Apple's new Mac Pro a better value than the sum of its parts

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  • Reply 81 of 130
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    Uh… they’re the ones in the Mac Pro. Read the article.


     

    Yes, but it is not clear what that buys you. Nor is it clear what the point is of have a Xeon CPU (when there is only one of them -- Xeons can be used many at a time, standard Core i7s can't be, but for a single processor system, there is no convincing reason to use a Xeon [that I know of]).

  • Reply 82 of 130
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post





    http://www.theverge.com/2013/12/23/5234574/apple-mac-pro-review-2013





    It appears that Final Cut Pro X was built to exploit the capabilities of hardware like the new Mac Pro... and vice versa.

     

    True, though TheVerge people repeat over and over again how much they hate FCPX.

  • Reply 83 of 130
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

     

     

    Ah yes.  The Windows Tax.  $200 isn't much compared to the $14,310 total price.

    That's just 1.4% of the total.

     

    But if you're the kind of hobbyist who claims "Ah kin built me a 'puter fer jess two hunnert bucks,"

    you're looking at a 50% Windows Tax (for Windows 8.1 Pro, that is.)

    Good luck setting all those jumpers.


     

    Well, the Linux tax is much lower...

  • Reply 84 of 130
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cromas View Post



    The price on those graphics cards is obviously ridiculously inflated. If anything this article shows that a comparable system would cost about as much -- which one should expect.

     

    The big win of the Mac Pro is the form factor -- the fact that I can toss the thing into my backpack (or carry-on luggage) is the clincher for me, and would be worth a 25%-30% markup over a comparably powered box.  Once they also make foldable 4K displays...

  • Reply 85 of 130
    Originally Posted by marubeni View Post

    Yes, but it is not clear what that buys you. Nor is it clear what the point is of have a Xeon CPU


     

    To you.

     

    [that I know of]).


     

    And the crux.

  • Reply 86 of 130
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    To you.

     

    And the crux.


    Well, why don't you enlighten me? Do you know of any difference between a Xeon and comparably clocked and cached Core i7? 

  • Reply 87 of 130
    Originally Posted by marubeni View Post

    Do you know of any difference between a Xeon and comparably clocked and cached Core i7? 

     

    Yep.

     

    If you don’t know why workstation processors exist, should you really be complaining that they were picked for a product comparison in the first place? This is the same ‘argument’ as “I built a PC with ‘better specs’ for less than an iMac, therefore Macs are overpriced.”

  • Reply 88 of 130
    lukeilukei Posts: 381member
    marubeni wrote: »
    Well, why don't you enlighten me? Do you know of any difference between a Xeon and comparably clocked and cached Core i7? 

    Xeon is designed for 24/7 operation.
  • Reply 89 of 130
    As much as I'm a fan of open standards, Apple is really going to loose some sales by not offering a NVIDIA CUDA alternative...
  • Reply 90 of 130
    aussiepaul wrote: »
    As much as I'm a fan of open standards, Apple is really going to loose some sales by not offering a NVIDIA CUDA alternative...

    Are "loose sales" anything like "loose slots" in Las Vegas?
  • Reply 91 of 130
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,405moderator
    zoetmb wrote: »
    Mac haters always say they can build the equivalent for less.

    And for some reason aren't as vocal about HP's or Dell's offerings despite also being expensive. They also seem to assume that a high purchase price means a high cost but the cost or loss is in the depreciation. Macs don't depreciate any faster than PCs, typically it's at a lower rate. Definitely slower than the resale value of some hacked together box with separate warranties on everything, which might not be transferrable to a new owner.
    alfiejr wrote:
    so far, no third party apps, like Premier, are. nor the 3D apps either, as you describe.

    Adobe uses a whitelist rather than a blacklist for GPU support:

    http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/378/3549

    This means that every new GPU that comes out has to be tested and added to the list rather than being supported by default. Without being on the whitelist, it drops back to using the CPU, which is why it will appear slower than an older machine.

    Some other GPU tests do come out odd though:


    [VIDEO]


    The W9000 GPU gets 37FPS in Heaven and I'm sure that machine being tested was listed as the dual D700 version but scores 14 FPS on the same settings. It's possible that it only uses one of the GPUs in some tests but is still less than half what it should be. Macworld found the same results with the D700 in Heaven:

    http://www.macworld.com/article/2082568/lab-tested-new-mac-pro-is-the-speedster-weve-been-waiting-for-finally.html?page=2

    The iMac with 780M scored 11.91 and dual D700 gets 14.4. It should be nearer 4x that if it's a dual W9000 equivalent.
    marubeni wrote:
    Nor is it clear what the point is of have a Xeon CPU (when there is only one of them -- Xeons can be used many at a time, standard Core i7s can't be, but for a single processor system, there is no convincing reason to use a Xeon [that I know of]).

