The Mac Pro is Dead

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Does anyone care about this overpriced Mac any more?



It has kept the same overall design since the Power Mac G5. I'd buy it & a cinema display but the price would set me back $3,500. How about something a little more reasonable, Apple?!
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Comments

  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,468member
    If you're buying it for the design, you're not buying it for any of the reasons it exists.



    You're one of the few who still seem to think an xMac is the way to go. Build a Hackintosh and be done with it.
  • recrec Posts: 217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    If you're buying it for the design, you're not buying it for any of the reasons it exists.



    You're one of the few who still seem to think an xMac is the way to go. Build a Hackintosh and be done with it.



    I have to wonder how much longer Apple is willing to service this niche of computer user. Not trying to upset anybody, or offend anyone's delicate sensibilities. Numbers and facts are what they are.



    I get the feeling that if they felt they could get away with it, they would just cut these people loose. But for now they probably can't and I doubt they will. Still I think its a ticking clock.
  • messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    I would have agreed with you a couple of months ago, but I've recently had the opportunity to work with video production designers and it has been quite an eye-opener.



    Due to the nature of my work, I rub shoulders with a wide variety of creative professionals working in almost every field. The guys working in video production in particular, are still very much driven by the 'time is money' model, and for them anything that can cut production times is a no-brainer. These guys are still rendering sub-realtime. Hardware is routinely purchased on a 'cost is not an issue' basis.



    Whilst graphic design studios will worry about purchasing an new Mac mini or iMac, and expect that purchase to remain productive for 3-5 years, the video production guys won't think twice about spec'ing-up a Mac Pro for a single project.



    When the consumer's appetite for rich media content wanes, and the consumer-orientated iMac becomes more powerful than the Mac Pro, then the Mac Pro will be dead.



    Until that day, the Mac Pro is neither overpriced or irrelevant. There are still certain growth markets where you can never have enough processing power, RAM or storage, and the content that these markets produce is in higher demand than ever before.



    Of all the 'standard configuration' MacOS hardware, the Mac Pro has the highest profit margin by far. Given that creative professionals seem to have no qualms about spec'ing-up the Mac Pro with masses of Apples overpriced RAM, storage and graphics options, I think it continues to make good business sense for Apple to hang in there. After all, how many consumers are going to buy a £16k+ machine without a second thought?
  • recrec Posts: 217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Messiah View Post


    I would have agreed with you a couple of months ago, but I've recently had the opportunity to work with video production designers and it has been quite an eye-opener.



    Due to the nature of my work, I rub shoulders with a wide variety of creative professionals working in almost every field. The guys working in video production in particular, are still very much driven by the 'time is money' model, and for them anything that can cut production times is a no-brainer. These guys are still rendering sub-realtime. Hardware is routinely purchased on a 'cost is not an issue' basis.



    Whilst graphic design studios will worry about purchasing an new Mac mini or iMac, and expect that purchase to remain productive for 3-5 years, the video production guys won't think twice about spec'ing-up a Mac Pro for a single project.



    When the consumer's appetite for rich media content wanes, and the consumer-orientated iMac becomes more powerful than the Mac Pro, then the Mac Pro will be dead.



    Until that day, the Mac Pro is neither overpriced or irrelevant. There are still certain growth markets where you can never have enough processing power, RAM or storage, and the content that these markets produce is in higher demand than ever before.



    Of all the 'standard configuration' MacOS hardware, the Mac Pro has the highest profit margin by far. Given that creative professionals seem to have no qualms about spec'ing-up the Mac Pro with masses of Apples overpriced RAM, storage and graphics options, I think it continues to make good business sense for Apple to hang in there. After all, how many consumers are going to buy a £16k+ machine without a second thought?



    Good points. When I strike it rich, I have my $11,000 mac pro with dual 27" displays all ready to go in my cart.
  • finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    There is a niche for a MacPro...Apple can fund this with the proceeds from the other products.
  • mikefmikef Posts: 697member
    People are still buying them, so presumably they care...



    Spec up a Dell workstation with dual Xeon CPUs and I would guess you'd come very close in price.
  • garypgaryp Posts: 150member
    Ha ha! No it isn't.
  • recrec Posts: 217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mikef View Post


    People are still buying them, so presumably they care...



    Spec up a Dell workstation with dual Xeon CPUs and I would guess you'd come very close in price.



