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The Mac Pro is Dead - Page 2

post #41 of 308
The MacPro may not be all that expensive considering its parts and the build quality, but the single-CPU base model does need to come down in price. I think $1999 is not too much of a stretch.

I'd agree that the MacPro seems on its way out. It's a pity for the few who still need a workstation-class machine, but the writing's on the wall.

And what did SJ say again? "Our strategy is: price it aggresively, and go for volume. That has worked really well for Apple."

Not sure how that applies to the MacPro.
post #42 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I mentioned this somewhere else but will repeat here, it is very common for people to expand their machines. They may not do it themselves and frankly may not even understand completely what is being done. What they do is take the machine to a trusted repair tech. If the complaints revolve around speed or storage space upgrades are often done. That can mean more RAM or a bigger HD.

I know of at least two guys that do this regularly. One has even established himself as a parttime business. At the other end of the commercial spectrum local stores do similar trade all the time. Demand for more storage and the snappy is always there.

Actually I think this is BS too. People may not open their machines personally but they do get updated. Mainly because hardware isn't advancing as fast as it has in the past. At least not relative to their processor needs.

Actually price is a huge factor. If you have a project involving a hundred PCs it is foolish not to look at price. In any event the types of desktops we are talking about here range in price from $400 to $1000 each so yeah the Mac Pro is very expensive. Especially if you can't work a deal.

Note here that their is something I disagree with. Corporate buyers are often more concerned about initial costs than anything long term. What makes sense to the corporate world seldom makes sense to the wider world.


Again I really think this is BS but won't go any farther.

Are you talking specifically to the business side with these points? Because I buy that, its very common.

But, and with all due respect, avg joe user is not expanding or opening up a computer. avg joe user is not upgrading his computer either.

I have a pretty big group of family and friends, and I literally cannot remember the last time any of them have ever upgraded or opened a computer, either by bringing it in to a pro or otherwise.

In fact I'm not sure any of them ever have done either. Repairs for damaged computers? Yes.

But average joe does not upgrade or touch the inside of his computer.

I'm not saying that there is no place for upgradable machines, or that people SHOULDN'T do those things, I'm just saying that its not common in the slightest.

And I have been in the military, so i've traveled and lived in alot of places and know people from all over the country, so I don't feel I'm being myopic by in this.
post #43 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post

The MacPro may not be all that expensive considering its parts and the build quality, but the single-CPU base model does need to come down in price. I think $1999 is not too much of a stretch.

I'd agree that the MacPro seems on its way out. It's a pity for the few who still need a workstation-class machine, but the writing's on the wall.

And what did SJ say again? "Our strategy is: price it aggresively, and go for volume. That has worked really well for Apple."

Not sure how that applies to the MacPro.

Lol, when did he say that?

It could only have been very recently, I think the ipad was the first apple made, aggressively priced product they've EVER had.

And only in the last 5-6 years have they ever sold a large volume of ANYTHING compared to competitors.
post #44 of 308
Yeah, it was a recent interview. I saw it last year.
post #45 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcoz View Post

Are you talking specifically to the business side with these points? Because I buy that, its very common.

See right here I have to start to disagree. Large businesses are very reluctant to upgrade a PC. Believe me I've had arguements about this. This may be different in a small business or professional firm where the user has more control, but in a corporate environment where you have zero control over IT upgrades don't happen.
Quote:
But, and with all due respect, avg joe user is not expanding or opening up a computer. avg joe user is not upgrading his computer either.

Again I disagree completely. Even in the Apple world disk drive expansion happens but often through external drives. Can you honestly deny the extensive use of external disks in the Mac world? Further RAM expansion was extremely common for years mostly due to Apples high cost of RAM.

I'd really like to know what your definition of average is because honestly what you describe is well below the norm.

As to Apple I'm actually surprised that they have been successful so long with reliance on external drives for expansion in most of their machines. It is realky a stupid way to solve the average users space problems.
Quote:
I have a pretty big group of family and friends, and I literally cannot remember the last time any of them have ever upgraded or opened a computer, either by bringing it in to a pro or otherwise.

Sorry to hear that. Maybe they keep such activity quite so as to avoid rants from other family members. Or maybe they don't know better and simply buy new hardware when they run out of disk space (seen lots of that). Or maybe they are below average users that don't leverage their machines the way many do. In any event you have a hard time convincing me that the family is average.
Quote:
In fact I'm not sure any of them ever have done either. Repairs for damaged computers? Yes.

If you are not sure then you really don't know at all. Face there are multiple companies that exist simply to supply the Mac upgrade market. On top of that other companies service the market as part of their over all business. If the volume of upgrades was as low as you suggest then these offerings would be very expensive, they aren't thus the implication of reasonable volumes.
Quote:
But average joe does not upgrade or touch the inside of his computer.

A scratched record can repeat the same thing over and over for ever too. That doesnt make it useful. What I don't like about your statement is the implication that the average Joe is so stupid he can't plug in a disk drive, internal or external. If that is your view of people than I feel sorry for you. The average Joe is reasonably capable.
Quote:
I'm not saying that there is no place for upgradable machines, or that people SHOULDN'T do those things, I'm just saying that its not common in the slightest.

OK let me make this clear: you are simply wrong to be using such a broad statement. In fact you really don't know what you are talking about.
Quote:
And I have been in the military, so i've traveled and lived in alot of places and know people from all over the country, so I don't feel I'm being myopic by in this.

Whatever. You see what you want to see. Honestly you must have seen at keast one or two external drives, as to internal upgrades how would you even know without either looking or asking.? Same thing goes for RAM.

Mind you I'm not saying everybody upgrades their machine before replacement, what I'm totally rejecting is this "not common in the slightest" point which is pure BS. That is an extreme statement to make.
post #46 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

See right here I have to start to disagree. Large businesses are very reluctant to upgrade a PC. Believe me I've had arguements about this. This may be different in a small business or professional firm where the user has more control, but in a corporate environment where you have zero control over IT upgrades don't happen.

