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Apple begins taking pre-orders for redesigned, American-made Mac Pro

post #1 of 135
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As promised, Apple on Thursday initiated sales of its highly-anticipated Mac Pro desktop, with some orders placed through the company's digital storefront shipping by Dec. 30. Supplies appear extremely limited out of the gate, however, with custom configured models showing delivery dates into February.

Update: Reports are coming in that certain BTO configurations, especially those with maxed-out specifications, are showing delivery dates pushed back to the first week of February. Specifically, one iOS developer in California, who ordered immediately after the Mac Pro went up for sale, is seeing a delivery date of Feb. 7. A screenshot of their order specifications can be found below.

Mac Pro


The official release of the redesigned Mac Pro has been a long time coming, but Apple finally kicked off sales of its cylindrical desktop as promised. With Thursday's opening of orders, Apple will just barely meet a self-imposed December deadline it announced in October as ship-by dates are set at Dec. 30 for base configurations, while build-to-order options push delivery into January.

Mac Pro


At launch, customers can purchase configurations starting at a base price of $2,999. The low-end version comes with a 3.7 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 CPU with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz, dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs with 2GB of VRAM each, 12GB of ECC DDR3 RAM, and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage.

A higher-tier model can be configured with 3.5 GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.9 GHz, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs with 3GB of VRAM each, 16GB of memory, and a 256GB SSD. Base price for this model is $3,999.

Mac Pro


In addition to the standard configurations, build-to-order models are also available, with options including faster 8-core or 12-core Intel Xeon E5 processors, AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of VRAM, up to 64GB of memory, and up to 1TB of PCIe-based flash storage.

In addition to Apple, pre-orders are similarly now available from Apple Authorized Resellers MacMall and B&H Photo, which offer considerable savings when you take into account that B&H only charges sales tax on orders shipped to NY and MacMall only taxes orders shipped to CA, NY, IL, WI, MN, CO, TN, NC and GA. At roughly 8% average tax, that's a savings of at least $240 per Mac Pro for readers outside those states.

When the Mac Pro was announced in October, AppleInsider was able to get a hands-on look at the radically redesigned pro-level machine.

Instead of continuing with the boxy form factor of older Mac Pros, which carried over a design based on the PowerMac first introduced in 2003, the black aluminum cylinder has been completely rethought with an eye on future-proofing.

At the core of Apple's new halo-computer is a triangular heat sink, onto which all major components and boards are mounted. The so-called "unified thermal core" is key to the Mac Pro's compact size, Apple says.

As for components, the company went with a fast PCIe flash storage solution clocked at 1250MB/s. This compares to current SATA flash solution speeds of 500MB/s and SATA HDD's 110MB/s. Instead of swappable drives, Apple chose to lean on Thunderbolt 2 for storage expansion, a direction in which many professionals are moving with increasingly data-heavy workflows.

Memory


The copious six Thunderbolt 2 ports join four USB 3.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one HDMI 1.4 port and audio in/out. For many, Thunderbolt 2 is likely the main attraction with support for 20Gbps throughput, up to six daisy-chained peripherals per port and backward compatibility with current Thunderbolt hardware. A host of components can be connected via Thunderbolt 2, including the recently released Pegasus2 RAID array from Promise Technology.

Memory has also been switched to four-channel ECC DDR3 modules running at 1866 MHz, capable of supplying bandwidth up to 60GB/s. These speeds double those of the outgoing Mac Pro.

All the internals fit into a svelte 11-pound chassis coming in at only 9.9-inches tall and 6.6-inches in diameter. The footprint of the machine is vastly smaller than the Mac Pro tower it replaces.

At this time, Mac Pro stock levels are unknown, though Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted on Wednesday that production of the desktop has ramped up at the Austin, Tex. plant tasked with manufacturing the computer.
post #2 of 135
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post #3 of 135

The new Mac Pro really is the future of Workstations. Just like 2 years after the iPhone came out, all phones looked like the iPhone, same will happen with this workstation.

