This is how much Apple’s $6,000 Mac Pro would cost as a PC

Afterburner on the new Mac Pro allows video editors to decode up to three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video and 12 streams of 4K ProRes RAW video in real time.
All-new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are the most powerful tools Apple has ever put in the hands of pro customers and will change pro workflows forever.

Chuong Nguyen for Digital Trends:

It’s always difficult to compare a Windows PC with an Mac apples-to-apples, especially since we don’t yet know exactly how the Mac Pro’s configurations will price out. But going piece by piece, will you realistically be able to get more power and expandability in a PC you buy or build for far less money?

The base Mac Pro starts at $6,000, and even at this price, it will be priced out reach for most people. Creative professionals, however, will find plenty to love with an Intel Xeon W processor, 32GB RAM, AMD Radeon Pro 580X GPU, a massive 1.4-kilowatt power supply, Apple’s custom Afterburner ASIC card, 256GB SSD encrypted with T2 security chip, and eight available PCIe slots.

Not all of that can be replicated in any one Windows PC…

MacDailyNews Take: “Not all of that can be replicated in any one Windows PC.” Let’s just pause a moment for that to sink into the illogical mush that Windows sufferers call minds. One more time: “Not all of that can be replicated in any one Windows PC.” Okay, let’s continue.

Some have estimated that a fully configured Mac Pro will cost upwards of $35,000 based on parts alone… The Aventum X is one of a few pre-built PCs that can match the quad-GPU support on the Mac Pro, and it comes in at a hefty $36,000 price when configured with a 28-core 3.1GHz Intel Xeon W-3175 processor, 512GB DDR4 memory, 1,600-watt power supply, 4TB solid-state storage divided into two-2TB Samsung 970 EVO M.2 cards, and four Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards with NVLink connector. Even at this price, the Aventum X still can’t match some of the Mac Pro’s specs, falling short on RAM and lacking the ability to add an ASIC card.

DIY PC builders looking to match the Mac Pro’s expandability will need to find both a motherboard and a case that supports that many PCIe slots. One case that can support eight slots is One Stop System’s $3,795 Cube 3. This means that PC builders at home can expect to spend in the area of $5,000 for the case, base Xeon processor, AMD Radeon Pro 580X graphics, and power supply — and that’s not including the fans, memory, Thunderbolt 3 support, or SSD.

Though the Mac Pro promises to be an insanely powerful tool that will satiate the needs of creatives, the base model seems a bit underwhelming — 256GB of storage is paltry, and the performance of AMD’s Radeon Pro 580X graphics doesn’t hold up well for a pro-class desktop — especially for its $6,000 price.

MacDailyNews Take: The Mac Pro’s internal storage is not intended for anything other than the OS, system files, and apps. External storage will of course be used for the massive amounts of digital video and other data storage for which these machines are designed to be used.

On the higher end of the spectrum, it’s difficult to replicate the Mac Pro experience in any PC today. The closest thing you can get is a workstation PC such as Dell’s Precision 7920, with its impressive dual-CPU and quad-GPU architecture, though it’s a system that maxes out at over $150,000.

MacDailyNews Take: Bottom line: Apple’s new Mac Pro is a tremendous value, even without accounting for macOS and the apps that run only on macOS that creative professionals need. That $115,000 difference for an overpriced Dell with an inferior OS and no Final Cut Pro X, no Logic Pro X, etc. can certainly buy a lot of Pro Display XDR stands.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

39 Comments

  1. A fool and their money are always parted. Anyone who considers this value for money is either deeply in love with Apple or works for Apple. And to even suggest that metal bit for the monitor is also a good price at $1,000 (without the monitor of course) has more money than sense.

  2. Anyone could configure a roughly equivalent Dell or HP workstation for ~ 10% less than Apple. The only thing that makes it difficult is that the Dell order page looks like a Porsche options catalog — you can dial in anything to your exact needs. This means that, unlike Apple, you can direct your money to where you want it to be invested — and thus the price for your ideal config can be more or less than Apple’s relative one-size-fits-all approach.

    If you claim Apple is now trying to compete on price with an overthought fashion-first aluminum case with specially machined holes and a matching display that they felt needed a $1000 stand as a goddamned accessory not included in the box, then you are deluding yourself. Post your config comparisons if you think Apple offers a lower price for equal performance. PC makers have vastly more production volume on their side to keep prices in check for workstations and high performance machines.

    So despite offering fewer configuration options, we all know that Timmy has no intention of offering better value than the competition. When Apple was the underdog, that’s what they did. Now Timmy is fat dumb and happy. He’s both unwilling to put adequate resources behind the Mac to keep it the premier platform for a wide array of users but he’s also afraid to lower prices and margins, who knows when the next keyboard quality cockup will erase Mac profits. So he’s leveraging the ubiquitous Apple name for additional profit, and about 8% of computer buyers are willing to invest in fashion Macs, most of them with 2 or 3+ year old chips inside. Never mind that performance and value are what workstation buyers want, not fancy machined aluminum covers. It’s a luxury brand. Tim thinks you will be happy to pay more to get less.

  3. so just insults and excuses. wow, impressive.

    the most interesting thing is the “the creative industry this, the creative industry that…”. i work in the creative industry, with people of all branches (3D, print, sound, motion design, editors, so on, so forth). i don’t recall any of these creative professionals fanboying about how bad windows is and how far superior mac is.

    don’t get me wrong, my employer provides me with the newest mac machines and i mostly really like them, especially the os and how seamlessly adobe products work. i use an old 2014 dell xps 15 as my “sitting on the couch, ordering stuff off amazon”-pc and i must say i really hate windows (at least on a 2014 machine). but that is personal preference.

    when it comes to the creative industry, theres one thing that doesn’t get you money and that is being a fanboy. whatever get’s the job done is the weapon of choice. period. everything else is just stupidity.

    a lot of production houses have at least partly switched to windows. and most of the editors i work with use premiere pro or davinci resolve.

    it’s way easier for the it maintenance guys the get (and keep) a windows system up and running. and macs freeze as often as windows PCs do. at least mine does.

    making money in the industry has become increasingly difficult. so if you can save a few thousand bucks by switching to windows, why not.

    after all it is about making money.

    that being said, for sitting in a café with a low fat frappuccino writing snarky comments about the newest tech gear i would always go with a mac.

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