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MacBytes
Apr 18, 2008, 08:31 AM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: The Non Existent Glaring Hole in the Mac Lineup (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20080418093145)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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Much Ado
Apr 18, 2008, 08:34 AM
If this isn't about the xMac then I will take off all of my clothes and run down the street, singing the national anthem of Germany to the tune of 'Don't stop me now'.

EDIT: Thanks, QS. A refreshing point of view, (hence the 'non-existant'), even if it is still about the xMac.

QuarterSwede
Apr 18, 2008, 08:42 AM
If this isn't about the xMac then I will take off all of my clothes and run down the street, singing the national anthem of Germany to the tune of 'Don't stop me now'.
It is but his point is this:
If there was really market for a mid powered, expandable Mac the 1.8 G5 should have been flying off the shelves but the reality is that that particular G5 proved to be about as popular as chewing on little balls of tin foil when you have lots of fillings in your mouth.
The argument about the lack of a cheapish expandable server, that so called glaring whole in the Mac lineup, is fallacious an example of self fulfilling prophecy. People want a more powerful Mac for their hard earned money so they look at the Apple line up and say "Crikey, they should have something more powerful. I know a mid range tower!" The situation is like an archaeologist hunting for Atlantis, after a few years of reading side scanning sonar everything starts to look like the lost continent. So once you accept the current price structure of Macs every hole looks like the ideal place for the fabled mid priced tower, even when there is no gap at all.

iStefmac
Apr 18, 2008, 08:47 AM
Great freakin article.

Hard to refute. Well, then again its reality, which is always hard to refute.

aardwolf
Apr 18, 2008, 09:50 AM
Lining up the prices doesn't disprove a gap. The gap is between the iMac and the PowerMac, regardless of price. The iMac is non-upgradeable laptop hardware... far inferior to even a mid-range desktop.

The real gap is between the $1,200 iMac and the $2000 PowerMac. Filling that gap with laptop prices doesn't count.

SkippyThorson
Apr 18, 2008, 10:22 AM
If this isn't about the xMac then I will take off all of my clothes and run down the street, singing the national anthem of Germany to the tune of 'Don't stop me now'.

:p Holy crap. That got a good laugh. Very specifically graphic.

RichardI
Apr 18, 2008, 10:23 AM
Lining up the prices doesn't disprove a gap. The gap is between the iMac and the PowerMac, regardless of price. The iMac is non-upgradeable laptop hardware... far inferior to even a mid-range desktop.

The real gap is between the $1,200 iMac and the $2000 PowerMac. Filling that gap with laptop prices doesn't count.

Well said. :cool:

Mashiach
Apr 18, 2008, 10:30 AM
You may all shoot me for saying this but.....

maybe the fact that there isn,t an expandable mid tower is because of the software itself. Apple state that one of the reasons that macs 'just work' is because of the software being built for defined hardware. By introducing many new hardware choices into a system more and more fixes and drivers need to be introduced into osx to support this and correct me if i am wrong isn't this one of the reasons windows falls flat on its back because their are too many system configurations out there to support every one to the letter.
This is my opinion anyway.

Yvan256
Apr 18, 2008, 10:40 AM
IMHO the only thing people want from Apple is a tower with more than two RAM slots and a PCI-e slot to upgrade the video card once in a while.

Otherwise, the only thing lacking is real, decent GPUs in the Mac mini and MacBook. My :apple:TV has a dedicated GPU but not my Mac mini? :confused:

Silencio
Apr 18, 2008, 10:47 AM
maybe the fact that there isn't an expandable mid tower is because of the software itself. Apple state that one of the reasons that macs 'just work' is because of the software being built for defined hardware. By introducing many new hardware choices into a system more and more fixes and drivers need to be introduced into osx to support this and correct me if i am wrong isn't this one of the reasons windows falls flat on its back because their are too many system configurations out there to support every one to the letter.

Adding another line of desktop computers would not add a significant burden on Apple's software team to support it. They had to jump through far more hoops to support some of the new and/or missing tech in the MacBook Air than they would for a theoretical midrange tower.

My guess is that Apple actually does look very closely at the sales figures and sales trends for their computers and just doesn't see an opportunity in the midrange tower that justifies the expense and effort.

Playing with the system configurator on the Psystar site was a bit illuminating for me. When I took their $999 tower and customized it in the ways that I wanted -- quad-core Core 2 Duo, upgraded video card, &c -- the price came out to $1,800 or therebouts. For that kind of money, I might as well spend a few hundred more and get the low-end quad-core 2.8GHz Mac Pro (or perhaps even a refurbed octo-core 2.8GHz model) and get a vastly superior machine that will last me a longer time.

BenRoethig
Apr 18, 2008, 12:13 PM
Lining up the prices doesn't disprove a gap. The gap is between the iMac and the PowerMac, regardless of price. The iMac is non-upgradeable laptop hardware... far inferior to even a mid-range desktop.

The real gap is between the $1,200 iMac and the $2000 PowerMac. Filling that gap with laptop prices doesn't count.

They also limit everything to monetary. They don't quite get the usability angle. Use the same laptop parts, but but them in a tower form factor and it would still be a much better machine for me than the iMac I'm typing on.

You may all shoot me for saying this but.....

maybe the fact that there isn,t an expandable mid tower is because of the software itself. Apple state that one of the reasons that macs 'just work' is because of the software being built for defined hardware. By introducing many new hardware choices into a system more and more fixes and drivers need to be introduced into osx to support this and correct me if i am wrong isn't this one of the reasons windows falls flat on its back because their are too many system configurations out there to support every one to the letter.
This is my opinion anyway.

Is there anything such as defined hardware anymore? The optical drives, hard drives, mice, and keyboards all use a universal driver. The current intel platforms use common families which have similar drivers. In fact, with the exception of some BIOS related issues, today's Macworld said that a P35 based homebuilt machine worked just as well as those that came from Apple. The OS is much more flexible than you guys give it credit.

mklos
Apr 18, 2008, 12:20 PM
I would love to see Apple release an $899 and/or $999 Mini-tower (mini compared to the PMG5/MacPro). But...you have to becareful with what you release. You don't want to take away from other products. For example, you don't want this mini-tower taking away from MacPro sales. Don't think that people would were considering a MacPro won't look at this Mac minitower first unless they know they need some serious power.

I don't think releasing a tower in the $1500 range will work. Apple has tried it many times and its always failed. People will either buy the iMac, or a MacPro. This is what has happened in the past with the $1500 PowerMac G5. It will have to be in the $899/$999 range for it to work. It would actually fit the bill nice because there's a HUGE gap between the $599 Mac Mini and the $1199 iMac. There's plenty of room for a computer there...

Eidorian
Apr 18, 2008, 12:22 PM
Good night sweet single processor Power Mac for $1,499.

