Apple MacBrick (concept)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Sagaris, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Sagaris, Nov 1, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011

    Sagaris macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Location:
    Ukraine
    #1
    Too much words burring Apple's Pro products. I try to give a futuristic answer. It's only a concept, idea if you want. Nowadays Apple's technologies can't meet this concept requirements, but who knows...

    Mac Pro
    Pros
    • Mac OS X
    • High Performance
    • Expansion PCI-E slots
    • Upgradebility
    Cons
    • High starting price
    • Big footprint

    The problem
    We don't grow explosively, we grow consequently and our demands grow step by step.
    We start with Mac Mini or iMac. When we need to upgrade we need to buy a new computer, and we want to return our investments to Mac Mini or iMac. But how?
    We want to protect our investments and thus we choose PC, which have less starting price and have almost unlimited ability to upgrade part by part.

    Future Pro desktop system
    Features
    • Mac OS X
    • Step by step upgradebility from "Mac Mini" spec. to "Mac Pro" spec.
    • Small or medium footprint
    • Expansion PCI-E slots
    Architecture
    Stacking bricks design
    • System consists of several "bricks" - compact computing blocks similar to Mac Mini, which can physically stack like lego bricks and form tower-like system.
    • Easy locking connector between bricks
    • Unified brick design
    • Brick form factor and connector physical design meet next 10 years connectivity requirements
      • AC power connection
      • Power/reset/lights connection
      • USB-like connection
      • Thunderbolt-like data connection
      • Ethernet-like connection
    • Buses should be able to enhance their performance with backward compatibility
    • Hot swap is a plus
    • Base brick is a starter for a system with specs and price of Mac Mini
    • Each brick has its own power supply for better heat dissipation

    Desktop cloud operating system
    • Each brick runs hypervisor
    • All bricks together form a desktop cloud
    • Operating system runs in desktop cloud
    • Software can utilize all system resources like on a single computer
    Balanced set of specialized or general purpose bricks
    • Base brick (CPU, RAM, HDD/SSD, Optical Drive and communications)
    • General purpose brick (CPU, RAM)
    • GPU biased brick
    • Storage brick (Disks, external SAS/FC/Thunderbolt)
    • PCI-E brick
    Why Apple?
    Only Apple users has a demand of highly upgradeable desktop system from home Internet station to power workstation, PC users already have an option to consequently change any of parts in their ATX cases.
    Only Apple with its innovative way and charisma can create a new form-factor of desktop computing systems.

    Sounds too fantastic?
    Yes, it sounds very fantastic today, but isn't Apple is a company that creates fantastic products?
     
  2. VanneDC macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Dubai, UAE
    #2
    quick mate, wipe this thread, your giving "THEM" idea's >;P

    good thinking though :)
     
  3. Sagaris thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Location:
    Ukraine
    #3
    I do it ;) I can't use this idea by myself, but I'll buy that system :)
     
  4. ProVideo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #4
    There are people that would require all those bricks, and by the time they assembled them it would likely cost more than a current MacPro and wouldn't be as efficient as just having them on one logic board.

    This might be good for someone starting out who would like the possibility of upgrading down the road when they can afford it. But for someone who already needs multiple internal hard drives, a high end graphics card, an extra PCI Express bus or two, and maxed out memory this sounds like a PITA.
     
  5. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #5
    That whole thing just sounds horrible. The point of a scalable solution is a low cost of entry and higher volume on a baseline product, but if you're essentially building everything into breakout boxes, that's not going to cut costs.
     
  6. Zwhaler macrumors 604

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #6
    Cool idea in theory. However I think most users are looking for...

    Solution = Sandy Bridge Mac Pro
     
  7. strausd macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #7
    I really like the concept, and I think Apple would be the company to pull it off. However, from what has been said, it looks like they are just not as interested in the professional market. Not so much just changing the professional market, just not interested. Mainly because there is just not as much profit in the professional market, at least not enough profit for Apple.

    From the article that was on the front page, it sounds like they do not want to pour any more resources into the MP product line. I think it is more like they do not want to pour any more resources into the professional line. Just look at their best selling products and what gives them the most profit. That is what they will be focusing on.

    Plus, professional software doesn't seem like something Apple will be keeping up with. Look at FCP. Sure, they totally re-wrote the program and that is why it is missing important features. But they re-wrote it for prosumers, not professionals. And what about Aperture and Logic? When was the last time those saw any major updates?

    Also, Apple sees their current offering, excluding the Mac Pro, as "good enough" for people who want need a little extra power on their computer. A top of the line iMac offers really good performance, and most people who do light video work or something similar won't need anything more.

    I also think Thunderbolt is the future. I have seen some external enclosures that allow you to hook up an external GPU via thunderbolt. So say you are doing something that needs some extra GPU power, there is your answer. And as for storage, Thunderbolt is your answer. Sure, prices are high now, but they will go down just like they do for everything else.

