Hole in Mac lineup?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by TheMadBrewer, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. TheMadBrewer macrumors regular


    Feb 11, 2008
    Marina del Rey, CA
    I apologize up front for the ramble...

    I bought my first mac shortly after the Intel Mac Minis came out. Mostly it was to see what it was about. Mostly I used it as a "media server" -- has my iTunes library, runs DVArchive -- a ReplayTV server -- and has my digital photos. Played around with Parallels and Fusion to see that a couple of Windows only applications I use would run (they do).

    As luck would have it, my traveling computer (HP TC1100 tablet) was starting to give signs of being not long for this world when the MacBook Air was announced. So I bought one and so far love it (but a couple of upcoming trips will be the acid test). So have have become a Mac convert.

    Anyway, my main desktop machine (P4) is also long in the tooth. Also, She Who Must Be Obeyed needs a new computer (She has a PIII still running Win98 -- won't upgrade) and my Mac Mini would be perfect for her -- allowing me to buy and new box (and get brownie points with Her :) )

    I should also add I am very happy with my Princeton 24" monitor and my buckling spring keyboard and don't want to change.

    I think you can see where I am going -- A Mac Pro is way overkill for what I need (and way more money than I can spend, having just bought an MBA). Yet the new Minis don't have enough oomph in the graphics, memory, etc. I really don't want an iMac since I have nice monitor and I still have some older PCs that I fire up every couple months to find things I didn't bother moving over. What I really need is a MBP but in a desktop inclosure :)

    I guess I could hook my keyboard and monitor up to a MBP and just use it as a "desktop" computer. Seems a waste, though.

    Any words of wisdom from the "older" (in Apple years :) ) and wiser heads here?
  2. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    I know I'm beatin a dead horse here, but that "hole" would be filled nicely by a quad core 30" imac pro, with HDMI / Video INPUTs, BRDVD / FW3200 2 HDDs and Nvidia 8800 GPU.

    Yeah, it's an iMac wet dream, but I still want it. ;)
  3. Fahrwahr macrumors member

    May 23, 2007
    Southeastern U.S.
    There are many of us who would like the option of having a midrange desktop akin to the iMac sans monitor, but the general response by those defending the current lineup is that Apple just isn't targeting that market. The Mac mini is the gateway model, the iMac is the consumer model, and the Mac Pro is the professional model. I think it's overkill to tell someone who wants to choose a different graphics card to go for a $2,500 tower, but I guess Apple thinks that consumers want the simplicity of an all-in-one computer.

    If you search for "midrange desktop" or "headless iMac", you'll find many threads discussing this hole.
  4. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    Too specialized, IMO. I'd much rather have a midi-tower with a standard
    tray-loading optical bay, two HDD bays, two eSATA ports and a video card
    slot. That would allow ME to choose screen size and video I/O capabilities.

    I don't know what I'd do with a FW3200 port -- I'm not aware of anything
    that uses it, yet. OTOH 3Gb/s eSATA external drives are cheap and widely
    available -- and 3Gb/s is three times faster than any HDD on the market.
    Also, a dedicated eSATA HD interface won't conflict/compete with firewire
    or USB audio/video devices.

  5. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    Leon - let's round it off a bit more. How about - an eSATA port, and USB3.0.

    Let's use mini PCIe slots so that the video card can be changed, and hell, I'll throw in a spare to do what you wish.

    I can round off more - considering this is a pipe dream, sky is the limit. :D
  6. hologram macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
    Besides, no matter how many holes you plug there will just be more holes. People will never be satisfied.

    I want a 25" iMac! A 24" is just too small! And a 500gb drive is too small, but I don't need 750! And sometimes I take digital pictures for my family, and I cant work with that lousy graphics card and only 4gigs of ram! But I don't want to buy a Mac Pro! Apple, are you listening???

    Of course, you could build a PC from scratch and get what you want, it just wouldn't be a Mac. Oh, life can be so cruel sometimes!:cool:
  7. Muncher macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2007
    Windows 98? *shudder*

    Older, eh? Guess this one isn't for me.
  8. ziwi macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Right back where I started...
    Horse has flies on it and has been dead for a looong time.

    Low end = Mini
    normal = iMac entry
    then you have the high end iMac...
    headless 4 core iMac? = Mac Pro 4 core

    Apple does not see a hole - the hole is for us who want a $1500 non-all in one computer that has upgradeable graphics and desktop parts (processor, HD, memory). Apple does not have a $$ space in the lineup to drop something in without cannibalizing iMac sales - which they do not want to do - and it may also confuse the new switchers. If you want a headless 4 core mac the 4 core mac Pro is it.
  9. BullBoyKennels macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2008
    Mayaguez, PR
    No one could have said it better then you just did. Amen very well put.

