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macrumors12345
Jul 3, 2003, 04:34 PM
So what do people think that Apple should do with the consumer line now that the Pro line has been upgraded? The Pro line is great for margins, and I personally am planning to buy a Dual 2 Ghz tower, but if Apple really wants to stabilize/gain market share, they are going to have to do it through the consumer line. The greatest benefit of the 970 may well be that it allows Apple to improve the performance of its "consumer" Macs without having to worry about cannabalizing sales of the high end "professional" machines.

I have been a Mac user ever since I started using computers (Mac Plus!), but honestly I would have to think twice before strongly recommending an iMac or eMac to a friend who was in the market for a new "consumer" machine, because the hardware is just not competitive at the moment. For $1,000 on the PC side you can easily get complete system with a 2+ Ghz Celeron or a low end Pentium 4, and while it is true that the G4 is a more efficient chip per clock cycle than a P4 or a Celeron, there is no way that an 800 Mhz G4 with a 100 Mhz FSB can seriously compete with a 2 Ghz Celeron on a 400 Mhz effective FSB (well, 100 Mhz quad pumped).

So here is what I would love to see Apple do (but it's not necessarily what I predict they WILL do). Note that I have changed the G5 tower specs slightly, because I think that the current difference between the low end and the high end machines is too great - I suspect the Dual 2 Ghz might actually outsell both the 1.8 and 1.6 Ghz machines combined!

Pro Desktop:
high end: Dual 2 Ghz, same specs as current
mid range: Dual 1.6 Ghz, otherwise same specs as current
low end: Single 1.8 Ghz, DDR 400 instead of DDR 333 and 6 DIMM slots instead of 4, but otherwise same specs as current, and make it clear that it starts at $1799 w/o the Superdrive

Consumer Desktop:
17" iMac: Single 1.4 Ghz low voltage 970, dual channel DDR333, GeForce FX 5200
15" iMac: Single 1.2 Ghz low voltage 970, dual channel DDR266, GeForce4 MX
eMac: Single 1.3 Ghz 7447, 200 Mhz FSB, single channel DDR400, GeForce2 MX

Pro Laptop:
17"/15" Powerbooks: 1.5 Ghz 7457, 200 Mhz FSB, single channel DDR400, Mobility Radeon 9600
12" Powerbook: 1.25 Ghz 7457, 200 Mhz FSB, single channel DDR400, GeForce4 Go

Consumer Laptop:
iBooks: 1.1 Ghz 750GX, 200 Mhz FSB, single channel DDR400, Mobility Radeon 7500

A lineup like this would be able to compete with the 2+ Ghz Celerons and Pentium 4's that are found in Wintel "consumer" systems, but at the same time not eat into the sales of the "professional" G5 systems (for example, the low end PowerMac would still be 400 Mhz faster than the high end iMac and have far more expandability). This lineup would also help keep the Powerbooks competitive with Centrino based laptops until the 90 nm G5 debuts.

The main problem, of course, is that it is not clear how soon the 7457 and the 750GX will be available. But when they do become available, there is absolutely no excuse for Apple not to use a 200 Mhz FSB on both chips, given that they are in no way capable of "threatening" the 970 with its 800-1000 Mhz bus!

Once the 90 nm 970 is available, the Powerbooks should of course move to the 970 and the iBooks should move either to the 7457 or to the "750VX" (i.e. G3 with Altivec).

Finally, to answer the calls of technically oriented "switchers" who want a "cheap, expandable tower," Apple should perhaps try offering a machine loosely based on the current G4 case and motherboard for $899 with the following specs:

1.4 Ghz 7447 (NO L3 cache)
200 Mhz FSB
Single Channel DDR400 (4 slots)
Radeon 7500
3 PCI slots
No Modem
10/100 Ethernet (not Gigabit)
Minimal RAM and HD standard
CD-RW (not Combo Drive - you can always add a cheap DVD-ROM as the 2nd drive)
Single Firewire 400 port and USB 2.0

I am sure that many Slashdot types would still complain that this system should either be $200 cheaper or come with a PPC 970, but realistically there is no way that is possible as long as Apple continues to invest in developing OS X and gives things like the iApps away for free.

