Best place to buy CTO Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by downhill racer, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. downhill racer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Location:
    Lake Tahoe, California
    #1
    I'm an enthusiast photographer progressing towards pro. I've been on the Wintel platform for about 25 years, but my 7 year old Dell (which was a screaming machine when I bought it, and still isn't half-bad for the use my daughter will give it...) is now being routinely brought to its knees by my work.

    I've resolved that my next PC will be a Mac, and given my desire for a machine with longevity, a Mac Pro seems the best choice. I like the MP because it gives me the ability to purchase a higher-spec'ed machine in "installments"...add OWC RAM and a couple of 2TB HDD's now, add a (higher capacity) SSD next year, a new GPU 2-3 years from now, maybe even a CPU a few years out. And 4 years from now, when we are all starting to wonder how we filled up those 2TB drives...I'll simply be able to buy one of the new 20TB models!

    I'm focused on the 3.2 MHz quad MP...it feels like the $400 (16%) upcharge is worth the 14% CPU speed boost, while the $1200 upcharge for the hexa-core seems too steep for what you get. I'll get base RAM, HDD, video card, etc., and buy all those upgrades over time from OWC, et al.

    My trouble is in finding a place to buy this specific CTO model. Amazon and B&H are my preferred vendors - I trust them, and they let me avoid paying 8.5% sales tax (%~$250), as well as shipping. But, they don't seem to carry the CTO model, only the base, which they discount by around $100. The other online places I've looked (eg MacMall), actually charge a higher price for the CPU upgrade than Apple does, bringing their total price back to full MSRP.

    Does anyone have any ideas of other reputable places to buy online, where I can get a good price on the CTO model I want?

    Or, should I be giving more serious thought to simply buying the base model, or even the 2009 2.66 MHz quad model available for $1900 at B&H?

    Thanks in advance for any advice on this.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    You can do the CPU upgrade yourself if you want to. It'll actually be cheaper. 2009 quad is also a good deal but you can't use 6-core CPUs in it so that is a small con when it comes to future-proofing and upgradeability.
     
  3. shokunin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #3
    Very few places carry or stock BTO options and those that do, usually are sold at full MSRP. Try Macconnection.com and smalldog.com, they both carry some BTO and you may be able to order a BTO configured through them, but don't expect much of a discount.

    If you work for a corporation, see if they have an Apple EPP (employer purchase program) discount. I ordered my BTO hex that way to help offset SOME of the 9% CA sales tax. It sure didn't cover all of it, but enough to not make a huge issue out of it.
     
  4. downhill racer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Location:
    Lake Tahoe, California
    #4
    Thanks for this idea, I hadn't considered it as a possibility, except perhaps in the future when CPU prices have substantially declined.

    Just to make sure I'm looking at the right upgrade processors:
    for 4 core: W3565 - on Newegg for $600
    for 6 core: W3680 - on Newegg for $1069

    And I found a W3530 for sale on eBay for $225, I'll assume they end up at $200 just to have something to go with for analysis.

    So it looks like the upgrade to the 3.2 MHz might end up about breakeven ($600-$200=$400), while the 6 core would perhaps end up around $400 better than Apple (1069-200=869 vs. 1200).

    Probably the 6 core option gets a lot better in a year or so - I'd be pretty happy upgrading to 6 core for something like $400 to 500 12 months from now. Does that seem realistic?

    And am I looking at the stuff above the right way?
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    W3565 is as low as 400$ in eBay. W3680 goes for as low as 880$. I would jump for the 6-core right away, it only costs you couple hundreds more than W3565 from Apple
     

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