BenRoethig
Apr 18, 2008, 12:26 PM
I would love to see Apple release an $899 and/or $999 Mini-tower (mini compared to the PMG5/MacPro). But...you have to becareful with what you release. You don't want to take away from other products. For example, you don't want this mini-tower taking away from MacPro sales. Don't think that people would were considering a MacPro won't look at this Mac minitower first unless they know they need some serious power.

I don't think releasing a tower in the $1500 range will work. Apple has tried it many times and its always failed. People will either buy the iMac, or a MacPro. This is what has happened in the past with the $1500 PowerMac G5. It will have to be in the $899/$999 range for it to work. It would actually fit the bill nice because there's a HUGE gap between the $599 Mac Mini and the $1199 iMac. There's plenty of room for a computer there...

Apple has had PowerPCs in the past. The early G3s were the only ones really on par. Afterwards Motorola and IBM lost interest.

Clive At Five
Apr 18, 2008, 12:41 PM
This article reeks of sweeping generalizations. Worse yet, it barricades itself by labeling xMac hopefuls as stubborn whiners who 'just don't get it.' How can one even hope to state a counter-argument when the author has HIS mind made up that opponents 'just don't understand?'

Nevertheless, I will try, and you'll all have to take my word that I actually DO know what I need in a computer.

That being said, let the broad generalizations and misleading statements begin!

1) While users say they want [an xMac (mid-tower)], and demand the mythical machine, when faced with the option of buying a machine that is basically a screenless iMac with a replaceable video card or buying an iMac for two hundred dollars more they'll opt for the iMac every time.

Major assumption, and a flat-out lie. I will never buy an iMac again. I grew out of mine way too quickly and not being able to upgrade was a major disadvantage. I attached an external drive (dongles are ugly!), replaced the internal RAM and upgraded the optical drive (the last two of which are "non-user-replaceable," mind you) out of necessity. I can't afford to throw out my entire computer every 3 years and just buy anew, and many users are the same. One can upgrade for a couple hundred as opposed to complete replacement for a grand and a half.

For those with the knowledge, upgrading is definitely the way to go.

2) Those who don't go for the iMac are left in a puzzling predicament when it comes time to upgrade the video card. Two years from now iMacs will be cheaper but the video card they want will cost them $250. So they'll be faced with a new dilemna: Drop $250 into the Mac min maxi with an already out of date processor (these are techie folks who need power after all) or drop a grand on a computer with more cores, more memory and a screen. That is a big case of buyers remorse waiting to happen.

"These are techie folks who need the power?" Please. I don't even know where to begin with this statement since it is swimming with lies. A) In two years, iMacs will NOT be cheaper. B) Of all my geeky friends, only one of them is obsessed with having the lastest and greatest. The rest are just fine using 2, 3 year-old technology. When their system starts getting slow, they replace the bottleneck for a small price and move on. They add RAM for $50. They add a second HDD for a hundred. They get a modestly priced GPU for $80 (you can get really decent cards for $80 these days). Wrost-case scenario, they buy a new CPU for $150 - $250. Or even if they perform all five of these upgrades, it will only cost them $500... a far cry from the price of a new iMac @ $1200...

And who on earth upgrades their display every three years? I don't know ANYONE who does that... even my performance-starved friend. Heck, that's just wasteful.

3) Why didn't the Mac mini fly off the shelves? The Mac mini was considered by many to be underpowered. (It wasn't and isn't. When Steve jobs said the mini was enough computer for 90% of the people he lied, the number is closer 99%).

Wow, blatent exaggeration. With a GMA950, the MacMini's GPU can't even decode HD content. What percentage of people DON'T want to view HD content? Likely very few. According to reports, the MacMini can't even play streaming HD content off the web. Now THAT is a pitiful statement. If Apple expects their computers to be a home's digital hub, it better damn-well make them capable of doing something as trivial as watching HD content. It's 2008, not 1998.

Secondly, there's the issue of gaming on the MacMini. While opponents will be quick to dismiss "gaming" arguments, let me share with you a statistic: "Sixty-seven percent of heads-of-households play video games in their free time." Granted not all of these are hardcore gamers, but they don't need to be. Even 2004 tween-favorite The Sims 2 is a polygon cruncher, whose system requirements exceed the MacMini's capabilities. One may be able to play the game, but it won't be very well. For a 2008 computer not be able to play a 2004 kids' game... is pathetic. Apple should be embarrassed.

4) There is also a good chance that Apple has already experimented with a cheapish expandable tower. Consider the single 1.8 GHz G5 PowerMac. Introduced in 2004 this machine retailed for $1499. [...] If there was really market for a mid powered, expandable Mac the 1.8 G5 should have been flying off the shelves but the reality is that that particular G5 proved to be about as popular as chewing on little balls of tin foil when you have lots of fillings in your mouth.

Prosumers don't want a crippled pro machine, they want a modest tower that is built for their needs. One astonishing fact is that Apple completely omits Desktop-class CPUs from their lineup. MacMinis and iMacs use mobile-grade CPUs, and the MacPro uses server-grade GPUs. The performance gap between these two breeds is immense. Prosumers don't want a server CPU. They want a dual or quad-core DESKTOP-CLASS CPU. Likewise, they don't need to spend the extra money on FB (fully-buffered) RAM that the MacPro uses, but don't want the confinement of SO-DIMMs. Just as Apple avoids using cheap-but-fast desktop CPUs, they avoid typical cheap-but-fast desktop RAM.

Why do they do these things? It's not about Apple avoiding a "me too" product. It's so they can wrap their greasy little fingers around a few more dollars. Using mobile and server components comes with a higher price tag, therefore Apple can set the price of their units higher, allowing them to rake in bigger profits.

xMac advocates want a Mac that doesn't waste money on functionless design frills or miniturization. If Apple were to use desktop-class components, their computers would be much faster and cost much less. Unfortunately, Apple is much too obsessed with further lining their already-stuffed pockets than listening to what their customers want.

Will an xMac create competition with the iMac? Of course it will, but an xMac would hardly drive the iMac into extinction. There will always be people who want the simplicity of an all-in-one. There will always be people who will never need more than a MacMini. There will always be professionals who need MacPros or better. And between all these groups, there will always be prosumers who need the technology that's right in the middle.

Apple is blind to that group... but out of choice.

-Clive

RedTomato
Apr 18, 2008, 02:53 PM
Of all my geeky friends, only one of them is obsessed with having the lastest and greatest. The rest are just fine using 2, 3 year-old technology. When their system starts getting slow, they replace the bottleneck for a small price and move on. They add RAM for $50. They add a second HDD for a hundred. They get a modestly priced GPU for $80 (you can get really decent cards for $80 these days). Wrost-case scenario, they buy a new CPU for $150 - $250. Or even if they perform all five of these upgrades, it will only cost them $500... a far cry from the price of a new iMac @ $1200...

First I want to say i agree with pretty much everything you say, and I'd love to see an xMac too. I considered building a hackingtosh, but at the moment I'm happy with using an old powerbook with a broken screen and various drives hanging off it as a media and printer server.

