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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RE: Trashcan
By ltcommanderdata on 10/22/2013 5:41:56 PM , Rating: 4
$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

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