    Its true, I just did it. Each site has some options the other doesn't, and the Dell was a bit cheaper. But Dell didn't have a 16GB ram option (only 12 or 24GB) and they don't offer 2TB drives (just 1 or 1.5TB). So you get less computer for a little less money. They also don't offer anything near the resolution/quality of the 27in displays that I could find, although I wouldn't put it past them to have something similar buried on the site somewhere.



    (poked around)

    Holy crap, Apple's 27in 2560x1440 display is actually $100 less than Dell's equivalent. Hehe!



    Also just realized that the 27in display is the only standalone display Apple sells. No 20 or 30in models, just the 27. Definitely in stark contrast to their competitors that sell too many different kinds.
  • s.metcalfs.metcalf Posts: 847member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    Does anyone care about this overpriced Mac any more?



    Yes.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by REC View Post


    Numbers and facts are what they are.



    And what numbers and facts are those?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    It has kept the same overall design since the Power Mac G5. I'd buy it & a cinema display but the price would set me back $3,500. How about something a little more reasonable, Apple?!



    The same pretty cool design. I'm looking at mine right now and it's a thing of beauty. It may not have changed much on the outside but internally the Power Mac G5s and Mac Pros have undergone many significant design refreshes over the years.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    You're one of the few who still seem to think an xMac is the way to go.



    I used to be a pretty strong supporter of a headless iMac or "xMac" too, though now that I've got my Mac Pro I'm sure glad I did. For me, having the ample internal storage (currently 4 x 1 Tb hard drives) is a godsend. I could never go back to laptop-sized storage or even having to partition the hard-drive in an iMac to suit my needs..and lets face it external storage looks ugly. I'm currently set up as 1 x SL, 1 x W7, 1 x TMachine and one spare/scratch.



    I have never liked the concepts of iMacs. They're trying to fit too much heat producing technology into too little space and as a result iMacs never last as long as separate components before some aspect of it dies, be it the video card, logic board, hard-drives etc. They also have to compromise some aspects of its performance like the video card, which is not a proper desktop card. Having got my 27" Cinema Display, I realise how the screen itself can put out a bit of heat as well. If your iMac can last much longer than 3-years you're doing pretty well.



    The Mac Pro on the other hand is so ridiculously over-designed for performance it's not funny. I only have the 3.33 GHz 6-core, but what's amazing is that I can max out the processor at 100% infinitely and the processor temps never get above about 57-60 degrees, that's with the fans not doing anything either because they don't have to! I've never seen or heard the fans even elevate above idle speeds outside of 3D gaming, and even then I think it's the graphics card fan that's ramping up. Compare that with the leg-scorching internal temps of my old MacBook Pro (processor temps of 90-100 degrees or more) and you can see why laptops also never last as long.



    For me, the iPad was the third nail in the coffin of laptops for me. It's all I need in a portable and if I wanted to I can use the iPad to remote desktop to my Mac Pro and control it.



    I can easily see my Mac Pro lasting me 5-years plus as most aspects of it can be upgraded when I need more storage, better graphics or even potentially a processor upgrade as well. That means less Apple tax because you're upgrading less frequently as well as less pain because upgrading always takes time to set up new hardware.



    I work in science and have several applications that are designed for parallel processing and can take hours even on my 6-core. I will often let it do some processing work overnight and design a variety of experiments that take many, many hours of computer processing time. For me, the Mac Pro is a great platform for science because I can use native UNIX applications without having to leave the beautiful OS X.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,525member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    It has kept the same overall design since the Power Mac G5. I'd buy it & a cinema display but the price would set me back $3,500. How about something a little more reasonable, Apple?!



    The value aspect of the Mac Pro is highly questionable. There is the argument about needing the highest performance CPU, best GPU, RAM etc but a quad-core i7 iMac matches the entry Mac Pro performance for $500 less and you get a 27" screen worth $1000 included.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Messiah


    Of all the 'standard configuration' MacOS hardware, the Mac Pro has the highest profit margin by far.



    True, the entry Mac Pro has a single $300 CPU and a $140 GPU, $80 of RAM, $60 HDD, $50 ODD, $60 keyboard & mouse, Xeon motherboard for $600, chassis $400, PSU $300. So in a $2500 machine, they can make about $500 per unit. The iOS devices make about $100-200.



    There aren't more than 100 million Macs out there in the wild and we know about 70% are laptops. This leaves 30 million desktops. The iMac and Mini will take up the bulk of it but say 5 million are Mac Pros. That still gives $2.5b profit.



