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Mac Pro for consumers...?
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Mac Elite
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Jul 22, 2014, 08:20 AM
 
Hello,

this is a paradox question in itself. Will prices ever fall below 2k? If so, I argued they will definitely, that the concept is too smart... Will there be a consumer version? My dad just WANTS one - now what? I argued for a retina iMac - he's lost forever.

Any thoughts?
Pete
     
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Jul 22, 2014, 08:45 AM
 
Why should they drop prices? These are specialized machines for a specialized market. If people outside that market want one anyway, Apple isn't going to stop them.

Historically, Apple defines price brackets and then builds/updates machines to meet those price brackets.
     
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Jul 22, 2014, 09:00 AM
 
Highly unlikely that the MP drops that far. It is just plain expensive as it is, with two expensive GPUs, a very expensive CPU to make it work, storage only as flash blades over PCIe.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jul 22, 2014, 10:13 AM
 
The price won't drop that far, the Mac Pro is designed to be at the price point it is at. The iMac is a great machine, my dad just got one. It's silent, clean (if you use wireless, you only need a single cable) and is more than fast enough. Make sure to get an SSD, though. (My dad didn't, but that's life.)
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Jul 22, 2014, 01:38 PM
 
If there is one thing Apple will not do, is make the Mac Pro "cheap". Putting in lesser, slower components to make it affordable will just bring down the overall quality of the machine, and cut into any sales of the better models. If the price is putting your dad off, he clearly does not want the Mac Pro as much as you think. Otherwise, maybe if enough of your family chips in the remaining amount above $2000? That's just another $1000 for the base model.
I helped my dad buy a 2013 iMac 27 with the education discount, and he is very happy with that.
     
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Jul 22, 2014, 05:01 PM
 
I'm not sure why your pops would want a Mac Pro unless he intends to do some serious video or photography work. Maybe he just thinks it looks cool and he wants a ton of power, much more than one would need to do typical consumer-level activities.

However if he really wants power, there's a way to do it without shelling out several grand for a 2013 Mac Pro, though it will take a slight bit of upgrading.

1) look for a refurb 2009 Mac Pro (Mac Pro 4,1). These start at around $750-$800 for the single quad-core 2.66 Nehalem Xeon processor; I think a dual quad-core CPU model will run around $1200. Reputable dealers include Small Dog Electronics and Mac of All Trades.

2) It will come with a bare minimum of memory so go to Data Memory Systems and order the DDR3 1333MHz modules for the 2010/2012 Mac Pro (5,1) models. Don't order more than 3 modules for each CPU, you're wasting money if you do so. Three 8gb modules will cost $237.

3) Go to pindelski.com and read up on his posts about the Mac Pro. Specifically, there's a firmware hack that's dead simple to install and (almost always) reversible, which will make your 2009 Mac Pro think it's a 2010/2012 Mac Pro. Then, pay the guy to upgrade your processor(s) to either a single hex-core or dual hex-core Westmere. There are links on his site to the cost and terms of the various services to upgrade your 4,1 CPU(s) to 5,1 CPU(s). You *can* do this yourself, there are instructions out there, but there is a significant risk of damaging your CPU sockets or the backplane board (motherboard), which will cost about $2K or more to fix. Pindelski knows what he is doing and guarantees his work.

The combination of the firmware update and swapping out the Nehalem CPUs for the Westmere CPUs will make your Mac Pro run the RAM you bought at 1333MHz; without doing both of these, your RAM is fine but it will only run at 1066MHz.

4) Finally, swap out that shit GPU that comes stock on those Mac Pros. For $300-$400 you can get a kickass graphics card like a 680 or 770. Get the PC version, don't waste your money on a Mac version. All you will miss is the Apple logo on startup. There are sites out there that tell you which PC graphics cards are best for your purposes. I paid $400 for a EVGA 770 4gb card, which is probably overkill but I work in video and I want to be able to play with 4K without thinking twice about it. You could get a decent video card that's twice as fast as that crap 120 for about half that.

5) get whatever hard drives you think you need depending on your use for the machine, as the refurb will come with a smallish HD that's probably a refurb. I stick with Western Digital and shun Seagate, FWIW.

Boom. You're done. I doubt your pops is going to bother to do all this and it's not going to be the cool trashcan Mac, but for somewhere in the low $2K to $3K range, depending on how far you take the upgrades, you can have a Mac Pro that will compare quite well in Geekbench with the 2013 model, for somewhat to significantly less plus it's upgradeable unlike the 2013 MP.
     
