Mac Pro vs. HP Workstation Z820

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by hajime, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. hajime macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Hello, I am buying a powerful workstation. How is the Mac Pro running Windows compared with the the HP Z820 (with Intel Xeon E5-2687W or 2690 CPU), 32-48GB RAM and a Quadro 4000-6000GPU? As far as I know, the system memory of the Z820 is 1600 MHz while that of the Mac Pro is slower.
  2. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2012
    The HP would spank the MP in most things. Just don't tell the people here that ;).

    It ultimately depends on what software you need though. Is your software on Windows or OSX? If your just starting out, I'm not sure if I would lock down myself to OSX with it's dwindling pro support. But like I said, it depends on the software.
  3. xav8tor macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2011
    Spank it? That config with 2687W will turn a maxed out Mac Pro into a pile of dust. If you game or use 3D sim apps, it will run the GTX 680 series too (I checked with HP on that). Buy the basic config and get your drives/RAM, etc. from Newegg. You'll save thousands and still have the 3 yr. warranty and tech support on the box/mobo/CPU/PS/GPU, etc. Also, in addition to the 20% off sale right now, call them and ask for another 5% on a telephone order. You'll probably get that too. I almost went with a 620 maxed out instead of upgrading my Pro and hoping for the best next year.
  4. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    The only reason for one to buy a Mac Pro is to get a workstation for OSX.

    Offerings by Dell and HP offer the latest CPUs and there is no competition on paper.
  5. xav8tor macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2011
    True, but I would go with HP i/o Dell though. HP's workstation support is right here in the USA, not outsourced to some place you can't even pronounce, and the techs have a lab with each model in it so that they can run over and test your issue, etc. I was blown away by the level of support they offered and I hadn't even bought the machine yet. I was speaking with regular tech support, not the sales dept. They also sent me all sorts of tech literature on what you can do with the Z line. You can get North American support from Dell, but they charge an arm and a leg for it. The Z's are built like a tank too.
  6. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Kinda of an odd question.
    Its like Apples and ....
    We're looking into the RED820.
    We run a slew of Mac Pro's here.
    Its an addition to our tool-set.
    No point of comparison unless you plan on just using Windows OS on the Mac Pro.
  7. loungecorps macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2010
    If you go on the red user forums, you can find a guy who makes software to turn the hpz820 into a hackintosh
  8. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    I have a very heavy 17" MBP. Over the years I use a MBP as my main computer. For engineering applications, I turn to a Windows desktop and the MBP via Bootcamp. Note that I am used to using MacOS as the OS for my main computer.

    I entered a new institute. At first I considered to buy the 15" rMBP with 16GB RAM and a powerful desktop PC. I will not have to suffer from back pain carrying the heavy 17" MBP anymore. Then, I was told that each employee can only buy one computer. I certainly need a powerful desktop to run computationally intensive simulations 24-7 and CAD. In the future, I will probably need to use the machine to run applications that require more memory than 16GB. What suggestion do you have?

    One option is to carry the heavy laptop and use it as my main computer.
    Ask the institute to buy a powerful desktop (be it a MacPro running Windows or the HP Z820).

    Any advice appreciated.


    Do you mean ?

    That would be a very good choice. How effective it is? Which video card to use to be fully compatible?
  9. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Yep read that I frequent there due to work gear.
    No desire to hack anything.
    I just want my computers to work when I need them too :)
  10. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2012
    Hmm. That's a tough one. Given your situation, and your options, I think I'd bite the bullet and lug around the 17 inch and get the powerful desktop. As for which one to get

    The HP you listed or a Dell precision of equivalent spec are what I would choose. With 16gb or Ram (or more) and whatever graphics card is most appropriate for the apps you use.
  11. Topper macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2007
    A Sign of Things to Come?

    Take a look at this thread and other threads on this "Mac Pro" forum.
    Look at how many people are willing to buy an HP or Dell workstation.
    I really think Apple missed the boat on this one.
    How many of these same people would buy an HP or Dell workstation if Apple had launched a Sandy Bridge Mac Pro on June 11th?
    How many people are willing to wait for a "really great" Mac Pro in late 2013?
    Will Apple just discontinue the Mac Pro because they will already have lost too many Mac Pro customers?
  12. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2012
    All good questions.
  13. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    This whole Apple dropped the professionals is old news and will never stop.
    I am an island. I will use what works for me at the time its needed.
    If Apple stopped making Mac Pro's, we still have a dozen working 24/7 with no hiccups.
    Add the other tools such as BOXX and DELL workstations to that mix and Im happy :)
    Now back to the topic.
    I still think its silly to pit an HP Z820 agains the Mac Pro.
  14. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    all pretty weak questions.

