Are apple computers innovative?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by PHARAOHk, Mar 12, 2003.

  1. PHARAOHk macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2003
    I am an adult and not intending to anger or "spam" anyone. Would just like to discuss some points with knowledgeable people.
    I have read many different forums and articles on these subjects. I guess i am trying to justify the expense of the 17" compared to the cheaper and faster pc laptops and gain some of your insight.
    Obviously the OS is what draws people to apple, but is there any hardware innovation? Apple seems to get everything but software from other companies. The screen, ram, harddrive, soundcard, videocard, superdrive, etc.
    I have read that the 17" can't fully utilize the DDR SRAM. I have no idea what that means but I don't like it. Is this a mechanical/electrical thing or could software resolve this problem?
    Cnet reviewed some pentium m laptops with very high speeds and incredible battery time for mid sized laptops. Aside from the OS these things really seem to put down the powerbook. Especially price wise.
    Is there a point where a computer could be so fast it would trip over itself? Slow and steady wins the race. Is this what apple is doing or are they for some other reason unable to implement these new faster chips? Apple has positioned themselves as the lexus of cars but they seem to have little 4 cylinder camry engines.
    I do not want to support microsoft but apple doesn't seem to have much of a chance. Windows is the standard and being compatible and cost effective for the consumer is a major selling point. Most people would never consider switching when you seemingly pay more to get less. I hear that the newer windows is really good too.
    What would you like to see in an apple laptop and why? To me it seems like a faster processor, increased system bus(?), that ram thingy, the 64 mgb system thing, DVD RW, and apple's really would be king of the hill. Would any of the above mentioned aspects change within a year or are the laptops going to stay like they are for a while?
    I think I will get a 17" but hope apple addresses some of these issues to maintain there own existence. Most people I know, really everyone I know says they're a rip-off. If the microsoft os worked as well as osx why would anyone spend more for less speed and other technical stuff? Because apple looks nicer? With all of the money that microsoft has couldn't they create a good os? They have all of the other stuff covered already. Apple has the opposite situation which is indeed much harder. When windows comes out with longhorn it could kill apple. I will appreciateanny response.

  2. daniel77 macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2002
    seattle, wa
    apple is innovative with some things but on the whole not really. they have done things to make their computers innovative, such as inclusion of firewire across the whole line. or the dropping of the floppy drive a while ago. putting dvd burners in laptops. etc
  3. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    With Apple you get the best package, the software rules but the hardware has been stiffled sort of because motorolas inability to move forward. As a whole the Mac is the best but if you look at simple hardware specs the mac has been shafted by motorola. Confusing a little, when apple lets go of motorola and lets loose the 970 this will all change but even now a mac can do just about whatever you want, but if you want to compare hardware numbers on numbers alone well they are using 2 cpu's to compete with 1.
  4. Jeffx342 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2002
    North Andover
    I have been a Pc user for 7 years, and I just got fedup with them. Then I baught my first 15 tibook 1Ghz a couple of months ago, and have to say Apple is very innovative. I was very impressed with the software, the quality they put in their hardware and everything was just fluid it all worked together.

    -I am glad I baught my Powerbook it was well worth the money!
  5. yzedf macrumors 65816


    Nov 1, 2002
    innovative? not really.

    apple, in general, is slow and reactive in the hardware department. they are faster to jump onto new, and sometimes unproven, technologies (USB, firewire, 802.11b and now g, superdrives etc).

    now, it is all about the software that apple offers. namely OS X and the newly named iLife.

    if you want the latest greatest hardware specs, but one of the new centrino laptops. if you want something different, with a nice UNIX-like base, great apps, and a experience where things "just work" then look at the Mac's.
  6. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    I made a small list in a previous thread but can't be bothered to search for it... but apple has consistantly done things first in the computer industry...

    stuff like consumer digital cameras, PDAs, the mouse, the GUI itself... and they do things like embedding a soundcard into the motherboard so you don't need one... the iPod was the first viable hard-drive based MP3 player, and it's been hugely received, the iMac itself is a flagship for computers...

    the 17" powerbook was intended for professionals that want the portability of a laptop but the screen of a desktop... or at least something better than the current laptop screens. So they stuck a 17" in it, first in the world...

    the advantage here is that you're getting a laptop that's only really different from a desktop in two ways: cpu speed and expandability. that's closer than anyone's ever gotten a laptop before (excluding the duo, the first laptop/desktop computer years ago)...

    so yes, they're definitely innovative... as to whether or not the 17" is for you, you'll have to prioritize all of your needs and see where it takes you...

