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MacBytes
Nov 15, 2007, 09:18 AM
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Link: Apple iMac: Still the Desktop Star (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20071115101803)
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Clive At Five
Nov 15, 2007, 01:57 PM
Bah. The iMac is fine for people who want a non-upgradeable, non-mobile high-end laptop. The internals of the iMac are pitiful, and even though it will play current games, it will struggle with next years games. If you're only going to use it for iLife, Safari, iTunes, and the occassional game, it'll be fine for 3 or 4 years. But for anyone looking to do Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic, gaming, or anything remotely demanding, the iMac will be suffering to keep up after a couple years.

This is just another example of why Apple needs another computer in its lineup. CPU makers produce desktop-class chips for a reason. Yes, laptop chips are impressive compared to the "olden days" but they still don't have the power and longevity that today's desktop CPUs do. Plus, with a non-upgradeable, once it's shot, you throw it out. With a desktop, you can give it a new graphics card, a BluRay Optical drive, fast RAM(with the iMac, you're stuck with SO-DIMMs), and most importantly, a newer CPU!

Seriously, Apple. You're missing out on a whole demographic of people who are clinging to their old machines just because they offer something an iMac never could: THE ABILITY TO DO WITH IT WHAT THEY WANT.

Please, pundits, spare me the "Buy a Mac Pro" and "The iMac is good enough" arguments. The MacPro is entirely more than what most people need for a home PC... and it's not a career machine I need. It's a hobby machine... and my hobbies include using Photoshop, Final Cut Express, Logic, and Bryce on a fairly consistent basis. I also want a computer that will last. The iMac will not stay current for more than a couple years.

The only reason the iMac is the "Desktop Star" is because it's the only consumer-aimed desktop Apple offers.

Apple, give me an xMac.

-Clive

coolfactor
Nov 15, 2007, 04:26 PM
The only reason the iMac is the "Desktop Star" is because it's the only consumer-aimed desktop Apple offers.

The Mac mini is also a current product that satisfies many consumer needs. You were making some good points until you misfired on this point.

Get yourself a MacBook Pro and connect up an external monitor.

Techguy172
Nov 15, 2007, 05:00 PM
Bah. The iMac is fine for people who want a non-upgradeable, non-mobile high-end laptop. The internals of the iMac are pitiful, and even though it will play current games, it will struggle with next years games. If you're only going to use it for iLife, Safari, iTunes, and the occassional game, it'll be fine for 3 or 4 years. But for anyone looking to do Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic, gaming, or anything remotely demanding, the iMac will be suffering to keep up after a couple years.

This is just another example of why Apple needs another computer in its lineup. CPU makers produce desktop-class chips for a reason. Yes, laptop chips are impressive compared to the "olden days" but they still don't have the power and longevity that today's desktop CPUs do. Plus, with a non-upgradeable, once it's shot, you throw it out. With a desktop, you can give it a new graphics card, a BluRay Optical drive, fast RAM(with the iMac, you're stuck with SO-DIMMs), and most importantly, a newer CPU!

Seriously, Apple. You're missing out on a whole demographic of people who are clinging to their old machines just because they offer something an iMac never could: THE ABILITY TO DO WITH IT WHAT THEY WANT.

Please, pundits, spare me the "Buy a Mac Pro" and "The iMac is good enough" arguments. The MacPro is entirely more than what most people need for a home PC... and it's not a career machine I need. It's a hobby machine... and my hobbies include using Photoshop, Final Cut Express, Logic, and Bryce on a fairly consistent basis. I also want a computer that will last. The iMac will not stay current for more than a couple years.

The only reason the iMac is the "Desktop Star" is because it's the only consumer-aimed desktop Apple offers.

Apple, give me an xMac.

-Clive

I belive the iMac will run Photoshop quite well, and by the way most people do not care about any of this. Just because a few people here and there want a cheaper desktop doesn't mean it will happen. The iMac is a perfect consuemer machine.

You wanting a computer that stays current is impossible because theres new technology everyday so nothing stays current for more than 6 month even the mac pro something new and better will come out.

ttopp
Nov 15, 2007, 05:46 PM
Bah. The iMac is fine for people who want a non-upgradeable, non-mobile high-end laptop. The internals of the iMac are pitiful, and even though it will play current games, it will struggle with next years games. If you're only going to use it for iLife, Safari, iTunes, and the occassional game, it'll be fine for 3 or 4 years. But for anyone looking to do Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic, gaming, or anything remotely demanding, the iMac will be suffering to keep up after a couple years.

This is just another example of why Apple needs another computer in its lineup. CPU makers produce desktop-class chips for a reason. Yes, laptop chips are impressive compared to the "olden days" but they still don't have the power and longevity that today's desktop CPUs do. Plus, with a non-upgradeable, once it's shot, you throw it out. With a desktop, you can give it a new graphics card, a BluRay Optical drive, fast RAM(with the iMac, you're stuck with SO-DIMMs), and most importantly, a newer CPU!

Seriously, Apple. You're missing out on a whole demographic of people who are clinging to their old machines just because they offer something an iMac never could: THE ABILITY TO DO WITH IT WHAT THEY WANT.

Please, pundits, spare me the "Buy a Mac Pro" and "The iMac is good enough" arguments. The MacPro is entirely more than what most people need for a home PC... and it's not a career machine I need. It's a hobby machine... and my hobbies include using Photoshop, Final Cut Express, Logic, and Bryce on a fairly consistent basis. I also want a computer that will last. The iMac will not stay current for more than a couple years.

The only reason the iMac is the "Desktop Star" is because it's the only consumer-aimed desktop Apple offers.

Apple, give me an xMac.

-Clive



i think your right about the upgrading issue but the new imacs should last a few years and it would cost a fair bit to upgrade every 6months or so when the new upgrades become available(chips/drives). my point being that get the newest keep for 3-4 years then buy a new one again it will prob be cheeper than all the upgrades.

but the choice/ability would be nice

Clive At Five
Nov 15, 2007, 05:50 PM
I belive the iMac will run Photoshop quite well, and by the way most people do not care about any of this. Just because a few people here and there want a cheaper desktop doesn't mean it will happen. The iMac is a perfect consuemer machine.

What? Who said anything about cheaper? I would expect such a michine to be priced in the same range as the iMac... between 1200 and 2200 or so. Instead of a built in screen, I want space to add an HDD if I see fit, or upgrade to a BluRay drive in a couple years. Add RAM. Swap out a video card. A PCI slot for eSATA or something. Certainly a desktop CPU (same prices as mobile ones, mind you), 6 - 8 internal ports/slots plus empty space cost less than a 20-some inch display. They'd make larger margins by putting the machines at the same price points as the iMac. And they would be bought, I guarantee it.

You wanting a computer that stays current is impossible because theres new technology everyday so nothing stays current for more than 6 month even the mac pro something new and better will come out.

That doesn't make any sense. Of course its possible to stay up to date if you have a machine that can be upgraded, and the money to do so. For the rest of us, intermittent upgrades will more than suffice to keep it fresh and "zippy." With an iMac, there's very little you can do to put off aging. Like I said earlier, once it's old, you throw it out. What a waste. Planned obsolescence, if you ask me.

i think your right about the upgrading issue but the new imacs should last a few years and it would cost a fair bit to upgrade every 6months or so when the new upgrades become available(chips/drives). my point being that get the newest keep for 3-4 years then buy a new one again it will prob be cheeper than all the upgrades.

but the choice/ability would be nice

3-4 years. I know its the average lifespan of a computer, but I go 3 - 4 years, + a couple upgrades (*maybe* $500-worth) and get another 3 years out of it. I don't think that's more expensive than a new machine...

-Clive

dwl017
Nov 15, 2007, 08:43 PM
What? Who said anything about cheaper? I would expect such a michine to be priced in the same range as the iMac... between 1200 and 2200 or so. Instead of a built in screen, I want space to add an HDD if I see fit, or upgrade to a BluRay drive in a couple years. Add RAM. Swap out a video card. A PCI slot for eSATA or something. Certainly a desktop CPU (same prices as mobile ones, mind you), 6 - 8 internal ports/slots plus empty space cost less than a 20-some inch display. They'd make larger margins by putting the machines at the same price points as the iMac. And they would be bought, I guarantee it.



That doesn't make any sense. Of course its possible to stay up to date if you have a machine that can be upgraded, and the money to do so. For the rest of us, intermittent upgrades will more than suffice to keep it fresh and "zippy." With an iMac, there's very little you can do to put off aging. Like I said earlier, once it's old, you throw it out. What a waste. Planned obsolescence, if you ask me.



3-4 years. I know its the average lifespan of a computer, but I go 3 - 4 years, + a couple upgrades (*maybe* $500-worth) and get another 3 years out of it. I don't think that's more expensive than a new machine...

-Clive

Bravo! great post and I agree 100% this is the main reason I went the Mac Mini so at the very least I would not be stuck with a huge 20" or 24" paper weight when the thing went belly up on me. If my Intel Mini was to die tomorrow I still have my brand new Dell Ultra Sharp 24" LCD to get me through! or lets say my Dell LCD dies I can get a brand new one dirt cheap!

Bottom line all though the Mini is not a machine I can upgrade I still don't feel stuck like I would with the iMac all in one should something g wrong.

shuatay1
Nov 16, 2007, 10:07 AM
"But for anyone looking to do Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic, gaming, or anything remotely demanding, the iMac will be suffering to keep up after a couple years."



on the demanding application scale, the programs all vary. I agree that if you use final cut, then you shouldn't be looking at an imac. in fact you really shouldn't be looking at a low-end mac pro.

Just for the record (because i see a lot of complaining gamers out there whining about the imac) if you're a gamer, why the hell would you choose a mac in the first place?!?!?!?! Get an Xbox360, Nintendo Wii, or PS3 for cryin out loud!!! For the price of a high-en imac you can practically get all three consoles and a flat screen TV!!!

I will use logic since that is the application i use and am most familiar with. First off, if you've followed the evolution of Logic with apple, it has barely updated (to the point of complaints from users). Logic Pro 7 was around for over 3 years before Logic Studio was released in September and still the minimum requirements were none too drastic (of course it rendered some systems obsolete but those systems were over four years old). Sure there are small upgrades every now and then but nothing that's going to render a top of the line Santa Rosa extinct for a good long time.

Another thing to consider as well and this is why i chose the imac or, should I say, the imac chose me: If I were a professional working audio engineer with clients out the wazzoo, I'd have a Mac Pro. I could afford it. I would need something to handle all my clients' projects. I would probably have a lot of clients thus the previous statement: I could afford it. Right now I need something to get me to that point. I don't have a lot of clients. I'm looking to get them. I need something dependable I can work on and have enough space to create, enough screen space to see what i'm doing, be powerful enough so i can churn out good production value and above all else BE AFFORDABLE!!!!

I (an I assume many others who have or are seriously considering the imac) have a limited budget and can't be blowing it on a mac pro as much as i would love to have the 10 core octodruple super hertz chips running at a billion light years a nanosecond. let's in fact break that down. If i were to get a base bare bones mac pro, Id have a low-end quad with little else. Id have to buy more ram, probably a better graphics card as well, up the hard drive, do this, do that and on top of that buy a monitor. After the tweaking is all done and the monitor, Ive just spent well over three grand and WAIT one more thing...the SOFTWARE!!! In a lot of cases people are buying that as well. You've just dropped a TON of $$

With the imac you get a dependable CPU that can handle most of your applications and can help get the struggling pro to the working pro who can then move on and afford the supercomputer. And besides, being that it's laptop like, you can add all the peripherals you could ever want via FW 800, 400and usb 2.0.


I kind of like the little added bonus of a 3-4 year time limit as well. Helps to light a candle under some people don't ya think?

Of course as with all things, only time will tell but i'm not going to waste this time staring into a crystal ball to see if i'm right, I've got work to do.

takao
Nov 16, 2007, 10:40 AM
Just for the record (because i see a lot of complaining gamers out there whining about the imac) if you're a gamer, why the hell would you choose a mac in the first place?!?!?!?! Get an Xbox360, Nintendo Wii, or PS3 for cryin out loud!!! For the price of a high-en imac you can practically get all three consoles and a flat screen TV!!!


Empire: Total War

IJ Reilly
Nov 16, 2007, 11:28 AM
I would estimate that maybe 2% of computer users ever upgrade their hardware, and probably a similar number buy them mainly for playing games. That 2% should definitely buy something different. The fact remains that Apple does all-in-one computers like nobody else, which is a great thing for the vast majority of computer users who just want things to work without a fuss and don't want the computer to take over their desk.

Speaking of great things: An unabashedly positive Mac review from Businessweek.

DesignerOnMac
Nov 16, 2007, 11:33 AM
Bah. The iMac is fine for people who want a non-upgradeable, non-mobile high-end laptop. The internals of the iMac are pitiful, and even though it will play current games, it will struggle with next years games. If you're only going to use it for iLife, Safari, iTunes, and the occassional game, it'll be fine for 3 or 4 years. But for anyone looking to do Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic, gaming, or anything remotely demanding, the iMac will be suffering to keep up after a couple years.

This is just another example of why Apple needs another computer in its lineup. CPU makers produce desktop-class chips for a reason. Yes, laptop chips are impressive compared to the "olden days" but they still don't have the power and longevity that today's desktop CPUs do. Plus, with a non-upgradeable, once it's shot, you throw it out. With a desktop, you can give it a new graphics card, a BluRay Optical drive, fast RAM(with the iMac, you're stuck with SO-DIMMs), and most importantly, a newer CPU!

Seriously, Apple. You're missing out on a whole demographic of people who are clinging to their old machines just because they offer something an iMac never could: THE ABILITY TO DO WITH IT WHAT THEY WANT.

Please, pundits, spare me the "Buy a Mac Pro" and "The iMac is good enough" arguments. The MacPro is entirely more than what most people need for a home PC... and it's not a career machine I need. It's a hobby machine... and my hobbies include using Photoshop, Final Cut Express, Logic, and Bryce on a fairly consistent basis. I also want a computer that will last. The iMac will not stay current for more than a couple years.

The only reason the iMac is the "Desktop Star" is because it's the only consumer-aimed desktop Apple offers.

Apple, give me an xMac.

-Clive

1. Since the internal parts of an iMac are MB and MBP parts your saying that Apples laptops will not run professional apps? Man your out to lunch on this!

2. I am using an iMac 2.8 Extreme, it runs all my pro apps just fine thank you.

3. I expect this iMac to last as long as my last G4 1.25 desktop MAC, thank you.

Let me tell you about my retail experiences selling computers:

1. Most people are clueless when it comes to upgrading their computer. They don't even know how to add RAM or what RAM to buy, even though every machine I sold hold them what type of RAM to purchase.

2. 99% of the time they would bring the computer back to the store for RAM installs, or HD replacements. They were more than happy to pay the install fees.

3. My experiences are that most consumers don't want to do any upgrades on their own and are willing to pay the fees to have someone else do it for them!

4. Most PC users buy a new machine every 2 to 3 years. MAC people tend to keep their machines longer. (It isn't how long you own a machine, but what you use the machine for!)

So I can not change out the video card, or HD? No big deal. I have an external HD big enough to hold all my files, etc.

The only point I will agree with you on, is Apple needs a more PRO machine without a monitor. One that can be added to or upgraded to if the owner wants to do so. The MacPro is to costly for me and I do not need 4 HD bays...I have never needed more than two internal HD. My G4 had two 80GB HDs and neither were anywhere near full!

Clive At Five
Nov 16, 2007, 11:41 AM
A low-end Mac Pro won't cut it for Final Cut? ...Express?

Listen here, I'm telling you all that I need a machine between Consumer and Pro. Since my hobbies may include using Final Cut Express, I'm willing to have the patience to deal with a slower machine, but since it's something I value, I want more speed devoted to it than, say, your average iMac user.

Just for the record (because i see a lot of complaining gamers out there whining about the imac) if you're a gamer, why the hell would you choose a mac in the first place?!?!?!?! Get an Xbox360, Nintendo Wii, or PS3 for cryin out loud!!! For the price of a high-en imac you can practically get all three consoles and a flat screen TV!!!

And to answer this ridiculous gaming statement: Not all games are available on all platforms. PC is hands-down the most versatile. At this point in time, no Apple hardware could accurately meet my needs. However, if I could buy a capable/upgradeable Mac for ~$1700 and Windows XP for $200, then I can save myself the $1500 on buying a second machine. Literally, my only reason for having a PC is to play games and do the occasional technical tinkering. Why shouldn't I be able to consolidate my hardware as long as Apples run Windows?

Even right now, I build my own PCs so good hardware only costs around ~$500 for the entire unit and ~$200 every few years to upgrade... Still cheaper than new consoles, plus PC software lasts for a really long time. With consoles, once there's a better console, the legacy support is weak, despite claims of backwards compatibility. Hell, I still have DOS games on my PC. DOS!

I have made a console exception for the Wii. The Wii is so freaking cool that I had to get one. If you haven't experienced some Wii-action, you need to. Nintendo really got it right with the Wii.

Otherwise, most console games that are worth anything make it to PC within the next year, so unless you desperately care about playing a new game right away, you don't need to waste your money on consoles. I'm not that obsessed. Therefore a PC is the best choice for me.

Steve Jobs has openly said that gaming is not one of their priorities. IT DOESN'T NEED TO BE. How about giving people the CHOICE to put a nicer graphics card in their computer? Or the CHOICE of adding a BluRay drive? Or the CHOICE of a second internal hard drive? How is that so hard, Apple?

Sure it's not the solution for everyone. Some people want an all-in-one simple solution. Others want room to tinker, but still want to use the excellent Apple software along with it. Why shouldn't we be able to do it?

Apple is becoming more about limiting choice in order to fix users inside Apple's box. No longer is it about THINKING DIFFERENTLY.

-Clive

IJ Reilly
Nov 16, 2007, 11:53 AM
Why is it that gamers only seem to understand their priorities? This seems to be one of the great constants in computing. Gamers frequently express the view that if a computer maker isn't meeting their needs, then they aren't doing things right, period.

Clive At Five
Nov 16, 2007, 12:07 PM
1. Since the internal parts of an iMac are MB and MBP parts your saying that Apples laptops will not run professional apps? Man your out to lunch on this!

No, obviously you're not reading what I wrote. It'll run it today, but a MB or MBP will fail to be a useful tool after 3 or 4 years. On a desktop that you can upgrade, you can use hardware-intense software for easily 6 or more.

2. I am using an iMac 2.8 Extreme, it runs all my pro apps just fine thank you.

Come back to me in 3 - 4 years and tell me how your iMac is doing.

3. I expect this iMac to last as long as my last G4 1.25 desktop MAC, thank you.

I'm afraid you'll be in for a surprise. G4s have well-proven their longevity. I'm still managing to use a 800 MHz G4 iMac that I've replaced every single part in, save the CPU.

Let me tell you about my retail experiences selling computers:

1. Most people are clueless when it comes to upgrading their computer. They don't even know how to add RAM or what RAM to buy, even though every machine I sold hold them what type of RAM to purchase.

2. 99% of the time they would bring the computer back to the store for RAM installs, or HD replacements. They were more than happy to pay the install fees.

3. My experiences are that most consumers don't want to do any upgrades on their own and are willing to pay the fees to have someone else do it for them!

4. Most PC users buy a new machine every 2 to 3 years. MAC people tend to keep their machines longer. (It isn't how long you own a machine, but what you use the machine for!)

So I can not change out the video card, or HD? No big deal. I have an external HD big enough to hold all my files, etc.

