
    - Firewire
    - eSATA
    - 9 Expansion Slots
    PSU: Corsair HX 850 Watt [7 year warranty] = $160

    TOTAL: $2,661

    - More RAM Slots (though has the same 64GB limit as the nMP)
    - More expandability (Tons of SATA/USB/FW and more PCIe throughput)
    - Standard PCIe slots
    - Dual 7970 > Dual W600 (If not, buy a 3rd for $310 more...)
    - Internal storage
    - Room for Optical
    - Slower HD setup (Actually it's almost identical to the [almost certainly fudged] numbers Apple put up, but if you just need to beat the nMP, adding a 3rd SSD for $133 will probably put it over the top, for a total of 384GB)
    - Edit: Apparently SSD RAID-0 over SATA 3 is incredibly scalable, even on random read/write and IOPS. I guess SSD over PCIe is an overpriced gimmick (at least, for now).
    - Edit2: Here are some benchmarks showing that 3 x SATA 3 SSDs in RAID 0 are faster than Apple's PCIe (1.2GBps)​
    - Repairs are inexpensive and easy--replace the fans, hard drives, and other components with standard parts
    - Easily and inexpensively upgradable internal components
    - Much Longer Warranty on all components (2 years for case, 5 years or more for everything else)

    - No Thunderbolt (though with MORE extra PCIe throughput than all 6 nMP TB2 ports combined, who needs it)
    - Does not use the Latest Processor
    - Not a Mac, obviously
  2. jetjaguar macrumors 68030


    Apr 6, 2009
    well wasn't the 2010-2012 hex core 3699? .. seems right in line i guess
  3. drmyfore macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2013
    Hi, I'm the man who have a WS with 128G and AMD W7000 CF.

    Emm. I must to tell you that your MB does not support ECC memory or Registered ECC.
  4. calpolygraduate macrumors regular


    Jan 16, 2008
    Your paying for the warranty and sweet case. I'm getting one!
  5. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    Not bad, but I don't think the argument has ever been about cost of building vs. buying. The DIYers have no problem tinkering with a parts-list and build. But I would say the majority don't want to deal with that, especially if it's targeted for a business where they'd prefer not to troubleshoot potential problems on their own.

    I thought that they might offer a hex-core for $3000, but if you compare it to competitors, the pricing is competitive. So then it ends up being a choice of whether you're comfortable giving up internal expansion in favor of thunderbolt, and being limited on gpu choices.
  6. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    Yes it does. Read the ASUS specs page.


    The warranty on each part is as long or longer than Applecare (1 year).
  7. drmyfore, Oct 23, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013

    drmyfore macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2013
    Oh, yeah, you are right, it can only support ECC Un-buffered Memory but not Registerd Memory, that is why it cannot install large memory.

    As we all know, RECC is different from UECC.

    By the way, I think my MB(SuperMicro X9SRA) is more stable than ASUS:cool: AND cheap (only $290 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182336) and support CF and REG ECC memory.

    Of course, 7 PCIe slots are very powerful!
  8. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    Yes, and doesn't the hexacore nMP include more RAM than the 2010/2012 one at the base price?
  9. jetjaguar macrumors 68030


    Apr 6, 2009
    yes and ssd over a standard hdd and dual gpus
  10. drmyfore macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2013
    In fact, in my experience, although SuperMicro is professional-grade provider, always have shoddy workmanship. at the back of PCB, you can find many rough welds which can cut my hands.
    ASUS as a consumer products and have exquisite workmanship, but always have some small bugs.

    Even so, I love both of them.
  11. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    With Apple being frustrating in their pricing? Sure. The W3680 dropped to < $600 in June 2011 and it took another year to pass those savings on to customers, where they then increased the price of their upgrade of a $300 to $600 CPU from $400 to $500.

    Sure, but 2010 Mac Pros were born in an era of $25 per GB RAM, now it is under $10.
  12. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    And those too. I was pleasantly surprised at the price of the nMP. It certainly could have been a lot more.
  13. Pompiliu macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2012
    Deja vu.