  7. howard macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2002
    until about 6 months ago i was a pc user my entire life. i used my computer mainly for communication. and some games. i tryed to do other things but it didn't entice me. all i heard about was that macs were slow and crashed alot, so i figured i was safe with my pc.

    it turns out that as a musician i needed a mac... i got kinda scared at first, i'm gonna have to waste my money on something thats slow. so i got an ibook. now i use it for communication, plus games, and also i've learned to use photoshop and have alot of fun with it, and also illustrator, i learned some basic html and made a web page, i even editied some short movies that my friends and i made...soemthing i'd never thought i would be able to do, and i do all sorts of music stuff that isn't even possible on a pc.

    why am i doing this now? my pc 6 months ago could have easily. well, honestly i don't know...other than its fun to now and it wasn't before. do i think its slower?...well i never used the fastest pcs so i don't know, i know that i definitly don't have a problem with the speed of my computer at all...even when recording 8 tracks of music and playing 20 more at the same time. and thats witht he bottom line mac. the ibook. i never find myself frustrated when working with the computer either.

    why is this??? what is the answer to all this? i really don't know. just try one out ...not at an apple store (unless they have all the apps your gonna use) but try borrowing someones or something, use it for awhile, let us know if you notice anything

    this is offically my longest post...and also my only one on this topic, surprisingly
  8. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    My opinion is that Apple is much more competitive on the laptop side where their products seem much more balanced than the Wintel laptops. True you can get more powerful processors in wintel notebooks but they're usually very heavy and the battery life is really short. To compare comparable notebooks you should compare the Pentium-M notebooks which have similar weights, battery lifes and performance as the ibook and powerbook. For usability the Apples have the wintel notebooks sunk. I think all considered the ibooks and 12" powerbooks are competitively priced against these machines. The 15" / 17" are really cool but you're paying extra for the screen and geek-lust for those.

    On the desktop, well regardless of what some people try to say Apples stuff simply isn't as powerful as the top flight Wintel stuff at least in terms of pure performance but again you should ask yourself what you really need. Do you need a pentium 4 3GHz. Most folks don't. They browse, email, write stuff. You could do this on a Duron or Celeron. Here Intel/AMD has apple beaten on price but on usability and the niceness of using an Apple is pretty incomparable. So long as there is software on a mac that does what you need (and for most professional apps there is) then the only equation you really have to do is 'Is the whole package worth the extra money?' For me yes it was 'cos at the weekend I bought a new-old powermac Dual 1GHz. I'm selling my old PC to my brother.;) If I get a yearning for games again I'll buy a PS2 or Xbox - both of which cost less than a new PC video card.
  9. KingArthur macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2001
    Marion, Ohio
    The whole part about embedding the soundcard into the motherboard.....well, that is sort of right, if you consider the CPU to be the soundcard (which it is). All of the sound routines are routed through the processor, so actually they eliminated the soundcard, but then again, you take a performance hit. Also, Apple sound is way behind SoundBlaster in that it doesn't support surround sound (a must for a lot of home entertainment studios now).

    Also, the 17" may be out there, but at this time, we don't know where! They need to start shipping them soon!

    Now for a critique of the first guy who posted this:

    Number one, I think with that "64 mgb system thing" you mean a 64-bit processor. Number two, the system bus isn't any faster in the PC as it is in the Mac (although Intel would try to trick you otherwise). They both have 133Mhz system buses, but the PC has a much faster front side bus than the mac. This only improves performance to a degree, but the system bus is the same. Yeah, they need to resolve the issue with DDR RAM, but really, Apple was just trying to hush people up from yelling at them for not using DDR RAM. DVD RW, well, the superdrive supports this, but Apple doesn't (yet). They just need to include support for it in the OS and we will be great. Currently, though, there is no support for it.

    No offense, but personally, you sound like the typical, uneducated PC user who is easily manipulated and confused by Intel and Microsoft. You don't have much of an idea of what you are talking about, and you are essentially just blabbing off words that you don't know the meaning to: "increased system bus(?), that ram thingy, the 64 mgb system thing."