Again I disagree completely. Even in the Apple world disk drive expansion happens but often through external drives. Can you honestly deny the extensive use of external disks in the Mac world? Further RAM expansion was extremely common for years mostly due to Apples high cost of RAM.

I'd really like to know what your definition of average is because honestly what you describe is well below the norm.

As to Apple I'm actually surprised that they have been successful so long with reliance on external drives for expansion in most of their machines. It is realky a stupid way to solve the average users space problems.

Sorry to hear that. Maybe they keep such activity quite so as to avoid rants from other family members. Or maybe they don't know better and simply buy new hardware when they run out of disk space (seen lots of that). Or maybe they are below average users that don't leverage their machines the way many do. In any event you have a hard time convincing me that the family is average.

If you are not sure then you really don't know at all. Face there are multiple companies that exist simply to supply the Mac upgrade market. On top of that other companies service the market as part of their over all business. If the volume of upgrades was as low as you suggest then these offerings would be very expensive, they aren't thus the implication of reasonable volumes.

A scratched record can repeat the same thing over and over for ever too. That doesnt make it useful. What I don't like about your statement is the implication that the average Joe is so stupid he can't plug in a disk drive, internal or external. If that is your view of people than I feel sorry for you. The average Joe is reasonably capable.

OK let me make this clear: you are simply wrong to be using such a broad statement. In fact you really don't know what you are talking about.


Whatever. You see what you want to see. Honestly you must have seen at keast one or two external drives, as to internal upgrades how would you even know without either looking or asking.? Same thing goes for RAM.

Mind you I'm not saying everybody upgrades their machine before replacement, what I'm totally rejecting is this "not common in the slightest" point which is pure BS. That is an extreme statement to make.

You are right in that my statements are blanketing too much, I'm not saying no one does it, but opening their computer to upgrade? Its not common imo. I think Computers have gotten cheaper and more powerful while not increasing workload by the same factors.

The companies I have been at have been on 3 year cycles for new hardware, in between which they upgraded RAM. The company I'm with now has around 200 employees, what do you consider small? Its a relative term.

Why would you count external drives as upgrades? That an entirely separate unit. Its not upgrading their computer at all, its increasing storage space. That's like saying "I just got finished with my addition for my house - I put a shed in the back." Its no different than buying a pack of DVD's or a flash drive.

I'm not say average people are too stupid at all, few things are easier in the world of electronics than swapping out a hard drive or RAM.

I'm saying they are unwilling and lazy, and the performance increases, ease of use, and reduction in cost to own allows them to be so.

They will delete things if they run out of room, get a new computer if its too slow. I think its a newer trend, but I doubt the people you seem to be speaking of are "average users".

What may have been considered average users 10 years ago would be considered advanced now IMO. The general user has certainly does not seem more proficient at running and maintaining his/her computer than they were 10 years ago, or 15.
post #47 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

2.4cm is not 3x 1.7cm - tapered edges don't count.

The Vaio isn't 2.4 cm. It is 3.3cm to 2.53 cm. Go to the sony site. It states 1" to 1.3".

Quote:
You're right it is the same as the 13" MBP but the MBP is really the problem area anyway, which Sony have surpassed them on.

If you want to debate the 13" MBP in comparison to the Vaio Z then do so. Saying the Z is the same size as the MBA is completely wrong. It's not even close. The tapering DOES count since that vastly reduces the usable volume that Apple has to work with. Wanna bet that volume wise the MBA is 3 times smaller than the Z?

Quote:
I don't think so. I highly doubt that Apple want their highest selling model of computer to be stuck using over 2-year-old CPUs.

My statement was that Apple wanted a 13" laptop with extremely long battery life and the current 13" MBP is for folks that travel a lot. It wasn't designed as a performance laptop. Show me a 13" Core i5 laptop 2.4" thick with a 10 hour battery life.

The 13" MBP is not Apple's performance laptop but entry point "pro" laptop. having it stuck with a 2 year old CPU helps upsell to the higher priced MBP 15".

Quote:
The problem being caused by Intel of course. If Intel had allowed NVidia or AMD to build chipsets for their processors then the 13" MBP would have an i5 chip in it right now, likely with an IGP 50% faster than the 320M.
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Apple may be waiting out the technology shifts going on but everyone else adapts to them and makes it better for the consumer.

It's clear from Sandy Bridge that the IGP won't improve on the 320M so a hybrid between the 13" Air and 13" MBP would have allowed them to build an i5 model last year with a dedicated GPU and this year we'd get the latest chips with a powerful GPU too.

Weight is the most important factor, not thickness. The MBA would only need to be a bit thicker to take a standard i5 and the impact to the battery would be minimal - their batteries far outclass PCs so no one would even notice.

We'll see, February 20th is when they choose if they put a dedicated GPU in the 13" MBP. If they stick with the Sandy Bridge IGP, it's getting marked as an engineering fail because it doesn't make sense for them to go this route, likewise if it's C2D again with a 320M. It's not fair to blame them entirely as it's clear CPUs and GPUs will merge so it's smart to wait it out but by missing the intermediary steps, it creates a very bad gap between and it can be avoided.

Say for example they stick with C2D in the 13" MBP and decide to hold out for Ivy Bridge, that jump will be quite large from this generation to the next and almost make the current ones instantly obsolete as the Ivy Bridge ones will be quad-core with double the GPU performance - overall, a 300% speedup over the C2D model.

The concept of waiting out technology improvements I don't mind but the intermediate steps are so tiresome. Same goes for the Mac Pro and smaller desktops. As time goes on, they make less and less sense because the low-end gets ever more powerful but the need won't disappear until a few years further down the line and the computer makers keep wanting to switch the form factors so that it holds people back from reaching that point of complete satisfaction.
post #48 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

2.4cm is not 3x 1.7cm - tapered edges don't count.