 

The reason is, OpenCL is not a gimmick limited to a few specialised apps any more, it is the future of performance computing. CPUs have been getting what, 10-15% faster with each new generation, but when I run programs on my GPU (provided it's a data parallel task, which is a lot of tasks if you model it right) it is 1000x faster (and I mean that literally not hyperbolically).

 

Currently I develop my OpenCL solns on my Mac with it's Nvidia 650M and then port them to my Linux compute box where I leave them running for days on end. It has dual AMD GPUs. In theory the Mac Pro should be able to take it's place. But the best the Mac Pro has is D700s which is the equivalent (I believe) of dual HD 7970 consumer cards, which is what my "slow" compute box has. My fast compute box has already been upgraded to dual R9 290x's in the last few weeks.

 

But it depends: Apple always take a whole-of-system approach, so I suspect they would have spent a long time optimising OS X OpenCL drivers, ready for release at the same time as this box, so I'll definitely be looking with interest.

post #4 of 135
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Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

The new Mac Pro really is the future of Workstations. Just like 2 years after the iPhone came out, all phones looked like the iPhone, same will happen with this workstation...

Will be interesting to hear about the experiences of those who require an external cage for specialist boards. I myself don't but use Mathematica, do you think that this will benefit - http://reference.wolfram.com/mathematica/OpenCLLink/tutorial/Overview.html ?

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post #5 of 135
Meanwhile in Australia Apple and price gouging, charging us over a thousand dollars more than in the US. At the current exchange rate, that's about a $900 premium over the US. Time for the ACCC to interview Apple again
post #6 of 135
I assume you're accounting for the fact Australian prices include GST while US sales tax is applied separately.
post #7 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcbigears View Post

Meanwhile in Australia Apple and price gouging, charging us over a thousand dollars more than in the US. At the current exchange rate, that's about a $900 premium over the US. Time for the ACCC to interview Apple again

My understanding is that the U.S. store doesn't charge taxes whereas the Australian store charges the G.S.T. at 10%. Makes a difference if I am correct. :)

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post #8 of 135
What a spoilsport, Neolos. Taking sales tax in the USA and GST in Australia would make the difference less significant. How could JC bitch about that? Apple Au have gotten a lot slacker about the Apple tax lately. Maybe they haven't been taking as big an exchange rate risk factor into account as they have in the past.

Back on topic, the fact they are making the sharp 4K monitor available does not bode well for an update to the apple display. Where is the updated display with TB2 and USB3? If Apple doesn't bother what TB2 monitor options are there? Won't be putting three 4k monitors on that shiny new MP using HDMI.
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post #9 of 135
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Originally Posted by ascii View Post

The new Mac Pro really is the future of Workstations. Just like 2 years after the iPhone came out, all phones looked like the iPhone, same will happen with this workstation.

Doubtful.
post #10 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post
 

Will be interesting to hear about the experiences of those who require an external cage for specialist boards. I myself don't but use Mathematica, do you think that this will benefit - http://reference.wolfram.com/mathematica/OpenCLLink/tutorial/Overview.html ?

I'm sorry my friend, I use Wolfram Alpha quite a lot but not Mathematica, and don't know what the best box would be for you. All the best.

post #11 of 135
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Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post


Doubtful.

Well, only time will tell. A lot of people said "doubtful" about the iPhone too.

post #12 of 135
T
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

My understanding is that the U.S. store doesn't charge taxes whereas the Australian store charges the G.S.T. at 10%. Makes a difference if I am correct. 1smile.gif
hat would account for $300. The rest? Shipping?
post #13 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Well, only time will tell. A lot of people said "doubtful" about the iPhone too.

No they didn't. The only hesitation at the time was the high initial price, but that was negated a few months later by price drops, and completely a year later with full AT&T subsidies. After that it was full speed ahead.
post #14 of 135
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Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Well, only time will tell. A lot of people said "doubtful" about the iPhone too.
Very true and if such a thing comes to pass I will readily admit my error.
post #15 of 135
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Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

No they didn't. The only hesitation at the time was the high initial price, but that was negated a few months later by price drops, and completely a year later with full AT&T subsidies. After that it was full speed ahead.

