Mac Pro 2008 is the most ever "bang-for-buck" Mac.

Amethyst

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 8, 2006
528
20
I have bought 8-core 2.8 GHz mac pro in January 2008 (At first date it release) at 2799USD. 2 years later. when i consider to bought a new mac that at least it fast equal as my old 2008 Mac Pro, I found , I must pay much more than i have pay for my '08 mac pro. so that make me think. may be Mac Pro 2008 is the most ever "bang-for-buck" Mac.
 

dimme

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2007
1,645
4,223
SF, CA
I have a 2008 MacPro also and when I bought it I planed to keep it for 5 years. That's still the plan, but if I had to speculate on a replacement it would be a home built PC running windows 7 or a imac. I just can't afford or justify the cost of a MacPro.
 

Digital Skunk

macrumors 604
Dec 23, 2006
7,865
435
In my imagination
Actually, I think it'll be the 1.25GHz PowerMac G4. At least I think that was the processor speed of it.

I started my drool-fest over Apple machines with that one, starting at $1299.
 

tomscott1988

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2009
619
483
UK
Actually, I think it'll be the 1.25GHz PowerMac G4. At least I think that was the processor speed of it.

I started my drool-fest over Apple machines with that one, starting at $1299.
Definetly agree I started with the 1.25 g4 didnt upgrade it till the 2008 mac pro because of bang for buck! the g4 is awesome! 4 internal drive spaces 4 memory slots! great machine for the time! when apple actually considered their pros as the most important consumers.

I kited mine out with 3x 300gb seagate drives and the standard 120gb drive put 2gbs ram in it, still runs leopard well just struggles with the graphics card.
:apple:
 

Digital Skunk

macrumors 604
Dec 23, 2006
7,865
435
In my imagination
Definetly agree I started with the 1.25 g4 didnt upgrade it till the 2008 mac pro because of bang for buck! the g4 is awesome! 4 internal drive spaces 4 memory slots! great machine for the time! when apple actually considered their pros as the most important consumers.

I kited mine out with 3x 300gb seagate drives and the standard 120gb drive put 2gbs ram in it, still runs leopard well just struggles with the graphics card.
:apple:
Yes, those G4s were troopers and everything sans GFX. My old paper's 1.25GHz ran CS2 with ease, just took forever to render out images for previews and such. Zooming it was a Kernal Panic waiting to happen.

I think the dual 1.42GHz (last model of PowerMac G4 as I recall) was still highly coveted until the Mac Pros were introduced. Interesting fact is, the base model iMac cost MORE than the base model PowerMac for a number of years.

Still rockin' my 2006 Quad 2.66.
My dual core 2.0GHz G5 was $1799. I think the best Mac Pro price was the CTO quad core 2.0GHz Mac Pro for $1999. After that, the prices just went outta hand. The quad core iMac would be a great option if it only had express card 34 for further expansion at the very least.
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
4,934
54
England
My dual core 2.0GHz G5 was $1799. I think the best Mac Pro price was the CTO quad core 2.0GHz Mac Pro for $1999. After that, the prices just went outta hand. The quad core iMac would be a great option if it only had express card 34 for further expansion at the very least.
They were actually $2,199, you saved $300.
 

Pressure

macrumors 601
May 30, 2006
4,034
284
Denmark
"Performance for the buck"-wise the early 2008 Mac Pro has held up quite well compared to some of the other models. Especially all prior non-Intel based PowerMacs.
 

Killerbob

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2008
1,018
89
...and you can upgrade it to match (well almost) today's machines; more RAM, new videocard (ATi 4870), and some SSDs for OS and Applications.
 

juanm

macrumors 68000
May 1, 2006
1,575
2,994
Fury 161
I bought my Mac Pro 1,1 2,66 Ghz on eBay with an X1900XT, a 23 ACD and a 20 ACD for 750€. Now, 500€ worth of upgrades later, I've an Octo Core 2,66GHz with 8GB of RAM. And soon a 4870 or 4890 card. Soon, when SSD prices go a bit cheaper, I'll buy a decent sized hard drive, and this thing will keep flying for another two years, I guess. I'll I'm quite happy about it, actually. :D
 

