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Apple reinforces commitment to professionals with nearly 200 US-built Mac Pro configurations

post #1 of 49
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While Apple has made efforts in recent years to pare down its product options in an effort to simplify choices for consumers, the company's new Mac Pro desktop comes in nearly 200 potential configurations, giving professional users the ability to build a system that's right for them.

Pro Parts


With four different potential CPU options, four different RAM amounts, three internal storage capacities, and three graphics card options, the base Mac Pro, starting at $3,000, is available in a total of 144 different configurations.

And Apple's $4,000 model comes with three upgradeable CPU and three GPU options, bringing its total number of potential configurations to 54. Together, they result in 198 different Mac Pro hardware possibilities for customers to order.

To put the number in perspective, Apple's other professional-grade computers, the MacBook Pro lineup, are offered with far less options. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has 23 potential configurations, while the 15-inch model has 22.

Such flexibility in ordering the new Mac Pro may signal some of Apple's renewed commitment to professional users -- a market that pundits speculated the company would abandon, in order to focus on consumer-driven products like the iPhone and iPad.

Pro Parts


Prior to Apple's much-hyped revamp of the desktop, the Mac Pro lineup floundered for years, featuring the same legacy design that's existed since the Power Mac G5 in June of 2003. While the outside appearance of the Mac Pro remained largely the same, internal components were also infrequently refreshed, leading to severe dissatisfaction from professional Mac users.

Executives at Apple were said to be unsure of what to do about the Mac Pro in late 2011, and were allegedly evaluating whether to continue to invest in furthering its full-size workstation line. Macs in general, and the Mac Pro in particular, have become a far less important part of Apple's bottom line in recent years, with the iPhone and iPad dominating the company's profits and public buzz.

But Apple came out swinging earlier this year when it unveiled the new cylindrical Mac Pro, featuring a radical desktop design and packing in enough power to drive three 4K ultra-resolution displays.

"Can't innovate anymore, my ass," Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller famously proclaimed upon showing off the machine at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

Pro


And with preorders for the Mac Pro kicking off on Thursday, it's now apparent that Apple's efforts go beyond just horsepower, and aim to offer professional users more flexibility when ordering the new desktop. Apple has also made the unprecedented move of building the machines entirely in America, making it the only computer in the company's lineup, and one of a few technology products on the market today, to hold that distinction.

Given the sheer number of potential options to choose from, authorized reseller and AppleInsider partner B&H has opted to select what it thinks will become the 20 most popular configurations for the new Mac Pro. It is currently taking preorders for those models, which can be found in the Mac Pro portion of the AppleInsider Mac Price Guide, included below:


* MacMall also only charges sales tax in CA, NY, IL, WI, MN, CO, TN, NC and GA.
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post #2 of 49
All those configurations are awesome.

But in practice, you can't actually get them all, because Apple only made around 182 Mac Pros. :o
post #3 of 49
Can't count, my ass.
ALL of the higher-end model configs are already contained in the possible lower-end configs. It's different with the Mac Pro in that high- and low-end model are just dfferent base configs that can be configured with the same options. With iMacs etc., you usually don't get the same options, and Neil's counting would have been correct.
Regardless of the above, I fail to see what tons of ("US-made!") BTO configs show in commitment to professionals...
post #4 of 49
Memory from OWC is also ~$400 cheaper than Apple's.
post #5 of 49
I get a feeling Apple is going to sell a lot of these. Even a fair amount of non-pro non-power users will want Apple's best
post #6 of 49
What a fluffy PR piece. The only useful parts of the article were about there being configurations (though the details weren't included) and a reminder about saving sales tax with other retailers like B&H (thanks for that reminder; I need to avoid 6% on a $3000+ purchase!!).
post #7 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by marokero View Post

Memory from OWC is also ~$400 cheaper than Apple's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by marokero View Post

Memory from OWC is also ~$400 cheaper than Apple's.

I might spring for 32 Gigs from OWC, I wonder if I can sell my Apple supplied 16 Gigs to anyone? Do these work in many other machines out there?
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post #8 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

All those configurations are awesome.

