Are Mac Pro's slowly dying?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ddavid, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. ddavid macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2008
    I've been a Apple Computer user for many years and have owned just about every pro mac available. I have always paid a premium for this but wrote it off to better design, better software, better build quality, etc. I have been able to justify the added expense because I feel that I have been more productive and creative while using Macs. Lately, I am starting to question the high price of macs and their continued domination of the creative segment.

    Today, if you purchase a mac computer of any flavor, you'll pay almost double what you would pay for a Windows machine. Sure, you get a more stable OS but now that you are running Intel hardware it's easier to see where you are paying higher prices. $600 for RAM that you can purchase for $100! Last years video card for premium prices!! $900 for a display that Dell sells for $550!? The term "gouging" comes to mind and frankly, I'm getting sick of it!

    With the introduction of Intel macs we have had the ability to run Windows on our machines without difficulty. We have been able to use Windows applications alongside our OS X stuff for those programs that aren't available for Mac. Boot Camp allows us to run Windows, but how long before someone writes a simple program to allow OS X to run on regular Intel boxes? We could have our beloved OS X without all the over-priced, last-seasons-technology that Apple offers. Hell, we can do our own troubleshooting since Apple doesn't acknowledge conflict issues anyway, they simply deny, deny, deny, fix, making the customer feel like the problems are imagined. But I digress... Apple can make iPhones and iPods and software (remember BeOS?) and leave the hardware to others.

    Don't get me wrong, I love using Macs. I am simply getting tired of being gouged and it has become even more apparent now that we are using the same hardware as Windows users. Apple needs to innovate or reduce their hardware costs to within 25% of Windows hardware. They are in danger of becoming a boutique company like Bang & Olufsen, making nothing more than cleverly designed appliances. I love well designed ergonomic devices but I don't want to pay double for last years technology.


    I posted this in another thread but I think it got buried...
  2. ExTinCion macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2007
    Ye it is ridiculous hw high the prices are for the processors and Ram from mac...
  3. WildPalms macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2006
    Honolulu, HI
    I completely disagree with your view on pricing. This has been discussed ad nauseum in other threads so I dont expect this thread will go very far. Its pointless debating this with some people. If you arent happy paying the price for your Apple hardware, you have other choices and I wonder if you wouldnt surprise yourself trying to spec up the same hardware base and getting a more expensive price point with off the shelf components.

    But hey, rant away.. it wont change anything and Apple wont change their prices just to suit you.
  4. FJ218700 macrumors 68000


    Mar 8, 2007
    Blue Dot, Red State
    and yet Apple marketshare and AAPL market value is steadily climbing.

    Thus, don't count on price reductions, the current ones seem to be agreeable with most consumers.
  5. djejrejk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 3, 2007
    Yes, you pay a premium for mac pros today, and yes the techology is old. I priced Macbook Pro's and I found that most PC laptops were within 100$ of the MBP, some were actually more expensive, so most macs are not any more expensive than a similarly eqipped pc. I'm sure that the Mac Pro will recieve a very substantial update either at Mac World or shortly after. Wait for it, just don't hold your breath.

    As for Apple loosing the creative market, I can't see that happening any time soon. Who will they turn to? Dell & Microsoft? I doubt it.
  6. Halsey12 macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2006
    I will always gladly pay more for better design. I'd never buy an ugly car even if it was cheaper, cause shucks I gotta sit with that thing everyday for 5 years, same as a pooter.
  7. oban14 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2008
    Just wait for the update - you'll be able to buy the current generation mac pro at probably a 30-40% discount or a new one for the same price as the current models are selling for.
  8. Airforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Hell, I'm completely opposite. My current daily driver is ugly as hell (2007 Honda Fit), but it has great gas mileage and comfort.

    The only reason I got a Macbook was because the hardware offered for the price with the DoD discount was unbeatable at the time :D Screw the way it looks. Whose looking at you while you surf at home?

    Screw the aesthetics. Make the things cheaper :cool:
  9. ddavid thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2008
    I suppose it's easier to suggest that I look at other choices, but that is my point. All it takes is someone to write a "Boot Camp type application" that will allow OS X to run on standard PC's and Apple has a problem.

    I'm buying macs to get work done, not to impress you or for the bling. I have been happy but I am tired of paying a huge premium for their stuff. What hubris of Apple to charge $600 for RAM that costs $100!

    Since this is my first couple of posts I wasn't aware that this was discussed "ad nauseum." Perhaps there is a reason this topic keeps coming up.
  10. Photomax macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2007
    I can understand your frustration to a point but some of your points are full of holes...

    * Apple is still the main computer company that makes the boxes AND the OS they come with.
    * Apple computers still have one of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the industry.
    * If you compare most of the specs Macs are not double the cost of PC's. Order a large HP laptop with all the goodies and do the math.
    * If you compare all the hardware and look at some of the quality components, architecture, hard drives, connections, fans, cases, design, elegance, OS X, the added software, figure in the resale value and then compare it all against a Dell running Vista etc, then IMHO there is no comparison.
    * Apple has not ushered in this new era with insane market gains, innovative awards, revolutionary products, media buzz, and zooming stock value by "becoming a boutique company..."

