Apple's Mac Pro business practices scare me

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by wankey, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. wankey macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2005
    I'm in the market for a desktop PC, and since I'm a hardened Mac user, I decided to look into the Mac pro (I use a macpro at work that runs ridiculously fast, so I'd like to have one for personal use)

    At $2899CDN, I get a quad core CPU at 2.66ghz, 3 gig ram, 640gb harddrive and an nVidia GT120. Doesn't come with a screen

    It seems a bit too much, so I decided to check up what PC users are paying for the same budget (~4000)

    At, you won't believe how behind the Mac Pro is:

    Core i7 2.93ghz
    12gbs of DDR3 ram
    Best Motherboard (it's got a featurelist longer than my thesis)
    nVidia GTX 480 1.5gb GDDR3
    Intel 40gb SSD (for OS installation)
    2x WD Caviar 2TB
    Antec P183 case (arguable as good as the Mac Pro's case)

    I also threw in some low noise high performance fans for the CPU (Xigmatek's massive 120mm fan for CPU is nearly silent) to match the Mac Pro's silent operation.

    The price in total came down to $2451CDN

    That's a nearly 500 premium over the best PC desktop money can buy. How can people stand by and let Apple screw you like this?

    In short, for 500CDN LESS, I can get a

    Core i7 2.93ghz > Xeon 2.66ghz
    12gb of DDR3 ram vastly > 4gb DDR3 ram
    nVidia GTX480 vastly > nvidia GT120
    4tb of HDD > 640gb of HDD
    40gb of SSD > *

    This must be a joke that Apple thinks it can charge nearly ~3000 on a computer that people can buy for half price. In fact, I may be even over stating it so I went a head a configured a similar desktop PC just to see what's going on with the Mac Pros:

    Core i5 2.66ghz ~ Xeon 2.66ghz
    4gb of ram > 3gb of ram (seriously Apple?)
    nVidia GT220 > nVidia GT120 (they no longer sell 120's)
    640gb WD HDD
    Same Antec Professional 185 (The most expensive PC Case money can buy)
    Corsair 750W

    Guess how much the price came down to. I was pretty shocked.


    That's right folks. Anyone who is seriously thinking of buying a Mac Pro is either too rich or too ignorant. There is no real difference between a 2.66ghz Xeon processor over a Core i5 2.66ghz. It's only Intel's way to extort more money over business owners who want "security over savings". Please name me a few cases where the retail version of the CPU is vastly inferior to the "server" version that it necessitates a near $800 premium for the same performance.

    I'm really shocked by the fact that Apple continues to screw people over in this area, charging a ridiculous $1800 premium for their desktop computers for absolutely no reason. There is no way you can realistically convince me that the OS or the case is worth nearly $2000.

    Considering that the Mac Pro is all about performance, it certainly fails to add anything in this department. Using an aging processor, with an obsolete graphics card, a pitiful amount of ram and literally a sad amount of storage.

    With their focus shifting to limited portable devices with crude input and usage modes, I fear that Apple may fall into the consumer market completely and forget its roots as a company that made great products for professionals and production designers, and not a company made for gimmicks and touch screens.

    Guess the only thing to look at now is the iMac.
  2. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    actually....I have been thinking about this since the past few months.
    By using (and liking) Mac OS, we really have no choice other than to buy Apple's ridiculously priced hardware and warranty. If I could only get myself to like a Windows would have been so much easier....
  3. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    hackintosh suggestion incoming :p (not from me, anyway)

    To OP, well, they've been pretty much charging the same price since its release. Apple just don't have the tendency to reduce the prices of their products - especially those in the professional/prosumer market.

    Also, pretty much everyone here knows what you've said - so you're not the only one to see this revelation (if you can call it that).

    It's bad, but usually "alright" when there's a fairly regular sub-yearly refresh of the devices. But obviously not alright when there's no refresh insight with the Mac Pro.

    It's not an ethical thing either. Nothing to do with ethics (an ethical matter would be whether or not to ignore the Mac Pro's giving off benzyne-based fumes). This is just a business practice. A poor one, but nothing we can do about it so we just gotta sit here and complain.
  4. wankey thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2005
    Yeah it's kinda sad. I love OS X, and I rarely use Windows anymore. It's good that a majority of people know what's going on. I'm new to this area so I might be a new thing for me.

    I really want a super powerful computer, one that I can extend with extra storage if I need or more ram, but these prices are laughable.

    I'm hoping Apple pulls some serious tricks out of its sleeves with the next Mac Pro release. Move it down to 2400. Make it Core i9 with 8 gb of ram and 4 tb of harddrive with a GTX480 to boot would make it a buy for me.
  5. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    In your last comparison, it seems silly to me. You compare the i5 2.66 to the Xeon 2.66 in the MP. These are not equal parts, with the former failing to support triple-channel memory or hyperthreading. Both of these things are important in the workstation environment.