The Vaio isn't 2.4 cm. It is 3.3cm to 2.53 cm. Go to the sony site. It states 1" to 1.3".

Quote:
You're right it is the same as the 13" MBP but the MBP is really the problem area anyway, which Sony have surpassed them on.

If you want to debate the 13" MBP in comparison to the Vaio Z then do so. Saying the Z is the same size as the MBA is completely wrong. It's not even close. The tapering DOES count since that vastly reduces the usable volume that Apple has to work with. Wanna bet that volume wise the MBA is 3 times smaller than the Z?

Quote:
I don't think so. I highly doubt that Apple want their highest selling model of computer to be stuck using over 2-year-old CPUs.

My statement was that Apple wanted a 13" laptop with extremely long battery life and the current 13" MBP is for folks that travel a lot. It wasn't designed as a performance laptop. Show me a 13" Core i5 laptop 2.4" thick with a 10 hour battery life before stating that Apple doesn't have engineering chops because you want something that doesn't exist.

Yes weight=mobility. But also battery life=mobility.

Flight time from DC to Hawaii is typically 9 hours and 39 minutes. Hey, that's about how long a 13" MBP lasts. Granted not everyone flies from DC to Hawaii but lots of folks do want to work for a long stretch untethered from an outlet. A 10 hour laptop pretty much means not worrying about power during the day even it really lasts only 9ish hours. A 7 hour laptop, not so much since it might only last 6ish or less.

Quote:
The problem being caused by Intel of course. If Intel had allowed NVidia or AMD to build chipsets for their processors then the 13" MBP would have an i5 chip in it right now, likely with an IGP 50% faster than the 320M.

The solution is to simply add a low end discrete GPU. The tradeoff is less battery life.

Quote:
Apple may be waiting out the technology shifts going on but everyone else adapts to them and makes it better for the consumer.

This is a laughable statement given they went ahead and implemented their own Optimus design.

Quote:
It's clear from Sandy Bridge that the IGP won't improve on the 320M so a hybrid between the 13" Air and 13" MBP would have allowed them to build an i5 model last year with a dedicated GPU and this year we'd get the latest chips with a powerful GPU too.

With less battery life and larger size.

Quote:
Weight is the most important factor, not thickness. The MBA would only need to be a bit thicker to take a standard i5 and the impact to the battery would be minimal - their batteries far outclass PCs so no one would even notice.

The Core 2 Duo P8800 has a TDP of 25W (MBP 13")
The Core i5 520M has a TDP of 35W (Vaio Z)

Going from IGP to discrete GPU will also be a power hit.

The battery life impact would be measured in hours. Like 7 hours vs 10.

Quote:
We'll see, February 20th is when they choose if they put a dedicated GPU in the 13" MBP. If they stick with the Sandy Bridge IGP, it's getting marked as an engineering fail because it doesn't make sense for them to go this route

Bullshit. You first have to show that the demographic that buys the 13" MBP needs more than the Sandy Bridge IGP. THEN you have to show that it is a significant sales penalty not to force dedicated GPU buyers to buy the more expensive 15" MBP. It's not an "engineering fail" if you actually build a product the customer wants. That customer might not be you and may have different priorities.

Quote:
It's not fair to blame them entirely as it's clear CPUs and GPUs will merge so it's smart to wait it out but by missing the intermediary steps, it creates a very bad gap between and it can be avoided.

Or they fill the performance category with the 15"+ MBP and the long battery life category with the 13". Long battery life and high performance are two conflicting requirements. Long battery life and ultra light are also two conflicting requirements.

Quote:
Say for example they stick with C2D in the 13" MBP and decide to hold out for Ivy Bridge, that jump will be quite large from this generation to the next and almost make the current ones instantly obsolete as the Ivy Bridge ones will be quad-core with double the GPU performance - overall, a 300% speedup over the C2D model.

Unlikely and almost at the strawman level.

Quote:
The concept of waiting out technology improvements I don't mind but the intermediate steps are so tiresome. Same goes for the Mac Pro and smaller desktops. As time goes on, they make less and less sense because the low-end gets ever more powerful but the need won't disappear until a few years further down the line and the computer makers keep wanting to switch the form factors so that it holds people back from reaching that point of complete satisfaction.

The Mac Pro and the mini has been getting reasonable. The 11" MBA appears to be what a lot of folks seem to really like in a laptop in terms of performance and size/weight. It's almost as small as an iPad and you need a keyboard more than a touch screen it works out pretty well.

The only time that the Sandy Bridge IGP hurts you is if you are a gamer or need to do hard core 3d for work. That might suck for folks that want to buy a mini and game with it but honestly I doubt Apple cares. They prefer to sell you a iMac for that.
post #49 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post

I've found that Sony computers are complete shit. Utter garbage.


The Vaio Z I purchased last year has been rock solid. I leave it running for days on end with no issues, just like I did with all my OS X machines. Windows 7 has treated me well, believe it or not.

After waiting around for Apple to update the 13" Macbook and bring it up to the standards of the 15" and being sorely disappointed by the Core 2 Duo joke that came out, I jumped ship and haven't looked back.

I miss OS X bitterly, but I don't miss wishing for BluRay, expresscard slots, a full HD 13" screen, standard SSD, fast Core i7 processors with switchable dedicated graphics and a carbon fiber chassis in a 3lb package that makes the 13" Macbook Air look like a positively insane purchase. I wanted Apple to make this machine for years and they wouldn't, so I don't regret my decision at all.
post #50 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

The Vaio isn't 2.4 cm. It is 3.3cm to 2.53 cm. Go to the sony site. It states 1" to 1.3".

For me it says the following:

Dimensions
Depth Main Unit (mm)\t
210
Height Main Unit (mm)\t
23.8
Width Main Unit (mm)\t
314

Either way, it's not 3x, not even 2x. 1.7cm x 2 = 3.4cm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

The tapering DOES count since that vastly reduces the usable volume that Apple has to work with. Wanna bet that volume wise the MBA is 3 times smaller than the Z?