    Indeed. Go back to 2008, 2009, and especially the 3 month gap between March and July 2010 and see how many folks were positioning HP/Dell workstations. "Oh , the Mac Pro is horrible because it only has 4 slots" (seem a repeat of that very recently). " 4 PCI-e slots are too few " , " I only need a T3600 or z200-z400 small scale tower " , blah , blah , blah.

    There are always folks complaining.

    The certainly missed the boat in getting something timely out. However, it certainly isn't as bad as the JP Morgan trading desk that nuked $4+ billion dollars of that banks money.

    The segment of people who dual boot through Boot Camp more than 20-30% of the time are always at a threat of jumping ship. As pointed out above there is a almost constant grumbling from those folks over time. That groaning isn't particularly indicative of anything specifically related to the current context.

    There is also a very large segment of the Mac Pro population that isn't going to buy anything. Folks who bought Mac Pro's in 2011 , 2010, 2009, and most of 2008 aren't going anywhere. Because of their high capital costs, Mac Pros have a relatively slow turn over rate.

    Again look in through the forum. How many threads are there of folks wailing they can't install Mountain Lion on their 1,1 and 2,1 Mac Pro? Several. There is almost constant thread of complaints they folks can't run their "perfectly good" 5,6,7,8 and 9 year old Mac Pro class boxes and that Apple is "evil" for not supporting their productive, but vintage , hardware. Guess what ? ... they aren't buying anything: HP, Dell, or Apple.

    In addition to those, look at the number of threads about how "Lion"/"Mountain Lion"/Windows 8 are evil and that they are sticking with Snow Leopard for as long as possible. Guess what? these 2012 Mac Pros run SL. If Apple rolled out a bleeding edge board with E5's it wouldn't. Mac Pros increments moving at a much slower pace than the OS increments means a machine that can span more OS versions.

    So ....

    Primarily the people at risk are those who needed to make a "retirement" transition in the next 7-12 months or ran into "top end performance" issues. It is a sizable number but it isn't the whole Mac Pro market.
    Sure there is a chunk that have been defering and will bolt, but they relatively small since Mac Pro upgrade cycles are so long. There is always a relative small number of folks on transition points.

    Of those not scheduled to buy until 2013 and beyond anyway? The vast majority.

    Again a fundamentally flawed question. It is really about growth. As long as Apple is OK with completely ignoring Mac Pro growth (or lack of growth) over the 2010-2013 time period it really doesn't matter. When Apple has a competitive product if buyers don't buy then they will probably kill it. If Mac Pro growth jumps as high as iMac/laptop growth and holds steady for 4-8 quarters they will probably continue.

    I think Apple knows they don't really know enough if it is a viable product or not. There are likely folks internally trying to kill it. But it has probably been given one last shot to "live or die" on the next update. What happens is really up to what the customers do with the next model.

    With $100B in the bank and more money then they can spend coming in Apple does not vitality need Mac Pro revenue. However, they won't blow off Mac Pro growth if it existed at rates similar to the rest of the Mac line up. In the meantime I don't think Apple is going to be rattled by FUD that HP , Dell, etc are going to sling for the next year. Uncharacteristically, they'll ahead said a revision is coming next year. They have enough resources to "rebuild" the Mac Pro market incrementally over a 3-4 year period of time if they want without breaking a sweat.

    In contrast HP, Dell , etc desperately need relatively very high workstation revenues and profits to cover up their "loss leader" boxes which saddle their overall businesses with about 20-25% less profit margin that the Mac business. The are primarily just trying to get from quarter to quarter. That's largely because Apple doesn't have any loss leader boxes bleeding profits. Apple is quite happy to have just 5-8% of the market.
  15. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Yes. I used to use all Apple products. Recently, I bought a Galaxy Note since the iPhone 5 is still not available. Now, I decided to buy a HP workstation because the Mac Pro is outdated. Even a very expensive mixed model is not as fast as similarly priced one from HP.
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Dell has brought back their enterprise support to the US (used to be an option on some systems, but not all).