All generalizations. 99%? I hardly believe that. You have no idea how many people upgraded themselves because they didn't come to you to do it. A lot of consumers are computer-ignorant, yes, but that number is certainly not what you imply it to be. People who know that they are ignorant are willing to pay for upgrades because they have no choice. It's like if I have to do anything with my car other than change the fluids.

And here's another thing: just because "most people" buy new computers every 2 - 3 years doesn't mean they should. New computers are expensive (unless you buy crap) and not only do I not have the money to do that, but its wasteful! Why buy a whole new computer when you can upgrade one or two parts for less money and produce WAY less waste? Non-upgradeable computers are landfill-fodder and that's one of the last things we need.

The only point I will agree with you on, is Apple needs a more PRO machine without a monitor. One that can be added to or upgraded to if the owner wants to do so. The MacPro is to costly for me and I do not need 4 HD bays...I have never needed more than two internal HD. My G4 had two 80GB HDs and neither were anywhere near full!

Wait, what? You spend all that time disagreeing with me, then you say that you agree that Apple needs a slightly expandable pro machine without a monitor. That's all I'm asking for. And so you agree with me after all that?

Weird.

-Clive

Clive At Five
Nov 16, 2007, 12:09 PM
Why is it that gamers only seem to understand their priorities? This seems to be one of the great constants in computing. Gamers frequently express the view that if a computer maker isn't meeting their needs, then they aren't doing things right, period.

You're not describing me, are you? I think Apple does a lot of things right... except the lack of an xMac. In some cases being locked into Apple's Box is a good thing. When it comes to computer hardware, it's not always a good thing. Some users need choice but not a Mac Pro.

-Clive

Dane D.
Nov 16, 2007, 12:58 PM
Bah. The iMac is fine for people who want a non-upgradeable, non-mobile high-end laptop. The internals of the iMac are pitiful, and even though it will play current games, it will struggle with next years games. If you're only going to use it for iLife, Safari, iTunes, and the occassional game, it'll be fine for 3 or 4 years. But for anyone looking to do Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic, gaming, or anything remotely demanding, the iMac will be suffering to keep up after a couple years.
Take off your blinders, most iMac buyers are non-computer savvy people who want their iMac to just work. In 3-4 years technology will have evolved and we all will have obsolete hardware. Even if the user does do Photoshop, FinalCut, Logic and gaming, the Imac will be fine.

And here's another thing: just because "most people" buy new computers every 2 - 3 years doesn't mean they should. New computers are expensive (unless you buy crap) and not only do I not have the money to do that, but its wasteful! Why buy a whole new computer when you can upgrade one or two parts for less money and produce WAY less waste? Non-upgradeable computers are landfill-fodder and that's one of the last things we need.
Thats the great thing about Macs, in general they just keep going and going and going. I have eleven dating back to the IIcx. Make great computers for the grandparents, the kids, a person in need or just collecting and tinkering with old software.

Steve Jobs has openly said that gaming is not one of their priorities. IT DOESN'T NEED TO BE. How about giving people the CHOICE to put a nicer graphics card in their computer? Or the CHOICE of adding a BluRay drive? Or the CHOICE of a second internal hard drive? How is that so hard, Apple?

Sure it's not the solution for everyone. Some people want an all-in-one simple solution. Others want room to tinker, but still want to use the excellent Apple software along with it. Why shouldn't we be able to do it?

Apple is becoming more about limiting choice in order to fix users inside Apple's box. No longer is it about THINKING DIFFERENTLY.
You want choice, choose Windows or Linux. People buy Macs because of the OS and the hardware work as a unit as opposed to the other OSs. Where the mindset is "lets slap together some hardware" load an crappy OS (Windows) and then hope it works. The "Think Different" is in how you use the computer and what you can achieve. Not in how many different configurations are available to purchase.

IJ Reilly
Nov 16, 2007, 01:01 PM
You're not describing me, are you? I think Apple does a lot of things right... except the lack of an xMac. In some cases being locked into Apple's Box is a good thing. When it comes to computer hardware, it's not always a good thing. Some users need choice but not a Mac Pro.

-Clive

Well, it seems you found the positive review of the iMac to be wanting (your first word, "Bah"), even though the reviewer was pretty specific about the audience for this computer. Right off, you were bringing up gaming issues, and continued to expand on them in subsequent posts. My addition to this discussion is the experience that very, very few computer owners (1) play a lot of games, or (2) will ever upgrade their hardware, even RAM, so I think those criticisms of the iMac are pretty much moot. If Apple has failed to produce the mid-range Mac box of your dreams, it might just be because the market for this product isn't as large as you think. Apple isn't a stupid company, you know.

Silencio
Nov 16, 2007, 01:07 PM
Wait, what? You spend all that time disagreeing with me, then you say that you agree that Apple needs a slightly expandable pro machine without a monitor. That's all I'm asking for. And so you agree with me after all that?

It's entirely reasonable to explain why Apple does something a certain way -- after all, they have vaults full of market research that shows both what their customers ask for and what their customers actually do in real life -- and yet express the opinion that Apple's approach might not exactly fit their own needs.

For the record, I'm in the same position: I could probably do just fine with a 2.8GHz 24" iMac, but I can't let go of the possibility of internal expansion and upgrades since I've done it for so long, and yet the Mac Pro is overkill for my purposes. I too would love it if Apple would produce a minitower/Cube/whatever with a desktop Core 2 Duo, a couple of PCIe slots, four full-sized DIMM slots, room for two internal hard drives, and a partridge in a pear tree. I have enough self-awareness to realize that my needs are not everyone's.

The vast majority of users -- both home users and more demanding professionals -- perform very few hardware upgrades to their machines. Why put in a bunch of RAM slots, a socketed CPU, and space for a bunch of hard drives if your typical customer will never, ever take advantage of them? Research study after research study proves that this is the exact state of things with desktop PCs: end users just don't upgrade them.

Quite frankly, we've been hearing the argument that the iMac will fail because of its lack of internal expandability or upgradability since, oh, 1998. It hasn't come to pass yet...

BenRoethig
Nov 16, 2007, 01:28 PM
I would estimate that maybe 2% of computer users ever upgrade their hardware, and probably a similar number buy them mainly for playing games. That 2% should definitely buy something different. The fact remains that Apple does all-in-one computers like nobody else, which is a great thing for the vast majority of computer users who just want things to work without a fuss and don't want the computer to take over their desk.

Speaking of great things: An unabashedly positive Mac review from Businessweek.

So, if we care about what's right for the majority of users, shouldn't we be content with windows? Apple was for the computer who wanted something more than the average PC. Apparently Apple's equivalent to the celeron crowd won out over the power users. It's sad that you now have to get something with windows on it in order to get a powerful and expandable computer. That's what they used to be best at.

BenRoethig
Nov 16, 2007, 01:39 PM
Well, it seems you found the positive review of the iMac to be wanting (your first word, "Bah"), even though the reviewer was pretty specific about the audience for this computer.

The reviewer also has the luxury of doing the review more or less platform agnostic. If the user isn't in this segment, they have the luxury of something else. Users who have a long term vested interest in the Mac don't. For all intents and purposes, the iMac has replaced the Power Mac and not by our choice. Yes, I know there is the Mac Pro, but a lot of us can't afford to spend $2500+ to get what Apple used to give us for $1500.

Right off, you were bringing up gaming issues, and continued to expand on them in subsequent posts. My addition to this discussion is the experience that very, very few computer owners (1) play a lot of games, or (2) will ever upgrade their hardware, even RAM, so I think those criticisms of the iMac are pretty much moot. If Apple has failed to produce the mid-range Mac box of your dreams, it might just be because the market for this product isn't as large as you think

So, what you're saying here is that we should just design all computers for the most mundane tasks and the most ordinary users. You guys may accuse us of wanting Apple to build machines that look like Dells. Deems to me you guys want Apple to exclusively build machines that perform like a dell. The iMac is a great machine for the mid to low end users its designed for. By no means is it an answer to everyone's computer needs. All in ones aren't something new, they been around since I joined the Mac community in '94. While they have gotten smaller and better looking, the have pretty much the same advantages and the same weaknesses they did back then. Same for towers. Two different types for two different classes of user.

Apple isn't a stupid company, you know.

No, arrogant something much much worse. They think they know what the user wants better than the user.

Clive At Five
Nov 16, 2007, 03:22 PM
Take off your blinders, most iMac buyers are non-computer savvy people who want their iMac to just work. In 3-4 years technology will have evolved and we all will have obsolete hardware. Even if the user does do Photoshop, FinalCut, Logic and gaming, the Imac will be fine.

Okay, and here's where you contradict yourself:

Thats the great thing about Macs, in general they just keep going and going and going. I have eleven dating back to the IIcx. Make great computers for the grandparents, the kids, a person in need or just collecting and tinkering with old software.

You say that Macs will last a long time but only with old software. Have you not been listening to what I've been saying all along??? If you can upgrade your hardware, you can have a computer that will last twice as long as an iMac... and all the while continue to run intense programs like Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic, etc. I'm not saying it's impossible to to with an iMac. It is, but only for a limited time. The non-upgradeable iMac is a ticking clock. Once it's dead, it's dead. Until then, it's fine.

You want choice, choose Windows or Linux. People buy Macs because of the OS and the hardware work as a unit as opposed to the other OSs. Where the mindset is "lets slap together some hardware" load an crappy OS (Windows) and then hope it works. The "Think Different" is in how you use the computer and what you can achieve. Not in how many different configurations are available to purchase.

From this comment it is obvious that you simply don't understand. Clearly you're scraping the bottom of the barrel for any sort of rebuttal.

Consider a second Hard Drive, a second Optical Drive, extra RAM, and anything that goes into a PCI slot. They all have one thing in common: They're add-ons. They don't meddle with the operation of the unit in any way but to expand its usability. It's nothing remotely similar to "slapping together hardware." If you knew anything about computers you would realize that.

Apple custom-makes every single motherboard and every single daughter card that makes an appearance in their hardware. That's why their machines "just work." Meanwhile, the hard drives are from Samsung or Hitachi, the optical drives are from Pioneer or Sony, and the RAM is from somewhere else still. How can it be, then, that your Macintosh works with such "slapped together hardware" like a hard drive from Hitachi and a DVD burner from Pioneer? It helps to know about a topic before you bash someone regarding it.

Also, please explain to me why my wanting to add an internal hard drive or BluRay drive means I should be forced to abandon the Mac and use Windows or Linux instead? Do you comprehend how ridiculous that sounds?

The only thing more pathetic than that infantile comment is the fact that Apple's most inexpensive upgradeable machine retails for $2500. Undoubtedly you get what you pay for but not everyone needs that much power or 4 HDD bays. People who are hobby filmmakers or photographers, however, might require 2TB of disk space. That could take 3 external drives! If the Mac is such a clutter-free machine, why force one to fill up his or her desk with add-ons when they could go inside the case? Try to think reasonably here.

I know 80% of the people who buy Macs won't need this much storage anytime soon. But some might, and with the millions (and growing) of Mac users out there, the number of people who do need it grows as well. Apple's product line is too simplistic for the demographics of their users. Plain and simple.

-Clive

Shaduu
Nov 16, 2007, 03:46 PM
A low-end Mac Pro won't cut it for Final Cut? ...Express?

Wait, what?! I'm running Final Cut Express 3.5 on my five year old PowerBook. Christ, if my machine runs FCE at a decent rate of knots I can only imagine how speedy a 2.4 iMac would be.

Even a base quad Mac Pro is way overkill for FCE work.

Clive At Five
Nov 16, 2007, 03:59 PM
Well, it seems you found the positive review of the iMac to be wanting (your first word, "Bah"), even though the reviewer was pretty specific about the audience for this computer.

The thesis of my rant is that the iMac won by default because Apple offers no other true consumer desktop (and no, the joke otherwise known as "Mac Mini" does not count). This thread has been blown off topic by those claiming that there is no need for an upgradeable consumer Mac.

Right off, you were bringing up gaming issues, and continued to expand on them in subsequent posts. My addition to this discussion is the experience that very, very few computer owners (1) play a lot of games, or (2) will ever upgrade their hardware, even RAM, so I think those criticisms of the iMac are pretty much moot.

Games are a prominent example. I actually don't play very many hardware-demanding games. Maybe an hour's worth a month. The rest of my computing is spent composing music, editing film or photoshopping. I don't need 4 HDD bays, a server-class processor, or up to 16GB of the fastest RAM on the planet.

Aside from this, you bring up the point that very few people game or photoshop or edit video or compose music. There was a story out a while back telling how these sort of hobbies were growing as a result of the inclusion of iLife on Apple's computers. Interviewees said they never thought they would care enough to want to keep photo albums, make web pages, edit home videos, etc. Once they had the ability to do so, it opened up a new world for them and they couldn't imagine their lives without it.

It's my opinion that the same is true for a good number of consumers. They would, in fact, welcome the ability to go beyond the iMac and become "prosumers" if only the opportunity existed. You saying flat-out that "people don't want an upgradeable machine" when no such machine even exists is like saying people don't want a car with an aircraft yoke. Just because it doesn't exist doesn't mean people don't want it. If someone actually released such a car, maybe the demand would be there and conventional wheel-users might become yoke-users.

Your assumption that people don't want an upgradeable Mac is unjustified. You may be correct, but your hypothesis remains to be proven.

If Apple has failed to produce the mid-range Mac box of your dreams, it might just be because the market for this product isn't as large as you think. Apple isn't a stupid company, you know.

Apple has never tested such a machine in today's market. I think you would be surprised with the number of people who would buy one. Of course, neither of us could be proven right without any sort of test.

-Clive

Clive At Five
Nov 16, 2007, 04:04 PM
Wait, what?! I'm running Final Cut Express 3.5 on my five year old PowerBook. Christ, if my machine runs FCE at a decent rate of knots I can only imagine how speedy a 2.4 iMac would be.

Even a base quad Mac Pro is way overkill for FCE work.

Hey hey, don't freak out at me. I was replying to this guy:

I agree that if you use final cut, then you shouldn't be looking at an imac. in fact you really shouldn't be looking at a low-end mac pro.

I thought it was outrageous as well. I occasionally use FCE on my almost 6-year old 800MHz iMac.

I'm with you. I think today's iMac could run FCE just fine... for a couple years.

-Clive

Cloudane
Nov 16, 2007, 04:52 PM
With all the time and energy some people spend complaining over and over again about the lack of a "High end consumer Mac" between the iMac and Mac Pro, they could spend this time and energy doing something more constructive like making money, at which point they'd be able to afford a Mac Pro :) Then it'll do everything you want. Win.

It's easy to say it's "overpowered" for some people's needs, but is there really such a thing? Power is good, it helps to make sure you have everything covered.

Me, I'm very happy with my iMac thank you. I've done the whole upgradability thing with PCs... guess what, I very rarely actually did any upgrades. Those I did do where just for the sake of it really, like a slightly faster DVD-RW because I happened to be passing through Scan and it was on a Today Only deal.

Because I used decent components in the first place rather than bargain basement rubbish (just like Apple do. This led to PCs that cost about as much as an equivalent Mac), by the time my PC felt slow at anything it was 4+ years later and the world had moved on... time for an entire new PC rather than spending good money patching up an old banger. Thinking back on all this, that's when I realised that upgradability really doesn't matter (my old G4 Powerbook is still standing strong too, and has been given a new lease of life with Leopard)

My 20" 2.4 iMac handles Photoshop just fine for my hobbyist (but high end / RAW) photography needs. Eventually I may indeed upgrade to a Mac Pro because it's simply the ultimate Mac and the best solution for everything... and let's not forget you can get a huge chunk of your money back selling second hand on eBay... but right now I feel that the iMac is more than capable of what I require. Waiting an extra few seconds for a Photoshop filter is hardly going to ruin my day.

For gaming, yeah it's not ideal. Though it handles EQ, WoW and SL just fine, which pretty much covers my desktop gaming (I have a decent PC on standby at the moment if I want the extra 5FPS that badly). Everything else is on the PS2, which I really ought to upgrade to a 360 or PS3 soon.

Failures aren't a major concern. Most happen in the first 30 days. I'll be getting Applecare to cover 3 years though, after which I'd be starting to think about an upgrade anyway! (I tend to wait 4 years, but if it broke badly 3 years and 1 day after purchase then boohoo, VERY bad luck on my part, so be it). And even then there are several companies out there who repair Macs. It's no big deal IMO. Not to forget that Apple use decent components, so there's less chance of failure compared to the PC "Jetway motherboard" rubbish.

I really think that if power is so important that it's worth ranting about so much, it'd be much more constructive to suck up the extra cost and invest in a Pro. Only, don't buy one right now because they're very outdated and due for an upgrade imminently :)

For maybe 99% of consumer users, even those who were PC building geekoids, the iMac is surprisingly capable.

Now I'm off to actually read the article and bask in a *positive* attitude for once :D

IJ Reilly
Nov 16, 2007, 06:09 PM
So, if we care about what's right for the majority of users, shouldn't we be content with windows? Apple was for the computer who wanted something more than the average PC. Apparently Apple's equivalent to the celeron crowd won out over the power users. It's sad that you now have to get something with windows on it in order to get a powerful and expandable computer. That's what they used to be best at.

Sorry, but I don't understand how any of this follows from what I said.

So, what you're saying here is that we should just design all computers for the most mundane tasks and the most ordinary users. You guys may accuse us of wanting Apple to build machines that look like Dells. Deems to me you guys want Apple to exclusively build machines that perform like a dell. The iMac is a great machine for the mid to low end users its designed for. By no means is it an answer to everyone's computer needs. All in ones aren't something new, they been around since I joined the Mac community in '94. While they have gotten smaller and better looking, the have pretty much the same advantages and the same weaknesses they did back then. Same for towers. Two different types for two different classes of user.

Again, I don't understand how this follows from anything I said. My point was that if Apple thought they had a market in this type of computer that they are smart enough to know it, and that they'd be manufacturing this type of computer. You seem to think it's nefarious scheme, or some such. I think my argument makes more sense in the context of a business.

Dane D.
Nov 16, 2007, 07:13 PM
Okay, and here's where you contradict yourself:
You say that Macs will last a long time but only with old software. Have you not been listening to what I've been saying all along??? If you can upgrade your hardware, you can have a computer that will last twice as long as an iMac... and all the while continue to run intense programs like Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic, etc. I'm not saying it's impossible to to with an iMac. It is, but only for a limited time. The non-upgradeable iMac is a ticking clock. Once it's dead, it's dead. Until then, it's fine.
Old software in the sense that Apple isn't like MS that has to be backward compatiable. With each release of an OS, Apple knocks out old computers from upgrading to a newer OS. Hence the term 'old' software. The software still works, still productive for people.

From this comment it is obvious that you simply don't understand. Clearly you're scraping the bottom of the barrel for any sort of rebuttal.

Consider a second Hard Drive, a second Optical Drive, extra RAM, and anything that goes into a PCI slot. They all have one thing in common: They're add-ons. They don't meddle with the operation of the unit in any way but to expand its usability. It's nothing remotely similar to "slapping together hardware." If you knew anything about computers you would realize that.
I guess I don't know a damn thing according to you. I maintain iMacs(CRT G3 types, 2001 vintage) and PowerMacs(G4s - single cpus to dual 867GHz) at my place of employment. Each has been upgraded with RAM, extra HDs, extra PCI cards, new optical drives and they run Tiger. We use Adobe CS3 apps, QuarkXPress, and each has at least 4 web browsers. They produce income, run flawlessly, even the iMacs with their old cpus can handle the files we produce.[/quote]

Apple custom-makes every single motherboard and every single daughter card that makes an appearance in their hardware. That's why their machines "just work." Meanwhile, the hard drives are from Samsung or Hitachi, the optical drives are from Pioneer or Sony, and the RAM is from somewhere else still. How can it be, then, that your Macintosh works with such "slapped together hardware" like a hard drive from Hitachi and a DVD burner from Pioneer? It helps to know about a topic before you bash someone regarding it.
News to me about motherboards, so Apple is a manufacturer of its motherboards? I know the components are from other manufacturers, but the drivers are key to "just works"

Also, please explain to me why my wanting to add an internal hard drive or BluRay drive means I should be forced to abandon the Mac and use Windows or Linux instead? Do you comprehend how ridiculous that sounds?
Goes back to most iMac buyers are non-savvy people who aren't driven by the latest hardware offerings to come down the road.

