Is a Mac Pro overpriced? Real world comparison with Dell

pale9

macrumors regular
Original poster
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.
 

ian.maffett

macrumors 6502
Aug 1, 2008
258
0
Florida
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.
Kudos.
 

Scippy

macrumors regular
Jan 12, 2009
225
0
Somewhere
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.
 

Gomff

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2009
802
1
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?
 

lemonade-maker

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2009
497
4
Congrats, but it doesn't prove much, for the most part you are overpaying.
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
 

rw3

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2008
679
41
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.
 

bbadalucco

macrumors 6502
Jan 4, 2009
459
0
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.
I don't understand the argument that a Mac Pro will last 4 or 5 years...so will just about any other desktop...at least from my experience. I have a Dell laptop through work and I'm going on 3 years with it and thats a laptop???
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
4,929
54
England
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.
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.
 

thegoldenmackid

macrumors 604
Dec 29, 2006
7,777
5
dallas, texas
Overpaid = envy
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
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,494
26
Singapore
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.
 

Heb1228

macrumors 68020
Feb 3, 2004
2,217
0
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."
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
4,929
54
England
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."
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.
 

pale9

macrumors regular
Original poster
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.
It looks like you have something there...

Dell
Intel® Xeon® Processor X5550 (8M Cache, 2.66 GHz, 6.40 GT/s Intel® QPI)
~$1,000

MacPro
Intel® Xeon® Processor W3520 (8M Cache, 2.66 GHz, 4.80 GT/s Intel® QPI)
~$300


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.
 

mcpryon2

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2008
504
88
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.
 

JTA60288

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2009
56
2
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).
 

Shake 'n' Bake

macrumors 68020
Mar 2, 2009
2,187
0
Albany
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.
 

Burnsey

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2007
572
64
Canada
I don't understand the argument that a Mac Pro will last 4 or 5 years...so will just about any other desktop...at least from my experience. I have a Dell laptop through work and I'm going on 3 years with it and thats a laptop???
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.
 

CJS7070

macrumors 6502a
Dec 10, 2008
755
0
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.
 

Dr.Pants

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2009
1,181
2
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...
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.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
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.
Exactly. Then there's the Quadro card as well... :rolleyes:

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...
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.