However I want to say I do disagree with the quote above. In my PC days, every couple of years, I considered upgrading my midi-tower tower PC. I soon realised that the cycle is such that something apparently simple like getting a new graphics card, to be cost effective, meant getting a new mobo, which meant getting a new processor, which meant getting new RAM.

In the end, it was usually the case I had to upgrade a whole bunch of components at the same time. The total price for all that wasn't far off the cost of a new PC.

I'm talking about things like: (if I remember right)

graphics card: ISA -> PCI -> AGP -> AGP 4x -> PCIe -> PCIe 2.0

RAM: 30pin SIMM -> PC66 -> PC100 -> PC133 -> DDRxx -> DDRxx -> DDR2-xx -> DDR2-xx -> DDR3 -> ??

Mobo: Socket 4, Slot2, Socket 474, far too dam many standards to remember.

dubhe
Apr 18, 2008, 03:00 PM
If apple released a desktop computer like the mac mini with an easily replaceable 3.5" hard drive, decent/upgradable dedicated graphics, upgradable memory and 8 USB slots I would buy it tomorrow (I'm busy today).

If it could have two 3.5" HDs I would be even happier :)

Anyone remember the Acorn RiscPC? The way that was stackable so you could keep adding a layer of HD or CD drives? How about a stackable mini?

Dont Hurt Me
Apr 18, 2008, 03:07 PM
How many times must we do this ? iMac is the middle for Apple period. With a 2600pro and 2 cores of Intel power and able to hold 4 gigs its just more machine then most consumers need. Its gpu plays ET Quake wars with no problem so I have to admit after years of wanting a mid Mac that technological advancements have given us one anyways. Its called iMac and yes I love mine.

MacsRgr8
Apr 18, 2008, 03:09 PM
To me, the fact that this discussion never ends must prove that the stop-gap xMac is a "most wanted" machine.
IMHO an xMac would be something like this:
- Core 2 Duo CPU (Single and / or Dual configs)
- PCIe 2 upgradeable grfx
- 1 extra PCIe slot
- 4 slots for memory
- 2 internal Drive bays
All in a shrunken Mac Pro enclosure.

Apple must know this, but building this Mac would probably cannibalise sales of higher-end iMacs and lower-end Mac Pros. This in itself doesn't matter if Apple makes the same profits off these xMacs as iMacs and Mac Pros.
But, two things do matter:
1) Because this xMac is upgradeable, it will last longer than an iMac at home, therefore the sales in total will decrease over time.
2) Apple will have to produce a new model which will probably sell alot, and therefore must alter the overall fabrication process, which might cost alot.

If Apple were to do this, it could be that the price of making such an xMac would (and justifying the lost faster iMac sales) be too close to that of the low-end Mac Pro.

Believe me, I wish I could have gotten an xMac. I just saved a little more and bought myself a Mac Pro.... but I hardly ever use the 8 Cores.
I do use the GeForce 8800 GT though.

Maybe, just maybe... Steve finds this xMac concept a bit too nerdy. Too much for the hobbyist build-my-own-PC type of computer user, and that doesn't fit the desktop Mac-user's two profiles...:
iMac user: simple and elegant for at home. And buy a new one every other year when some part of the hardware doesn't cut it anymore (usually the grfx..).
Mac Pro user: either a real Pro user, or a home user who wants the creme de la creme...

BenRoethig
Apr 18, 2008, 03:52 PM
How many times must we do this ? iMac is the middle for Apple period. With a 2600pro and 2 cores of Intel power and able to hold 4 gigs its just more machine then most consumers need. Its gpu plays ET Quake wars with no problem so I have to admit after years of wanting a mid Mac that technological advancements have given us one anyways. Its called iMac and yes I love mine.

Good for you, but I have that same iMac and I don't. As for most consumers, we're talking about Apple here, a supposed premium computer maker, not Gateway or HP. They're supposed to be (and were before the Jobs/Ive head trip) the company who caters to those who want something more.

Dont Hurt Me
Apr 18, 2008, 03:58 PM
Its called PowerMac errr--I mean MacPro yeah thats the ticket.

cube
Apr 18, 2008, 04:00 PM
Apologist fanboy article.

The need for the headless midrange is real. There isn't a single reasonable Mac model.

BenRoethig
Apr 18, 2008, 04:02 PM
Its called PowerMac errr--I mean MacPro yeah thats the ticket.

It's called $1000 plus a display. They got rid of the lower end models that us PowerMac people used to buy.

Eric5h5
Apr 18, 2008, 04:03 PM
It is but his point is this:
If there was really market for a mid powered, expandable Mac the 1.8 G5 should have been flying off the shelves but the reality is that that particular G5 proved to be about as popular as chewing on little balls of tin foil when you have lots of fillings in your mouth.


That's such a wrong argument that I don't even know why anyone would bother to make it. The 1.8 G5 was a crippled version of the better models for not that much less money, with the exact same form factor. This is a completely different thing from an ACTUAL mid powered, expandable Mac which was designed to be such a thing from the beginning.

Lame article written by someone who doesn't seem to have that many working brain cells.

--Eric

Dont Hurt Me
Apr 18, 2008, 04:09 PM
Apologist fanboy article.

The need for the headless midrange is real. There isn't a single reasonable Mac model.That argument is just so wrong, iMac is terrific add a elgato TV and its PUURFECTO! Does it all. And gets rid of the clutter of endless pc cables. Its why the PC makers are building iMacs look alikes. Anyways its time for some Enemy Territory on my ......Mid grade Machine called iMac. Yeah Baby Yeah!:D

cube
Apr 18, 2008, 04:11 PM
All-in-one is only for uber-consumers.

odin!
Apr 18, 2008, 04:15 PM
I buy refurbished :apple:'s

Here is a cost analysis I did to upgrade a G4 PowerMac Yikes! vs a refurbished Mac Pro. Though if you have a G4 ADP you can get better upgrades for a little less.

Power Mac
$54.99 AEC-6290M 2-Channel SATA Adapter for Mac
$89.99 ATI RADEON 9200 PRO 128MB MAC EDITION PCI
$38.50 512 MB Ram OWC
$22.99 IOGEAR Hi-Speed USB 2.0 PCI Card - 5 Port USB 2.0 PCI Card
$31.99 Panasonic SW-9585-C 'Super MULTI Drive' SuperDrive 16X DVD w/DL, DVD-RAM + CDRW Burner
$299.99 Sonnet Encore/ZIF G4/1GHz w/1024k
$109.99 500 GB Seagate SATA Hard Drive
_________________________________
$648.48 Total Cost to Upgrade

End Specs: Power Mac G4 1GHz, 1GB Ram, Superdrive, ATI Radeon 9200 PRO 128MB VRAM, 500GB Sata Drive, 5 USB 2.0 Ports


Buying Refurbished:
Refurbished Mac Pro 8-core 2.8GHz Intel Xeon
Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors
2GB (2 x 1GB) of 800MHz DDR2 ECC fully buffered DIMM
320GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200-rpm hard drive
16x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB (two dual-link DVI ports)

Total: $2399.00

Side by Side Comparison:
Cores
MP - 8 Cores
PM - 1

Processor speed
MP - 2.8GHz
PM - 1GHz

Ram
MP - 2GB Ram (expandable to 32GB)
PM - 1GB(fully expanded)

Storage
MP - 320GB expandable to 2TB
PM - 500GB expandable to 4TB

Graphics
MP - 256MB Video expandable to 1.5GB
PM - 128MB Video fully expanded

Warranty
MP - Yes, expandable to 3 years AppleCare
PM - No

Price
MP - $2399
PM - $648.48

cube
Apr 18, 2008, 04:20 PM
Why do I need 8 cores? So, no need for Xeon.