    You are comparing workstation quality Apple parts that are due for a refresh any moment, to mid-range consumer oriented parts and concluding that the latter is a value proposition. How is this news?
  6. wankey thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2005
    You're going to tell your boss that for $2000 (I can buy 3 of my PCs btw for the same price of one) extra that "triple channel DDR" and hyper threading is worth it?

    Furthermore, there is little data to prove triple channel DDR is anymore more than a marketing gimmick and same goes for hyperthreading. Real world usage their performance is realistically the same. Unless you're pushing massive amounts of numbers and memory, in which case getting a PC is far better bang for the buck (if you're in the performance industry. My father works in this field and he laughs every time when I ask him to help me buy a mac)

    I think it's more silly to say that a $3000 computer barely out performs a $999 computer (also, the $999 rapes the $3000 in graphics performance, put in a CUDA program and your CPU comparison is moot)
  7. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    Mac Pro business ethics? Ranting about price is fine, but you are really off the mark on any discussion of ethics. Intel sets prices for the chips. Apple sets prices for the system. Who are you mad at again?

    Mac Pros are not designed to be the fastest things out there -- they are designed to be consistent and stable and much of the market it to professionals; not individuals, companies who buy many of them and will pay for consistency and stability for mission critical work.
  8. wankey thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2005
    Hence I changed the title to business practices (or maybe not, Macrumors title editing doesn't seem to work?). They are not designed to be the fastest things out there? LOL, I'm sorry but that is smack dab in the middle of the "Apple apologist" persona.
  9. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    It's not news that you can buy hardware at half the cost of what Apple charges. Laptops, phones, mp3 players, mini desktops, all-in-ones, and yes, workstations from Apple all cost more than comparable Windoze machines. This has been the case for 20+ years, and will continue to be the case for ever more.
  10. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Why didn't you configure an i7 with triple channel ECC? That would be a fair comparison, as Xeon for single CPU is a waste.
  11. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    If you think that OSX is worth nothing than you would be a fool not to buy the cheaper machine. Most of the people who spend $4000 on a computer do so for business (or are Level 30 Half-Orc Barbarians). If you are not planning to use this machine to make money then you definitely should consider another machine.

    What are you planning to do with your computer? How about a nice iMac or a $300 Dell with Windows 7 Ultimate Basic Jr. Home Edition?
  12. Horus macrumors regular


    Mar 5, 2009
    I don't understand you, first you were saying "I use a macpro at work that runs ridiculously fast, so I'd like to have one for personal use".

    Then you started to bitch that you need something faster. So whats the point of having something faster than something already ridiculously fast?

    Also, how do you think the Xeon CPU inside the Pro is "Aging". Talking about inconsistency, you know it is aging but, in your own words, ridiculously fast.

    "There is no real difference between a 2.66ghz Xeon processor over a Core i5 2.66ghz." LOL.
  13. wankey thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2005
    This is just apologetic. Buying hardware from Apple adds only a bit of premium (which is easily arguable from a design, manufactoring quality, and service point of view) I've bought iPods, iPhones and Macbook pros and easily can defend why I bought them.

    The iPhone is competitively priced. MP3 players a competitively priced (iTouch is a great app platform and gaming machine). The Mac mini is in a market of its own with its own target market (due to its incredibly unique form factor)

    The iMacs, Macbooks and Macbook pros have their industrial design merit and engineering excellence (all three have unibody designs) to merit a small premium (configuring similar laptops cost pretty close)

    And now we have the Mac Pro. A $3000 computer that's really worth $900. A computer that hasn't been updated since ______ (help me out here)

    The least Apple can do is reduce the price of it but no, they keep it incredibly high just to screw over buyers so need a desktop powerhouse.

    You should open your eyes and understand what's actually being discussed here rather than blanket statements that are actually pretty false. Apple products don't cost double or triple on purpose. You're actually spreading bad info.
  14. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Wow, ok.. First off you started off talking about buying a Mac Pro for personal use, now you're talking about making a recommendation for your boss. Actually you seem to be compiling a whole bunch of popular debates into a post against Apple for some reason.

    First, yes.. For applications that people tend to use MP's for, both triple channel memory and hyperthreading will easily pay for themselves. Anything that is CPU intensive will benefit greatly from both of these features.

    Second, it's silly to consider a single Xeon CPU configuration. If you do this you're paying a $ penalty for no benefit. People that need a lot of CPU cores buy Xeons.

    Third, comparing a consumer oriented i5 to a workstation oriented Xeon is not apples to apples. Don't need hyperthreading, triple channel memory, ECC, a whole lot of CPU cores, etc, etc... then you do not need a Mac Pro. It's not designed for you. MPs aren't a value proposition in a single user, home environment. They are a value proposition to businesses that need to do a lot of heavy lifting. In that environment they extra performance will pay for itself quickly. Trying to strip a MP down to something you could order from Dell for $800 isn't going to yield value.

    The only dig on Apple here is the fact that the product line could use a refresh and a lot of folks think it's coming soon. Apple isn't a company that tosses a new CPU into the lineup every time it's avail from Intel. They never have operated in that manner.

