Is a Mac Pro overpriced? Real world comparison with Dell

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by pale9, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. pale9 macrumors regular


    Just got myself a Mac Pro Quad Core from Amazon for $2,290 incl. ship and no tax. Most everybody says wow, nice, but expensive. Overpriced? I almost thought so until a had Dell create a similar box, and low and behold...

    Check out the components, I chose them to be as close to the Mac as possible...

    • Dell Precision T5500 Workstation
    • Genuine Windows Vista® Business Bonus 64 -Windows XP Professional downgrade
    • Quad Core Intel® Xeon® Processor X5550 2.66GHz,8M L3, 6.4GT/s,turbo
    • Mini-Tower Chassis Configuration w/ 1394 Card
    • 3GB, DDR3 RDIMM Memory,1333MHz, ECC (3 DIMMS)
    • 512MB NVIDIA® Quadro® FX 580, DUAL MON, 2 DP & 1 DVI
    • C1 All SATA drives, Non-RAID, 1 drive total configuration
    • Integrated Intel chipset SATA 3.0Gb/s controller
    • 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s with NCQ and 16MB DataBurst Cache™
    • 16X DVD-ROM with Cyberlink Power DVD™

    THE PRICE CAME TO ABOUT $3,100 !!!

    Factor in that the case of the Mac Pro is superior to any Dell case in so many ways and I have just busted the myth of the overpriced Apple computer.
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Congrats, but it doesn't prove much, for the most part you are overpaying.
  3. ian.maffett macrumors 6502


    Aug 1, 2008
    All that proven and you didn't even mention the superior OS involved. I agree, Macs are not overpriced for what they are but the layman's argument is their lack of options. Such as, you can buy a $400 PC but no $400 Mac. Even better, they have no way of fully understanding the power of a Mini... a 6x6x2.5 box can in no way be as powerful as a big bulky PC.
  4. Scippy macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2009
    Congrats for finding this out.
    The overpriceness is only a huge concern in the iMac/mini area, where you are paying a premium for the appearance and you can't upgrade yourself.
  5. Gomff macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2009
    But there's a Quadro in that quote....That distorts the price comparison. Those are $1799 on the Apple store.,,,I'm assuming your mac didn't come equipped with a Quadro?
  6. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
  7. lemonade-maker macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2009
    And I "overpaid" for my Mac pro 8-core, shoes, house, car, truck, fishing rod, pizza, wife, children, boat, speeding ticket and underware.

    So what, I like all that stuff (except the ticket) and don't care. Why do you?

    Overpaid = envy
  8. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    100% false....if I had the same pizza for a cheaper price and a similar amount of effort, I'd say you over paid.
  9. Scippy macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2009
  10. rw3 macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    DFW, TX
    The extra price involved is the QuadroFX 580. Also you get a SuperDrive compared to a DVD-ROM on the Dell.

    Say what you want, but the Mac Pro will last at least 5 years....I know that our church is just now getting rid of all of our PowerMac G5s that we purchased back in '04/'05....there is a lot be to be said about that.
  11. bbadalucco macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2009
    I don't understand the argument that a Mac Pro will last 4 or 5 will just about any other least from my experience. I have a Dell laptop through work and I'm going on 3 years with it and thats a laptop???
  12. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    I'm affraid you are mistaken about what you are comparing. Your Mac Pro is a single socket system with a $300 processor. The Dell is a dual socket system with one installed $850 processor. You can get a Dell T3500 with the same specs, just a Xeon 3520 instead of 5550 for half of your Mac Pro price.
  13. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    I buy tons of Apple products, iThink the OP made a great purchase and I would never purchase the Dell at nearly any price then the Mac Pro. However, one instance does not show that Apple products, which are almost always more expensive then PC with similar hardware specs, are no longer overpriced. Particularly the Mac Pro, which can be easily out-spec'd by almost every PC competitor.