Thoughts? Comments? Anybody out there besides the "Apple should offer a Dual 2 Ghz iMac starting next week for $1299!!" posters? ;-)

XnavxeMiyyep
Jul 3, 2003, 04:42 PM
I agree with you about the iMacs, Powerbooks, and iBooks. However, I think that the Powermac line should be a LOT more customizable. You should start off with a single or dual motherboard, and then choose whatever speed, ram, optical drive, etc. from there.

ColoJohnBoy
Jul 3, 2003, 05:31 PM
Sounds like a pretty awesome lineup. But about the 7457's: don't those have an upper limit of 1.3 GHz? If not, I'd love to snap up one of those PowerBooks!

macrumors12345
Jul 3, 2003, 05:34 PM
Originally posted by ColoJohnBoy
Sounds like a pretty awesome lineup. But about the 7457's: don't those have an upper limit of 1.3 GHz? If not, I'd love to snap up one of those PowerBooks!


Motorola always sells faster chips to Apple than they announce publicly. For example, the 7455 is only stated to run at up to 1 Ghz, but Moto ships them at up to 1.42 Ghz to Apple (I think they might be called 7455A and 7455B). Clearly the 7457 will have to run faster than 1.3 Ghz because the 7455 already runs at 1.42 Ghz, and the 7457 has a smaller process than the 7455! (130 nm vs. 180 nm)

iEric
Jul 3, 2003, 11:56 PM
I thought it'd be pretty cool if they did this:

Powermac: G5
iMac: G4
Powerbook: G4
iBook: G3
eMac: G3

and they could just work on those...i dont know...who cares about my opinon...someones gonna probably yell at me now for say those thigns..hahah
oh well

ddtlm
Jul 4, 2003, 01:44 AM
macrumors12345:

Dunno, I'd be pretty surprised if the iMac went G5 before the AluBooks. We'd have a new situation for Apple where the low-end consumer machines were faster and had a newer processor type than expensive semi-pro machines.

I'd also be surpised if Apple put a dual-DDR chipset in an iMac due to cost. Single-channel DDR can support a lot of performance, and Apple is obviously not afraid to handicap low-end machines.

RandomDeadHead
Jul 4, 2003, 01:50 AM
I thought it'd be pretty cool if they did this:

Powermac: G5
iMac: G4
Powerbook: G4
iBook: G3
eMac: G3



Did I miss something? You think it would be cool if they just left the line up the way it is, and just rape the eMac of it's G4? How is that cool? I am sure the education market wouldnt find that very cool, unless they cut the price of them in half, but even then it would not be very cool.

Isnt the G4 one of the main selling points of the eMac?



BTW I am not yelling, just curious on how that would "cool".

Abstract
Jul 4, 2003, 02:05 AM
I agree with everything except for the last part about the low end tower (ie: the 1.4 Ghz 7447 (NO L3 cache) machine).

Also, I think that all pro machines should be dual, and iMacs (and eMacs) should be the single processor machines. I think that's what they should have done in the first place. I also agree with you when you said that "the Dual 2 Ghz might actually outsell both the 1.8 and 1.6 Ghz machines combined!" The price of the single 1.6 and 1.8GHz G5 machines is too high if you're comparing their specs with the dual proc 2.0GHz G5.

macrumors12345
Jul 4, 2003, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by ddtlm
macrumors12345:

Dunno, I'd be pretty surprised if the iMac went G5 before the AluBooks. We'd have a new situation for Apple where the low-end consumer machines were faster and had a newer processor type than expensive semi-pro machines.


Well, it's not as if the consumer desktop and the pro laptop are good substitutes for each other (few Powerbook buyers are going to instead choose an iMac because it is cheaper or faster). Certainly in the Wintel world you have $1000 2.4 Ghz Pentium 4s desktops that can outperform $2000 1.4 Ghz Centrino laptops, so it wouldn't be unprecedented.


I'd also be surpised if Apple put a dual-DDR chipset in an iMac due to cost. Single-channel DDR can support a lot of performance, and Apple is obviously not afraid to handicap low-end machines.