Why do I need FB-DIMMs?

Mac Pro is only for ultra power-hungry people.

BenRoethig
Apr 18, 2008, 04:38 PM
That's such a wrong argument that I don't even know why anyone would bother to make it. The 1.8 G5 was a crippled version of the better models for not that much less money, with the exact same form factor. This is a completely different thing from an ACTUAL mid powered, expandable Mac which was designed to be such a thing from the beginning.

Lame article written by someone who doesn't seem to have that many working brain cells.

--Eric

The 1.8ghz model was actually based upon the U3L chipset from the iMac.

BenRoethig
Apr 18, 2008, 04:42 PM
That argument is just so wrong, iMac is terrific add a elgato TV and its PUURFECTO! Does it all. And gets rid of the clutter of endless pc cables. Its why the PC makers are building iMacs look alikes. Anyways its time for some Enemy Territory on my ......Mid grade Machine called iMac. Yeah Baby Yeah!:D

Just because it meets your needs, doesn't mean it meets the needs of somebody else. And as the clutter EyeTV, DVD, external DVD burner, card reader and HUB.

pjarvi
Apr 18, 2008, 04:44 PM
If Apple put modern graphics hardware in the Mini and iMac rather than integrated chips or GPU's that are 1-2 generations old, there wouldn't be nearly as much call as there currently is for a headless, affordable/upgradeable, Mac. The main gripe I think most switchers have (myself included) is the lack of a decent graphics chip in the affordable systems suitable enough for playing PC games. If the Mac Mini was available with an 8600GT GPU and at least 256MB of video memory, I would buy one. The only reason I still have a PC at this time is because of games. Everything else that I used to do on my PC I now do on my MacBook. Games are the only thing left that prevent me from ditching my PC for good. The only Mac system capable of playing games at a comparable level to my PC is the Mac Pro, but my PC cost less than 1/4th the price.

Eventually, I will just save up and waste money on a Mac Pro that I don't really need, but in the meantime i'm just going to continue to bitch and moan. :p

BenRoethig
Apr 18, 2008, 05:01 PM
It isn't just the graphics.

-2 DIMM slots opposed to 4 on a desktop
-only 3 USB ports and getting to them isn't easy at times.
-single slot loading notebook DVD burner. Less than half the speed of desktop drives and can't read 3.5" Mini CDs/DVDs. Also means no easy upgrade to Blu-ray when the time comes
-Single inaccessible hard drive slot. Backup hard drive, RAID, or separate disk for windows or Linux? Not going to happen. Also, if you outgrow you current hard drive, no easy way to upgrade it.
-E-SATA (which is supported at OS level by the way) or another upgrade? Not this Mac.

cube
Apr 18, 2008, 05:38 PM
And the hard drive is 2.5". Ridiculous.

Trip.Tucker
Apr 18, 2008, 05:49 PM
Apologist fanboy article.

The need for the headless midrange is real. There isn't a single reasonable Mac model.

Wow.....then why are you even on these forums?

cube
Apr 18, 2008, 05:55 PM
I still use a Cube because Apple offers no reasonable replacement.

IJ Reilly
Apr 18, 2008, 06:08 PM
This guy should have cut to the chase and said that in reality very few people actually upgrade their computers, and that this is why there really is no "whole" in the Macintosh line.

And don't get me started on the grammar.

BenRoethig
Apr 18, 2008, 06:42 PM
And the hard drive is 2.5". Ridiculous.

Not on the iMac. Ive didn't give away the whole farm for a change.

Digital Skunk
Apr 18, 2008, 06:59 PM
Storage
MP - 320GB expandable to 2TB
PM - 500GB expandable to 4TB

They are both maxed out at 4TB, the MP can take 4 SATA or SAS drives.

Now that I have read the posts, I must say:

1. The article sucks, the guy is definitely a fanboy because he simple claims Apple is not at fault. He sounds like the iPhone junkies over in the other thread talking about how great their crippled phone is.

2. The PowerMac G5 was the last great tower of the day. The dual core 1.8 that came out in the beginning didn't sell well because for another $300 or so, you got a whole nother processor, why not spend the cash. Check the numbers on that, my school bought the dual 1.8s like hot cakes.

3. When you look at every G5 sans the single chip 1.8, you can get an idea of what the mini tower users want. Nothing fancy, just a solid tower that doesn't put you in debt, with more power than an iMac, but not as much as the high end $2500 machine, and one that can be expanded in a year or 5.

4. Anyone that says the 24" iMac Extreme is comparable is LYING to themselves. My fiancee has one and even though it plays C&C3 on the highest settings better than any SR MBP (the only thing on Apple's site that comes close) I have ever seen it's no quad core desktop PC.

Now, the game was written to work with Macs flawlessly, and it does for me, and the screen is flawless, and it's a wonderful machine by anyones standards, so don't bash it... but it's not the desktop class tower that we all want Apple to release. If you want a machine to last longer than 2 years, you have to get the highest end iMac cuz nothing else will do, that's $2400... not cutting it. A tower will last you far longer, especially with DESKTOP CPUs.

5. If Apple does make a mini tower, don't taint it like they have been doing on some of their hardware. Put desktop chips in it, give it three PCI slots, 5 USB ports are enough, and add 2 FW400 and 2 FW800 ports as well. 8GB of RAM via 4 slots.....

Just look at the PC makers and you get the idea.

prostuff1
Apr 18, 2008, 08:07 PM
I have been one of those people saying from the beginning that there is a whole in the apple lineup. Technically i think there are 2 holes and i might as well discuss both of them here.


Now, what i am hoping to see:
A replacement for the 12in Powerbook. I know I am not the only one that is "bitching" about this. I had a 12in iBook that was great to carry around and i would get a MacBook, but I really would like a proper graphics card and a nice aluminum enclosure. I originally went the iBook and iMac route because it gave me the portability of a laptop and a little more power from a desktop for about the same price as a PowerBook at the time. I don't see the point in overpaying for a blackbook and the 15in MBP is a little bigger then I would like. I could deal with it and carry it around on campus but i would much rather try that with a 13in version. I am going to make due with my iMac (iBook went to my sister a little while ago, so no more laptop for me) and hope that the MBP's see some sort of "major" revision in the next...say 2-4 months; any longer then that and I will have to go a different route.