The only thing more pathetic than that infantile comment is the fact that Apple's most inexpensive upgradeable machine retails for $2500. Undoubtedly you get what you pay for but not everyone needs that much power or 4 HDD bays. People who are hobby filmmakers or photographers, however, might require 2TB of disk space. That could take 3 external drives! If the Mac is such a clutter-free machine, why force one to fill up his or her desk with add-ons when they could go inside the case? Try to think reasonably here.
I guess when the only thing on my desk is a monitor/keyboard, it must be cluttered. I have external HDs neatly stacked off my desktop.

I know 80% of the people who buy Macs won't need this much storage anytime soon. But some might, and with the millions (and growing) of Mac users out there, the number of people who do need it grows as well. Apple's product line is too simplistic for the demographics of their users. Plain and simple.
If that were correct than the iMac line would of disappeared long ago. We're going on 10 years since its introduction and with the latest offering, I think many people will be happy with their purchase.

Cloudane
Nov 16, 2007, 07:27 PM
Just want to add one more thing.... it's more of a generic thing than an iMac thing but here goes.

Any computer, if it stays functioning and keeps the same software at the same version, will be just as good 5, 10, 15 years from now. People used Photoshop on Macs 10 years ago or more, and the same version on the same Mac would achieve the same objective as it did back then. People made movies, and used Macs for publishing great looking magazines for example... and the same machine would do the same job now!

The difference is in efficiency and appearance, but computers don't just degrade over time.

My point being that upgrading is not entirely necessary for keeping a computer doing the same task.

Shaduu
Nov 17, 2007, 03:08 AM
Hey hey, don't freak out at me. I was replying to this guy:



I thought it was outrageous as well. I occasionally use FCE on my almost 6-year old 800MHz iMac.

I'm with you. I think today's iMac could run FCE just fine... for a couple years.

-Clive

Heh, sorry man. :o

takao
Nov 17, 2007, 06:40 AM
Again, I don't understand how this follows from anything I said. My point was that if Apple thought they had a market in this type of computer that they are smart enough to know it, and that they'd be manufacturing this type of computer. You seem to think it's nefarious scheme, or some such. I think my argument makes more sense in the context of a business.

may i point you to the apple tv or the ipod hifi boombox where apple thought there was a market for it ;)

and now in the rumors we are talking about a ultra compact laptop without a diskdrive and with solid state harddisks which is even more of a niche than a simply desktop

just because apple is profitable doesn't mean they are smart... after all microsoft is pulling in profits too and nobody goes on how smart they are ;)

also about the fact that people who play games are a minority: that single handed depends on the age group... personally the only persons i know who don't play video games are 40 or older (unless you count playing solitaire ;))

gregorsamsa
Nov 17, 2007, 07:29 AM
My point was that if Apple thought they had a market in this type of computer that they are smart enough to know it, and that they'd be manufacturing this type of computer. You seem to think it's nefarious scheme, or some such. I think my argument makes more sense in the context of a business.

If AIOs & so-called prosumer mid-towers weren't aimed at different markets, why on earth would far more successful computer companies than Apple, for eg., HP, Dell, et al, start producing AIO PCs? What'd be the point if those AIO sales significantly cannibalized their standard desktop PC market? You think HP et al haven't researched their market?

Apple don't do a mid-tower mainly because they wouldn't be able to maintain high profit margins on such a system without having it look ridiculously under-specced compared to similar priced PC towers. For eg. Apple would never match the graphics cards PC companies offer - even the Mac Pros 7300 GT is looking ridiculously dated for the money Apple charges for these systems - so they shun that market. So I think you're right about the decision in the context of a business.

That's not to say the market isn't there, just that Apple couldn't exploit consumers so easily with cheap, crappy graphic cards on such systems. They'd still make a profit though, & I'd certainly buy one to go with my Mac laptop, but probably not enough profit to justify producing such a line to their shareholders. - For this reason, it seems even the Mini might(?) go... there's just not enough profit to be made for Apple's shareholders.

Thanks to this kind of thinking (unless Apple unveil a surprise at Mac Expo) I'm forced to look at buying a PC come January. :(

BenRoethig
Nov 17, 2007, 07:40 AM
Apple don't do a mid-tower mainly because they wouldn't be able to maintain high profit margins on such a system without having it look ridiculously under-specced compared to similar priced PC towers. For eg. Apple would never match the graphics cards PC companies offer - even the Mac Pros 7300 GT is looking ridiculously dated for the money Apple charges for these systems - so they shun that market. So I think you're right about the decision in the context of a business.
(

Companies like Velocity Micro maintain margins just fine. When it comes to towers, the Mac community has trouble thinking beyond cheap Plastic Dells. As for the Mac Pro, it is ridiculously dated. In the 18 months it's been around there have been both CPU and GPU updates. Apple has chosen not to update it beyond getting more money out of the super high end. I would also like to note the Mac Pro is a workstation, not a desktop.

Clive At Five
Nov 19, 2007, 10:58 AM
Old software in the sense that Apple isn't like MS that has to be backward compatiable. With each release of an OS, Apple knocks out old computers from upgrading to a newer OS. Hence the term 'old' software. The software still works, still productive for people.

Do you think there are many successful photographers using Performas and Photoshop 3? No! The standards are always increasing, and even the hobby work that I do expects better results than what can be acheived with such an ancient setup.

If you want to be on par, you have to maintain current hardware and software. That's a fact. In fields like photo editing, movie editing, music composition, etc., the thought that you can acheive today's results from yesterday's software/hardware is a fallacy.

I guess I don't know a damn thing according to you. I maintain iMacs(CRT G3 types, 2001 vintage) and PowerMacs(G4s - single cpus to dual 867GHz) at my place of employment. Each has been upgraded with RAM, extra HDs, extra PCI cards, new optical drives and they run Tiger. We use Adobe CS3 apps, QuarkXPress, and each has at least 4 web browsers. They produce income, run flawlessly, even the iMacs with their old cpus can handle the files we produce.

If you MAINTAIN computers for a living, you should know better than to try to convince me that adding an extra internal HDD, RAM or optical drive will interfere with the normal operation of the unit. I'm not an idiot. I've been taking apart computers since I was five years old, thank you.

Secondly, the above-quoted paragraph only furthers to prove MY point, that Apple's computers could have a lot of life in them if only they could be upgraded. Look at the benefit it has had on your company. You've saved them thousands on new hardware because you had the ability to upgrade the hardware. The new iMac only has the ability to gain more RAM. Anything else requires lifting the screen out of the machine and getting it all dusty in the process. There have already been many horror stories. Just look it up.

News to me about motherboards, so Apple is a manufacturer of its motherboards? I know the components are from other manufacturers, but the drivers are key to "just works"

Okay, a technicality. Apple may not print its own motherboards, but they work with Intel/IBM/Motorola to come up with the schematics. Then they contract a different company to produce the boards. Take the G4 iMac for example. Did you think Motorola just happened to have a schematic for a circular Logic Board lying around just in case someone wanted to make a round computer? No, Apple worked with the AIM alliance to design a logic board especially for that computer. The same has been true of every other (recent) computer Apple has produced, even the Mac Pro. The Logic Board in the Mac Pro is NOT ATX. It won't fit in any other computer. Lastly, every Apple Logic Board has a special chip that OS X looks for every time it boots. So, yes, Apple custom-designs their Logic Boards.

Then, of course, there are the drivers which exist only for the modules that exist and not those that don't. That's why the hardware "just works." It's also why adding an HDD, PCI card, RAM, or optical drive doesn't affect a Mac's operation. And that's why Apple should allow users to upgrade with these items if they so choose. And I would think that you, as someone who deals with these computers and performed all of those upgrades, would agree with me.

Goes back to most iMac buyers are non-savvy people who aren't driven by the latest hardware offerings to come down the road.

What? That made no sense with my statement that you quoted. Here it is again: "Please explain to me why my wanting to add an internal hard drive or BluRay drive means I should be forced to abandon the Mac and use Windows or Linux instead?"

OS X is an operating system. Therefore, my choice to use OS X has no bearing on how "savvy" of a user I am. It depends solely on what OS I prefer. So now tell me: what the hell does wanting to add an internal harddrive have to do with being a Windows or Linux user? Are you saying the Computer-savvy people sould be forced to use only Windows or Linux? Justify your statement.

(And for the record, I'm sick of all the bulls**t about non-savvy users and idiot consumers because before the Mac was popular, only Pros and people who knew what they were doing used Macs. I fall into the "people who knew what they were doing" category, BTW. So what, now? All of us Apple faithfulls are supposed to use iMacs with power of a laptop and the lifespan of a Mayfly? Or $2500 workstations? I don't think so.)

I guess when the only thing on my desk is a monitor/keyboard, it must be cluttered. I have external HDs neatly stacked off my desktop.

Well if it's not your desktop, it's your floor. Neither is an ideal situation. Fact of the matter is you have a daisy-chain of HDDs stemming from your Mac. Tell me how that is better than hiding the HDDs inside your Mac?

Just admit that would make good use out of a Mac with internal space.

If that were correct than the iMac line would of disappeared long ago. We're going on 10 years since its introduction and with the latest offering, I think many people will be happy with their purchase.

What? Why does a growing "middle class" of Apple users imply a shrinking "lower class?" Apple's user-base has doubled in the past 2 years, by the way. It doesn't take a math major to figure out that growth in both classes is certainly possible.

Please try again to justify your argument against an upgradeable Apple machine.

-Clive

IJ Reilly
Nov 19, 2007, 12:15 PM
If AIOs & so-called prosumer mid-towers weren't aimed at different markets, why on earth would far more successful computer companies than Apple, for eg., HP, Dell, et al, start producing AIO PCs? What'd be the point if those AIO sales significantly cannibalized their standard desktop PC market? You think HP et al haven't researched their market?

Apple don't do a mid-tower mainly because they wouldn't be able to maintain high profit margins on such a system without having it look ridiculously under-specced compared to similar priced PC towers. For eg. Apple would never match the graphics cards PC companies offer - even the Mac Pros 7300 GT is looking ridiculously dated for the money Apple charges for these systems - so they shun that market. So I think you're right about the decision in the context of a business.

That's not to say the market isn't there, just that Apple couldn't exploit consumers so easily with cheap, crappy graphic cards on such systems. They'd still make a profit though, & I'd certainly buy one to go with my Mac laptop, but probably not enough profit to justify producing such a line to their shareholders. - For this reason, it seems even the Mini might(?) go... there's just not enough profit to be made for Apple's shareholders.

Thanks to this kind of thinking (unless Apple unveil a surprise at Mac Expo) I'm forced to look at buying a PC come January. :(

This seems to be contradictory thinking. Yes, the market is there, but no, it's not very profitable. Really, if you think you're being so exploited by Apple, you should not be buying their products.

Clive At Five
Nov 19, 2007, 01:28 PM
This seems to be contradictory thinking. Yes, the market is there, but no, it's not very profitable. Really, if you think you're being so exploited by Apple, you should not be buying their products.

When you have three choices of OS (Windows, Linux, and Mac OS) where one is popular but unreliable, one is customizable but isn't supported by anyone and has very little software, and the last is stable, safe, efficient and powerful but costs a little more, which would you pick? We're all on these forums because we picked the last one, even though it meant paying a premium on hardware.

I think I had a good explanation on how Apple could actually make greater margins on an xMac than on the iMac. I'll repeat and clarify here:

You start with an $1199 iMac, you ditch the screen (see how Apple charges $600 for a 20"-er, let's assume the display costs around ~$200), then you swap the mobile CPU for the equally-priced-yet-more-powerful desktop variant, then you swap the expensive SO-DIMMS for dual-channel DDR2, add two extra RAM slots (for a total of four slots) ($cheap$), add 2 PCI slots ($cheap$), an extra HDD bay ($cheap$), an extra optical bay ($cheap$), and expand the size of the case ($relatively cheap$).

Since the cost-savings of using less-expensive desktop parts will balance out the cost of including things like internal ports/bays, Apple's total cost-savings would probably actually be around $200. That means they would make an EXTRA 17% on a $1200 unit as described above. If they were to do something non-characteristically Apple and drop the MSRP $200, they'd still be making more profit than with the iMac. **Math below

An xMac would certainly be a money-maker. It's just a matter of whether or not people would buy it. I happen to think they would; you happen to think they wouldn't.

The only way to find out is to test the market. Apple has to do that with a computer that isn't the Cube. The Cube was a step in the right direction, but there was just not enough space inside. But the Cube did show is one thing: A classy-looking expandible desktop is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. We just have yet to see one.

Apple can set a really good standard in the mid-tower market, and once again embarrass the pants off of the competition with their elegant designs and powerful (and versatile) products.

-Clive

**math :: $1200/(x1 + 200) = p1.
x1 = cost of goods without display
200 = cost of display
p1 = profit margins of iMac

Let's lowball a guess that iMac's profts are 25%. (p1 = 1.25)
This leads to the result that x1 = $760.

If Apple were to price the unit at $1000, the profit of an xMac (p2) would be $1000/x2 = p2. x2 = 760 (since we designed x2 = x1), therefore p2 = 1.32. Hence, xMac would have a profit margin of 32%, which is higher than the iMac's 25%.

NOTE: Even though the iMac's profit was an estimate, the projected profit of an xMac would scale accordingly versus the profit of the iMac and continue to exceed it in every case.

Applespider
Nov 19, 2007, 01:39 PM
Unfortunately, Apple's philosophy is to keep their product line very very focused; I believe it's still the kneejerk reaction to having lots of stock to write off back in the 90s.

That means that the product matrix stays simple; in fact, you could argue that the Mini has no place in it.

When Jobs first simplified it, he put up a grid with Pro notebook, Consumer notebook, Pro Desktop, Consumer desktop. You'll probably find that 95% of customers fall into one of those groups and 99% will be able to find something in them.

Pro-sumers (which you seem to be) either go for the low-end Pro or the high-end Consumer. Laptop-wise (which is where the market seems to be going), they're covered by the MBP. The small % of people who understand how to upgrade and actually want to obviously aren't worth catering for. From Apple's point of view, it's better for someone to buy a new Mac every 3 years or so and retire the old one to the 'rents or kids than upgrade with parts they're not producing. Bear in mind too, that one of the reasons OS X is so stable, is that Apple knows what hardware they're dealing with in whatever configurations.

Lord Blackadder
Nov 19, 2007, 01:49 PM
I think more people want an iMac than an "xMac".

It would be nice to see better GPU options in the Mac Pro (especially if the pricing more closely matched the PC world); that would go a long way towards satisfying the gaming people.

takao
Nov 19, 2007, 02:21 PM
I think more people want an iMac than an "xMac".

well if so the xmac wouldn't cannibalize imac sales and it would be safe to release ;)

Clive At Five
Nov 19, 2007, 02:50 PM
Unfortunately, Apple's philosophy is to keep their product line very very focused; I believe it's still the kneejerk reaction to having lots of stock to write off back in the 90s.

That means that the product matrix stays simple; in fact, you could argue that the Mini has no place in it.

I have to agree. I like the idea of the Mini, but it just doesn't fit.

When Jobs first simplified it, he put up a grid with Pro notebook, Consumer notebook, Pro Desktop, Consumer desktop. You'll probably find that 95% of customers fall into one of those groups and 99% will be able to find something in them.

I remember this vividly. There's one thing that's different between today's lineup and the lineup in Fall 1999 (just after that matrix was introduced). PowerMac G4s were affordable and literally just one step ahead of the G3 iMacs, performance-wise and price-wise. (iMac DV: 400MHz G3 @ $1300 vs. PowerMac G4: 400MHz G4 @ $1600)

Today, if you look at the Mac Pro, you have a SERVER-class, 2.66 GHz dual-dual-core processor, at @$2500, versus a mobile-class 2.8 GHz dual-core processor at $2300. The iMac, too, has increased in price, but not in value/per dollar as the Pro has. If you'll notice, there isn't just a speed-bump between then Pro and the iMac, there's a whole FAMILY of processors that go there. And while the Pro is a great deal for its price, the high-end iMac is just a ripoff.

Apple has pushed the MacPro higher and the iMac lower in performance.

Pro-sumers (which you seem to be) either go for the low-end Pro or the high-end Consumer. [...]

That's the problem. There isn't either a high-end consumer or a low-end pro. There's a lower-to-mid-range consumer, and a mid-to-upper-range pro, but nothing in between.

I think more people want an iMac than an "xMac".

More people want an iMac than a MacPro but it's still on the market. I'd be willing to bet Apple sells at least ten times more iMacs than MacPros.

Just because the market isn't as big doesn't mean it's not worth going for.

It would be nice to see better GPU options in the Mac Pro (especially if the pricing more closely matched the PC world); that would go a long way towards satisfying the gaming people.

I think just offering a lower-spec'd (with a correspondingly lower price) Pro would ease the tension a lot. Even a single-core model in the $2000 range is an appealing machine, though not as ideal as a desktop-class model in the $1500 range. Either way, a user who would buy a machine as you suggest would most likely purchase and install a better GPU him or herself without paying the notoriously-high Apple installation fee.

-Clive

Lord Blackadder
Nov 19, 2007, 02:53 PM
well if so the xmac wouldn't cannibalize imac sales and it would be safe to release ;)

Yes, except for the fact that Apple doesn't care about the xMac concept. Not that I would be inconsolable if they went out and proved me wrong. ;)

I think the best the gamers can hope for in the next 2 Mac Pro revisions is a somewhat cheaper base model Mac Pro, a midrange video card appearing in the lineup and more regular price drops on the GPUs.



More people want an iMac than a MacPro but it's still on the market. I'd be willing to bet Apple sells at least ten times more iMacs than MacPros.

Just because the market isn't as big doesn't mean it's not worth going for.

The Mac Pro is much more expensive than the iMac, xMac or any other Mac. When a person invests in a Mac Pro, an Apple Dislpay, and Aperture/Final Cut/Motion etc., Apple makes a lot more money than they would on a $1500 minitower. Plus, gamers demand 12 month GPU release cycles with 6 month updates and price drops. None of the other markets care about that, so Apple sees it as a lot of work for little return I imagine.



I think just offering a lower-spec'd (with a correspondingly lower price) Pro would ease the tension a lot. Even a single-core model in the $2000 range is an appealing machine, though not as ideal as a desktop-class model in the $1500 range. Either way, a user who would buy a machine as you suggest would most likely purchase and install a better GPU him or herself without paying the notoriously-high Apple installation fee.

-Clive

See above - I think that a lower-priced Mac Pro tower, with the possible addition of a midrange GPU, is by far the most likely way Apple will attempt to cater to gamers, rather than designing an entire system for them. I highly doubt we will see additional retail GPUs become available, though that would be nice.