    The Xeons support more PCIe lanes (you couldn't get 6 TB2 ports on an i7 machine) and have more cores. You don't get a 12-core i7. Xeons will go up to 18-cores in 2015 on a single chip.

    Comparing quad-core to quad-core, the i7s are better value for money.
  • Reply 92 of 130
    Lol ok I made a typo. Care to comment on the ethos of my post?
    Are "loose sales" anything like "loose slots" in Las Vegas?
  • Reply 93 of 130
    aussiepaul wrote: »
    Lol ok I made a typo. Care to comment on the ethos of my post?

    Nope. I simply disagree with your fact-free assertion.
  • Reply 94 of 130
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    Yep.

     

    If you don’t know why workstation processors exist, should you really be complaining that they were picked for a product comparison in the first place? This is the same ‘argument’ as “I built a PC with ‘better specs’ for less than an iMac, therefore Macs are overpriced.”


     

     You just don't know the answer, and are trying to offload the responsibility onto me. If you don't know, must you say things? However, if you want to know, check out (for example): this discussion. The takeaway: exactly what I said before; if you want a multi-CPU setup, or very high memory setup, you have to get a Xeon, otherwise, no difference, and the core i7 is much more cost effective. Notice that the Mac Pro is a single CPU machine with the memory maxed out at a fairly generic 64GB.  So, the Xeon is quite gratuitous. Now, there are some vague statements about Xeon's enhanced power management features, which may be relevant given the Mac Pro's fairly wimpy power supply, so that may be part of it.

  • Reply 95 of 130
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    And for some reason aren't as vocal about HP's or Dell's offerings despite also being expensive. They also seem to assume that a high purchase price means a high cost but the cost or loss is in the depreciation. Macs don't depreciate any faster than PCs, typically it's at a lower rate. Definitely slower than the resale value of some hacked together box with separate warranties on everything, which might not be transferrable to a new owner.

    Adobe uses a whitelist rather than a blacklist for GPU support:



    http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/378/3549



    This means that every new GPU that comes out has to be tested and added to the list rather than being supported by default. Without being on the whitelist, it drops back to using the CPU, which is why it will appear slower than an older machine.



    Some other GPU tests do come out odd though:









    The W9000 GPU gets 37FPS in Heaven and I'm sure that machine being tested was listed as the dual D700 version but scores 14 FPS on the same settings. It's possible that it only uses one of the GPUs in some tests but is still less than half what it should be. Macworld found the same results with the D700 in Heaven:



    http://www.macworld.com/article/2082568/lab-tested-new-mac-pro-is-the-speedster-weve-been-waiting-for-finally.html?page=2



    The iMac with 780M scored 11.91 and dual D700 gets 14.4. It should be nearer 4x that if it's a dual W9000 equivalent.

    The Xeons support more PCIe lanes (you couldn't get 6 TB2 ports on an i7 machine) and have more cores. You don't get a 12-core i7. Xeons will go up to 18-cores in 2015 on a single chip.



    Comparing quad-core to quad-core, the i7s are better value for money.

     

    Ah, an actual informed response! Thank you! (although there are six core i7s out there). This would seem to indicate (counterintuitively) that the high-configuration Mac Pro (12 core, 1TB SSD) is actually the best value of them all...

  • Reply 96 of 130
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    OWC sells a 960Gb PCIe SSD for $1,199



    And I'm sure this $14k machine price will drop considerably if they could also just order the GPU chips instead of the whole card. Never mind configuring the bare bone $2,999 model.

    Except the premise of the article is that the DIY guy who always claims Apple is ripping you off isn't about to order a discrete GPU chip (which you can't do unless you're ordering a tray of 1000) and design a graphics card around it, sit down in Matlab and lay out a PCB, dump the design to his handy PCB grinder to lay out a board, flow solder through the newly ground PCB, solder the thing together (with all the other electronic components he'd have to buy including GDDR5 VRAM chips) and then bolt on a heatsink.  Then, plug it into the other $8K worth of Xeon workstation and hope you did it right and don't burn the whole thing out.

     

    Buying bare GPU chips is for OEMs and graphics card manufacturers, who are not in the article's scope.

