Mac Pro’s monster price tag is actually a steal

By

Mac Pro
The new Mac Pro drew a lot of attention in the demo room.
Photo: Apple

WWDC 2019 bug That outrage you’re feeling over the cost of Apple’s new Mac Pro is your first clue this computer is not for you.

In fact, it’s not a computer, it’s a workstation. And for those who work in jobs requiring fast, sophisticated set-ups, the new Mac Pro — even once they pay for all the beefy components — comes with a fair price tag.

If you are comparing this Apple with other Apples, the sticker shock is understandable. It’s Apple’s most expensive computer ever. The base model is $5,999, and the Pro Display XDR runs $4,999. (Don’t forget to add another $999 for the monitor’s stand.) To bring the Mac Pro up to the promised power and speed, the cost of additional internals jacks up the price several thousand dollars higher.

The fat price tag generated plenty of incredulous headlines and tweets comparing the Mac Pro to an overpriced cheese grater.

2019 Mac Pro pricing: A bargain?

But a small but growing chorus of creative professionals seems fine with Apple’s price point, even going as far as calling the 2019 Mac Pro a bargain.

“These Macs will pay for themselves in weeks if not months,” respected Apple analyst Horace Dediu tweeted today. He got some pushback, but Dediu enjoyed plenty of support elsewhere on Twitter.

The cost for a fully loaded Mac Pro could exceed $30,000, by some estimates. But that price actually looks quite good when compared with customized workstations from other brands, like HP and Dell. As a Twitter user noted, those machines can surpass the $100,000 mark.

Pro Display XDR is a deal, too

Apple’s new 6K monitor also got largely dismissed as too expensive and unnecessarily excellent for most. But digital media specialist Steven Kampff sees value in the new Pro Display XDR.

Writing for photography site Fstoppers, Kampff said reference monitors offering some of the same features can go for several thousand dollars more.

“Pros have called on Apple to provide updated gear for years, and it’s finally happened,” Kampff wrote. “I’m going to brush off the comments that they’ve missed the mark here. Although, I just can’t get behind a $1,000 monitor stand.”

The Mac Pro will serve big-budget production companies rendering huge amounts of video. Animation studios will need the graphics and processing power as AR and VR become the new reality.

For Apple, as some have pointed it out, the Mac Pro will serve the very creatives it is depending on as it builds out original content for its upcoming streaming service.

About that $999 Apple monitor stand …

Still, Cupertino faces some legitimate gripes about what the money buys.

A big target of criticism is the separate high cost of that monitor stand. Others say the base model forces users to pay more because it does not offer as much raw computing power as less-expensive machines, including some in the Apple lineup.

Max Yuryev, a photographer and filmmaker, called the base model of the Mac Pro a “slouch in performance” that is less powerful than cheaper computers.

Even most video editors are likely to say no, he said, because of the additional investment it would take for necessary upgrades.

“Because of software optimization, because of Final Cut, because of Da Vinci Resolve … because the software is getting better, the hardware is less critical,” Yuryev said Tuesday on YouTube. “Most people are going to say, ’No, this does many any sense for me.'”