G5 Tower Design Ideas

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Ash, Mar 24, 2002.

  1. Ash macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    #1
    (I posted this idea in a different forum, but it was buried in a thread and didn't get much reply).

    It seems that Apple is moving towards designing computers with form and function in mind, as opposed to just form. The laptops are small and durable, the iPod is portable, and the iMac is compact and adjustable. So when making the new G5 tower design, you have to ask: what function do people need in a tower?

    Expandability

    Not size, because the industry is pretty standardized on towers and they fit nicely in desks. The really important thing about towers is that they are able to be opened up easily. This is accomplished reasonably well in the current line of towers, since the whole side comes off easily. However, it's still not ideal, because you have to rotate the tower 90 degrees and then take the side off. It would seem more intuitive if you could get at the inside of the tower without having to move it at all - from the front.

    So in the iMac as lamp theme of office-furniture designed computers, imagine if the new towers looked like file cabinets (only smaller). It would be the same size as the current towers, but all of the components would be designed as to fit in two drawers stacked one stacked on top of the other. You'd be able to unlock it from the front, slide the drawer out, and add memory or a new harddrive - all without moving the computer. The tower enclosure would stay still, very much like a file cabinet.

    Of course, there are some issues with cords in the back and suck, but I trust Apple's industrial design team to figure all of that out.

    Other possible improvements (not related to the file cabinet idea):
    1. iPod dock in the front that looks like a cassette deck hole.
    2. Auto-retracting firewire and usb cords built into the front. You'd be able to open a little flip cover on the front of the box and pull a cord out. It would use a mechanism similar to those gimmicky little laptop phone cord winders that they give out at trade shows. When you were done with it, it would wind back into the tower. (This would also be useful for laptops if they could make it really small)

    Any other ideas for new tower designs?

    - Ash
     
  2. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #2
    One more thing it has to have to make your espandability possible:
    easy access to the insides

    Their current one finger open mechanism will be hard to improve upon. If they can keep it simple and elegant, and yet new and exciting, they are doing their jobs. After all, Ive is getting paid to create beautiful machines that are also functional. They've got a great team, expect to be surprised.
     
  3. Hemingray macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ha ha haaa!
    #3
    Ahem... note the topic: G5 Tower Design Ideas. None of this dodecahedron crap! ;)
     
  4. blackpeter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    #4
    I'm thinking the new enclosure will be a little more square. Closer to the Cube in design, but a bit larger.
     
  5. krossfyter macrumors 601

    krossfyter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    secret city
    #5
    sounds good. but is the average non tech power user able to handle this drawer expandibility thing? isnt this the concept used in servers?


    nothing to do with fucntion.... but rather with design.... i vote that the apple design team should make the new G5....... chrome.
     
  6. Beej macrumors 68020

    Beej

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Buffy's bedroom
    #6
    I'll have to agree with the chrome G5 suggestion. Chrome rocks. It should be blue chrome. Sweet.
     
  7. wrylachlan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    #7
    Modular

    I put this idea up on another discussion a while ago.

    Most people (or at least a lot of people I know) have their tower beneath their desk to give them more room. This becomes a pain with connecting peripherals to the back, or even just putting DVDs in.

    What if the tower comes in two parts. The Main Tower sits on the floor, has no input output at all, is essentially just a cooling box for the processor and expansion bus.

    Sitting on the desktop is a smaller Input Module (think iMac Base or smaller) that houses the optical drive, maybe an empty drive bay for a zip drive, and all the ports on the back. Maybe to spread the heat dispersion you could also stick the main hard drive in this unit.

    The Input Module would be connected to the tower with a single shrink-wrapped cable bundle that breaks out at the bottom to connect to the back of the Tower.

    cons: Trying to explain to users why they need two different units to make up one computer ( I think the average user might find this confusing... but the average powermac user is not the average user...)

    cons: added cost of extra enclosure

    cons: if you add an expansion card to the set-up which requires a connection not in the cable bundle you end up with multiple wires to the desktop, defeating the elegance of the single cable (like a pro audio break-out box).

    pros: without the need for an optical drive in the front of the tower, the towers design can concentrate solely on heat dispersion (maybe a fan in the back and an additional one in the front where the optical drive used to be).

    pros: no more stooping down to connect stuff. Its all on your desk in a nice small form factor.

    far-fetched pro: same input module can be used for rack-mounted clustered macs for rendering. Each rack mounted rendering machine doesn't need its own input module so you can buy them seperately.

    What do y'all think?
     
  8. Hemingray macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ha ha haaa!
    #8
    That sounds very cool, and I would definitely buy it because of its "differentness" and usefulness, but on the other hand it goes against Apple's "less is better" theme. It also gives a nod to the old days of externals...

    I'm imagining something more along the lines of the cube but vertical like a tower, like tfaz1 said... all of Apple's designs lately (save the iMac for obvious reasons) are "squarish": the iPod, the iBook, the PowerBook, the Cube, and the displays. All have rounded corners but are overall square. I think the new enclosure will follow similar suit.
     
  9. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #9
    re: modular

    i agree

    it's the best idea i have heard yet that differs from the norm:D
     
  10. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #10
    Bubble + Pin

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but the idea of putting the cpu, hard-drive, etc. only in a tower while leaving the optical drive and other inputs connecting to a satellite that sits on the desk is an old idea. I had an old 200Mhz IBM (black) that had its main tower on the floor with a flat thing that sat under the monitor. Push the top, and it opened like a clam, and you had a cd-rom and floppy drive right there. The keyboard and mouse receiver (wireless) plugged into the back of the satellite. It made for a much cleaner desk and it was easier to get to the plug ins.