Volume doesn't make a huge difference to the motherboard just what you can put in the machine like optical drive, taller ports, bigger battery etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

My statement was that Apple wanted a 13" laptop with extremely long battery life and the current 13" MBP is for folks that travel a lot. It wasn't designed as a performance laptop.

The MBA is designed for portability and folks that travel a lot. You can tell by the weight, which is the same as the Vaio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Show me a 13" Core i5 laptop 2.4" thick with a 10 hour battery life before stating that Apple doesn't have engineering chops because you want something that doesn't exist.

I can show you an i5 2.4" laptop that weighs the same as a MBA, lasts longer than a MBA, has an optical drive and is about 2x faster. In my books that's better engineering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Flight time from DC to Hawaii is typically 9 hours and 39 minutes. Hey, that's about how long a 13" MBP lasts.

Ah the old flight time discussion where you pick flights that are exactly the length of the projected battery life. In the event that I sit using a laptop for 10 hours straight (not likely) on a long haul flight to a hypothetical Hawaiian vacation, I'm taking a light machine. The MBP weight 5.6lbs so either I'd take a 1.5lb iPad or a 13" MBA (2.9lbs - lasts 7 hours) or a 13" Vaio (3.1lbs - lasts 7.5 hours).

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

This is a laughable statement given they went ahead and implemented their own Optimus design.

Not for the 13" models, which they could have done already using that technology.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

With less battery life and larger size.

If it is slightly larger then it accommodates a larger battery and it would only be slightly larger. The performance benefits for the small trade-off are huge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

The Core 2 Duo P8800 has a TDP of 25W (MBP 13")
The Core i5 520M has a TDP of 35W (Vaio Z)

The i5 TDP includes the GPU though. Overall, it draws the same or less power than a C2D + 320M.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Going from IGP to discrete GPU will also be a power hit.

The battery life impact would be measured in hours. Like 7 hours vs 10.

Not really, they can have an option to disable it for people who take long hypothetical flights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

It's not an "engineering fail" if you actually build a product the customer wants. That customer might not be you and may have different priorities.

Everybody has the same priority - value for money. It's true they emphasise different factors but Apple make harsher compromises than needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Or they fill the performance category with the 15"+ MBP and the long battery life category with the 13". Long battery life and high performance are two conflicting requirements. Long battery life and ultra light are also two conflicting requirements.

You are mistaking that this generation of i5 somehow performs worse than a 2.5 year-old C2D.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Unlikely and almost at the strawman level.

Not quite, NVidia said openly that Apple would continue to use the 320M chipset for some time and we know that Apple used OpenCL-supporting GPUs, which the Sandy Bridge chips don't support.

It's a tough judgement call because next year, it won't matter. Everything goes quad-core with a powerful GPU that supports OpenCL so do you design this one model to have a dedicated GPU or wait it out and risk the near-instant obsolescence of 3 year-old CPUs in the previous generation?

I personally think it's better to move the 13" away from the ULV CPUs and build it and price it like the MBP but designed like the Air.
post #51 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

For me it says the following:

Dimensions
Depth Main Unit (mm)\t
210
Height Main Unit (mm)\t
23.8
Width Main Unit (mm)\t
314

Either way, it's not 3x, not even 2x. 1.7cm x 2 = 3.4cm.

This is my link:

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921644570897

Click on specifications. Look at the diagram. 1" at the front. 1.3" at the back. The specs say 1.3" height.

And 0.3 cm counts if you're going to use the thinnest part of the Vaio...which according to the US site is taller than 23.8mm anyway. What's good for the gander and all that.

Quote:
Volume doesn't make a huge difference to the motherboard just what you can put in the machine like optical drive, taller ports, bigger battery etc.

These are all the things you say are superior about the Vaio over the MBA. If these items don't matter then the two are equivalent. Bigger CPU/GPU heatsink and battery is part of that equation you just discarded.

You want to minimize the factors that goes into the Apple design while maximizing the importance of the factors that Sony held as important and then declare that Sony engineering is better than Apple engineering.

Nice if you can get everyone to agree. Sorry if I call BS especially as your numbers are wrong.

Quote:
The MBA is designed for portability and folks that travel a lot. You can tell by the weight, which is the same as the Vaio.

I can show you an i5 2.4" laptop that weighs the same as a MBA, lasts longer than a MBA, has an optical drive and is about 2x faster. In my books that's better engineering.

Now we're on weight? Can win on dimension and you want to compare a plastic laptop against an aluminum laptop?

What the hell does that have to do with your contention that Sony engineers are better at packing more parts into a small space?

And no, you cannot show me a i5 2.4cm laptop that weighs the same as a MBA because the Vaio Z is not 2.4cm but 1.3" and physically much bigger in height, depth and width.

If 2.4cm thickness is the only criteria than the MBP 15 is 2.4cm in thickness. I'm sure you'll claim that is unfair and it is. Likewise ignoring the other dimensions for the MBA is also unfair.

Quote:
Ah the old flight time discussion where you pick flights that are exactly the length of the projected battery life. In the event that I sit using a laptop for 10 hours straight (not likely) on a long haul flight to a hypothetical Hawaiian vacation, I'm taking a light machine. The MBP weight 5.6lbs so either I'd take a 1.5lb iPad or a 13" MBA (2.9lbs - lasts 7 hours) or a 13" Vaio (3.1lbs - lasts 7.5 hours).

The 13" MBP is 4.5 lbs.

http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/specs-13inch.html

Is there a reason you keep using incorrect numbers in this discussion? I'll attribute the incorrect Sony numbers to a difference between the US site in inches and another site in mm but the Apple one is pretty easy to verify.

If you're taking a light machine I'd take the 11" MBA and a spare battery.

The hypothetical hawaiian vacation isn't long haul...it's more mid-haul and it is hardly hypothetical.

Quote:
Not for the 13" models, which they could have done already using that technology.

