How will Apple deal with the Performance Crossover between Top iMac & Lower Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by hoxley, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. hoxley macrumors regular

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    #1
    considering a top level iMac or base level Mac Pro purchase this summer.

    the Sandy bridge updates will further extend the potential problem with the base level Mac Pro that there is better value in the iMac.

    Any thoughts ... ? Perhaps the Mac Pro will be reduced in price or will get a significant speed bump in the next update ... correct me if I am wrong, but you really are paying a fairly significant premium for the extra bay's instead of chaining firewire drives .. similar performance / same max RAM (and obviously the display cost for Mac Pro)

    Any advice and discussion appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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  3. ZilogZ80 macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    The difference between iMac & lower Mac Pros is more about flexibility & upgradability than pure performance.
     
  4. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    #4
    1) While unsupported, my Quad Mac Pro can handle 32GB RAM and its been tested - no idea about the iMac as I dont have one to hand.
    2) You pay for upgradeability (4 PCI-Express Slots) which the iMac doesnt have - my Mac Pro will still be useful long after the iMac thats "close" is in the dump
    3) The Mac Pro is still faster than the iMac, especially in real world usage - this will continue, and you need the PCIe slots for stuff, like Professional Video Capture, and using ProTools Cards, and newer Ports (I can add USB3, and eventually Im sure USB4 and LightPeak to my Mac, couldnt do that to an iMac)
    4) You also pay for the ability to create DVD to DVD clones, and Bluray to Bluray clones if you stick 2 Bluray drives in there.
     
  5. hoxley thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Thanks for the responses so far

    good to know that 4 x 8GB sticks have worked. thanks.
     
  6. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    ditto this !

    memory
    HDD
    Raid cards other expansion cards are the reasons you get a Mac Pro
     
  7. Bithero macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Possible Upgrades



    I can confirm that the 32GB are working perefectly in my 2010 Quad MP.
    Besides what other people said, with an MP you get a much better graphics solution and of course 4 HD bays for VERY easy configuration of RAID etc. Try to change a HD in an iMac ......
    With certain limits you can also upgrade the CPU over time and you achieve a very good resale value even for a five year old MP.
     
  8. chych macrumors member

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    #8
    Apple needs to offer a less expensive, non xeon solution for the single processor Mac Pro :mad: I mean seriously, why would you ever get a single processor xeon system? Is ECC memory that important? (and if it is, you probably will get a DP system anyway)
     
  9. brentsg macrumors 68040

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    #9
    Because you want to use OSX and associated applications, but you need more than the all-in-one (shudder). Also, the 6 core machine is really outstanding and hits a superb mix of clock speed and number of cores.
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #10
    SP Xeons are priced similarly with their Core iX counterparts. Swapping the W3530 for i7-930 wouldn't really reduce the price. Non-ECC RAM is a bit cheaper but the 1GB modules Apple use aren't that expensive anyway.

    Apple does not like upgradeability. It gives the buyer an option to buy components from 3rd parties and easily install them on your own. With iMac, the end-user can only upgrade the RAM, meaning that HD, GPU or CPU upgrades are pretty much always bought from Apple (can be done DIY but relatively hard). With Mac Pros, people usually buy components from aftermarket, especially HDs.

    Yes, Apple is, has been and will be screwing the Mac Pro fans. The first gen 2499$ Mac Pro was a DP system. The CPUs alone cost 1380$! The current W3530 costs 294$ and that is a SP system. Just the price difference between the CPUs is 1086$! Hell, the entry-level DP Mac Pro is 3499$ now and its CPUs cost 774$, still 606$ less than the CPUs of the first gen entry-level MP.
     
  11. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

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    #11
    Correct.

    The iMac is the sweet spot in the line-up offering similar performance at a lower price at the high end, and higher performance for a similar price at the low end. The difference in the high end iMac and the low end Mac Pro is that the Pro has superb upgradability. Many people are willing to pay for this.
     
  12. jonnymo5 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Because there is more to a Xeon than just ECC.
     
  13. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #13
    With the 5000 and 7000 series yes, but not the 3000 series.
     
  14. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    #14
    Mac Pros uses different sets of processors different from iMacs. Plus you get to choose the type of monitor that has matte screens.
     
  15. ndraves macrumors member

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    #15
    I know that it'll never happen but I for one would like to see a 'consumer' tower product.

    The top end i7 processor iMac is still ~$300 less than the base MP and without the gorgeous 27" ACD!

    For me the MP is the only option but I know others who are after a top iMac spec without the cost of the display. They go PC!
     
  16. goMac macrumors 603

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    #16
    They will continue doing nothing.

    We had one. It was called the G4 Cube.
     
  17. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #17
    We can all sit here wishing and speculating, but...

