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The new Mac Pro is gorgeous, albeit it also looks like an ashtray to some people. But it’s also almost absurdly expensive, running you as much as a new car to own. Which has left some wondering… could you just build it yourself?

Paying The “Apple Tax”

It’s long been a point of contention how much Apple products cost, with detractors arguing Apple fans pay an “Apple tax” that they really shouldn’t since you can build the same products for cheaper. It’s worth noting, though, that Apple includes proprietary hardware which makes just buying OSX and installing it on your homebrew machine pretty much impossible. But, can you get close for the money?

Working Hard For The Money

That’s what Stephen Fung of Futurelooks decided to try. He attempted, as closely as possible, to replicate a $9600 Mac Pro configuration as a Windows machine. And he ran into a surprising amount of problems: For example, the motherboard he had to buy, an ASUS Rampage IV GENE mATX LGA2011, didn’t support DDR3 memory and wasn’t officially rated for the Intel Xenon CPU he bought. And he had to skimp in a few areas: He couldn’t replicate the same amount of memory. But aside from those problems, everything else he had was up to spec with the Mac Pro you can find on the website. The results?

Paying The Windows Tax

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The Mac Pro was nearly $2,000 cheaper. Yes, you read that correctly. Two thousand dollars cheaper. Not only does the Mac Pro not come with an “Apple tax”, apparently when you get into the realm of computers that cost as much as cars, there’s an Apple discount. This isn’t to say that this applies across the board, of course, but when it comes to products, it’s a nice illustration of the concept that you should do your research instead of following conventional wisdom.










Dan Seitz

 
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.