Is the Mac Pro WAY overpriced?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Hookflash, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. Hookflash macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2006
    Disclaimer: I'm not trying to start a flame war. I'm just genuinely confused as to why Mac Pros cost so much.

    Mac Pro:
    Quad core 2.66ghz
    3gb RAM
    640gb HDD
    GeForce GT 120
    Cost: $2899 CDN

    Dell XPS 435:
    Quad core 2.66ghz
    12gb RAM
    1tb HDD
    Radeon HD 4850
    Cost: $1699 CDN

    I honestly don't get it. What am I missing? Surely there's more to the price difference than a nicer case and the ability to (legally) run OSX...?
  2. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    Because that computer is a desktop and not a workstation.

    Mac Pro uses Xeon processors and Fully buffered error correcting code RAM memory. aka: not that dell crap =)

    it is also way better engineered, compare:




    also, you will not be able to run hacked OSX without finding specific components and homebrew drivers, that are buggy. Even then you can't update the system. No Snow Leopard, etc...

    are we getting somewhere?
  3. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Because the quad-core Mac is over-engineered.
  4. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
    Even though the Mac Pro may be overpriced, I would still get it for the OS. Oh and as said above, better cable management in the inside.
  5. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    One's a workstation with server processors, the other sucks eggs.
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    Apple used to charge close to the retail cost of the components that made up the 2006 and 2008 Mac Pros (the default/retail config at least), while other vendors charged $1,000-$3,000 premiums just on a dual socket box and processor choices, without even considering storage and memory options.

    With the 2009 Mac Pro Apple decided to bump up the price on the dual socket system to a similar price point of Dell, HP etc. So it's more than the old Mac Pros were and more than if you got similar performing parts yourself, but not when looking at other vendors.

    The place where the Mac Pro pricing really seems obscene is with the single socket system. This is because Apple have priced it to fit in to their range, between the iMac and dual socket Mac Pro, where as everyone else prices them against their own consumer Core i7 systems, which are usually very low priced compared to the component costs.

    So if you are looking at it from the perspective of the hardware performance to $ ratio, then yes they may be "overpriced". You can get more for your money elsewhere in that regard. Macs as always are about the total package though. Which granted isn't easy to gauge the value of if you are a switcher.

    No that is pretty much it. A Dell Precision 3500 with a xeon and ecc memory support will run you a bit more that the Core i7 offers you can find, but you get a better built system. Still a fair bit cheaper.
  7. Hookflash thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2006
    Cindori: I agree that the Mac Pro has a much more elegant design, and I'll take your word that the RAM & CPU are better, but is it really worth twice as much as that Dell (which actually looks like a pretty decent system for a Dell)? Does it really represent typical workstation pricing? If so, I'd better stay away from workstations... :)
  8. David G. macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2007
    One thing I can not get for the life of me is what fully buffered error correcting code RAM does, specifically the error correction portion. I've always heard that computers don't deviate their responses when they are programmed one exact way. Why does it seem now that for maths and what not that a Xeon with this error correcting RAM would be more accurate at different sorts of things compared to a regular C2D? Shouldn't it just come down to the time it takes to do these problems presented to them? Also, does this run along the lines of the 4D "aptitudeness" of Quadro versus Geforce gpus?

    Sorry to sort of derail this thread slightly, I only hope it adds more to the conversation about why one is better.
  9. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    I mean, it's no more overpriced then any other part of Apple's line-up. You are paying for the OS.
  10. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    ECC memory can prevent the effects of alpha particles flipping bits, thus adding reliabilty and stability to a system. Likely not important if you are graphic artist, photographer or musician, but important when you are runnings calculations 24/7 and expect things to work as designed. While the chances are small on, say, a laptop with two memory sticks, they are some what higher in a lab of workstations or a datacenter.