Actually there were many:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/ip-telephony/11-more-reasons-not-to-buy-an-iphone-and-that-you-havent-thought-of/1890

http://suckbusters2.blogspot.com/2007/06/apple-iphone-debut-to-flop-product-to.html?m=1

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/ptech/07/03/iphone/

Plus many more. Wrong in hindsight obviously but at the time there were many doubt about the iPhone.
post #16 of 135

Childish I know, but I can dream!!

 

post #17 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcbigears View Post

T
hat would account for $300. The rest? Shipping?


Probably import duties, shipping, insurance.

http://customs.gov.au/site/page5663.asp

Also, Apple probably pays money to buy futures contracts to hedge against currency fluctuations, which has to also be added to the price in Australia.



 

45 2a3 300b 211 845 833
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post #18 of 135

This person is ordering through the educational or government store to get this price along with AppleCare for $199. Does the person really qualify for this price? ADC members don't get a discount anymore. I checked his configuration and it shows shipping in January so a February delivery date sounds reasonable. The only product that appears to ship in December is the stock configuration.

 

Maxing out still comes in under $10K w/o monitor, which isn't that bad when you consider the monster you're getting.

 

It didn't take OWC/MacSales long to undercut Apple's RAM price: 64GB for $895 (Lifetime warranty). No PCIe flash storage yet.

 

I was hoping for a new Apple monitor but they only show the current 27" Thunderbolt display plus the Sharp 4K. $1K for a 27" monitor is high but it does include a FW800 port for existing FireWire devices so you wouldn't have to immediately purchase an interface box.


Edited by rob53 - 12/19/13 at 4:09am
post #19 of 135
Placed my order at 5 a.m. Mac Pro and the 27" TB display. Now the wait .... 1biggrin.gif
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post #20 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

The new Mac Pro really is the future of Workstations. Just like 2 years after the iPhone came out, all phones looked like the iPhone, same will happen with this workstation.

The reason is, OpenCL is not a gimmick limited to a few specialised apps any more, it is the future of performance computing. CPUs have been getting what, 10-15% faster with each new generation, but when I run programs on my GPU (provided it's a data parallel task, which is a lot of tasks if you model it right) it is 1000x faster (and I mean that literally not hyperbolically).

Currently I develop my OpenCL solns on my Mac with it's Nvidia 650M and then port them to my Linux compute box where I leave them running for days on end. It has dual AMD GPUs. In theory the Mac Pro should be able to take it's place. But the best the Mac Pro has is D700s which is the equivalent (I believe) of dual HD 7970 consumer cards, which is what my "slow" compute box has. My fast compute box has already been upgraded to dual R9 290x's in the last few weeks.

But it depends: Apple always take a whole-of-system approach, so I suspect they would have spent a long time optimising OS X OpenCL drivers, ready for release at the same time as this box, so I'll definitely be looking with interest.

That is some rig you have, I bet it's cool for playing games 1wink.gif
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post #21 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcbigears View Post

Meanwhile in Australia Apple and price gouging, charging us over a thousand dollars more than in the US. At the current exchange rate, that's about a $900 premium over the US. Time for the ACCC to interview Apple again
Blame your government for that. All electronics is much more expensive there.
post #22 of 135
Quote:

Good laugh thanks. You didn't include my favorite one from some guy I forget that used to run a Canadian phone company, you know about 'No physical keyboard!" ... what was that company's name now ... ummm ... Blueberry was it? 1biggrin.gif
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post #23 of 135
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Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

My understanding is that the U.S. store doesn't charge taxes whereas the Australian store charges the G.S.T. at 10%. Makes a difference if I am correct. 1smile.gif

Depending on where you live, it may charge tax. Here in NYC, it's almost 9%.

I don't know if Australia is like Great Briton, but they charge an additional 10% for anything not using a certain amount of British goods. Then there's the 20% VAT.
post #24 of 135
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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Blame your government for that. All electronics is much more expensive there.

