Will we ever see a consumer-grade Mac tower?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by valdore, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. valdore macrumors 65816

    valdore

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    #1
    I searched and noticed no threads pertaining specifically to this.

    Might Apple ever release a consumer grade tower? I don't really want an iMac all that much, because I would want to be able to get inside my desktop computer and perform upgrades when I wish. The notion Apple subscribes to that computers are like VCRs - the owners should never open them up and retool them - is ludicrous to me. Also, the mac pro is way too far outside of my price range.

    If Apple announced a consumer grade tower I'd be first in line to snatch one up. Might it ever happen?
     
  2. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

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    #2
    I would never say never, especially with Apple, but you really shouldn't count on it.
     
  3. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #3
    You couldn't find a thread on this. There have been lots.
    People call it the Headless Mac, The Mac Pro Jr., The Mac Mini Pro, The Cube II aka Return of The Cube, as well as some other names. There are quite a few threads about it. There were more right before WWDC 06 than MWSF 07. People want the power of an iMac without the screen, dedicated graphics, room for 4GB RAM, 2 full 3.5" HDD bays, and a PCI slot in addition to the one the that holds the graphics card, possibly with a Conroe in it, and all for around $1500-$2000 base. Oh yes, and in a compact, efficient and yet sexy Apple case.
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #4
    You pretty much have it down.

    I've been a part to many of those consumer desktop Mac threads. It gets tired to never see one but the demand is there.
     
  5. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #5
    This is Apple, Cripple Mac mini for the sake of iMac, Make iMac a all in one with no videocard upgrade path for the sake of ProMac. Make ProMac so it only fits the Professionals.
     
  6. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #6
    Wow. that's bang on!

    An upgradeable though cheap Mac tower would certainly be my houses system of choice. It's the only reason my dad won't get an Apple computer. Since we normally buy a new computer every 2-3 years and upgrade our current stock every 6-12 months. Ho hum.
     
  7. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #7
    I hear you, but it really wasn't that long ago that Apple did offer a Single processor G5 and prior to that single G4 that was more affordable than the Duals and gave a really nice low end solution for the price conscious who wanted to avoid the all-in-one. The Mac Pro did away with that, though the G5s were all Dual prior to that as well. Not to mention the Mac Pro has FB-DIMMs which are too expensive and drive the cost of owning up too fast. For me, I had a G4 tower for 6 1/2 years that I just retired and got a Mini in the interim. Will get a Leopard loaded 24" iMac though the mid-tower concept is of-course much more appealing, not because I want to upgrade that much, but I want 2 internal drives, and a sexy 23" Apple Cinema Display. But the Mac Pro is overkill for me and the case is just too big, I don't need that large of a case in my office.
     
  8. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #8
    The 64 dollar question! ;)

    IMHO, Apple will never introduce one since they make their computer money on hardware at this point in time. Their software (OS and other) is there to sell the hardware.
     
  9. Rocketman macrumors 603

    Rocketman

    #9
    When the Mac-Mini Core duo was released it benchmarked close to the PowerMacG5 on many tasks. So any "cripling" is in expandability not "performance".

    There is a raging market for third party Mac-Mini add-on products like form similar hubs, harddrive enclosures, raids, etc.

    I for one use 3 generations of Macs, side by side, each tailored to their purpose and even recently purchased a well used Powermac G4 just for the expandability at the radically low price they go for now and since all the Macs are on the newwork, all resources are available.

    I suggest that approach. It is CHEAP these days to simply own multiple Mac CPU's.

    If your application is a large Photoshop or FCP project, yes you are basicly forced into an iMac or a MacPro, but at least you don't have to buy a Wintel PC!

    Rocketman
     
  10. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    Canada
    #10
    i totally disagree wrt the vcr comment. you can crack open an imac, you can crack open a mini and a powermac/mac pro. sure it may suck that they don't have a 'mid-line' tower, but honestly, i think this is smart marketing. i know...i know...some folks will read that and say, what an idiot...apple is missing out on a market. blah blah blah

    that's where those folks would be wrong. i think it's smart of apple to say, hey...this is our computer line....buy it or don't buy it. i think controlling x amount of computers allows them to stay on top of their quality issues and to provide the proper support. and also, there is something to be said for buying a specific type of computer when there is only a few types. kind of like saying, hey, i have the lexus 330 model or bmw 300i etc..etc..

    unfortunately, our society has come to a point where we expect to see what we want and if we don't get it, we get cranky. and, when we want that stuff...we want it yesterday. add the pc thinking world of upgrade, upgrade, upgrade and voila, another thread about a mid-line tower.

    i think the imac is the mid tower range system. there's the mini at the bottom, the imac in the mid-range and the mac pros. laptops go wherever i guess.

    why bother upgrading? upgrade the vid card when you buy and watch that baby scream with power and non crashing for years.

    my 2.5 cents :)
     
  11. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #11
    I personally think probably yes, but not for a long time.
     
