What are we asking for in a consumer Apple tower?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by atheos13, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. atheos13 macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2007
    So I just read one post about the 'headless imac' and some others about the iMacs and I'm planning on buying myself a 2.4GHz 20" iMac as soon as possible after seeing Macworld. At this point I am faithful the iMac will not receive an update since the MacBook Pro has yet to receive Penryn, which they might do tomorrow and with all the fuss about a MacBook Air and possible updates to the MacMini.

    Now here's my only two gripes with Apple's product lineup, two very common gripes: Lack of post-purchase customizability in the sub MacPro range and the lack of any desktop processors, even in the desktop computers. Now I've heard the reasoning for these things and it's typically quite solid, but there is a significant demand for the headless iMac, a computer tower near the price range of the iMac, certainly below the MacPro.

    What I'd like to see in such a product, if Apple is ever to add one to their lineup, would be a desktop processor with at least a BTO option of 4 cores, a dedicated graphics card, with a BTO option of having something flashy, and perhaps two or more hard drive slots. Reason I'm making this post is to ask what people see being in this future product, components, price, and aesthetic appearance. Are looking at a large MacMini? A small MacPro? I understand the iMac is simply entirely head and stand, which is why I'm no fan of the term "Headless iMac".
  2. ClassicMac247 macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    Technology from apple, will only get smaller, more powerful, and more beautiful. Wait 6 years and the mac mini will be the size of a digital camera.:)
    We can only assume the price will rise slightly or drop VERY slightly, their prices are indeed reasonable for such fine technology and beautifully crafted machines.
  3. gazfocus macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2008
    Liverpool, UK
    Firstly, I don't think any form of Apple Tower computer will be called an iMac. iMac's have ALWAYS been all in one products and that's not really likely to change.

    I'm also not sure what Apple can do to make the Mac Pro any cheaper. They have made a Single CPU Quad Core 2.8GHz Mac Pro which is actually £30 CHEAPER than the 2.8GHz iMac (On the US store, the 2.8GHz Mac Pro is the same price as the 2.8GHz iMac). Therefore, if you're wanting something between the price of the iMac and the Mac Pro, I don't understand what you're asking for (as they are both the same).

    It seems to me that people on here want a 2.8GHz Mac Pro for less that the 2.8GHz iMac, and that's not likely to happen, and don't factor the 2.8GHz iMac into the equation when looking at the price differences.

    I am in the market for a new desktop to replace my Windows PC and if the Apple displays were a bit cheaper, I would buy a Mac Pro, but I think I would prefer the Aesthetics of the iMac. (and yes I know I can buy a none Apple monitor as I already have a 22" HP monitor, but if I'm buying a Mac Pro, I want a Cinema Display).

    Anyway, my point is that the Mac Pro is the same price as the iMac so I don't see why people on here keep insisting on a "headless iMac"
  4. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    There might be one or two customers who don't need six drive bays, eight Xeon
    cores, eight ECC $$$-DIMM sockets, a kilowatt power supply, and enough video
    card slots to drive eight dual-link DVI 30" ACDs.

    ...or maybe not,

  5. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    I would like a cheaper Mac PRO (a bit smaller, 2 hard drive bays, 8 ram slots, one optical drive, upgradable graphics, Dual Core.)

    I was using a PowerMac 7600 up until 2 years ago, it was great, and since it had 8 Ram slots, you could keep on filling em up with cheap memory.

    The same goes for hard drives, upgrades aren't as expensive as you can keep your existing drive and not have to spend twice as much getting a drive with twice the capacity to replace your original.

    I've also upgraded the graphics in my Sawtooth from a rage 128 to a Radeon 9000 PRO, a big difference for a small fraction of the cost of buying a new Mac.

    Still, all-in-ones are very nice, but I wish we had more options :(
  6. Artofilm macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2005
    Then those people can go buy iMacs...
    I don't get what people want in a mid-range tower. How can you made a tower, not as configurable as another. The MacPro is created to suit the average by giving more options than most average pros need.

    What will a mid-range tower give, less than an average consumer needs?
    I think that sounds like trouble just waiting to happen.
  7. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    The Mac Pro is a Professional machine hence why it merits the features and price tag it has. Apple hopefully will bring out a headless iMac or a "entry level" Mac Pro (minus the pro bit of course).

    I'm not sure if this will ever happen but I think most Apple people will agree that Apple should release a lower spec Mac Pro that is more of a consumer machine rather than a higher speced Professional piece of hardware.
  8. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    If you look at desktop PC sales, it's obvious that the "average consumer"
    doesn't need (or want) anywhere near the expandability of a Mac Pro --
    and BTW, the free market also clearly shows that the "average consumer"
    doesn't want an AIO.

    Two internal SATA drive bays would be fine, plus an external monitor of
    my choice (with some extra video inputs), and a tray-loading DVD drive,
    instead of the extremely limited selection of PAINFULLY SLOW slot-loaders.

    But most important: ACCESSIBILITY! When the display or hard drive or
    video card goes south, I don't want to go hat-in-hand to the "genius bar"
    and beg for an audience with a clueless twerp.