Yeah, I too wouldn't be shocked if Apple gave the iMac single channel DDR. Not only are there costs considerations, but also space considerations. With dual channel you need at least 4 DIMM slots because you must upgrade in pairs, whereas with single channel it is fine to just have 2 or 3 DIMM slots (for a consumer machine). I would not object too much to the iMacs being single channel as long as it was DDR400 or better (depending on when they are released).

Abstract:

Why do you object to a cheap, low end tower?

Sun Baked
Jul 4, 2003, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by ColoJohnBoy
Sounds like a pretty awesome lineup. But about the 7457's: don't those have an upper limit of 1.3 GHz? If not, I'd love to snap up one of those PowerBooks!They are coming out at 1.3 GHz, so that obviously won't be the top end.

But it probably is the initial high end that meets Motorola's 105C junction temp at 1.3V (or was it 1.1V).

Push them a little harder with fans and heat sinks and there probably is a higher top end, like the 1.42GHz rev 3.3 7455.

DakotaGuy
Jul 4, 2003, 01:47 PM
After looking at the cooling design of the PowerMac G5 I think the iMac would need a redesign before a G5 processor can be installed. Right now it is simply cooled by a small fan that blows the hot air up and out of the base. I don't think that would be enough for the G5, but maybe as a single processor with a bigger fan and a better cooling chamber it might work. I think however in the iMac, eMac, and notebooks, Apple will have to do some innovative cooling designs to make the G5 work well in them. I am not sure does the G5 make more heat the the G4? With the design of the PowerMac G5 I am lead to believe it does.

macrumors12345
Jul 4, 2003, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by Abercrombieboy
After looking at the cooling design of the PowerMac G5 I think the iMac would need a redesign before a G5 processor can be installed. Right now it is simply cooled by a small fan that blows the hot air up and out of the base. I don't think that would be enough for the G5,

That is why I was suggesting low voltage PPC 970's for the iMac. IBM described a low voltage PPC 970 part running at 1.2 Ghz in their presentation last October. It dissipated less than half as much heat as the 1.8 Ghz 970.

job
Jul 4, 2003, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by macrumors12345
Consumer Desktop:
17" iMac: Single 1.4 Ghz low voltage 970, dual channel DDR333, GeForce FX 5200
15" iMac: Single 1.2 Ghz low voltage 970, dual channel DDR266, GeForce4 MX
eMac: Single 1.3 Ghz 7447, 200 Mhz FSB, single channel DDR400, GeForce2 MX

I'd much rather see Radeon 9000 with 64MB VRAM instead of the above mentioned nVidia chipsets. Since the Radeon 9600, 9700 Pro, and 9800 Pro are all available for the top end, there is no real reason other than perhaps manufacturing costs that should keep the Radeon 9000 from the next consumer revision.

Dont Hurt Me
Jul 4, 2003, 03:42 PM
well lets hope one day apple will wake up make a powerful consumer gaming system computer. The imacs are great but underpowered and a lousy video card. How about a 1.4 g4 and say a ati9600 geforce4 titanium or higher card. But to keep forcing consumers to use the lowest video card sucks. They should let the market move the imacs and same with the pro machine and stop the old cant do this to the imac because of the powermac crap. A high end Imac with a great video card is needed, not take this imac or get a powermac game.

macphoria
Jul 4, 2003, 07:01 PM
I don't see G5 going into any machine besides Power Mac for a while, at least until they bring Power Mac sales back up.

tjwett
Jul 4, 2003, 08:59 PM
to anyone holding your breath waiting for a G5 iMac: Adios!

tjwett
Jul 4, 2003, 09:04 PM
Originally posted by Dont Hurt Me
[B]...well lets hope one day apple will wake up make a powerful consumer gaming system computer... /B]

how about we get some games first? i don't see this happening, ever. there are simply not enough game developers that take the Mac seriously. and the user base is way too small for any large amounts of hardcore gamers to even consider the Mac an option to help push the developers. not to mention the price of Macs, especially the decent ones. most gamers are kids with no money. an iPod is out of the question, let alone a high-end gaming Mac.

Heltik
Jul 5, 2003, 11:06 AM
I was thinking about iMac the other day actually.

Everytime I see one 'in the flesh', I want one. They are desirable.

