What Advantages would a Mid-MacTower have over an iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kjs862, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. kjs862 macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2004
    Besides for expandability... what advantages would a mid-ranged macintosh tower have over an imac? I was thinking it would be able to use a desktop class processor, but do desktop class processors have an edge over mobile ones?

    Also what do you guys think the name of this machine would be? I'm thinking simply Macintosh.
  2. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Nov 22, 2007
    Ask Apple
    Well, the whole idea of keeping a computer on you desk would be optional. For me, having a computer 6 - 8 feet away is better than on your desk.

    Do desktop processors have an advantage? Well quad core has been common on the so-called desktop processors for a while; whereas this form is just starting to come to the laptop market.

    Name, I don't know the MacSemiPro? The MacTruncated? MacMidi, MacMaxi. Well, how about 'Mac' - they use the same convention in their notebooks (MacBook --> MacBookPro), so why not here?
  3. Lord Zedd macrumors 6502a

    Lord Zedd

    Oct 24, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    More powerful processor(s), faster non-laptop components, better optical drive(s), expansion slot(s), better (non-integrated) graphics, choice of monitor and much easier owner serviceability.

    If they came out with a mini macpro with one quad core CPU, removable PCI express 2 graphics card, at least one PCI-e 4/8x expansion slot and 2/4 memory slots for around $2000 I'd buy one.
  4. Digital Fury macrumors member

    Digital Fury

    Nov 5, 2006
    In the tall weeds with the big dogs
    iMacs are not bad per se, but the non-adjustable screen height is a killer; it's an ergonomist nightmare. The iMac "lamp" was in that respect much superior and it's funny to see how even Jobs and Apple was using its adjustable screen as a significant sales pitch.

    Anyway I'm still amazed to see very regularly (almost systematically really) people using iMacs in the ********* of neck-wrecking positions; this is especially true of the 24" one.
  5. MrT-Man macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2008
    My biggest issues are:

    1) I already have a perfectly good 24" monitor (Dell 2407wfp) & I don't want the price of another 24" monitor embedded in the cost of my next computer;

    2) I'd like to be able to add more internal hard drive space, as needed, & be able to easily access the internal hard drive easily if I have to (have had a drive or two crash on me over the years...).
  6. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Macs are the name for their entire line of computers, so I doubt they would name one of them Mac. That would just cause Abbot&Costello-esque moments of "What kind of Mac do you have?" "A Mac"...
  7. revenuee macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2003
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    point 2 i can't argue ... even though external firewire systems are pretty good

    point 1) -- but now you can run TWO 24 inch monitors if you get a 24 inch iMac

    and that's awesome ... i've been looking at a second 24 inch monitor for a few months
  8. iwuzbord macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    New York City
    i think that a a tower of this status would be a great addition to the mac line.
    for me personally, the mac mini isnt enough for me, the mac pro seems like too much, and i dont want to get an imac because i already have a great monitor. i can see it being called "Mac" or "The Mac"

    but a deticaded graphics card would be a great bonus, and it would still need to be user modifiable, when it comes to memory that is.

    thanks to the air, apple's notebooks come in what you could call small, medium, and large sizes. Apple could do the same with desktops, the mini being the small, this new addition medium, while the mac pro as the large.

    im not exactly the best at explaining things, but i hope that you catch my drift.
  9. apearlman macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2007
    Red Hook, NY

    With my old G3 tower, I was able to upgrade or add:
    - RAM
    - Hard drive (twice)
    - processor
    - Optical drive
    - SCSI card
    - and, of course, the monitor (twice).

    ... and as a result, the machine lasted 9 years as my only computer.
    With my iMac, I can only do 1 of those 6 things.
    How long will this iMac last? My guess is less than 9 years.

    In my opinion, this is the worst flaw in Apple's Mac lineup, and it's been a problem for several years now. There's no upgradable computer for less than $2300. Sad.
  10. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    Im hoping for around 1500. :\
  11. Zieg3rman macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2008
    I am actually quite comfortable right now...:D
  12. Roy macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2006
    Is not what you are looking for, at just about the price point you want, already being produced by Apple? What's wrong with this one:

    Mac Pro--One 2.8GHZ Quad-Core Intel Xeon $2299
  13. kjs862 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2004
    What do you mean by faster non-laptop components?
  14. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040


    Jun 25, 2008
    Upgrading is probably the biggest advantage, but there is a demand for mac computers to run headless and if it's more affordable than an iMac, it'd be great for a lot of people (me included) to whom a mac mini doesn't have the power needed.
  15. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    There are multiple kinds of processors - desktop, laptop, and server. Apple uses server chips (the Xeon) in Xserves and the Mac Pro, and laptop chips in everything else. They produce more heat because they're smaller than desktop chips, and therefore have to be slower to keep from overheating and failing.
  16. kjs862 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2004
    That one imac has a 3.06 ghz processor. That doesn't seem slower to me...
  17. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    In the mid 90's Apple sold a what was then a top of the line G4 tower for about $1500. I've still got one (in a closet, not in use.) It was very well designed, easy to open up and work on. had space for internal drives and PCI cards. The fans were to noisy but that was the way it was in 1994.