    That isn't every year of course but it's not a market that is going to easily migrate to iMacs because you can't use them as servers and that profit is reasonable. I still see that market eroding away though and one day Apple will stop making Mac Pros. I really don't see it as if but when. It may be 10-20 years but it will happen.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by s.metcalf


    If your iMac can last much longer than 3-years you're doing pretty well.



    Hardware moves on quickly though. The current iMac is faster than a 3 year-old Mac Pro. You can expect that to happen every two years in fact.



    I wanted an affordable mid-range Mac tower ever since the introduction of the first iMac and people were arguing about SCSI vs SATA and how SATA wasn't fast enough. For 13 years, Apple has refused to go back to an affordable tower. The closest we got was the $1999 quad Mac Pro.



    At this stage, I think it's too late to build one. All I ever wanted from one was a quad-core CPU and a GPU that matched the MBP. Next year, Ivy Bridge will bring quad-cores to the entire lineup and the GPU will exceed the 330M in the current MBP, we will have SSDs and you can put 8GB RAM in it and this is in the size and cost of a Mac Mini.



    Obviously the performance bar keeps moving but the tasks we need to do don't all move with it. Those that do will diminish in number over time.



    Think where we will be just 5 years from now. In the past 10 years, GPUs have jumped to over 30x faster. We will have 3 CPU die-shrinks within 5 years from now so quad-core next year, 6-core after 3 years, 8-core after 5 years. GPUs will jump by another 5x.



    At that point, will we really be asking for more than 8-cores and entry IGPs that can run games at the highest quality in 1080p real-time and 1TB SSDs running over 10-100Gbps Light Peak with 8-16Gb/s throughput? Even if everyone is making 1080p stereoscopic CGI films, I'd have to say no because entry-level GPUs will do that in real-time.



    3D engines and techniques will evolve along with specialised hardware to the point where you stop an ask what do we really need to do with computers any more:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJoq42vVnLs



    Scientific computation will probably be the last remaining market for high-end towers and even entry GPU computation will be enough for a lot of that. I think that there won't be a need for Apple to sell the Mac Pro 10 years from now.
  • classicguyclassicguy Posts: 44member
    While some may scoff, my issue is Cupertino's insistence on using make-up mirror faced displays. Sure they look impressive, all contrasty and carefully placed in the stores to minimize reflections... but even there, I look at the screen and see myself pretty clearly.



    Something tells me y'all are very familiar with "torch mode" that retailers use to "sell" HDTVs. Sure this fools a lot of people... they seem very impressed with how "stunning" a mal-adjusted, way too contrasty screen is. I even have one friend who knows better who is a big fan of "unnatural" contrast.



    Sure, I could turn my place into a dark cave, but the very reason why I HAVE my place is it has windows all around and is substantially more "lit" by sun than many other apartments (being on the top floor with lots of south, west and north windows).



    No this isn't the NLY factor I used, but certainly one of several that lead me to the tower rather than an iMac.
  • dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,142member
    I'm one of those people who would rather a tower with a display than an all-in-one. No, not an "xMac." I like the Mac Pro design. I don't need Nehalem or Westmere Xeon processors. I'm not certain why Apple refuses to sell less expensive Mac Pros using Core i7 processors. And I'm still lost on why Apple had to kill the lower-priced 24" LED Cinema Display.



    I understand the need for speed. Time is money. If Apple was really serious about the Mac Pro, they'd offer more options.



    If you go back in time, their entry-level professional tower started at $1,599. There used to be 3 display sizes. Now it's all whittled to high-end, very expensive gear with long periods of time between product updates, just like the Xserve. Oh yeah, that's right. Apple killed Xserve. The Mac Pro right now is really is baffling to me ? unless Apple's intention is to kill it.
  • recrec Posts: 217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Think where we will be just 5 years from now. In the past 10 years, GPUs have jumped to over 30x faster. We will have 3 CPU die-shrinks within 5 years from now so quad-core next year, 6-core after 3 years, 8-core after 5 years. GPUs will jump by another 5x.



    At that point, will we really be asking for more than 8-cores and entry IGPs that can run games at the highest quality in 1080p real-time and 1TB SSDs running over 10-100Gbps Light Peak with 8-16Gb/s throughput? Even if everyone is making 1080p stereoscopic CGI films, I'd have to say no because entry-level GPUs will do that in real-time.



