Originally Posted by vinea
$1329 is the price for single 1.6Ghz Woodcrest today. You can get a single 2.33 Ghz Woodcrest for $1589 today. You think perhaps that once the Clovertons appear that the Woodcrests might drop in price?
Slower than the mini? It seems your knowledge of machines is about as good as your ability to check Dell's website for a Woodcrest box before you say something silly. Again.
What are the odds of someone upgrading to 8 cores? I dunno...isn't your side the one touting the incredible need for upgradability? In any case, I do have a few machines about that we've added a second CPU to. Didn't have the funds to kit out all of them as dual CPU. Now they are.
But yes, they would be "drastically slower" (say about 2 cores worth) than a $2.2K Mac Pro for around $500 difference. Of course that's about the price difference of adding that second Woodcrest from Dell ($609) and about what an OEM CPU would cost retail ($518 from the first Google hit).
Amazing how that works out. As far as gaming and encoding, from the Anandtech benches it looks like a 12% penalty for the FB-DIMMs. Otherwise the Woodcrests aren't slouches. Even with the penalities a single CPU woodcrest would make an adequate game box and still be a competent workstation.
No, I think the intended audience would be pretty happy with a single CPU 2.33Ghz Woodcrest Mac Pro @$1599. It fits the definition of basic prosumer box quite well.
While, that kind of options were discussed before the Mac Pro was released (some people even thought Apple would release 2 single CPU models and only one dual CPU model), Apple released the all the Mac Pros as dual CPU, I don't think they will offer single (Woodcrest) CPUs models now. It would be easy (no R&D whatsoever) but not effective (think about all the $ on the motherboard for half the usage). Because the price of Conroe chips and chipsets vs. Woodcrest, and including the R&D needed to design a new motherboard, I believe that a Conroe-based Mac Pro could even have higher margins than the Mac Pro: CPUs are cheaper, Chipsets are cheaper, RAM is cheaper, even the power supply could be a less powerful (hence cheaper) one. Yes that would mean more inventory of parts, etc... but just like any new product would.
If Apple had released a single CPU model of the Mac Pro @ $1499/1699, and if it was possible to go to any Apple Store and have this CPU upgraded and/or paired with another one, yes, I think we wouldn't have that debate.
And If Apple were to do that, they would have to change their current pricing structure for the Mac Pro that doesn't follow whatsoever Intel's CPU pricing. Like I said when the Mac Pro was first released, the pricing of the BTO options are off, it should have been -$800 for the 2.0GHz version and +$300 for the 3.0GHz version (according to Intel's price list), to simplify:
single 2.0GHz=$300, 2.33GHz=$450, 2.66GHz=$700, 3.0GHz=$850,
, 2.66GHz=$1400, 3.0GHz=$1700
It looks like Apple is getting 2.66GHz chips for the price of 2.33GHz ones (-$300 for 2x2.0GHz, +$800 for 2x3.0GHz). That's certainly why the 2.66GHz Mac Pro looks so good vs the competition.
So in the best case (following Intel's CPU price list) we could have get:
dual Mac Pro 2.0GHz=$1699, 2.33GHz=$1999, 2.66GHz=$2499
single Mac Pro 2.0GHz=$1399, 2.33GHz=$1549, 2.66GHz=$1799, 3.0GHz=$1949,
which would have been great prices IMO.
But with the current pricing structure (Apple's), the best we could get is:
single Mac Pro 2.0GHz=$1899, 2.66GHz=$2049 (with a 2.66GHz priced at $450
I think those are a little too expensive for the purpose.
If Apple could price the high-end Conroe/Kentsfield xMac at $1999/2199 (depending on the enclosure, $999 for the chip only), the 2.66GHz model could be as low as $1499/1699 and the 2.40GHz model at $1299/1499.