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View Full Version : What Advantages would a Mid-MacTower have over an iMac?




kjs862
Aug 6, 2008, 12:32 AM
Besides for expandability... what advantages would a mid-ranged macintosh tower have over an imac? I was thinking it would be able to use a desktop class processor, but do desktop class processors have an edge over mobile ones?

Also what do you guys think the name of this machine would be? I'm thinking simply Macintosh.



Full of Win
Aug 6, 2008, 02:25 AM
Besides for expandability... what advantages would a mid-ranged macintosh tower have over an imac? I was thinking it would be able to use a desktop class processor, but do desktop class processors have an edge over mobile ones?

Also what do you guys think the name of this machine would be? I'm thinking simply Macintosh.

Well, the whole idea of keeping a computer on you desk would be optional. For me, having a computer 6 - 8 feet away is better than on your desk.

Do desktop processors have an advantage? Well quad core has been common on the so-called desktop processors for a while; whereas this form is just starting to come to the laptop market.

Name, I don't know the MacSemiPro? The MacTruncated? MacMidi, MacMaxi. Well, how about 'Mac' - they use the same convention in their notebooks (MacBook --> MacBookPro), so why not here?

Lord Zedd
Aug 6, 2008, 03:03 AM
More powerful processor(s), faster non-laptop components, better optical drive(s), expansion slot(s), better (non-integrated) graphics, choice of monitor and much easier owner serviceability.

If they came out with a mini macpro with one quad core CPU, removable PCI express 2 graphics card, at least one PCI-e 4/8x expansion slot and 2/4 memory slots for around $2000 I'd buy one.

Digital Fury
Aug 6, 2008, 03:15 AM
iMacs are not bad per se, but the non-adjustable screen height is a killer; it's an ergonomist nightmare. The iMac "lamp" was in that respect much superior and it's funny to see how even Jobs and Apple was using its adjustable screen as a significant sales pitch.

Anyway I'm still amazed to see very regularly (almost systematically really) people using iMacs in the ********* of neck-wrecking positions; this is especially true of the 24" one.

MrT-Man
Aug 6, 2008, 08:35 AM
My biggest issues are:

1) I already have a perfectly good 24" monitor (Dell 2407wfp) & I don't want the price of another 24" monitor embedded in the cost of my next computer;

2) I'd like to be able to add more internal hard drive space, as needed, & be able to easily access the internal hard drive easily if I have to (have had a drive or two crash on me over the years...).

dejo
Aug 6, 2008, 08:40 AM
Macs are the name for their entire line of computers, so I doubt they would name one of them Mac. That would just cause Abbot&Costello-esque moments of "What kind of Mac do you have?" "A Mac"...

revenuee
Aug 6, 2008, 08:43 AM
My biggest issues are:

1) I already have a perfectly good 24" monitor (Dell 2407wfp) & I don't want the price of another 24" monitor embedded in the cost of my next computer;

2) I'd like to be able to add more internal hard drive space, as needed, & be able to easily access the internal hard drive easily if I have to (have had a drive or two crash on me over the years...).

point 2 i can't argue ... even though external firewire systems are pretty good

point 1) -- but now you can run TWO 24 inch monitors if you get a 24 inch iMac

and that's awesome ... i've been looking at a second 24 inch monitor for a few months

iwuzbord
Aug 6, 2008, 08:45 AM
i think that a a tower of this status would be a great addition to the mac line.
for me personally, the mac mini isnt enough for me, the mac pro seems like too much, and i dont want to get an imac because i already have a great monitor. i can see it being called "Mac" or "The Mac"

but a deticaded graphics card would be a great bonus, and it would still need to be user modifiable, when it comes to memory that is.

thanks to the air, apple's notebooks come in what you could call small, medium, and large sizes. Apple could do the same with desktops, the mini being the small, this new addition medium, while the mac pro as the large.

im not exactly the best at explaining things, but i hope that you catch my drift.

apearlman
Aug 6, 2008, 08:57 AM
With my old G3 tower, I was able to upgrade or add:
- RAM
- Hard drive (twice)
- processor
- Optical drive
- SCSI card
- and, of course, the monitor (twice).

