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The $27,000 Mac

I've always thought that Apple's motto should be "damned the cost, full speed ahead." Their machines are always more expensive than comparable PCs (well, they probably perform better though my experience dealing with Macs has been limited to the only Mac product I've ever owned, the crappy iMac I owned to write my doctoral thesis).

But I never thought buying a Mac would require you to take out a mortgage, as Jason Kottke found out about the newer, faster Mac Pros:

Apple announced newer faster Mac Pros today. They start at $2799 but you can configure them up to several thousand dollars (including software and accessories).

The really expensive bits are the 32 GB of RAM ($9100), the NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 video card ($2850), the four 15,000 RPM hard drives ($800 each), the two 30" Cinema Displays ($1700 each), a Fibre Channel Card ($1000), and an unlimited-client copy of Mac OS X Server ($999). [...]


Every once in awhile I go to the apple site and "max out" a Pro just to see what the number is. I try and imagine what I'd buy if money was no object. Usually the resulting object is around $16,000. That's about the price of a decent car. You could buy a computer, or a car. This ultimately led me to thinking about which was more important to me? Both are kinda key to my livelihood as a technology worker.

It's funny to see somebody else doing the same thing. Thanks for the post.
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"Their machines are always more expensive than comparable PCs"
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Whoa! And I thought the iPhone was expensive. Speaking of Apple, you heard about the latest switcher, right? Here's a hint: First letter "J", last letter "Z".
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i love this site, but id just like to point out a few things. the mac pro is a very serious machine, as far as comparable goes on the PC side you will only find machines of that caliber in industry related offices or companies. the mac pro is designed and can be maxed out for a true professional, professional what you may ask? well professional graphic artist, music producer, movie producer, etc. I'm not saying the computer isn't expensive as hell I'm just saying, if you put enough bells and whistles on anything they price will jump by leaps and bounds. while the pricing is out of most peoples reaches the mac pro does deliver for the price. if your in the right industry, something like this isn't so far fetched.
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I can only assume that this is possible with most 'build system' websites where premium options and components are available.

Doing this on hp's server website for example would be easy, especially when adding support.
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If you max out the premium PCs (such as those from alienware or Falcon Northwest) you'll get around the same number. Falcon Northwest gets up to $23,562.06. And there's a Dell model that starts at $6,339 and maxes out at $21,991.

So apple isn't too far out there if you max it out. Also BrokenShift is right. The Mac Pro is a professional machine. I would bet that the $27K machine is even a little overpowered for pixar artists.

As a recent convert myself I'm very happy with the money I put in. I got a great computer, a great OS and I feel like this will last me a good bit longer than a comparable Dell.
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Let the OS flame wars begin.

Mac's - pretentious overpriced rubbish for users whose only hope is to buy a clue since they can't rub enough brain cells together to form one on their own.
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It's not like this is a normal desktop PC versus a car. The only reason you'd need a machine like that is for intense rendering or video editing/processing.

Although $20,000+ might compare to a car, the car equivalent of that machine would actually be a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, so the comparison isn't exactly fair. The computer equivalent of a $20,000 car would be a low-to mid-range Dell or HP of the variety you'd readily find at Best Buy or Costco.

As far as Macbooks, Macbook Pros, and iMacs go, the Macs are actually pretty competitive when compared to PC machines of similar specs.

And for the record, I own and use one of each platform, so don't bother flaming me.
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I did this also, and if you add the server software, the fibre channel card, and a maxed-out Xserve RAID box, you can easily push the price up near $40,000.

Reminds me in a way of the old days; I started working in the graphics department of a printing company back in 1992, and the first machine I was assigned to was an early Mac clone, the mighty 68000 dash 30fx. It was basically a hopped-up IIfx in an industrial-strength steel case. The machine was several years old when I got to it, but I was told it had originally cost around $40,000 (that was with the 19" monitor, graphics card, flatbed scanner, and a whopping 96(?)MB of RAM). In its day, it was the fastest thing going, and was worth the money. Now? I got it for free so the guy who now has my job at that company wouldn't have to pay to have the recycler take it.

And it still works!
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@muerzin: I wrote my doctoral thesis on yeast prion (That's me on PubMed)

My problem with Macs (when I was using it back then) was superficial: I simply couldn't get used to the one button mouse. It seemed like such a waste of functionality (I right/left click on my PC mouse all the time) and I remember Jobs was so adamant in keeping it that way. I don't know if this is still the case today.
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Well that sounds like a computer a very small portion of the population would need. Come on, 32G of RAM? We're all usually happy with 2G.

The maxed out computer sounds sweet, though.
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Oh, come on, VonSkippy; that stereotype was old and tired years ago. Macs are no more pretentious than Dells these days. And yes, you can easily spend that much on a Dell.

Oh, and Alex; the two-button mouse has been supported natively on Macs since OS 10.1 (2001), and would work way before that with drivers installed.
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Yikes, Alex. Inter yeast species hopping by protein swap! or is that wrong? speaking from the humanities camp, i think our PhD's should be called something different. this looks mighty.
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I did the same pricing as well, but only maxed out at around $16,500 - I skimped.

But anybody who buys upgrades from Apple like RAM & large hard rives is a fool & deserves the screwing they're getting. Get it bare & install your own upgrades, it's not rocket science. Hey, go nuts & get that 2-button mouse while you're at it! :P
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