This doesn't matter. Your statement was:

"Apple may be waiting out the technology shifts going on but everyone else adapts to them and makes it better for the consumer."


The fact that Apple developed their own version of optimus makes this implication incorrect. Apple doesn't simply wait out technology shifts but adapts what's out there to meet whatever their design goal is. That they did not in the case of the MBP 13" is not an indicator that they CANNOT do so but that they CHOOSE not to do so.

You contention has been that Sony engineering is better because they crammed an i5 into a laptop the size of a 13" MBA. Except they didn't cram it into the size of a MBA but into the size of a MBP.

And Apple choose not to do so, not that they could not.

Quote:
Everybody has the same priority - value for money. It's true they emphasise different factors but Apple make harsher compromises than needed.

That everyone has the same priority is also a factually incorrect statement. For some folks money is not a determinant at all. Therefore "value for money" is not their priority. Their priority is "what works best for me regardless of cost".

In any case, using the "value for money" metric is also difficult because you're comparing a $1999 base machine to a $1299 (13" MBA) and $1199 (13" MBP) base machine.
post #52 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

You want to minimize the factors that goes into the Apple design while maximizing the importance of the factors that Sony held as important and then declare that Sony engineering is better than Apple engineering.

Ok, at the very least, they made an ultra-portable machine that weighs the same as the Air, within the dimensions of the 13" MBP with the full spec of the 15" MBP and their SSD is better designed. It may not make them engineering gods but to me that says they have put more into it than Apple. Apple's method is to leave something out or make it slower to make it fit.

This may change with the next 13" MBP, we can only hope but it hasn't been the case previously.

Look at how big they make the Mac Pro. If they are skilled at putting a decent spec into a smaller space, why does the Mac Pro have to be a 40lb 3000 cubic inch behemoth? That's why it will die eventually - they have to wait for Intel to do the improvements.

The last Mac Mini update shows the kind of improvements they can make when they try although it's only reached the stage the rest of the machines are now. From the previous generation, they halved the height, bumped up the spec (2x GPU) and made it run quieter and cooler and fit the PSU inside it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

And no, you cannot show me a i5 2.4cm laptop that weighs the same as a MBA because the Vaio Z is not 2.4cm but 1.3" and physically much bigger in height, depth and width.

It still weighs the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

The fact that Apple developed their own version of optimus makes this implication incorrect. Apple doesn't simply wait out technology shifts but adapts what's out there to meet whatever their design goal is. That they did not in the case of the MBP 13" is not an indicator that they CANNOT do so but that they CHOOSE not to do so.

Likewise, I can run faster than anyone in the world, but I also choose not to. When it comes to achievements, you are defined by what you do not what you choose not to do.

Why would they choose to stunt their flagship model? It seems coincidental that the lower spec goes in the smaller case. The smaller case doesn't matter to Sony, they fit the spec in anyway.
post #53 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Ok, at the very least, they made an ultra-portable machine that weighs the same as the Air, within the dimensions of the 13" MBP with the full spec of the 15" MBP and their SSD is better designed. It may not make them engineering gods but to me that says they have put more into it than Apple. Apple's method is to leave something out or make it slower to make it fit.

Really?

They didn't have Intel spin a new version of the C2D with a smaller package for the original MBA?
They didn't redesign to not have replaceable batteries to save on space to allow for smaller size?
They didn't move to a SSD design on a card vs the traditional 1.8" form factor?

Your assertion is asinine.

Quote:
Look at how big they make the Mac Pro. If they are skilled at putting a decent spec into a smaller space, why does the Mac Pro have to be a 40lb 3000 cubic inch behemoth? That's why it will die eventually - they have to wait for Intel to do the improvements.

Bullshit. The reason it's in a large enclosure is because it's a workstation that doesn't sound like a wind tunnel during use. There is a need for both larger, slower fans and more space for heat dissipation.

The equivalent dell or HP workstation is in a case not that much smaller but are much louder. This is a significant quality of life difference for the user...especially one in the creative market.

Picking apart a tower based on it's size is stupid.

Quote:
It still weighs the same.

Moving goalposts is a standard troll tactic. Are you channelling tekstud or was your account hacked?

The fact remains you can't show me a 2.4cm laptop with better specs because you are completely understated the thickness of the Z to make your "point" (aka lied).

Now you want to move to weight and compare a plastic laptop to an aluminum one.

Quote:
Likewise, I can run faster than anyone in the world, but I also choose not to. When it comes to achievements, you are defined by what you do not what you choose not to do.

Why would they choose to stunt their flagship model? It seems coincidental that the lower spec goes in the smaller case. The smaller case doesn't matter to Sony, they fit the spec in anyway.

Their flagship model is obviously not the 13" MBP.

Their flagship models are the 11" MBA and the 27" iMac at the two opposite ends of the spectrum.

Show me a better ultralight than the 11" MBA. The sony doesn't come close in size or weight.

Show me a better AIO than the 27" iMac.
post #54 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

They didn't have Intel spin a new version of the C2D with a smaller package for the original MBA?
They didn't redesign to not have replaceable batteries to save on space to allow for smaller size?
They didn't move to a SSD design on a card vs the traditional 1.8" form factor?

Like I say, cut things out to make it fit in a small space. The SSD move had already been done by Sony previous to the MBA. Here's what the 13" Vaio looks like:

http://translate.google.com/translat...N&tl=en&swap=1

This is Sony's domain - they've done this for years and defined the quality bar for ultra-portables. Lenovo made a parody about it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hnOCUkbix0

Not that I agree much with that, I know that it's best making some compromises.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

The fact remains you can't show me a 2.4cm laptop with better specs because you are completely understated the thickness of the Z to make your "point" (aka lied).

