Originally Posted by drblank
So, at this point it's moot, nothing is comparable on the market.
Oh gosh that simply isn't true, yes the MacPro is a feat of engineering to able to put a Xeon CPU, dual GPU and a PCIe SSD into such a small space, a super sexy space but building one of theses XEON systems is a very simple thing to do, not too expensive anymore. Using Amazon and starting with a Barebones system from SuperMicro, this includes everything except the CPU's, GPU's, HD's and memory, the fans (except CPU fans, you have to install those after the CPU, logically), cables, motherboard, case, power-supply come assembled and installed;
2X AMD FirePro W7000 4GB GDDR5 4DisplayPort PCI-Express Workstation Graphics
1X Supermicro SuperWorkstation SYS-7047A-T Dual LGA2011 Xeon 1200W Tower Server Barebone System (dual CPU socket so you can add an extra later)
Intel Xeon Eight-Core E5-2650 2.0GHz 8.0GT/s 20MB LGA2011 Processor without Fan, Retail BX80621E52650 (8 core CPU and is faster than the one found in the 4,000 MacPro)
1X VisionTek Data Fusion 2-way PCIe SSD 480GB Small form factor - 100K IOPS Solid State Drive (900601)
1X Kingston Technology 32GB Kit (4x8GB Modules) 1600MHz DDR3 PC3-12800 ECC Reg CL11 DIMM DR x4 Server and Motherboard Memory KVR16R11D4K4/32
Total Price: 4,035
I built one to compare with the 4,000 MacPro but as you can see it has a faster CPU, a dual socket motherboard so I can add an additional one later (when second CPU is added it will be faster than the MacPro 12 Core version), faster graphic cards with more memory, I can even add additional graphics cards for a total of 5(example; 2 ATI Crossfired and three Nvidia Tesla cards), a Supermicro barebones system so all you need to do is install the GPU, CPU, SSD and RAMS and then your off. I wouldn't use Windows 8 but CentOS (Linux64) which SuperMicro includes with the box and all components that I have selected have been tested with SuperMicro to work with the system.
Now it doesn't have a Thunderport port but if you really need one than Intel is starting to produce PCIe expansions cards, Asus has just introduced one and when Thunderport 2 is released I'm sure a new expansion card will be available shortly after for that as well. Not sure what you would use it for as this case has room for a 8 disk RAID and since we are using a PCIe SSD card, 4 more normal SSD drives.
Yes the thing is huge but it's meant to be used as a work machine and who cares what it looks like when it will sit under the desk, the SuperMicro is also ultra quiet, not sure what it would sound like if you added 5 GPU's though, wouldn't mind finding out though.
Ugly as sin but damn if 5 GPU's ain't sexy!
Now I'm not saying the MacPro isn't the coolest computer out there because it is but it is not the cheapest, the fastest or best overall, compromises will have to be made for using the MacPro. The biggest beeing, for me anyway, is you will be stuck with the configuration you make upon purchase for a very long time where as the monster above can grow with your needs. Just putting things in prospective here, the fact that the MacPro is an Apple is probably more than enough for most people so who cares. Yes, you can run OSX if you so desired on the machine above but I don't know about the 5 GPU's.
Just out of curiosity, why all the hubbub about Thunderport. I keep reading above, yea but it doesn't have Thunderport so your XEON configurations are a mute point, this and that, why. Okay yes, with the MacPro I fully understand, you don't have any internal expansion so you have nothing else but with a normal XEON desktop you do. I know Black Magicdesign has a really cool capture box but they also make a PCIe version and I could always buy a Thunderport card for my XEON workstation later if I will probably never need/want one. I personally use a NAS drive for my external storage needs, I do have 2 TB eSata/USB 3.0 drive for my portable needs but isn't eSata good enough for that? Monitors, HDMI and DisplayPort seem to working pretty good. I don't know, can someone explain why I would need it?
Edited by Relic - 10/23/13 at 5:18am