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Mac Pro to compete with home PCs?

updated 02:55 pm EDT, Wed August 16, 2006

Mac Pro and home PCs

Recent comparisons from industry watchers as well as Apple have demonstrated that Mac Pro pricing beats out workstations from competing manufacturers such as Dell, and even fares well against home-built PCs with identical hardware. In addition to a detailed comparison of the new system compared to its G5-based predecessor, a custom-assembled system (which avoids assembly and software costs) using equivalent parts is more expensive than Apple's systems. The Cupertino-based company's primary challenge moving forward is to offer a system beneath the Mac Pro which includes high-end features without the added cost of quad Xeons or expensive memory, according to Electronista.

by MacNN Staff




  1. kw99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Very thorough article

    by AnandTech. It might be the most comprehensive Mac Pro article I've read to date.

    The other advantage Apple has is it does not have to pay for a Windows OS license. Sure, there is R&D cost to develop Mac OS X, but that expense is paid for by the 25% (or higher) margin on the product, not in itemized cost of the product itself.

    I agree that there is a HUGE gap in the Apple product line (for "headless" desktop Macs) between the fastest Mac mini and the slowest Mac Pro. I think Apple can design a new model that fits in nicely without sacrificing sales of the existing high-end/low-end products. One that uses Conroe (Core 2 Duo), and is NOT the revised iMac.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not much of a market

    They might compare with similar home-built machines, but most home buyers aren't spending $2500 on a computer (without a monitor). And anyone in the build-your-own crowd isn't going to be buying a mac because they're already, by definition, the type that want to be able to swap and upgrade to their hearts content, not something Apple really likes people doing (and I mean upgrade like popping in new chips, motherboards, etc).

  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Cube again!

    The new Mac Pro's have got me itching to replace my 2001 Power Mac G4 (which has been a great machine). I use a iMac G5 at home and really love the space saving all in one design but like the raw power these new machines offer. I'm not sure these is a big market for a prosumer Mac as what was the Cube but there is definitely a small market which Apple could tap into. Something like a double mini with cheese.

  1. ronjamin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fast Machine & System

    Leopard and the new Xeons are going to scream.

    Preliminary reports on Leopard working on G5's and iNtel Macs is astonishing. All us speed junkies cant wait till Leopard and the new MacPro's meet up. Nirvana!

  1. jwdsail

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A step between...

    I'd love to see a Desktop Mac (user upgradable) built around the Conroe Core 2 Duo, 4 ram slots, 1 3.5" SATA HD, and 1 16X PCIe slot. Ship it standard with Intel Integrated Graphics to keep base cost reasonable (between $999 and $1199) and offer PCIe graphics cards BTO. Bring back an affordable 17" DVI LCD (white bezel perhaps) to go with it.

    Why exactly would this be so hard? How would a Mini+/Cube neo cannibalize Mac Pro sales? iMac, maybe, mini, definitely.. But not the Pro. Pros will want multiple HDs, PCIe slots, FW 800, dual-link DVI standard, and the Woodcrest chips..

    The cube failed due to being way way over priced for its speed and features.. It was an executive office desktop.. not a pro-sumer desktop that Mac users were (and still are) begging for. Few wanted to pay that much just for a small and quiet box. Once the price was reduced and the Cube was discontinued, people started grabbing them at the lower prices.

    A mini+ or Cube neo just has to be priced appropriately to succeed.

    My above example would give us the following price points.. (desktop/workstation Macs)

    $599, $799, (Mac mini+/Cube neo $999-$1199), $1299, $1699, $2499 ($2100 w/ 2.0GHz)

    Looking at that, it "feels" right, shrug.

    There seem to be many Mac users that'd be happy with the mini if it had 2 more ram slots, and even one PCIe slot... A Mac like I've described above, I'd buy 3 of them.. I honestly don't think I'm alone.

    Just my $0.02US


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