But in practice, you can't actually get them all, because Apple only made around 182 Mac Pros. :o

Maybe I can auction mine on January 6th? 1smile.gif
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post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chez Whitey View Post

I get a feeling Apple is going to sell a lot of these. Even a fair amount of non-pro non-power users will want Apple's best
I'm not sure about that. It isn't a terribly expensive machine considering what you get in the base model but it is simply in another segment that most users aren't willing to move to. From my standpoint it is about $1000 to expensive for my desktop.
post #10 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by marokero View Post

Memory from OWC is also ~$400 cheaper than Apple's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by marokero View Post

Memory from OWC is also ~$400 cheaper than Apple's.


I might spring for 32 Gigs from OWC, I wonder if I can sell my Apple supplied 16 Gigs to anyone? Do these work in many other machines out there?

I think owc will buy them
post #11 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by marokero View Post

Memory from OWC is also ~$400 cheaper than Apple's.

 

Just remember to heed:

 

"Mac Pro uses unregistered DIMMs (U-DIMMs) in all memory configurations except 64GB, which uses four 16GB registered DIMMs (R-DIMMs). Registered DIMMs cannot be mixed with unregistered DIMMs."

 

So if you buy the 16GB registered DIMMs from OWC then you have to not use the unregistered DIMMs that come in the Mac.

post #12 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo8 View Post

Looks like a garbage can, lol.

So does the Android logo.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #13 of 49
If they made this in China would it cost $999 in the USA? /s
post #14 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo8 View Post

Looks like a garbage can, lol.

Looks like a jet engine intake to me.
post #15 of 49

Anyone else remember that old "Buy a Mac" ads where they made fun of Vista for having so many configurations?

 

Well, I guess now it's coming back to bite them in the ass. Apple does the same stuff as everyone else; they just want you to think it's different

"And thus, the truth became known"
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post #16 of 49
Can you buy this base model and upgrade later with non apple accessories ? $1000.00 seems pretty steep for a 1 TB flash drive when you can get 1TB for $500.00 from crucial.
post #17 of 49
There are only 144 possible configurations since the 54 possible combinations from upgrading the top base model are all configurations offered by upgrading the low base model.
post #18 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


I'm not sure about that. It isn't a terribly expensive machine considering what you get in the base model but it is simply in another segment that most users aren't willing to move to. From my standpoint it is about $1000 to expensive for my desktop.

 

I thought the base model was a little weak for its price. Some of the upgrades are reasonably priced. People have blown the D700 one way out of proportion, but at the same time, it doesn't seem like they're tacking on as high of a markup as with the 12 core. Most of their cpu cto options are typically retail list + 30%. In the case of the hex core, it's a $500 upgrade, so they do credit the cost of the quad. $600 cpu + 180 rounded to $200 - $300 quad = $500 cto. They aren't always that generous about crediting the initial one. Other oems vary greatly in that regard, so I'm not going to make a comparison. The only things I've considered that would make full use of something like the D700s still run better on CUDA. I've been waiting on stable OpenCL versions for a long time. It may happen eventually. It hasn't happened yet. For the most part I've avoided that where possible due to the year to year variance in configurations offered by Apple and a lack of desire to deal with configuring GNOME.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Carpenter View Post

Can you buy this base model and upgrade later with non apple accessories ? $1000.00 seems pretty steep for a 1 TB flash drive when you can get 1TB for $500.00 from crucial.

Internally it may be a non-standard connector, so I wouldn't count on it. You will want to consider external storage with only applications and OS on the primary drive.

post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emes View Post

Anyone else remember that old "Buy a Mac" ads where they made fun of Vista for having so many configurations?

Well, I guess now it's coming back to bite them in the ass. Apple does the same stuff as everyone else; they just want you to think it's different

Not the same. What's the difference between vista home and vista home premium?

Here the configurations are tangible and easy to understand.
post #20 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Carpenter View Post

Can you buy this base model and upgrade later with non apple accessories ? $1000.00 seems pretty steep for a 1 TB flash drive when you can get 1TB for $500.00 from crucial.

The PCIe flash drive is fully user upgradeable.  So I would say yes.  I would think that owc would have a drive upgrade soon for the new Mac Pro.

post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo8 View Post
 

Why would there be a jet engine intake inside your office?

Why would there be something that looks like a troll on the other end of your keyboard, yet doesn't actually have as much use as a real one would?

post #22 of 49
Commitment to professions? I'll drink to that as soon as Cupertino announces a new 17" Retina MBP.
post #23 of 49
Originally Posted by aenghus View Post
Commitment to professions? I'll drink to that as soon as Cupertino announces a new 17" Retina MBP.

