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How much does it cost to build a PC similar to the best Mac Pro?

How much does it cost to build a PC similar to the best Mac Pro?

January 5, 2014 4:21 pm0 comments

The newest Mac Pro is a wonder of technology, but if you want it you’ll have to pay the price. Many users say Apple is charging much more for it than it actually costs to make and that you can build a similarly powerful PC for much less. The guys at Futurelooks have tried this, and the results are very surprising.

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On December 19, they released an article in which they built a PC capable of competing against the most powerful Mac Pro you can get, which costs 9600 USD. In practice, you’d need more than 10500 USD to create an equivalent rig, without the elegant trademark Apple design but with much more options when it comes to customization.

Among other problems, the guys at Futurelooks found the lack of support for ECC DDR3 memory in the motherboard they chose (Asus P9X79 WS) and they could only find 8GB compatible modules, which greatly increased the price since they used 32GB modules. The processor costs 2749 USD without counting the liquid cooling system.

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The Mac Pro has many exclusive components you can’t find anywhere else, like the dual GPU, based on the AMD FirePro D700 and with 6 GB of GDDR5 memory. The equivalent is the AMD FirePro W9000, which costs 6800 USD, again, not counting the cooling system.

The “clone” Mac Pro costs 11530.54 dollars (including the 99.99 USD from Windows 8 Pro). Futuremarks admits the Mac Pro’s design is elegant and smaller, since every component is designed to work perfectly alongside the rest.

Apple’s machine, however, is far from being a “standard” desktop computer. It’s practically impossible to upgrade and customize, the additional hardware you can get is expensive and must be Apple-certified and you can’t replace any of its components. Finding a PC equivalent is very hard because it doesn’t truly exist.

On the negative side, the Mac Pro is not for you if you like to customize and upgrade your computer. Since it depends greatly on Thunderbolt, you’ll have to get only the Apple-approved hardware, which is expensive and not useful for everyone. Also, Futuremarks advices that by getting an Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GTX 780 Ti graphics cards, you can build a very powerful and capable PC for half the price. What do you think?

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