... and as a result, the machine lasted 9 years as my only computer.
With my iMac, I can only do 1 of those 6 things.
How long will this iMac last? My guess is less than 9 years.

In my opinion, this is the worst flaw in Apple's Mac lineup, and it's been a problem for several years now. There's no upgradable computer for less than $2300. Sad.

zmttoxics
Aug 6, 2008, 10:36 AM
More powerful processor(s), faster non-laptop components, better optical drive(s), expansion slot(s), better (non-integrated) graphics, choice of monitor and much easier owner serviceability.

If they came out with a mini macpro with one quad core CPU, removable PCI express 2 graphics card, at least one PCI-e 4/8x expansion slot and 2/4 memory slots for around $2000 I'd buy one.

Im hoping for around 1500. :\

Zieg3rman
Aug 6, 2008, 11:21 AM
Anyway I'm still amazed to see very regularly (almost systematically really) people using iMacs in the ********* of neck-wrecking positions; this is especially true of the 24" one.

I am actually quite comfortable right now...:D

Roy
Aug 6, 2008, 12:12 PM
More powerful processor(s), faster non-laptop components, better optical drive(s), expansion slot(s), better (non-integrated) graphics, choice of monitor and much easier owner serviceability.

If they came out with a mini macpro with one quad core CPU, removable PCI express 2 graphics card, at least one PCI-e 4/8x expansion slot and 2/4 memory slots for around $2000 I'd buy one.

Is not what you are looking for, at just about the price point you want, already being produced by Apple? What's wrong with this one:

Mac Pro--One 2.8GHZ Quad-Core Intel Xeon $2299

kjs862
Aug 6, 2008, 12:17 PM
What do you mean by faster non-laptop components?

ViViDboarder
Aug 6, 2008, 12:28 PM
Upgrading is probably the biggest advantage, but there is a demand for mac computers to run headless and if it's more affordable than an iMac, it'd be great for a lot of people (me included) to whom a mac mini doesn't have the power needed.

Mackilroy
Aug 6, 2008, 12:37 PM
What do you mean by faster non-laptop components?

There are multiple kinds of processors - desktop, laptop, and server. Apple uses server chips (the Xeon) in Xserves and the Mac Pro, and laptop chips in everything else. They produce more heat because they're smaller than desktop chips, and therefore have to be slower to keep from overheating and failing.

kjs862
Aug 6, 2008, 12:49 PM
There are multiple kinds of processors - desktop, laptop, and server. Apple uses server chips (the Xeon) in Xserves and the Mac Pro, and laptop chips in everything else. They produce more heat because they're smaller than desktop chips, and therefore have to be slower to keep from overheating and failing.

That one imac has a 3.06 ghz processor. That doesn't seem slower to me...

ChrisA
Aug 6, 2008, 12:52 PM
Im hoping for around 1500. :\

In the mid 90's Apple sold a what was then a top of the line G4 tower for about $1500. I've still got one (in a closet, not in use.) It was very well designed, easy to open up and work on. had space for internal drives and PCI cards. The fans were to noisy but that was the way it was in 1994.

Why can't Apple make the exact same machine but with a modern Intel processor and quiet fans today? My gues it that they could but won't because they'd loos a lot of MacPro sales to the lower priced tower.

Name? How about "one half Mac Pro" Make it just like a MP but cut the specs in half all around. only one quad core CPU, half the RAM slots, only two internal drives and space for only one graphic card and sell it for $1500

Shadow
Aug 6, 2008, 12:54 PM
In the mid 90's Apple sold a what was then a top of the line G4 tower for about $1500.

The PowerMac G4 came out in 1999...