2ms

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2002
440
70
I think a MAJOR reason Mac Pro prices went out of hand has been due to Intel getting near-monopoly. They now charge over $1000 for each processor! And that's just for a quad-core 2.66. Few years ago when there were competitive AMD processors the going rate for equivalent highish end processors was more like $250.
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
4,934
54
England
I think a MAJOR reason Mac Pro prices went out of hand has been due to Intel getting near-monopoly. They now charge over $1000 for each processor! And that's just for a quad-core 2.66. Few years ago when there were competitive AMD processors the going rate for equivalent highish end processors was more like $250.
Intel's Xeon 5000 series has risen in price over the past couple of years, but they also have offered a lot more performance from generation to generation. The high end consumer processors and Xeon 3000 series haven't changed much in their pricing since the introduction of Core 2. Roughly $300, $600, $1000+ tiers.

As to that affect on the Mac Pro? Well the $2,499 2006 Mac Pro used two $700 processors and the $2,799 08 model two $800 processors. The 09 DP model uses two $400 processors but cost $3,299. The $3,499 2010 model also will use two $400 processors. Make of that what you will, to me it says discount from the list price changed, Apple wanted much higher margins, or want to shift people to other systems that while offering better value for money make Apple more per sale. No because Intel have increased prices due to no real competition.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,719
2
Intel's Xeon 5000 series has risen in price over the past couple of years, but they also have offered a lot more performance from generation to generation. The high end consumer processors and Xeon 3000 series haven't changed much in their pricing since the introduction of Core 2. Roughly $300, $600, $1000+ tiers.

As to that affect on the Mac Pro? Well the $2,499 2006 Mac Pro used two $700 processors and the $2,799 08 model two $800 processors. The 09 DP model uses two $400 processors but cost $3,299. The $3,499 2010 model also will use two $400 processors. Make of that what you will, to me it says discount from the list price changed, Apple wanted much higher margins, or want to shift people to other systems that while offering better value for money make Apple more per sale. No because Intel have increased prices due to no real competition.
Definitely, particularly when you consider the SP system costs. The CPU is less than $300 in quantity (W3520 or W3530, as they're the same price), yet Apple's MSRP is ~$1000USD above other vendors (same CPU for comparitive reasons, as exact parity is impossible).
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
115
Vancouver, BC
Everyone seems to forget that in late 2008, the economy tanked... hard. I'm sure when Apple did their business analysis for the 2009 model year for the Mac Pro's, their forecast for unit shipments had similarly tanked since the bulk MP customers would have been hit hard by the economic downturn. The higher margins were undoubtedly a reflection of the times.

Whether we will ever see the margins cut again, is another matter. It could be like income tax which was supposed to be a short-term war-time measure. :rolleyes:

BTW...

Great story! Can't wait for the motion picture!
Thanks for the laugh! :D :D
 

roblin

macrumors regular
Apr 5, 2007
203
20
+1

I bought my MP 2008(see signature) when the USD/SEK rate was 1:6, now it's 1:8 and the USD prices have gone up, so a similiar setup would cost me more 2.5years later. I have had it on almost 24/7, sometimes for many weeks without reboot, average ~20% cpu and I am willing to pay for performance and usually upgrade every year, but it really feels like it's not worth to upgrade it. My MP2008 have been my best purchase ever, never failed me once, performed great and have earned me tons of money. :D
 

kellen

macrumors 68020
Aug 11, 2006
2,364
56
Seattle, WA
Best bang for the buck was the 08 Mac pro, but when they EOL'd them for 1799 (if I recall). Made me buy it over an iMac, which I would probably be considering upgrading now to a quad core.

Hoping this thing gets me at least 5 years.
 

Bafflefish

macrumors 6502
Oct 16, 2009
407
0
"Performance for the buck"-wise the early 2008 Mac Pro has held up quite well compared to some of the other models. Especially all prior non-Intel based PowerMacs.
Well, I think you have to take into account the timeframe we're looking at. If you're looking at it from a "Can it still run today's software well?", then yeah, of course.

But with regards to the best "Performance for the bucks", you'd also have to consider systems along the lines of the old Power Mac G4s that were at 450Mhz, etc., "back in the day". You could make a case for the 500 Mhz G4 as well.

Something like a year and a half occurred between when the G4 maxed out at 450/500 Mhz and was able to be increased to higher rates. Even then, I think it was about two years before significantly-faster models (the initial Quicksilver models) appeared, and for awhile to come those initial G4s still proved their worth.