    3D engines and techniques will evolve along with specialised hardware to the point where you stop an ask what do we really need to do with computers any more



    I do think about where we'll be in 5 years.



    I expect we'll be running some flavor of OS11. I expect all the real hardware innovation to be in the mobile space, and all the hardware you listed above to be in a device thinner and lighter than an ipad1.



    You remember that scene in Avatar where the scientist is working on something with his mobile slate and he walks over to his desktop hardware and flings the data (physically with a gesture) to the desktop? Yeah. I expect we'll be doing that in 5 years, and that will be the primary focus and reason for innovation in hardware and software.



    The future is data independence. Right now our windows into our data (by windows I mean, a display) are fairly static and modal. We think of desktop hardware/software and mobile hardware/software as very different things. I think the next major revision to MacOS, OS11, will be all about unifying them. We see hints of that now, but only hints. In 5 years this will be more possible because mobile hardware is rapidly catching up to desktop hardware.



    With sufficiently performing networks, a unified OS and desktop class power in a 10" display, the sky is the limit. The window you look into to do your work won't matter any more than what you are comfortable in using. Desktops can still have keyboards and mice cause they make sense, but at any point you can fling your work to an iPad 7th Gen and take it with you and get an appropriate mobile UI for doing the same thing. I expect Apple to lead this charge by selling one device: a desktop with removable display on the go, or a mobile device that docks to a workstation. Maybe those distinctions won't matter anymore.



    Your data will exist anywhere and everywhere, a pad, a desktop, a laptop, a phone, a TV. Maybe its more appropriate to call this location irrelevance.



    I don't expect Apple to do much with or lead any charges on 3D technology. Every indication so far shows this to be a gimmick that basically has poor quality, and the auto-stereoscopic stuff is promising but still a ways off from being practical (even if they manage to produce these kinds of displays cheaply in 3-4 years, there's no indication today that the quality will be there. That won't stop lots of other companies from trying to use it though to gain a competitive advantage). That will probably really take off in 10 years, not 5. And I expect Apple to be late to that party, they'll wait till it makes sense.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,525member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    I'm not certain why Apple refuses to sell less expensive Mac Pros using Core i7 processors.



    And I'm still lost on why Apple had to kill the lower-priced 24" LED Cinema Display.



    They have to think about sales volume. Only selling one model of display means they can streamline the manufacturing and save money on volume. If Dell can't match their price, Apple have put some serious work into this. This is Tim Cook's area it seems. The iPad looks like it has a similar thing going on - I haven't seen anyone yet with 10" IPS screens for $500. CES has some IPS tablets but they don't have the full package and they are not competitive with Apple's pricing.



    The implication this has for the iMac vs Mac Pro issue is that they likely use the same 27" panels in the iMac as the Cinema Display. Note they no longer sell a 24" iMac. This means that people buying the 27" iMac contributes to lower Cinema Display pricing.



    If they sold an affordable tower, they sell fewer displays because you'd go for a matte screen. I would too. You likely wouldn't go with Apple's $1000 screen whether it was glossy or not anyway because you will have already spent $1000-1500 on the machine. This means homes end up with a mish-mash of display sizes, styles and qualities (mostly TN). To transform that ugliness into eutopia, they don't have much choice:







    One thing they could do is sell a bundle and force people to take a Cinema screen away with a cheaper tower but do people really want something the size and weight of the Mac Pro at home? It has a 1kW PSU - electric heaters are 1kW. If it was smaller/lighter, I think it still has to have a selling point and generic towers have none. The only machine they had like that was the Cube:







    But could they fit all those i7 iMac components into a cube shape? Let's say they can, they have to go about selling it. If they sold it alone, it would kill the iMac because it would be much cheaper with the same specs. If they forced you to take a Cinema display, people would complain and it would probably cost the same - $1000 machine, $1000 display = $2000 iMac. So there's no point because you just took the parts out of the screen and put them in a box. If you sell the Cube alone, bye bye eutopian desktop.



    But now take a look at the other machine in the picture: the Mini. Next year, it can get a quad-core i5 chip with a GPU twice as fast as the 320M. That will be close (within 80%) to a current i7 iMac in performance with nowhere near the heat. The SSD chip is icing on the cake and would shrink the machine down by 1/4 again. Take out the optical and it's even smaller.