Umbongo
Aug 6, 2008, 01:24 PM
That one imac has a 3.06 ghz processor. That doesn't seem slower to me...

A 3GHz desktop processor would likely perform the same, maybe outperform it due to things like faster FSB and faster memory. You can also get faster desktop dual core processors and faster quad core processors.

Here are some reasons why someone might not have use for an iMac, Mac Mini or Apple notebook:


Wanting to use existing display or higher quality display without waste.
Wanting multiple identical displays.
Wanting more than 2 displays.
Wanting to use seperate graphics cards for windows and OSX, be it for gaming or 3D work.
Wanting an internal RAID solution.
Wanting more than one internal drive.
Wanting multiple internal optical drives.
Wanting more than 2 processing cores.
Wanting more than 4GB of memory.


Those can be solved by going with a Mac Pro, but if you don't want the processor and memory expansion of the Mac Pro, don't need 8 cores and don't need the workstation parts there is alot of money being wasted.

A quad core Xeon 2.8GHz processor, workstation systemboard, 1KW power supply and FB-DIMM memory costs over double what you could pay for a 2.83GHz non-Xeon quad core, desktop systemboard, 500W PSU and 2GB of desktop memory. A desktop system with similar specifications to the quad core Mac Pro would cost around $1500.

When it comes down to it is nearly always about the price for people who want the midrange mac. Steve Jobs loves his iMacs though, so we will likely never see one.

Mobile components, especially processors are also expensive. Intel change $850 for a processor similar to the 3.06GHz one in the iMac, but $183 for a dual core 3.16GHz processor with faster FSB that can be overclocked well beyond that on the desktop. Obviously Apple pay alot less than $850 per processor, but if they used desktop components prices could be alot lower.

tri3limited
Aug 6, 2008, 01:30 PM
Question aimed at everyone...

"Why on Earth would a company that makes money from hardware offer a product, that competes against it's own products, that is upgradable so the hardware lasts longer and can be brought from other suppliers?"

I think i've managed to sum up this thread pretty easily! :D

jjahshik32
Aug 6, 2008, 01:33 PM
I see apple never making the xmac that people have been dreaming about.

Because why bother, you can already get a 4 core mac pro for $2299 also if you really think about it the 4 core mac pro for $2299 is a very good price compared to the mid ranged macbook pro that are $300 more.

Digital Fury
Aug 6, 2008, 02:10 PM
I see apple never making the xmac that people have been dreaming about.

Because why bother, you can already get a 4 core mac pro for $2299 also if you really think about it the 4 core mac pro for $2299 is a very good price compared to the mid ranged macbook pro that are $300 more.The Mac Pro is indeed a good deal, as long as you remember buying all options (e.g. RAM, HDs) somewhere else, however most people don't need costly things like Xeon-based motherboards, 1 KW PSUs and FB-DIMMs.

With standard component the Mac Pro price could be slashed by a good 1K while keeping its relative flexibility, but I don't see Apple wanting to self-destruct its iMac line and fat margins. The iMac is not upgradable, thus its obsolesce is built-in, and with every sale Apple gets a cut off the display that people would otherwise buy somewhere else cheaper.

kjs862
Aug 6, 2008, 03:49 PM
I was just looking and the base mac pro is only a $100 more than 3.06 imac

Firefly2002
Aug 6, 2008, 05:00 PM
The PowerMac G4 came out in 1999...

Rofl..... and at the very end of 1999, at that.

As mentioned, you could upgrade everything in Apple's old towers, to the point where you could have the same machine running happily on your desk for the better part of a decade. Not so much the case anymore. Something goes not under Apple Care, you're screwed.

There have been a bunch of very good reasons people have listed here.... however, I feel like even the Mac Pros aren't very expandable; you can't even upgrade the CPU.

Umbongo
Aug 6, 2008, 06:06 PM
Rofl..... and at the very end of 1999, at that.

