The cost and quality of the Mac Pro case

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by nutritious, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. nutritious macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #1
    The Mac Pro case is the best built computer case I've ever seen. I've dealt with a ton of cases and nothing touches it.

    In fact look what the head of corsair case design and cooling said about the Mac Pro chassis :

    So the equivalent chassis on the PC side would be well over $500 if any case manufacturer ever attempted to match the build quality of the Mac Pro case.
     
  2. highdefw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148a Safari/6533.18.5)

    It really is a brilliant design. People say Macs are overpriced, but Apple makes sure it's worth every penny.
     
  3. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #3
    That isn't what was said. They say if they tried to match the Mac Pro design exactly while maintaining the quality of Apple's design it would be expensive. There are cases with similar or better build quality out there for a lot less, Apple's case is unique, not special. Lian-Li and Silverstone produce products on the same level.
     
  4. nutritious, Feb 16, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011

    nutritious thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #4
    No, that's not true entirely. He was also hinting at the build quality, I believe. Aluminum is extremely expensive right now, and using the same thick aluminum that Apple uses in their Mac Pro would be supremely expensive. Hell, that same Corsair rep said that if they built the 800D in all aluminum with 1.5mm - 2mm thickness it would be $500 to build. The Mac Pro uses much thicker aluminum than that.

    Lian Li and Silverstone's products are not on the same level as the Mac Pro case when it comes to build quality. That's a joke. Lian Li does not use the same thick aluminum that apple does, even on their most expensive models. Ever see the paper-thin side aluminum panels on the TJ09, TJ07, or FT01? Even the new TJ11, that costs around $600 from Silverstone, the side panels are only 2.5mm thick I believe (could even be 2mm). And yes, I know they use a unibody design for the main frame, but even then, it doesn't surpass the Mac Pro IMO. Silverstone is even using cheap nylon hdd trays now. The only thing that comes remotely close is the Lian Li V series, but even then, it's not in the same class, IMO.
     
  5. SWAN808 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    #5
    can you recommend a high end case like a Mac Pro? Lan Li used to make a cool looking aluminium one - but it seems discontinued...

    The MP case is great in terms of rigidity - but I dont find it very quiet...

    The case I like the look of is the Coolermaster RC1000
     
  6. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    And yet you can buy the Pro case brand new for $200. :D
     
  7. nutritious thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #7
    http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_index=555&cl_index=1&sc_index=25&ss_index=62

    Check that one out. I actually had it for a short while. Very well built, but don't expect MP quality. It also cools very well, nearly as well as the FT02/RV02.
     
  8. slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #8
    I'm not impressed with the mac pro's case. It's a TON of silliness to allow you to replace the handful of parts they want you to replace easily, and to keep you from replacing the processors.

    It also uses custom fans (a peeve of mine), a crappy PSU (have had problems with smelliness and failure), and hides 2 of the damn SATA ports (?? WHY?!).

    I also hate the fact that some PCIe cards don't fit or are like 1 micron away from the bottom compartment/wind tunnel--impeding air flow and limiting card selection.

    Edit: oh yeah, and it's proprietary as hell--can't replace the mobo except with another Apple mobo...and it takes a life-age of man to do it.

    [​IMG]

    Edit2: and it's not that sturdy! I've had cheap PC cases dent less when dropped/impaled.
     
  9. linuxcooldude, Feb 16, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011

    linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #9
    I thought I heard the price for the case alone is closer to $700.00

    Depends what point of view you have. The mac pro was designed for a corporate environment where they are more concerned with actually using the computer rather then constantly swapping parts/upgrading.
     
  10. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #10
  11. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #11
    I considered building a Windows gaming PC a while back in order to compliment my Mac Mini. I liked the MP case so much that I did extensive search trying to find an ATX case that was as nice. It didn't need to the look the same--I just wanted the same build quality: thick aluminum, sturdy handles, metal everywhere, screwless or trapped screws, etc. I just couldn't find anything suitable.

    The closest I could find was the Thermaltake Level 10, which was $800 at the time. (The price has fallen to $650-$700.)
    http://www.maximumpc.com/article/reviews/thermaltake_level_10

    While it looked well-built and very visually striking, reviews indicated that component installation was tricky, cables had to be extended, and despite the price, they went cheap in some areas.

    In the end I just ended up getting a Mac Pro and using Boot Camp. I get my gaming PC, the case I wanted all along, and a massive upgrade over my Mac Mini.

    I still like the way the ThermalTake Level 10 looks. If it ever falls under $400, I'd consider one.
     
  12. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #12
    I would consider most of those advantages. The custom build allows them to finely calibrate the fans to get better airflow and quieter running than a PC case.

    Mac Pro is plenty sturdy. It's very thick aluminum.
     
  13. cutterman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #13
    Huh? Poor hard drive and PCI card expandability advantages? And fans? There are scores of whisper quiet aftermarket fans easily adaptable to PC cases that can be temp controlled off the motherboard.

    Sure it is a nice case for what it is- but lets try to be a little objective here.
     
  14. slughead, Feb 16, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011

    slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #14
    The custom build allows them to sell more mac pros by scaring people into not upgrading their processors. It also deters users from adding more hard drives (this is a $2,500 computer, after all) and using certain video cards.

    As far as "quieter than a PC case" (as if PCs are substantively different than Macs).... After 4 years of owning a mac pro, my fans are starting to become pretty darn noisy. If it were a "PC case," I'd pay $30 and swap them out. The "front fan assembly" of my Mac Pro is probably about $100... I say "probably" because I can't seem to find one online. Also, I like to keep my components a little cooler as I think it extends the life. The PCIe/HD bay fan I keep at 2000 RPM--it hasn't been quiet since.

