Our perfect Mac

toru173

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 5, 2007
292
97
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
 

ab2650

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2007
714
0
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.
 

iToaster

macrumors 68000
May 3, 2007
1,743
0
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.
 

toru173

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 5, 2007
292
97
Excellent! I hadn't thought FW400 was that popular, but this is why the mac is supposed to be a community effort!
 

G4-power

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2004
259
13
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.
 

kikobarbada

macrumors regular
Jun 28, 2007
195
0
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.
 

seclusion

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2007
213
21
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
Later
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
4,929
54
England
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.
 

richorlin

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2007
103
1
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.
 

Squonk

macrumors 65816
Mar 15, 2005
1,366
14
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.
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.
 

fernmeister

macrumors regular
Aug 19, 2007
143
0
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.
 

Pressure

macrumors 68040
May 30, 2006
3,914
236
Denmark
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.
 

Macinposh

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2006
700
0
Kreplakistan
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.
 

rob finch

macrumors member
Mar 24, 2006
93
0
England
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
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!!
 

statikcat

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2007
263
0
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.
 

Evergreen

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2001
81
0
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.
Seconded. :cool:
 

suneohair

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2006
2,137
0
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.
 

iMpathetic

macrumors 68030
Oct 7, 2007
2,547
0
IMBY
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.
 

kuebby

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2007
1,556
1
NorCal
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.
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.

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

$449, $529
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.