    The Quadro and GeForce issue is different. Quadro cards have optimised drivers, certification and better level of support. Thus offering a better user experience and saving time and money.
  11. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    Not for us willing to buy it. If it were "overpriced" no one would purchase it. I think any car over $40,000 is overpriced. I think the movies are overpriced. I think many of the iPhone cases are overpriced.

    My MacPro is worth every penny.

    Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
  12. galstaph macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2002
    The Great White North Eh
    Home built and non workstation are definitly cheaper but as stated comparing apples to apples (no pun intended):
    Dell T7500 xeon (nehalem) workstation
    (as nearly configured as possible to 2.26 dual quad Mac Pro)
    PROCESSOR: Dual Quad Core Intel® Xeon® Processors E5520 2.26GHz,8M L3,5.8GT/s,turbo
    OPERATING SYSTEM: GenuineWindowsVista®Ultimate64EditionDowngrade,XP64Installed
    Dell Precision T7500 Workstation, EStar
    PRODUCTIVITY SOFTWARE: Microsoft® Office 2007 Small Business Edition and Adobe Acrobat 9.0 S
    MEMORY: 6GB, DDR3 RDIMM Memory, 1333MHz, ECC (6 DIMMS)
    GRAPHICS CARD: 768MB NVIDIA® Quadro® FX 1800, DUAL MON, 2 DP & 1 DVI
    HARD DRIVE CONFIGURATION: C1 All SATA drives, Non-RAID, 1 drive total configuration
    HARD DRIVE INTERNAL CONTROLLER Integrated LSI 1068e SAS/SATA 3.0Gb/s controller
    HARD DRIVE 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s with NCQ and 16MB DataBurst Cache™
    OPTICAL DRIVE16X DVD+/-RW w/ Cyberlink PowerDVD™ and Roxio Creator™ Dell Ed
    MONITOR No Monitor
    CHASSIS INTRUSION SWITCH Chassis Intrusion Switch
    WARRANTY & SERVICE 3 Year Basic Limited Warranty and 3 Year NBD Onsite Service
    SECURITY SOFTWARE Norton Internet Security™ 2009 30 Day Trial
    RESOURCE DVD Resource DVD - contains Diagnostics and Drivers
    FLOPPY DRIVE & MEDIA READER No Floppy Drive and No Media Card Reader
    KEYBOARD Dell Multimedia Pro Keyboard
    SPEAKERS No Speaker option
    MOUSE New Dell USB Optical Mouse with scroll, All Black Design
    ALSO INCLUDED WITH YOUR SYSTEM Additional PCI-E Network Adapter card Broadcom NetXtreme 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet controller-PCI Express card
    Ship Packaging Options
    Shipping Material for System
    Power Supplies Precision T7500 Power Suppply
    RESOURCE CD Documentation, English, with 125V Power Cord

    Total Dell cost: $ 5359 CAD (see edit - dell US has fewer options than canada apparently)

    Equivalent octad 2.26 Mac pro + 4870 & applecare is $4338 CAD (3748US)

    So, a roughly equivalent basic octad Dell Nehalem workstation is still ~1021 more than a 2.26 octad mac pro (in Canada)
    659 less than a 2009 mac pro octad 2.66 w/ATI 4870 +applecare @6018CAD ($5148)

    kinda makes you step back and say hmm... base seems competitive in Canada

    The US dell options do not allow you to put in a dual 2.26 quad option, hence after posting I had to adjust as bumped me to canada when accessing site

    In the US though

    dual quad 2.66GHx T7500 Nehalem workstation (as close to above specs as possible) is: $5929 USD vs $5148 USD for the 2.66 octad Mac Pro that is 781$ you could spend on a 285 or whatever pleases you

    *all prices are pre-tax and shipping using and no discounts applied
  13. isaaclimdc macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Have you ever configured a Mac Pro to the max just to see how much that costs? ;)

    That aside, yes I do believe Mac Pros are vastly overpriced. Those specs for the Dell are comparable yet it is so much cheaper.

    Attached Files:

  14. Decrepit macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2007
    Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
    One is a gaming rig. It has gaming rig parts.

