G5 iMac Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by macrumors12345, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. macrumors12345 macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2003
    So what do people think that Apple should do with the consumer line now that the Pro line has been upgraded? The Pro line is great for margins, and I personally am planning to buy a Dual 2 Ghz tower, but if Apple really wants to stabilize/gain market share, they are going to have to do it through the consumer line. The greatest benefit of the 970 may well be that it allows Apple to improve the performance of its "consumer" Macs without having to worry about cannabalizing sales of the high end "professional" machines.

    I have been a Mac user ever since I started using computers (Mac Plus!), but honestly I would have to think twice before strongly recommending an iMac or eMac to a friend who was in the market for a new "consumer" machine, because the hardware is just not competitive at the moment. For $1,000 on the PC side you can easily get complete system with a 2+ Ghz Celeron or a low end Pentium 4, and while it is true that the G4 is a more efficient chip per clock cycle than a P4 or a Celeron, there is no way that an 800 Mhz G4 with a 100 Mhz FSB can seriously compete with a 2 Ghz Celeron on a 400 Mhz effective FSB (well, 100 Mhz quad pumped).

    So here is what I would love to see Apple do (but it's not necessarily what I predict they WILL do). Note that I have changed the G5 tower specs slightly, because I think that the current difference between the low end and the high end machines is too great - I suspect the Dual 2 Ghz might actually outsell both the 1.8 and 1.6 Ghz machines combined!

    Pro Desktop:
    high end: Dual 2 Ghz, same specs as current
    mid range: Dual 1.6 Ghz, otherwise same specs as current
    low end: Single 1.8 Ghz, DDR 400 instead of DDR 333 and 6 DIMM slots instead of 4, but otherwise same specs as current, and make it clear that it starts at $1799 w/o the Superdrive

    Consumer Desktop:
    17" iMac: Single 1.4 Ghz low voltage 970, dual channel DDR333, GeForce FX 5200
    15" iMac: Single 1.2 Ghz low voltage 970, dual channel DDR266, GeForce4 MX
    eMac: Single 1.3 Ghz 7447, 200 Mhz FSB, single channel DDR400, GeForce2 MX

    Pro Laptop:
    17"/15" Powerbooks: 1.5 Ghz 7457, 200 Mhz FSB, single channel DDR400, Mobility Radeon 9600
    12" Powerbook: 1.25 Ghz 7457, 200 Mhz FSB, single channel DDR400, GeForce4 Go

    Consumer Laptop:
    iBooks: 1.1 Ghz 750GX, 200 Mhz FSB, single channel DDR400, Mobility Radeon 7500

    A lineup like this would be able to compete with the 2+ Ghz Celerons and Pentium 4's that are found in Wintel "consumer" systems, but at the same time not eat into the sales of the "professional" G5 systems (for example, the low end PowerMac would still be 400 Mhz faster than the high end iMac and have far more expandability). This lineup would also help keep the Powerbooks competitive with Centrino based laptops until the 90 nm G5 debuts.

    The main problem, of course, is that it is not clear how soon the 7457 and the 750GX will be available. But when they do become available, there is absolutely no excuse for Apple not to use a 200 Mhz FSB on both chips, given that they are in no way capable of "threatening" the 970 with its 800-1000 Mhz bus!

    Once the 90 nm 970 is available, the Powerbooks should of course move to the 970 and the iBooks should move either to the 7457 or to the "750VX" (i.e. G3 with Altivec).

    Finally, to answer the calls of technically oriented "switchers" who want a "cheap, expandable tower," Apple should perhaps try offering a machine loosely based on the current G4 case and motherboard for $899 with the following specs:

    1.4 Ghz 7447 (NO L3 cache)
    200 Mhz FSB
    Single Channel DDR400 (4 slots)
    Radeon 7500
    3 PCI slots
    No Modem
    10/100 Ethernet (not Gigabit)
    Minimal RAM and HD standard
    CD-RW (not Combo Drive - you can always add a cheap DVD-ROM as the 2nd drive)
    Single Firewire 400 port and USB 2.0

    I am sure that many Slashdot types would still complain that this system should either be $200 cheaper or come with a PPC 970, but realistically there is no way that is possible as long as Apple continues to invest in developing OS X and gives things like the iApps away for free.

