Nehalem Pricing: Apple vs Dell vs HP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by friedmud, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    Have you guys seen the pricing on Nehalem workstations from Dell and HP? Having just received two 2.93 GHz Mac Pros... my shop was pretty interested in checking the prices on the Dell and HP Nehalem workstations... so we spec'd out a couple that are comparable to what we got from Apple. Here's what we came up with.

    Mac Pro: $6,399.00
    Two 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    12GB (6x2GB)
    640GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB

    Dell T7500: $9,330
    Dual Quad Core Intel™ Xeon® Processors X5570 2.93GHz,8M L3,6.4GT/s, turbo
    12GB, DDR3 RDIMM Memory, 1066MHz, ECC (6 DIMMS)
    512MB NVIDIA® Quadro® FX 580, DUAL MON, 2 DP & 1 DVI
    750GB SATA 3Gb/s

    HP Z600: $7,337.00
    Intel® Xeon® X5570 2.93 8MB/1333 QC CPU
    Intel® Xeon® X5570 2.93 8MB/1333 QC CPU-2
    NVIDIA Quadro FX580 512MB Graphics
    HP 12GB (6x2GB) DDR3-1333 ECC 2-CPU RAM
    HP 500GB SATA 7200 1st HDD

    Just to reiterate the prices:

    Mac Pro: $6,399.00
    Dell T7500: $9,330
    HP Z600: $7,337.00

    So... my question is... WHAT APPLE TAX? Looks more like a Dell tax to me!

    Now of course there are differences between these machines. The biggest is that the Dell machine has _18_ memory slots... leaving lots of room for expansion later. The HP has faster memory than either the Dell or Mac Pro. And the Mac Pro has a better optical drive than the others (and OSX instead of 64bit Windows).


  2. Bubba Satori Suspended

    Bubba Satori

    Feb 15, 2008
    You can get professional video cards with the HP, Dell and every other workstation maker on the planet except Apple. And displays that haven't gone almost three years without an update. Absurd.
  3. nicolasmasset macrumors regular

    May 25, 2007
    Glad I found a new 2.8 octo for 2400$ last week! :D
  4. rylin macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2006
    Ugh, not another one of these threads.
    You've customized the MP in favor of Apple's pricing structure and used that as a baseline.
  5. friedmud thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    "Professional" graphics cards aren't always important. The Radeon 4870 is way more powerful than those Quadro FX 580's for instance.

    Note that I'm not saying they're not important... just that that it's not always important. I too wish that there were ultra-high-end workstation graphics options on the Mac Pro... but not enough to want a Dell for $3000 more... or an HP without OSX...


    Ok - so show me that I'm wrong. Let's look at the other end of things (where everyone yelled at Apple when the new Nehalem Mac Pros came out).... the 2.26 GHz Nehalems with 12GB of RAM:

    Apple: $3,799.00
    Dell: $5,010
    HP: Something is wrong with their site right now... can't customize a workstation....

    Note that I'm not doing anything special here... these are pretty much just baseline prices...

  6. rylin macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2006
    Call Dell to get the correct price.
    The website is notorious for showing way higher prices than what they charge over the phone.

    I've bought storage solutions for $5000 when the site said $12k and up.

    Worth noting may be that I can currently go onto my local Dell site and price up a t7400 with two quad 2.66GHz, 8GB RAM, 750GB disk and a FireGL card for the same cost as a Quad MP.

    Dell's website is notoriously crap.
    If you want to compare prices, call 'em up and ask for a quote.

    As for HP; I've never ordered workstations or consumer machines from 'em, so I can't say anything in regards to their prices.
  7. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    To the OP, didnt you post this on the arstechnica??
  8. friedmud thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    I think it's perfectly valid to work with the published prices here. I could call my Apple rep and get him to knock some off the price too (which I did when I ordered two of the machines)... but that doesn't mean I should compare that price to Dell.

    Honestly... there is simply no denying that Dell is pricing their Nehalem workstations well above HP and Apple here.

    The point of all of this is that a huge stink was made on this forum (and elsewhere) when the Nehalem Mac Pros came out... saying they were way overpriced... but now that Dell and HP have shown their hands... that doesn't appear to be the case...


    Actually - I posted here first... but the two crowds are different so I wanted to see what the Ars crowd thought about it... but it didn't matter since they already had a Nehalem price thread already (I just didn't see it).

    Good spot though. I don't usually cross-post stuff... but I wanted some good discussion about this (plus, like I just posted... there was so much discussion at both sites about how overpriced the Nehalem Mac Pros were when they debuted).