    The Mini will continue the display design problem but there's no way round it. One day I can see the Mini killing off the iMac too because there are more instances where you can use a headless machine than an AIO. iOS devices can kill both. The next iPhone will be as fast as the first XBox with a dual-core CPU and is enough to power the desktop experience for a lot of people.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    The Mac Pro right now is really is baffling to me — unless Apple's intention is to kill it.



    Their intention is to kill the tower primarily for consumers by pricing it out of the market. Towers don't have the same impact in a home as they are bulky and get hidden away under the desk. But in the target market, they keep it competitive.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by REC


    I expect Apple to lead this charge by selling one device: a desktop with removable display on the go, or a mobile device that docks to a workstation.



    I agree. I see that device being the iPod Touch/iPhone. It is the modular piece of hardware that people really want that can adapt to any situation, even a server environment. Add in WiDi and you basically sit the iPhone down next to any screen - TV, projector, desktop screen - and start using it.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,320member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    Does anyone care about this overpriced Mac any more?



    Me personally no! But that doesn't mean it idnt useful to many.

    Quote:

    It has kept the same overall design since the Power Mac G5.



    It is a good design and very functional thus little incentive to change it. Plus you have to consider the markets it is sold into. Quarterly superficial changes would be seen as a big headache.

    Quote:

    I'd buy it & a cinema display but the price would set me back $3,500. How about something a little more reasonable, Apple?!



    This is a really good question especially considering the greater acceptance of Macs in General. I generally use the term XMac to describe such a machine. Something in the $1100 to $1500 dollar range with desktop components instead of server grade hardware.



    Before logging on today I had this flash of insight that many wil likely reject but I will offer up anyways. For those familiar with Agilent look at their half rack portable instruments like their DVMs and Counters. It is the perfect form factor for an XMac they can even throw in the fancy handles if they want. There is enough room for power, storage and even an expansion slot. Just make sure there is plenty if space for I/O.



    With the latest Intel or AMD APUs such a platform could be very powerful but yet rather cool running. It certainly would be more usable than the Mini for many users. It is a shape that can be placed just about anywhere.



    Just a thought.
  • dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    They have to think about sales volume. Only selling one model of display means they can streamline the manufacturing and save money on volume.



    Why not offer a 21.5" LED Cinema Display too?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    If they sold an affordable tower, they sell fewer displays because you'd go for a matte screen.



    That doesn't make sense. If you wanted a matte screen you wouldn't be buying Apple anyway.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    But could they fit all those i7 iMac components into a cube shape? Let's say they can



    The Power Mac G4 Cube concept is dead & not coming back. Ever. Not with the Mac mini. I want the Mac Pro with $1,000 less expensive Core i7 processors.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,468member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    I want the Mac Pro with $1,000 less expensive Core i7 processors.



    So... an xMac. They're called Hackintoshes.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,525member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    Why not offer a 21.5" LED Cinema Display too?



    It likely won't compete with displays from other manufacturers. People are selling IPS screens that size around $300. Smaller size screens are high volume for everyone.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    That doesn't make sense. If you wanted a matte screen you wouldn't be buying Apple anyway.



    Plenty of people use matte screens with Macs.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    The Power Mac G4 Cube concept is dead & not coming back. Ever. Not with the Mac mini. I want the Mac Pro with $1,000 less expensive Core i7 processors.



    The processor in the entry Mac Pro costs $300, which is round about the same as the i7. The cost savings would come from the other parts but I think the Mac Pro chassis is overkill for this purpose. It would also severely cut into sales of the higher up models. Why would you ever buy the $2500 Xeon Mac Pro if you can get an i7 one that is close enough to the performance for $1500? They'd pretty much have to stop selling the quad Mac Pro and create an even bigger gap between the models.



    I don't think the i7 vs Xeon matters. I think that they need to cut the costs wherever they are coming from. In my list above, it's the motherboard, chassis and power supply that are the most expensive parts. They probably can't cut the motherboard cost but the chassis can be designed smaller and lighter and they can use a smaller PSU. I think a $500 drop is all we could expect and would match the 27" iMac price.
  • mjteixmjteix Posts: 563member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    I'm one of those people who would rather a tower with a display than an all-in-one. No, not an "xMac." I like the Mac Pro design. I don't need Nehalem or Westmere Xeon processors. I'm not certain why Apple refuses to sell less expensive Mac Pros using Core i7 processors. And I'm still lost on why Apple had to kill the lower-priced 24" LED Cinema Display.



