Edit Geek by Dylan Reeve
The new Apple Mac Pro was finally announced in detail today… The entry level model start at $2,999, with the next base model starting at $3,999. So what does three thousand get you?
Let’s try to build something similar (on paper) to the entry level Mac Pro.
We’ll start with CPU – the 3.7GHz Intel E5 Xeon appears to be a new model, the E5-1620v2 – luckily it’s inexpensive at under $400.
Next is the motherboard. We obviously can’t have the motherboard that Apple use, they have crafted it themselves to fit within their chimney-style case. We, instead, have to pick something with similar abilities. We know we need to be able to support 12GB of RAM and two GPUs. We also want at least four USB3 ports and lots of Thunderbolt.
Unfortunately here we find a problem – there are currently no LGA2011 motherboards with Thunderbolt. So we’ll let go of Thunderbolt for the moment (why do we need it anyway?) and just focus on the rest.
ASUS Sabretooth X79The ASUS Sabretooth X79 is a promising option at just over $300. It offers us four USB3 ports and six USB2. It even has Firewire! We also have two eSATA ports (one powered). However we’re lacking that Thunderbolt and also have only a single Ethernet, but in most applications I don’t think that’s going to matter too much. read more...