 

Give it a rest. You represented a meaningless portion of “professionals”.

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post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Carpenter View Post

Can you buy this base model and upgrade later with non apple accessories ? $1000.00 seems pretty steep for a 1 TB flash drive when you can get 1TB for $500.00 from crucial.

Even on Amazon I'm seeing PCIe SSDs at over $1000. Here is only that is less than half of 1TB and it's over $1,100. They also make one that is 960GB but I haven't been able to locate anyone selling it. edit: Looks like the 960GB version was $3,300 when it launched.


Edited by SolipsismX - 12/19/13 at 9:04pm

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post #25 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

 I wonder if I can sell my Apple supplied 16 Gigs to anyone? Do these work in many other machines out there?

 

Might want to hold on to the Apple RAM. Apple support has a habit of blaming third part RAM for all manner of ills. You want to have the factory modules around to put into the machine to eliminate their use of that excuse.

 

-kpluck

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post #26 of 49

I wonder why it is so late. Some of these aren't even going to be shipped until late Jan with some part of the world starting only shipping in Feb. Which means mass availability of this is in March or later.

 

There will be Haswell-E with DDR 4, and Doubling the speed of SSD by using PCI-E 3.0 instead of the current PCI-E 2.0. Along with Next Gen Fire Pro GFX within 6 months of March.

 

I wonder what is the issues with the delay. Since you are essentially buying something premium that is 6 months old.

post #27 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

There will be Haswell-E with DDR 4, and Doubling the speed of SSD by using PCI-E 3.0 instead of the current PCI-E 2.0. Along with Next Gen Fire Pro GFX within 6 months of March.

Where do you get this information? Haswell EP is nowhere in sight. Typically "E" launches first. It can be up to a few months, but typically it's a couple months between E and EP. E is not schedule to launch in the first half, and of course shipping in volume can be different from initial ship dates. It's not like all early samples are earmarked for Apple. People have commented for some reason that the D700 gpu upgrade is cheap. I think they are out of their minds. It may not cover the extreme markup relative to base configuration, but Apple doesn't give anything away. I would still like to know what the specific difference is here on the OSX side with these compared to the radeons they used before. Difference varies quite a bit in the standard versions. 6 months of March is still way too long. If the first ones of a new generation ship 6 months from 3 months away, they aren't going to wait. They skipped the entire Sandy Bridge EP, presumably due to this being a relatively new project with remaining work.

post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Give it a rest. You represented a meaningless portion of “professionals”.


Really? What are you basing that on? I know of plenty of professionals who are still using 17" MBPs and won't upgrade until Apple reinstates the model. 

post #29 of 49
Originally Posted by RichL View Post
Really? What are you basing that on?

 

Fact, actual sales numbers, reality…

 
I know of plenty…

 

Again with the anecdotes.

 
…won’t upgrade until Apple reinstates the model. 

 

Guess they’d better get used to never buying a new computer ever again, then. Not sure how they plan to stay competitive.

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post #30 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Fact, actual sales numbers, reality…

 

And do you wish to share these numbers with the class?

post #31 of 49
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

And do you wish to share these numbers with the class?

 

Best be joking.

 

But no, I’m sure you know better than Apple what sells and what doesn’t. I’m sure you know what people were buying and what percentage of the market that was. No, you’ve seen “a lot” of professionals with 17” MacBook Pros, so obviously it was the best-selling computer Apple had and discontinuing it was only to “shaft” professionals and not because it was wasting money. Yeah, you’re right.

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post #32 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Best be joking.

 

But no, I’m sure you know better than Apple what sells and what doesn’t. I’m sure you know what people were buying and what percentage of the market that was. No, you’ve seen “a lot” of professionals with 17” MacBook Pros, so obviously it was the best-selling computer Apple had and discontinuing it was only to “shaft” professionals and not because it was wasting money. Yeah, you’re right.

 

That's not what I said or even implied. If you're going to use quotation marks, at least put them around something that I actually said.