    Now, I may agree that they need to make some hardware upgrades (which have been greatly impeded by Moto), but I think that you should find out what you are saying before you start spouting stuff you have no idea about whatsoever. Question: Do you have any idea what is the difference between the system and front side buses are? How about what the difference between DDR RAM and PC133? Now, I am sorry to be so hostile, and I am usually really nice, but it just burned me to see this lack of knowledge and understanding for something one is talking about. Plus, I almost commited suicide today, so I am not in the greatest of moods;).

    If you do have any questions about what the components of the compuer mean, though, just ask me (e-mail or IM) and I will be glad to explain anything you like.:) I enjoy educating people, but hate hearing uneducated people talk like they are an authority about a subject.

    BTW, I know you weren't intending to anger anybody, so I am sorry if I took it sorely. Like I said before.....I haven't been in the greatest of moods, so don't take it personally:)
  10. backspinner macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2002
    The 17" powerbook will have the keyboard lit. Very innovative, if you ask me.

    About all the internals buzz: if you don't know what they mean, you probably don't have a need for the cutting edge of computer hardware. That hardware is for i) Geeks, ii) professionals in the rendering arena, iii) Hardcore Gamers.

    My brother in law bought a "nice" laptop last week. It was twice the weight of the 17" PowerBook and the battery lasts about 1.5 hours. It is snappier and speedier and half the cost of the top of the line Apple Powerbook, but that's all. No iApps, not portable but luggable, no 6 pin FireWire and the like.
  11. pantagruel macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2002
    here and there
    of course apple is innovative, look at the fact they introduced the first PDA the Newton, it took the pc indusdtry 2 years to catch up to the 15inch widescreen tibook and now we have a 17" one that is a beauty, they brought firewire into all macs, they pushed the superdrive dvd-r, that backlight keyboard of the 17" is amazing, oh and do you remember the cube?
    it goes on and on, but a simple yes will do.
  12. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    sounds like your friends to me are basing all there opinions on the mac on ignorance. do they have a mac, do they use one, probably not, they just bash it for the hell of it and hop into arguments without knowing what they are talking about. I have heard the same things you have heard about windows xp to an extent. My windows machine is very stable, but just because of one thing. I dont put anything on it. i have a couple of games and some drivers and thats it. its my gaming machine and i keep it in top knotch condition. my mac has all kinds of s*** on it. stuff i install and dont ever use again. It runs better than any windows machine i have used. i work back in service and i see the problems that windows machines can have, especially xp. back to innovative. lets see, 1 inch thick, 6.9 pounds, 17 inch wide screen, backlit keyboard, dvi,firewire 800, slot load dvd-rw, gigabit ethernet, imovie, iphoto, itunes, idvd, ical, isync, mac os x, friendly gui topped off with a hardcore unix interface for the command line lovers (by the way, those apps i listed are free and already on the mac when you get it, if you wanna know about software that costs money i can go on from there). please go find this all in one package and then we can talk about innovation. oh by the way, i know you never said this but if your friends ever say they dont like the mac because they only have a 1 button mouse they should be slapped and you should never take advice from them again. half the time, thats the only thing my pathetic little pc friends can come up with. then i hold up my 3 button microsoft mouse connected to my mac and say thats pathetic. many of us here came from the pc world, or still use both. i really thing you are doing the smart thing and talking to people who know both worlds.

  13. DeusOmnis macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I am a mac geek and a have many windows geek friends. We compare systems all the time. They built thier own, though, so i cant tell you to get a dell or anything. To tell you the truth, my friend mike has a 1.8 Ghz ath and it preforms about the same depending what you're doing. We both have GeForce 4 Ti graphics cards, so the graphics are about the same. He can do a SETI wu in 3.5 hours, but i can do 2 in 7. To me, it's alright to get a windows computer, but only if you really know what you're doing. It's much much harder for him to keep track of everything on his computer than it is for me, and I even have more applications and stuff on mine. When you get a windows computer, you risk having programs running that you dont know about and other stuff similar to that. It will really slow you down in the end if you're not an uber geek
  14. PHARAOHk thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2003
    Yeah I'm ignorant in regards to the intricacies of a computers inner workings. Just wondered what you people thoght of those commonl;y complained abou t issues. An analogy I could use is cars. Apple right now is like a subaru sti with a 2.5 non turbo engine, good looking, good handling in all weather, and durable. We don't get all of the transmission goodies like the jdm (ram thingy) but it's still really good. To me having no dvd rw is like not getting an mp3 capable cd player stock in the car. It's not common anyways but it could easily be there and I'm sure lots of you want it. I do. When the 17" hits store I'll get one. I am second on the list of preorders at the local computer store. I'm sure I will be really happy with it. Thanks for the response.

