Reader poll: would you buy an Apple Mac Pro or a PC equivalent?

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We touched off quite a debate a few weeks ago when we reported that a Windows-based equivalent to the high-end Mac Pro, which costs $9,599, would cost even more: $11,530.54 to be exact.

The new Mac Pro, which ditched the tower-based form factor, received a cylindrical redesign and began shipping this past December. The souped up model that nears $10k sports a 2.7 GHz Intel Xeon E5 12-core processor, 64GB of DDR3 RAM, a 1TB SSD, and dual AMD FirePro D700 graphics cards. Meanwhile, in his efforts to create a PC-based equivalent, Stephen Fung of used a Silverstone FT03 case, a Silverstone SST-85F-GS 850W 80 PLUS power supply, an ASUS Rampage IV GENE mATX LGA2011 motherboard, Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 Ivy Bridge-EP 2.7GHz 12-core CPU, and dual AMD FirePro W9000 6GB GDDR5 graphics cards, 32GB of Corsair Vengeance LP DDR3 RAM, and finally, a pair of Samsung 840 Pro Series 512GB SSDs.

Sure, a PC-based system that could rival the Mac Pro would probably not look as sleek or be as small as the Mac Pro, but those are factors that need to be weighed by you, the prospective consumer. Then there’s the issue of upgrade-ability. Such a system would likely be self-built and both highly configurable and upgradeable, both at the outset and down the road. A Mac Pro? Though it’s more upgradeable than we initially thought it would be, a PC is much more amenable to upgrades and self-service, hands down.

So, what do you think? Would you prefer a shiny, new $9,599 Mac Pro? Or do you think you could do better by building yourself or buying a PC-based Windows equivalent, either with the above specs or a different mix of components? Click on one of the options below to make your votes heard, and sound off in the comments below.