After 3 years finally decided against a Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Gonk42, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. Gonk42 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    near Cambridge
    #1
    I'm approaching the end of four years as a mature student and have been almost buying a Mac Pro (on student discount) all that time but having waited for Nehalem the 09 Mac Pro prices have finally done for me.

    The 06 Mac Pro was well priced but "only 4 cores" so I waited for 08 and this had eight cores but RAM was very expensive and so I waited and then Nehalem was almost out and then when it came it was a major disappointment, very expensive and not enough RAM slots.

    So I've finally ordered a Dell Precision T3500, it may lack the style of the Mac but it is a lot cheaper (for a one processor 4 core system) and has many more options (I'm getting a 3.2GHz processor and 12GB or RAM and an FX3800 Quadro). (To compare prices on a 2.93GHz system with a basic graphics card and 6GB of RAM from Crucial and 3 years support etc the Mac Pro is £2,614 full price, £2,083 with student discount but the Dell T3500 is only £1400.)

    So I'm not buying a Mac Pro for the same reason I've never taken up skiing - I'm afraid that I'll enjoy it too much and it is just too expensive a habit to acquire. It is a shame that I've already bought a couple of books on Cocoa programming!

    Perhaps in a couple of years I'll buy a Mac mini or a mac book or if I continue to get an education discount as a teacher I may succumb in five years time.
     
  2. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #2
    Whatever floats your boat.

    The Mac Pro is expensive, but you know- Apple's premium.

    But do you really need 8 cores if you're a teacher (Assuming you teach at K-12)
     
  3. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #3

    The question is why do you need a Mac Pro?

    I bought a Mac Pro but decided to sell it a year later and now I'm always on my MBP. It works well, powerful enough for me. It's the only computer I have.

    Not everybody needs a Mac Pro.
     
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #4
    What did you need a MP for anyway? Sounds like an iMac or even a MBP as a desktop could have been used. Heck, maybe even a MacMini.

    I do not get the point of your post but I hope you enjoy your machine, whatever you do on it.

    Wanna sell the programming books?
     
  5. Gonk42 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    near Cambridge
    #5
    I decided I didn't need 8 cores in the end and so went for a single processor 4 core system. Actually Apple's (student) prices are comparable to Dell for the 8 core system (and both are about £500 more than putting it together in a DIY build).

    I'm not a teacher yet (I'm doing a PhD in computer science) and hope to teach at the university level and continue to do research.

    To be a bit fairer on Apple, their 4 core systems still have the same power supplies etc as the 8 core system whilst the Dell only has a 530W power supply. This limits the graphics options a bit.

    The 4 core/ 8 core debate is interesting. A single W3570 3.2GHz with 12GB of RAM costs about the same as two 5520 2.26GHz chips with 24GB of (slower) RAM. For most tasks the first system is about root 2 times as fast as the second but for batch jobs or very well multi-threaded tasks the second is root 2 times as fast as the first.

    I decided that most of my usage will be interactive and use less than four cores but from time to time I do run big batch jobs that would use 8 cores quite happily.
     
  6. Gonk42 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    near Cambridge
    #6
    I need a workstation to run things like automated theorem provers which can take a long time (like two weeks on my old 2GHz two core system). Also programming and other tasks. Also I am interested in things like CUDA and photoshop etc as well.

    I'll hang onto the programming books - I'm a computer scientist so I have a general interest and I also do have a Mac Book (though officially it is my daughter's).

    The point of my post was really a sort of signing off as I've been hanging around these forums for a while.
     
  7. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #7
    skiing isnt expensive if you live near a resort

    i get 2 mountain season passes back home for 200 bucks (copper and winter park)

    nice when have own gear though
     
  8. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #8
    You have to remember, you get what you pay for. You paid for a Dell and that is what you got. Some people are happy driving a VW instead of a Cadillac. :)
     
  9. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #9
    who says pc's are bad?:rolleyes:
     
  10. RandomKamikaze macrumors 6502a

    RandomKamikaze

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    PC's aren't bad in the right hands. And after all....a Mac is a PC
     
  11. fabriciom macrumors 6502

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    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Madrid, España
    #11
    If you are doing research for a university then get them to pay for it.
     