But it strikes me, that if I had bought one when they first came out, then I'd still be relatively content with it now. If I bought one now, then in 18 months, I think I'd be horrified!!

The range certainly needs refreshing, but I don't think that 970 is the answer. The best they could do would be an abosolute minimum increase to around 1.4 ghz, but probably 1.6 ghz would be about right (twice the original speed). 1.8 would really get boxes moving.

It kind of reminds me of a Steve Jobs quote, about baking a great cake, and then using dog **** for icing. Presently, it's the other way around. We have *the* most pristine icing, but the cake's just not that good.

3777s
Jul 6, 2003, 02:03 AM
Originally posted by macrumors12345
Consumer Desktop:
17" iMac: Single 1.4 Ghz low voltage 970, dual channel DDR333, GeForce FX 5200
15" iMac: Single 1.2 Ghz low voltage 970, dual channel DDR266, GeForce4 MX
eMac: Single 1.3 Ghz 7447, 200 Mhz FSB, single channel DDR400, GeForce2 MX

Pro Laptop:
17"/15" Powerbooks: 1.5 Ghz 7457, 200 Mhz FSB, single channel DDR400, Mobility Radeon 9600
12" Powerbook: 1.25 Ghz 7457, 200 Mhz FSB, single channel DDR400, GeForce4 Go

Consumer Laptop:
iBooks: 1.1 Ghz 750GX, 200 Mhz FSB, single channel DDR400, Mobility Radeon 7500

Thoughts? Comments? Anybody out there besides the "Apple should offer a Dual 2 Ghz iMac starting next week for $1299!!" posters? ;-)


I reregistered just to respond to what I'm reading in this thread. First of all, the .......person....... who said they should make eMac's G3's.... WTH are you smoking.

Second, to the above poster and a number of others who list the FX 5200 as a high end option, the FX 5200 just plain $ucks.. It's the bottom of the barrell in Nvidia's line up, and isn't even as good as a Raedon 7500. Also.....why downgrade video cards from a 32mb DDR Raedon 7500 to a super crappy Geforce 2MX in the a future "updated???" eMac? They just upgraded from the GeForce 2 MX to Raedon 7500 in the last eMac update!!!!!!!

Apple has to do something about the crappy video cards in their line ups. How about 64mb DDR ATI Raedon 9000's in eMacs, 64 mb FX5600 or hopefully ATI 9600's in 15"imacs, and a 9800 Pro for the 17" iMac........ same with powerbooks, nothing less then an FX5600 / and an ATI 9800 top of the line option......... now that's what Apple's line up should have!!!

P.S. If they have MX2 and FX5200 as their top options, then their consumer lines are finished.

macrumors12345
Jul 6, 2003, 08:04 PM
Originally posted by 3777s
Second, to the above poster and a number of others who list the FX 5200 as a high end option, the FX 5200 just plain $ucks.. It's the bottom of the barrell in Nvidia's line up, and isn't even as good as a Raedon 7500.

Then go with something from ATI. Maybe a Radeon 9000? I am not particularly partial to Nvidia (if anything, in fact, I prefer ATI all other things being equal...go Canada, eh?).


Apple has to do something about the crappy video cards in their line ups. How about 64mb DDR ATI Raedon 9000's in eMacs, 64 mb FX5600 or hopefully ATI 9600's in 15"imacs, and a 9800 Pro for the 17" iMac........ same with powerbooks, nothing less then an FX5600 / and an ATI 9800 top of the line option......... now that's what Apple's line up should have!!!


Radeon 9000 in the eMac?? Radeon 9800 Pro in the iMac?? Wow, you have some pretty high expectations there! Most sub-$1000 PCs don't even ship with a video card, period.

Let's look at what graphics cards Dell ships in their consumer PCs:

At the eMac price point ($800-$1000 system): "Integrated Intel Extreme 3D Graphics", i.e. NOTHING (Dell 2350)

At the low iMac price point ($1300): "Integrated Intel Extreme Graphics 2", i.e. NOTHING (Dell 4600C)

At the high iMac price point ($1800): GeForce 4MX (Dell 8300).

