Canadian MacPro $$ options

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 9Charms, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. 9Charms macrumors regular


    May 19, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    After mulling over the various options for configuring the MacPro here in Canada, I've come up with this optimum bang for the buck setup:

    First pick up this system from Apple:

    Two 2.66GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    1GB (2 x 512MB)
    160GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB (2 x dual-link DVI)
    1 x SuperDrive
    Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse
    No wireless (it's a desktop for heavensake!)
    No software
    No Applecare
    No Display
    Total: $3,129

    I picked the X1900 because it was cheaper to upgrade through Apple. I downgraded the hard drive because the downgrade (subtract $90) just about paid for a 320GB HD below. I did not opt for Applecare because my Visa adds a year of manufacturer warranty (it's a hassle to deal with, but then again, it's supposed to be unlikely that I have to use it... basic premise of selling warranties and all...) The downgrade in the processor was not worth it because you lose 24% processor performance for around 11% savings.

    Then add these components from a cheap PC computer store (I used pricing, because they're down the street from me):

    $901.74 2 x Kingston PC2-5300 2GB DDR2-667 FBDIMM ($450.87ea)
    $341.94 3 x Seagate Barracuda SATA2 320GB 7200.10 (113.98ea)
    $719.98 2 x Viewsonic VX2025WM 20IN LCD Monitor 1680X1050 (359.99ea)
    Total: $1,963.66

    I chose the 2GB RAM because the cost per GB of RAM was pretty much the same. The choice of the 320 HD's was based on cost per GB. I only buy Seagate, mainly becaue of the 5-year warranty. The Viewsonics are nice, I have one myself.

    Installing the HD and RAM is soooo easy, why pay Apple to do it for you? Don't sell off any components (RAM, HD) because you'll need to put those back in if it has to be repaired.

    Complete system is $5,092.66 (plus taxes...)
    It's even cheaper with the education discount ($4,868.66), plus you get an iPod, which you can resell to recoup some of the cost.

    I guess I'm not really asking a question, just posting some thoughts.
  2. williamh macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2006
    That's an awesome monetary analysis of the Mac Pro, thanx!

    As a musician/composer, I wouldn't consider my video performance; the default card is more than enough for what I need from GPU.

    Apple makes a fortune by pre-install ram and harddrives which won't temp me to customize my Mac Pro (if i'm getting one). And yes, NCIX is a cheaper way to go for HD's or other upgrades!!

    Since Mac Pro (the basic configuration) and Macbook Pro (2.16) share the same price, I'd make up my mind to buy myself the Macbook Pro (just because that I'm travelling more frequently than staying). However, I wouldn't mind to buy myself a Mac Pro if I win Super 7 :p
  3. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    If it were me, I'd probably hold off on the 2GB chips until they come down in price a bit. If you're only going to end up with 4GB anyways, why not do (4) 1GB chips for about the price of (1) of your 2GB chips?
  4. 9Charms thread starter macrumors regular


    May 19, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    I don't now where you're getting you're getting your pricing, perhaps you should show me where I can get PC2-5300 FBDIMM's for $100 here in Canada, but at NCIX:

    512MB chip = $129.95 price per GB = $259.90
    1GB chip = $221.16 price per GB = $221.16
    2GB chip = $450.87 price per GB = $225.44

    You save the RAM slots, plus your machine is slightly more valuable when you go to sell it.
  5. spicyapple macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2006
    I don't see an option to buy the memory for Mac Pros at but hopefully they'll add it soon. I recently bought 2GB of RAM (2x1GB sticks) from for a total of US $205.00 for my dual G5.

    I always buy my machine purchases at the same time as my RAM, so for me, when RAM prices are way too high, I hold off on my Mac purchases. It's only when RAM prices drop do I consider upgrading my machine. You'll save a lot of money following RAM pricing.
  6. 9Charms thread starter macrumors regular


    May 19, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    Please don't post US prices on this thread... it's kinda annoying

    Okay... we're talking about stuff you can get IN Canada on this post. Why? Because buying stuff from the US or elsewhere involves some form of risk and higher costs in the form of international shipping and import duties, which increases the cost of an order substantially, and sometimes prohibitively. Sometimes, you don't even know the amount of the import duties you're getting charged, until after you get a bill from your customs broker ($140 from FEDEX anyone?). So, let's try to compare apples to apples here, Canadian prices to Canadian prices... hence the name of this thread...

    Anyways, for future reference, the MacPro's take PC2-5300 FBDIMM's which means they need full buffered (FB), error-correcting RAM (ECC). Mac's typically require a high quality (read: brand name) RAM, so I've used Kingston because their stuff almost always works properly.

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