As mentioned, you could upgrade everything in Apple's old towers, to the point where you could have the same machine running happily on your desk for the better part of a decade. Not so much the case anymore. Something goes not under Apple Care, you're screwed.

There have been a bunch of very good reasons people have listed here.... however, I feel like even the Mac Pros aren't very expandable; you can't even upgrade the CPU.

You can upgrade Mac Pro CPUs :confused:

Firefly2002
Aug 6, 2008, 11:25 PM
You can upgrade Mac Pro CPUs :confused:

Not without a ton of difficulty you can't. They weren't made to be upgradeable.

alphaod
Aug 6, 2008, 11:26 PM
Not without a ton of difficulty you can't. They weren't made to be upgradeable.

They are upgradeable nonetheless. ;)

OZMP
Aug 7, 2008, 06:23 AM
With my old G3 tower, I was able to upgrade or add:
- RAM
- Hard drive (twice)
- processor
- Optical drive
- SCSI card
- and, of course, the monitor (twice).

... and as a result, the machine lasted 9 years as my only computer.
With my iMac, I can only do 1 of those 6 things.
How long will this iMac last? My guess is less than 9 years.

In my opinion, this is the worst flaw in Apple's Mac lineup, and it's been a problem for several years now. There's no upgradable computer for less than $2300. Sad.

and that is why the cheap ones aren't upgradeable, they do need to make a profit :P

Is not what you are looking for, at just about the price point you want, already being produced by Apple? What's wrong with this one:

Mac Pro--One 2.8GHZ Quad-Core Intel Xeon $2299


good compromoise for everyone involved.

That one imac has a 3.06 ghz processor. That doesn't seem slower to me...

the FSB has improved a bit, but is still ****.
I was just looking and the base mac pro is only a $100 more than 3.06 imac

EXACTLY, just buy a cheap display(and asif the iMac one isnt) until the bank account refills :P

GroundLoop
Aug 7, 2008, 06:36 AM
More powerful processor(s), faster non-laptop components, better optical drive(s), expansion slot(s), better (non-integrated) graphics, choice of monitor and much easier owner serviceability.

If they came out with a mini macpro with one quad core CPU, removable PCI express 2 graphics card, at least one PCI-e 4/8x expansion slot and 2/4 memory slots for around $2000 I'd buy one.

Like this?

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FA356LL/A

Or you can get the current model in the education store for $2,149. Seems like a good deal to me.

Hickman

Digital Fury
Aug 8, 2008, 05:14 AM
I don't know about Lord Zedd, but personally I like do buy brand new and not 2nd hand and/or refurbished products. Most people would expect an xMac mini-tower at $1000, not $2000, as $2000 is already very expensive for a desktop computer.

$2000 for a discontinued *and* refurbished product? You got be s h i t t i n g me.

Rendition
Aug 11, 2008, 10:03 PM
I like the fact I can swap out hard-drives easily with a midtower. I've had so many HDs go bad in my lifetime, the image of doing surgery on an iMac to replace one sucks.

The other main thing is upgradeable discrete graphics.

m1stake
Aug 11, 2008, 10:32 PM
Desktop parts tend to be a lot cheaper than laptop components, so it's very feasible to have a $1500 computer with a 3Ghz processor and some fancy graphics card. Unfortunately for anyone who thinks that sounds good, there is no price point for it. $2000 is too close to the pro, and too expensive for the products mentioned. $1500 is sitting right in iMac territory. At the current price points, introducing another product wouldn't make sense as part of a unified product line that Apple sticks so strictly to.

iwuzbord
Aug 11, 2008, 11:27 PM
Desktop parts tend to be a lot cheaper than laptop components, so it's very feasible to have a $1500 computer with a 3Ghz processor and some fancy graphics card. Unfortunately for anyone who thinks that sounds good, there is no price point for it. $2000 is too close to the pro, and too expensive for the products mentioned. $1500 is sitting right in iMac territory. At the current price points, introducing another product wouldn't make sense as part of a unified product line that Apple sticks so strictly to.

you have a great point. there isnt really a place for it now that i think about it.
unless, they lower the cost of the imac and make room for it. or eliminate the mini. hmmm....