Got to love the USA, we even allow 100% tax write off of equipment like this for business in the same year.
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post #25 of 135
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Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


That is some rig you have, I bet it's cool for playing games 1wink.gif

Yep I also have an SSD with Windows which is used for gaming. That's all Windows is good for of course :)

post #26 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Depending on where you live, it may charge tax. Here in NYC, it's almost 9%.

I don't know if Australia is like Great Briton, but they charge an additional 10% for anything not using a certain amount of British goods. Then there's the 20% VAT.

That horrendous VAT level I knew, but I didn't know that last bit about ' additional 10% for anything not using a certain amount of British goods' (I assume you mean parts?). If so, thank heavens I left! That is disgusting and totally against free trade. Are you really sure the UK do that?
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post #27 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Yep I also have an SSD with Windows which is used for gaming. That's all Windows is good for of course 1smile.gif

Cool 1smile.gif Wineskin seems to work well for most PC games on a Mac, what's your view on that as opposed to native. Obviously there is a speed hit but those I have tried seem to work well.
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post #28 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

Doubtful.

I don't know. For many workstation uses this makes more sense than a large model does. With distributed storage being the way animation, video, audio and other studios work these days, theres no point in accommodating so much storage locally.

As far as card upgrades go. My experience is that machines are replaced rather than upgraded, in most cases.

There is a lot of inertia in this industry. Someone has to be first. If this proves successful, we could see other makers following suit.
post #29 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Placed my order at 5 a.m. Mac Pro and the 27" TB display. Now the wait .... 1biggrin.gif

So you really rushed it! Eh, I'm waiting for the next one. Being retired takes the rush out of things like this, for me. iPads—yes!
post #30 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
But the best the Mac Pro has is D700s which is the equivalent (I believe) of dual HD 7970 consumer cards, which is what my "slow" compute box has. 

 

The D700 is comparable to the FirePro W9000, the D500 to the W8000 and the D300 to the W5000.

The GPUs used in the new Mac Pro are workstation GPUs, costing up to 4,100 USD and some change (the W9000 costs that much for one card, and the Mac Pro has two of them, if configured correctly).

 

Strange, that the GPU upgrade costs are so low compared to the rest of it, as those FirePro cost quite much (W5000 - 420 USD, W8000 - 1,400 USD, W9000 - 4,100 USD+) and even ECC RAM should not be that expensive, Apple again takes 150 to 350 USD markup for 32 and 64 GB.

And a 12-core E5-2697 CPU can be had fore 750 USD less than what Apple wants. But hey, Dell and HP take similar and even higher prices for their workstations.

post #31 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcbigears View Post

T
hat would account for $300. The rest? Shipping?

 

Higher minimum wage and cost of labor. That 2 year warranty and returns thing that you've been complaining of. High energy costs including a carbon tax. A separate radio and safety regulatory scheme (C-tick). The weird electrical plug (which is not the same as China). All this combined with the fact that Australia is a relatively small market.

 

Its shocking how people refuse to believe the fact that there's no free lunch.

post #32 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

That horrendous VAT level I knew, but I didn't know that last bit about ' additional 10% for anything not using a certain amount of British goods' (I assume you mean parts?). If so, thank heavens I left! That is disgusting and totally against free trade. Are you really sure the UK do that?

Yes, by goods I meant parts. But it could be software, whatever.

This is what I was told by University of the Arts, London, when my daughter was accepted, and we were going to buy her a new Macbook Pro. They said that all electronics was more expensive there. When I asked why, that was most of the reason they gave.

Actually, going into an electronics store was a bewildering experience. Prices were so much higher than here, it was hard to believe. An example was an AtHome clock with an iPhone slot. Here, it's $99. There, it was £99. Exactly the same model, except for the line cord plug. A Kindle reader that here was going for $139, was advertised all over the busses and underground as £139.

This is more than a little bit more expensive, and is well over the 20% VAT add-on.
post #33 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post


No they didn't. The only hesitation at the time was the high initial price, but that was negated a few months later by price drops, and completely a year later with full AT&T subsidies. After that it was full speed ahead.