    ...just a plain ol' Dell-like or HP-like desktop that runs OS-X,

  9. bigandy macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004
    That the impossible happens, and they actually make one. :rolleyes:
  10. thechidz macrumors 68000


    Jul 25, 2007
    New York City
    All I want is macpro power in a portable form factor. Is that too much too ask?:rolleyes::p;):cool::apple::apple::apple:
  11. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    I completely disagree. Walk into a Best Buy or Apple store and look at the "average consumer." They are people like my wife and parents, not like people who read computer forums on the internet. Most people buy traditional PCs because it's what everybody else buys. They buy traditional desktops because all the AIO PCs suck and they don't really have any other choice. Plus, they just don't know any better. They walk into a store and say "I need a computer" the sale person then says "well, this is what you have to choose from" (and points to all the traditional desktops). You actually think the average consumer gives a crap about having a form factor that is upgradable? All the average consumer uses it for is web surfing, email, word processing, maybe a little media stuff, and an occasional game. There's no need for them to have to upgrade. If you can get them to walk into the Apple store, they will probably have the same reaction that my wife did "Wow, buy it, it's pretty and will look good in our den".

    Sorry, but the people asking for a consumer headless mac are a small minority. The last thing I'd want Apple to do is make another dell or HP and throw OSX on it.
  12. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    good performance at a good price!

    Meaning no laptop components. Just take an iMac motherboard, remove the monitor, replace the laptop components like the small form factor hard drive and ram. I don't personally need it, but throwing in 1 open pci slot would probably be wanted by many others.

    Since this is basically an iMac without a monitor and using cheaper full size non-laptop components, then it should be no more expensive than an iMac.

    Boom, done.
  13. nep61 macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2007
    Well said. I have friends and family members who can't distinguish the difference between having 2 GB of RAM and having a 200GB hard drive... most think they're one in the same...

    Apple makes machines for people who know the difference, sorry if that sounds snooty...but it's true.

    It's also amazing to me that when I sit at a friend's PC, and wait and wait for my Yahoo mail page to load, or for a picture to open... I always seem to ask myself.... "How does the general population put up with this on a day to day basis?" It's because the basic consumer IS EXACTLY like what Mslide said... they don't know the difference.

    Basically, if you put generic crap on a shelf at a Best Buy at a real cheap price, people will but it... a person who buys a Mac, for the most part, understands the product they are buying. I have an Aunt & Uncle who have owned 6 PC in the past 4 years... Usually paying $699 for each new one... and after 8-10 months I hear..."It's not working right" They then buy new... Hmmm... $700 x 6 = $4200... could have bought an iMac with LOTS of $$ to spare... All in all, that's the plain truth... Sorry if I offended anyone.
  14. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    Kinda strange that free market forces have totally failed in the PC biz, huh?

    No choice? That's really quite comical coming from the Apple side.

  15. atheos13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2007
    In a way I am personally asking for a cheaper MacPro. Where it's different, though, is in the MacPro you are definitely paying for every component, and you pay for them all at once, and you can only go as low as the 2200 dollar mark or so, when I don't need the two extra hard drive bays, I don't need half the memory slots, and I don't need 3 of the four graphic cards. Also, as far as quad core goes, I'd be fine with something around 2.2GHz. If I had the money I probably would buy a MacPro, and not because I need all that computing power, but because I know that I will be able to change the components since when the next revision comes out they'll be selling the new video card, I'll always be able to get more ram, and hard drives are getting cheaper and bigger every year.

    What I'm really asking for is an affordable computer that can have it's parts shifted around and switched out after it leaves the Apple Store. I'm aware I'm not the typical consumer, the typical consumer doesn't even know how to load ram into an iMac without calling their nephew to do it for them, my aunts and uncles don't even know what ram or a hard drive look like, and they do buy windows machines every other year. I would just really like the idea of perhaps a MacMini upgrade that lets me open the little guy up and give it some desktop components if it's going to be sitting atop my desk. Every year they really do make the iMac thinner and the MacMini shorter and as a result they are forced to implement laptop processors in order to manage the heat and whatnot. The only problem is that they do have the full financial range covered (MacPro gets them up to around 30,000) and any product that would come inbetween the iMac and one of the others would run the risk of taking profits from the other machines. But I am like the normal consumer in one specific way, I'm selfish and sometimes I care about my personal needs more than the company's restrictions.

    I think that's the ironic part, though. My biggest need is OS X, I can't deal with Windows, and so I have to buy what Apple will sell me and I guess in ~7 years I might have to replace my iMac with the newer model since I won't be able to open it up and update it myself. At least I'll have OS X the entire time, and maybe at that time they'll offer a cheaper MacPro, or maybe I'll just have the money to buy a new MacPro.
  16. iDave macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2003
    wish list

    All I want is a Mac with the power of a Mac mini or MacBook, except:

    I want to be able to replace the hard drive with a nice big fast inexpensive standard 3.5" drive, as necessary.

    I want to be able to connect any monitor up to 30" (dual-link DVI) from any manufacturer.