    It's like when people complain about Quadro video cards vs Geforce cards from nVidia.

    If you are running Pro-Engineer or Maya or something, and are having video issues, try calling tech support.

    -- Geforce support: Hmm, neat. We don't support that on a professional level. How does it work in Windows?

    -- Quadro support: Here's the ftp site, this is where we put daily or hourly revisions of the drivers. Please go download this one, and test it. If it behaves, great we'll make sure to build a non-dev driver for it. If it doesn't, give us these log files after you get the error, and we'll fix it in a couple of hours.

    When you get into the Xeon systems, you're starting to worry about cooling a lot more than a generic chassis system. The Mac Pro, like the other major manufacturer's graphics workstations are designed to cool a machine running full blast for days on end.

    So yes, it's damn expensive. It would be awesome if a desktop version of the Mac Pro were available to people who need more room than the Mini offers, but it is what it is.

    I have no need for that kind of power at home. (or at work for that matter)

    But I used to work with engineers on their workstations in the energy, entertainment and automotive industries. They'd get their new workstation, and they'd double their productivity. Take the $15,000 cost of a real monster workstation. Divide that by the number of projects that you are able to complete a year. You start seeing MAJOR benefits from machines that fast when you are able to do things in an afternoon that took a week with the last box.

    On edit: Holy crap you can build a $50K workstation from HP now. 96GB memory preinstalled.
  15. David-fr macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2008
    Bay Area
    weare talking about computer hardware! not 30 and 24 inch cinema displays!
  16. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Drop the Cinema Displays and the trolling or leave the forum, please.
  17. Bubba Satori Suspended

    Bubba Satori

    Feb 15, 2008
    I've had several of my Apple customers looking to replace an older Mac desktop with a new tower. They already have monitors, don't want unexpandable iMacs and are mostly photographers because I have sold them DSLRs. They are power users and need fast computers at a good price. The least expensive Apple tower is the quad core with 3GB memory for $2,499. :eek:

    They have all opted for a Gateway, HP or Dell quad with 8GB memory that goes for $799-$899.
  18. SolidGun macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2004
    Twin Cities
    Are they overpriced compared to something that can do the similar task in plastic case? Sure they are, but compare this to a car....

    Will I pay for an over engineered Porsche when a Subaru STi comes close to the same handling and speed if not better?

    It just fills the desire for people that want something just a little better. For what is offered now, it is not overpriced at all compared to previous gens.
  19. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Now you're in a workstation thread talking about sub $1k boxes... Does that even make sense?

    The bottom line is that if you think the current Mac Pros are overpriced then you quite likely aren't in the target market for that product.
  20. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Some companies don't care about saving a few hundred/thousand bucks. The point is that they want a high-end, stable system. The Dell looks good in terms of hardware specs, but may not perform as well as the Mac Pro, which may be underspec'd. The point is not point-by-point spec comparison, but the stability of the system. I could have better hardware, but integration isn't that solid. I could have a little lesser hardware, but a higher class (think C2D vs. Xeon) that costs a little more but has stability. For us consumers, the Mac Pro is definitely not needed, not even if you're a gamer. Mac Pros are designed to cool efficiently, and run complex calculations 24/7, or maybe become a server of some kind.

    Simply put, if you don't understand/justify the cost of a Mac Pro vs a consumer machine, then you don't need it. But for those of you that do understand, you may not need to have a Mac Pro, but you definitely know what its used for and why.
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    With that kind of price difference, and no real need for server grade parts, it's hard to justify the '09 Quad. It's too big to ignore, no matter the OS preference. Especially in this economy. :rolleyes: :(
  22. isaaclimdc macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Man, what's with the hostility! Just trying to inject some humor here. Sorry.
  23. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Is the pope catholic?
    Does a bear take a dump in the woods?
    Was Jesus jewish?

  24. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    You should have denoted that. Your latter paragraph was not written as such.

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