I think a MAJOR reason Mac Pro prices went out of hand has been due to Intel getting near-monopoly. They now charge over $1000 for each processor! And that's just for a quad-core 2.66. Few years ago when there were competitive AMD processors the going rate for equivalent highish end processors was more like $250.
That's not an accurate comparison though. The processors that Apple has been using in its Mac Pros since Nehalem was released are server-grade parts. You're basically paying considerably more over a desktop-grade Bloomfield/Gainestown part so that you can use ECC RAM and a second QPI link. If Apple would use a desktop-grade i7 9XX part for even, say, the entry-model Mac Pro, costs wouldn't be anywhere near as high.

Even back when the Athlon 64s were rocking the computer world, Intel still had $1000 parts - the P4 Extreme Editions anyone? Even AMD has had high-cost, $1000 processors at times. At that time, a desktop P4 was also still considerably cheaper than a Xeon P4...
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,719
2
If Apple would use a desktop-grade i7 9XX part for even, say, the entry-model Mac Pro, costs wouldn't be anywhere near as high.
Not true for the SP systems, as the i7 LGA1366 parts are the same as the SP Xeons (same socket), but with the ECC functionality Disabled. Prices for the parts are the same for identical clocks (i.e. W3680 is the same price as the i7-980X, and follows down the lineups).

The DP systems are another story. The additional QPI channel pushes the price notably (especially once you double it).
 

Bafflefish

macrumors 6502
Oct 16, 2009
407
0
Not true for the SP systems, as the i7 LGA1366 parts are the same as the SP Xeons (same socket), but with the ECC functionality Disabled. Prices for the parts are the same for identical clocks (i.e. W3680 is the same price as the i7-980X, and follows down the lineups)
I do stand corrected for the SP systems, as the W3500 series of Xeons do, infact, only have 1 GPI link. They still have ECC functionality enabled though.

However, I think you're simplifying the effect that using a i7 9XX series for their SP systems would bring. Last time I checked, wasn't the cost of the motherboard around $800ish? If that's still fairly accurate, that alone would generate a huge cost savings (as fairly feature-laden X58 boards can be had for what, $150?).

Then there's the savings of not having to rely upon ECC RAM vs. what ECC RAM typically costs, and yes, I think we can safely say that an i7 9XX-based Mac Pro could still be much more competitively priced.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,719
2
I do stand corrected for the SP systems, as the W3500 series of Xeons do, infact, only have 1 GPI link. They still have ECC functionality enabled though.

However, I think you're simplifying the effect that using a i7 9XX series for their SP systems would bring. Last time I checked, wasn't the cost of the motherboard around $800ish? If that's still fairly accurate, that alone would generate a huge cost savings (as fairly feature-laden X58 boards can be had for what, $150?).

Then there's the savings of not having to rely upon ECC RAM vs. what ECC RAM typically costs, and yes, I think we can safely say that an i7 9XX-based Mac Pro could still be much more competitively priced.
My comment was that the i7-9xx family was ECC Disabled.

As per the cost of the boards, Apple doesn't pay that much. But given the lack of options and lower production quantities, they charge a fortune for replacement parts (i.e. take a board that costs them say $200, and charge $700+). As I understand it, the SP daughterboard is ~$350 ($400 for the DP version), and main logic board ~$700. Very expensive, especially when you consider a PC board with additional features can be had for under $400 (SP board).

Even the DP server boards are cheaper (than $1100), including the monster DP board made by EVGA.

As for RAM, no, there's not a big difference between non ECC and ECC (standard, not binned chips for OC'ing, and in smaller capacity sticks). Large capacity DIMM's always come with a premium attached.
 

Shademaster

macrumors member
Dec 8, 2009
63
0
Yea I am still rocking a 2008 3.0 ghz 8 core recently upgraded with latest HD's and 12gbram. I am now set for another 2 years of joy.

I have used it to render Epically Heavy Duty 3D renders that sometimes took more than 4 months to render with a constant 100% processor load.

Even by todays standards it is more than fast enough :) .

Best computer I have ever bought. I doubt I will ever buy a MacPro again.

1x12 core is costing me just as much as 5x core i7 machines. If you want renderpower 5k for 1 machine is kind of a daft concept nowadays.
 
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