    Every time apple releases a Mac Pro (or even an iMac), some dude starts a thread like this.
  14. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    You're probably right, ASUS usually makes mobos for gaming, they have a few "WS" models for other stuff. It just had the features I was looking for.

    Tek Syndicate seems to give ASUS WS good marks for stability, I haven't seen any real data though.


    Every time Apple releases a new Mac Pro, people launch comparisons saying it's a great deal for the money compared to PC. Now that we're using the same processors, same GPUs, same connectivity, same peripherals, hardware comparisons can be made easily.

    You can make up a value for how much Mac OS X is worth to you, and nobody can say you're wrong. Clearly I paid the Apple tax when I bought my current rig in 2011 when it was woefully outdated so I thought it was worth it. That does not, however, speak to the value of the hardware itself, not including the $0.10 EFI chip and firmware that turns a PC motherboard into a Mac.
  15. drmyfore macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2013
    I like ASUS's detail, which offer me some more detailed settings and useful tools.

    Well, give you a tip to distinguish SuperMicro' MB is for WS or for Server.
    The WS MB of SuperMicro also have integrated Audio and not have IPMI module.
    The Server MB of SuperMicro don't have Audio and some of them have IPMI Module and management LAN port.
  16. portishead macrumors 65816

    Apr 4, 2007
    los angeles
    It's assembled in the USA, it's going to cost more. You're always going to pay Apple Tax with any Apple product. It's always going to be cheaper to build your own PC.

    How have people not figured this out yet?
  17. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    I really couldn't care less that it's made in the USA (I have no more love for the people in that factory than I do for the nice workers in China).

    Also, I don't dispute that some people may find it worth it to pay more just to be able to run Mac OS X, I was just posting this partially in response to people saying the nMP is a good deal based on its price/performance. Clearly you can build a more powerful PC today for much less than $4,000.

    Moreover, this was also posted because I was personally interested in what the PC market looks like nowadays--what hardware tech is out there and at what prices--so I looked it up. I thought others may be interested in what I'd found, as we're all in the "workstation" camp.


    I looked up the warranties for all the components up there (apart from the CPU). Lifetime warranties on a bunch of them!
  18. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Your SATA SSDs in RAID 0 logic is flawed. If you're going to do as straight a comparison as possible, you need to add in a 256GB OCZ RevoDrive (because that's PCIe, not SATA).

    You also forgot to add Thunderbolt 2.

    Please revise your price to make the specs more identical.

    And then when you've done that, we'll compare how loud yours is to the new Mac Pro. And compare the size, and the weight of it.

    I'm just making the point that weight, size and audibility are all factors of the hardware as well, not just the CPU, RAM & GPU. If you want something that'll run in the background without disturbing you, doesn't require maintenance or tinkering, and is extremely portable, you'll understand why you'll pay the Apple premium.
  19. Redneck1089 macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2004
    It's pretty safe to say that the Apple tax on their "professional" desktop is higher than ever, and then there's the added cost of overpriced Thunderbolt peripherals to add on as well.

    The computer is a POS in my opinion. I hope it flops.
  20. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    That's true. The nMP uses PCIe SSD. However, the Read/Write throughput benchmarks of these two SSD in RAID 0 are nearly identical--likely faster even, if you add a 3rd SSD. Random read/write and latency may be slower, but that I'm not sure what tasks that matters with.

    First off, there's no way to add TB2 currently. I put that in the "disadvantage" section, if you'll notice. However, I fail to see it as a disadvantage.

    Why do you need Thunderbolt 2 when you have PCIe? PCIe is vastly superior. This has 4 PCIe slots which are each 8 times faster than TB2, and another 3 slots which are 4 times faster. They are also each compatible with thousands more products which are often more powerful than are possible with the 2GBps limitations of TB2.

    The total Thundebolt throughput of the nMP is 6GBps because each controller only has 2 thunderbolt lanes, and there are only 3 controllers. A single PCIe 3.0 8x slot has even more bandwidth than all of those combined. This has 7 slots that are either 16 or 8x.

    Of course, these slots share 40 lanes between the whole, but it still has more bandwidth, even when you count the nMP's dual GPU.