Ideally I would love to see apples product line become a little more "filled out." And some/most people will argue that it would hurt apple more then help but I have always thought that as long as Apple is the only one making and selling the hardware then it does not really matter how many products they have. They were almost killed by the clones but the thing to understand was that Apple was not in control of those products, they would be this time.


I would love the product line to look something like this:
Low end
Mac Mini - I think it is great for what it is designed for. Maybe a $100 price drop to get it to that magical under $500 mark. Then you would have a $500 machine and a $700 machine for the entry level.

MacBook - Again I think this laptop is pretty good right were it is at. It would be nice to see it get a $100 price drop as well so that the lower end is at the magical $1,000 mark. So then you would have the $1,000 machine, a $1,200 machine and a $1,400 machine.

Mid Range
iMac - I think the iMac is fine right were it is. Maybe...maybe it could use an update to the graphics card, but really i could care less. I think it runs games well enough for the target audience it was designed for.

The mythical Mac - (or whatever the hell they want to call it.) I really think apple is missing the boat a little on this one. I think they need to come out with some kinda of midtower. You could make 2-3 different models ranging in price from $1,400 to $2,000 on the base configes. Use desktop parts in the thing and make it user upgradeable. Use:
1. C2D processor (all dual core, no quads)
2. PCI Express graphics cards with a good range (say pretty much the same as what is in the MacPro. Some might say this could cause a problem and cannibalize MacPro sales but i don't think it would). SLI could be considered but is not a necessity.
3. Give use 4 Ram slots
4. One (maybe 2) drive bays. I think one would be sufficient
5. Enough space to put 2-3 Hard drives in the thing.

I don't pretend to me a marketing guru but i would imagine that building this type of a machine would be easier then say, the iMac as there would be less heat, noise, etc issues to worry about. The margins would also be higher I would think as the parts would be more "standard"

High End
MBP - I think the 15in and 17in are fine for now. I would like to see, as I said earlier, a true replacement for the 12in PowerBook. a 13.3 in version of the 15in MBP would be great, and is essentially what i want. Release it at the price of $1,700 or $1,800 and I would, more then likely, be at an apple store with money in hand the week it came out. I just like the fit and finish of the aluminum much better then the plastic, and at 13.3in is not so large as to make it hard to fit in my school bag with everything else.

MacPro - These are fine were they are. I actually think that you get quite a steal for what is being offered. The option to have only one Quad Core is nice and brings the price down little for those that might not need the number crunching power of an octo core machine.




The article as a whole has some points but overall i find to to be... blah

wolfie37
Apr 18, 2008, 09:23 PM
What's all this nonsense about the cost of upgrading an iMac after 2 or 3 years? All the posters seem to be forgetting something, when you buy a new iMac, you still have the old one and the re-sale prices even on eBay are very good. I am currently on my 4th iMac, and everytime I have upgraded I have easily clawed back 40% of the cost of the new iMac through selling on the old one. I usually buy the top end one, and tend to change every 3 years. I find it very cost effective and a great form factor and fast enough for anything I do. Not everyone needs upgradeable machines.

ckurowic
Apr 19, 2008, 01:04 AM
Adding another line of desktop computers would not add a significant burden on Apple's software team to support it. They had to jump through far more hoops to support some of the new and/or missing tech in the MacBook Air than they would for a theoretical midrange tower.

My guess is that Apple actually does look very closely at the sales figures and sales trends for their computers and just doesn't see an opportunity in the midrange tower that justifies the expense and effort.

Playing with the system configurator on the Psystar site was a bit illuminating for me. When I took their $999 tower and customized it in the ways that I wanted -- quad-core Core 2 Duo, upgraded video card, &c -- the price came out to $1,800 or therebouts. For that kind of money, I might as well spend a few hundred more and get the low-end quad-core 2.8GHz Mac Pro (or perhaps even a refurbed octo-core 2.8GHz model) and get a vastly superior machine that will last me a longer time.

You know it wouldn't burden them because you work there? I'm not sure any of us, unless they are an Apple employee who works on the Mac lineup, can comment on that. IMO.

cube
Apr 19, 2008, 08:05 AM
Not on the iMac. Ive didn't give away the whole farm for a change.

I thought you were responding to the mini comment.

BenRoethig
Apr 19, 2008, 09:39 AM
What's all this nonsense about the cost of upgrading an iMac after 2 or 3 years? All the posters seem to be forgetting something, when you buy a new iMac, you still have the old one and the re-sale prices even on eBay are very good. I am currently on my 4th iMac, and everytime I have upgraded I have easily clawed back 40% of the cost of the new iMac through selling on the old one. I usually buy the top end one, and tend to change every 3 years. I find it very cost effective and a great form factor and fast enough for anything I do. Not everyone needs upgradeable machines.

More like 12 to 18 months.

Digital Skunk
Apr 19, 2008, 12:51 PM
More like 12 to 18 months.

My family and I have been consistent with a 2 year cycle time. My mom's iMac G5 is about due for an update. Since the speed increase from using the Intel chips are GREAT, I am thinking about getting her a used 17" iMac Core Duo so she won't even know that I upgraded her machine.

123
Apr 19, 2008, 06:57 PM
Buying Refurbished:
Refurbished Mac Pro 8-core 2.8GHz Intel Xeon
Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors
2GB (2 x 1GB) of 800MHz DDR2 ECC fully buffered DIMM
320GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200-rpm hard drive
16x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB (two dual-link DVI ports)

Total: $2399.00

Buying Hackintosh:
Dual core 3.0 GHz or quad 2.4 GHz (same price, whatever suits you better)
4 GB of 1066 MHz DDR2
500 GB drive with 32 MB cache
20x DVD writer
GeForce 8800GT
+ good compatible mobo, case, power supply

Total: $1150

Side by Side Comparison:
Cores
MP - 8
HA - 2 or 4

Processor speed
MP - 2.8GHz
HA - 3.0 or 2.4

Ram
MP - 2GB RAM (expandable to 32GB)
HA - 4GB of faster RAM (expandable to 8GB)

Storage
MP - 320GB
HA - 500GB with 4x cache

Graphics
MP - slow card
HA - fast, state of the art card

Warranty
MP - Yes, expandable to 3 years AppleCare
HA - Either on parts or on the whole machine, depending on how/where you buy

Price
MP - $2399
HA - $1150

The question is, do you really need the processing power? When there is one thing I've learned from owning a G5 quad 2.5, then it is that for my type of work many cores are idling or stalled most of the time. I really don't need 8 cores, 2 fast cores and a well-balanced system are good enough (and the processor can be upgraded to 4x3GHz in 6-12 months for $200 anyway).