     

    Oh, and he'd have to do it all twice.

  • Reply 97 of 130
    Great article, I have always laughed at people who say they can build a PC for less without calculating their time. However I would like to see what the two speck models would cost next to PC OEMs equivalents. Also include the expandability of both. A PC may have internal bays and slots for optical drives, however how many external peripherals can they daisy chain together. This would be a real comparison in cost.
  • Reply 98 of 130
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by y2an View Post



    It's an interesting and fun exercise but flawed. It's buying parts at retail prices so yes a hobbyist would have trouble besting Apple's price. However the article mentions manufacturing costs so if the objective is to find out what a commercial competitor could do, comparable prices need to be at B2B levels which will be far cheaper.

    Oh really?  Lenovo is the #1 PC Manufacturer in the world by volume, so I'm pretty sure they're going to get the best component pricing of anyone.

     

    Building a system as close to spec as the Mac Pro in the article (no option for any PCI-E disk, closest is a 300GB MLC SSD; Lenovo doesn't do AMD graphics, so 2x Nvidia Quadro 6000 6GB substituted) comes up to a whopping $25,416.  With no Thunderbolt.  And still running Windows.  

     

    But, it does have a 3-year warranty!

  • Reply 99 of 130
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,405moderator
    marubeni wrote: »
    Ah, an actual informed response! Thank you! (although there are six core i7s out there). This would seem to indicate (counterintuitively) that the high-configuration Mac Pro (12 core, 1TB SSD) is actually the best value of them all...

    Intel actually prices the 6-core Xeon and 6-core i7 the same. A 6-core i7-4930K is $583 and the Mac Pro's 6-core E5-1650v2 is $583:

    http://ark.intel.com/products/77780
    http://ark.intel.com/products/75780/

    Using a 6-core i7 alone wouldn't be any cheaper. The price issue with the Mac Pro seems to come from Apple putting higher margins on it due to the target audience. They try to aim for as high gross margins as they can get away with.

    If you take rough parts cost (not retail prices) of the 6-core Mac Pro:

    E5-1650v2 = $583
    12GB RAM = $200
    256GB SSD = $200
    dual D300 = $300
    motherboard = $300
    power supply = $200
    chassis, box, software etc = $200

    = $1983

    with 40% gross margins, you end up with about $3305. Their price is $3499.

    The quad-core i7 iMac:

    i7-4771 = $314
    8GB RAM (non-ECC) = $100
    256GB SSD = $200
    780M = $100
    motherboard = $150
    power supply = $100
    display = $500
    keyboard/mouse = $50
    chassis, box, software etc = $200

    = $1714

    with 30% gross margins, you end up with $2448. Their price is $2549.

    If Apple used cheaper parts and lower margins, they could build a cheaper headless Mac but there isn't a high volume of users at this price range anyway. The PC desktop crowd has an average selling price of $500. HP's workstations average around $1600. So all that happens with cheaper options is the people who would have spent $3000, end up spending $2500.

    Apple's been at this game a long time, they know how to price things to maintain their premium audience. I think this is why so many Windows and Android users hate them. If Apple didn't make products worth the premium, they'd be ignored and they'd have to lower their prices. This isn't the case. They set out to do a good job and they want healthy margins in return. It's PC manufacturers that have it all wrong. They operate with under 5% net margins. Apple's net margins are around 25% so when you look at an Apple price tag, only 1/4 of it is what they get to keep after paying all the costs to put the product there. PC manufacturers keep 1/20 of it.

    The way consumers react to pricing is a bit strange when you consider the relative values of things. If you run a business based on computer technology, you still generally have an expectation that a car should cost about 10x more than a laptop. However, the laptop is what you use to earn money to pay for the car and your home, food, utilities etc. So really, the laptop is far more valuable to you than everything else because it pays for everything else.

    The prices get determined by the majority though. The majority doesn't place much value on computers because they are seen as appliances or consumption products. For technology companies to stay profitable, this has to create a divide between low-end machines and high-end. Server companies pay loads for equipment because their business depends on it. Intel can therefore charge loads for the tech because the target audience sustains the premium.
  • Reply 100 of 130
    Originally Posted by marubeni View Post

    You just dont know the answer


     

    ECC RAM. Shut up.

     

    …and are trying to offload the responsibility onto me.


     

    No, just trying to get you to teach yourself something. Not gonna hold everyone’s hand.

     

    However, if you want to know, check out (for example): this discussion. 


     

    Hey, look, it worked. You taught yourself something. I win.

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