    If the Mini, iMac, MB, MBA, MBP, or MAC Pro is not what you need then there is always the PC. Sorry I know you have the MBA but thats a lot of options to pick from.
  10. khosna macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    I disagree. I think this is a major hole in the Mac line-up, one that unfortunately is keeping my desktop with Win XP -- for now. If there was a $1,000-$1,500 desktop option that would allow affordable migration from the PC world I think it would be a huge hit. As mentioned above -- MBP specs in a desktop ... should yeild about $500-$800 in savings.
  11. Smoogz macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    You could try and find a G5 model tower on a refurb shop or amazon or something. :D
  12. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    That's exactly what I've done with my MBP, not a waste at all. It's virtually silent, takes up little room, and it gets taken out of the house on occasion. It makes an ideal headless Mac if you're not too concerned about keeping huge amounts of data on it.
  13. Mac OS X Ocelot macrumors 6502a

    Mac OS X Ocelot

    Sep 7, 2005
    They don't need a new model. They need to update the mini and add a "high-end" one. Better integrated graphics for the lower end and dedicated 256MB for the high end. 2GB RAM standard with up to 4GB, and a faster processor. I hope they can fit that all in without making it too much bigger. No need for quad-core, and no need for any more RAM or graphics memory. If you want more in a cheap mini, you're being unreasonable. If you can't find what you need among that updated mini, the updated iMac (they desperately need it too) or the Mac Pro, then buy a PC.
  14. TechHistorian macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Ivory Tower
    The problem is, as others have pointed out, that such a machine would cannibalize iMac sales -- and probably Mini sales as well. Moreover, by being expandable, it would increase Apple's driver headaches. You'd get plenty of switchers complaining about the lack of OS X drivers for their old PC hardware (or the new hardware being released by ATI, nVidia, et al.).

    Apple has long operated on the paradigm that maintaining tight integration between the OS and the hardware is the key to user-friendliness. To quote Guy Kawasaki, 'it's the Macintosh Way." And the way to maintain that integration is with AIO designs. The only expandable computer Apple makes these days is the Pro. That fact alone says volumes about Steve Jobs' and Apple's design/engineering philosophy.
  15. 0sync0 macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2008
    What you are describing machine-wise is what I have been using for more than 20 years in the PC world. Now that I'm looking at getting my first Mac it amazes me that I would need to spend $3k for this.
  16. PNW macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2007
    Why does that matter? A sale is a sale and it would also lead to more switchers i.e. new sales

    That's just FUD. Does the phrase unsupported hardware not mean anything? Besides, plenty of people are already complaining that the current lineup doesn't use this or that card

    Fine make it a PIA to access like the mini, but not everyone wants an all in one especially now that the iMac had dumped the matte screen (glossy screens are really bad for photo work)
  17. a104375 macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2007
    Matamoras, PA
    i agree there is really a computer missing from there line up they need more inbetween models
  18. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    If TheOneTruePath™ is AIO, did someone forget to tell the Mac Pro design team?
    Kinda surprising that I haven't heard too many complaints about the Pro's lack of
    tight integration and user-friendliness.

    "Nothing is harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example."
    - Mark Twain

  19. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    This hole got made. It was not always there. I attached archive.org shots of the apple store from Jan 03 and 05. You used to be able to get a low-end powermac for barely more than a base imac.

    I would be falling over myself today to pick up a $1500 base mac pro, even if it was a lot less powerful than the $2299 current bottom line. These low end towers were not very fast processor-wise, but they offered the expandability that so many want.

    It was not really until the intel mac pros that the base prices shot up so much.

    Attached Files:

  20. czachorski macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    I think the gap is intentional by Apple, and it is an interesting move for them. It's true that in the past, there has been better options for a tower, without going to extreme high-end in the current Mac Pro. It is so obvious, it can not be ignored as a strategic move by Apple to try to change consumer behavior to Apple's view of what a computer should be.
  21. chris200x9 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 3, 2006
    beaten to death....and solved by the mac pro quad core which will save you $500.
  22. Globetrotter macrumors regular


    Nov 5, 2007
    Are you sure a Mac mini isn't good enough?

    I'm still using my iBook G4 (typing on it now), with 1.5GB of RAM, running at 1.42Ghz.

    For the internet, its really great.

    For microsoft word, its really great.

    For iWork, its really great

    For iLife, its really great

    For editing in Gimp, it doesn't fly, but its VERY usable (to 'prove' it ;), I used it while working over the summer, and if it wasn't usable, I really wouldn't have bothered with it)

    Graphics card is an ATI Mobility Radeon 9550.

    This is a nearly 3 year old laptop, and its fine.

    If you want an upgradable mac, you have to pay a lot.

    Why not go into an Apple store and check out the mini speed?

    I think the idea that the mini is too slow is all 'in the mind'.

    Apple has 3 computers to serve 3 'kinds' of people.

    Mini for those upgrading from a pc / those already with a monitor.

    iMac for those just renewing their mac membership ;)

    Mac Pro for people who need a mac for work, or those with money to burn.

    There is no hole. There is only your reaction to the price level set by Apple.

    Try the mini. I'm getting one after the next upgrade ;)
  23. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    For only $700 (~40%) more than the base price of the G5 days? I think there has been a definite creep, and I hope it falls back down.

    In my eyes, the mac pro getting so much more expensive at the base price does create a hole to put in a super-mini...
  24. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    There's a huge hole, and it's not just about pricing. I have absolutely
    no use for a behemoth tower with a 1kW power supply and enough
    drive bays, ram sockets, and video card slots to sink a battleship.
    I also have no use for $$-DIMM dual-channel ECC memory (at more
    than double the price of ordinary garden-variety RAM).

    If Apple offered a smaller tower (with 2 HD bays and a tray-loading
    optical drive bay), but otherwise identical to a 2.4 or 2.8 GHz iMac,
    I'd be willing (not happy, but willing) to pay the same price as the
    corresponding iMac. It would be worth it for accessibility alone --
    not to mention the freedom to select a monitor of my choice.

    The "hardware integration" argument is a lame excuse -- it doesn't
    seem to be a problem with Mac Pro -- and I'd have no problem with
    Apple limiting support to a short list of "approved" components.

  25. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    I agree. I really do think that something the size of the cube, based on the mini, and about $1500 would be an awesome system. The specs above would be fantastic.

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