    We don't know how loud the nMP is. Apple conveniently only published how loud it is at idle--disingenuous if you ask me. My gaming PC is nearly silent while it's idle. You can look up the individual decibels of the fans in this machine. I imagine the PC will likely still be louder, but you're wrong to say we know how loud.

    Say I add a hard drive and a media card.. What about another sound card?

    What if 256GB (which is laughable, by the way) doesn't do it for me?

    So now you've got the new Mac Pro, plus a TB HD array, plus a USB sound board, and a PCIe Chassis (with my media card). What's the footprint on all those things?

    This is a "Pro" machine after all. This box is likely to be able to house most of what the average pro might need--particularly when it comes to storage.

    Oh, and how loud are the fans in your array? Your PCIe chassis? The case has 200mm+ fans which are much quieter than the small whiz-bangs in these little breakout boxes.

    Why do I want my desktop to be portable? How portable is it going to be with my TB array and 2-3 other TB/USB attached peripherals there that would've been housed inside my machine.
  21. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    That's true, and if you spend the same amount of money on 60 256GB 7200RPM HDDs running in a RAID config, you'll probably be getting even quicker throughput. My issue is that the specs should be as identical as you can make them. You can buy PCIe SSDs, which the MP uses, so use them in your comparison. Similarly, if you could buy Thunderbolt 2 cards, you'd put them in the comparison too.
  22. slughead, Oct 23, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013

    slughead thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    All things require some tinkering, but you're right: as a whole, dealing with Windows requires more tinkering to get it to work right.

    That's more having to do with the OS than anything else, which I more than acknowledge several times in this thread (including the OP, which lists the lack of ability to run OS X as a disadvantage).

    I'm not even looking into the possibility of this becoming a hackintosh as that sounds like the biggest pain in the *** that would be overwhelmingly out of the question for most people. This mobo is also likely not among the list of accepted mobos that seem to work well with hacked OS X (I haven't looked it up, but I hear it's a short list).


    If you want to compare TB2 and PCIe, you can look at several threads discussing this. TB2 is a huge step back from PCIe, it's a turkey and its peripherals are expensive, wasteful, overpriced, slower, and/or overly noisy compared to PCIe solutions. I'm not downgrading this system (and yes, TB2 is a downgrade) to try and jerry-rig a solution just to fit your rather arbitrary and non-sensical requirements. Also, let me reiterate: There are no TB2 PCIe cards as of yet (and due to lack of demand because of TB2's inferiority to PCIe, I suspect there may never be)

    Don't believe me? Find one thing TB2 can do that PCIe and a couple display ports on a GPU can't do--one piece of desirable hardware that doesn't have a superior and cheaper alternative. I can find 100+ products in an hour for PCIe that can't run over TB2 or will do so extremely crippled by a PCIe chassis.

    As far as PCIe SSD: IMO it's a waste of money compared to SSD RAID over SATA III. The benchmarks show this. If I had a laptop I would be THRILLED to have PCIe SSD, but I have the room for 3 cubic freaking inches of hard drives, so I don't think it's a bad thing to use them. :D

    I also chose not to use workstation cards--again, little if any advantage in this context. Dual 7970 perform amazingly with OpenCL. Three would likely do even better than a W9000 if Apple's software pans out.
  23. VoR, Oct 23, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013

    VoR macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2008
    If I was me, I'd stick with consumer equipment (which realistically is top-bin parts with a modest premium if you're not buying pre-built). If I'm using a desktop, I don't need half a terabyte of ram, run on a hypervisor or have an application requiring anti-gimped workstation gfx drivers.
    Not sure how that's relevant though :)
  24. Larry-K macrumors 68000

    Jun 28, 2011
    For a Hex with 256GB of storage? No, I don't think it could have been, this is a pretty minimal configuration.

    I think Apple hasn't released the high-end price yet, because that's all everyone would be talking about.
  25. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    How do you figure? Go price out a comparable workstation at any competitor or custom builder. Unless you're buying parts and building it yourself, the price is certainly reasonable. There are questions/concerns about the new Mac Pro, but the pricing really isn't one of them.

    Well they've never really "released" the high end mac pro price. It's always been a built to order that you have to price out yourself.

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