Today I consulted for a client who might have switched to the Apple Mac Pro (e.g., an MPG Pro Workstation design) had there been a persuasive case to do so. But since Apple has deemed waiting until 2013 as just fine for their “valued” Mac Pro professional users (while PC users smirk), this client did a perfectly reasonable thing for now: stuck with Windows, and asked me to help him design a “killer” Windows PC. Nothing new to learn, just a vastly superior new computer.
This client ended up getting a 27% off deal on an HP Workstation running Intel’s latest CPUs with 8 cores at 3.1 GHz (dual Xeon E5-2643 3.3 GHz 4-core CPUs, liquid-cooled for lower noise) plus 64GB quad-channel memory and a very nice RAID-5 setup and SSD boot drive (also an OWC Accelsior PCIe SSD to be added later). All of which will no doubt run rings around Apple’s fastest Mac Pro in Photoshop and similar (because the latest i7 CPUs at 3.3 GHz are substantially faster than the older 3.33 GHz CPUs in Apple’s Mac Pro).
While the HP online experience leaves some things to be desired, the ability to configure a system as one wishes is refreshing. Especially since Apple often omits the fastest CPU options for inscrutable reasons.
I’m not suggesting that Mac Pro users switch to a PC here, but for users for which a machine is a “toaster” to get a specific job done— well they might feel compelled to do so where time is money (e.g., heavy-duty video processing).
Mike M writes:
I really enjoyed this posting.
I'm so beyond disappointed in Apple: even though it makes financial sense (as you've described in other postings) for the company to focus almost exclusively on their portable products, e.g. iPhone, iPad, iTouch, iPod, my disappointment more specifically relates to their abandonment of the pro computer user.
For the first time in my long association with Apple as a computer consumer (primarily) -- I bought one of the original 1984 Macs and have owned a Mac ever since -- I'm actually scared that Apple may seriously be considering a permanent exit from the desktop computer arena (in the not too distant future) in favor of making only portable products.
As you are perfectly aware, high-end PC makers such as Falcon Northwest, Origin, Maingear, and others update their desktop offerings several times throughout each and every year; it makes one weep to not only consider how much time has elapsed since a new Mac Pro, but also to consider that we don't even have a new iMac on the market months after the Ivy-Bridge chips have been released.
Adding insult to injury, and as you are also perfectly aware, unlike the PC makers noted above, Apple doesn't discount it's products, no matter how old or outdated they are.
Question: is it my imagination or is not the current Mac Pro a total rip-off as far as price is concerned (not to mention the outdated technology you've highlighted in many postings)?
I might consider the current Mac Pro, in other words, if Apple had the humility (I know, no chance in hell) to considerably discount the system while we're all waiting for 2013's Mac Pro offerings (if they ever actually materialize). But they insist on continuing to charge premium prices for outdated technology. (This is true even with the iMac -- no Ivy-Bridge systems, only 12-14 month old systems, yet the pricing hasn't changed since day one!)
DIGLLOYD: A “rip off”? I wouldn’t go that far. Overpriced for what the hardware offers in the present computing context, yes. Still, it is quality hardware that one can rely on and it runs Mac OS X. Gets the job done for me, and faster would be nice, but the reality is that my day as a whole would not get more than a few percent more efficient even if a new model were 30% faster.
Quality is the entire product, and that includes the operating system; a PC running Windows might have more appealing state of the art hardware, but the Windows thing kills it for me— there are many hidden mines in using Windows, the virus thing alone being a severe danger from which a single loophole could be financially deadly, or take me down for a day or week. I’m not going there. Nor will I spend my dollars on the thieves at Microsoft, and I’m not about to run Linux or similar.