Our perfect Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by toru173, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. toru173 macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2007
    I've noticed there is a lot of criticism of Apple's products - all of them. At the same time, people are defending them with every breath in their body. It seems that nothing that Apple does will satisfy the majority of people here.

    The question I am posing is this: if you were put in charge of developing a new mac, what would the technical specifications be? What would the cost be? What form factor? Anything else special about it?

    For example, in almost every discussion we come to two points:

    iMac: It's not powerful enough, we need better hardware OR the ability to put that hardware in if we want.

    Mac Pro: It's too expensive and Apple doesn't support upgrading. We need the ability to upgrade to newer and faster things, and it needs to be cheap.

    It would be an interesting excercise to "build" a Macrumor's Mac. I'm sure many of you with the skills would love to submit a picture of your dream design and I would totally encourage it!

    Personally, I would opt for the following:

    Formfactor: "Cube"-ish (similar to the shuttle computers)
    Processor: Core 2 Duo, 2.66 dual, 3.0 dual, 3.0 quad
    FSB: 1333Mhz
    RAM: 2 sockets, each able to take 2GB sticks (Max 4GB) - standard is 1GB
    HDD: 2 x 3.5" brackets, availible in 320GB, 500GB and 1TB from the store
    Optical: 1 x 5.25" Brackets, Superdrive standard
    Internal Expansion: 1 x PCIe x16 slot, double-width - Provision for external power to cards. Comes with 8600GTS, 2900XT, 8800GTX as options
    External Expansion: 4 x USB 2.0 (2 on front), FW400 (on the front), FW800, GbE, Optical sound input and output
    Built in: 802.11n, Bluetooth, Apple Remote
    Price: 1599, 2199, 2499

    Anyone else? Friendly discussion only, and try to keep the machines to current or soon to be released technology!

    Edit: Added Price and BTO graphics card options
    Edit 2: Changed FW800 to FW400, moved it to the front of the case
  2. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    I like it! I think a mid-size case would be a good idea; gives you room to work but doesn't cheapen the look of the Mac Pros. Everything else you have is, in my opinion, exactly what Apple is missing from their line-up (aside from a 12" ultraportable).

    I think the only thing I would have said differently is changing one of the FW800's to a FW400, making the Airport and BlueTooth a CTO option, and probably dumping the apple remote/IR sensor.
  3. iToaster macrumors 68000


    May 3, 2007
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    Hmmm, not bad. Kinda reminds me of the ill-fated cube. If only it had been less expensive. But either way, I really like that idea there, just remake the cube (but one of those 800s should be a 400). Cool.
  4. toru173 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2007
    Excellent! I hadn't thought FW400 was that popular, but this is why the mac is supposed to be a community effort!
  5. G4-power macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2004
    Vaasa, Finland
    This has got sense. There just are some people (like me for an example) who want to be able to buy a desktop that hasn't got a display included (iMac). But there just isn't anything between the Mac Mini and Mac Pro. A mid-level desktop is something Apple lacks for real.

    My dream configuration for this kind of machine:

    Form: Expandable desktop, not a mini, not a huge Pro box, something from between.

    Processor: Core 2 Duo / Core 2 Extreme from 2 to 2.8 GHz.

    RAM: 4 slots (8 GB (16 in theory) maximum), 1 GB standard.

    HD: two 3.5" slots, a 250 GB installed (500GB and 1TB available)

    One SuperDrive.

    Two PCI-e slots, the other equipped with a decent graphics card, upgradeable to up to the X1900X GT.

    Lots of USB 2.0 and FW400 ports, a FW800, optical audio in/out.
  6. kikobarbada macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2007
    I think that the ideal machine today and a cheap one would be:

    Form: Expandable desktop, like a slim Pro, not like a cube.

    Processor: Core 2 Duo / Core 2 Extreme from 2 to 2.8 GHz.

    RAM: 2 slots (4GB maximum), 1 GB standard.

    HD: two 3.5" slots, a 250 GB installed (500GB and 1TB available)

    One SuperDrive.

    Two PCI-e slots, the other equipped with a decent graphics card, upgradeable to up to the X1900X GT.

    Lots of USB 2.0 and FW400 ports, a FW800, optical audio in/out.
  7. seclusion macrumors regular


    Jul 15, 2007
    For me, I have the Mac Pro.
    It has what I need, for recording music etc. I need all the space.
    But the few things I wonder is.
    Each line of computers should have 3 options to choose from.
    The first level for all lines should be around $1200 - $1500.
    This should have the lowest options available for CPU, Video and HD's. Then a Mid level about $1500 - $2200 and top of the line $2500 - $3000.
    But make it that they aren't BTO, there are 3 levels of computers for each line, Laptop, iMac and MacPro. Done
  8. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    I really think it would be great if Apple could have a workstation using Intel's boards designed for single processors. Currently the 975, but very shortly being replaced with the x38.