Apple gets these parts for $700. They could sell such a machine for $1600 with a nice margin. And get rid of the slowest Mac Pro option (or lower its price) which is typically way overpriced in order to direct people to the even more expensive models.


2. The PowerMac G5 was the last great tower of the day. The dual core 1.8 that came out in the beginning didn't sell well because for another $300 or so, you got a whole nother processor, why not spend the cash. Check the numbers on that, my school bought the dual 1.8s like hot cakes.

Like I said, the low end model is always 2x overpriced. The other models are in line with market prices.

Digital Skunk
Apr 19, 2008, 07:22 PM
....

The MacPro has server parts though, is the comparison still legit then?

Also, when considering the server parts, wouldn't that jack up the price of the mobo/RAM slots/RAM needed/etc.?

Also(x2), isn't the ability to use multiple cores dependent on the software? Compressor screams on my multiple core machines since it is now written to utilize either all or some of the 8 cores at my disposal.

barijazz
Apr 19, 2008, 11:22 PM
You may all shoot me for saying this but.....

Preparing Rock throwing....
maybe the fact that there isn,t an expandable mid tower is because of the software itself. Apple state that one of the reasons that macs 'just work' is because of the software being built for defined hardware. By introducing many new hardware choices into a system more and more fixes and drivers need to be introduced into osx to support this and correct me if i am wrong isn't this one of the reasons windows falls flat on its back because their are too many system configurations out there to support every one to the letter.
This is my opinion anyway.

barijazz
Apr 19, 2008, 11:27 PM
Apple just needs to upgrade the mac mini to support the power of an imac with some room to stretch it's legs.

cube
Apr 20, 2008, 06:09 AM
No, because the mini is a stupid static laptop like the iMac, which makes them more expensive.

cube
Apr 20, 2008, 06:11 AM
The MacPro has server parts though, is the comparison still legit then?

Also, when considering the server parts, wouldn't that jack up the price of the mobo/RAM slots/RAM needed/etc.?


You don't need server parts to make an 8GiB RAM quad-core machine. The comparison is legitimate.

nplima
Apr 20, 2008, 06:23 AM
Apple state that one of the reasons that macs 'just work' is because of the software being built for defined hardware.

If we have a look around, we realise that the best hardware to use for Linux, OSX86 and Windows are motherboards from the best manufacturers using the big brand chipsets, paired with graphics cards from the biggest manufacturers. OS X is not different and OSX86 project just proves it. The idea that a different motherboard on Apple's lineup would mess up the rest of the Apple computing experience sounds a bit unambitious.


Adding another line of desktop computers would not add a significant burden on Apple's software team to support it.

boo hoo hoo. then let Apple join the choir of Linux developers who would be happy to build open source drivers but get no support from manufacturers. If everyone would work together, things would be better at potentially a lower cost.

For that kind of money, I might as well spend a few hundred more and get the

ah! amazing! that never happens with computer hardware! :p

My mom uses the Apple mini because I thought it would be the best low maintenance Skype & Email machine I could find for the price. For me, I expect the computer to work full time, and paired with the screen of my choice. When I become a millionaire, a Power Mac may be OK, until then, Compaq it is.

123
Apr 20, 2008, 07:45 AM
The MacPro has server parts though, is the comparison still legit then?

Of course it is legit. It's:
- 2-4 cores vs. 8 cores
- consumer grade parts (best for consumer/serial/interactive use) vs. server parts (best for server/massive parallel use)
- affordable vs. twice the price

I am not saying there's no difference between these two configurations and neither did the original post I was replying to. However, I'm fairly certain that most people - even Mac Pro buyers - don't need a server system. It's that hole we are talking about, and it's not just an iMac without screen that's missing. Apple also doesn't offer a capable prosumer machine. The top of the line server parts alone make the Mac Pro $1000 more expensive.


Also, when considering the server parts, wouldn't that jack up the price of the mobo/RAM slots/RAM needed/etc.?

Of course. If you need a server system buy a 8 core Mac Pro. If you don't, buy a.... hmm, Apple doesn't offer anything. Keep in mind that "server" doesn't just mean "better", it also means "different". For example, FB RAM has high throughput and you can add a ton. But it also has latency issues. It's made for servers with hundreds of processes/threads constantly running in parallel. It's not meant for interactive use patterns or single tasks or gamers.

The Mac Pro is based on an Intel server chipset. In the PC world a server board is really used for servers. In the Mac world, Apple sells the same parts to casual photoshoppers. Do they need it? No, but they don't have a choice.


Also(x2), isn't the ability to use multiple cores dependent on the software? Compressor screams on my multiple core machines since it is now written to utilize either all or some of the 8 cores at my disposal.

Yes, that's true. Also, because of the recent dual/quad core trend, more and more programs are/will be written to make use of these cores. However, while multimedia stuff can be parallelized rather easily, there is also code that cannot be parallelized at all or with only minimal speedup. Parallelization also adds to coding complexity (= bugs), requires huge efforts and good programmers.

If you need this kind of (8x) power, the Mac Pro is the right machine for you. I just wanted to give an additional perspective.

TraceyS/FL
Apr 20, 2008, 08:32 AM
If apple released a desktop computer like the mac mini with an easily replaceable 3.5" hard drive, decent/upgradable dedicated graphics, upgradable memory and 8 USB slots I would buy it tomorrow (I'm busy today).

If it could have two 3.5" HDs I would be even happier :)

Anyone remember the Acorn RiscPC? The way that was stackable so you could keep adding a layer of HD or CD drives? How about a stackable mini?

THis is what I want/need!

Digital Skunk
Apr 20, 2008, 08:59 PM
...

Just checking, I know that the Mac Pro is a bit overkill for 85% of the people that use it. There is a guy at my office that dabbles in FCP who has one, and I want to take it from him.

I would love to see Apple actually make a competitive machine to really hit the PC market hard. Tower, blah blah blah you know. Here's to dreaming.

I am still heading for the Mac Pro myself. I just finished a shoot with the Panasonic P2 camcorder and filled up 24GB worth of P2 card worth of 1080i 60p footage, and I know my MBP won't be able to weild it like a Mac Pro can.

Silencio
Apr 21, 2008, 04:11 PM
boo hoo hoo. then let Apple join the choir of Linux developers who would be happy to build open source drivers but get no support from manufacturers. If everyone would work together, things would be better at potentially a lower cost.

Good lord, did you even bother reading my post? The technical barriers for Apple to release a midrange tower are small to insignificant. If the OSX86 project can get Mac OS X running on minitowers running Conroes, surely Apple can as well. The reason they're not doing it is because they obviously feel not enough people would buy them to make it worthwhile, and it would be an uncomfortable fit in the product line between the iMac and the Mac Pro.