So the configurations that I suggested easily beat the graphics cards that Dell ships at every price point, since GeF 2MX >> "Integrated Extreme 3D", GeF 4MX >> "Integrated Extreme 3D 2", and FX5200 > GeF 4MX.

Now, the one argument that you do have is that for the Dell 8300 (but not the 2350 or 4600C), you can BTO a better video card. So you could outfit it with a Radeon 9800 Pro, which obviously you cannot do with the iMac. However, if you were to do that, then it would cost an extra $300, for a total of system cost of $2100 (when configured similarly to the iMac). At that price range, you can already afford to buy a Power Mac G5, since the 1.6 Ghz model with a 9800 Pro is $2150 (albeit w/o the Superdrive, and you still need a display).

If it were easy to simply pop a Radeon 9000 Pro into some 17" iMacs and a Radeon 9800 Pro into others, then I would certainly suggest that Apple provide the 9800 as a BTO option. But providing the 9800 Pro as standard on the iMac is complete overkill - the vast majority of users, myself included, are not heavy 3D gamers and have no desire to pay an extra $300 for the latest and greatest 3D card!

3777s
Jul 6, 2003, 08:19 PM
I think we both have good idea's, yes video cards are very important to me, and yes many people wouldn't want a 9800Pro over an fx 5600 in a 17inch iMac. This is why even all in one systems need some configurable options ....make fx5600 cards standard for iMacs' but give me a choice to get something better for it if I want to.

I use to be a supporter of Nvidia, then I bought my first ATI card last month, 9800 Pro and I was blown away by the quality and richness of the graphics.... I think I can safely say I will never buy Nvidia again! (Unless it's standard issue on a Mac)

.......I still think they need to use something a bit better then an FX5200, and I definitely think Raedon 9000 cards are pretty reasonable for future eMacs, .....but regardless of what they use, I am pretty sure the days of the Geforce 2 and 4MX are over....... thankfully.

P.S. Regardless of the all in one system debate, if Apple wanted to they could make a system that is designed like an iMac or an eMac, that still gave people the option to easily change video cards, just make the internal connector between the card and the built in monitor easily detachable....it's that simple.

ZildjianKX
Jul 6, 2003, 08:45 PM
Originally posted by macrumors12345
Most sub-$1000 PCs don't even ship with a video card, period.

Your right, I always have trouble with sub-$1000 PCs not coming with videocards, I usually have to guess what I'm doing since I can't hook up a monitor... makes the computer very hard to use :p

You can get a Dell Dimension 4600 with a Radeon 9800 Pro, 15" LCD, and a 2.6 GHz P4 for $1,356... that's getting close to G5 specs.

plinkoman
Jul 6, 2003, 09:08 PM
Originally posted by macrumors12345
17"/15" Powerbooks: 1.5 Ghz 7457, 200 Mhz FSB, single channel DDR400, Mobility Radeon 9600
12" Powerbook: 1.25 Ghz 7457, 200 Mhz FSB, single channel DDR400, GeForce4 Go

why give the 12" a lesser processor? it's not supposed to be a lesser system, just a smaller, more portable one

Daveman Deluxe
Jul 6, 2003, 09:23 PM
I think that all of Apple's product lines need to be FAR more customizable. I don't want to pay more because I need ONE feature that's in the high end but everything else would be fine in the low end (ex. wanting an iMac with a 17" display but not needing the faster processor or AirPort Extreme). I think the low, middle, high end scheme should be entirely done away with.

Power Mac: choice of 1.6-2.0 GHz G5, all with dual-processor options. Choose either four or eight RAM slots and fill them as you wish. Choice between SuperDrive and Combo drive. Choose between Radeon 9600, 9700, and 9800 graphics cards with your choice of RAM configurations.

iMac: choice of 1.2 or 1.4 GHz low-voltage G5 (if and when they are available), choice of optical drive, choice of RAM, choose between GeForce 2, GeForce 4, Radeon 9000, Radeon 9500, and Radeon 9600 graphics cards with your pick of 15" and 17" flat-panel.

eMac: 1.0-1.3 GHz 7457, choice of optical drive, GeForce 2 and GeForce 4, Radeon 7500 or 8500 graphics.

iBook: Choose between IBM 750XX processors available, choose screen size and optical drive. Choose between currently available ATI mobile cards.