    I understand a couple of relevant differences:
    Software ≠ hardware
    Mac Pro Case > Most PC Cases
    Cool Factor
  14. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    to me the MP is slightly over-priced, just as all macs are. but i am willing to pay the price because the benefits outweigh the initial investment.
  15. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Claiming someone "overpaid" for something without providing a link to somewhere with a lower price is just childish and annoying. So you know where he could have gotten it, what, $15 cheaper? $30? $300? Plus that doesn't take into account shipping or customer service issues.

    He bought it from a place he was happy with at a price he felt was good enough. Don't post if you don't have something to add to the conversation - something other than "I'm cooler than you because I can find a $2000 computer for $20 less."
  16. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    I would think any reference to overpaying on the Mac Pro in this thread comes from the fact that Apple are charging a lot more than everyone else for the hardware found in the quad core Mac Pros. The Amazon price he paid is a good deal.
  17. pale9 thread starter macrumors regular


    It looks like you have something there...

    Intel® Xeon® Processor X5550 (8M Cache, 2.66 GHz, 6.40 GT/s Intel® QPI)

    Intel® Xeon® Processor W3520 (8M Cache, 2.66 GHz, 4.80 GT/s Intel® QPI)

    Big question though, is the performance difference so big to warrant a $700 price difference? As far as i can see the only difference is the 2.0 GT/s more with the X5550...

    All things being equal I would still take the Apple over a Dell any day.
  18. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008
    Eh, I still include design as a component when buying a Mac. The Macs being produced in the last few years are just beautiful in my opinion. There is no sexier case than the Mac Pro, and nothing really compares stylistically to the unibody notebooks.

    But, a lot of people don't want to pay the extra for the design, so to them it is overpriced. That's my take on it, anyway.

    EDIT: I will say, though, that the new Mac Pro prices are a bit out of line.
  19. JTA60288 macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2009
    Henderson, Nevada
    For the most part, Macs are notoriously overpriced, but the Mac Pro is a debated exception. For $2799, you can get the whole 8-core system with adequate specs. If you're like me and you think you need really incredible specs (think 16GB RAM, 2TB HD), then you can order all that but then is when it gets overpriced. You can go all out and get the two 30' displays and everything and it will definitely leave a dent in your wallet, but for such a powerful machine, $2799 is considered a steal (compared to Dell, anyway).
  20. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Mar 2, 2009
    Let's start with a T3500, 64-bit. Priced from $799.

    • W3520
    • 6 GB DDR3 RAM
    • 512 MB Quadro FX 580
    • 2x 750 GB HDD
    • DVD-RW
    • Media Card reader
    • Vista Business with XP downgrade

    All for $2274. That's a better value than any Mac Pro. Plus the case looks better, IMO.
  21. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007
    I have a 3 year old Dell Laptop as well (Latitude), I also have a 3 year old MBP. The Dell looks, smells and sounds like crap, and the MBP is like new. I treat them equally well.

    You really notice poor build quality, especially with laptops, once the years begin piling on.
  22. CJS7070 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    My thoughts have always been, if you have a need for the Mac Pro, then you can justify the price of it. Most of the people complaining about the price are people running the cheapest Windows machine they can find.
  23. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    The 5xxx processors can be used in dual-socket systems wheras the 3xxx series is single socket, IIRC (and mentioned earlier).

    At anyrate, another thing is that BTO always overcharges (or generally always does). BYO=cheapcheapcheap, for those that are interested, in which case "you get what you paid for" really comes into play.

    The Quadro cards are just nVidia cards that sometimes have more VRAM and generally better driver support, AFAIK.
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Exactly. Then there's the Quadro card as well... :rolleyes:

    The Xeon 55xx parts are designed to be used with a second CPU (DP systems). Hence the second QPI. You wouldn't be able to utilize the chip in a single CPU system.

    That's what the T3500 is for. It uses the same exact CPU (W3520 = SP version of Nehalem Xeon's @ 2.66GHz) used in the Quad MP. It's cheaper, and if you call, the price they will sell it for is less than that listed on the website. So the cost difference is greater than you'd see just comparing the internet pricing.

    But the web pricing puts it at $1229USD (base + W3520 + 1394 card upgrades). The cost over the phone will be a bit lower.
  25. frimple macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2008
    Denver, CO
    how much was your wife?

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