    I understand the need for speed. Time is money. If Apple was really serious about the Mac Pro, they'd offer more options.



    If you go back in time, their entry-level professional tower started at $1,599. There used to be 3 display sizes. Now it's all whittled to high-end, very expensive gear with long periods of time between product updates, just like the Xserve. Oh yeah, that's right. Apple killed Xserve. The Mac Pro right now is really is baffling to me ? unless Apple's intention is to kill it.



    The problem isn't the price of the cpus or alleged "server-class" components. Xeons of the W35xx/36xx series are priced the same as the Core i7-9xx series. And the Core i7-7xx/8xx series start at a lower price, but with lower performance and chipsets with very few PCIe lanes (unsuitable for a full Mac Pro).



    2.80 QC W3530 $294, 2.80 QC Core i7-930 $294, 2.80 QC Core i7-860 $284

    3.20 QC W3565 $562, 3.20 QC Core i7-960 $562, 3.06 QC Core i7-880 $583

    3.33 6C W3680 $999, 3.33 6C Core i7-980X $999



    Let's get the facts right, UP Xeons are not more expensive than Core i7 desktop cpus with similar specs. DP Xeon cpus are more expensive because thay can be used in pairs (dual QPI link), something that you can't do with desktop Core i7 cpus.



    Xeon W35xx/36xx and Core i7-9xx series use the exact same X58 chipset ($52-55), the only real difference is free ECC support on the Xeon cpus, for 3GB of RAM that's not even $20 more expensive for the Xeons. For the Core i7-7xx/8xx, the chipsets are H55, P55, H57 or Q57 ($40-44), it would not make the computer that much less expensive (for similar performance level) and it would lack a lot of PCIe lanes/slots. Drives, video cards, etc... are all desktop-class components. Nothing special in the MP.



    Even if the current MP compares well with other manufacturers' products, the cost of parts doesn't match the price, when you compare with previous MPs that used more expensive parts (cpus/chipsets/RAM) and were priced lower that the current MPs. Best example is the 2008 "Harpertown" MP that used $800+ cpus, a more expensive chipset, much more expensive FB-DIMM RAM, and was priced at $2299 (single $797 QC 2.80GHz cpu), $2799 for dual-quad 2.80.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,525member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjteix View Post


    Xeon W35xx/36xx and Core i7-9xx series use the exact same X58 chipset ($52-55), the only real difference is free ECC support on the Xeon cpus, for 3GB of RAM that's not even $20 more expensive for the Xeons. For the Core i7-7xx/8xx, the chipsets are H55, P55, H57 or Q57 ($40-44), it would not make the computer that much less expensive (for similar performance level) and it would lack a lot of PCIe lanes/slots. Drives, video cards, etc... are all desktop-class components. Nothing special in the MP.



    The Intel X58 is listed as $260 on Newegg:



    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-502-_-Product



    The i7 boards are under $100:



    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-396-_-Product



    Still not that significant a difference as you say and it leaves an extra $340 to the $500 margin I mentioned above on the entry Mac Pro. $1650 worth of parts in a machine priced at $2500 and that's with the chassis estimated at $400 and the PSU at $300. You get 1kW PSUs for under $150. There are other parts like bluetooth, wifi that would make up $100 or so but the margin on top would appear to be over $800. Free shipping of a 20kg machine will take a small amount as well as packaging $800 is excessive.



    This is what happens when products don't sell. The original iPhone was priced way too high and then they started selling a lot of them and the price came down. It wouldn't be worth the effort making Mac Pros if they only made $300 profit on each one.



    But that goes to show that if they weren't selling enough at $1999 then the large market clearly doesn't want towers like the Mac Pro because those people have to buy screens on top whereas they get a $1000 screen included with the iMac for the same price.



    That's why I think the only way they can do this is to build a unique tower machine like the Cube. But if they can't do that due to the size restrictions and because it would affect the iMac line then it won't ever happen. The Mini is the last hope there is for an affordable headless machine and I think it's enough. If people just want i7 performance now then next year's Mini with Ivy Bridge can reach 80% of that.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjteix View Post


    Best example is the 2008 "Harpertown" MP that used $800+ cpus, a more expensive chipset, much more expensive FB-DIMM RAM, and was priced at $2299 (single $797 QC 2.80GHz cpu), $2799 for dual-quad 2.80.



    That would confirm the huge margin. It allows them to price the entry Mac Pro anywhere between $1800 and $2500 and still be in profit.
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