    When it comes time to upgrade my Mac Pro, I will be building my own workstation. I will keep my laptop OS X though. With the way things are going, it looks like OS X is and will be a laptop operating system. Lion was the first step.

    Who knows, eventually they may just offer an iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air all running a version of iOS.
     
  8. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #8
    I saw a concept like this in a PC magazine nearly a decade ago –*no idea what happened to the company, but (obviously) it didn't pan out. Thought it was pretty nifty though.
     
  9. Sagaris thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Location:
    Ukraine
    #9
    But why they are going into clouds, not into supercomputers? This idea is a repack of clustering blade server system with breaking blade cabinet into pieces, that interconnects, and standing it vertically on the floor or desktop instead of horizontal in rack. It's a kind of blade desktop, but with expansion slots.

    When you upgrade you usually don't want simply increase amount of RAM, CPU's cores, disk capacity. You need more computing power, but you solve this demand partially, because each upgrade has a cost. If you'll get affordable brick you will buy not a CPU, RAM, disk, but you'll buy extra performance points.
     
  10. Sagaris thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Location:
    Ukraine
    #10
    Apple created a gap between consumer and pro market and then faced a problem that they can't just upgrade consumers to professional. Now you can't upgrade from iMac to Mac Pro you can only switch. If there'll be no gap they'll be interested.

    I'm afraid of possibility for Apple to go 3Com's way - they are inventors of Ethernet and they abandon Enterprise products and then never recovered as a networking leader.
     
  11. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #11
    Thunderbolt is not a replacement for a mac pro. It can only handle today's medium range graphics cards. What happens if you want graphics and extra storage and something else? You are stuffed. That's what.
     
  12. Sagaris thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 1, 2011
    Location:
    Ukraine
    #12
    We can't say that technology is a replacement for a product. But anyway I'm talking about changing of desktop computing paradigm.

    I understand that next Mac Pro is a solution for Apple for next couple of years. But what's next?

    Apple now moving down to consumer market because they are great with consumers and can easier earn money there. Money flows to greater return segments. When they reach saturation on consumer market they'll have to move to prosumer and professional market but positions will be lost and barrier will be much higher.

    I suggest less technical but more marketing solution. It is innovative and thus very risky.
     
  13. reebzor macrumors 6502a

    reebzor

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
  14. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
  15. Sagaris thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
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    Ukraine
    #15
    This is the only problem? ;)

    ----------

    No one wanted iPhone before they created it :)
     
  16. Slow Programmer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    #16
    MacBrick sounds like something I would get at McDonalds.
     
  17. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    Glasgow, Scotland
    #17
    I suspect not.
     
  18. Sagaris, Nov 2, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011

    Sagaris thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    OMG, will you eat MacBrick? :)

    But anyway, the name of the concept doesn't really matter.
     
  19. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    Glasgow, Scotland
  20. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #20
    This is your main problem I think. Distributed computing already exists, it is already supported in OS X, it's already supported by Mac hardware, and it's already in use.

    But individual software has to be modified to take advantage of distributed computing, and very few if any will bother doing that for one single model of Mac. Apple does not have the power to make everyone rewrite their software.

    Many developers can't even seem to be bothered to take advantage of multiple cores for their software that's CPU demanding!
     
  21. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #21
    Isn't the Mac Pro already one big brick? Why have all the extra metal in between each component?

    This idea hurts my brain:confused:
     
  22. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #22
    It expects miracles from companies who have dragged their feet for years over this (ahem, Adobe)
     
  23. Budokan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    #23
    There's no problem for Apple at least in marketing. Mac Mini as well as iMac user is a computer dummy unlike Wintel one. No one expects “to grow consequently” buying Mac Mini and I can hardly imagine any Apple user caring too much about return on his/her investment in Apple products other than aesthetic feeling and dummy-friendliness. There's no need to grow from Mac Mini up to Pro. The LEGO games with upgradability and system tuning are Wintel’s prerogative. Besides, your Mac Mini or iMac is not a Patek Philippe watch – you don't need to pass it through generations like a heritage. Just leave it to your children and buy Mac Pro instead, that's it.
     
  24. Sagaris thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Location:
    Ukraine
    #24
    Do you think Apple isn't leaving Pro market?

    My TV production runs on Mac Pros and Final Cut Studio. Should I buy Mac Pros now and build XSAN or switch to Premier/Avid/etc. and Windows environment? Question is rather rhetorical now. But in half a year I have to decide. Now it's everything ok, but it's a bit uncomfortable to run on rails which definitely ends somewhere ahead.

    I believe Apple has no problem in marketing, but I have a problem with long term resources planning ;)
     
  25. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #25
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RiscPC

    The Acorn RiscPC was launched nearly TWO decades ago! I lusted after one of these, when my A5000 was degraded from an Acorn to a mere Archimedes... ah, those were the days.

    ----------

    The company disbanded not long after. One division is still going strong though, the division that made the chips - Advanced Risc Machines, or ARM.
     

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