Clive At Five
Nov 19, 2007, 03:08 PM
The Mac Pro is much more expensive than the iMac, xMac or any other Mac. When a person invests in a Mac Pro, an Apple Dislpay, and Aperture/Final Cut/Motion etc., Apple makes a lot more money than they would on a $1500 minitower. Plus, gamers demand 12 month GPU release cycles with 6 month updates and price drops. None of the other markets care about that, so Apple sees it as a lot of work for little return I imagine.

See Above (post #35 (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=4516382&postcount=35)) where I show that a headless Mac has higher margins than an iMac.

Also, if you were to read Page 1, you'd see that I am more concerned with Photoshop, Logic, and Final Cut Express than with games. The only upcoming PC game I am remotely interested in is StarCraft II, as might be alluded to by my avatar. I am not a big "gamer" hardcore or otherwise. It's just a rare pasttime of mine, along with the other things I mentioned in this post and earlier in this thread.

I highly doubt we will see additional retail GPUs become available, though that would be nice.

As long as you can get your hands on the drivers, it doesn't matter who you buy from.

-Clive

Lord Blackadder
Nov 19, 2007, 03:38 PM
See Above (post #35 (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=4516382&postcount=35)) where I show that a headless Mac has higher margins than an iMac.

I partially agree with you in that an "xMac" could potentially have a lower cost, but your equation has too many assumptions to be as unassailable as you seem tho think it - for one thing, there's no guarantee an xMac would match or exceed the iMac's sales.

Also, if you were to read Page 1, you'd see that I am more concerned with Photoshop, Logic, and Final Cut Express than with games. The only upcoming PC game I am remotely interested in is StarCraft II, as might be alluded to by my avatar. I am not a big "gamer" hardcore or otherwise. It's just a rare pasttime of mine, along with the other things I mentioned in this post and earlier in this thread.

you said you were a "hobbyist" using some pro apps. Great. But the majority of people who use pro apps are "pros", in the sense that they make their living using said applications. They have complained about the price of the GPUs in the towers, but they have not been asking Apple to keep up with what's hot in the gaming world. Which is why Apple's lineup is what it is.

As long as you can get your hands on the drivers, it doesn't matter who you buy from.

-Clive

Not so much - Apple's video cards have unique firmware that make them true dual platform video cards, as well as OS X drivers. It is not possible to buy, say, a GeForce 8-class video card and do anything with it on a Mac Pro outside Windows.

For the time being, only Apple and ATI can produce a Mac-compatible video card.

IJ Reilly
Nov 19, 2007, 04:37 PM
I partially agree with you in that an "xMac" could potentially have a lower cost, but your equation has too many assumptions to be as unassailable as you seem tho think it - for one thing, there's no guarantee an xMac would match or exceed the iMac's sales.

Exactly. This is why I think this exercise is so pointless. We're never going to know the numbers which Apple uses to make these decisions, but if we're going to accept that they are somewhat informed about their own production costs and marketing opportunities (a huge assumption, I know...), then I think we have to conclude that Apple isn't selling this Mac currently for an actual reason that isn't stupidity or arrogance.

BenRoethig
Nov 20, 2007, 07:01 AM
Yes, except for the fact that Apple doesn't care about the xMac concept.

And there lies the problem.

I think the best the gamers can hope for in the next 2 Mac Pro revisions is a somewhat cheaper base model Mac Pro, a midrange video card appearing in the lineup and more regular price drops on the GPUs.

Gamers aren't the only ones interested in things like expansion and dual optical full size drives and multiple hard drive bays.

The Mac Pro is much more expensive than the iMac, xMac or any other Mac. When a person invests in a Mac Pro, an Apple Dislpay, and Aperture/Final Cut/Motion etc., Apple makes a lot more money than they would on a $1500 minitower.

No, what usually happens is that the user thinks Apple is insane and buys a higher end PC instead or buys a machine second hand. In that case, Apple makes exactly $0. You're assuming that everyone interested in the Mac lacks reason and self respect.

Plus, gamers demand 12 month GPU release cycles with 6 month updates and price drops. None of the other markets care about that, so Apple sees it as a lot of work for little return I imagine

See above - I think that a lower-priced Mac Pro tower, with the possible addition of a midrange GPU, is by far the most likely way Apple will attempt to cater to gamers, rather than designing an entire system for them. I highly doubt we will see additional retail GPUs become available, though that would be nice.

Like I said, we're not only talking about gamers here.

IJ Reilly
Nov 20, 2007, 10:10 AM
Gamers aren't the only ones interested in things like expansion and dual optical full size drives and multiple hard drive bays.

Pretty much, in my experience. You also have your hobbyists and others who like to tinker. Nearly anyone else who wants upgrading opportunities will have no problem investing in a Mac Pro.

Lord Blackadder
Nov 20, 2007, 10:18 AM
Gamers aren't the only ones interested in things like expansion and dual optical full size drives and multiple hard drive bays.

True - but gamers are the ones that complain when they can't buy a new GPU every 6 months. Just because the Radeon X1950XT gets a handful more fps in some shooter than the X1900XT doesn't mean that Apple must instantly update the GPU lineup or else they've ruined the Mac...but that's what we hear from some people every time a new video card comes out.

No, what usually happens is that the user thinks Apple is insane and buys a higher end PC instead or buys a machine second hand. In that case, Apple makes exactly $0. You're assuming that everyone interested in the Mac lacks reason and self respect.

That's ridiculous - you're conflating every Mac tower owners' experience into one extreme scenario and then passing it off as some sort of common knowledge. I think you're wrong on that one.

Like I said, we're not only talking about gamers here.

But we are, by and large. The Mac Pro answers the needs of the professional much better than it answers the "needs" of the gamer.

Yes, some pros will be dissatisfied with the Mac Pro for various reasons and go with another platform. But that argument cuts both ways, my friend - there are plenty of people out there who who are attracted to the professional package Apple offers and make the switch to the Mac.

The gamers are by far the loudest voice in damning the Mac hardware line - the iMac for it's non-upgradeable GPU and laptop hardware, the Mac Pro for its slow hardware update cycle and use of the less-than-perfect for gaming Xeon hardware. And they have some good points, many of which I agree with.

What gets my back up are the angry claims that Macs are crap for gaming because they don't update their GPUs every 6 months, aren't overclocker friendly and can't be built from parts etc. etc. If you take all the new PCs being sold currently into account, the Mac is specced and priced competitively in the middle and upper segments of the market. THAT is, in part, how Apple determines what kind of specs their machines will have. But their focus is not on paper specs and price so much as differentiating themselves from the Windows world with standout industrial design and OS X.

Apple builds what I think is a great jack-of-all-trades tower, one that is handy for gaming but clearly not designed primarily to play games. If you want OC'd Core 2 Extremes and twin GPU setups with liquid cooling etc. go build one...otherwise the Mac is a viable option.

takao
Nov 20, 2007, 11:40 AM
If you want OC'd Core 2 Extremes and twin GPU setups with liquid cooling etc. go build one...otherwise the Mac is a viable option.

obviously since most gamers have that... except not... 80% of all gamers go for the middle ground .. you know middle class desktop processors and middle class graphics cards

and GPU upgrades every 6 months ? i think most would be already happy if apple would release at 12 months an upgrade

but i forgot it's bad to have more choice as a customer .. that's something i simply don't get even after 2,5 years owning a mac
if apple expects me to pay premium i want premium hardware not only in design but also in performance

heck i'm willing to pay 1500 for a mac desktop tower with specs of a 1000 windows desktop but i'm in no case ponying up 2500 for a mac photoshop workstation

Lord Blackadder
Nov 20, 2007, 12:23 PM
obviously since most gamers have that... except not... 80% of all gamers go for the middle ground .. you know middle class desktop processors and middle class graphics cards

Most gamers don't - but many of them still complain that things like SLI are not supported on the Mac, and that the Xeons are not as easily overclockable as this, that, or the other Core 2 processor.

The iMac...Apple sees this as the middle ground. Its only real weakness is its video card.

and GPU upgrades every 6 months ? i think most would be already happy if apple would release at 12 months an upgrade

So would I. I think that Apple's only real weakness for gaming is the lack of choices with regards to GPUs. If the iMac came with an optional high-end card, and the Mac Pro came with an optional mid-level card, and IF Apple updated the GPU lineup every year, 8 out of ten "gamers" would be satisfied.

heck i'm willing to pay 1500 for a mac desktop tower with specs of a 1000 windows desktop but i'm in no case ponying up 2500 for a mac photoshop workstation

I'd be willing myself, but that is iMac territory as far as Apple is concerned.. The fact that it doesn't have an upgradeable GPU is offset (in Apple's philosophy) by the iMac's small dimensions and appearance. Consumers like them; gamers stay away.

takao
Nov 20, 2007, 12:58 PM
Consumers like them; gamers stay away.

too bad many gamers are actually consumers ;)
also i would classify the imac more as a higher classed computer


personally i'll wait until late spring to see if apple can pull out something out of the hat for me which might be worth saving more money if not i'll spend my money somewhere else and then update my mac mini which i mostly use for normal desktop consumer stuff 2 years further down the line
which means another 4 years of a dual setup and more desktop clutter

freediverdude
Nov 20, 2007, 01:05 PM
The upgradeable mac that Clive at Five is describing sounds exactly like........... a Dell box. Please purchase that. If Apple starts going down the road of upgradeablility, then guess what you get.........a windows-like experience, with the OS and hardware having to try to support every legacy piece of hard drive, video card, pci cards, etc. out there. This leads to a more bloated and buggy experience. The people at Microsoft have done a fairly competent job at trying to manage all this legacy stuff, to provide the flexibility, but let's face it, there are problems with trying to do that. What makes macs "just work" is the fact that there are certain limited configurations that are programmed to work perfectly with each other. If you don't want this type of experience, please purchase a windows box. Thank you.

Lord Blackadder
Nov 20, 2007, 01:11 PM
too bad many gamers are actually consumers ;)
also i would classify the imac more as a higher classed computer

Then Apple's marketing strategy is succeeding. ;) Gamers are consumers, but have specific demands which place them clearly in their own little subclass. A "consumer" computer in my mind is a generalist machine that can do a little of everything. A consumer machine is quieter and cooler running than a gaming machine because it isn't overclocked and only has a single, low-to-midrange GPU. A consumer machine also has a longer useful life because it's currency doesn't depend solely on it's ability to play current 3D games.

Personally i'll wait until late spring to see if apple can pull out something out of the hat for me which might be worth saving more money if not i'll spend my money somewhere else and then update my mac mini which i mostly use for normal desktop consumer stuff 2 years further down the line
which means another 4 years of a dual setup and more desktop clutter

Suit yourself - but a Mac Pro would be a more elegant, if more expensive, solution. Still, if you buy a lot of new 3D games you should stick with Windows.

Hopefully we'll see new Mac Pros before early spring - I hope before Christmas, actually.

takao
Nov 20, 2007, 01:32 PM
Then Apple's marketing strategy is succeeding. ;) Gamers are consumers, but have specific demands which place them clearly in their own little subclass. A "consumer" computer in my mind is a generalist machine that can do a little of everything. A consumer machine is quieter and cooler running than a gaming machine because it isn't overclocked and only has a single, low-to-midrange GPU. A consumer machine also has a longer useful life because it's currency doesn't depend solely on it's ability to play current 3D games.

yeah too bad apples graphics are more on the low side ;) (middle class starts at 160 or so and NONE of apples card cost that much.. perhaps expect the pro CAD card)




Suit yourself - but a Mac Pro would be a more elegant, if more expensive, solution. Still, if you buy a lot of new 3D games you should stick with Windows.

yeah it's really problematic so i can either choose between low on power consumption,silent and low 3d performance or huge server beast with 2 CPUs and puffer memory and 1 kW PSU

for me that simply is too much of a step ... especially since the new intel desktop cpus can be cooled quite efficiently and silent
especially if you go for a case who uses bigger fans instead of lots smaller ones ...

edit: and that's the reason i'm so annoyed i simply have no choice if i want desktop performance .. and no built in screen (i would never buy a computer with built in screen which isn't a laptop... not that i'm keen on laptops either)

Cloudane
Nov 20, 2007, 02:03 PM
If Apple starts going down the road of upgradeablility, then guess what you get.........a windows-like experience, with the OS and hardware having to try to support every legacy piece of hard drive, video card, pci cards, etc. out there.

I'm kind of inclined to agree... BUT!

Isn't the Mac Pro capable of all those bits being changed?

The important bits are the core components... mostly the motherboard, when it comes to stability, consistency etc.

Clive At Five
Nov 20, 2007, 02:53 PM
The upgradeable mac that Clive at Five is describing sounds exactly like........... a Dell box. Please purchase that. If Apple starts going down the road of upgradeablility, then guess what you get.........a windows-like experience, with the OS and hardware having to try to support every legacy piece of hard drive, video card, pci cards, etc. out there. This leads to a more bloated and buggy experience. The people at Microsoft have done a fairly competent job at trying to manage all this legacy stuff, to provide the flexibility, but let's face it, there are problems with trying to do that. What makes macs "just work" is the fact that there are certain limited configurations that are programmed to work perfectly with each other. If you don't want this type of experience, please purchase a windows box. Thank you.

It may sound like a Dell box to you, except for the key differences that separate Macs from PCs in the first place:

1) Custom-designed Logic/Daughter boards
2) Quality components from reliable manufacturers
3) Elegant insudtrial design
4) Ease of use / Mac OS X

I see no reason why an Apple-designed mid-tower wouldn't align with the typical "features" (as listed above), as any Apple. In fact, Apple used to make a mid-tower like this. It was called the PowerMac. It was powerful, expandable, affordable, and every bit as easy to use as an iMac (save for unboxing). The PowerMac no longer exists and instead the behemoth MacPro has "replaced" it, offering an over-powered and non-affordable (though still expandable and easy to use) experience.

Your argument on expandability is flawed, and shows an obvious lack of knowlege on the subject. Items like Hard Disk Drives, RAM, and Optical Drives have to comply to a specific standard so that they work with with all hardware, not the other way around. Granted, the hardware has to be compatible with the standard as well in order to use the device, but all hardware is like that. Do you think the Hard Drives Apple buys from Hitachi are made especially to work with Apple's hardware? No. Apple designs its hardware to spec with respect to "addables" and Hitachi does the same. That way, every SATA HDD works with every computer that has a SATA port on the logic/motherboard, and every 667MHz SO-DIMM works in every 667MHz-compliant SO-DIMM slot. End of story.

The thing that makes Apple's hardware work is the aformentioned custom-designed Logic boards. The reason Windows struggles is that it has to support hundreds and hundred of new hardware configurations, motherboards, and standards all the time. While most PC card manufacturers release hardware as they please, Apple, has a very controlled release process. When they are ready to offer OpenGL3 configurations, they'll release a software update, THEN offer BTO options for OpenGL3-hungry GPUs. 98% of the time, the system works, the other 2% it doesn't. Apple's record isn't perfect, but they maintain good control over the situation by having strong developer / manufacturer connections and teaming to make sure that everything "just works." For a goliath like Microsoft, who wants to try to be 'partners' with everybody, it simply is not possible.

Lastly, as comment to your statement:
If you don't want this type of ["just works"] experience, please purchase a windows box.

I fail to see how wanting to add an internal Hard Drive a couple years down the road means I don't want to have a "just works" experience. Since I am unwilling to clutter up my desk with an external BluRay drive or external HDD, that means I don't deserve a great user-experience anywhere else??? That makes absolutely no sense. That's just like saying since I have the capability to tolerate a complex user-experience I should be forced to do so. That some day, if I want to upgrade my computer internally, I should be forced to experience every single other day of my computing experience with equal difficulty. Like I said, it just does not make sense.

Please justify your comment for me because I'm not seeing it.

-Clive

takao
Nov 20, 2007, 03:08 PM
oh on windows stability: it just depends what you choose for parts

in my old windows xp box i simply went with a _good_ gigabyte board (never cut corners on a motherboard, an average amd cpu, seagate hard disk, GeIL memory (don't cut corners here), midrange nvidia card and how many stability issues did i have with XP ? ZERO

and i'm still on my first installation since 5 years

Clive At Five
Nov 20, 2007, 03:18 PM
oh on windows stability: it just depends what you choose for parts

in my old windows xp box i simply went with a _good_ gigabyte board (never cut corners on a motherboard, an average amd cpu, seagate hard disk, GeIL memory (don't cut corners here), midrange nvidia card and how many stability issues did i have with XP ? ZERO

and i'm still on my first installation since 5 years

A very excellent point!

Yes, I buy all my boards (I build computers for friends) from Intel or ASUS only. If it's a cheap board, it won't work well, and it's not necessarily Microsoft's fault. It's manufacturers' for using/building crappy products.

I'm also on my first build in 4 years with no major errors, minus a virus infestation, which was my own fault. This was back when I was trying to find ROMs for all my NES games so I could finally put that old grey box into storage. Dude, those sites are not safe. A warning for all.

Meanwhile, my 2.5 year-old cheapo "on-the-go" Gateway laptop BSODs itself all the time. I've restored the software several times, and even attempted to install OS X, but the driver support was terrible, and I couldn't find Mac drivers for my obscure/cheap hardware. I'll live with BSODs.

You get what you pay for. Good thing I only needed a mobile word processor and web browser at the time, otherwise I'd'a been disappointed.

-Clive

gregorsamsa
Nov 20, 2007, 04:04 PM
This seems to be contradictory thinking. Yes, the market is there, but no, it's not very profitable. Really, if you think you're being so exploited by Apple, you should not be buying their products.

Not really. I'm saying that most computer companies find it viable enough to compete for the so-called prosumer, mid-tower market because they can accept much less profit margins than Apple per computer sold. Though I think a mid-tower computer from Apple would sell reasonably well, it'd be at greatly reduced profit margins because such a machine would be aimed at more savvy users who aren't so easily impressed by non-upgradeable shiny boxes using, in some cases, budget-priced laptop parts, but without any of the advantages of a laptop.

If you're saying that people who criticize Apple shouldn't buy their products, that's plain silly. I'm not saying Apple are unique in exploiting their market, but it's amusing how some people here frequently hammer PC companies for using cheap parts on mid-price PCs & then don't see the irony of Apple using budget-priced graphics inside even their most expensive consumer desktops. Why not buy a Mac Pro? Fine if you can afford one & then pay some more to upgrade the GT 7300 video card. Most people can't.

I think the Mac & OS X is still an excellent product overall & I'll happily continue to buy Mac laptops in future but, IMO, despite all the reported problems with Vista, OS X will continue to be a niche OS until Apple broadens the upgradability options on their consumer desktops. AFAIA, I'm one of number of Mac users who feels forced to consider buying a PC :eek: because of Apple's limited hardware, which is telling enough.

Dane D.
Nov 20, 2007, 10:19 PM
After visiting your site
http://www.xanga.com/cliveatfive
I can see why you are so inclined to think like you do. You can whine all you want, but business is business to Apple. They like their 30% profit margins, the total control over you the purchaser of an Apple computer. I like the fact that the iMac is an all-in-one design, it separates it from the pack. As for Blueray, who cares, I don't, if I want to watch a high-def film than it will be on my TV. As for your narrow vision on what consumers want, get your head out of your - fill-in the rest, and realize that gaming is a small part of owning a computer. You just don't get it; an iMac is for the average consumer who emails, surfs the web, likes to create things with their photos, maybe put together a DVD, maintain a checkbook or any number of things. Oh, they might game every now and then. If you feel this strong about Apple's lack of a mid-range computer than write Steve Jobs and bitch. Until then, you can keep building your PC boxes and install XP and play all you want. Isn't gaming the only thing a PC does good anyhow? I would rather spend my money on an iMac and enjoy a wonderful experience (OS X) and have a good looking computer that works.

