Is the base MP really "new" or just a price drop?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by cs4160, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. cs4160 macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2009
    I don’t think the low end MP is dead (related thread), but its target audience just got allot smaller...

    510+ days, for a small speed bump, new vcard and a bit more HD space….not very exciting.
    If you go 6 core or 2xquads, you see clear differentiators over a loaded imac, but those of us looking for a lower end MP (under 3 or 4k), ok with current performance but wanting the traditional flexibility of a tower, it’s hard to be happy with the result.

    • The new loaded imac: 2.93 i7, 8gb ram, 2tb hd, 27 led monitor is $2,550.
    • 2009 MP: configured at 2.93, 8gb, 2 tb hd, but with a 512k vcard and no monitor was $3,200…
    • My speculation is a 2.8,8gb, 2tb, 1g vcard MP will be 2,900 (2500 base, + 150 for 2tb hd, 250 for 8gb ram, granted you get a better video card)…

    so (for the low end) 500 days gave us really the same architecture, they just lowered the price of the options (or more accurately rolled them up into the base price) by 450 bucks or not even a buck a day….I wonder if a very high end pc has dropped by more than 9% over 18 months…my guess would be yes, and once again the question of the low end MP’s value is on deck…. In fact, for the base MP, if you don’t take into consideration what will probably be a 1k upgrade for the 6 core, I am not sure I would really call this a new MP. They just lowered their prices….no material architecture changes…

    There are clearly advantages of a tower over a imac, but for me, a fast gigabyte nas storage set up eliminates most of them. The last several years, I have added memory or hard drives to my desktops, but nothing more. Whenever I got around to wanting a substantial upgrade, one that a MP would allow without the use of suction cups, I just bought /built a new system. If I assume that this mindset will continue, it’s hard not to be underwhelmed by the “new” MP and attracted to the new loaded imac….maybe 1k cheaper when you take into consideration the monitor….for some people, the configuration of a imac vs a tower is a deal killer, I just think the target audience of the base MP just got smaller….
  2. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Good observations, although I think that was more or less bound to happen.

    Intel hasn't had any unveiled any Xeon chipset updates (nor a new CPU architecture) in well over year when the 2009 MP launched, so this evolutionary update isn't surprising.

    But in the case of the quad-core, while we're not getting a very substantial CPU upgrade on the base model, we are getting a substantially better video card in addition to a slightly bigger hard drive for the same money.

    And plus, I think Apple knows that the iMac does have appeal to buyers that are on the fence between the two machines, which would probably explain why they offer quad-core CPUs for the iMac in the first place. So the question becomes to these buyers is whether they really need the expansion of the Mac Pro or not, and this started becoming a lot more apparent when the first Core i7 iMacs began to hit the shelves several months ago.

    The fact remains that aside from iPhones, iMacs and Mac portables are Apple's largest target markets - they print money, whereas the Mac Pros really do not, in comparison. I don't think the current product positioning (and pricing, for that matter) isn't on purpose. Cruel business strategy? Perhaps.
  3. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I agree completely. You can't argue that Intel hasn't offered much other than 6-core CPU variants since the 2009 Mac Pro was launched.

    One of the top complaints of the 2009's were the value, now that should be at least somewhat mitigated by the speed bump, larger HD, and better base GPU.

    Having said all that, if you are a quad-core buyer, your best option may be a 2009 base model refurb ($2150) and a $600 W3580 CPU upgrade.

    I think the pricing on the 6-core is what's going to determine if this year's models are buy or bust. :eek:
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Well, it's the die shrink portion of the cycle. ;)

    I agree with this. The newer parts and small upgrades (HDD and GPU) do return a little value back to the lineup.

    Assuming you can find a W3580 for that, Yes (I'm finding retail for new @ $1064USD as the cheapest).

    I absolutely agree with this. Hopefully Apple's stayed out of Steve's "Special" Kool Aid on this one, and will keep the MSRP at the current price of $3699. :D
  5. cs4160 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2009
    i agree, but if the 6 core option is anything like the top of the line cpu upgrade on the current 2009 quad MP's, +$1,200, then i really am out of this market.
    While the MP's have a much better upgrade path, maybe geting a 2.5k imac with monitor for 500-1,500 less than a similair MP is a better bet, and i will just put the savings into tech refreshing earlier....choices choices choices...i need to do something, i have been waiting a year to get a new Mac! (yeah, i am an idiot)
  6. Ravich macrumors 6502a

    Oct 20, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Yeah, I've been wondering about that. The current 3.33 quad costs 3700$, and the base went from 2.66 quad to 2.8 quad while staying at 2500$.

    Is the hexacore supposed to fill the gap between the new octad and the 12 core?
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I would think so, as it's going to be more expensive than the Octad, and offer faster performance for single threaded applications, and should be similar to the Octad for multi-threaded performance due to the faster parts.

    Ultimately, we'll have to wait to see the pricing and performance data on that system, but I'd be surprised to find a large gap in SMP performance between those two models.

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