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Print 30 comment(s) - last by augiem.. on Oct 24 at 8:36 PM

Apple refreshes its MacBook Pro range

Apple announced that it is revamping its MacBook Pro lineup. The new 13” MacBook Pro is now thinner, and lighter, and of course is powered by fourth generation Intel Core (Haswell) processors. It also gets up to 9 hours battery life. Like the MacBook Air ultraportables that were updated earlier this year, the new 13” MacBook Pro gets 802.11ac, PCIe SSDs and Thunderbolt 2.

 
Apple is also dropping the price of entry for the 13” MacBook Pro from $1,499 to $1,299. That base configuration will get you a 2.4GHz quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, Intel Iris integrated graphics, and a 128GB SSD.
 
The 15” MacBook Pro also features fourth generation Intel Core processors along with the hardware updates seen on its smaller brother. The 15” MacBook Pro is also available with an NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M discrete graphics card.
 
The base price has also dropped from $2,199 to $1,999. The base configuration comes with a 2GHz Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, Iris Pro graphics, and a 256GB SSD.

 
Apple’s Phil Schiller also announced that the all-new Mac Pro will ship this December with a price tag of $2,999. That configuration will get you a 3.7GHz quad-core Xeon processor, 12GB of RAM, dual FirePro D300 GPUs and a 256GB SSD.
 
On a related note, Apple has announced that OS X 10.9, Mavericks, will be a free download for all Mac hardware that supports the operating system.


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Trashcan
By augiem on 10/22/2013 2:56:30 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Apple’s Phil Schiller also announced that the all-new Mac Pro will ship this December with a price tag of $2,999. That configuration will get you a 3.7GHz quad-core Xeon processor, 12GB of RAM, dual FirePro D300 GPUs and a 256GB SSD.


$3000 for quad-core CPU, 12GB, and a 256GB SSD? Really guys? So the new MacPro is crippled from the start and you'll be spending another $1000 for an Apple screen and another $300-$1000 for a thunderbold hard drive / SSD a to do any actual DCC work. Oh and per Apple's website "Keyboard and mouse sold separately". LOL! For $4500-$5000 you still only get as much memory as my 5 year old Nehalem i7!

I knew Apple was not the king of value but this is seriously a joke. They should sell a shredder attachment to put on top of the trashcan so it can shred your cash directly.




RE: Trashcan
By The Von Matrices on 10/22/2013 4:01:20 PM , Rating: 1
I agree with you assessment completely. Apple has taken the Mac Pro, which was already a niche product, and reduced its niche even more. The Mac Pro used to be a high end workstation and its price was even comparable to dual processor workstations with the same hardware. Now it's just a design curiosity.

That price is so outrageous I seriously wonder if they'll bundle Final Cut Pro with the system and claim that it's a value since you're getting it for "free." Because at this point there is no reason to buy a Mac Pro unless you are absolutely in love with Final Cut Pro. No wonder Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas are gaining so much market share compared to Final Cut Pro.


RE: Trashcan
By Reclaimer77 on 10/22/2013 4:21:25 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Trashcan
By TakinYourPoints on 10/22/2013 5:10:01 PM , Rating: 4
That picture misses this part.

quote:
and its price was even comparable to dual processor workstations with the same hardware


A workstation with comparable specs (same Xeons, ECC RAM, server grade motherboards) from HP or Dell cost as much as or more than a comparable Mac Pro.

There's also the difference in display prices at the time when image was made. Two 24" TN panel displays as opposed to two IPS displays was a difference of almost two thousand.

The Mac Pro was never a consumer machine, it was a workstation with workstation components. Comparing one with a DIY PC using low grade parts misses the point since you can make similar price comparisons with workstations from any other OEM.

As for the new Mac Pro, it is super hard to nail down where it should be priced because there is nothing else like it. Thunderbolt 2 connectivity and the ability to drive three 4K displays is like nothing else out there right now.

It'll be great for post-production professionals, and I think it'll be incredible for on-set DIT stations, and that's pretty much it. Like the old Mac Pro, this machine isn't for 99.9999% of users. That's fine btw, I thought Apple had totally lost interest in supporting the pro community when they discovered they could make way more money selling to the masses.