Lord Blackadder
Nov 20, 2007, 10:55 PM
I think the Mac & OS X is still an excellent product overall & I'll happily continue to buy Mac laptops in future but, IMO, despite all the reported problems with Vista, OS X will continue to be a niche OS until Apple broadens the upgradability options on their consumer desktops. AFAIA, I'm one of number of Mac users who feels forced to consider buying a PC :eek: because of Apple's limited hardware, which is telling enough.

Three years ago mainstream PC enthusiasts almost universally scoffed at the Mac as a platform - the fact that many have since bought a Mac and are now complaining about the hardware says a lot about Apple's success at breaking out of the niche market.

The Mac OS was a niche market 10 years ago, but today? Not anymore.

takao
Nov 21, 2007, 03:05 AM
Three years ago mainstream PC enthusiasts almost universally scoffed at the Mac as a platform - the fact that many have since bought a Mac and are now complaining about the hardware says a lot about Apple's success at breaking out of the niche market.

well i'm hoping they finally get it that some of those people still want some graphics performance or at least something in the middle.. because as long as apple doesn't offer something they will be forced to split the money in the middle


The Mac OS was a niche market 10 years ago, but today? Not anymore.

and the majority reason for that is excellent laptops, ipods and OS X (and i would say 5 years not 10)

(around here owning a mac _desktop_ is still a very small niche ... in fact i'm the only one who does own that compared to the huge group of macbook owners who appeared in the last 3 years)

edit: that said currently would be a good time to win even more over with releasing something since an awful lot of people are upgrading now

gregorsamsa
Nov 21, 2007, 10:41 AM
Three years ago mainstream PC enthusiasts almost universally scoffed at the Mac as a platform - the fact that many have since bought a Mac and are now complaining about the hardware says a lot about Apple's success at breaking out of the niche market.

The Mac OS was a niche market 10 years ago, but today? Not anymore.

Depends on definitions of niche. OS X has a user base of approx 23.5 million out of some 900 million to 1 billion computer users, which will increase further with the growing economies of China & India. To me that makes the Mac platform quite niche.

Also, recent gains in Mac market share (though significant for Apple & their share holders) means very little here . Whether it's 8% or well into double figures, as long as most sales are down to established Mac users buying yet another Mac, which appears to be the trend, the Mac platform will continue to remain niche.

We have a great product here, but it needs a greater choice of hardware if it's to attract a bigger market. A Mac mid-tower would surely be a significant addition to reaching that end.

Clive At Five
Nov 21, 2007, 04:12 PM
After visiting your site
http://www.xanga.com/cliveatfive I can see why you are so inclined to think like you do.

What is that supposed to mean? Is it meant to imply that I am some sort of juvenile whiner? I guarantee that it is no such blog and I am no such person. I push myself very hard to avoid entries of mediocrity. I would even venture to say that it is a very far cry from the typical personal blog. There is ABSOLUTELY NO "today I ate this, and then I went to class, and then talked to my friends, and we ended up hanging out so late that I didn't get to do my homework" ALLOWED! I permit only entries that reflect well-thought-out ponderings that may interest other people.

Currently my front page is as such (in chronological order):

1) Comparing and contrasting The Bird and The Bee from other crappy emo/indy bands.
2) An update on my "Installing a Mac Mini inside a G4 Cube case"-project.
3) A post celebrating the return of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3k), (which if you've never experienced, I pity you).
4) A less-than-positive critique of the inaugural episode of the new MST3k.
5) An outcry to reverse YouTube's "10-minute" policy, not only because so many interesting things take longer than 10 minutes, but also so that I can upload the movies and musicals that I helped write, compose and perform while in college.

If you're not, in fact, alluding that my blog is juvenile, then perhaps you're referring to object #2 on the list, and instead implying that I am a tinkerer, you are correct. I like to tinker, and I think you for noticing my abilities. You're not the only one who has found my Cube project fascinating. I've already gotten several e-mails asking about the process.

Oh, and my being a tinkerer has nothing to do with my need for a desktop-class computer from Apple. It's about performance and lifespan. (And, no, the iMac is not a desktop-class computer. It's a high-end stationary laptop.)

You can whine all you want, but business is business to Apple. They like their 30% profit margins, the total control over you the purchaser of an Apple computer.

Please visit Post #35 (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=4516382&postcount=35) of this thread, where I prove that Apple can esily make larger margins with this machine than with the iMac. It does make a few assumptions, which can't be avoided, but I've tried to give the iMac hardware the advantage in every assumption.

Oh, and if you're okay being controlled by a corporation, fine, whatever, but if you like the ability to have some choice, stop being such a pushover and fight for your rights as a consumer.

I like the fact that the iMac is an all-in-one design, it separates it from the pack.

I like the iMac too. It's a great computer for someone who needs it for mediocre tasks, which a lot of people do. I HAVE an iMac. It's a clever little machine, which I've enjoyed thoughroughly. I just wouldn't buy a new one. The Intel model is just not for me.

As for Blueray, who cares, I don't, if I want to watch a high-def film than it will be on my TV.

If people thought like you, DVD Drives would be brand new in computers. Someone has to push newer technology. Apple has historically be a leader here, which is GOOD THING. Technological capability should always slightly out-pace user demand.

For example, back in 1999, what iMac-user would ever have to deal with 8 GB of data at once? Not many. Still Apple released an iMac with an optical drive (DVD) capable of such a thing. Of course the Mac OS install disk would eventually come on DVD, but that wasn't the reason Apple started including them on their computers... It was to watch movies, and later to burn your own movies made with iMovie. It was a step ahead of anyone else and it was GOOD!

I don't see how that example is any different from today. What iMac user would ever need 50GB on one disk? Not many, but the high-def movies are out there, being purchased. The proof is in the volume of these movies being sold. Not everyone has a high-def TV, but a LOT of people (including recent Mac owners) have high-def-capable displays on their computers. Apple needs BluRay support today just as bad as it did DVD support in 1999. If you think Apple made the right decision then, you should think that BluRay is the right decision now.

As for your narrow vision on what consumers want, get your head out of your - fill-in the rest, and realize that gaming is a small part of owning a computer.

Again, you fail to read the entirety of my posts. PC gaming is something I do very little of. I shoot a lot of movies for recreation, require photoshop for certain projects, and compose a LOT of music. I need performance, but I do NOT need a freaking XEON. Neither will a laptop-grade processor fit my needs. Also, I need storage but I do not want daisy-chained HDDs cluttering up my desktop. I need efficient dual-channel RAM... not weak and expensive SO-DIMMs. Only very occassionally I'll play a game with some friends, but typically it isn't demanding at all (StarCraft, Unreal Tournament, etc...).

So how about YOU pull your "narrow vision" on what I would do with such a machine out of your [fill-in-the-rest] and try to understand what I'm actually calling for. Geeze, you sound like a Holocaust denier. I keep trying to tell you that I'm a media hobbyist and you keep concluding that, no, I'm actually in it for gaming.

You just don't get it; an iMac is for the average consumer who emails, surfs the web, likes to create things with their photos, maybe put together a DVD, maintain a checkbook or any number of things. Oh, they might game every now and then.

When have I ever said otherwise?

Oh yeah, never. But there's the whole "in-one-ear-and-out-the-other" thing again.

Here, I'll say it again. Maybe you'll hear me this time:

THE iMAC IS FOR IDIOT CONSUMERS! (and people who don't require much out of their computers). NOT EVERYONE IS AN IDIOT CONSUMER! (or requires very little out of their computer).

This has been my point all along. Pundits, I believe, underestimate the number of people who would be interested in a desktop-powered system.

If you feel this strong about Apple's lack of a mid-range computer than write Steve Jobs and bitch.

That's the first good idea you've had. I'll let you know what he says.

Until then, you can keep building your PC boxes and install XP and play all you want. Isn't gaming the only thing a PC does good anyhow? I would rather spend my money on an iMac and enjoy a wonderful experience (OS X) and have a good looking computer that works.

It's this sort of attitude that makes people hate Mac-users.

Listen. I've used Apple computers since the day I came out of the womb. I'll always prefer the Mac to a typical Windows PC. I, however, have the common sense to know that PCs aren't the spawn of Satan. They can be very useful boxes for a number of tasks. Microsoft has had some issues, yes, and some PC manufacturers like to cut every corner they can, yes, but a well-built system with the right software can be almost as powerful as any Mac. Acheiving that with a PC, however, takes a lot more effort.

I DO want a system that "just works." That's why I prefer Macs. I just don't want to be funnelled by Apple into the category of IDIOT CONSUMER, because I most certainly am not. Being forced/tricked to use a computer like an iMac is insulting. To think Apple would even attempt to convince users that it is a desktop-class computer is appalling. And to charge $2300 for a unit with the power of a laptop, with out the convenience of being mobile? It's a crime.

I am an informed user who needs a few notches more than the average user. There are a lot of us. There are fewer and fewer idiot consumers every day. We know better than to settle for an iMac, yet we know we would never need the power of a MacPro. As such, there is absolutely NO REASON we should be alienated (and even chastized) as we are, by pundits like you who suggest we be barred from using the hardware and OS that we love.

If this is what you truly believe - that there are not enough people in the world who not only know their way around computers, but also know good hardware/software (Apple's) when they see it - then you, sir, are the idiot. I hope that isn't the case.

-Clive

Cloudane
Nov 21, 2007, 06:17 PM
Good heavens. Someone needs to monitor their blood pressure!

Lord Blackadder
Nov 21, 2007, 07:36 PM
Here, I'll say it again. Maybe you'll hear me this time:

THE iMAC IS FOR IDIOT CONSUMERS! (and people who don't require much out of their computers). NOT EVERYONE IS AN IDIOT CONSUMER! (or requires very little out of their computer).

This has been my point all along. Pundits, I believe, underestimate the number of people who would be interested in a desktop-powered system.

This is both offensive and a display of either narrow thinking or ignorance. There are lots of people who play games and run all manner of pro apps happily on the iMac.

IJ Reilly
Nov 21, 2007, 07:50 PM
This is both offensive and a display of either narrow thinking or ignorance. There are lots of people who play games and run all manner of pro apps happily on the iMac.

Yes, but they're idiots.

Clive At Five
Nov 22, 2007, 01:21 AM
This is both offensive and a display of either narrow thinking or ignorance. There are lots of people who play games and run all manner of pro apps happily on the iMac.

Yes, but they're idiots.

Now, now. I'm pretty sure that I put my disclaimer in there... something to the effect of "or people who don't need much out of their computer." That's what you've all been saying anyway... the 99% of people don't need advanced graphics, and just use iTunes, Safari, Mail, and the rare use of iLife. They don't want to upgrade and are okay throwing their computer out the window after 4 years.

I'm just using your definition.

-Clive

Lord Blackadder
Nov 22, 2007, 09:55 AM
Now, now. I'm pretty sure that I put my disclaimer in there... something to the effect of "or people who don't need much out of their computer." That's what you've all been saying anyway... the 99% of people don't need advanced graphics, and just use iTunes, Safari, Mail, and the rare use of iLife. They don't want to upgrade and are okay throwing their computer out the window after 4 years.

I'm just using your definition.

-Clive

Nonsense. First off, I would describe the capabilities of the gaming machines you and others are asking for as overkill for 99% of the tasks computers undertake on a day-to-day basis. All that power is useless for anything other than 3D games which, by the way, are becoming so resource-hungry these days they they continually demand new hardware, which is great for the industry but not great for the consumer who is being forced to buy, build or heavily upgrade their computer every 2-3 years or so if they want to play the latest titles.

The "disclaimer" is a farce, because once again you generalize everyone who isn't focused on gaming as a person who "[doesn't] require much out of their computers"....or an idiot. I require a great deal out of my computer...it's just that I don't need to play Crysis or Bioshock, and I don't use Motion. My GeForce 6800GT is more than enough to handle the games I play.

There is nothing wrong with wishing Apple sold a gaming-focused computer, and there is nothing wrong with pointing out the faults of the Mac Pro as a gaming machine - but writing off the entire Mac line because it isn't as gaming-friendly as the PC world has the appearance of a child throwing toys out of the crib.

Statistically speaking, the iMac performs as well as the majority of PC boxes out there when it comes to 3D games. It is owned by a great deal of intelligent people who demand a lot from their computers. And the majority of them couldn't give a fig about the latest and greatest 3D games.

Cloudane
Nov 22, 2007, 10:18 AM
^ Couldn't have put it better. Well said.

I do require a lot out of my computer, and I'm not an idiot. The iMac delivers what I require. True I don't need stonking humongous amounts of raw power as I don't need to recompress 30 hours of HD video within 10 seconds (or whatever). Nor do I care that passionately about the latest and greatest games, I'd rather have a 360 for that, or my PC for which most desktop games are written.

That doesn't mean I do nothing except a bit of light web surfing. (That's what the Mac Mini is for, and even then I've heard it's a fairly capable machine). Some other tasks I use it for include RAW processing and Photoshop... relatively intensive tasks, but neither of which it breaks a sweat with. Sure, a Mac Pro could process the RAW files 2 seconds faster... whoopdie do!

It actually performs better than the decently spec'ed Core2duo tower PC I built up last year.

IJ Reilly
Nov 22, 2007, 10:25 AM
Nonsense.

What he said. ;)

rdowns
Nov 22, 2007, 10:29 AM
Djkfkjrfi thd gjjduie gjjtt ddfdf gkkd, fjfgjfj poejksnfgopt. Furvmnhluopy, fghdsh yocs slslwopaa. dkd.

-Idiot iMac Owner

IJ Reilly
Nov 22, 2007, 10:48 AM
Djkffkjrffee thd gjjdooeee-a gjjtt ddffdff gkkd, fjffgjffj puejksnffgupt. Foorfmnhlooupy, fghdsh yucs slslvupea. dkd.

-Svedeesh Ideeut iMec Oovner

:)

BenRoethig
Nov 22, 2007, 11:08 AM
This is both offensive and a display of either narrow thinking or ignorance. There are lots of people who play games and run all manner of pro apps happily on the iMac.

And there are a lot of people who aren't perfectly happy. You accuse him of narrow thinking of and ignorance, that may be true but you guys haven't exactly been showing much of an ability to think beyond what you know either. In fact the thought that some users are better served with something more conventional seems to be treated like some kind of personal insult. There is not one single perfect computer for all users whether it be a tower or an all in one. Every designed is flawed depending on who is looking at it. Every design makes trade offs to better suit it to its intended clientele. However this is a single OS that is perfect for all users.

Lord Blackadder
Nov 22, 2007, 12:42 PM
And there are a lot of people who aren't perfectly happy. You accuse him of narrow thinking of and ignorance, that may be true but you guys haven't exactly been showing much of an ability to think beyond what you know either. In fact the thought that some users are better served with something more conventional seems to be treated like some kind of personal insult.

Clive At Five described the iMac as a computer for "idiot consumers", and then qualified the statement with a generality that means almost nothing. How can one not find that offensive? I'm not even claiming that he was doing it with bad intentions - but the statement is an inflammatory one.

As for the accusation that I am thinking narrowly - I myself like to play 3D games, and if Apple offered a tower focused on gaming I would seriously consider buying it. What I have a problem with is the notion that Apple needs to ape the PC world's hardware update cycle or be written off.

While I will probably not buy an iMac for my next computer I think it is a very attractive package and the fact that they are flying off the shelves into the hands of first-time Mac owners is ample support for that notion.

Gamers may be displeased, but they need to realize that they are only one relatively small part of the PC hardware industry, and not everyone caters to them. Is there room for Apple to improve its support for 3D gaming? Absolutely. But it's far from worthless as a gaming platform, and all appearances indicate that it will only get better.

With that said, if you are a hi-res gaming enthusiast or overclocker you need to understand that Windows will be your platform of choice for the foreseeable future. Apple will likely never tread into the DIY enthusiast computer market.

gregorsamsa
Nov 22, 2007, 01:33 PM
I myself like to play 3D games, and if Apple offered a tower focused on gaming I would seriously consider buying it. What I have a problem with is the notion that Apple needs to ape the PC world's hardware update cycle or be written off.

Gamers may be displeased, but they need to realize that they are only one relatively small part of the PC hardware industry, and not everyone caters to them. Is there room for Apple to improve its support for 3D gaming? Absolutely. But it's far from worthless as a gaming platform, and all appearances indicate that it will only get better.

It's easy to dismiss this issue as just a "gamers" concern, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are also a growing number of so-called prosumers who need a half-decent GPU for serious work, who've complained that the iMac's glossy screens are too reflective to work on in their environment.

Glossy screens on easily manoeuvrable 13" MacBooks is one thing. Glossy screens on deskbound 20" & 24" iMacs, not such a good idea. Apple gives these people either the Mac Mini or the Mac Pro with nothing in between, which is ridiculous. No PC company could treat its customers with such disdain without losing market share to its rivals.

IJ Reilly
Nov 22, 2007, 01:38 PM
It's easy to dismiss this issue as just a "gamers" concern, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are also a growing number of so-called prosumers who need a half-decent GPU for serious work, who've complained that the iMac's glossy screens are too reflective to work on in their environment.

Glossy screens on easily manoeuvrable 13" MacBooks is one thing. Glossy screens on deskbound 20" & 24" iMacs, not such a good idea. Apple gives these people either the Mac Mini or the Mac Pro with nothing in between, which is ridiculous. No PC company could treat its customers with such disdain without losing market share to its rivals.

Which is interesting, considering that Apple is gaining market share on its rivals...

gregorsamsa
Nov 22, 2007, 02:49 PM
Which is interesting, considering that Apple is gaining market share on its rivals...

Apple are a monopoly with OS X so there's no direct competition. IMO they're gaining market share because people prefer the reliability of OS X over Windows, & despite rather than because of Apple's limited choice of hardware.

If Apple had any real rivals, as in the days of the Mac clones, they'd probably be losing market share... in fact that was one of the main reasons why Jobs terminated the Mac clone industry in the first place.

Cloudane
Nov 22, 2007, 03:49 PM
I do think this is ultimately a Good Thing.

Apple still rely on hardware quite a bit for their business model. Bring in competition, and it's a fight to see who can make it cheaper, which means worse and worse components. The majority of people do focus on price above anything else, so nobody would buy the decent stuff, and Apple would fail.

IJ Reilly
Nov 22, 2007, 03:54 PM
Apple are a monopoly with OS X so there's no direct competition. IMO they're gaining market share because people prefer the reliability of OS X over Windows, & despite rather than because of Apple's limited choice of hardware.

If Apple had any real rivals, as in the days of the Mac clones, they'd probably be losing market share... in fact that was one of the main reasons why Jobs terminated the Mac clone industry in the first place.

If Apple is a monopoly, then so is every company which is selling a proprietary product. Since this would be virtually all of them, this definition of monopoly turns out to be meaningless. Apple is gaining market share because people are discovering their products and buying them. This is how companies gain market share.

gregorsamsa
Nov 22, 2007, 05:02 PM
If Apple is a monopoly, then so is every company which is selling a proprietary product. Since this would be virtually all of them, this definition of monopoly turns out to be meaningless. Apple is gaining market share because people are discovering their products and buying them. This is how companies gain market share.

The deciding factor why most people buy either a Mac or a PC is the OS, & as we're talking about computers here (as much as you might want to go off at a tangent & start generalizing about stuff :)), Apple's position with OS X is unique in the industry. You want OS X, you buy from Apple's limited choice (or go the hackintosh way), which makes Apple a monopoly here in a significant sense.

