August 7th, 2006


For Jeff and Brodie

Because you both asked...
  HP Workstation xw6400 Mac Pro
Processor Intel Dual Core Xeon 5130 Intel Dual Core Xeon 5130
Cache 4 MB 4 MB
System bus speed 1333 MHz 1333 MHz
Memory 1 GB
expandable to 16GB
1 GB
expandable to 16GB
Type of memory 667 MHz DDR2 ECC SDRAM 667 MHz DDR2 ECC SDRAM
Video card nVidia Quadro NVS 440 nVidia GeForce 7300GT
Video memory 256 MB 256 MB
Video bus PCI Express x16 PCI Express x16
Hard drive 250 GB 7200 RPM
(room for two more)
250 GB 7200 RPM
(room for three more)
Hard drive bus SATA 3GB/s SATA 3GB/s
DVD±RW 16x 16x
Audio support Integrated HD with Jack Retasking (whatever that's supposed to mean) Toslink input/output for digital audio
FireWire $79 extra for FW800 ports 2 FireWire 800
2 FireWire 400
USB 7 2.0 5 2.0
Ethernet 1000BaseT Dual 1000BaseT jacks
Mouse and keyboard Included, but crappy Wired keyboard; Mighty Mouse
Expansion slots 1 PCIe x16
2 PCIe x8
2 legacy PCI
3 open full length PCIe
300w combined max for all slots
Size 17.3 by 6.5 by 17.3 inches
Weight unknown
20.1 by 8.1 by 18.7 inches
42.4 pounds
Warranty 3 years next business day 1 year parts and labor
90 days phone support
Price (inc. King County, WA sales tax + cheapest possible shipping) $3440 $2201

In short: Finally, a Mac that's demonstrably cheap! It's going to be interesting to see how this affects the PC "workstation" market - even with the same processor, you can't really do an apples-to-apples comparison as PC "workstations" just don't come with the same video cards Apple builds into its machines. I suspect either PC manufacturers will start offering the same cards (to make it clear they're only ripping you off by an extra 30% or whatever), or else the pricing will come down on the "workstations," or else you'll see Intel's high end processors start showing up in "consumer" hardware.  

All in all: very interesting! [Pricing was valid as of 8:30 PM; this includes the Microsoft employee discount on Apple hardware and plain vanilla HP pricing from their Web site.]