 

The price was too high. It had no apps, considering every virtually every phone at that time had apps (Palm, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and even Java and BREW apps on dumbphones). Nobody had HTML5 mobile websites. It was an EDGE phone when 3G phones were starting to come out. The reception sucked. Nobody knew how to type on a touchscreen. There were glaring omissions in the OS (delete email anybody?) and basically only worked well with Google services.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

With distributed storage being the way animation, video, audio and other studios work these days, theres no point in accommodating so much storage locally.

 

Servers went through the same transition already. We moved from those honking 6U Compaq servers with a full array of hot-plug PCI slots to 1U units with 2 hard drives, and blades made with laptop parts.

post #34 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

So you really rushed it! Eh, I'm waiting for the next one. Being retired takes the rush out of things like this, for me. iPads—yes!

I had to have it billed in 2013 as a tax write off and I feared the shipping dates would slip into 2014, hence the early start for me.
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post #35 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

That horrendous VAT level I knew, but I didn't know that last bit about ' additional 10% for anything not using a certain amount of British goods' (I assume you mean parts?). If so, thank heavens I left! That is disgusting and totally against free trade. Are you really sure the UK do that?

There is generally no such thing as free trade, and I don't see anything wrong with an import tax designed to encourage UK manufacturing or in the very least provide funding to keep displaced workers off the streets.
post #36 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


Yes, by goods I meant parts. But it could be software, whatever.

This is what I was told by University of the Arts, London, when my daughter was accepted, and we were going to buy her a new Macbook Pro. They said that all electronics was more expensive there. When I asked why, that was most of the reason they gave.

 

It doesn't sound like they told you the truth or, at least, the whole truth. Such an import duty wouldn't be legal under EU law if it was specifically British and not European goods that needed to be included in the product. A quick Google doesn't throw up anything either.

 

Anyway, my wallet is now £8000 lighter. :)

post #37 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Yes, by goods I meant parts. But it could be software, whatever.

This is what I was told by University of the Arts, London, when my daughter was accepted, and we were going to buy her a new Macbook Pro. They said that all electronics was more expensive there. When I asked why, that was most of the reason they gave.

Actually, going into an electronics store was a bewildering experience. Prices were so much higher than here, it was hard to believe. An example was an AtHome clock with an iPhone slot. Here, it's $99. There, it was £99. Exactly the same model, except for the line cord plug. A Kindle reader that here was going for $139, was advertised all over the busses and underground as £139.

This is more than a little bit more expensive, and is well over the 20% VAT add-on.

It's protectionism under another name. Terrible. I left nearly 25 years ago, even the UK climate has gone to hell and a hand basket since then. I am one happy camper to now be American (and living in Florida's magnificent west coast too) 1smile.gif

I hope you shipped your daughter the Mac from here!
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post #38 of 135
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Originally Posted by TBell View Post

There is generally no such thing as free trade, and I don't see anything wrong with an import tax designed to encourage UK manufacturing or in the very least provide funding to keep displaced workers off the streets.

Well IMHO protectionism can bite you in the ass.
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post #39 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

It doesn't sound like they told you the truth or, at least, the whole truth. Such an import duty wouldn't be legal under EU law if it was specifically British and not European goods that needed to be included in the product. A quick Google doesn't throw up anything either.

Anyway, my wallet is now £8000 lighter. 1smile.gif

Note that GB doesn't follow all the financial and tax rules of the EU. I don't know what department it's under, or what it's called, so I can't help you find it.

Perhaps they don't add this import tax to EU goods. I really don't know. And there was no reason to tell me something not true. 27% of the Universitie's students are foreigners, and so have the same problem.
post #40 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Cool 1smile.gif Wineskin seems to work well for most PC games on a Mac, what's your view on that as opposed to native. Obviously there is a speed hit but those I have tried seem to work well.

I haven't tried that before but yeah I guess it would depend on the game, if max speed is important or not. Anyway congrats on the new Mac Pro, I do think it's the future of Workstations and would be a great machine to own.

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