 

AFAIK, Apple has never released sales figures by screen size. How the 17" model sold compared to, say, the Mac Pro is unknown. If Apple are now willing to resurrect the Mac Pro then why not the 17" MBP too? There was obviously a big enough market for it to exist at some point in its lifetime.

post #33 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emes View Post
 

Anyone else remember that old "Buy a Mac" ads where they made fun of Vista for having so many configurations?

 

Well, I guess now it's coming back to bite them in the ass. Apple does the same stuff as everyone else; they just want you to think it's different


That's the opposite of good point right there.

 

Having to choose which OS version to buy based on vaguely outlined differences is one thing. This is hardware, and you can't necessarily go back and upgrade to a different CPU or a wider monitor.

 

Microsoft has made even more confusing OS versions now with Windows RT and the like.

 

I don't want to be a thin-skinned fandroid -- I just want to point out that we want choice on hardware -- that's a benefit, and if the OS just does everything without us figuring out a license scheme -- that's a benefit.

post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Fact, actual sales numbers, reality…

 

Again with the anecdotes.

 

Guess they’d better get used to never buying a new computer ever again, then. Not sure how they plan to stay competitive.


 I'd like a 17"+ laptop. Even though it might be a small group in the numbers -- it's still likely a significant group. Seems to me that a larger laptop is much easier to build than a smaller one.

 

People who go on the road and have to work a convention, or do some video editing on location -- it's hard to drag along a 2nd monitor, but it's OK to have an extra pound and 2 more inches for the larger laptop. Retina screens do alleviate some of the issue of "lot's of controls on screen" -- but not really for older professionals.

 

It doesn't make sense to argue against someone saying "I want this" -- as if you can compel people to not want what they want.

post #35 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Even on Amazon I'm seeing PCIe SSDs at over $1000. Here is only that is less than half of 1TB and it's over $1,100. They also make one that is 960GB but I haven't been able to locate anyone selling it. edit: Looks like the 960GB version was $3,300 when it launched.


$1,199 at OWC:
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDPHWE2R960/

Still, these are cards, Apple simply installs the chips which should make it cheaper, albeit slightly.
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post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


$1,199 at OWC:
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDPHWE2R960/

Still, these are cards, Apple simply installs the chips which should make it cheaper, albeit slightly.

 

If were someone buying this new Mac Pro in the next 6 months, it's likely the ONLY viable source is Apple. I expect they did a lot of research and tweaking and basically bought up the market. Doesn't surprise me if third party offerings are both slower and more expensive -- as Apple soaked up the manufacturing capacity with deals for at least the next year.

post #37 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post
 

 

And do you wish to share these numbers with the class?

IN the past two years, Apple has sold ZERO 17" monitors! ;)

 

I'm fairly sure that Apple probably cut off this segment because it wasn't a LOT of money and they wanted to pair down manufacturing. However, their manufacturing customization and procurement has gotten a lot better -- and my bet is they could do it for a lot less money today. I also think they should make some, not because it's going to make them a lot of money -- but because these people are power users in consulting positions and more likely to influence sales.

 

It's STRATEGIC.

post #38 of 49
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

If Apple are now willing to resurrect the Mac Pro then why not the 17" MBP too?


Because there’s nothing being resurrected. The Mac Pro has never been discontinued. It was not brought back from any state of not being sold. 


There’s no way you can think the cases are similar.

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post #39 of 49
I'd like to see the single-core benchmarks for the QC vs 6C vs 8C vs 12C are like.
Having 12C is the hoots for video and a few other specialize apps, but most of my apps are single threaded and I'm wondering if it's really worth the price for the few times I use a highly parallelizable application.

No I'm not a video pro. No, I don't need one of these. But one would be cool to have. Just wondering if there is any real benefit to the high-end units if you don't render video all day long.
post #40 of 49
Wow... 200 different options????

HP allows you to configure a z820 workstations with a choice of operating systems, power supplies, optional water cooling, a much wider selection of processors (single or dual processors, up to 24 cores total), some 16 different graphics card options (times 3, given that you could can put in up to three cards), the possibility of adding additional CUDA processor cards, more than a dozen memory configurations (up two 512GB with dual processors), and more than 200 different storage configurations.

I didn't bother to figure out all the possible valid combinations, but my rough estimate came to over 600,000 different possible configurations. I guess that makes HP 3,000 times more committed to professionals...

The new Mac Pro is cuter, though.
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