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Jul 22, 2014, 05:30 PM
 
Find a cheap broken one and stick a Mini under the case
     
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Jul 22, 2014, 08:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by pottymouth View Post
Find a cheap broken one and stick a Mini under the case


Seriously, why does he want one? What does he need to do that a Mac mini or iMac won't do?
     
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Jul 23, 2014, 02:09 PM
 
As others have said, Apple will not drop the price of the Mac Pro. Also, not sure why your father would need one. Sure, they look cool, and are fast. But, unless he is a professional that is fully employed and needs it for his work, why spend all that money for something he will never fully utilize?

Up until last July, I had a MacPro1,1 (Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.66 (Original) Specs (Mac Pro, MA356LL/A, MacPro1,1*, A1186, 2113) @ EveryMac.com), which I had purchased brand new in 2006. The machine served me well, and the only thing I needed to do was replace the internal hard drive. But, given that I initially retired in 2006 (retirement is great! No boss to deal with, no commuting issues to deal with, and I do what I want, when I want!), then had a part time job until 2011, the machine became more and more "over kill", per se. I also could not run Mountain Lion (and now Mavericks) on it, and thus it was becoming a dinosaur. When the motherboard gave out last July, I started looking for a replacement desktop model. The newest iMacs at that time lacked some things I required, and unfortunately there were no more prior generation iMacs available (that model would have been fine with me). Given that my Sony 19" monitor was still working fine (and I still have it), the Apple extended keyboard still worked (needed to replace it about 2 months ago), and the Logitech mouse I had (and still have) was fine, I decided to purchase a Mac Mini for $750 from Best Buy. (I did salvage the DVD drive and the hard drive from my Mac Pro, and installed them in separate external cases). I am glad I made that decision, as the Mac Mini has served me well. The only somewhat "initial" drawback was the slow, internal 1 TB 5400 rpm hard drive. I really did not need that much internal space. So, last November I installed a Samsung 256 gig 850 Pro SSD in the machine, and that really was a super upgrade! The machine really flies now (I installed the 1 TB drive inside a nice, slim external case, and that has also served me well).
( Last edited by akent35; Jul 23, 2014 at 02:26 PM. )
     
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Jul 23, 2014, 04:56 PM
 
agree very much with hayesk, not sure why your pops wants a Mac Pro. I seriously think he just wants a really cool desktop that looks nice.

a sub-$2K Mac Pro is not going to happen, ever. It's like asking for a Porsche that costs under $25K. It would never happen marketing-wise and even if it did for some stupid reason, it would be a Porsche only in name and the performance would not be there.

Instead, tell pops to get a tricked out 27" iMac with maximum RAM and fusion drive or flash storage. The screen real estate is mindblowing and it's a pretty fast machine.
     
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Jul 24, 2014, 05:26 PM
 
I bought a 2008 8-core Mac Pro used for $650.00 bucks, and it is a damn fast computer. Runs rings around the 2011 iMac I have at work. I spent a little speccing it up -- put an SSD drive in one of the spare bays & added some RAM, but I have a great machine for right around $900.00 all-in. You want to go whole hog, get a 2010 or later used Mac Pro. They're still incredibly fast machines, even if they're not the newest thing evar. Mac Of All Trades consistently has the lowest prices on used macs, from what I can see.

When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift.
     
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Jul 25, 2014, 12:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by climacs View Post
a sub-$2K Mac Pro is not going to happen, ever. It's like asking for a Porsche that costs under $25K. It would never happen marketing-wise and even if it did for some stupid reason, it would be a Porsche only in name and the performance would not be there.

I think thats true of a sub $100K Porsche isn't it?
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jul 26, 2014, 12:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by PeterParker View Post
... this is a paradox question in itself. Will prices ever fall below 2k? If so, I argued they will definitely, that the concept is too smart... Will there be a consumer version? My dad just WANTS one - now what? I argued for a retina iMac - he's lost forever. ...
First, to get even a reasonably well-configured Mac Pro, you should expect to drop close to $6,000 not $2,000.

To use the (tired I know) car analogy, the desire of your father to have a Mac Pro is the same as the desire of the average guy to have a Batmobile, even though the only use for a car this guy has, is to drive his family to the Mall.

It's that simple. Asking for a "consumer" Mac Pro is asking for something you don't need, just because it would be cool to have. You can't afford it, so you would be willing to settle for a fake fibreglass shell of a Batmobile over the top of the minivan that you actually do need.

You're asking for Wayne Industries to make smaller, imitation Batmobiles for everyone, when instead they are focussed like a laser on the needs of Batman himself, and rightly so.
     
   
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