    From a marketing and profitability standpoint, Apple has no reason to offer a "mini" Mac Pro. Such a product would drastically cut into the sales of the current entry-level Mac Pros. With the lack of significant (if any) price differential between Core i7 and 3000 series Xeon CPUs, they really wouldn't be shaving much actual cost offering say, a Core i7 based machine with stripped down expansion.

    But at the same time, I think we can all agree that the entry-level quad-core Mac Pro is overpriced by about $500. However, bang-for-the-buck pretty much went out the door when Apple discontinued the 2008 Mac Pro 8-core...
     
  18. ndraves macrumors member

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    #18
    Don't get me wrong I know it'll never happen, if not for +95% people will want a display as well and will make the iMac a brilliant product, I love my older iMac for that. I also know that for ~5% it's not worth it but hey, one can wish!!!

    Too true

    But going back to the OP, if you just look at what is going to be released in 6 months as it might be that much better then you'll be waiting forever. IMO if you need more computing power now then go for it, if not then wait until you are there.

    As to the MP vs iMac it very much depends on your use of it, I went through this decision recently - top end iMac vs MP - I went with the extra cost of the MP as it suits my use, more RAM and expandability with PCI etc.
     
  19. G4er? macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    A lot has changed since then. The G4 Cube was overpriced for the specs it offered. Plus people weren't ready for small computers yet. Plus a top loading optical drive was a turn off.
    Today you have the mini and smart phones and small is mainstream.

    I find the iMacs and the mini too limiting for me. But I find the Mac Pro too big and too pricey. There is a sweet spot that Apple is ignoring.

    Some of us just like having a computer where we can choose our own monitor and can use normal tools to get inside to swap hard drives. A computer where I need putty knives or suction cups to open it isn't something I want. $2499 is kind of high to get a basic easy to use computer. And yes, ease of use includes simple tasks like changing a hard drive.
     
  20. ndraves macrumors member

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    #20
    That's another thing I find. I have a 23" ACD from 2006/7 I can't remember but it's 1920x1200 is perfectly good now. Why do I need a new display each time I buy a new 'processing' unit
     
  21. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    #21
    In the same vein, I have a 27" Cinema Display, that I expect to last a decade before it gets replaced, and before this I had a 22"er last me 7 years ('00 - '07) before I downgraded to plain ol' VGA Monitors when its plug came out... (The DVI cable broke in essence)
     
  22. goMac macrumors 603

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    #22
    I don't think much has changed at all. There will be no consumer tower because consumers simply aren't interested in towers. Consumers don't care about changing their GPU or any of that. How many average consumers do you know who've actually taken advantage of the tower form factor of their PC's?

    There just isn't a target market.

    How many average consumers are there out there that need to be able to swap components that aren't workstation users. 1%? 2%? And how many of those people would actually buy a Mac?

    Yeah, it's not worth it. I'm sure Apple has done the math.
     
  23. hoxley thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    I think apple are missing a trick;

    if the top iMac and low Mac Pro are "matched" performance wise (in a general sense) the sleek imac design and monitor is equivalent in value to the expandability/other advantages of the Mac Pro.

    Whilst i appreciate the aesthetic of the iMac, i imagine that some much prefer the (also lovely looking, but with a very different aesthetic) Mac Pro.

    Like some love the modern beetle design and would find a muscle car embarrassing and other people vice versa.

    I love both designs - and prefer the expandability and sacrifice a large, convenient all in one design with "built in" monitor for that expandability - but the power comparison is frustrating, and to many - the "extras" the iMac user gets has much more value than the expandability "costs".

    Very interesting the comment posted about the price of the chips and how it has varied (more specifcally gone down making the Mac Pro less "value").

    Unfortunately the fact that the Mac Pro is a bit of a rip-off i am sure scares off quite a few tower users (anti-all-in-one-sultion / pro-muscle car) from switching to mac. I defend Mac against criticism that they are a rip off, but i have to concede that Mac Pros (at least the low end) are not competitively priced.

    Will hackintosh change this?

    I don't know, perhaps Apple feel threatened by these Hack Mac Towers? I certainly wouldn't go down the road of a hackintosh, sure it would be great if it worked flawlessly each update ... I will get a base level Mac Pro, but it will be with a seed of resentment (which isnt a good customer experience.)
     
  24. goMac macrumors 603

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    #24
    I don't think Apple cares because it's not a market they want to enter into. It's just stealing business they never had to begin with.

    Are they going to go out of their way to support it? No. Are they going to protect their trademarks by going after people who attempt to sell machines running Mac OS X? Yes. But I've never gotten the feeling they care either way about people who load OS X on their PC's at home.
     
  25. hoxley thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25
    It would be a little surprising considering the all conquering onward march of Apple Corp that they would think - there is a market that exists (possibly large) that they do not provide a product for - that they very easily could - but decide not to.
     

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