Imhotep397
Feb 3, 2009, 10:40 AM
Drop the mini and price it from $699-$1399. Use only Core i7 quads and re-introduce the old Quadra moniker.

Tallest Skil
Feb 3, 2009, 11:02 AM
Drop the mini and price it from $699-$1399. Use only Core i7 quads and re-introduce the old Quadra moniker.

1. This thread is from August.
2. There are about two dozen newer xMac threads that this could have been posted in.
3. That's pretty much the perfect idea for an xMac, which is exactly why Apple will never give it to you.

bigjnyc
Feb 3, 2009, 11:53 AM
With my old G3 tower, I was able to upgrade or add:
- RAM
- Hard drive (twice)
- processor
- Optical drive
- SCSI card
- and, of course, the monitor (twice).

... and as a result, the machine lasted 9 years as my only computer.
With my iMac, I can only do 1 of those 6 things.
How long will this iMac last? My guess is less than 9 years.

In my opinion, this is the worst flaw in Apple's Mac lineup, and it's been a problem for several years now. There's no upgradable computer for less than $2300. Sad.

I think you might have just answered the question "why does apple refuse to make a mid-tower computer?"

Why give people the option to upgrade parts and keep them from coming back for a new system for so many years? It's one of the reasons apple makes so much money with such little market share ;)

skipjakk
Feb 5, 2009, 11:29 PM
I think you might have just answered the question "why does apple refuse to make a mid-tower computer?"

Why give people the option to upgrade parts and keep them from coming back for a new system for so many years? It's one of the reasons apple makes so much money with such little market share ;)



Its too bad they don't see the value of selling an upgradable desktop and the upgrades (at a slight premium, because its from Apple). They could even offer an installation service at an apple store (for a small fee..).....

Chaos123x
Feb 6, 2009, 12:08 AM
I would say the advantage would be that they could choose the latest and greatest video cards.

But we all know thats not true.

Unless you count 3 outdated overpriced video cards at a time a good selection.

Toronto Mike
Feb 6, 2009, 06:15 AM
I think from here on in, the economy will override Apple's wishes. Apple has sold many machines recently to a market that was willing to pay the price. Now that these customers have bought their machines, and the software can do everything that they could hope for. Few in this camp need to upgrade - especially in this economy.

Apple will be forced to grab potential sales from the Windows switcher camp because it represents an untapped market. Many of these Windows users do not want an "all in one" iMac, they want upgradability, for a price significantly less than a Mac Pro. They know they don't need the power of a Mac Pro and are not willing to pay more money than they wish to spend.

Apple's stock price indicates weakness and is poised for a significant drop because savvy investors see that the growth period for personal computers is over; and Apple's high priced offerings have little chance of continued growth in a deteriorating economy.

Apple will have to offer something to spur additional sales. The Mid Mac Tower would be such a product.

Mike

justit
Feb 6, 2009, 09:25 AM
Apple's stock price indicates weakness and is poised for a significant drop because savvy investors see that the growth period for personal computers is over; and Apple's high priced offerings have little chance of continued growth in a deteriorating economy.


Is this circa 2001?

Same argument that's been made many many times about apple...

Economy was bad last quarter but they made more money than ever in its history

Apple stock price has never represented their unit sales numbers

millerj123
Feb 6, 2009, 07:47 PM
Is this circa 2001?

Same argument that's been made many many times about apple...

Economy was bad last quarter but they made more money than ever in its history

Apple stock price has never represented their unit sales numbers

Not only that, but on at least the release of the iPhone and the iPhone 3G, Apple's stock dropped. I think the past half year proves that almost no one in the stock market has any idea what they are doing.

None of this means I don't want a reasonably priced ($1000 or so) Apple tower. :(