Again, why should I spend around $1,700-$1,800 on a well-equipped Psystar or equivalent minitower when the quad-2.8GHz Mac Pro is only a few hundred more than that and will be a viable machine for a longer time? I was one of those clamoring for a minitower for ages myself, but I just don't see the value proposition in it compared to the iMacs and the Mac Pros. I know I couldn't be happy with an iMac myself, and I generally "overbuy" on my desktop machines and just keep them a longer time.

Instead of the midrange tower, Apple would be better suited by beefing up the mini IMO. Even the current mini is more computer than a lot of people need, but a few key improvements could make it a very compelling machine to a very wide audience. They don't necessarily need to lower the prices on them, just make them a better value for the money.

Diatribe
Apr 21, 2008, 04:24 PM
When their system starts getting slow, they replace the bottleneck for a small price and move on. They add RAM for $50. They add a second HDD for a hundred. They get a modestly priced GPU for $80 (you can get really decent cards for $80 these days). Wrost-case scenario, they buy a new CPU for $150 - $250. Or even if they perform all five of these upgrades, it will only cost them $500... a far cry from the price of a new iMac @ $1200...
-Clive

Now if you sell your old iMac you'd probably get $500-700 which makes upgrading to a new iMac almost as cheap. People always forget that.

-hh
Apr 21, 2008, 04:52 PM
That's such a wrong argument that I don't even know why anyone would bother to make it. The 1.8 G5 was a crippled version of the better models for not that much less money, with the exact same form factor. This is a completely different thing from an ACTUAL mid powered, expandable Mac which was designed to be such a thing from the beginning.

Gosh, as a buyer of one of those SP 1.8GHz PowerMacs from 2004, I'm going to defend it - - it is approaching 5 years old and in looking at prices, still worth around $800.

Overall, my biggest complaint is probably that the motherboard design didn't allow me to cheaply refit it with a second CPU sometime within the past 4.5 years as my computational demands grew. I'm about to do another round of HD upgrades on it, in preparation to making it an OS X Server that will support my home network ... and new Mac Pro.


Why do I need 8 cores? ...
Mac Pro is only for ultra power-hungry people.

Exactly. What this really means is that the iMac is the "mainstream" machine and before people whine too loudly about having to "THROW AWAY" an LCD display, perhaps they should take a step back through the time machine to ~4 years ago and compare how much an 17" LCD cost back then versus today, so as to get a grip as to what a used 22" LCD is going to be really worth by 2010 or 2011. Considering that you can buy one new for just over $200 right now (pricewatch), the worry is overblown.


This guy should have cut to the chase and said that in reality very few people actually upgrade their computers, and that this is why there really is no "whole" in the Macintosh line.

Not only that, but also that something like half of consumers today are buying laptops, which are even less likely to be upgraded.




The question is, do you really need the processing power? When there is one thing I've learned from owning a G5 quad 2.5, then it is that for my type of work many cores are idling or stalled most of the time. I really don't need 8 cores, 2 fast cores and a well-balanced system are good enough (and the processor can be upgraded to 4x3GHz in 6-12 months for $200 anyway).

It always will depend on what it is that you're doing with your PC. I'm getting quite tired of my old system taking 3 minutes to crank through certain still image rendering processes. Of course, its my own fault for trying to manipulate 200MB images on a nearly 5 year old Mac.


Just checking, I know that the Mac Pro is a bit overkill for 85% of the people that use it. ..I am still heading for the Mac Pro myself. I just finished a shoot ...

This is really the key to all of this: when you have the need for the horsepower, you really don't want to be forced to wait for your PC to chug along through it when you know that for "$X Dollars More", the big iron beckons. Personally, I have no problem in dropping $2-3K for a Mac because I know through experience that I can run it for 4-5 years with minimal additional upgrade costs. And less time spent mucking around under the hood in a rebuild means more productive time actually benefitting from the equipment. Even though I might do it mostly on my free time, I don't consider my time to be free.

As such, I'm with Silencio: I'm willing to spend more and "overbuy" and have it last much longer. FWIW, I do the same with my automobiles too...


-hh

BlackThunder
Apr 21, 2008, 09:37 PM
"When Steve jobs said the mini was enough computer for 90% of the people he lied, the number is closer 99%"

hahhaha... so true... I'm guilty of this too... Mac users are spec whores and want l33t toys. Let's face it.

People think a mini isn't enough power when 95% of users don't open any applications outside of Word and Firefox (Pages and Safari).

iTattoo
Apr 23, 2008, 10:39 AM
I have been one of those people saying from the beginning that there is a whole in the apple lineup. Technically i think there are 2 holes and i might as well discuss both of them here.


Now, what i am hoping to see:
A replacement for the 12in Powerbook. I know I am not the only one that is "bitching" about this. I had a 12in iBook that was great to carry around and i would get a MacBook, but I really would like a proper graphics card and a nice aluminum enclosure. I originally went the iBook and iMac route because it gave me the portability of a laptop and a little more power from a desktop for about the same price as a PowerBook at the time. I don't see the point in overpaying for a blackbook and the 15in MBP is a little bigger then I would like. I could deal with it and carry it around on campus but i would much rather try that with a 13in version. I am going to make due with my iMac (iBook went to my sister a little while ago, so no more laptop for me) and hope that the MBP's see some sort of "major" revision in the next...say 2-4 months; any longer then that and I will have to go a different route.


Ideally I would love to see apples product line become a little more "filled out." And some/most people will argue that it would hurt apple more then help but I have always thought that as long as Apple is the only one making and selling the hardware then it does not really matter how many products they have. They were almost killed by the clones but the thing to understand was that Apple was not in control of those products, they would be this time.


I would love the product line to look something like this:
Low end
Mac Mini - I think it is great for what it is designed for. Maybe a $100 price drop to get it to that magical under $500 mark. Then you would have a $500 machine and a $700 machine for the entry level.

MacBook - Again I think this laptop is pretty good right were it is at. It would be nice to see it get a $100 price drop as well so that the lower end is at the magical $1,000 mark. So then you would have the $1,000 machine, a $1,200 machine and a $1,400 machine.

Mid Range
iMac - I think the iMac is fine right were it is. Maybe...maybe it could use an update to the graphics card, but really i could care less. I think it runs games well enough for the target audience it was designed for.

The mythical Mac - (or whatever the hell they want to call it.) I really think apple is missing the boat a little on this one. I think they need to come out with some kinda of midtower. You could make 2-3 different models ranging in price from $1,400 to $2,000 on the base configes. Use desktop parts in the thing and make it user upgradeable. Use:
1. C2D processor (all dual core, no quads)
2. PCI Express graphics cards with a good range (say pretty much the same as what is in the MacPro. Some might say this could cause a problem and cannibalize MacPro sales but i don't think it would). SLI could be considered but is not a necessity.
3. Give use 4 Ram slots
4. One (maybe 2) drive bays. I think one would be sufficient
5. Enough space to put 2-3 Hard drives in the thing.