    Thoughts? Comments? Anybody out there besides the "Apple should offer a Dual 2 Ghz iMac starting next week for $1299!!" posters? ;-)
  2. XnavxeMiyyep macrumors 65816


    Mar 27, 2003
    I agree with you about the iMacs, Powerbooks, and iBooks. However, I think that the Powermac line should be a LOT more customizable. You should start off with a single or dual motherboard, and then choose whatever speed, ram, optical drive, etc. from there.
  3. ColoJohnBoy macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    Sounds like a pretty awesome lineup. But about the 7457's: don't those have an upper limit of 1.3 GHz? If not, I'd love to snap up one of those PowerBooks!
  4. macrumors12345 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2003
    Motorola always sells faster chips to Apple than they announce publicly. For example, the 7455 is only stated to run at up to 1 Ghz, but Moto ships them at up to 1.42 Ghz to Apple (I think they might be called 7455A and 7455B). Clearly the 7457 will have to run faster than 1.3 Ghz because the 7455 already runs at 1.42 Ghz, and the 7457 has a smaller process than the 7455! (130 nm vs. 180 nm)
  5. iEric macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2003
    I thought it'd be pretty cool if they did this:

    Powermac: G5
    iMac: G4
    Powerbook: G4
    iBook: G3
    eMac: G3

    and they could just work on those...i dont know...who cares about my opinon...someones gonna probably yell at me now for say those thigns..hahah
    oh well
  6. ddtlm macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2001

    Dunno, I'd be pretty surprised if the iMac went G5 before the AluBooks. We'd have a new situation for Apple where the low-end consumer machines were faster and had a newer processor type than expensive semi-pro machines.

    I'd also be surpised if Apple put a dual-DDR chipset in an iMac due to cost. Single-channel DDR can support a lot of performance, and Apple is obviously not afraid to handicap low-end machines.
  7. RandomDeadHead macrumors 6502

    Feb 8, 2003
    Did I miss something? You think it would be cool if they just left the line up the way it is, and just rape the eMac of it's G4? How is that cool? I am sure the education market wouldnt find that very cool, unless they cut the price of them in half, but even then it would not be very cool.

    Isnt the G4 one of the main selling points of the eMac?

    BTW I am not yelling, just curious on how that would "cool".
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I agree with everything except for the last part about the low end tower (ie: the 1.4 Ghz 7447 (NO L3 cache) machine).

    Also, I think that all pro machines should be dual, and iMacs (and eMacs) should be the single processor machines. I think that's what they should have done in the first place. I also agree with you when you said that "the Dual 2 Ghz might actually outsell both the 1.8 and 1.6 Ghz machines combined!" The price of the single 1.6 and 1.8GHz G5 machines is too high if you're comparing their specs with the dual proc 2.0GHz G5.
  9. macrumors12345 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2003
    Well, it's not as if the consumer desktop and the pro laptop are good substitutes for each other (few Powerbook buyers are going to instead choose an iMac because it is cheaper or faster). Certainly in the Wintel world you have $1000 2.4 Ghz Pentium 4s desktops that can outperform $2000 1.4 Ghz Centrino laptops, so it wouldn't be unprecedented.

    Yeah, I too wouldn't be shocked if Apple gave the iMac single channel DDR. Not only are there costs considerations, but also space considerations. With dual channel you need at least 4 DIMM slots because you must upgrade in pairs, whereas with single channel it is fine to just have 2 or 3 DIMM slots (for a consumer machine). I would not object too much to the iMacs being single channel as long as it was DDR400 or better (depending on when they are released).


    Why do you object to a cheap, low end tower?
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    They are coming out at 1.3 GHz, so that obviously won't be the top end.

    But it probably is the initial high end that meets Motorola's 105°C junction temp at 1.3V (or was it 1.1V).

    Push them a little harder with fans and heat sinks and there probably is a higher top end, like the 1.42GHz rev 3.3 7455.
  11. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    After looking at the cooling design of the PowerMac G5 I think the iMac would need a redesign before a G5 processor can be installed. Right now it is simply cooled by a small fan that blows the hot air up and out of the base. I don't think that would be enough for the G5, but maybe as a single processor with a bigger fan and a better cooling chamber it might work. I think however in the iMac, eMac, and notebooks, Apple will have to do some innovative cooling designs to make the G5 work well in them. I am not sure does the G5 make more heat the the G4? With the design of the PowerMac G5 I am lead to believe it does.
  12. macrumors12345 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2003
    That is why I was suggesting low voltage PPC 970's for the iMac. IBM described a low voltage PPC 970 part running at 1.2 Ghz in their presentation last October. It dissipated less than half as much heat as the 1.8 Ghz 970.
  13. job macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2002
    in transit
    Re: G5 iMac Thoughts?