RE: Trashcan
By The Von Matrices on 10/22/2013 7:53:30 PM , Rating: 2
The decision I don't understand with the new Mac Pro is the use of a single processor versus dual processors. Intel grossly overprices its 12-core part; a 12-core Xeon is $2500, about double the price of an equivalent 10-core Xeon or quadruple the price of a 6-core Xeon. This means you can get two 6-core Xeons for about half the price of one 12-core Xeon and simultaneously have the ability to use twice the memory.

Apple really emphesized style and size over cost consciousness and performance on the new Mac Pro, and I am not sure that this is what the target market wants. I can understand consumer oriented notebooks, tablets, and phones sacrificing performance for style, but for a device that will just sit under a desk this makes no sense to me. Not to mention that basically everything on it is external so you will have to deal with a mess of cables anyway.


RE: Trashcan
By TakinYourPoints on 10/22/2013 8:46:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The decision I don't understand with the new Mac Pro is the use of a single processor versus dual processors. Intel grossly overprices its 12-core part; a 12-core Xeon is $2500, about double the price of an equivalent 10-core Xeon or quadruple the price of a 6-core Xeon. This means you can get two 6-core Xeons for about half the price of one 12-core Xeon and simultaneously have the ability to use twice the memory.


Yup, I don't get it either. Space constraints automatically made more expensive single CPUs a requirement, and this is in an enclosure that doesn't necessarily need to be compact.

The only place I really see this as an advantage are on DIT carts in film production. It is small enough to fit in a road case and much easier to fit on a Magliner cart than a standard case without compromising performance. Hard drives in those use cases are all outboard anyway, so no change there either.

That said, I also don't know how this is "supposed" to be priced anyway, given that nothing else does what this machine does. I don't think any of us will have proper perspective until 4k monitors (let alone three 4k monitors per workstation) becomes a thing and other OEMs start building workstations that do the same thing.


RE: Trashcan
By The Von Matrices on 10/23/2013 12:05:13 AM , Rating: 2
The ability to drive three 4K displays is nothing exclusive to the Mac Pro. You can do that with a discrete AMD FirePro graphics card on any PC. Advertising three 4K displays is nice, but neither the Mac Pro nor any PC this year has enough performance to run anything smoothly on those three 4K displays.


RE: Trashcan
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2013 1:02:20 AM , Rating: 2
And that's a $1300 part. I suppose we do know how to price it, it is just very uncommon and ridiculously expensive. :)

I suspect that Thunderbolt 2 is going to go a very long way towards making the playback of 4k video streams smooth. Current Thunderbolt on a consumer level Macbook Pro can stream numerous 1080p streams without breaking a sweat.

In any case, we'll see. First gen Apple products almost always overreach their stated goals but they usually get it by the second version when technology catches up.


RE: Trashcan
By ltcommanderdata on 10/22/2013 5:41:56 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
$3000 for quad-core CPU, 12GB, and a 256GB SSD?

The spec you didn't complain about is the one that would most likely is the major contributor to the system price. I can't find any AMD information on the FirePro D300 so it may be a custom design for Apple or just Apple getting first dibs; either of which will add to the price. The closest thing to the FirePro D300 is the FirePro W7000 which seems to have a retail price of $770 and is currently on sale for $650 at Newegg. So a significant portion of the price of the Mac Pro is from the dual workstation GPUs. The Xeon Haswells that Apple is using aren't even officially available from Intel yet and are going to be more expensive than desktop parts anyways and ECC memory isn't cheap.

It's hard to compare price when there aren't any similar Haswell workstations available from competitors since Apple is using fully exclusive or timed exclusive parts and comparing it to desktop parts just shows you aren't the target market.


RE: Trashcan
By The Von Matrices on 10/23/2013 12:35:23 AM , Rating: 2
All of the parts in that base system are reasonable to estimate even if they aren't currently available.

