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A PC for 60.000 Euros?

Well… when the sum is 60.000 Euros
(or 52.000 US$ in the USA), one would
think of an either exclusive PC with an
even more exclusive case.

Partially that’s right. The computer we’re talking about is the all-new MacPro (2019) which has been introduced in the Apple Event earlier this year. However the availability was quite mediocre when customers really wanted to have one of these.

The same story as with the cylindrical-shaped MacPro from 2015. Apple was unable to sell many of these although their price was at most at 13’000 US$ (which is already quite high!).

But with the price tag of 60’000 US$, Apple has now brought out a machine that costs as much as a Tesla X.

So what do you get for this price? We made the virtual shopping tour and assembled a MacPro with everything maxed out.

Our setup is a MacPro Tower (later you’ll have the option of a 19-inch-rack case!).

With a 28-core (Octacosa-core) Xeon which rates 2.5GHz nominally and boosts up to 4.4GHz (on two cores maximum!), 1.5TB RAM (12*128GB), 4TB SSD (8TB to come later), two Radeon Pro Vega II Duo with each 32GB of HBM2 VRAM and an Apple Afterburner card (An acceleration board that aims on accelerated video and image rendering, especially RAW material!), we maxed the machine out to a whopping 52’199 US$ / 61’939 € / 57’080.40 CHF – YIKES and GADZOOKS!

For the U.S. market there’s also a state-based VAT which rates between 0 and 10%. So people in Oregon will have to pay the 52’199 US$ while people in Louisiana will have to add an additional 10% (= 5’219’90 US$), which comes to a total of 57’418.90 US$.

The other prices on the screenshots for Germany (EU) and Switzerland already show the full taxes included.

But back to what’s inside. The maximum configuration would rather let one suggest, we’re talking of a machine housing multiple VMs on it as the High-end-configured VMWare ESX servers have similar specs (apart from the GPU beasts, that is!), but no, Apple claims to have the most powerful personal multimedia computer (server?) in their portfolio.

This is indeed true but honestly… who would spend such horrendous prices on a machine for private leisure (except for those who use 100-dollar-bills to ignite their cuban cigar!)

But is there something for the common user who wants to be part of theexclusive circle of MacPro users?

Yes, there is. Although the specs are rather unspectacular and the componenets seem not to reflect the value compared to what Apple demands, it’s the teamplay of the components and the OS that could make this machine a winner for the private home as well.

So let’s have a look at the minimum configuration which comes to you for 5’999 US$ / 6’499 US$ / 6’399 CHF and like above, the U.S. citizen of Louisiana will have to shell out 6598.90 US$ while the people in Oregon are below the magical 6K border.

 

There you have it. Still a state-of-the-art machine yet way less powerful than it’s 10-times more expensive counterpart.

Although Apple allows the selection of different constellations of the machine, we think the price for the upgrades are rather randomly-chosen and not according to the real price difference the upgrades would normally cost but that’s something Apple is doing since they found out that upgrading customers can be easy-to-skim cash-cows. But as most of the components are not soldered to the board (unlike to the iMac Pro or the MacBook Pro), many customers will most likely go for the upgrades by themselves as this may be a way cheaper way to squeeze out the last percent of additional power.

We did some research to see what the Upgrade would cost if you do it by yourself:

Component Apple’s price Search engine
CPU 12-core Xeon W 1’000 US$ 1’578.40 US$
CPU 16-core Xeon W 2’000 US$ 1’635.77 US$
CPU 24-core Xeon W 6’000 US$ 3’153.54 US$
CPU 28-core Xeon W 7’000 US$ 3’872.85 US$
RAM 48GB (6x8GB DDR4 ECC) 300 US$ 360.00 US$
RAM 96GB (6x16GB DDR4 ECC) 1’000 US$ 650.00 US$
RAM 192GB (6x32GB DDR4 ECC) 3’000 US$ 1’050.00 US$
RAM 384GB (6x64GB DDR4 ECC) 6’000 US$ 3’280.00 US$
RAM 768GB (12x64GB DDR4 ECC) 10’000 US$ 6’560.00 US$
RAM 768GB (6x128GB DDR4 ECC) 14’000 US$ 17’200.00 US$
RAM 1536GB (12x128GB DDR4 ECC) 25’000 US$ 34’400.00 US$
SSD 1TB 400 US$ 279.00 US$
SSD 2TB 800 US$ 369.00 US$
SSD 4TB 1’400 US$ 724.00 US$
Radeon Pro Vega II 2’400 US$ N/A
2x Radeon Pro Vega II 5’200 US$ N/A
Radeon Pro Vega Duo II 5’200 US$ N/A
2x Radeon Pro Vega Duo II 10’800 US$ N/A

This table shows well that Apple makes it’s biggest Upgrade profit from CPU and RAM upgrades except for the top-end memory upgrades where 128GB modules are extremely high-priced (the cheapest 128GB module comes to 2’540 US$ up to 12’450 US$ per module!)

The graphics cards are Apple-specific so you can’t upgrade them on your own and have to rely on Apple not to rip you off there, Furthermore these Apple-specific GPUs use a proprietary connector system (a second PCIe-like connector right behind the standard PCIe-Connector. We think it’s due to the massive power demand, the dual-GPU solutions might need (we speak of an additional 550W per graphics card alone via PCIe and 775W in total of 225W are delivered by PCIe power cables directly from the power supply!). the second connector allows a power consumption of 475 watts. Some sources state that the apple power supply might be able to deliver a whopping 1400W power supply which also delivers redundancy (2800W in total!). So while there’s only one extended PCIe port, the second Vega II Duo Pro will most likely come with PCIe power cable connectors instead and the total power load of this GPU would not exceed 500W in general. Alone the XEON 28C processor takes a 255W when fully stressed. That means the remaining peripherals may only consume up to 145W. the TDP of a Vega II Pro Duo is rated 475W, which gives all remaining components a 200W power draw limit.

You can save small amounts by upgrading the SSD all by yourself.

Apple plans to deliver also 8TB models (but at what price?!) and a whole bunch of consumer GPUs to be engaged (5600 / 5700X AMD Radeon).

So if you want a good compromise of computing power, GPU rendering power and a good amount of RAM, your MacPro will already have a 5-digit price. No matter what you do! And if you buy the High-end machine, then you’ll see yourself confronted with a high power bill as well. But tbh… if you can afford to shell out 60K for a computer, then the power bill is less of a concern to you!

Although Apple really sets a high price tag for the top-line machine it’s also interesting to see that they’re the only company to push current hardware to the limit and see what you can build with it. Simply stunning. Now we can only hope that MacOS will run smooth and stable on it as well!


December 11, 2019 Netspark - 1515 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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