  15. MacBandit macrumors 604


    Aug 9, 2002
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
  16. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    Actually, I've heard Mac's analogized to BMW. And owning a 5-series, I'd say I have to agree with it for the most part (thought I'd combine it with Mercedes). Small market share, not the fastest thing on the road (though it whispers "give me more" into your ear), stable as heck, and like the Mercedes, Apple goes a bit overboard with the engineering because they want to do it right the first time (Ex: Mercedes and the 3-inch steel seat hinge), sure, it's risky on that edge - but Apple has always exsisted there.

    It used to be true that Apple had to "go to different gas stations, and travel different roads, and use the metric system where everybody else uses SAE" but that analogy no longer applies since OS X.

    Also, don't let the speed discussions sway you. That subject is so nebulous and difficult to discern from opinion, spin, and marketing, don't even try. I prefer to think about it as the performance (yes, I said performance-getting stuff done) of the two platforms are just about equal - when all is considered. There is no hands-down winner.

    The superheated nature of the argument itself is the ultimate indicator that this is true.

    The last pieces of the Apple to BMW/Mercedes is fit and finish. It's the details that really matter and Apple has it in spades.

    Go play with both, and form your own opinion, please.
  17. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


  18. amnesiac1984 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2002
    The Mac is more innovative because it provides a better user experience. For many reasons.

    Perhaps the main reason is the ability to use multiple applications without a performance hit. You cannot run 30 programs on windows without, a) the whole slowin gdown so much that you can't use it, and b) one of the programs crashing and bringing the system to a grinding halt. Yes this can happen on OS X, but very rarely and anything you are likely to do as a (what sounds like) a slightly novice computer user will work 100% better on OS X than on WIndows XP.

    Okay that was software and I know you asked mainly about hardware. Apple spends lots and lots of money developing good quality hardware enclosures and manufacturing processes. I have known people to use their mac more often cos they like touching the mouse, its the same as sitting in a mercedes and just stroking the steering wheel lol! The other thing is that the hardware will last longer than a PC. Not just due to more durability but due to the fact that in 3 or 4 or even 5 years time your now old computer will still run the latest operating system and will do just about anything you want except run the newest games! That is coming from experience of have a five year old beige G3 and running OS X 10.2.4 on it and it still works great. Now I have a MDD powermac and the G3 is now used to run MS office and safari and Mail by my dad's secretary. He uses as his company's workhorse computer a 2 year old rev a TiBook that still works like a dream, running vectorworks cad software (he actually just finished designing our new house on it, and before that he had a 1998 wallstreet powerbook. That, my bro is now using to make tunes in Reason and surf and play iTunes! So any mac you get will be a much better future investment than a PC, especially, in my experience, mac laptops!
  19. MorganX macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2003
    Yes and No

    Is Apple innovative. I'd say yes, but they never finish if I had to be stuck with a single comment.

    iTunes and the iPod and the integration of iLife is innovative. iTunes slowing waay down with 450 songs is not.

    The GUI was innovative, not implementing context-sensitive menus and a two-button mouse for year and years is not.

    Why is Apple often Microsoft's R&D? Because Apple rushes to be "first" without finishing. Microsoft and others finish their ideas, not necessarily steal them.

    Apple's FP iMac design is innovative but the hardware inside is not.

    The answer will always be yes and no. I think Apple needs a business mind to balance Jobs' creativity.
  20. AllenPSU macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2003

    Apple has been good at letting the past go. This is hard for some computer manufactures. I know that some people and businesses have a lot of money invested in old technology, but Apple tend to force its users in to the future.

    This has allowed Apple to keep their machines lean and up-to-date. I pains me to go in to a computer store and still see those 5 1/4 inch floppy drives. I haven't had one of those since my Apple IIe.

