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Mac Pro August 2010 Pricing Estimates — Ouch!

Prices on other models?

Please note that although Apple has announced the new Mac Pro, it is not yet shipping, with August 9th the expected availability date. In fact, in a strange move, perhaps a first, the Apple Store doesn’t even show the new models at all.

Apple has announced pricing on the base models only. The tables below capture my monkey-butt numbers for estimated Mac Pro pricing.

Using the 1ku bulk price (Apple’s gets lower pricing), I estimated the system pricing, assuming roughly twice the CPU price difference for markup, which is exactly what Apple does for the 2.66/3.33Ghz chips in the 2009 Nehalem.

Single-processor configurations

I’m concerned that Intel’s specifications for the 3500 and 3600 series processors state a max of 24GB memory using six slots (Apple provides four slots). Is that true or can 32GB be used? Maybe 32GB is still possible, because the Nehalem processor states 24GB, but I have personally installed and used 32GB using 8GB modules.

Supports up to twenty-four GB dual-channel unregistered DDR3 Error Correcting Code (ECC) memory which checks and corrects system memory errors

Single processor configurations
  Cores Processor Speed
Bulk CPU price Mac Pro
Base config 4 Intel Xeon W3530 "Nehalem" 2.8 130 watts $249 $2499
(per Apple)
Upgrade to 4 Intel Xeon W3565 "Nehalem" 3.2 130 watts 562 $3199 ???
Upgrade to 6 Intel Xeon W3680 “Westmere” 3.33 130 watts 999 $3999 ???

Dual-processor configurations

For most users, I do not advise spending $1000 more for 2.4GHz 8-core; the 2.8GHz 4-core will usually be faster for most users because of 16% faster clock speed. See the Nehalem Shootout.

The 5600 series processors support up to 18 DIMM slots with 288GB memory, according to Intel’s specifications. But Apple provides only 8 slots in the Mac Pro, so 64GB will be the limit.

These estimates suggest some serious wallet damage ahead for anyone looking for a 12-core system.

Dual processor configurations
  Cores Processor Speed
Bulk CPU price Price
Base config 8 Two Intel Xeon E5620 “Westmere” 2.4GHz 80 watts X 2 $387 X 2 $3499
(per Apple)
Upgrade to 12 Two Intel Xeon X5650 “Westmere” 2.66 95 watts X 2 $996 X 2 $4999
(per Apple)
Upgrade to 12 Two Intel Xeon X5670 “Westmere” 2.93 95 watts X 2 $1440 X 2 $6800 ???

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