  12. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

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    #12
    I have a feeling that if we ever see an upgradable consumer machine from Apple, it'll be in the form of the top of the range iMac.

    In fact, the 24" iMac is pretty upgradable. The memory and hard drive is upgradable, and I've heard the CPU is socketed so it is also upgradable. The only thing that isn't upgradable is the video. Unfortunately, the type of people who usually want to upgrade are gamers, so the iMac won't appeal to them.

    I think the next iMac redesign might allow an upgradable video card. However, I doubt Apple is going to release a free standing consumer tower any time soon...
     
  13. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #13
    Yes, this subject has been brought forth on several occasions. I guess it is safe to say there is some demand for this product. How much is the question. I do not think what is discussed on MR is a fair study group sampling of a cross section of prospective buyers.

    From Apples position, I would only open a new product line if it was going to increase total sales. I would not do it if it was just going to redistribute sales among more products. That would increase the COGS, but not return the revenue to support it.

    There is also many things to consider if offering a product which has more build to order options (as some have suggested this new machine have). It requires a different assembly business model than a smaller number of pre-configured choices. So, a fair amount of analysis needs to come up favorably to make this attractive.

    If I were to hazard an opinion, I do think Apple will do this if they continue to gain marketshare. From a technology perspective, I think the Intel move makes this a more attractive decision.
     
  14. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I would love to see an Apple with the graceful form factor of an iMac coupled with the means to tweak/upgrade/expand as the MacPro. Having that one extra 'model' within their lineup would really, IMHO, draw even more people to the Macintosh, while providing a model that connects the best of both worlds - the possibilities then of such a computer would be very exciting, and powerful, especially looking towards the future.
     
  15. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #15
    So you guys are thinking of a system that has the Core 2 Duo. Maybe 2-3 PCI-E slots. 2 Hard drive bays 1 CD-rom drive. Way smaller Power supply, less ports merge the optical and the analog. Shrink the case itself as the mac pro is pretty large case. Don't make it out of solid metal. That type of thing? I think it would pull sales from the imac but it would also add sales from people who can't live with the imac ie people who say they would switch with a mid priced tower.
     
  16. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #16
    Neh, I just wish the Intel iMac was as easily upgradeable as the older Rev. A/B iMac G5 interior.

    You could could actually get to nearly all the parts!
     
  17. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Yes! Such as that. ;)
     
  18. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #18
    The consumer-grade tower needs a desktop chipset.

    When the iMac switches to a desktop chipset, we will likely see a consumer tower with a single CPU socket and a couple PCIe slots -- likely more along the lines of a mini tower with half the expandability of the Mac Pro.

    Won't be cheap though ...

    If you look at the new Apple matrix, the isn't any real depth to the line-up with 2 chipsets -- expect Apple to add more machines and grab more marketshare.
     
  19. fansub macrumors member

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    Aug 5, 2006
    #19
    is it possible to just build a pc using the right kind of intel chip and put os x on it or is it also motherboard reliant?, that way you could get an affordable customizable tower. unless of corse all the components have to be mac friendly :confused:
     
  20. holamiamigos macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    that would be my computer of the future if it came out
     
  21. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #21
    Doubt it will ever happen.


    Then again we switched to Intel processors and we can run windows on Macs.

    Who knows what the hell Apple will come up with next.
     
  22. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #22
    Yes. They already had an iMac in a PowerMac G5 cabinet with an AGP card slot so that you could change the video card.
     
  23. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #23
    I don't know...Apple does some crazy things now.


    Back when they did have the PowerMac G5, that was basicly a iMac G5, I didn't think there was a need for it, and they left it behind in an upgrade cycle. I'm sure someone would buy an Intel based one similar to the PM G5, but then it would still cost to much, to be big, and not be fast enough.


    Apple's gone with the choice to cut that type of Mac out of there line. PowerMac Cube didn't do well, neither did the low end PowerMac G5(I'd assume thats why they canceled it)

    I'd say don't wait around for one.
     
  24. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #24
    That's true. Who knows, maybe Apple will do the unexpected and introduce a mini tower.
     
  25. Old Mac Geezer macrumors member

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    Mar 9, 2007
    #25
    I would have to say no. Although there may be huge demand for such a machine, the Frankenmacers would end up buying one and holding onto it forever rather than following Apple's upgrade path. You only have to look at all the beige Macs out there running Tiger for proof of that. If Apple officially allowed people to upgrade their old machines into inifinity, they wouldn't sell any of their new models. That is why the Mac-Mini and to a lesser extent the iMac exist, to get all those outdated machines out of service by offering a relatively cheap and simple upgrade path to the latest technology discouraging users of older machines from upgrading them. Now that Apple has gone Intel core, all those owners of heavily upgraded, obsolete machines will have no choice but to move up to the latest technology as support for PowerPC fades out unless someone manages to create an Intel core upgrade, of course.
     

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