The FirePro D300 is a rebrand of the W7000, which retails for $650 each.
The Xeon CPU is the Ivy Bridge-E replacement for the E5-1620, which costs $294 in tray (Intel isn't charging a premium for Ivy Bridge-E versus Sandy Bridge-E in its 2xxx series, so I don't see why this one would be any different).
The memory is three sticks of ECC DDR3-1866, which should cost around $200.
I would reasonably assume the PCIe SSD commands a premium versus a SATA SSD, so let's say it costs $250.
The motherboard is high end with dual Thunderbolt controllers, so let's say it costs $300.
Finally, I'll be generous and say that it costs $150 for the case and custom cooling solution.

With that you have a cost of around $2500 for the parts, and remember this is based on retail pricing on most of the individual components. The real cost of hardware to Apple is probably somewhere around $2000-$2200, although for $3000 the end user does get tech support a warranty and an operating system.

Maybe it isn't that overpriced for the hardware, but it is certainly heavily weighted toward GPU performance. I know Apple is obsessed with GPU performance but I think their decision here was unwise. By choosing dual GPUs over dual CPUs they certainly made it much more of a niche product. The number of applications that can make use of more CPU power is much greater than the number of applications that can make use of more GPU power. The decision to go uniprocessor is especially bad because Intel prices its 12-core CPUs at $2400 for the least expensive E5-2695 V2. Requiring you to buy a 12-core processor instead of two 6-core processors is a $1500 difference.


RE: Trashcan
By augiem on 10/24/2013 8:24:52 PM , Rating: 2
The FirePro W7000 you quoted at $650 is a 4GB part. The Trashcan comes with 2x 2GB D300's. The chip seems to be the same with 1280 stream processors, but the memory is halved. At an estimate of $550 each retail (between 2GB 5000 and 4GB 7000), that's $1200 for GPUs. That's a lot, but less than half the price of the system.

The major complaint is that the system costs that much and the accessories you'll likely buy for it are going to cost FAR more than what you would be buying for a workstation at HP or Dell. Like I said $1k for 27" a monitor, which is outrageous, and the fact you cannot expand the internal storage means you have to buy Thunderbolt drives, which, if you check Apple's site, are quite expensive per GB.

The HP Z230 for $2600 comes with a 4-core Haswell Xeon, 16GB ECC memory, NVIDIA Quadro K2000, 256GB SSD, and a 1TB 10,000 RPM SATA drive. It's got space to work out of the box, and it's internally expandable, so you're not relying on expensive Thunderbolt drives for storage. If you choose to go for a 27" IPS monitor, HP's is $700, but you certainly have other smaller and/or lower-priced screen options which Apple does not sell anymore. True, you're only getting 1 GPU instead of 2, which seems to be a unique feature of Apple. You get an extra 4GB of mem with the HP. But the point is, buying all Apple, you're not going to have a workable machine for less than $4500. HP you can squeeze in for under $3000 if you go for a smaller monitor, or $3300 for the luxury choice.


RE: Trashcan
By augiem on 10/24/2013 8:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
Typo. $550 x 2 = $1100


RE: Trashcan
By lukarak on 10/23/2013 6:31:10 AM , Rating: 1
Oh isn't this funny. In the past, when comparing Mac Pros and comparable Dell workstations, Dell always had a pro graphics card, so Apple haters immediately touted that and said that the Mac Pro was not in fact cheaper.

Now that the new Mac Pro gets TWO pro cards as standard, now it even doesn't get mentioned, and the Mac Pro is a simple desktop machine :D

It would be hillarious if it weren't so transparent and pathetic.


RE: Trashcan
By augiem on 10/24/2013 8:36:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now that the new Mac Pro gets TWO pro cards as standard, now it even doesn't get mentioned, and the Mac Pro is a simple desktop machine :D


Oh really? So it's my job to list every feature? Sorry dude, do some looking yourself. I also didn't mention USB/Thunderbolt ports, power supplies, the cooling system, the custom case, and on and on. I'm not doing a point-by-point comparison. What I did mention was to point out that the system is not even realistically usable out of the box for that price. 256GB SSD???

quote:
It would be hillarious if it weren't so transparent and pathetic.


You are pathetic, accusing people of blatant bias because they see something as a poor value, which is backed up by the figures. This has nothing to do with "hating". I'm sick of apologists of every flavor.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997











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