Yes, Mac market share continues to rise, not least thanks to Vista's well-publicized problems, et al, but, AFAIK, those market share figures don't take into account most online sales from big PC sellers like Dell. I'd say the real figures for Mac market share are probably a lot lower than those often quoted.

gregorsamsa
Nov 22, 2007, 05:06 PM
I do think this is ultimately a Good Thing.

Apple still rely on hardware quite a bit for their business model. Bring in competition, and it's a fight to see who can make it cheaper, which means worse and worse components. The majority of people do focus on price above anything else, so nobody would buy the decent stuff, and Apple would fail.

Going by the PC industry, what you say doesn't necessarily follow. PC companies that ship only junk (for eg., Tiny) soon go out of business. The most successful PC companies offer their customers a broad range of hardware choices at different prices & quality to match.

BenRoethig
Nov 22, 2007, 08:01 PM
The deciding factor why most people buy either a Mac or a PC is the OS, & as we're talking about computers here (as much as you might want to go off at a tangent & start generalizing about stuff :)), Apple's position with OS X is unique in the industry. You want OS X, you buy from Apple's limited choice (or go the hackintosh way), which makes Apple a monopoly here in a significant sense.

Yes, Mac market share continues to rise, not least thanks to Vista's well-publicized problems, et al, but, AFAIK, those market share figures don't take into account most online sales from big PC sellers like Dell. I'd say the real figures for Mac market share are probably a lot lower than those often quoted.

I have to agree. Apple is rising due to Microsoft's incompetence, not because consumers love of the all in one form factors. To arrogantly think of this as some sort of mandate will only set the company up for a fall similar to the one 20 years ago. I prefer proactive steps to get the most diverse group of users on the platform rather than relying on Microsoft continuing to screw up. Need I also remind everyone that while this may be a big gain for Apple, they are still far behind either HP or Dell and there are at least nine windows users to every one of us.


Clive At Five described the iMac as a computer for "idiot consumers", and then qualified the statement with a generality that means almost nothing. How can one not find that offensive? I'm not even claiming that he was doing it with bad intentions - but the statement is an inflammatory one.

As for the accusation that I am thinking narrowly - I myself like to play 3D games, and if Apple offered a tower focused on gaming I would seriously consider buying it. What I have a problem with is the notion that Apple needs to ape the PC world's hardware update cycle or be written off.

While I will probably not buy an iMac for my next computer I think it is a very attractive package and the fact that they are flying off the shelves into the hands of first-time Mac owners is ample support for that notion.

Gamers may be displeased, but they need to realize that they are only one relatively small part of the PC hardware industry, and not everyone caters to them. Is there room for Apple to improve its support for 3D gaming? Absolutely. But it's far from worthless as a gaming platform, and all appearances indicate that it will only get better.

With that said, if you are a hi-res gaming enthusiast or overclocker you need to understand that Windows will be your platform of choice for the foreseeable future. Apple will likely never tread into the DIY enthusiast computer market.

The problem here is that you are narrowly attributing all things to gamers and completely ignoring any other possible. How this possibility there is a professional or higher end hobbyist who deals in home movies. Let's say a client brings in a home movie on a 3.5" camcorder DVD and wants it to look professional. Since this person has a budget and isn't making the next installment of Star Wars both the expense and power of a dual CPU professional Xeon workstation are overkill. Higher end store bought machines costing half as much can and routinely do handle this kind of work. The iMac runs into three major problems. First the slot loading notebook drive is incapable is handling Mini CD/DVDs. Tray loaders don't have this problem. Second, the notebook drive both reads and writes half as fast as desktops drives. A couple minutes a disk may sound insignificant for those who have nothing to do, but for those trying to make a living "time is money" is far from a cliche slogan. Third, since there is only a single drive, it makes it harder to duplicate. That adds more time per disk. Therefore less gets done. This is one of many scenarios of people who do not game, but would be bottlenecked by the iMac. Apple used to excel in this area.

Lord Blackadder
Nov 22, 2007, 08:52 PM
The iMac has used notebook hardware from day one, so I don't think that is a deal-breaker for most users...

As for the comment that the Xeons are overkill, I can accept that statement only if you also agree that the GeForce 8800GT or Radeon HD3870 is also overkill...

itcheroni
Nov 23, 2007, 01:01 AM
Need I also remind everyone that while this may be a big gain for Apple, they are still far behind either HP or Dell and there are at least nine windows users to every one of us.

Market share isn't really that important. Wouldn't you rather have 5% market share if your margins allowed you to make more profit than a company with 40% market share?

takao
Nov 23, 2007, 03:12 AM
TAs for the comment that the Xeons are overkill, I can accept that statement only if you also agree that the GeForce 8800GT or Radeon HD3870 is also overkill...

for a 500 dollar computer/mac mini: yes

for a 1200-2400 euro computer i would expect something in that category ... after all that's a hefty premium price for a desktop

but in the imac it will never happen since it's more of a computer for my mom


but i get it .. middle class graphics cards are a huge niche... obviously... that's why card manufactures totally focus on the professional CAD cards for marketing and the cheap budgets cards for marketing... oh wait ;)

Cloudane
Nov 23, 2007, 03:57 AM
Going by the PC industry, what you say doesn't necessarily follow. PC companies that ship only junk (for eg., Tiny) soon go out of business. The most successful PC companies offer their customers a broad range of hardware choices at different prices & quality to match.

IMO, PCs are a whole different ball game. With the right knowledge, you can build a brilliant box, and the likes of Dell seem to know what they're doing in the pre-built system market. But a PC is kind of like a standard.

With Macs however, the "real thing" is the one made by Apple, and any clone would just be a knockoff of that, a fake, playing catch-up. But ask most people whether they'd like a fake for $300 cheaper, they will bite your hand off.

That's my opinion anyway *shrug* I really don't think they'd do that again though.

BenRoethig
Nov 23, 2007, 04:42 AM
The iMac has used notebook hardware from day one, so I don't think that is a deal-breaker for most users...

But the Machine they're coming from has desktop hardware from day one. Most of said users have either a PowerMac or a PC. You won't be seeing them get an iMac because it does not fit their needs.

As for the comment that the Xeons are overkill, I can accept that statement only if you also agree that the GeForce 8800GT or Radeon HD3870 is also overkill...[/QUOTE]

No, they're in completely different classes. The professional lines (which Apple doesn't use for some unknown reason) are the FireGL and Quadro series and they come in a variety of low, medium, and high end models. The Xeon a professional (as in not ment for consumers at all) server/workstation CPU. A consumer who plays games can make very good use of a higher end video card. With a Mac Pro, pay $1000 more for a second CPU that does absolutely nothing because the software can't take advantage of it An 8-core Xeon Machine is going to be no faster than a dual-core Core 2 Duo Machine.

Market share isn't really that important. Wouldn't you rather have 5% market share if your margins allowed you to make more profit than a company with 40% market share?

I would rather have both. What the lack of market share is that Apple can a) make no mistakes and b) is at the mercy of companies like Adobe. If Adobe had decided that then intel switch was too much work, Apple would be in a world of hurt instead of a position of strength. I prefer being secure as opposed to teetering on the knife's edge.

Cloudane
Nov 23, 2007, 05:50 AM
Although they use laptop hardware in the iMac, it's very high end laptop hardware. I came from a decent desktop PC myself, and the performance is about identical.

takao
Nov 23, 2007, 06:23 AM
Although they use laptop hardware in the iMac, it's very high end laptop hardware. I came from a decent desktop PC myself, and the performance is about identical.

that depends on what desktop you had before

and the only thing i would consider high end is perhaps the 2.8 CPU
it's still using 5300 memory after all instead of going for 6400 memory ( with core 2 duo it's ideal to have memory running synchronously)

gregorsamsa
Nov 23, 2007, 06:23 AM
Market share isn't really that important. Wouldn't you rather have 5% market share if your margins allowed you to make more profit than a company with 40% market share?

I agree about market share bit; I think the OS X user base figures are far more important. But there are obvious dangers in merely concentrating on profit margins. Sure it's great for Apple, its share holders & perhaps a few elitists who'd prefer Macs to remain relatively exclusive. But it's a strategy that could easily backfire.

Now that every new Mac ships with Boot Camp allowing cheap Windows software onto the Mac platform, it certainly won't encourage Mac-native software development if the size of the OS X user base isn't considered viable enough. Even Apple themselves are wary of the dangers, which is why they've recently focused more so on consumer Macs & increased advertising.

Apple Warns 'Boot Camp' Could Lead To Fewer Mac Apps (http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=203103119&cid=RSSfeed_IWK-News).

gregorsamsa
Nov 23, 2007, 06:36 AM
With Macs however, the "real thing" is the one made by Apple, and any clone would just be a knockoff of that, a fake, playing catch-up. But ask most people whether they'd like a fake for $300 cheaper, they will bite your hand off.

I disagree. If a Mac clone company offered consumers the kind of Mac that Apple seem uninterested in providing, for eg. a Mac mid-tower, they wouldn't need to use crap parts & sell it cheap as they wouldn't be competing with Dell 90-day guarantee PCs. They'd be providing a Mac (perhaps at iMac prices) that fills a major gap in the Mac market. Quality wouldn't need to be compromised on such a Mac.

Re iMac's using "very high end laptop hardware". That's not entirely the case. The graphics cards used by MacBook Pros are certainly very high end, but the iMac's graphics are in fact a budget-priced compromise to maintain high profit margins.

BenRoethig
Nov 23, 2007, 06:58 AM
Although they use laptop hardware in the iMac, it's very high end laptop hardware. I came from a decent desktop PC myself, and the performance is about identical.

Maybe, but the laptop stuff is expensive. The 2.4ghz core 2 duo lists for $316 (that's after the price drop from $530). That's the same price as a 2.4ghz quad core and $50 more expensive then a 3ghz desktop core 2 Duo.

IMO, PCs are a whole different ball game. With the right knowledge, you can build a brilliant box, and the likes of Dell seem to know what they're doing in the pre-built system market. But a PC is kind of like a standard.

With Macs however, the "real thing" is the one made by Apple, and any clone would just be a knockoff of that, a fake, playing catch-up. But ask most people whether they'd like a fake for $300 cheaper, they will bite your hand off.

That's my opinion anyway *shrug* I really don't think they'd do that again though.

Is there a "real thing anymore." Apple stopped making computers themselves years ago. They're now made by ASUStek, Quanta, and Foxconn.

As for a cheap knock off, I would call a machine with a custom Lian-Li case, 2.66ghz Quad core, 512mb 8800GT, Corsair memory, high end ASUS motherboard, ATI 650 HDTV tuner, custom 2400dpi laster mouse and backlit USB keyboard as cheap. I'd call it something that should be in Apple's lineup.

takao
Nov 23, 2007, 07:33 AM
Is there a "real thing anymore." Apple stopped making computers themselves years ago. They're now made by ASUStek, Quanta, and Foxconn.


"but but how can it be that high the quality apple products computers are made at the _very same factory production lines at ASUS like the other products made there which include Computers/Laptops for cheap crap quality brands like HP, Sony, Samsung, Dell and their own crappy ASUS brand laptops and famous mainboards for PC gaming overclockers "

;)

sadly it's all to often forgotten who actually assembles those apple products

which actually explains some of the recent quality control issues in apples line up since in the past afaik Apple pro notebooks were manufactured on the same line as the legendary IBM Thinkpads at Lenovo and switched then....

IJ Reilly
Nov 23, 2007, 10:46 AM
The deciding factor why most people buy either a Mac or a PC is the OS, & as we're talking about computers here (as much as you might want to go off at a tangent & start generalizing about stuff :)), Apple's position with OS X is unique in the industry. You want OS X, you buy from Apple's limited choice (or go the hackintosh way), which makes Apple a monopoly here in a significant sense.

Yes, Mac market share continues to rise, not least thanks to Vista's well-publicized problems, et al, but, AFAIK, those market share figures don't take into account most online sales from big PC sellers like Dell. I'd say the real figures for Mac market share are probably a lot lower than those often quoted.

Apple isn't a monopoly in any meaningful sense of the word, and their position is unique in this industry because this industry is unique, in that most of the PC manufacturers are little more than Microsoft resellers. That's the unusual part, not what Apple does.

The Mac has been gaining market share for several years now, a trend which began long before Vista came out. It really started with the explosive growth of the iPod. Dell is included in market share statistics. The Mac truly is growing market share. Not sure why that's hard to accept -- it's been a long time in coming.

Clive At Five
Nov 23, 2007, 02:13 PM
The problem here is that [Lord Blackadder is] narrowly attributing all things to gamers and completely ignoring any other possible.

[...stuff about "home" Movies...]

Brilliant example. This is what I've been saying since the beginning. I erroneously used "gaming" as an example since it's something I do very little of. Like I said, I play StarCraft once every other month and that will run on my G3 EggMac.

The movie thing is a perfect example of what I do. Plus add a lot of music composition, and Photoshopping. It's not a profession, but it's something my friends and I are serious about. So much so that we are actually converting one of our movie-musicals to stage to be performed next fall.

We're serious about our hobbies, and need a computer that will perform. An iMac is not an option, and a MacPro is neither realistic monetarily, nor necessary.

The iMac has used notebook hardware from day one, so I don't think that is a deal-breaker for most users...

As for the comment that the Xeons are overkill, I can accept that statement only if you also agree that the GeForce 8800GT or Radeon HD3870 is also overkill...

Umm... My G3 iMac has a 3.5" HDD and a desktop-class DVD Combo Drive and uses SDRAM. My G4 iMac has a 3.5" HDD, a deskto-class Superdrive, and uses a SO-DIMM and DIMM combo, one for easy access, and one internally. Sounds like mainly desktop parts to me...

Oh, and a Xeon *might* be aptly matched with a GeForce 8800GT, but what about a Dual-Dual-Core Xeon? A Dual-Dual-Core Xeon is every bit as overkill as two GeForce 8800GTs in SLI. Anyone who thinks they need that is a lunatic.

Market share isn't really that important. Wouldn't you rather have 5% market share if your margins allowed you to make more profit than a company with 40% market share?

Why be happy with mediocrity when Apple could have it's cake and eat it too. Margins AND market share. Do you know how many people would come RUNNING from the PC camp if Apple offered a mid-tower? Armies of them.

Besides? Ever said Apple wouldn't be able to give themselves high margins in a machine like that? Check post #35, where I show that Apple could easily turn a greater profit than with an iMac.

-Clive

BenRoethig
Nov 23, 2007, 03:57 PM
Brilliant example. This is what I've been saying since the beginning. I erroneously used "gaming" as an example since it's something I do very little of. Like I said, I play StarCraft once every other month and that will run on my G3 EggMac.

You may have legitimate gripes, but DO NOT ever twist my words like that again.

We're serious about our hobbies, and need a computer that will perform. An iMac is not an option, and a MacPro is neither realistic monetarily, nor necessary.

It is an option, as I'm using one of the new 20 inchers. It's just not a very good fit. the part of Mac Pro I completely agree with. The other computer makers have upper mid range mid to high range desktops for customers who need more. Apple expects you to go from low to lower mid range right to the professional workstation. In my opinion, they completely oversimplify computer classifications and needs.

Umm... My G3 iMac has a 3.5" HDD and a desktop-class DVD Combo Drive and uses SDRAM. My G4 iMac has a 3.5" HDD, a deskto-class Superdrive, and uses a SO-DIMM and DIMM combo, one for easy access, and one internally. Sounds like mainly desktop parts to me...

The G3 iMacs had laptop drives.

Oh, and a Xeon *might* be aptly matched with a GeForce 8800GT, but what about a Dual-Dual-Core Xeon? A Dual-Dual-Core Xeon is every bit as overkill as two GeForce 8800GTs in SLI. Anyone who thinks they need that is a lunatic.

Two different needs. The Xeon is best matched with a FireGL or Quadro. As far as I know, Apple is the only company who mixes xeon CPUs with consumer level graphics. As for SLI or crossfire, I could possibly see a need for it but really its an expensive way of just getting a few more FPS and it doesn't always work. That being said, I wouldn't mind seeing a new Low Range Mac Pro with a x38 motherboard with crossfire and the 3800 series.

Why be happy with mediocrity when Apple could have it's cake and eat it too. Margins AND market share. Do you know how many people would come RUNNING from the PC camp if Apple offered a mid-tower? Armies of them.

I agree. With boot camp the risk of trying a Mac is low. However if you have to may well over two grand to get the computer that interests you, the chances of sticking of Microsoft are great. I'd also like to say that there are a number of old PowerMac users whose machines are ending their lives. These are people who have bought only PowerMacs, have little interest in an all in one and have seen apple jack up the price tag on what want by a grand. I'd say we could risk losing some people. Even with the advantages of OSX over windows it was a hard choice to buy a Mac that didn't meet my needs over a machine that did from Velocity Micro.

Besides? Ever said Apple wouldn't be able to give themselves high margins in a machine like that? Check post #35, where I show that Apple could easily turn a greater profit than with an iMac.

They probably can. When you deal exclusively in laptop chipsets and chips, the discount has to be great. Still, as many on the PC side have shown there are those who are willing to pay margins equal to or even far in excess of Apple for a top quality machine. Mac users were willing to pay those margins until Apple unilaterally decided we should be buying all in ones instead and then jacked the tower price up out of reach.

gregorsamsa
Nov 23, 2007, 04:26 PM
Apple isn't a monopoly in any meaningful sense of the word, and their position is unique in this industry because this industry is unique, in that most of the PC manufacturers are little more than Microsoft resellers. That's the unusual part, not what Apple does.

By questioning the degree of how meaningful the definition of "monopoly' is here, you're being subjective about something that factually meets all the criteria for a monopoly. Apple refuse to license OS X - why even Dell wanted it! - because they don't want to open the Mac to any direct competition & to protect their profit margins. Objectively speaking, that makes Apple's behaviour quite monopolistic here.

The Mac has been gaining market share for several years now, a trend which began long before Vista came out. It really started with the explosive growth of the iPod. Dell is included in market share statistics. The Mac truly is growing market share. Not sure why that's hard to accept -- it's been a long time in coming.

I've not said Macs aren't seeing real growth in market share, but I've questioned the criteria used to calculate the figures & with good reason. A few weeks ago even two respected sources gave different figures for Mac market share in the US. IDC reported 6.3% & Gartner 8.1%. We're hearing figures similar to those on a regular basis, but globally speaking Mac market share (though experiencing growth) will surely be much less.

Cloudane
Nov 23, 2007, 07:00 PM
that depends on what desktop you had before)

One that cost me about 750.

The iMac cost 950.

I see it as pretty much the same thing, but in a tighter package... you do pay for that.


Clearly there's a lot of desire for... basically a PC that runs OS X. In reality, the market is pretty much what Apple have chosen - you have the basic "I wanna surf t'interweb" box (Mac Mini), the "I want to do stuff and be happy with it" machine (iMac) and the "I'm a professional with lots of money, give me raw power" (Mac Pro). The geek market is a verrrry small percentage which is *normally* covered by custom built PCs.

