Apple Delivers A Mid-Range Desktop

Apple finally came around and answered the prayers of many – today, they delivered their first mid-range desktop (sort of).  The new quad-core version of the Mac Pro is truly the first real answer to a mid-range desktop computer that Apple fans and potential buyers have longed for.   However, I must put emphasis on the (sort of).  Apple has always offered a quad-core model of their Mac Pro, you could select to downgrade your 8-core machine to a 4-core one using the Mac Pro configuration tool.  It seems they have simply removed that option and made it it’s own line by only offering a quad-core and skimping a little on the motherboard; if you will notice the quad-core model only allows up to 8GB of RAM.  I would assume this allows them to reduce the cost and make it appear more of a mid-range desktop computer than just advertising it as an 8-core machine with the option to downgrade.  In a time of economic crisis this certainly is a smart move on Apple’s part of making things seem “cheaper” (if you will) than they actually are.

Nonetheless, the specifications below is the current baseline configuration for the new quad-core Mac Pro.

  • One 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon (up to One 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon)
  • 3GB (3x1GB) (up to 8GB DDR3 1066MHz RAM)
  • 640GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s (Up to 1TB 7200 RPM SATA2 / drive bay)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB  (Up to four (4) GT 210’s or one (1) ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB)
  • One 18x SuperDrive (Up to 2 18x SuperDrive’s)
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The price you ask?  $2,499.00.  Okay, so it’s still more than the baseline Dell you can get for $1500-$1700.  However, that being said, there is absolutely more value (bang for your buck) with the Mac Pro.  Right off the bat you get the Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processor, you also get 3GB of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM, a decent baseline graphics card and an option for a better ATI card for $180 more, plus all of the new the iLife applications pre-bundled – none of that crappy third party or Dell/HP software which is always a pain to remove.

So is it a good buy?  Yeah, sure, for someone who doesn’t need the full 8-cores and up to 32GB of RAM (which is most people generally).  This machine is definitely targetted more on a consumer-base level (as opposed to previously when the Mac Pro was intended for professionals/people who work with video/audio/images) for those looking at a mid-range desktop.

I’m curious to know what you think about the new Mac Pro line – leave a comment!

By the way: did you notice the RAM prices of the new Mac machines?  It seems Apple has come down to earth with regards to pricing their RAM.

  • I think it’s overkill unless you’re doing video editing, animation or design.

    Whats the average user going to do with it? Read their email faster? Frankly, it’s a waste of electricity. Unless you have a specialized need stick with the 24-inch iMacs, they now can even be ordered with 8GB of RAM and more than powerful enough for busy photographers like me.

  • I really think Apple should develop a computer that is a full desktop yet includes something like the Core 2 Duo. Sort of a mix between the Mac Pro (The case and tower) with more of Mac Mini specs – though more easily upgradable.


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