I don't pretend to me a marketing guru but i would imagine that building this type of a machine would be easier then say, the iMac as there would be less heat, noise, etc issues to worry about. The margins would also be higher I would think as the parts would be more "standard"

High End
MBP - I think the 15in and 17in are fine for now. I would like to see, as I said earlier, a true replacement for the 12in PowerBook. a 13.3 in version of the 15in MBP would be great, and is essentially what i want. Release it at the price of $1,700 or $1,800 and I would, more then likely, be at an apple store with money in hand the week it came out. I just like the fit and finish of the aluminum much better then the plastic, and at 13.3in is not so large as to make it hard to fit in my school bag with everything else.

MacPro - These are fine were they are. I actually think that you get quite a steal for what is being offered. The option to have only one Quad Core is nice and brings the price down little for those that might not need the number crunching power of an octo core machine.




The article as a whole has some points but overall i find to to be... blah

I agreed on both missing products - and it bothers me that my beautiful 24in screen on my iMac which should still be beautiful in 3 years, will be anchored to a machine that is being replaced. If Apple really wants to be a "green" company a separate monitor from the CPU should be offered, the screen will last through 2 or maybe even 3 cycles of the CPU.

BenRoethig
Apr 23, 2008, 11:07 AM
I agreed on both missing products - and it bothers me that my beautiful 24in screen on my iMac which should still be beautiful in 3 years, will be anchored to a machine that is being replaced. If Apple really wants to be a "green" company a separate monitor from the CPU should be offered, the screen will last through 2 or maybe even 3 cycles of the CPU.

The higher end consumer Apple is trying to sell the iMac to is also going to have a much shorter cycle than the family the form factor is more suited to. This iMac could suit the needs of my family for years. For me, it was maybe four months before I started looking for my next desktop.

akm3
Apr 23, 2008, 11:35 AM
IMHO the only thing people want from Apple is a tower with more than two RAM slots and a PCI-e slot to upgrade the video card once in a while.

Otherwise, the only thing lacking is real, decent GPUs in the Mac mini and MacBook. My :apple:TV has a dedicated GPU but not my Mac mini? :confused:

And the ability to upgrade my monitor and/or change computers without having to throw the monitor away. That is my issue with the iMac. That and like you said more RAM slots and ability to upgrade the video card...and ability to add more 3.5" internal hard drives.

-hh
Apr 23, 2008, 12:04 PM
IMHO the only thing people want from Apple is a tower with more than two RAM slots and a PCI-e slot to upgrade the video card once in a while.

And the ability to upgrade my monitor and/or change computers without having to throw the monitor away. That is my issue with the iMac. That and like you said more RAM slots and ability to upgrade the video card...and ability to add more 3.5" internal hard drives.

Okay, so these 'desirement' calls:

More RAM slots - - noted. So we've gone from 2 to to at least 4 ... do I hear 6? Why not? Or never have to worry about throwing away any RAM by just making it 8, like what's already in the Mac Pro.

Hard Drives - - "more internal drives" ... plural tense is noted. So we've gone from 1 to 3 ... do I hear 4? That's what the Mac Pro offers.

Video Cards - - upgradeability. Is this needed for games, Aperature or driving multiple large monitors?


-hh

Digital Skunk
Apr 23, 2008, 04:38 PM
Okay, so these 'desirement' calls:

More RAM slots - - noted. So we've gone from 2 to to at least 4 ... do I hear 6? Why not? Or never have to worry about throwing away any RAM by just making it 8, like what's already in the Mac Pro.

Hard Drives - - "more internal drives" ... plural tense is noted. So we've gone from 1 to 3 ... do I hear 4? That's what the Mac Pro offers.

Video Cards - - upgradeability. Is this needed for games, Aperature or driving multiple large monitors?


-hh

I hear ya. The best thing most people are going to get is 4GB of RAM, desktop processors, TWO internal drives, and PCI expansion. Any more than two drives would be a waste since three is a really akward number and four would be leading you toward the Mac Pro and raising the price.

RAM should top off at 4, there won't be 6 since the next step in laptop and desktop mobos is 8GB, and many if not all are already there. The biggest thing users are calling for are PCI expansion and desktop processors.

Even if the thing only had one internal drive but a lot of FW ports or eSATA ports many would be pleased.

MikeTheC
Apr 26, 2008, 12:05 AM
If this isn't about the xMac then I will take off all of my clothes and run down the street, singing the national anthem of Germany to the tune of 'Don't stop me now'.

EDIT: Thanks, QS. A refreshing point of view, (hence the 'non-existant'), even if it is still about the xMac.

You'll pardon me for saying "Only if you're a cute female" but, well... only if... You get the idea.

Rodimus Prime
Apr 26, 2008, 12:58 AM
The guy is a complete moron. There is a HUGE gapping hole in the mac desktop line up. The iMacs graphic cards are crap and they have no option to to really upgrade one. Plus the entire part of having to replace the display every 3 years is just insane.

I refuse to buy an apple desktop until they give me true desktop. Not a wanna be desktop like the iMac and not a server grade like the PM. My PC tower I built 3.5 years ago is still going strong. It was 1200 for software and hardware new. Since then I have put about 300-400 worth of upgrades. Of those upgrades only 250 of which where applied to extending the life of the computer (ram and graphic card) the other upgrades was adding a 500 gig hard drive and then a few PCI cards.
For 400 bucks I added a good 1-2 years of to the life of the computer to keep covering my needs. On top of that when I build a new one The hard drive and a few other parts will move with it so they are not really a loss so to speak. The Ram and Graphic card I consider a loss because there socket types are being phased out.


I say for an apple tower what needs to be added

1) user replaceable and upgradeable graphic card.
2) 2 internal hard drive bays
3) 3 PCI slots
4) 4 ram slots like the normal desktop.

I do not see that is really asking for much.

cube
Apr 26, 2008, 09:45 AM
I hear ya. The best thing most people are going to get is 4GB of RAM, desktop processors, TWO internal drives, and PCI expansion. Any more than two drives would be a waste since three is a really akward number and four would be leading you toward the Mac Pro and raising the price.

RAM should top off at 4, there won't be 6 since the next step in laptop and desktop mobos is 8GB, and many if not all are already there. The biggest thing users are calling for are PCI expansion and desktop processors.

Even if the thing only had one internal drive but a lot of FW ports or eSATA ports many would be pleased.

4GiB should NOT be the limit. A true desktop would have 4 slots, which allow 8GiB today.

2 slots is a laptop and 3 slots like in the Cube would nowadays be crippling the machine to single channel when using all slots.

cube
Apr 26, 2008, 09:50 AM
3) 3 PCI slots

I would even go for 1 double width x16 PCIe slot for the gfx + a normal PCIe slot (x16 just in case, but no need for graphics).

I know from having the Cube that 1 expansion slot is a necessity, and the lack of it was a mistake there and has made me question if I should't have got a normal PowerMac at the time (I make do with a suboptimal hack solution).