    A lot of people focus on system A vs system B and when is the next thing coming out? Sure having the absolute latest and sexiest thing is cool but you pay for that. If you are going to do creative work with computers for say 20 years you will average owning a certain number of machines in that period. Its a long term thing and the smart ones pay attention to that fact. During that ownership period you will use machines that are older than the latest 'n greatest but newer than machines owned by others. Over that period you are still getting your work done without falling behind. If you don't buy the most expensive box at the highest price point all the time but DO make your purchases wisely then on average you will do very well, have the computing power you need AND save enough money to buy something other than computers. I know designers and photographers who produce simply amazing work on "old" machines that would make most of the "I simply can't wait for the next system another second" crowd gag in horror...
  11. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    You can already run OSX on PCs, maybe you meant an easier way to do it. Either way it isn't an option for a business, so Apple will continue to sell their solutions.

    The reason the topic comes up is because it is possible to look at Apples pricing from different angles.

    I'll sum it up as I originally wrote far too much, sorry if it sounds abrupt.

    You can buy memory, storage and displays elsewhere. Apple aren't the only one to overcharge on such things. Yes Dell displays are cheaper than most everyone else, but Dell also sell in huge quantities and can afford to do such things.

    With the Mac Pro Apple offered the cheapest 2.66GHz quad, 3GHz quad and 3GHz octo Intel workstations. My pricing is based on the big vendors, but you probably wouldn't find much lower prices from a small shop either.

    Workstations all pretty much held their price from June 2006 to December 2007, Apple were no different than IBM, HP or Dell etc. Some introduced newer workstation graphics cards, and there was the addition of dual quad core but other than that nothing really changed.

    That all said there are many downfalls to Apple's pro hardware, most centering around the choice of components, but they do sell very powerful, decently priced, solutions for running pro OSX based software. Which I imagine is one of their key ideals. I guess you have to evaluate how much value OSX has to you.
  12. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    I read on here somewhere the other day that in the Mac OS license agreement, it says that you must run the OS on an Apple labeled computer. My guess is that Apple won't allow someone to legally run it on a non-Apple machine and that a Windows version of Boot Camp won't be legally allowed to run a Mac OS unless they change the license agreement.
  13. Cloudane macrumors 68000


    Aug 6, 2007
    Sweet Apple Acres
    Correct. You can run OS X on bog standard PC hardware (if you have exactly the right hardware, mind you) but it's technically illegal and updates can and will break it.

    I did actually look at the pricing, and at least with the iMac it's not far off the same PC hardware - built from the components, no less - if you consider the fact that it uses high end laptop hardware to cram everything into that nice neat design and laptop hardware is more expensive at the best of times let alone the higher end.

    It ought to be the same with the Pro, considering it uses Xeons rather than consumer desktop chips etc. It does desperately need an update though.

    I do however agree about their RAM prices. Rip-off is the word.
  14. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Not. Please price out a 4-core or 8-core Xeon workstation

    Sure. Please price out what HP or Dell or IBM charge for RAM and hard drives. Particularly for their servers.
    Its well known that buying third party upgrades is much less expensive than buying from the computer manufacturer
  15. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    Amen. Give me good performance at a low price over looks. Looks fade. Comfort doesn't.

    The Mac Pro might be the sole exception. For the other 4 computers Apple sells, what he said holds.
  16. TechHistorian macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Ivory Tower
    Wrong. Dell's new XPS all-in-one is actually more expensive than a similarly-equipped iMac -- and the low-end Dell XPS system doesn't even offer a separate graphics card (unlike the iMac).
  17. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    I'm sure you could find exceptions if you looked hard enough. But you could easily buy a PC matching an iMac's stats (and with your choice of screen size!) for far less than the price of an iMac. So no, I'm not wrong. You don't need to spend an iMac's tag to get an iMac's specs unless you choose to. If you choose to spend more on an XPS all-in-one, that's up to you, same as if you choose to spend more for an iMac.
  18. timestamp macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2007
    Not to mention the desktop parts will destroy the iMac in performance.
  19. ColesJP macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2008
    I really dont get why there is this endless bickering about macs being over-priced. Apple is a premium brand and what they offer is a complete package. If you dont like it as a package fine, go with another company. Why do people moan about wanting all the benefits but not the issues that come with them?

    Going back to the car metaphor, its like wanting Lamborghini performance without paying for the kudos, well you can, buy a kit car and save loads. Then you can spend your life telling all your friends that your car is technically better than the Lambo coz you made sure it has more BHP or torque.

    If you guys want high performance machines then fine, go buy the best latest graphics card and new chips as they come out, Im sure that will make you feel better for about a month until the companies use your money to release yet another greater, faster, better one for you to covert.