Have you guys thought of a Hackintosh? The more people do this successfully, the more chance you have of Apple dropping their hardware and releasing OS X as a software-only solution, so you'll get all the flexibility you want. (I personally don't like this idea at all, but I know that many do)

Apple are their own worst enemy, IMO. What makes them great is that *they* control everything, so you get to see quality that's second to none, and everything is characteristic to them, even quirks. It's a whole package, from the box to the software, and I love it for that. However the OS is so good that all the PC geeks are piling in, and now everyone wants it for generic hardware. If they do the "logical" thing and meet demand, it just won't be the same any more (and IMO they'll be another Be,Inc doomed to failure)

gregorsamsa
Nov 24, 2007, 05:14 AM
Have you guys thought of a Hackintosh? The more people do this successfully, the more chance you have of Apple dropping their hardware and releasing OS X as a software-only solution, so you'll get all the flexibility you want. (I personally don't like this idea at all, but I know that many do)

Apple are their own worst enemy, IMO. What makes them great is that *they* control everything, so you get to see quality that's second to none, and everything is characteristic to them, even quirks. It's a whole package, from the box to the software, and I love it for that. However the OS is so good that all the PC geeks are piling in, and now everyone wants it for generic hardware. If they do the "logical" thing and meet demand, it just won't be the same any more (and IMO they'll be another Be,Inc doomed to failure)

I'll be buying a desktop in late January, so I'm actively considering the Hackintosh way. However, I'll need to find out more about any reliability issues when going down this path. Everything you say about why we buy Macs is true, so it kind of defeats the raison d'etre of having OS X in the first place if it's going to plagued with too many problems whilst running on a PC.

takao
Nov 24, 2007, 07:33 AM
One that cost me about 750.

The iMac cost 950.

I see it as pretty much the same thing, but in a tighter package... you do pay for that.
and how old was that PC ;)


Clearly there's a lot of desire for... basically a PC that runs OS X. In reality, the market is pretty much what Apple have chosen - you have the basic "I wanna surf t'interweb" box (Mac Mini), the "I want to do stuff and be happy with it" machine (iMac) and the "I'm a professional with lots of money, give me raw power" (Mac Pro). The geek market is a verrrry small percentage which is *normally* covered by custom built PCs.

the market isn't small everywhere .. around here PC games are still big and thus hardly surprising Dell _isn't_ market leader .. by a considerable margin even
also the amount of people who are knowledgable about PCs isn't going to get smaller and those are hardly those who cut on all corners when buying a PC .. those are those who spend the most on computers as home users


Have you guys thought of a Hackintosh? The more people do this successfully, the more chance you have of Apple dropping their hardware and releasing OS X as a software-only solution, so you'll get all the flexibility you want. (I personally don't like this idea at all, but I know that many do)

yeah i thought about it and decided it it isn't worth the hassle ... it's still more convenient to go with a seperate desktop running windows for 3d performance and the cheapest mac mini/macbook for os x ... and very likely still cheaper than getting a single mac with good 3D performance which simply doesn't make sense

so ironically thanks to apple i have a more cluttered desktop ;)


not that people want an awful lot ... good graphics card + 2 internal hard disk slots + 4 ram slots ... i think a lot of peopel would be even happy with the desktop cpu soldered on .. if there were at least desktop CPUs available
with the imac i can only choose between a 49 buck GPU and a 69 buck GPU with half as much VRAM than normal
edit: and then you got people on these boards belittling PC users with their celerons while they use the celerons of the graphics card market ;)

BenRoethig
Nov 24, 2007, 08:12 AM
the market isn't small everywhere .. around here PC games are still big and thus hardly surprising Dell _isn't_ market leader .. by a considerable margin even

That surprises me. I thought the XPS was pretty highly regarded as well as Alienware which they now own.

also the amount of people who are knowledgable about PCs isn't going to get smaller and those are hardly those who cut on all corners when buying a PC .. those are those who spend the most on computers as home users

I agree. These are also who pull the strings with the other home buyers.

yeah i thought about it and decided it it isn't worth the hassle ... it's still more convenient to go with a seperate desktop running windows for 3d performance and the cheapest mac mini/macbook for os x ... and very likely still cheaper than getting a single mac with good 3D performance which simply doesn't make sense

Unfortunate but true. This is where Apple loses money.

so ironically thanks to apple i have a more cluttered desktop ;)

I know that feeling. I've said this many times, but the iMac is a machine meant for general consumers needs. Its specifically tailored for those clients. It's a machine that is designed to do pretty much normal tasks and limit external devices to more or less a they keyboard mouse, the printer, and an extra port for an iPod or flash drive. It is designed to give the most bag to the AVERAGE user while taking up the least amount of space. It is the ideal family computer. However when you try to use it above what it is intended for you start quickly running into problems like desk clutter.

not that people want an awful lot ... good graphics card + 2 internal hard disk slots + 4 ram slots ... i think a lot of peopel would be even happy with the desktop cpu soldered on .. if there were at least desktop CPUs available
with the imac i can only choose between a 49 buck GPU and a 69 buck GPU with half as much VRAM than normal

Hey, it's a $99 GPU with half as much RAM (not that it would matter, OSX doesn't handle extra video memory all that well). I would say my needs aren't that excessive. All I'm really looking for is a 3.0ghz core 2 Duo, 4 DIMM slots, 2 Optical bay slots, 2 Hard drive bays, a PCI-E x1 slot for a HDTV tuner, a single 8800GT, and a usable supply of USB 2.0 ports. I wouldn't also mind seeing new 20" and 24" iSight/Front row cinema displays that match the iMac. I don't think these demands are too unreasonable but apparently Apple does. They think I should be either grouped with the family users who need something under my needs or the high end professionals who need something much more than I do.

BenRoethig
Nov 24, 2007, 08:19 AM
I'll be buying a desktop in late January, so I'm actively considering the Hackintosh way. However, I'll need to find out more about any reliability issues when going down this path. Everything you say about why we buy Macs is true, so it kind of defeats the raison d'etre of having OS X in the first place if it's going to plagued with too many problems whilst running on a PC.

Look, the Mac needs to have most of the same drivers the PC does just to get by. OSX also needs to have support for a lot as chipsets as almost every G-series PowerPC machine had its own custom chipset. Mac OS X's main advantages that that its does not build on top of a code base that basically dates back to DOS and that is designed to be more modular and work around things now common place that weren't even dreamed of when windows first came off the copy machine.

gregorsamsa
Nov 24, 2007, 09:17 AM
Look, the Mac needs to have most of the same drivers the PC does just to get by. OSX also needs to have support for a lot as chipsets as almost every G-series PowerPC machine had its own custom chipset. Mac OS X's main advantages that that its does not build on top of a code base that basically dates back to DOS and that is designed to be more modular and work around things now common place that weren't even dreamed of when windows first came off the copy machine.

You seem to know far more about it than I (& probably most people) do. IMO, short of being a geek-type who's at their happiest when finding fixes for various issues with their Hackintosh, this really isn't a serious option for most people, me included . I've been reading some of the Hackintosher blogs &, frankly, I'd rather use a Vista-loaded PC than go through the hacking process. :confused:

AFAIC, life's just too short & time's too precious. Either Jobs announces a new headless Mac come January or I have myself some tricky computer-buying decisions.

Also notice from your previous posts that despite your opinions strongly favouring a mid-tower Mac, you've still bought one of the new 20" iMac's. When the Hackintosh way is resisted by people with your apparent level of knowledge, its significance doesn't go unnoticed.

takao
Nov 24, 2007, 09:35 AM
Mac OS X's main advantages that that its does not build on top of a code base that basically dates back to DOS and that is designed to be more modular and work around things now common place that weren't even dreamed of when windows first came off the copy machine.

having enjoined my fair share of lectures on microsoft architecture (besides the huge amount of linux/unix lecture) i can assure you that you would be surprised not only about grade of modularity but also the newer features windows NT kernels have (the underlying architecture of os X is hardly something new either ... when was work on the mach kernel started ? mid eighties ?)

the only main problem i can think of are the problems they have with legacy memory limitations and that they had the GUI of the operating system running in the kernel space in some parts (which influence they reduced in vista ... which got them flak for "having a slower UI than before")

after all NT and XNU (the kernel of OS X) are both hybrid kernels ;)

edit: the stuff Microsoft said so far about Windows 7 is quite interesting .. definitely looking forward to that .. especially since it's about to release in 2010 already

BenRoethig
Nov 24, 2007, 09:44 AM
Also notice from your previous posts that despite your opinions strongly favouring a mid-tower Mac, you've still bought one of the new 20" iMac's. When the Hackintosh way is resisted by people with your apparent level of knowledge, its significance doesn't go unnoticed.

When it came down to it, I was out of time and had to settle. The $3000+ for a Mac Pro was nor anywhere near affordable and Vista was no where near good enough to get me to switch. I also do not believe in illegal hacking though I do sympathize with their position. Am I completely happy with my purchase? Absolutely not. Many of my reservations going in to the purchase have become reality and there are a few requirements I had that I just cannot do with the iMac.

Cloudane
Nov 24, 2007, 10:44 AM
and how old was that PC ;)

Well it's a C2D 2.13, think I've had it about a year now.

However as usual for the complaining crowd, the complaint is that it doesn't have an uber GPU. Correct, it doesn't, it's inferior to those found on a PC. But I reiterate, why the hell do people want to play games on a Mac in the first place?!?! It's not marketed towards games, it's not made for games, and very very few games are made for it. Get an Xbox. Or if you want desktop gaming that badly... get a PC!

When are gamers going to realise that Apple don't care about them?

takao
Nov 24, 2007, 11:21 AM
However as usual for the complaining crowd, the complaint is that it doesn't have an uber GPU. Correct, it doesn't, it's inferior to those found on a PC. But I reiterate, why the hell do people want to play games on a Mac in the first place?!?! It's not marketed towards games, it's not made for games, and very very few games are made for it. Get an Xbox. Or if you want desktop gaming that badly... get a PC!

ber GPU ? people want want normal _middle class_ graphics cards instead of 39 bucks budget cards in 1500-2500 bucks computers which the "apple defense force" doesn't seem to get

i want to play games on my mac just like others want to cut movies or listen to music without having to have a computer for every single task
currently i have to use 2 computers because if i want to use OS X ... if i had a tighter budget i would be PC only
and for my next computer i want a single computer to focus on ... which currently means no money for apple

"Get an XBox" shows only how little you know about PC games ... that's like saying "buy a cd player" to somebody who wants to listen mp3s on their computer ..



When are gamers going to realise that Apple don't care about them?

most gamers realise that...after all you only have to look at the graphics cards ;) ... and actually want apple to change (yes i used the feedback form on apples homepage) from just doing lip-service at conferences to actually offering something

gregorsamsa
Nov 24, 2007, 12:02 PM
However as usual for the complaining crowd, the complaint is that it doesn't have an uber GPU. Correct, it doesn't, it's inferior to those found on a PC. But I reiterate, why the hell do people want to play games on a Mac in the first place?!?! It's not marketed towards games, it's not made for games, and very very few games are made for it. Get an Xbox. Or if you want desktop gaming that badly... get a PC!

When are gamers going to realise that Apple don't care about them?

When are Microsoft going to sue the ass out of Apple for feeding the public misleading advertising about the Mac being the best computer for all types of purposes, both the serious stuff & recreational-type software (you know, playing games, etc.) when plainly that's not true? :)

But you're right; AFAIC, I have my Mac for the serious stuff, but most people are better off getting a PC if they want gaming as well, which is probably one reason why most people do buy PCs rather than Macs. But Apple are missing out on a large slice of the computer market with their lack of hardware options & it affects far more people than just gamers. To turn this into a gaming issue is to ignore the far bigger picture.

Cloudane
Nov 24, 2007, 12:07 PM
There used to be a big difference between PC and console gaming, but not these days. The Xbox 360 is actually basically a neatly packaged PC with networking and USB ports, you can plug it into a monitor or HDTV and you can use a keyboard and mouse for games that work better that way.

So what's the difference, apart from the geekiness of building your own gaming box, which is.. a PC philosophy! The whole idea of a Mac is it's packaged, and if a packaged gaming system is what you want, it's called a console.

A 39 bucks budget card is all that's needed for 2D stuff i.e. everything except games. I agree it'd be nice if they had a high end graphics card, but it's just not going to happen unless you buy a Mac Pro and put one in it... it's too much of a niche market right now, certainly not big enough for them to create a whole new machine (and if they did, they'd have to cripple something else to avoid cannibalising sales of their more profitable Mac Pros).

If they were to put one in the iMacs, can you imagine all the complaining from non-gamers that the price has gone up by $300 so that they could put a high end GPU in it that they don't use! Or perhaps they'd cut corners elsewhere (put an even *worse* LCD in for instance) to keep the price the same.

gregorsamsa
Nov 24, 2007, 12:53 PM
I agree with some of your post, but dumbed-down console gaming isn't for everyone, hence why some PC-only games continue to sell in huge quantities.

Personally I'd leave the iMac as it is (but offer the options of a better video card & a matt screen) as it's clearly the best AIO computer out there by a long stretch. As for a mid-tower Mac cannibalizing other Mac sales as opposed to increasing the Mac user base? Well, as Apple don't have a mid-tower we really have no proof that significant cannibalization would occur. We simply don't know this.

But you're right, the main reason why Apple are hesitant about a mid-tower is because they're worried about reduced profit margins. For eg., the chances are that most people who'd buy a mid-tower Mac wouldn't buy an expensive Apple Cinema Display Unit but a standard, less expensive monitor instead. (I'll assume most Mac Pro buyers do get Apple's monitor & most Mini buyers already own a PC monitor). So shareholders interests & profits are prioritized to the detriment of consumer choice, which, AFAIC, is a strategy you can only get away for as long as the opposition allows you to. Vista is quite a mess, but it's something I can't imagine Microsoft repeating again with Vista's successor.

danp
Nov 24, 2007, 01:14 PM
Personally I'd leave the iMac as it is (but offer the options of a better video card & a matt screen) as it's clearly the best AIO computer out there by a long stretch.

Agreed. iMac BTO options are the only way to do it and retain the stability of the platform.

When Apple release a software update or OS upgrade, you can be 99% certain its going to work with Apple hardware straight off. No problems, no searching for drivers. And if it doesn't, you will get a fix for it from Apple.

Apple can only offer this kind of service because of the tight control they have over the hardware ecosystem on which Mac OS X runs. They simply don't have the resource or inclination to test every conceivable hardware combination out there in component land -- or provide abstraction to let this happen. Hence I agree with them restricting the consumers ability to do that.

I speak as a former PC box builder who would upgrade his Windows system every time a new GPU or CPU caught his eye. That world is fine if you've got the time to tinker and troubleshoot when it doesn't work. And that world is still available for every PC box builder out there.

But that world isn't the iMac world. And I for one think that is a very good thing.

Lord Blackadder
Nov 24, 2007, 01:16 PM
ber GPU ? people want want normal _middle class_ graphics cards instead of 39 bucks budget cards in 1500-2500 bucks computers which the "apple defense force" doesn't seem to get

Hmmm.....Even those of you who've been spitting venom at the iMac will have to admit that Dell completely got it wrong (http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/xpsdt_one?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&~tab=bundlestab&redirect=1) with their latest AIO...I would take an iMac over that in an instant.

takao
Nov 24, 2007, 01:26 PM
There used to be a big difference between PC and console gaming, but not these days. The Xbox 360 is actually basically a neatly packaged PC with networking and USB ports, you can plug it into a monitor or HDTV and you can use a keyboard and mouse for games that work better that way.

with which games you have native mouse keyboard support again ?
(needless to say getting a further console is more expensive than a PC graphics card)


A 39 bucks budget card is all that's needed for 2D stuff i.e. everything except games. I agree it'd be nice if they had a high end graphics card, but it's just not going to happen unless you buy a Mac Pro and put one in it... it's too much of a niche market right now, certainly not big enough for them to create a whole new machine (and if they did, they'd have to cripple something else to avoid cannibalising sales of their more profitable Mac Pros).

the mac pro would be still obviously the better machine for professionals workstation users for video cutting and photoshop because of it's dual CPU setup how can it be cannabilizing ? that would either mean A.) the mac pro as is is overpriced or B.) too many people have been buying them for games already anyway
after all you can simply make the pro CAD cards /fibre channel etc. only available in the mac pro

it's not like one further computer + adding 1 graphics card in the midrange region would add lot's of more compability testing or drivers compared to the already not so small current lineup

after all i'm not talking about that apple should support all graphics cards out there available.. they still can choose something of their liking as long it's a middle range card

takao
Nov 24, 2007, 01:34 PM
Hmmm.....Even those of you who've been spitting venom at the iMac will have to admit that Dell completely got it wrong (http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/xpsdt_one?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&~tab=bundlestab&redirect=1) with their latest AIO...I would take an iMac over that in an instant.

too true .... that crap is even more overpriced ... especially if you factor in the desktop components used .. not that i would ever buy a dell anyhow (overpriced, not so great reliability, only good thing: their screens and a handfull of their laptops)
..or any other AIO .... that simply doesn't fit my needs no matter if from apple or dell or anybody else

Lord Blackadder
Nov 24, 2007, 01:44 PM
...Which is fine, but Apple has been so successful with the AIO concept that if you think they're ever going to drop it in favor of a minitower you're p*ssing into the wind, to use a colloquial phrase. ;)

I still think that the most we can hoe for is a cheaper Mac Pro coming in somewhere around $1800-$2000 with an optional mid-level video card...things will also be better when Apple abandons the FB memory.

It would still cost more than your typical gaming box, but it would sell well, I think.

takao
Nov 24, 2007, 02:16 PM
...Which is fine, but Apple has been so successful with the AIO concept that if you think they're ever going to drop it in favor of a minitower you're p*ssing into the wind, to use a colloquial phrase. ;)

they don't have to abandon anything ... just a more choice for the customer would be nice ...


I still think that the most we can hoe for is a cheaper Mac Pro coming in somewhere around $1800-$2000 with an optional mid-level video card...things will also be better when Apple abandons the FB memory.

It would still cost more than your typical gaming box, but it would sell well, I think.

i think with desktop components the top "sweet" maximum spot is around 1500 for the maximum of users ...
especially since many more builders offer "premium" gaming computers for around 1.100-1.300
make a similiar computer plus 200 bucks "apple tax" and many would be happy

http://www.alternate.at/html/product/details.html?articleId=233087&showTechData=true

(and that isn't a great deal anyways)

a 1.800 dual xeon machine with additional 300 buck card (this is apple we are talking about) isn't going to change much especially since that machine would be still using FB-ECC memory or otherwise the so called professionals complain ;)

Lord Blackadder
Nov 24, 2007, 02:28 PM
a 1.800 dual xeon machine with additional 300 buck card (this is apple we are talking about) isn't going to change much especially since that machine would be still using FB-ECC memory or otherwise the so called professionals complain ;)

I disagree...for one thing, FB-ECC memory is clearly a dead-end road - it might show up in the next rev Mac Pro but if it does I'll bet that will be the last we see of it. The addition of a mid-level card will, even if it's overpriced as usual, be a big improvement over the base option.

Those of you who are waiting for a $1500 "premium" gaming minitower are waiting in vain, and had better stick with your WinXP boxes, but for those of us still interested in a Mac Pro I think the future will bring some significant improvements.

The way Apple sees it, a $1500 gaming tower would compete directly with the iMac, and while that doesn't imply it would outsell the iMac, it makes poor business sense to introduce parallel products - especially when sales of the iMac are at an all-time high. No, I'm afraid calls for a minitower are being drowned out by the crowds of consumers buying iMacs.

I also think the situation is the result of some prejudice on both sides - PC enthusiasts are convinced that the AIO form factor is totally worthless for any kind of performance computing (not true), while Apple feels the AIO iMac can be tuned to meet almost everyone's needs, and everyone else will be happy with a Mac Pro (not really). The reality as I see it is that the iMac is a better gaming machine than the enthusiasts think, but could stand some improvement with more constant updates and a bit more power in the GPU department. Or a cheaper Mac Pro with more GPU options.

gregorsamsa
Nov 24, 2007, 02:44 PM
The way Apple sees it, a $1500 gaming tower would compete directly with the iMac, and while that doesn't imply it would outsell the iMac, it makes poor business sense to introduce parallel products - especially when sales of the iMac are at an all-time high. No, I'm afraid calls for a minitower are being drowned out by the crowds of consumers buying iMacs.