    Go LCD, GO CD-R and good by CRT and floppy drives.
  21. PHARAOHk thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2003
    Well, that settles it then. The answer is most of the time. Apple is moving in a direction that is more thoughtful and useful then bleeding edge powerful. I wonder how satisfied Steve Job's is with the processors? I have gotten the most flak from my father in-law who builds his own computers. "You could get a faster pc for a lot less" he argues. I guess there is only so much a company can do with only 3.5% of the market share and less outside support than microsoft. And they have decided to go with quality over quantity. I really hope it works out. Apple computers still have a lot to overcome switching people. Beef up the specs to satisfy power hungry computer junkies and push the unix angle for the nerds and they are set. Also, get these peripheral companies to support mac. I would love to get any pda and have it work without third party intervention. Especially the game segment would switch more with more mac-ready games. I got a 10gb ipod when I preordered the 17". Haven't used it yet but I'll be damned if it didn't come in the most stylish packaging I have ever seen. Can't wait to see what my computer is like and the future of apple computer. Thanks for the input. This is by far the most helpful mac forum I've seen. By the way, I used subaru as an example because I own a wrx which I see as the mac of the car world. They are very reliable and safe but not as common as an accord. Not fast like a corvette but very satisfying and useful. A good subaru forum is It has very helpful people and lots of info for the upcoming sti. Also, I started this discussion because I constantly see the word innovative when describing apple or it's possible upcoming products. I had just read cnet's review of pentium m laptops with very high processor speed and super high battery times. I guess in comparison the 17" specs were a little inadequate. All in all I'd rather drive a better handling more expensive porsche than a fast off the line camaro.

  22. FlashBIOS macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2003
    Glyndon, MN
    The Palm does.
  23. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    I'll be damned if it didn't come in the most stylish packaging I have ever seen.

    Wait until you get the 17pb - Apple excels in presentation. I've heard of people having "Mac Unwrapping" parties.

    Even the styrofoam is beveled.

    I had just read cnet's review of pentium m laptops with very high processor speed and super high battery times.

    Remember that the G4's are the same processor in the labtops as the desktops. It always takes Intel years to get a laptop version of their chips because the power needs of their desktop chips would kill a battery in about ten minutes (PowerPC G4= ~12w consumption; Pentium4=~84w). That, and the Pentium 4 is a monster big chip - can't remember the die size right now.

    Additionally, you unplug an "M" based laptop, your performance suffers as much as 50% due to the tricks they pull to maximize battery time. I see no difference in my 12PB

    I think you'll find the 17PB to be Juuuust fine :) Although it'll be a traffic-stopper, so whip it out at appropriate moments.

    Devil in the details.

    I guess in comparison the 17" specs were a little inadequate. All in all I'd rather drive a better handling more expensive porsche than a fast off the line camaro.

    I think A quote from Ghostbuster's works here:
    "Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously, and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light."

    Sure, XP and PC's are high-performers, until they hit a wall at Warp 9.995

    Apple's PR Achille's Heel is that most of the press, and the buying public just don't "Get" Apple. This is why it almost died. It took Steve Jobs return (perhaps the only CEO who could get Apple) to bring it back to the "innovator" it is again.

    Fun anecdote.

    On the train this morning, I opened my 12pb and started Listening to music, Editng video, and rendering some Electric Image frames (yes, dongle) and a fellow, oh I'd say two seats down, pulls out his new HP Tablet PC, showing pictures of his family trip, showing them to everybody who'd look, which wasn't many because my 12PB had the most attention.

    That felt great! Smackety!
  24. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop
    MHz Myth

    -BTW guys

    Intel is finally admitting the MHz myth by action.

    I hope to see admissions from non-Mac sources to this affect in the next week or so.

    "Intel launched its Centrino package, which is based around the Pentium M processor (code name Banias). It incorporates a different architecture to that used in Intel's other mobile processors, such as the Pentium 4-M, offering better performance and longer battery life. It also includes an Intel 855 chipset, which supports a 400MHz front-side bus, and the Intel PRO/Wireless 2100 wireless LAN chip.

    The company introduced four versions of the Pentium M, running at 1.6GHz, 1.5GHz, 1.4GHz and 1.3GHz. A 1.1GHz version is also available.

    Intel claims its Pentium M processor offers higher performance than the Pentium 4-M. Intel said the 1.6GHz Pentium M offers a 13 per cent to 15 per cent improvement in performance over the 2.4GHz Pentium 4-M. The 1.6GHz Pentium M also offers 76 per cent longer battery life than the 2.4GHz Pentium 4-M, according to Intel."


    See for full details.
  25. chrisfx811 macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2002
    wow, talk about non-chalantly slipping a life-altering moment into the conversation!

Share This Page