I said Sony could fit a higher spec into a smaller space. The thickness was not quite on the level of the Air as I had originally said but it has a tray-loading optical drive and still matches the 13" Macbook Pro with a higher spec, which holds up that assertion. I certainly wouldn't say that everything Sony builds is better than everything Apple builds but from seeing their respective developments, it seems that Apple make more compromises than Sony do, which led me to my original assertion which was that if a smaller desktop had to be built, I think Sony would be better at it. I didn't say Apple were bad engineers, just that Sony were better engineers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Their flagship models are the 11" MBA and the 27" iMac at the two opposite ends of the spectrum.

Don't think so. The 21.5" iMac and entry standard laptops have been the flagship models. The 11" Air may change that but it's not the case just now.
post #55 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I said Sony could fit a higher spec into a smaller space. The thickness was not quite on the level of the Air as I had originally said but it has a tray-loading optical drive and still matches the 13" Macbook Pro with a higher spec, which holds up that assertion.

Smaller space is smaller volume. The volume of the 13" MBA is probably 3 times smaller than that of the Z.

Weird that you persist in comparing the MBA with the Z given that the Sony competitor is the X...which they couldn't cram more in and had to drop back to an Atom.

At least comparing the Z to the 13" MBP has some merit. However, the primary tradeoff there is processor + price for battery life. For whatever reason Apple didn't want a $2000 13" MBP.

Quote:
I certainly wouldn't say that everything Sony builds is better than everything Apple builds but from seeing their respective developments, it seems that Apple make more compromises than Sony do, which led me to my original assertion which was that if a smaller desktop had to be built, I think Sony would be better at it. I didn't say Apple were bad engineers, just that Sony were better engineers.

Which is still bullshit because their AIOs are not as good as Apple AIOs and their MBA equivalent, was built with an Atom AND cost more than the base C2D MBA. Using your criteria then Sony could not ever build a 11" C2D for $999 as opposed to choose not to do so.

Quote:
Don't think so. The 21.5" iMac and entry standard laptops have been the flagship models. The 11" Air may change that but it's not the case just now.

I suggest you google the definition of "flagship model". A flagship model is the best they have to offer. Not the one they sell the most of.

That the 11" MBA is both an engineering feat and low cost isn't the norm.
post #56 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.metcalf View Post

For me, the Mac Pro is a great platform for science because I can use native UNIX applications without having to leave the beautiful OS X.

Compatibility (real life): the ability to execute a given program on different types of computers without modification of the program or the computers.

Compatibility (iLife): MacPorts

Case rested.
post #57 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post

I'm one of those people who would rather a tower with a display than an all-in-one. No, not an "xMac." I like the Mac Pro design. I don't need Nehalem or Westmere Xeon processors. I'm not certain why Apple refuses to sell less expensive Mac Pros using Core i7 processors.

You described most of the xMac concept but said it's not an xMac. What is your distinction? That you want to keep the case? I don't think the case is the focal point for a lot of xMac proponents, some wouldn't mind a different case, some want the same. That I've seen, the main focus is getting a tower desktop that uses desktop parts (vs. workstation parts) to get the price down to something more palatable for home power users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It likely won't compete with displays from other manufacturers. People are selling IPS screens that size around $300. Smaller size screens are high volume for everyone.

Who is selling a $300 IPS monitor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

One thing they could do is sell a bundle and force people to take a Cinema screen away with a cheaper tower but do people really want something the size and weight of the Mac Pro at home? It has a 1kW PSU - electric heaters are 1kW.

The compact cube room heaters tend to be 1.5kW that I've seen.

1kW is just an output power rating. I think I've seen tests that showed the actual draw from the wall was something like 250W for a typical Mac Pro configuration at 100% CPU utilization. It's a lot more than an iMac, but still, nothing like the rating label might suggest. They might be over building it by double just to be on the safe side, it looks to be very tough to get near 500W with what can be stuffed into the case. Drives usually only consume 10W a piece and there's only so much power those video card power cables are supposed to supply. Even taking a SAS card and loading the machine with the fastest spinning drives might be hard to make the power supply take notice.
post #58 of 308
The economy is crap and the MacPro still lives on. It still sells, it's still an awesome computer, and it's still the computer I would turn to if the economy didn't bite my butt. I can not wait to buy another. It's still the best made computer you can buy imo.
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post #59 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by acorn.alert View Post

Compatibility (real life): the ability to execute a given program on different types of computers without modification of the program or the computers.

Compatibility (iLife): MacPorts

Case rested.

Maybe it's because I haven't had any coffee today, or because I've had too much wine, but I have absolutely no idea about the point you're trying to make! Hahaha.

Every minute I use I Microsoft product I hate then twice as much!
post #60 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

That I've seen, the main focus is getting a tower desktop that uses desktop parts (vs. workstation parts) to get the price down to something more palatable for home power users.

Some of the workstation parts are not much more expensive than the desktop ones though. An i7 chip and motherboard with everything else the same would only be about $100-200 cheaper and only the motherboard makes the difference.

There's a Dell Vostro Mini Tower that can be configured for under $1000 with a quad i7 and is about 40% smaller and lighter than the Mac Pro:

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/vostro-430/pd

So the bulk of the cost has to be elsewhere in the machine and in the margins. The price went up dramatically at one point without the parts being much more expensive so margins have to be a part of it.

It seems to me the iMac is the only way they can make an Apple-chosen IPS display and a Mac together the most affordable. Shared PSU and shared casing will cut the costs a bit along with the volumes of both.

If you get a quad i7 tower with a 27" IPS in a PC, the cost would be $2000, which is not far off the $2200 i7 iMac price. Personally, I don't think it's good selling a 27" and 21.5". The 21.5" is quite small and the 27" is too big. I reckon a 24" 1080p for all would have been a better option. The problem there is that video editors can't edit 1080p at native size but they could always get a second display and edit at full size.

I would rather they sold a 24" quad i7 iMac at maybe $1800, design it like the Cinema display and then sell 24" Cinema displays for $599 vs $999. They might not be able to get the parts in a 24" chassis just now though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Who is selling a $300 IPS monitor?