    If you can afford it then seriously dont complain, because there are many people in this world who cant afford to buy a computer let alone a premium brand one.
  20. mahonmeister macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2006
    Redlands, CA
    What? There is no debate. Simply look at the numbers on equivalent hardware configurations. Play with the specs on a Dell 1530 to match the top end 15" MBP and you'll find that it's nearly $1000 cheaper. This isn't always the case but there is almost always an Apple premium.

    Usually when Apple introduces a new or updated Mac, the pricing is pretty good. But they never adjust pricing or specs to stay competitive as the months go by. The Mac Pro, MBP and Mac mini are currently good examples of this.

    The real problem is not just the price premium, but the fact that Apple insists on hitting such high price points with their line-up. They should have a $500 desktop and a $700 laptop available, but instead they force people to buy more then they really need. Furthermore, too often they sacrifice performance for aesthetics. If they just made the Mac mini slightly larger, they could fit a much cheaper desktop processor, hard drive and RAM in it. This would allow them to drop the price to $500 or less and simultaneously increase performance. Not to mention the dang thing doesn't even come with a keyboard or mouse. Now I'm going off topic so I'll shut up.
  21. Nugget macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    Houston Texas USA
    It cycles and right now (with a refresh imminent) we're in the least favorable "trough" of the cycle. If history is a guide we can expect that when Apple does release refreshed Mac Pros that they'll be extremely competitive from a price and performance standpoint.

    Don't forget that when the Mac Pro debuted in August 2006 that the Apple 30" Cinema Display was actually cheaper than the equivalent Dell 30" display.

    Then, as usual, prices on hardware decline while the Apple computer price stays nailed up to the wall at the launch price, rarely (if ever) seeing any price decrease. The farther in the past the release of the hardware was, the worse the price is compared to Wintel solutions. Remember -- we're ~500 days old now with the current Mac Pros. That's pricing that's 500 days out of date.
  22. ddavid thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2008
    I'm not quite sure I get your point??

    I've personally spent over $130,000 on Apple products over the years, not to mention the many times that I've purchased for company use. I am a die hard mac user and appreciate them, I am however starting to feel a little irritated at Apples pricing. Perhaps some kid in Finland will write the equivalent of deCSS in order to run OS X on standard hardware and Apple can spend millions to try to put the genie back in the bottle. They should pay attention to their professional user base and not be totally distracted by iPods and phones. I just hate opening up my wallet wider each time while I'm looking over at the poor Windows slob and he's getting the same stuff at a big discount.

    Once they lose designers/artists/photographers/musicians/writers they lose much of their cachet.
  23. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    I totally agree.

    That's the case with any premium/specialty brand company. You could go out and buy some Nike running shoes for $100-$150 or you could buy some running shoes from a discount shoe store for around $50.

    It's your choice, but you get what you pay for.
  24. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    When you say destroy do you mean a Core 2 Duo running at a given speed with a faster front side bus compared to another Core 2 Duo running with a slower front side bus but otherwise same speed?
  25. timestamp macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2007
    Naturally. But desktop CPUs are generally faster per clock. Also factor in that the price of a mobile CPU is higher and for the same price you can get a faster desktop chip.

    For example: The t7700 (2.4Ghz) $335

    You can get a 3.0Ghz Conroe for much less, $280. You can even get a Quad 2.66Ghz under $300. So while the comparison at the same speed is understood, it wouldnt make much sense. And even if you went that route (a similar speed desktop chip) it would work out to be much cheaper while offering less performance.

    Plus, you can go with faster RAM as well, further improving speed. Lower latency RAM, etc etc.

    That is where the "destroying" comes in. At the prices of the iMac one can build a machine that will destroy it in performance.

    Now, going back to the Mac Pro. Many of you think it is a good value at $2500. However, you can do a single quad 2.66Ghz Dell T7400 with similar specs within the same price range ~$2624. That is including the Harpertown CPU, which clock for clock will perform better than the 2.66Ghz Woodcrest. And also includes a 3yr on site warranty standard

    Now if you look at the Apple octo-core, you are looking a $4000, everything else stock. For the Dell T7400 I configured it with the 2.83Ghz quad core chips (E5440) as at that clock, the 45nm, and the added cache it would easily perform on par with the 3.0Ghz Octo Mac Pro. I upped it to a standard Mac Pro specs and it sits at $4263. Mind you that includes a 3yr next day on site warranty.

    For someone looking at the two machines it is a no brainer unless you are tied to OS X. You get new tech and a 3yr warranty. Once you add AppleCare to the Mac Pro there is virtually no difference. Same price and new tech, how can anyone who isn't tied to Apple argue with that?

    This of course isn't to say the Mac Pro isn't better. I will always buy Apple as I love OS X and I love their machines. However, try to see the other side and why it would be compelling if OS X isn't involved.

    I of course don't think Macs are the whole are twice the price. I also don't think they command some kind of premium on the whole. In the case of the Mac Pro, they could be more competitive as they made themselves out to be when they released. I have no doubt that they will do it soon. But as of now, the Mac Pro doesn't offer the value for your dollar IMO.

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