  9. rylin macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2006
    Apple have known discounts.
    IIRC it's 2% on customer gear and 5% on pro gear, and that's it.
    Admittedly, those figures are from late '06, but it was a pretty big order, especially for a first time customer, and my rep wouldn't budge on the pricing.

    Note that the receipt actually showed the actual rebate.

    You simply can't use Dell's website for comparisons as their website will give you random prices depending on what time of day it is, how many virgins Michael Dell has humped this month etc.

    Go into the home user section and price up a machine, then do the same as business, taking care to chose the exact same components.
    Now tell me you can trust the Dell site.

    Like I mentioned above though.. I can spec out a 2.66 octo Dell for basically the same as what Apple charge for the 2.66 quad.
  10. dvince2 macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2007
    But the ACD isn't a Mac Pro, and the cost of the Dell and the HP doesn't include the price of a display. You can use any type of display (Apple, Dell, Samsung, etc) with anyone of these computers.
  11. friedmud thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    No you can't. The T7400 uses _last generation_ Xeons.... NOT Nehalems! We're specifically talking about Nehalem pricing here.

    Essentially what you're saying is that you have to get a last generation workstation from Dell in order to be price competitive with Apple... that's not helping your stance.

  12. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2008
    Apple charges $300 for 12 GB... Dell's charging almost $5000. Get third party RAM and it's a much fairer contest.

    Also... workstation graphics cards are important for some. Obviously the 4870 outperforms the 5800 in terms of gaming performance, but not workstation performance... which is what it's made for.

    I still don't get why anyone would pick a 2.93 over a 2.66....
  13. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    The DP options all are pretty similar if you don't buy memory and storage from them. If you buy the second processor 3rd party you can also save several hundred. Apple's limitations in memory slots can also change things as it is cheap to add 24GB to the Dell and HP high end models for $600 in 2GB DIMMs or $1000 in 4GB. Costs $1,350 for the Mac Pro right now.

    Adding 6GB, 640GB drive and a GT 120 to compare to the Mac Pro only costs $300.

    If you look at the base online prices with just processor upgrades then you get:

             	Apple     Dell       HP
    2.26GHz     $3,299   $2,749   $3,742
    2.66GHz     $4,699   $4,299   $5,542
    2.93GHz     $5,899   $5,049   $6,722
    And HP and Dell make the quad core Mac Pros "overpriced".

    In the end they are mostly selling to different markets anyway. If you just want hardware performance you can do it cheaper and get better than Apple, even if you don't want to build it from newegg and dual socket Mac Pros, while "less value" than previous ones compete on price with other vendors of DP workstations.
  14. friedmud thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    Even leaving off any RAM upgrade... a 2.66GHz Octo T7500 with 2GB of RAM starts at $5,320... an Octo Mac Pro with 2.66GHz and 6GB of RAM starts at $4,699. Closer... but Apple is still quite a bit cheaper.

    As for getting a 2.93 over a 2.66... it all depends on what you do with the machine. I write massively parallel scientific apps... and pure hardcore speed translates into HOURS a week saved... which not only saves money but let's me meet my milestones faster. Different needs... different machines...

  15. rylin macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2006
    My bad, it wasn't showing the *500 series where I was looking, so I assumed.

    T3500, Quad 2.66, 4GB, 750GB, Quadro FX580 = $60 bucks more expensive than Apple. Online.
    T5500, 2x Quad 2.26, 12GB (3x4GB), 750GB, Quadro FX580 = almost $500 cheaper than the base 2.26 octo MP.
    T5500, 2x Quad 2.66, 12GB (3x4GB), 750GB, Quadro FX580 = $1100 less than Apple's octo 2.66 w/ 12GB.

    The 2.93 is also roughly $1100 cheaper through Dell.

    Over the phone, you can take another $400 - 1400 off.

    Your turn.
  16. RebootD macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2009
    NW Indiana
    I did this exact comparison and the DP Dell/HP are very much in line with Apple. Plus since you would never buy Ram/HD from Apple price out a base model from each vendor, then add 3rd party ram and hard drives then do a price comparison.

    Even internal IT groups buy base model workstations (at least they did where I used to work) and bought 3rd party everything through a preferred vendor.
  17. friedmud thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    Can't argue with most of this post... very true about the quad cores for sure. The only thing that doesn't line up for me is the Dell pricing... which I'm getting from this page:

    but as the other guy pointed out... I know that depending on how you navigate the Dell site you can end up pricing the same machine with different prices... so I'm not surprised.