$200 for Dell now:

http://accessories.dell.com/sna/prod...1&sku=320-9271

3 year zero dead pixel warranty too vs Apple's 1 year warranty with up to 8 dead pixels acceptable. That's the main reason I like a separate display.

HP are under $300 too:

http://www.amazon.com/HP-ZR22w-21-5-.../dp/B003D1CFHY

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

They might be over building it by double just to be on the safe side, it looks to be very tough to get near 500W with what can be stuffed into the case. Drives usually only consume 10W a piece and there's only so much power those video card power cables are supposed to supply. Even taking a SAS card and loading the machine with the fastest spinning drives might be hard to make the power supply take notice.

I think they are over-building it. Sure, some people will try to turn it into a Tesla-like compute machine but very few. It's clear it's not being targeted at consumers now so I guess it doesn't matter but it creates the following scenario:

If they price the Mac Pro out of reach of consumers, they drop the volume, which pushes prices higher.
If they design the iMac to be most cost-effective with a display included then they can't make a tower with an extra display cost-effective.

Like I said earlier, if you go into an Apple Store right now, you can't walk out with a complete desktop computer system cheaper than the iMac and that includes the Mini. It's not necessarily a bad thing as they have a nice design in the latest iteration but you are going to be stuck with the poor display warranty on a very expensive machine.

Also, they would find it hard to build a display-less machine with a standout design that is high performance without using mobile parts. Although, chips like Intel's Sandy Bridge i5-2400s are 65W chips and perform ok - it actually performs about the same as the i7-860 in the current iMac but uses half the power. Perfect for a small desktop but for the other reasons won't make it into one.

I think the Mini is the best hope for a standalone consumer desktop people have and I think it's going to become more important over time. When they ultimately build one in 3 years with 4-6 core processors at 2-2.5GHz with 4-8GB RAM, 256-512GB SSD and a GPU 4x the 320M, why would 90% of people buy anything with a higher spec? You get all the performance you need with the choices of affordable displays with great warranties and is flexible enough a design that you can use for any number of tasks (server, media centre, desktop), is easy to resell as it's light and portable, easy to take into an Apple Store for repair.

The Mini is our xMac. All we asked for was a decent CPU with a good GPU. Credit to them, they got NVidia to build the best IGP ever made, they just came up short on the CPU. With extra engineering effort, they could get dedicated GPUs in there like other manufacturers but it may be the wiser option to side-step and wait for Intel to improve their IGPs. The decisions they make at the end of this month will be interesting to see - does their allegiance lie with innovation or chipzilla?
post #61 of 308
"does their allegiance lie with innovation or chipzilla?"

Apple is a marketing company after all - so chipzilla in a very well engineered and designed package complimented by UNIX flossed up into a solid GUI.

But heck - when you look at the MacPro it's all about expansion. Thats it's market and always will be.
No other alternative to fit the third party cards (gfx, sound, PCIe expansion etc, etc). errr, unless you go the Hackintosh tower route, which is not for everybody.

The only area that does offer an way to make the tower smaller is the advent of SSD's but heck I'd just leave it the same size and you can all of a sudden fit terraflops storage in a case that's designed to run cool.

I agree, Marvin - the mini is the xmac.
I have an older one here as a computer/HTPC for the kids and the moment I hooked the thing up and ditched VHS/DVD/PS/XBox/Wii and all the frigg'n remotes I was finally happy that a diminutive little device can replace all that other stuff.
Hey - I know some others just love all the boxes and remotes but it's horses for courses and that's what I wanted to achieve. Would I buy a MacPro to run a HTPC - no way. Too big and too noisy.

Just my $0.02c
cheers
post #62 of 308
I hope I'm wrong but somehow I don't think Apple will build the mini that Marvin refers to in post #60.
OTOH, if Apple manufactures a small laptop with that much power they might indeed do so.
post #63 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Some of the workstation parts are not much more expensive than the desktop ones though. An i7 chip and motherboard with everything else the same would only be about $100-200 cheaper and only the motherboard makes the difference.

Well this may be true but it also leads to Apples to Oranges comparisons. To put it simply I have no desire to see the Mac Pro displaced as Apple top performing machine. However there is a massive gulf right now between the Mini and the Mac Pro performance and capability wise.
Quote:
There's a Dell Vostro Mini Tower that can be configured for under $1000 with a quad i7 and is about 40% smaller and lighter than the Mac Pro:

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/vostro-430/pd

So the bulk of the cost has to be elsewhere in the machine and in the margins. The price went up dramatically at one point without the parts being much more expensive so margins have to be a part of it.

Well let's list some of the things that make the Mac Pro expensive. The case jumps to mind real quick followed closely by the main logic board. Then you have the power supply and main memory system.

If we back up a bit, the case itself is custom and certainly isn't a $39 dollar solution. I would be surprised if it cost Apple $100 or more. The main logic board is again custom and from what I can see is not a cheap implementation. In the end I don't see equivalent in the PC world.
Quote:

It seems to me the iMac is the only way they can make an Apple-chosen IPS display and a Mac together the most affordable. Shared PSU and shared casing will cut the costs a bit along with the volumes of both.

Not at all. They simply don't want to for whatever reason. Look at it this way HP, Dell and a host of others can make very good monitors at reasonable prices. Apple on the otherhand has gone in the opposite direction in the past. That is making marginal quality displays at high prices. This seemingly the result of design over functiion. The most recent example being the $800 screen for the portables that was a huge joke price wise. Not to mention it was ugly.

To put it simply there is no reason I can think of for them not to have a decent monitor around $350 for use with the laptops and Mini. It almost looks like they go out of their way to force people to buy outside of the Apple supply chain.
Quote:
If you get a quad i7 tower with a 27" IPS in a PC, the cost would be $2000, which is not far off the $2200 i7 iMac price. Personally, I don't think it's good selling a 27" and 21.5". The 21.5" is quite small and the 27" is too big. I reckon a 24" 1080p for all would have been a better option. The problem there is that video editors can't edit 1080p at native size but they could always get a second display and edit at full size.