    Unfortunately, when the floppy went bad, it could not be replaced, and I had to scrap the satellite and have a beige floppy installed in the tower and I had to have the cd installed in the tower. After that, the computer rapidly deteriorated, and was eventually replaced.

    As much as I respect apple's design prowess, this is one that IBM, big blue, did quite a while ago, and I've never thought of Apple as a company to steal design ideas from IBM.
     
  11. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    I still think...

    ...that the black metal idea someone posted a while ago is cool. Maybe black and chrome?
     
  12. Hemingray macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ha ha haaa!
  13. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #13
    I've been thinking about this one for some time......

    I figure modularity is where it's at. The problem is: where do you draw the line between form and function.

    If you build a tower for optimal geek-friendliness it will lose some of it's sex appeal to raw tech-savvy. If you design a slab of smooth polycarbonate it will lose out on accessability.

    Personally......I want function over sex-toy like curves.

    I want a tower that'll fit under the desk with the cables coming out the top.


    I want the drives arranged longitudinally with the case for a slimmer profile.

    I want the HD controller OFF THE MOBO so if I want something else I can have it without wasting mobo space.

    I want all the drives arranged such that the cables can reach ALL OF THEM without monkeying them in there.

    I want the round drive cables.

    I want drives mounted with thumb screws and a reel-away integral grounding strap.

    I want the front bank of drives set up to be accessed from the front of the case as if they were all removeable media drives.

    I want nothing but MP towers.

    I want 8 RAM slots.

    I want four high-quality variable-speed fans with sound-concious ducting.

    I want room for 6 HD's and 2 optical drives.......screw the internal Zip they cost the same as the external kits and modify a drive space for no good reason.

    I want the whole case set up like a funny car: no crammed components.....no inadequate cables.....no inexplicably tight framing.....no unused parts on the mobo.


    I'm quite irritated with the fact that so many rich schmucks buy towers for home use and NEVER utilize ANY of the features that make them cool other than varying the monitor size.

    I think a pro machine should be a ****ing pro machine and that's the end of it. I want a tower that'd scare away these spoiled brat-consumers with sheer geek factor. I want a tower we can really put in the "muscle-car" category. I want a tower that a power-geek could fiddle with all day without injury, a screwdriver or a hacksaw. I want ADEQUATE FANS. The existing cluge of heat sinks and half-*ssed fan assemblys is an embarrasment that shows the timid compromise of design over substance.



    Bottom line: I want a Tower to make PC Hardware nuts ejaculate just looking at it.
     
  14. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #14
    Damn, mischief!

    That is one heckuva machine you're talking about...
    I agree with your last line especially! he he he :D
     
  15. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #15
    Sorry Mischief, but any pro machine that you try to keep all of the home crowd from purchasing will have difficulty succeeding. You have to expect, and even encourage, certain people with too much money to spend to buy that super pro machine just because they want to. Those people help keep profit margins up.

    I personally am willing to blow a lot more on a computer than I really need to spend if it means I'm getting the best available. I'll probably never use even close to half the capabilities of a DP1gig, but I'll buy that before I buy a single processor tower. I probably could get by with a ibook, but won't buy one because of the existence of the tibook.

    I'm the consumer apple wants to keep (or, in my case, add), not just some supergeeks.

    So, I may be a PC user now, but I guarantee you Apple is plenty interested in designing computers I'd be willing to buy. I doubt Apple would even consider making a computer I'd be as you put it, "scared of buying."
     
  16. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #16
    -mcrain

    Do you add your own RAM or HD's?

    If the answer's YES than you're in at least the most basic Hardware Geek group which makes you a power user.
     
  17. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #17
    Re: -mcrain

    Well, I pay to have RAM added or a new HD, if that counts. I'm not tech challenged, but I'm not going to go tearing into a computer and risk screwing something up. Heck no, not after my experiences with the blue screens of death common with PC's. Yeah, I'll tear open my PS2 to see how it ticks, but not my computer.
     
  18. teabgs macrumors 68030

    teabgs

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    behind you
    #18
    If apple released the computer that Mischief wrote I think I would cream my pants on the spot. Then after a messy cleanup I would drool all the way to the computer to place an order. I don't think I'd even look at the price, It wouldnt matter at that point. I'll go into huge debt for a machine like that.
     
  19. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #19
    I think that'd be a popular reaction.

    I truly believe Apple should draw a clearer line between pro and consumer machines. An uuber-Geek Tower would do that nicely.:D
     
  20. MattB macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2001
    #20
    Already been done...

    IBM did this a few years ago with their Aptiva series. They were black and had the removable media drives located in a spring loaded module under the moniter while the CPU and hard drive were located in a standard faceless tower that could be put beneath the desk.
     
  21. Hemingray macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ha ha haaa!
    #21
    Re: Re: -mcrain

    Ahh, but that's the great thing about Macs (at least the new ones). There's no such thing as "tearing into" a Mac. It's called: lift latch, open side. There's the memory, there's the hard drives. Unless you take a hammer to the guts (or forget to ground yourself before touching the chips :D ) there's very little chance of you screwing things up. Apple gives you some pretty good written instructions for replacing stuff like memory and hard drives.

    There's nothing wrong with having someone else do the technical stuff for you, but don't be afraid to open that baby up!
     

Share This Page