    I'd much rather see Radeon 9000 with 64MB VRAM instead of the above mentioned nVidia chipsets. Since the Radeon 9600, 9700 Pro, and 9800 Pro are all available for the top end, there is no real reason other than perhaps manufacturing costs that should keep the Radeon 9000 from the next consumer revision.
  14. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    well lets hope one day apple will wake up make a powerful consumer gaming system computer. The imacs are great but underpowered and a lousy video card. How about a 1.4 g4 and say a ati9600 geforce4 titanium or higher card. But to keep forcing consumers to use the lowest video card sucks. They should let the market move the imacs and same with the pro machine and stop the old cant do this to the imac because of the powermac crap. A high end Imac with a great video card is needed, not take this imac or get a powermac game.
  15. macphoria macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2002
    I don't see G5 going into any machine besides Power Mac for a while, at least until they bring Power Mac sales back up.
  16. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    to anyone holding your breath waiting for a G5 iMac: Adios!
  17. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC

    how about we get some games first? i don't see this happening, ever. there are simply not enough game developers that take the Mac seriously. and the user base is way too small for any large amounts of hardcore gamers to even consider the Mac an option to help push the developers. not to mention the price of Macs, especially the decent ones. most gamers are kids with no money. an iPod is out of the question, let alone a high-end gaming Mac.
  18. Heltik macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2002
    I was thinking about iMac the other day actually.

    Everytime I see one 'in the flesh', I want one. They are desirable.

    But it strikes me, that if I had bought one when they first came out, then I'd still be relatively content with it now. If I bought one now, then in 18 months, I think I'd be horrified!!

    The range certainly needs refreshing, but I don't think that 970 is the answer. The best they could do would be an abosolute minimum increase to around 1.4 ghz, but probably 1.6 ghz would be about right (twice the original speed). 1.8 would really get boxes moving.

    It kind of reminds me of a Steve Jobs quote, about baking a great cake, and then using dog **** for icing. Presently, it's the other way around. We have *the* most pristine icing, but the cake's just not that good.
  19. 3777s macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2003
    Re: G5 iMac Thoughts?

    I reregistered just to respond to what I'm reading in this thread. First of all, the .......person....... who said they should make eMac's G3's.... WTH are you smoking.

    Second, to the above poster and a number of others who list the FX 5200 as a high end option, the FX 5200 just plain $ucks.. It's the bottom of the barrell in Nvidia's line up, and isn't even as good as a Raedon 7500. Also.....why downgrade video cards from a 32mb DDR Raedon 7500 to a super crappy Geforce 2MX in the a future "updated???" eMac? They just upgraded from the GeForce 2 MX to Raedon 7500 in the last eMac update!!!!!!!

    Apple has to do something about the crappy video cards in their line ups. How about 64mb DDR ATI Raedon 9000's in eMacs, 64 mb FX5600 or hopefully ATI 9600's in 15"imacs, and a 9800 Pro for the 17" iMac........ same with powerbooks, nothing less then an FX5600 / and an ATI 9800 top of the line option......... now that's what Apple's line up should have!!!

    P.S. If they have MX2 and FX5200 as their top options, then their consumer lines are finished.
  20. macrumors12345 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2003
    Re: Re: G5 iMac Thoughts?

    Then go with something from ATI. Maybe a Radeon 9000? I am not particularly partial to Nvidia (if anything, in fact, I prefer ATI all other things being equal...go Canada, eh?).

    Radeon 9000 in the eMac?? Radeon 9800 Pro in the iMac?? Wow, you have some pretty high expectations there! Most sub-$1000 PCs don't even ship with a video card, period.

    Let's look at what graphics cards Dell ships in their consumer PCs:

    At the eMac price point ($800-$1000 system): "Integrated Intel Extreme 3D Graphics", i.e. NOTHING (Dell 2350)

    At the low iMac price point ($1300): "Integrated Intel Extreme Graphics 2", i.e. NOTHING (Dell 4600C)

    At the high iMac price point ($1800): GeForce 4MX (Dell 8300).