    Now whether or not each support person as a test bed system in order to see what's going on for calls as they come in, I don't know (software issues too, as they won't have an identical software configuration). Assuming I understand you correctly in regards to HP having such test systems per support person, I suspect this isn't actually the case with HP either (may have test systems, but not for each support person you'd speak with on the phone; again, software issues would crop up as well).
  17. xav8tor, Aug 3, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012

    xav8tor macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2011
    I read Dell brought back some biz support here, but after two years of misery dealing with outsourced support from them, they lost my cpu biz, but the Ultrasharps are sure nice. The girl at HP impressed the heck out of me. She knew most difficult answers right off the bat, no way she had time to key into the KB. When I tossed her a real curveball she told me about their facilities and came back in five minutes with the answer. It was a very Apple like experience and I wasn't even at tier two, or in Applespeak, senior advisor level. Call them at their tech support number, ask a few hardball questions and see what you think. If you are polite and ask relevant questions, you might be impressed too. Honestly, I was shocked at the level of service and effort they showed me.

    PS - I didn't mean to imply each tech support person had one of everything at their desk. That's is absurd. They have access to each model in a "lab" to go a take a look and play with it to help do their job. Now, having an extra computer at your station to try and replicate the customer's problem is nothing new. At Microsoft way back in the 90's when support was USA based, each of us had a second PC in our cube for just such purposes (among others). Software issues are a different story of course, other than the OS or branded apps.
  18. G51989 macrumors 68030


    Feb 25, 2012
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    I'll be short and honest here, if your need your company for heavy lifting, and are in need of good performance.

    Get the **** out of the Apple system, forever, the days of Apple being for Pros are LONG gone.

    As far as performance goes? Any modren PC workstation will turn a Mac Pro into a big pile of burning dust. The Mac Pro is SUPER overpriced, slow, outdated, and slow, and slow, and outdated.
  19. Topper macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2007
    Yet you answer each and every question.
    You even affirm the "Apple missed the boat" question.
    Yes, but I've never seen so many people so angry since June 11th.
    Apple may have 100 billion in the bank but it hasn't benefited the Mac Pro user.
    I may be part of a vocal minority but I just gave up a lot of money to the dark side that Apple won't see in 2013.
    I know, Apple could care less, which in turn is my major problem with Apple.
  20. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    No. I pointed out your "questions" were more of the form "Is the sky blue?" as opposed to "Why is the sky blue?". Many pointing out something that isn't "new" and generating exceedingly little insight.

    Likewise. really isn't a question.

    And if Apple had released no Mac Pro or said anything about it until 2013 there would have been a larger group of happier people?

    If the Mac Pro had put even a remotely significant amount of that $100B in the bank then they could it say something about where a significant amount might go. It didn't.

    Apple's $100B is to benefit Apple. They can take risks on long term strategies that don't immediately start paying off. They can "move" or "improve" its supply chain vendors. They can acquire any company they feel is appropriate.

    Apple being successful benefits the Mac Pro. Lots of people buy from successful companies because they are successful. "Nobody got fired for buying from IBM" used to be indicative of the mindset. There is at least order of magnitude more Cocoa and ObjectiveC developers out there now there were 8-10 years ago.

    As long as the "coming to Mac" : "leaving Mac" ratio is 2:1 or 1.1:1 or 3:1 , I don't think Apple is going to be pressed about that. If they can get it back in 2016 or 2017 they are OK with that too.

    Apple doesn't try to target everybody with every need. If you look into Dell's and HP's catalog you'll see that they are selling the "old" model still also. Someone folks in the workstation market want slowly evolving workstations that are offered over an extended period of time.

    There is little justification for being angry if yours and Apple's priorities don't align 100%.
  21. xav8tor macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2011
  22. Topper macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2007
    If Apple had released a Sandy Bridge Mac Pro on June 11th, there would have been a lot fewer unhappy people.
    There would have been fewer people switching over to HP and Dell.

    No, the Mac Pro user has not benefited from Apple's billions.
  23. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2010
    Do you need any software that is exclusive to windows?
    Do you need any software that is exclusive to OS X?
  24. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    Some people will always be angry no matter what Apple does. We have strong indications something new is coming out 2013.

    I think long term strategy is what works the best for Apple. Instant gratification does not always bring something new or innovative, but just to appease those who cannot wait for something good. Although I admit Apple does take too long in some regards I think the payoff will be greater in the long run.

    And when something does come quickly, people often complain its not good enough ( One year update cycle from Lion to Mountain Lion ) not innovative enough, features ect and so on.
  25. ThePreditor macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2012
    I'm buying the first one to come with Thunderbolt. I've got too many TB devices now to go back, and it's just

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