OK, Let's Try Again (Ordering A Mac Pro in Hong Kong)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fernmeister, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. fernmeister macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2007
    Straight after release, I ordered a new Mac Pro with 8800GT through a local, well established reseller. I didn't go via Apple direct, because I wanted to make deal on RAM (8GB) and HDDs (2x750WD) ready to go.

    Wait was fine, last week they tell me the Machine will be in on Monday. On Monday they say it's in, parts are in, etc. I tell them I'll be in on Wednesday to pick up. Wednesday comes around, they say they are "testing" it, try to rush me out of the store with offers of free delivery, etc. I tell them I'll be back in the afternoon.

    Come back, Mac Pro is lying open on a chair in the middle of the store (think busy mall), parts all around the place. They have a (second-hand looking) Hitachi 500GB and an older model Seagate 500 Drive. There's no Ram in the machine (turns out it hadn't arrived yet). Oh and here's the kicker, I look inside and see a nice, bright red, half sized video card! They admit they were trying to palm off the wrong machine - but they can get the right one in by Saturday!

    So, I explain to them in clear, store-emptying prose, that I want a full refund. No, a two-week wait for funds to clear will not do. When I go in today to speak to the manager and confirm the refund will be in by the close of the week, they point to a magically appeared Mac Pro with the 8800GT card. But, when I ask them to boot it up so I can check the card is installed properly, they get very sheepish. Refund please.

    Anyway, I've ordered a new one, direct from Apple. Now I need a drink.
  2. newtech macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
    Hong Kong is great for buying inexpensive tailored suits, high quality computers not so much.
  3. barijazz macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2007
    So what is the question? lol.
  4. Jettbot macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2008
    Hey Fernmeister I'd love to know what you end up doing and paying for your new box.

    Just registered an account here to post on this topic, not sure if asking or answering these questions is against forum policies. Forgive me if it is, haven't had time to read them.

    I'm ready to buy my first Mac ever (very excited) but this is for my office in Bangkok (my other one is in Los Angeles) and the prices here are just absolutely insulting. I need to go to Hong Kong in two weeks anyways and just saw your post so would love to learn about the best way to get decent prices on workstations while here in Asia and on my way to HK. Apple HK seems to have prices comparable to Apple's US website.

    I'm looking to get roughly the same box as you, an 8core 3.2 with the Nvidia, plus 16GB RAM (not from Apple though thank you) as well as a base model Macbook for my assistant.

    I've just gone through a nightmare experience with a vendor in Los Angeles (Guitar Center, ya screw you guys), who made me jump through hurdles for four weeks, they said they'd do international shipping so we moved ahead with the order. But since they didn't accept credit cards over the phone I had to have a family member physically enter a store in Florida to get their credit card swiped for part of the payment, plus then go through hell and back actually trying to do an international wire transfer from my personal account in Bangkok (the governement needs tons of forms explaining why my own money is leaving the country). And now after Guitar Center has taken my money and my computers have arrived in their warehouse and are ready for shipping, they have just notified me that they can not do international shipping. Thanks for wasting my time Guitar Center, we needed the workstation to help us review work on a top notch visual fx blockbuster in theaters May 2nd (but our deadline is imminent!) and I'll remember how you screwed me this time in case any Guitar Center managers are ever reading this.

    So I'm back to square one and looking for a vendor out here in Asia that offers prices typical with the Apple website in the US.

    Let me know how your purchase goes and anyone else in the region that has advice. FYI I can get 2 extra free Macbooks for the price Bangkok shops want on just the Mac Pro, ridiculous!

    Thanks for any tips.

  5. imacdaddy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 2, 2006
    Hey Fernmeister, which reseller/shop did you order it from? I'm also waiting on mine. Bought mine from Ultimate PC & Mac on Stanley St. in Central. Hopefully not from the same place you're talking about. I bought all my Apple products (ipods, iMac, AppleTV, Airports etc...) and had no probs.
  6. fernmeister thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2007
    Designer Group in IFC. I've bought stuff from them before and they try to be helpful. But, they are not setup to to handle this kind of product. I'd go back to them for an iPod or something - well, maybe.


    I keep dreaming that huge empty space on the third floor of IFC will become an Apple Store...
  7. fernmeister thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2007
    What I ended up doing was buying direct from Apple in HK for the basic config with BTO on the video card and wifi. The RAM and HDDs came from OWC in the US. That's the best price I could get. Finding the right RAM here in HK was proving difficult as was finding any choice in 750GB drives (lots of 500GB drives around though).

    I'm pretty sure that Apple are regulating the price on the basic machine as they do with all their other products. The only place to save on the Mac Pro is the upgrades. That said, there is A LOT to be saved here as the prices on Drives and RAM can vary a lot.
  8. imacdaddy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 2, 2006
    Yeah I agree. It's more of a boutique shop than anything. Have you received the MP from Apple already?

    I think we have the same dream. It would be the perfect place for an Apple Store!

    Yes, RAM for the new Mac Pro's are very hard to find and are on order. Even the WD 10K Raptor HD are on order. The Samsung F1 HD aren't available until sometime in March are on order. I bought my RAM from TransIntl.com and 750 F1 HD from newegg (through a friend).