    Definitely can't argue about the 24gb of RAM thing either. If you do need that much RAM you're absolutely right that it will be cheaper to go with Dell (as long as you buy 3rd party RAM!).
  18. friedmud thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    You might be right on the quad-core ( didn't check ). But I don't see how you're getting those prices on the T5500. Coming from here ( ) I'm seeing:

    T5500 2.26, 12GB RAM, FX 580: $4,820
    T5500 2.66, 12GB RAM, FX 580: $7,040

    MP 2.26, 12GB RAM, 4870: $3,799.00
    MP 2.66, 12GB RAM, 4870: $5,199.00

    Also... note that I'm adding the cheap RAM on the dell site (the 1066 MHz RAM) that matches Apple.

    Anyway... the point is not really to quibble about a few hundred dollars here or there (we're all looking at multi-thousand dollar machines here). The fact that we can go back and forth on this proves that Apple is in the ballpark.

  19. rylin macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2006
    I'm checking my local Dell site as ordering from the US is such a hassle ;)

    While some of it is in Swedish, specing it out shouldn't be a problem.
    VAT/GST is 25%, so take the price and multiply by 1.25.

    Apple's base prices are 27000 SEK for the Quad, 35000 SEK for the Octo 2.26 ($3265 and $4235 respectively according to current mid-market rates).

    Given that we sort of know component costs, all it proves is that everyone's charging more than they usually do.
    As for a few hundred bucks here and there, I sort of agree.
    On the other hand, the people going from iMac to MP are probably stretched thin as it is, and might not be prepared to shell out the extra dough.

    For anyone using their MP(s) to make money, it's not a big deal at all.
    It'll be very interesting to see if/how Apple adjust their pricing with the upcoming Intel "tick".

    IMO, the two biggest points are:
    Everyone's charging way more than they should.
    Different companies have different strategies.

    Apple's phone sales is staffed by glorified cashiers.
    Dell's phone sales is staffed by sales people.

    Edit: sneaky MacRumors, turning my link into an affiliate link..
  20. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    Last year before I purchased my Mac Pro I guess I made the fallacy of pricing the equivalent Dell to the Mac I was looking at. Which meant that I eliminated the lowest priced Dell, since they came with significantly slower CPUs base than what Apple was selling.

    I had specced both with minimum RAM Apple offered, and no display (since I had one I was going to reuse), which especially helped Apple due to their higher prices on these coordinates.

    On the other hand, the Mac price included the purchase of a copy of Windows (XP).

    Enough to convince me that there didn't HAVE to be an apple tax on the high end.
  21. Thunderchicken macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2009
    I don't see how all this bickering over which one is cheaper, better, because you're going to get what ever is going to suit your existing software, and upgrade path. The only time that doesn't come in to play is if you're buying everything new for the 1st time.
  22. rylin macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2006
    The '08 MP was (and still is) great bang/buck.
    When it came out, it was basically cheaper to buy the MP and strip it for parts than it was to buy the individual parts retail.

    '09 MP? Not so much.

    With that said, I'm more than happy to pay the "Apple tax".. but I do live in the world's 2nd most taxed nation (we were #1 a year or so ago ;)), and there's only so much I'm willing to pay.
  23. rylin macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2006
    Eh, I have roughly the same "invested" in Windows software (SecureCRT, UltraEdit, FlashFXP, RegexBuddy, O2k3) as I do in Mac software (TextMate, VMware, iWork).

    What I do pay for is being able to sleep at night, wake up without feeling miserable, and not having to worry about security.
    I.e., I don't have to spend every five minutes making sure my tools are in top trim.

    In other words, I care more about my workflow than I do my existing software or upgrade path.
    Of course, my hobbies and my work don't require expensive software.. :p
  24. Gonk42 macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008
    near Cambridge
    I'm essentially in this position.

    In the comparison I made for myself (2.26 octo with 12GB RAM in the UK) I found that Apple was more expensive than Dell, but with student discount was slightly cheaper but is much less expandable. I'll probably wait for machines to appear on Dell outlet as they will be much cheaper but I think that won't be for a couple of months at least.

    I think that the most significant fact is that Apple used to greatly undercut Dell for workstations - they now are comparable or even more expensive, this seems to be a policy change and makes me reluctant to enter the Apple camp. (If I start investing in Apple specific software then for future upgrades I have to go with Apple and if they aren't trying to expand their workstation market future prices may be even less competitive. Dell will always have to compete with HP etc.)
  25. jons macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2008
    Because sometimes people like to argue to forget all the trouble in the world.

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