    So the configurations that I suggested easily beat the graphics cards that Dell ships at every price point, since GeF 2MX >> "Integrated Extreme 3D", GeF 4MX >> "Integrated Extreme 3D 2", and FX5200 > GeF 4MX.

    Now, the one argument that you do have is that for the Dell 8300 (but not the 2350 or 4600C), you can BTO a better video card. So you could outfit it with a Radeon 9800 Pro, which obviously you cannot do with the iMac. However, if you were to do that, then it would cost an extra $300, for a total of system cost of $2100 (when configured similarly to the iMac). At that price range, you can already afford to buy a Power Mac G5, since the 1.6 Ghz model with a 9800 Pro is $2150 (albeit w/o the Superdrive, and you still need a display).

    If it were easy to simply pop a Radeon 9000 Pro into some 17" iMacs and a Radeon 9800 Pro into others, then I would certainly suggest that Apple provide the 9800 as a BTO option. But providing the 9800 Pro as standard on the iMac is complete overkill - the vast majority of users, myself included, are not heavy 3D gamers and have no desire to pay an extra $300 for the latest and greatest 3D card!
  21. 3777s macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2003
    I think we both have good idea's, yes video cards are very important to me, and yes many people wouldn't want a 9800Pro over an fx 5600 in a 17inch iMac. This is why even all in one systems need some configurable options ....make fx5600 cards standard for iMacs' but give me a choice to get something better for it if I want to.

    I use to be a supporter of Nvidia, then I bought my first ATI card last month, 9800 Pro and I was blown away by the quality and richness of the graphics.... I think I can safely say I will never buy Nvidia again! (Unless it's standard issue on a Mac)

    .......I still think they need to use something a bit better then an FX5200, and I definitely think Raedon 9000 cards are pretty reasonable for future eMacs, .....but regardless of what they use, I am pretty sure the days of the Geforce 2 and 4MX are over....... thankfully.

    P.S. Regardless of the all in one system debate, if Apple wanted to they could make a system that is designed like an iMac or an eMac, that still gave people the option to easily change video cards, just make the internal connector between the card and the built in monitor easily detachable....it's that simple.
  22. ZildjianKX macrumors 68000


    May 18, 2003
    Re: Re: Re: G5 iMac Thoughts?

    Your right, I always have trouble with sub-$1000 PCs not coming with videocards, I usually have to guess what I'm doing since I can't hook up a monitor... makes the computer very hard to use :p

    You can get a Dell Dimension 4600 with a Radeon 9800 Pro, 15" LCD, and a 2.6 GHz P4 for $1,356... that's getting close to G5 specs.
  23. plinkoman macrumors 65816


    Jul 2, 2003
    New York
    Re: G5 iMac Thoughts?

    why give the 12" a lesser processor? it's not supposed to be a lesser system, just a smaller, more portable one
  24. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    I think that all of Apple's product lines need to be FAR more customizable. I don't want to pay more because I need ONE feature that's in the high end but everything else would be fine in the low end (ex. wanting an iMac with a 17" display but not needing the faster processor or AirPort Extreme). I think the low, middle, high end scheme should be entirely done away with.

    Power Mac: choice of 1.6-2.0 GHz G5, all with dual-processor options. Choose either four or eight RAM slots and fill them as you wish. Choice between SuperDrive and Combo drive. Choose between Radeon 9600, 9700, and 9800 graphics cards with your choice of RAM configurations.

    iMac: choice of 1.2 or 1.4 GHz low-voltage G5 (if and when they are available), choice of optical drive, choice of RAM, choose between GeForce 2, GeForce 4, Radeon 9000, Radeon 9500, and Radeon 9600 graphics cards with your pick of 15" and 17" flat-panel.

    eMac: 1.0-1.3 GHz 7457, choice of optical drive, GeForce 2 and GeForce 4, Radeon 7500 or 8500 graphics.

    iBook: Choose between IBM 750XX processors available, choose screen size and optical drive. Choose between currently available ATI mobile cards.

    PowerBook: 1.0-1.5 GHz 7457 or 1.2-1.4 GHz low-voltage G5 (depending on heat/power requirements), otherwise the same as iBook.

    In these listings, I didn't consider FSBs. Probably should have, but in general, faster FSBs go with the better computers. You get the idea. Basically, I wish Apple's store were modeled more after Dell's online store.
  25. Wardofsky macrumors 65816

    Aug 6, 2002

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