    Why can't Apple make the exact same machine but with a modern Intel processor and quiet fans today? My gues it that they could but won't because they'd loos a lot of MacPro sales to the lower priced tower.

    Name? How about "one half Mac Pro" Make it just like a MP but cut the specs in half all around. only one quad core CPU, half the RAM slots, only two internal drives and space for only one graphic card and sell it for $1500
  18. Shadow macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2006
    Keele, United Kingdom
    The PowerMac G4 came out in 1999...
  19. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    A 3GHz desktop processor would likely perform the same, maybe outperform it due to things like faster FSB and faster memory. You can also get faster desktop dual core processors and faster quad core processors.

    Here are some reasons why someone might not have use for an iMac, Mac Mini or Apple notebook:

    • Wanting to use existing display or higher quality display without waste.
    • Wanting multiple identical displays.
    • Wanting more than 2 displays.
    • Wanting to use seperate graphics cards for windows and OSX, be it for gaming or 3D work.
    • Wanting an internal RAID solution.
    • Wanting more than one internal drive.
    • Wanting multiple internal optical drives.
    • Wanting more than 2 processing cores.
    • Wanting more than 4GB of memory.

    Those can be solved by going with a Mac Pro, but if you don't want the processor and memory expansion of the Mac Pro, don't need 8 cores and don't need the workstation parts there is alot of money being wasted.

    A quad core Xeon 2.8GHz processor, workstation systemboard, 1KW power supply and FB-DIMM memory costs over double what you could pay for a 2.83GHz non-Xeon quad core, desktop systemboard, 500W PSU and 2GB of desktop memory. A desktop system with similar specifications to the quad core Mac Pro would cost around $1500.

    When it comes down to it is nearly always about the price for people who want the midrange mac. Steve Jobs loves his iMacs though, so we will likely never see one.

    Mobile components, especially processors are also expensive. Intel change $850 for a processor similar to the 3.06GHz one in the iMac, but $183 for a dual core 3.16GHz processor with faster FSB that can be overclocked well beyond that on the desktop. Obviously Apple pay alot less than $850 per processor, but if they used desktop components prices could be alot lower.
  20. tri3limited macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    Question aimed at everyone...

    "Why on Earth would a company that makes money from hardware offer a product, that competes against it's own products, that is upgradable so the hardware lasts longer and can be brought from other suppliers?"

    I think i've managed to sum up this thread pretty easily! :D
  21. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I see apple never making the xmac that people have been dreaming about.

    Because why bother, you can already get a 4 core mac pro for $2299 also if you really think about it the 4 core mac pro for $2299 is a very good price compared to the mid ranged macbook pro that are $300 more.
  22. Digital Fury macrumors member

    Digital Fury

    Nov 5, 2006
    In the tall weeds with the big dogs
    The Mac Pro is indeed a good deal, as long as you remember buying all options (e.g. RAM, HDs) somewhere else, however most people don't need costly things like Xeon-based motherboards, 1 KW PSUs and FB-DIMMs.

    With standard component the Mac Pro price could be slashed by a good 1K while keeping its relative flexibility, but I don't see Apple wanting to self-destruct its iMac line and fat margins. The iMac is not upgradable, thus its obsolesce is built-in, and with every sale Apple gets a cut off the display that people would otherwise buy somewhere else cheaper.
  23. kjs862 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2004
    I was just looking and the base mac pro is only a $100 more than 3.06 imac
  24. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2008
    Rofl..... and at the very end of 1999, at that.

    As mentioned, you could upgrade everything in Apple's old towers, to the point where you could have the same machine running happily on your desk for the better part of a decade. Not so much the case anymore. Something goes not under Apple Care, you're screwed.

    There have been a bunch of very good reasons people have listed here.... however, I feel like even the Mac Pros aren't very expandable; you can't even upgrade the CPU.
  25. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    You can upgrade Mac Pro CPUs :confused:

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