Which would make PC companies like HP, Dell, etc., who outsell Apple by a huge margin, utter numpties for introducing AIOs to their PC range in an already hugely competitive PC computer market with ever-smaller profit margins. Presumably their market research has indicated that AIOs & mid-towers are aimed at different markets.

Consumers are buying iMacs because those that want a mid-tower don't have any choice but to buy a PC. :)

takao
Nov 24, 2007, 02:59 PM
I disagree...for one thing, FB-ECC memory is clearly a dead-end road - it might show up in the next rev Mac Pro but if it does I'll bet that will be the last we see of it. The addition of a mid-level card will, even if it's overpriced as usual, be a big improvement over the base option.

too true ... i wonder if apple will come up with DDR3 for the higher end anytime soon but that depends if there are actually xeon boards supporting that


Those of you who are waiting for a $1500 "premium" gaming minitower are waiting in vain, and had better stick with your WinXP boxes, but for those of us still interested in a Mac Pro I think the future will bring some significant improvements.

The way Apple sees it, a $1500 gaming tower would compete directly with the iMac, and while that doesn't imply it would outsell the iMac, it makes poor business sense to introduce parallel products - especially when sales of the iMac are at an all-time high. No, I'm afraid calls for a minitower are being drowned out by the crowds of consumers buying iMacs.

well i was one of the faithful who claimored for a cheaper mac in 2003/2004 for first time switchers so i hope that it works once again ;) after all i want something to upgrade to and i find the 1500 bucks difference for desktops simply too much (the mini is great for me as a student since it easily fits into my backpack .. and compared to laptop doesn't have a battery)
and god knows how often i heard the "it will cannibalize iMac sales" argument back then ..



I also think the situation is the result of some prejudice on both sides - PC enthusiasts are convinced that the AIO form factor is totally worthless for any kind of performance computing (not true), while Apple feels the AIO iMac can be tuned to meet almost everyone's needs, and everyone else will be happy with a Mac Pro (not really). The reality as I see it is that the iMac is a better gaming machine than the enthusiasts think, but could stand some improvement with more constant updates and a bit more power in the GPU department. Or a cheaper Mac Pro with more GPU options.

well can it run current games in the built in native LCD resolution with 30 frames ? on a LCD running on any other resolution looks like ***

and for me "built in screen" in a computer is simply a no go for me ... that is totally fine and great for laptop or a computer for my mother or sister but apart of looks it doesn't offer a single advantage i can think of

Lord Blackadder
Nov 24, 2007, 03:11 PM
I bought an iMac back in '99...my first new computer. While I loved it, I won't be buying another AIO for the foreseeable future, since I want the benefits that come with getting a Mac Pro and when the time comes I'll be ready to pay for them.

Still, I wish the Mac Pro could be had for less money - it probably hurts more in Europe than it does here in the States but it is still an expensive computer by any estimate. I think Apple is firmly committed to the iMac as their consumer machine and until something happens to convince them otherwise the Mac hardware line will not fundamentally change.

As for the iMac's ability to play "current" games at native resolutions...I'm not convinced that it should have to get over 30fps in every major software title to be considered useful for gaming. In that sense no, the iMac will never be sufficient to play "current" games for long if at all. However it compares favorably with most of its direct OEM competitors in the PC world, and that's all Apple needs it to do to make lots of money and tempt switchers.

takao
Nov 24, 2007, 04:09 PM
I bought an iMac back in '99...my first new computer. While I loved it, I won't be buying another AIO for the foreseeable future, since I want the benefits that come with getting a Mac Pro and when the time comes I'll be ready to pay for them.

yeah and for me it's similiar.. while the mac mini is/was a great computer for a student who 5 times a year changes location between flat and the house at home i want more power for my stationary desktop after i'm finished with my studies

Still, I wish the Mac Pro could be had for less money - it probably hurts more in Europe than it does here in the States but it is still an expensive computer by any estimate. I think Apple is firmly committed to the iMac as their consumer machine and until something happens to convince them otherwise the Mac hardware line will not fundamentally change.

i don't know perhaps the market is really that different... if i look the most popular austrian price comparison site for electronics of all sorts it looks like this for the top 10 most searched items

1. Zotac Geforce 8800 GT Amp Edition
2. Asus Eee Laptop
3. Apple iPhone
4. Sapphire Radeon 3750
5. Asus Geforce 8800 GT
6. AMD Phenom 9500
7. Playstation 3
8. Samsung LE-something Lcd tv
9. Zotac Geforce 8800 GT
10. Samsung Syncmaster 226BW

the first and only apple computer in the top 100 is in 77th place

as far as i remember the original imac newer really was as successful as in the US around here

As for the iMac's ability to play "current" games at native resolutions...I'm not convinced that it should have to get over 30fps in every major software title to be considered useful for gaming. In that sense no, the iMac will never be sufficient to play "current" games for long if at all. However it compares favorably with most of its direct OEM competitors in the PC world, and that's all Apple needs it to do to make lots of money and tempt switchers.

with comparable AIO i would say yes ;)
edit: don't get me wrong it's a great computer if you don't require 3D and additional internal hard disks... after all i'm still pushing my mother to get one to replace the less than ideal PC she is currently using but she some how decided that she needed that that 800 euro kitchen machine more ... not that i'm gonna complain about that when munching down delicious cakes ;)

Killyp
Nov 24, 2007, 04:19 PM
My 10 year old G3 iMac runs Tiger just fine (planning forcing Leopard upon it at some point), and it's only had a RAM and HDD replacement. Pretty good going if you ask me.


I'd still like to see a middle-range tower though...

Cloudane
Nov 25, 2007, 07:56 AM
Hmm ok, I had the wrong impression with keyboard and mouse support for the 360, seems it's rare/nonexistent. In which case fair enough, console gaming is not the answer.

Even still, I think a PC is a much better solution for gaming. Games rely on you being able to upgrade your graphics card every year or so if you want to keep up with the latest and greatest on the best settings, something which the consumer Macs don't cater for. Apple sell "solutions". (Just not gaming solutions!), this is the whole point of them, and making them both modular *and* affordable for Joe Sixpack competes directly with the PC market, in fact you might as well just call it an "Apple PC".

IMHO, if you think Apple are going to offer this kind of flexibility without charging a serious premium for it (i.e. the Mac Pro) you're deluded. Don't get me wrong I'd like to see it too, we all want the best from things, but it's just not possible. They'd be competing with the PC market at a much lower level, and there's a hell of a lot of competition out there, they'd just get trounced. I watched the Amiga disappear when it started mixing in with the PC market (Escom, Commodore PC etc), I don't want to see the same thing happen to the Mac, that's all. Sometimes you have to protect a product from the customer, who is not always right :)

I think you would see a brief moment of rejoice from consumers, people would realise there are much better PCs out there for the same price (albeit without OSX), and it'd fail. Let's remember that the vast majority of consumers don't recognise quality, only price. People would then lose confidence in Macs, and the whole thing fails, so now they're relying on iPods and iPhones: fashion accessories. Very *good* fashion accessories, but even still. Suddenly they go out of fashion and become uncool, and it's goodbye Apple.

If they do make a fully upgradable consumer tower, there will have to be something really special about it, other than OS X, unique, and not applicable to PCs.

Adding a decent GPU into the iMac, if they have the space and cooling to support it, isn't a bad idea. But what happens in a year's time when it's outdated and you can't replace it.

FWIW I'll eventually be upgrading to a Mac Pro, even if they do the unthinkable and bring out a consumer tower. I'm a very strong computer enthusiast who's been messing with them since I was 5, so I understand and want the absolute best (that I can reasonably afford) out of my main machine. This will be the time when I'll no longer need to have a PC sat there for games, although I'm tempted to do so because dual booting is kind of tedious.

I just don't believe that they're suddenly going to be become a target for PC game developers. Most prefer to use DirectX for starters, so you're always going to be using Windows on the thing. Nor do I believe that there's a place in Apple's Mac line-up for what is basically an Apple PC, if they wish to survive, as nice as it would be.

Cloudsurfer
Nov 25, 2007, 09:51 AM
Bah. The iMac is fine for people who want a non-upgradeable, non-mobile high-end laptop. The internals of the iMac are pitiful, and even though it will play current games, it will struggle with next years games. If you're only going to use it for iLife, Safari, iTunes, and the occassional game, it'll be fine for 3 or 4 years. But for anyone looking to do Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic, gaming, or anything remotely demanding, the iMac will be suffering to keep up after a couple years.

This is just another example of why Apple needs another computer in its lineup. CPU makers produce desktop-class chips for a reason. Yes, laptop chips are impressive compared to the "olden days" but they still don't have the power and longevity that today's desktop CPUs do. Plus, with a non-upgradeable, once it's shot, you throw it out. With a desktop, you can give it a new graphics card, a BluRay Optical drive, fast RAM(with the iMac, you're stuck with SO-DIMMs), and most importantly, a newer CPU!

Seriously, Apple. You're missing out on a whole demographic of people who are clinging to their old machines just because they offer something an iMac never could: THE ABILITY TO DO WITH IT WHAT THEY WANT.

Please, pundits, spare me the "Buy a Mac Pro" and "The iMac is good enough" arguments. The MacPro is entirely more than what most people need for a home PC... and it's not a career machine I need. It's a hobby machine... and my hobbies include using Photoshop, Final Cut Express, Logic, and Bryce on a fairly consistent basis. I also want a computer that will last. The iMac will not stay current for more than a couple years.

The only reason the iMac is the "Desktop Star" is because it's the only consumer-aimed desktop Apple offers.

Apple, give me an xMac.

-Clive

Oh, please. You're talking from a computer conscious point of view. The truth of the matter is that 99% of all computer users don't care what's on the inside, as long as it works. The iMac offers them that, without the clutter of wires running underneath their desk. Claiming that an iMac will only run PS for 3 to 4 years is downright ********.

If you want to upgrade so badly, build your own PC.

chewietobbacca
Nov 26, 2007, 01:12 AM
I think the idea that they need a Desktop slotted between the iMac and Mac Pro is valid esp. if Apple wants to regrow market share in the desktop sector.

Think about the options now that a new Mac desktop slotted between the iMac and MacPro can have:

Intel 2.4 to 3.0GHz dual core (E6550 -> E6850 or whatever Wolfdale brings)
2GB DDR2 -> 4GB DDR2
ATI 3850 -> ATI 3870 (remember, these cards are considered midrange)

Would easily trump iMac performance at the cost of needing a tower, but certainly will be a lot smaller than a MacPro (those components can fit easily in any small form factor PC these days anyways) and can be priced quite well as well.

Apple already has OEM contracts w/ ATI and Intel so I don't think it's that much of a stretch for them to do something like this

motulist
Nov 26, 2007, 01:36 AM
I also want a mid level desktop. If you already have a nice monitor and want a decently powerful Mac, then the iMac is a waste of money because it has a monitor built in and it also is based on laptop parts so has laptop performance. Just give people a mid tower with the power of a desktop cpu and motherboard, but with few of the extras that Mac Pro offers, (like just 1 open pci slot, 1 open drive bay, etc.) price it at around or slightly higher than an iMac - then you'll have a winner.

It might cannibalize some starting level mac pro sales and some high end iMac sales, but it will add a big swath of new buyers who are unwilling to buy the current type of Macs available.

Cloudane
Nov 26, 2007, 03:38 AM
I guess they could make something similar to those Shuttle shoebox PCs. Make it a cube shape, no fans... :)

Clive At Five
Nov 26, 2007, 02:52 PM
Hmmm.....Even those of you who've been spitting venom at the iMac will have to admit that Dell completely got it wrong (http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/xpsdt_one?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&~tab=bundlestab&redirect=1) with their latest AIO...I would take an iMac over that in an instant.

This isn't about comparing AIOs. It's about Apple's lack of a true desktop... and the Sahara desert-sized gap in their product lineup.

...Which is fine, but Apple has been so successful with the AIO concept that if you think they're ever going to drop it in favor of a minitower you're p*ssing into the wind, to use a colloquial phrase. ;)

No one here thinks Apple should drop the iMac. It has its place in the market, just like the Mac Pro. It's just that radii of the iMac's and Mac Pro's market circles don't intersect.

Even still, I think a PC is a much better solution for gaming. Games rely on you being able to upgrade your graphics card every year or so if you want to keep up with the latest and greatest on the best settings, something which the consumer Macs don't cater for.

Complete misconception about gamers. I don't know a single gamer that upgrades his hardware yearly. *Maybe* every other year (the ones who have good jobs) but, usually not.

The only reason pundits shout "build/buy a PC!" is because Apple currently doesn't have anything on the market that matches what we prosumers want. It would take little to no effort at all to create such a box.

They'd be competing with the PC market at a much lower level, and there's a hell of a lot of competition out there, they'd just get trounced...

Hmm something about this paragraph reminds me of what people said about the cell phone market pre-iPhone... which seems to be doing alright, don't you agree?

The problem you pundits have is that you think an Apple-branded mid-tower would be comparable to a Dell or other crappy windows box, which is simply not true. I would expect such a unit to be similar to the low-end G3 PowerMacs of yore. Powerful and expandable with the stability of Apple hardware and OS X... all starting at $1500.

Let's remember that the vast majority of consumers don't recognise quality, only price.

That's why Apple is still in business, even though it's known you can build an equally-powerful system for much less money going with generic x86 harware. That's why the iPod is still around even though there are PMPs out there that cost less and do more. [/sarcasm]

People love Apple products because of the complete experience. I see an xMac being no different. Why do you? The unit will come out of the box and "just work." Then after a few years, it may need new RAM, or a second HDD, at which point it could be installed as easily as in a Mac Pro (lift latch, open case door, slide out HDD tray, insert HDD, slide in HDD tray, close case door, done). Lower specifications than a Mac Pro does not imply lower in quality.

If they do make a fully upgradable consumer tower, there will have to be something really special about it, other than OS X, unique, and not applicable to PCs.

Okay, how about the stability of Apple's hardware/software duality, along with Apple's legendary industrial design? How can you ignore OS X, though? That's why I want a Mac. If I didn't care about OS X, I wouldn't pay a premium for the hardware.

Oh, please. You're talking from a computer conscious point of view. The truth of the matter is that 99% of all computer users don't care what's on the inside, as long as it works.

Care to show me the study where you found your "99% don't care what's inside" claim? I don't have any countering statistics, but I do know that anyone who knows at least a little bit about computers also cares "at least a little" about what's inside. I'll give you the concession that there are a lot of people who don't know squat about computers, but that's changing dramatically. The generation of kids who've grown up using computers all know about RAM and the CPU and Hard Drives, etc. (believe me, I was one of those kids; and even my friends who are not "computer savvy" would still be able to pick out a good setup). As this generation gets to the age where they will start purchasing their own computers, most will know exactly the hardware they'll need for the tasks they'll be performing.

I have a feeling that pundits SEVERELY UNDERESTIMATE the number of people who know anything about computers. Of those, there are probably some people who just don't give a crap, but there are still many of those who do. If Apple wants to capture market share, they are going to need to go after this group, because it's bigger than you might think... and growing.

The iMac offers them [a system that "just works"], without the clutter of wires running underneath their desk. Claiming that an iMac will only run PS for 3 to 4 years is downright ********. If you want to upgrade so badly, build your own PC.

Yes, but if iMac users need more HardDrive space, they need to attach an external HDD, which adds clutter. If they want a BluRay drive, it has to be external, which adds to clutter. Who wants a daisy-chain of peripherals dancing on their desk? That's what I have right now, and I hate it. I'd give anything to be able to stuff my external HDD inside my iMac.

Aside from all this, Apple's towers are less cluttered than you think. There's a power chord to the wall, a DVI cable to the monitor, and a USB cable to the keyboard and mouse. Compared to an iMac, this is only one more cable (the DVI cable). I certainly don't have any problems with that.

And as for your comment about PS on older Macs, hell. I can run Photoshop 3 on my Performa... Why shouldn't I just be happy with that? Because as software matures, it requires more from the hardware. iMacs will be able to run CS3 well enough, and probably CS4 in the coming years, but anything beyond that is anyone's guess. A well-optomized, fine-tuned hardware configuration will last through more than just a couple generations of software.

I guess they could make something similar to those Shuttle shoebox PCs. Make it a cube shape, no fans... :)

You may laugh, but the Cube is a good step in the right direction. It just needed to be a little bigger, with space for an extra HDD, two more RAM slots, an empty PCI slot, and maybe an extra optical drive, slot. It wouldn't have been quite as sexy as the Cube, but it would've had the essentials.

-Clive

chewietobbacca
Nov 26, 2007, 07:45 PM
I also want to echo that people DO care about what's inside their computers, even if they don't understand what exactly it is.

How do you think Intel came to dominate the industry so thoroughly? All those Intel Inside ads on TV don't get people to get off their couches to go buy a processor - instead, the next time they do go shopping for a computer, they see the brand Intel and equate it with success. In fact, the entire megahertz myth was propagated by Intel as well for their P4 processors where bigger megahertz = better, which hurt AMD's equivalent K8 at the time, despite the fact that the K8 outperformed P4 clock for clock by huge percentages.

So yes, even if they don't know whats inside the computer, they see various numbers and specs and like big numbers and brand recognition.

Clive At Five
Nov 27, 2007, 03:04 PM
I also want to echo that people DO care about what's inside their computers, even if they don't understand what exactly it is.

You know, good point, I think you're right.

I know very little about cars aside from how to change the fluids and some minor diagnosis, but I would never buy the car without looking at the specs, whether I knew what they meant or not.

How do you think Intel came to dominate the industry so thoroughly? All those Intel Inside ads on TV don't get people to get off their couches to go buy a processor - instead, the next time they do go shopping for a computer, they see the brand Intel and equate it with success. In fact, the entire megahertz myth was propagated by Intel as well for their P4 processors where bigger megahertz = better, which hurt AMD's equivalent K8 at the time, despite the fact that the K8 outperformed P4 clock for clock by huge percentages.

I love the whole "Megahertz myth" episode. And I love even more that since people started catching on, Intel finally invested in an archetecture that was worth a crap... and its performance BLASTS that of the 4GHz P4s with half the clock speed.

Even amongst their three classes, the desktop CPU blasts an equally-clocked Mobile CPU, while the Xeon blasts both... which is why we're having this conversation in the first place.

So yes, even if they don't know whats inside the computer, they see various numbers and specs and like big numbers and brand recognition.

Surprisingly, I've been seeing fewer and fewer specifications listed in newspaper ads. They simply say "Intel Core 2 Duo." You'd think they'd want to use these numbers against the idiots to get them to buy a higher-clocked CPU...

-Clive

Macintosh001
Nov 27, 2007, 03:30 PM
As we say in Spain,"Al final lo barato sale caro",which means:"Finally what is Cheap ends up being expensive"

chewietobbacca
Nov 28, 2007, 05:16 AM
Surprisingly, I've been seeing fewer and fewer specifications listed in newspaper ads. They simply say "Intel Core 2 Duo." You'd think they'd want to use these numbers against the idiots to get them to buy a higher-clocked CPU...

-Clive

Ironically I think that's exactly because Intel found out that their Core 2 CPU's might sell worse precisely because of the megahertz myth they propagated. Back when Core 2 was introduced, people were wondering why they should pick up the lowly E6300 1.83GHz vs. a 3.8Ghz P4 despite the fact taht the E6300 beat the snot out of the 3.8GHz, much less when it got OC'd to 3.5GHz