- Oct 30, 2008
How about you build a system equivalent in power, and not something that strives to be identical to the nMP hardware wise?
Can you build a cheaper system with similar performance? Sure, particularly if you use non-workstation GPUs. But Apple's pricing is very competitive with pricing of products from other reputable workstation OEMs.
Radeons would be a more equivalent comparison. Without ECC memory and workstation class drivers for OSX, calling the Dx00 GPUs a professional solution on par W9000 etc is not accurate.
Let's put aside for now the fact that we still do not know a lot of details about nMP. One major problem with all such comparisons is that people always try to "build" a PC equivalent of Mac. This puts PC at disadvantage right away because of the way computer manufacturers make money. They price most standard/basic configurations very reasonably and then jack up the prices on upgrades (just as car manufacturers do). Since all vendors have different idea about the target market their standard models always differ. As a result in order to "build" MP equivalent one always has to find a "close" standard PC model and then add some upgrades. This way, sometimes Mac prices do look reasonable. But that's only half the truth. Now if one tries to do the reverse exercise and build a Mac that reproduces some standard PC model the results will be very different. Sure, Mac options are always so limited that it's rarely possible to configure Mac to match any PC configurations but that's a different story.
Comparing the Mac Pro to an HP Z420 isn't much of a reach. At least in the post production world, HP Z-series workstations are pretty much the standard Wintel alternative to the Mac Pro, and the Z420 is the only single-socket model in the lineup offering Xeon E5 options.
Still, Z420 is a very different machine. Unlike nMP, Z420 is a universal computer which can be expanded in many ways. Sure, nMP may provide enough for many users but that's not my point. My point is that to produce a universal workstation HP had to use a bigger chassis (cost), more ports (cost), bigger power supply (600W) to accommodate various graphic cards etc.
And it comes with 3 year warranty (which include on site service). AppleCare costs extra ($250) and no on-site service.
$250 doesn't quite make up the price difference. I have never used it, but AppleCare claims to offer on-site service for desktops, though I'm not sure under exactly what conditions this applies.
What else does it mean to have workstation class drivers?
I guess the argument here is if the OS X drivers yield slower performance in some pro apps, they don't count as pro drivers? That's a very problematic position, though. First off, it's going to be very hard to distinguish the cause of performance differences between platforms is it drivers, OpenGL/CL implementations, platform-specific app optimization, or something else entirely? What will you conclude if some apps run better on OS X and some better on Windows? What if relative performance between platforms changes due to driver or other software updates? What about the fact that the cards probably will use FirePro drivers in Boot Camp? What if games, not just pro apps, also run more slowly in OS X?
Getting rid of those can knock thousands off the price of the machine. You can get an i7 4820 (pretty much the same thing the base mac pro has) for about $300, or you could save a few bucks on the motherboard and go with an i7 4770.
The W7000 he listed in the previous post doesn't have ECC memory.
Somthing every one of these reviews and build comparisons fails to understand.
I've heard this too, but I've never been able to get anyone to come down and fix my stuff. Maybe it's because I live in Canada or something, I don't know. I've lived in cities with numerous Apple stores, I've lived in cities with only resellers. I've never lived in a secluded region, and I've had plenty of broken Apple hardware over the years (all desktops). Nobody has ever offered to come down and fix it, and when I've asked I can never get a straight answer (usually it's "up to the service centre", and the service centre never does on-site service).
Oddly enough, I've bought several Lenovo machines over the years and paid for their (cheaper) extended warranties. One machine died with a bad motherboard, and they sent a repair man down the next day with a new logic board. He replaced it within 15 minutes and had the system back up and running before lunchtime, completely free of charge. It wasn't a one-time deal either since the PSU went on that same machine a year later and they sent out another guy the next day. Once again, that very same computer was up and running before noon the following day.
Frankly, Applecare is a huge sore spot with me these days because you basically have to buy it, and even if you do, you still gotta cart the entire machine down to the service centre and leave it there.
Why do you think they were selected to receive the first Mac Pros?
Anandtech wrote a critical review, and they were left out.
Can we stop with the conspiracy theories please? Apple gave Anand the new Mac Pro at the same time that they gave everyone else review units. He's just taking longer to review it.