A new, modular Apple Computer?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Nostromo, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. Nostromo macrumors 65816


    Dec 26, 2009
    Deep Space
    There's the rumor about the Mac Pro going away.

    What if the iMac would go away as well? - at least in its current, all-in-one design, which has reached the limit of what it can do due to expandability, heat, and screen issues.

    A much more modern approach to personal computing would be a modular design.

    It could consist of a large, flat screen on a telescope arm, similar to wall mounted arms, only very elegantly designed.

    One single cord, running through the metal of the arm, connects it to the actual computer box.

    This box could offer several options from mini over medium to pro.

    I'd relish the elegant form factor of that long arm with a very flat screen.

    The box could even sit in an adjoining room. There could be different size options and power options.

    And there could be different screen options.

    Theoretically, you could have a workstation quality box with Xeon processors as the pro option.

    This way, the Mac Pro could go away, and at the same time, stay.

    The pro version would be Mac Pro quality, but possibly with a new form factor and with better pricing. This would fit to Apple's tendency to move away from high priced models to more affordable options.

    That said, I still hope the Mac Pro will stay. But if this pro version would deliver the same power in a new form factor and be more affordable at the same time.
  2. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    No. MP users want to be able to pick their own monitors.

    You have described an iMac with the computer located in the stand instead of behind the screen.
  3. Nostromo thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 26, 2009
    Deep Space
    Of course.

    This is why there would be monitor options.

    The usual, mirror like monitors for the consumer, and a wide gamut version of a quality level of the NEC PA271-W - only with Apple's great industrial design, and not as average to so-so looking as the Nec.

    Anyway, the best option would still be a new workstation quality Mac Pro.

    But a modular iMac with screen choices would also be nice to upgrade that line.
  4. goodcow macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2007

    So... that?
  5. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    ya, that was the first really attractive Mac I remember in modern history. I wouldn't mind owning one now, just for looks.
  6. Catch macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2004
    London, UK
    hahaha thats so brilliant! I used to really love mine back when... such a funny looking thing now though. Wish I had kept it!

  7. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    You beat me too it. :D

    I got to the third line of the OP's post and started looking for the image further down the thread.
  8. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Apple is actually pretty poor at display design. Looking at companies like NEC they use the same panel options as Apple, but it's in what they do with them. Not many people care about the size of the machine. They want features (in terms of ram, cpu, gpu, etc.), a stable machine, and the ability to swap out something like a hard drive without hauling the machine in for servicing.

    Once we start to see high resolution displays on macbook pros and ipads, those imac displays are going to look a lot more lackluster.
  9. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
  10. Nostromo thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 26, 2009
    Deep Space
    The 30" cinema displays were actually very good. A friend of mine, who has a big studio, still uses two of them as his main set-up.

    Yes, Apple manages to put good panels into mediocre displays. The 27" cinema display (while using good panels) can't by far compare to NEC's displays - and the price difference is negligible.

    I also agree about the size of the computer: I like the Mac Pro best, and the best size is that gives best cooling at lowest noise levels and best access to the internals. And the Mac Pro is best for this.

    But I think Apple could offer iMac buyers some choices to buyers, e.g. if a user wants a matte, wide gamut display, or if he's OK with the current mirror displays.
  11. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    By the way I did like the older G4 imac design better :). I thought it looked better and it didn't have the issue of taking off the display to access the computer. Just being old doesn't make it a bad design.

    You got me on that one :D. That was possibly the best display Apple ever made. I thought they did really well hitting a price point and a reasonable level of quality on massive screen real estate. It also profiled quite well and had better contrast stability when turned down than their other displays. The eizo 30" was way way way better, but it was just so expensive and came out later. You'd have to see it to appreciate it. I've never seen another brand with a 30" display that had that kind of uniformity.

    Anyway both NEC and Eizo are great companies that engineer complete solutions for accurate displays, but Apple likes things that are thin and pretty with backlights that are glaringly bright :cool:. They've made decisions on how to market their line, and there's no currently workable solution to making an imac with a swappable display as long as the computer will remain behind the lcd panel. These others use ccfl backlights on their top displays (led only on the consumer grade ones due to color issues) and require a lot of dedicated hardware. Trying to engineer all of that into a dropin solution for Apple's imac would drive the price through the roof unless the computer was moved back into the base.

    All in one could be a stronger solution one day, but today it still has too many compromises and parts like hard drives, displays, and gpus do fail, so having a non user serviceable machine is one of those compromises.
  12. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA
    What you've described here is arguably less modular than the current Mac Pro.

    The whole concept behind the iMac is that it is all in one. Open box. Plug in. Turn on. Done. As long as the iMac exists that basic premise will never change--nor should it.

    I do like the idea of a modular Mac Pro however. As a Pro user who often works with other Pro users I can say that every user's needs are different and most of us attach all kinds of peripheral devices to our machines. Few of us rely on the internal HDD's or the optical drive.

    I'd like to see a rack mountable unit that includes a fast processor, high quality (but still interchangeable) video card and two 256GB SSD's (for RAID) with obviously user upgradeable RAM. On the back you would find various firewire, USB 2.0/3.0, PCIE, Thunderbolt, audio and HDMI i/o's.

    This kind of design could keep the entry price relatively low, making it accessible to existing users who already have most of their peripherals in place and attractive to newer users as well.

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