PowerBook: 1.0-1.5 GHz 7457 or 1.2-1.4 GHz low-voltage G5 (depending on heat/power requirements), otherwise the same as iBook.

In these listings, I didn't consider FSBs. Probably should have, but in general, faster FSBs go with the better computers. You get the idea. Basically, I wish Apple's store were modeled more after Dell's online store.

Wardofsky
Jul 6, 2003, 11:52 PM
Wouldn't be suprised.
MacBidouille has been going on with some unconfirmed rumors http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?threadid=31443

SilvorX
Jul 7, 2003, 12:41 AM
I find that the macs that are currently out would do fine, but of course speed bumps, and powerbooks get G5 around xmas by latest and imac get G5 soon (mwny), the ibook should keep G3 since its cheap, and we need a powermac g5 thats a few hundred bux cheaper, but the PowerMac G4 line is sweet for the price, hopefully that wont get phased out any time soon since its affordable (powermac wise)

hey howcome theres not many rumors going around for MWNY if its coming out soon?

Anticipat3
Jul 8, 2003, 10:00 AM
Customizability is both a curse and a blessing...

One thing that's been beautiful about Macs all these years is that it's always been relatively few hardware configurations to worry about, which probably makes software and drivers a little easier to deal with for Apple. Also, most of Apple's configurations come with the ideal price/performance part for the particular group the machine targets -- GeForce 4 MX is a perfect consumer card, Radeon 7500 is a great card if you're on the cheap like the eMac, etc. Another thing to consider is just how few users ever even open their comptuers, let alone upgrade them. For the consumer, which is what the iMac targets, and for folks on the cheap, which the eMac targets, upgradeability and tinkering ease are pretty useless. They're designed to be good, ergonomic machines first, and function is an afterthought; the function follows the form.

If you want a highly configurable machine that you can upgrade, configure, personalize, and tinker with, then you want a machine that was designed with function over form -- the Powermac. You can tinker all you like, you'll have tons of choices, etc.

The one group that Apple neglects, as it historically has, is enthusiasts on a budget. I know many PC using folks who would consider adding or switching if they could get a tinkerable Mac for about what they could buy/build a midrange PC for; so here's my idea of what this product line should be like:

Medium-Small Tower Form Factor case with standard cooling system (pc-style)
G4 Powered (similar to iMac)
256 MB DDR333 Memory, 3-4 Slots
GeForce 4 MX, with BTO Radeon 9100 Option, DVI/ADC connectors.
IDE Hard Drives; 80GB, with 120GB BTO option
Combo Drive with BTO superdrive option
Sound, LAN, onboard.
2 USB 2.0 Ports (rear)
2 Firewire Ports (rear)

It could be called the "iBox" perhaps...

The idea would be to keep the specs in line with current iMac, and keep the price hovering at about the same level; perhaps just a little below, say around the $1400-$1500 mark in a stock configuration, just enough that it might get a PC user to just dump his current "box" and pick up an "iBox."

I know that what I just described is basically a Powermac G4, but as this is a dying model, and such things aren't generally available, and a marketing bit to push this "iBox" woudl help it a lot, methinks.

Good Idea? It seems like it fills a missing niche in the market to me.

Lanbrown
Jul 8, 2003, 10:19 AM
Motorola is apparently ahead of schedule (a first) in regards to the 7457. Looks like they will ship this quarter, when is unknown though. Look at the PowerMac, the 1.42 is gone and replaced with a 1.25. Very shortly it should see a speed bump up, how much is unknown, but at the minimum 1.3Ghz, probably more like 1.5GHz though. 1.6GHz at this stage is unlikely, as the clock rate would match that of the 970. Down the road, it should go higher. I also expect the iMac to move ahead of the eMac in terms of processor speed and will probably match the PowerMac G4, as there is no reason to keep it at the top any longer.

Only time will tell what Apple does, but I think they are committed to using the G4 for now in the consumer models. Especially since the 7457 is pin compatible and it can be drop in upgrade for Apple with no additional board design. It would be nice if they added Serial-ATA though. An updated graphic chipset as well, newer models are out.