    The top, bottom, and L/R sides are pretty thick, but the front and rear grilles are very flimsy compared to a solid piece with vents (and why do I need vents for my optical drives anyway ??)
     
  15. nutritious thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #15
    The front and rear grills are not flimsy. They're just not as thick, and that's obvious why. Check out similar Lian Li's with the cheese grater design and you'd see that it's not "flimsy"
     
  16. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    The argument with video cards is true (unfortunately) as there are only two power leads available.
    Swapping the processors, however, is not true any more. With the 2009/2010 case re-design, changing the processors is a piece of cake. Just as easy as on a PC.
     
  17. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #17
    I'm not sure this is a plot to keep people from upgrading their GPUs as much as Apple just doesn't care. :p

    Regardless, it's extremely rare to find a machine with more than two GPU power leads, although most machines have molex connectors floating around.
     
  18. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #18
    I guess that's a matter of opinion or personal need. I LOVE the MP hard drive sleds. Just mount to sled and plug in, no cables.

    As for PCI cards, everything I need is on the motherboard now. These aren't the old days where you needed an Ethernet card, serial & parallel I/O card, USB card, sound card, etc.

    I have 3 slots free and no idea what to do with them. If I had an ATX board I'd have 7 slots free and no idea what to do with them. I do recognize that other people are hitting limitations, but I for one don't need 10 monitors or 12 hard drives or whatever it is that they are doing where 4 slots aren't enough.
     
  19. slughead, Feb 16, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011

    slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #19
    I'll do you one better: no screws, no opening the case, and they have FANS!! Replace a hard drive in under 5 seconds.
    [​IMG]

    If Apple didn't have such a customized case, you could use one of these. I currently have a RAID 10 running in one of these and it works awesome! (made possible by a 3rd party eSATA controller, which is included on most mid-range PCs these days). Since it has fans built in, my drives in this box stay about 10° F cooler than those in my mac pro, even with my HD/PCIe bay fan cranked to 2000RPM where I can hear it from the other room!!

    Also, my 1,1 Mac Pro doesn't even support hot-swapping or port-multipliers using the on-board SATA ports :X ... I don't know if they changed that. I had to pay $150 for a PCIe card to get the functionality included on most PCs.

    I'm sure you're like most Mac Pro owners and I'm sorry that having the option for expansion displeases and perplexes you (j/k :) ). However, it wouldn't exactly be tough for them to accommodate those of us with multiple monitors and the need for added storage.

    In fact, considering the over-use of expensive proprietary parts in their Mac Pro, it'd probably be cheaper for you, me, and even Apple to just use a normal PC case design and leave the motherboard more similar to what it was before they altered and disabled it for the Mac Pro.

    (emphasis mine) Yes, that would solve a lot of problems, wouldn't it? :)

    While most PSUs don't have a lot of GPU leads (by the way, the Mac Pro PSU has ZERO GPU leads [it comes off the mobo, remember?]), the adapter to cull one from another 12/5 volt Molex is less than $1. In my Dad's Mac Pro, I run a lead from the drive bay into the PCIe bay to power the 8800GT (I didn't have a proprietary Apple GPU cable lying around)--it works great!... it just took 15 minutes to route it through the ridiculous case, and I had to use my soldering iron and some wire to extend the cable to about 18 inches when the start point was only 5 inches from the end.
     
  20. DeeEss macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    #20
    It's a truly remarkable design and a work of art in my eyes. I hope they don't change it too much.
     
  21. avro707 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    #21
    I used to have a Lian Li case ages ago. It was solid, but the quality wasn't in the same league as Apple cases. Antec did some decent cases like P180 that was designed to be quiet, but even it wasn't perfect. The P190 I believe was better.

    Apple has some nice touches that the PC cases don't have, the side locked in by latches, that also latch the HDDs in place for instance. Apple's DVD enclosure/doors are also very tidy looking. The Apple case is big enough for my needs.
     
  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #22
    I love backplane cages. :D

    Stuffed in a full tower server case, and you can save a noticable amount of funds on a RAID configuration (by eliminating/reducing the need for external enclosures in a system that does not have sufficent drive bays; Hot Plug support may not exist either, even if it does - read on).

    No MP system supports Hot Plugging (power to the disk when the system is ON), as they do not include an Inrush Current Limiter (prevents damage to the PSU). Hot Swapping is driver support, which is only included in OS X Server (allows a disk to be recognized and mounted without shutting down the system). You can get this via 3rd party drivers for add-on cards. But Hot Plug support requires external hardware, and you need both for "live" systems (has to do with power on a live system only; nothing to do with the OS being used).
     
  23. slughead, Feb 16, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011

    slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #23
    oooooh now you're talkin.

    http://pigroll.com/img/jack_nicholson_came.jpg


    Well it's comforting to know Apple's still ignoring me after all these years.

    That explains why I have to jump through hoops to swap drives on my array. Thanks for explaining the difference, I was not aware of that.
     
  24. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #24
    http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6643

    Count em! 4 PCI-E 6+2 on a $70 PSU... come on Apple :-(
     
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #25
    Backplane cages include an inrush current limiter, which is why hot plugging is possible with them (without the risk of damaging the PSU). :) I use these and a Lian Li full tower case for RAID. They're not absolutely necessary, but it means the system has to be shut down prior to changing out a disk in the event of a failure without one.

    The other way, is using separate PSU's for the HDD/SSD's (i.e. eSATA that has Hot Swap support in the drivers and a separate single disk enclosure, which runs on it's own wall wort/brick PSU = no load on the MP's PSU in terms of the disk).
     

Share This Page