It’s official: there are no nVidia options in the new Mac Pros. At the time of their announcement, some had speculated that Apple might slip in nVidia cards as a build-to-order option at launch, but nope: you can get one 1GB ATI card, or two 1GB ATI cards. That’s it. If you edit using Premiere Pro CS5, this is a problem, but if you’re a Final Cut editor, these new machines should be fine. Plus, if you run an editing house or work in front of clients, you can’t exactly run a hackintosh, in which case the Mac Pro is still your best option. So — where are the best deals on these new beasts?
Of course, the first option is to go to the official Mac Pro page at Apple, where you have the pleasure of “customizing” your order:
However, if you’re looking to get a deal, you’re better off going to a dealer with pre-customized machines. B&H now has listings ranging from the $2,500 base model all the way up to the $6,800 12-core beast, but I don’t see any rebates or incentives listed yet. On the other hand, MacMall is offering up to $199 in instant discounts, and they throw in a whole bunch of freebies (seen at right). A free copy of Parallels and a wireless printer make the Mac Pro a bit better from a value standpoint, at least — it makes you wonder why you’d order direct from Apple.
From what I can tell, there are literally hundreds of different configurations listed at MacMall, so I will be back with an update on which builds seem to be customized specifically for video editors, once the machines are actually shipping. In the meantime, here the Mac Pro base configurations, and their respective discounts at MacMall:
Mac Pro One 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Nehalem 3GB RAM 1TB Hard Drive ATI Radeon HD 5770 18x SuperDrive $2,398 ($100 off + freebies)
Mac Pro Two 2.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Westmere (8 cores) 6GB RAM 1TB Hard Drive ATI Radeon HD 5770 18x SuperDrive $3,349 ($150 off + freebies)
Mac Pro Two 2.66GHz Six-Core Intel Xeon Westmere (12 cores) 6GB RAM 1TB Hard Drive ATI Radeon HD 5770 18x SuperDrive $4,800 ($200 off + freebies)
While I might’ve been personally disappointed with the new Mac Pros, I imagine there are still a lot of editors excited about anything new from Apple’s pro division — it’s been a year and a half since the last update, after all. Let me know if you find better deals than these, and I’ll post them once the machines are actually shipping (which should be in the next week or so).