    So all I have sitting at home are my RAM, HD and display...all waiting to be connected!
  9. fernmeister thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2007
    Yes the MP arrived (took 4 working days). The whole thing is up and running - wonderfully. I also went with Samsung drives and like you had the RAM and HDDs waiting for the machine.

    Raptors are great, but I like the current feeling of having to lean over to hear if the machine is on!

    BTW, I've also tested out the iPhoto/Aperture service from Apple. They got my first order mailing address wrong, but rectified it in a week. Nice to have that service available in HK.
  10. imacdaddy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 2, 2006
    Did you get it with the 8800GT? I should have bought it via applestore, I'm tired of waiting. The shop told me I'll have it next week :mad:

    Hey, thanks for the heads up regarding iPhoto/Aperture printing service. The prices are about the same as on the street ($1.2 - $1.4). Finally, I can make a book of my photos! How's the quality by the way?
  11. Jettbot macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2008
    Coming to HK next week

    So I will order the 8core monster from the Apple store and shlep it back here to Bangkok.

    Any tips on where to get other computer parts in HK?
    I need to find the following and will only have a couple days to source these parts:

    8 Seagate ES.2 1TB drives
    8 Western digital Green Monster 1TB drives
    2 3ware 9690 Sata RAID cards

    1 Tyan S5397WAG2NRF motherboard
    2 Intel Xeon X5482 (3.2 GHz 4 core) cpus
    8 2GB ECC DDR2-800 FB-DIMM ram modules

    Also need really fast SAS drives like Fujitsu MAX or MBA or Seagate Cheetahs as well.

    Can't get most of this in Bangkok so if anyone has any idea where to find this in Hong Kong, let me know, I owe you a drink.
  12. imacdaddy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 2, 2006
    Welcome to Hong Kong. The best and cheapest place to get those items would be at the Golden Computer Arcade in Sham Shui Po on Kowloon side. Take the MTR (red line) to Sham Shui Po station which is 2 stops above Mongkok. (train map http://mtr.com.hk/eng/train/system_map_pop_up.html)

    Exit out of D2 and it is right there in front of you. The 'corner' entrance you will see is the old section of the mall. Computer parts/shops are at the basement while the 1st floor are more for console/games (PS3/XB360 etc). There is a newer part of the mall on the right side of the building. Approach the 'corner' entrance but don't go in. Walk along the right side of the building until you see steps leading into the building where you will see a small Dell retail store and a short escalator going up. This is the newer section, which also connects to "another" part of the Computer Arcade with more well known computer shops. It's all part of one complex but with different entrances.

    I would suggest you to walk around the whole place with pen and paper and note which store is selling what and at what prices. Each store will vary in prices from HK$100-$800 for the same thing. You're going to spend no more than 2 hours there.

    Your 2nd choice would be the Computer Mall in Mongkok. Exit out of E2 and walk straight and cross the lights. Keep heading straight and once you pass the street market (perpendicular to the street you are on) you will find the Computer Mall to your right with stairs going up. You wont miss it and it's about 3 min walk from exit E2.

    Your last choice should be in Wanchai on Hong Kong island side another computer mall. Exit out of A4 and the entrance is to your left.

    All the malls mentioned are all good but I've listed in order of pricing. 1TB hard disks are hard to find so you may need to hop around also the RAM may be of a problem. Good luck!
  13. Jettbot macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2008
    Thanks imacdaddy, those are good tips indeed. Last time I was there I did hit the 1st two you mentioned by accident but I was a little disorganized and I think I would have had to do a lot of research to find them again.

    I just ordered the 8core 3.2, and it's being delivered to my hotel, somewhere on Kowloon side next week, will try to be in a hotel near Mongkok and hit Sham Shui Po 1st.

    Have you seen the 1TB ES.2 drives from Seagate or the FB-Dimm memory these motherboards take in either Mongkok or Sham Shui Po?

    Anyways thanks so much for the concise guide, I'm printing it and keeping it in hand.

    Once I get it all sorted I may need a little victory lap around Lan Kwai Fong. :D
  14. Jettbot macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2008
    BTW funny thing about ordering this Mac tower from Hong Kong, just a little information for you would be prospective buyers.

    It's coming from Singapore (they don't have in HK) so since I'm in Bangkok it's actually faster if I go to Singapore to pick it up by about 3-5 days.

    But it's alot more expensive when purchased in Singapore.

    I'm used to internet shopping prices (as seen through pricegrabber.com) and have consistently found that while at my office in Los Angeles that I can buy any computer part cheaper than when I am in Asia and in Bangkok, it's usually 30%-50% more than US internet prices, while HK is usually only abour 10%-20% more expensive than LA.

    But Hong Kong Apple Store prices are about the same as the US Apple Store web site and ofcourse in store prices in LA.

    However it was a real pleasant shock to me that Apple HK gave me a tiny discount that in the end actually made it cheaper than buying it in LA. I didn't think that was possible given the 3 years of consistently higher prices in Asia (which I attribute to the buying power of the US market).

    Anyways good news all around, HK is it now for me as far as IT shopping while in SE Asia.

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