    If Apple released a cheaper x38 based system they could offer decent priced quad systems when the Mac Pros all move to Octo. The current Quads and Duals could fit in to this line (whether 3000 series Xeons or E6000s/x6000s), though I could see issue when penryn (Yorkfield) comes due to the high end being more powerful than the Harpertowns destined for the MP (3.33GHz vs 3.16GHz) and the next in line being rumoured at 2.33GHz meaning it would be slower than the iMac. Causing the sort of confusion Apple seem like they will do anything to avoid.

    I don't think Apple would attempt it at the moment even though there is demand for it, due to how they are really striving to divide consumer and pro lines. Maybe in the near future when those vast number of customers who are adding a mac laptop to their windows computing lives start requiring desktops as well. Though I would think the demand would likely have to come from the industries Apple already sell to for change to occur.
  9. richorlin macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007
    If you compare specs, you'll find that you are not that far off the specs of a Mac Pro. Why would Apple sell a desktop that is almost identical to the Mac Pro but in a different case? Currently, they have three lines of desktops: the pro (Mac Pro), the "prosumer" (the iMac) and the consumer (mac mini). Why confuse things even further. Apple moved away from the confusing "mac of the day" model configurations years ago.
  10. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    i would like to see a remake of the cube. probabaly not with all of those specs, but close
  11. Squonk macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2005
    I agree, a mid-tower/cubie/whatever cannot step on the MacPro's performance profile. Then the only thing the MacPro has is more expandability(RAM, HD, Optical, slots).

    But what about this, you know how the MacBook gets the "old stock" technology hand-me-downs from the MacBook Pro? What about the midtower getting the same tech as the previous MacPro's? So, it would get the slower processors as the MacPro bumps up.

    I cannot see a quad core option going into a mid-tower, that would cannibalize MacPro sales.
  12. fernmeister macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2007
    I'm not sure I see the point of the cube/mini/slim idea *unless* it were quad-core. Since we already have the mini, why bother with another product line unless it fills a market between the Mac Pro and the iMac?

    My feeling is that in the music world (where I'm at) there may well be a market for such a machine - quad core, 8GB, dual-HD, FW800 and 400. One thing that is not usually mentioned is the possibility of using a Card Bus, instead of PCI Express for expandability. A lot of options, like DSP cards (UAudio for example) and high quality interfaces (Apogee for example) can run via a cardbus with high performance. That could create a unit with a smaller footprint and less sense of "waste" for those that don't need the expansion.
  13. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    The thread should be named "Your perfect Mac".

    In all honesty 4GB of ram is not going to cut it and there is no way you will be able to have a power hog of a graphic card like the Geforce 8800GTX or Radeon HD2900XT in a Shuttle-sized case.
  14. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
  15. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2006
    I would like to have a sticky.

    A sticky at the top of the page,explaining to all the intrested why apple dont want to do something.

    Like make a midi-mac.Or update a gfx card.

    You know, It being compiled by...say...Eidoran,Multimedia and Aiden, and their opinions being challenged by Slughead,shard and some other peeps.

    AND it would have all the beatifull powerpoint diagrams of stock value, intell roadmaps,user demographics and interstellar travel.

    That´s what I would want.

    In a nice wrapper.
  16. rob finch macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2006
    I'll order one of these! Agree with fernmeister that it needs differentiating from the Mini and the Pro, so quad core extreme it should be. Form factor can be shuttle/cube/slim IMO, but quiet like an iMac is a must. Please :apple:, it will sell!!
  17. statikcat macrumors 6502


    Mar 20, 2007
    All they need to do is simply make a line up without using Xeon processors and fully buffered RAM. This would dramatically reduce the price and leave room for 2gb standard and a good graphics card. 4-5 drive bays. 4-5 pci based slots. 3 USB and 1 FW. Higher models could run dual processors.
  18. Evergreen macrumors member


    Jul 9, 2001
  19. Evergreen macrumors member


    Jul 9, 2001
    Seconded. :cool:
  20. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    Along the lines of cutting Xeon. If say Apple went with Skulltrail and dual Harpertowns, what would be the max memory on that setup? I am guessing it wouldn't have eight-slots of would it?

    I am going to go research it. But it is a thought. The exclusion of FB-DIMMs would mean a nice performance jump.
  21. grovertdog macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2006
    e-SATA is absolutely essential for "perfect" status. FW800 is so yesterday...
  22. TantalizedMind macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
  23. iMpathetic macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    I'm serious.. uber-cheap macbook

    1.73GHz Celeron
    512MB, 1GB ram
    60, 100GB hd
    15" screen
    integrated graphics, of course
    combo drive

    $449, $529

    I'd so buy that.
  24. Martin C macrumors 6502a

    Martin C

    Nov 5, 2006
    New York City
    I don't know about a 15'' screen in a model for $449. 13.3'' seems more likely.
  25. kuebby macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    This is essentially what the OP suggested, but it would have to have a smaller case than the MP in order to have a visual difference. I think it's a great idea to have 3 headless macs (mini, mid-range, pro). Something using desktop hardware and performance similar to the MBP but a little cheaper.

    Sounds like some POS Dell. I would seriously bet money that Apple will never (as in next 5 years at least) venture into the cheap laptop market. There is no money to be made and it would ruin the brand name.

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