  12. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #12
    A Mac user... :)
     
  13. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #13
    Gongratz! The Dell Precision T3500 is a great machine!

    I'm sure you'll enjoy it for years to come! You might even be able to install OS X on it and then you won't be missing a thing!
     
  14. G4DP macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #14
    Don't know what planet your on, but give us a VW any day over a Caddy.

    Ram wasn't expensive for the 08 models, 8GB for £200 when they first came out and got cheaper by the month.
     
  15. MacAndy74 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #15
    Enjoy your Dell and Vista. :D Have fun with that.
     
  16. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #16
    That wasn't true until the Nehalem Mac Pro was released. Mac Pros have traditionally been significantly cheaper on release than equally specced Dells. A year ago, one could argue that the Apple Tax was largely a thing of the past, new Macs were nearly always cheaper than their Windows counterparts. 2009 ended that and it ended it with a kick in the crotch.
     
  17. sigmadog macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    near Spokane, WA
    #17

    As long as you don't count the medical bills.
     
  18. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #18
    Well, for Macbooks/iMacs they are expensive.

    The Mac Pro's on the other hand, aren't that much more expensive than Windows.
    Yes, I agree with you in that 2009's Mac Pro changed it.
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #19
    :rolleyes: :(

    The '08 Mac Pro was definitely a bargain. But as you say, that ended with the '09 MP's. Very disappointing.
     
  20. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #20
    Probably some arseheads telling the entire Apple Desktop Department they have to start coming up with the same profit-per-unit on the MacPro that they do with the iMac.
     
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #21
    Dunno. :confused: Very possible though, as the new design and quantity parts costs didn't increase enough to cause the current pricing scheme. :(
     
  22. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #22
    VW is engineered superior to american cars. its more economic (like apple computers advertise to be), its more ecologic (like apple computers claim to be) and some VW Golfs last 2,5 million miles (like people claim apple computers have a good lifespan). bad comparison, id say.
    and on the side note, i friggin hate VW's and most of german cars in general. :D
    and i dont like cadillacs either.
    if you ask me, VW's today are overdesigned and look outdated in 2 years, kitch perhaps, caddies rely on their "tradition" and look clunky and crate-like.
    hope i didnt offend anybody, you can drive whatever you like, thats why they make so many cars, different taste different car.
    some people are happy driving a wheel wagon instead of an aircraft.
    nah, just kidding
     
  23. Gonk42 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    near Cambridge
    #23
    With the earlier Mac Pros Apple made a big thing about them being cheaper than Dell. My speculation is that they hoped, given the switch to Intel, that they could expand into the traditional workstation market i.e. get a lot of Dell customers for CAD as well as their traditional market of photoshop and video editing. But a very limited choice of quadro graphics cards (one very expensive model) meant such CAD users didn't switch so Apple has given up on the plan and has returned to their traditional market and traditionally large margins.

    If the above is correct, Mac Pros will remain expensive.

    Yes, I agree, if you're lucky enough to live in Colorado then skiing probably isn't expensive (I had a great holiday there last summer and it was starting to snow in August!)
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #24
    Maybe, but I doubt Apple over-estimated the sales volume on the previous models. If they had, they would have posted losses for those machines each quarter. IIRC, this didn't happen. So what ever the quantities sold, a profit was made.

    Granted, given the current economic situation, the sales quanitity would be expected to drop somewhat. Then there's the currency exchange rates, increased shipping costs, and labor costs have been on the rise in China. But I'd need to see the math that justifies that much of an increase.

    Then look at the other vendor's pricing. Their systems are made in the same countries, etc., so they're in the same situation as Apple as far as per unit costs. So until I see the math proving otherwise, it still comes down to an increase in margins, as I can't think of anything else that's realistic.
     
  25. filmweaver macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    #25
    I'll stick to my Harley Davidson!
     

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