    I want to be able to add RAM without using putty knives. Four slots would be good.

    I want to be able to install a decent GPU if I get into gaming.

    And I want it to cost much less than $2000.

    In order to get all that, I'll be forced by Apple to buy one of their very profitable Mac Pros, and they know it. That's why they'll never give me what I want. :mad:
  17. yojitani macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    I just now found out that you can't replace the HD in an iMac.:( What?? That makes zero sense to me. What the ?@#$ do I do when in four years time my dinky 2.5" HD craps out?? Buy a whole new computer??

    I used to work enough with video to warrant a pro level machine so I bought a MacPro to replace my power mac a year ago. The thing is, the most intensive thing I've done on it this year is dreamweaver and photoshop for web graphics so here I was thinking that I should probably sell this and get an iMac. But not having a replaceable HD is a real turn off. HD's contain personal info. If the HD has a problem, I don't want to have to send the whole machine in to an apple tech. I'd rather replace it myself. I don't necessarily want a 'headless' imac, but the imac line NEEDS to be more upgradeable
  18. CashGap macrumors 6502


    Sep 15, 2007
    Music City, USA
    It'll never happen.

    The market for a "Consumer Tower/Headless iMac/Upgradable Mini" is MUCH smaller than the market for the iMac.

    The selling price would be lower than an iMac. The costs would not be proportionally lower, so the margins would be lower.

    The support costs ("Hello? I'm trying to install a GeoFLXXR88A in my consumer Mac Tower, it snaps in but won't boot) would be much higher.

    So the value proposition for Apple is... small market niche, steals sales from profitable iMac but at lower revenue and lower margin, higher support costs, less distinct from PC competitors.

    I'd fire the second person to suggest it if I were Jobs. I'd probably give the first one a pass but no one would suggest it again after the above obvious items were explained.
  19. iDave macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2003
    I don't disagree with the rest of your post but I don't know how you can say this when the large majority of desktop WinPCs are exactly what we're wishing for. Since WinPCs own more than 90% of the market and at least half of them are desktops, I'd guess that a good 40% of the world's computers are headless towers. What's the percentage for iMacs; three?
  20. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    they already have one

    when they updated the macpro you can now downgrade and get a single quad chip as opposed to the standard 8 core setup

    this will save 500 from stock config
  21. iDave macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2003
    For a mere $2300 as opposed to the previous minimum of $2200. :eek:
  22. PNW macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2007
    No way! no how! There is nothing mid-range about a $2300 computer.

    Aside from fewer bays etc, use a Clovertown or Kentsfield instead of Harpertown processor. That alone will drop the price below $2K. What we're asking for is not something between the iMac and Mac Pro in price, we're asking for something between the iMac and Mac Pro in power, and more importantly a box we can easily upgrade and service ourselves. Not everyone want's an all in one, and most consumers don't need a Mac Pro.

    Sure in some cases it will cut into iMac sales but in many cases (including the last time I bought a computer for myself) it results in a non Apple sale. If Vista wasn't such a PoS or I could do digital darkroom work from Linux, I wouldn't be looking at replacing my current Linux/XP box with a Mac.
  23. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    The only midrange tower coming from Apple is the existing Quad-Core.

    Get over it folks.
  24. phoxrenvatio macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2007
    yes, all of the WinPC's are wut people are wanting.... go get one, if :apple: doesn't make one GET OVER IT!

    if this is in such demand, there would be a way to run OS X completely on a PC, not virtually, but OS X being the ONLY OS on the machine....
  25. RainCityMacFan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    That's one thing, one major thing, that I missed when I switched to my iMac.

    There were moments after I switched from my **** WinPC/old PowerMac to my new iMac when I wanted to just open up the machine like I would do with a tower and make sure everything feels right. But what I noticed is that I stopped caring about it so much as the grey hairs from Microsoft started to disappear (my Xbox 360 is another story lol).

    One main thing I never really thought about until I watched one of Garethhallnz's videos (Youtube user) was that at the sacrifice of upgradability and customization (in terms of hardware) you get basically EVERYTHING (ok so maybe not everything) you really need. As in you get a webcam, a microphone, built in monitor, mouse/keyboard, and as Gareth said, you don't need to go out and buy that stuff.

    So I guess I was just rambling there but if you need a machine that you can upgrade/customize then a Mac Pro might be what you need. I mean sure, around 3,000$ investment but you'll be saving cash seeing that you can basically repair the machine yourself, upgrade to keep up, and all that stuff.

    As for the mid-tower, I doubt Apple will release one or even think about at this time seeing that there isn't much of a market for it. Apple is concentrating on their Pro users for towers and iMacs for consumers. The average consumer (sorry to be generalizing), like you said, doesn't know too much about the internal working of a computer and would much prefer something simple, easy, and clean. So instead of people having to go out and buy webcams and microphones, Apple builds it all into one computer and throws in an OS X that's so damn easy to use. I don't think it's worth the cost of making a mid-tower to target such a small market, plus, if you think about it, I bet most of the day you don't give a damn about upgradability when you're on your iMac using OS X.

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