    So in summary, don't need a MP at home + invalid comparison between i5 and Xeon + the fact that Apple is due for a refresh = not a good value. Again, no surprise here.

    What any of this has to do with Apple's ethics is beyond me. What is says about your ethics if you try to sell your boss on a home-built hackintosh vs. a Mac Pro for his critical business needs... might say something about yours.
  15. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Don't say "it's $900". Make the proper comparison, as I suggested previously. It will certainly still be a lot cheaper and there will be no serious rebuttal.
  16. Robellyn macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2010
    Edmonton CA
    Actually, I went ahead several months ago and replaced my MacPro (old G5 2GHz Dualcore) with an i7-920 based Windows 7 machine. (reasons: I wanted more 'modern' hardware than available in the "new" Mac-Pro's, and a slight disillusionment with a perceived direction in Apples hardware priorities).

    Going back to windows after 10 years of Mac-happiness WAS a little hard: Windows 7 is a fine operating system, but do keep in mind Windows machines require some maintenance to keep them running happily. For the first month I was frustrated and unhappy with the new machine, but as I began to understand the quirks of Windows, I became quite satisfied with it's performance and abilities. I even, almost, prefer Windows 7 to MacOSX now (but I still have my MacBook Pro with Snow Leopard: I'm not giving up on Apple completely!)

    However, I did not go with the lowest priced machine I could find (in fact, after replacing some of my Mac software with Windows versions, the price came to about the same as the Mac would have). Although I have no proof either way, I would imagine that the same axiom applies to both Apples and Windows-based machines: you get what you pay for.
  17. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    You know it's become pretty comical to visit the Mac Pro forum on here because I think every day one new thread gets started slagging the Mac Pro off for one reason or another!! You don't know weather to laugh at this forum or yawn??

    Oh and FYI the Core i5 and i7 ARE NOT Xeon's!!!!!!!!!!
  18. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Agreed about the i5 but why should you use Xeon for a single-CPU machine instead of i7?
  19. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    *warning: off-topic rant about warranties*

    Yeah, that warranty is **** anyway. Most hard drives and RAM come with > 1 year (most of the time > 3 years)... Thermaltake PSUs have a FIVE YEAR. oh, did I mention this is at no additional cost?

    I hate when people all like "oh, homebuilding sux! you get service and support with apple!"

    By not building your own and relying on Apple's Warranty, you're actually getting a worse deal.

    I bought a WD HD 2.5 years ago and it recently died. Most (All?) WD hard drives come with a 3 year warranty at no extra charge. So I went onto their website, entered in the serial, paid $5 for a UPS shipping label, shoved the HD in a box and dropped it off at the UPS store. It took 15 minutes (10 minutes of that was driving to a UPS drop-off round trip), in 3 days I had a new hard drive, and I got to keep my box AT HOME while I was waiting.

    If Apple wanted to impress me, they'd do what Dell does and offer in-home tech support. Instead you have to lug your computer to the Applestore, wait in line (or schedule an appointment), have them tell you what you already know, PRAY they have the part at the store location, and/or wait for the part to come in (while your comp sits in their store-room)... Unless you bought it online, in which case you have to MAIL YOUR WHOLE BOX TO APPLE (full disclosure: last time I had to do this was 2 years ago, so my info may be dated) and wait weeks to get it done.

    Last time I mailed my comp to Apple (powermac G5's Motherboard literally blew a cap). it took 3 months and they ended up sending me a totally different machine.

    TL;DR: homebuilding is better, you get better parts, longer warranties, and at half the price. Apple fanboys who have never built a PC before have no idea what they're talking about.


    ^ Also, this.
  20. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    You wouldn't, that's just Apple's attempt to shut the people up who want a small single CPU Mac Pro tower...
    It's the same as the Skull Trail platform Intel developed, a gaming system based around 2 Xeon's!! Total waste of time and money. IMO it's ALWAY'S better to just get the low end dual CPU Mac Pro system then upgrade the processors later.
    Yes the iMac Core i7 beats it but you cannot change the iMac processor.
  21. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    This thread is singing the same old tune in other past threads.

    I think it'll save on finger-karma and be more entertaining if you guys can argue this by simply posting links to specific posts in older threads that have already said pretty much what you want to say.
  22. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    I'm now really tempted to make the thread: "ITT: We complain about the Mac Pro using only links to other posts", but I'm scared of what the mods would do to me. :)
  23. wankey thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2005
    Apple could also be a little less cheap about harddrive and ram. Seriously, 3gb of ram on their performance machines?

    Mac Pro should come with 8 gig standard.
  24. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    It is really a shame that Apple ignores the home pro-sumer that doesn't want an all-in-one.
  25. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    Not enough of them to make it worth the trouble. We've been over this. Most people who want a desktop love the attractive and space-saving iMac. They don't care that it isn't upgradeable, they have no idea how to do that anyway. For the people who do want a TOWER OF POWER are for the most part either: A) Gamers and tinkerers who would never buy a Mac anyway, and B) People who are using them to make a living and need some serious desktop iron and are fine with paying up for a dual-socket box.

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