First let's hit upon 1080p on the small screen. That is doable with today's tech.

As to the screens let's face it minor difference in cost mean nothing. Especially if you are trying to fulfill specific needs.
Quote:
I would rather they sold a 24" quad i7 iMac at maybe $1800, design it like the Cinema display and then sell 24" Cinema displays for $599 vs $999. They might not be able to get the parts in a 24" chassis just now though.

I'd rather see an XMac then screen size just drops out if the equation.
Quote:


$200 for Dell now:

http://accessories.dell.com/sna/prod...1&sku=320-9271

3 year zero dead pixel warranty too vs Apple's 1 year warranty with up to 8 dead pixels acceptable. That's the main reason I like a separate display.

HP are under $300 too:

http://www.amazon.com/HP-ZR22w-21-5-.../dp/B003D1CFHY

I think the big issue here is Apples defective policy towards bad LCD screens. This is a greater concern for many than the latest Intel CPU or fancy GPU.
Quote:
I think they are over-building it. Sure, some people will try to turn it into a Tesla-like compute machine but very few. It's clear it's not being targeted at consumers now so I guess it doesn't matter but it creates the following scenario:

Nope to the overbuilding. The problem with the Mac Pro is that it is a very good solution for certain classes of users. The problem is it is a terrible solution for people that need something similar.

If Apple where to drop the Mac Pro it would do far more damage than dropping the XServe. That is simply because there is a reasonably large number of Apple customers that actually use the capabilities if the Mac Pro. More importantly there are few alternatives. XServe got dropped because there is almost an infinite supply of servers out there. So if the Mac Pro sells ten thousand a month those are sales to customers with little in the way of real alternatives.
Quote:
If they price the Mac Pro out of reach of consumers, they drop the volume, which pushes prices higher.

Or they know they have people over a barrel with little in the way of real options. I'm nit really sure what drives the ultimate price on the Mac Pro but I'd have to say a big part of it is greed on Apples part. I say that due to the rather stiff price increases for rather marginal component upgrades.
Quote:
If they design the iMac to be most cost-effective with a display included then they can't make a tower with an extra display cost-effective.

Cost has nothing to do with it. Seriously it really doesn't. Contrary to popular belief the Mini is very popular with people even now. Frankly it really isn't a great value but the flexibility to connect your desired monitor is very appealing.
Quote:
Like I said earlier, if you go into an Apple Store right now, you can't walk out with a complete desktop computer system cheaper than the iMac and that includes the Mini. It's not necessarily a bad thing as they have a nice design in the latest iteration but you are going to be stuck with the poor display warranty on a very expensive machine.

You really seem to be hung up on price. That is to bad as it misses many of the points people bring up when discussing the Mini and XMac. The reason people want these machines has little to do with price. If price was the only concern people could easily turn to commodity hardware and LINUX.
Quote:

Also, they would find it hard to build a display-less machine with a standout design that is high performance without using mobile parts.

That is a matter of opinion. An XMac class machine could easily be built with 45 to 60 watt parts. The whole point of XMac is to provide for a bigger chassis that the Mini but at the same time considerably smaller than a Mac Pro. That provides for a lot of room design wise. Especially considering that the design goal is easy access drive slots, maybe a PCI Express slot and a decent GPU. Even if they went to mobile parts that still offers up a chassis that can handle a lot more than the Mini.
Quote:
Although, chips like Intel's Sandy Bridge i5-2400s are 65W chips and perform ok - it actually performs about the same as the i7-860 in the current iMac but uses half the power. Perfect for a small desktop but for the other reasons won't make it into one.

As long as Intel doesn't have any silly restrictions there is always the potential. However we must remember these new generations of chips provide for advances in hardware capability simply due to their lower power profiles. Apple might not use them in a desktop but that won't stop somebody else.

As a side note for a company that is growing it's PC sales Apples Mac Line up is very stale. I honestly believe they would be even farther ahead sales wise if they had a broader desktop offering. The reality is many shoppers fit into that gulf between the Mini and the Pro.
Quote:

I think the Mini is the best hope for a standalone consumer desktop people have and I think it's going to become more important over time.

While the shrinking chips certainly mean more power in the little box it still misses the point with respect to the people that are actually asking for something different.
Quote:
When they ultimately build one in 3 years with 4-6 core processors at 2-2.5GHz with 4-8GB RAM, 256-512GB SSD and a GPU 4x the 320M, why would 90% of people buy anything with a higher spec?

I see that word spec and immediately realize that you still don't get it. It has nothing to do with the CPU spec but rather flexibility. For example you mention 512GB of SSD but yet many people have real applications where that is a none starter with out expansion capability. It also drops out the request for a PCI Express slot or two. Not to mention the need for more RAM than the base models provide.

I'm just bothered by your obsession with specs. The whole idea of XMac revolves around being able to configure for your specific needs. Like it or not it is a highly used feature in the PC world. With Apples reluctance to service this market need a lot of potential application developers never consider the Mac as a platform.
Quote:
You get all the performance you need with the choices of affordable displays with great warranties and is flexible enough a design that you can use for any number of tasks (server, media centre, desktop),

As good as the Mini is it is not flexible at all, not even close. Again though I think you mis the whole point of the discussion here because frankly it is all about flexibility in a low cost platform. Something that costs $1000 instead of $1600.

Actually it could cost less than that but you get the idea. This can be done easily because there is an endless number of examples in the PC world. Many are in fact wellunder $1000 but $1000 wouldn't be bad for a well designed Apple product.
Quote:
is easy to resell as it's light and portable, easy to take into an Apple Store for repair.

Yes exactly! One shouldnt have to wear a supporter to take his Mac to the store.
Quote:
The Mini is our xMac.

Nope, not at all. No where near flexible enough
Quote:
All we asked for was a decent CPU with a good GPU. Credit to them, they got NVidia to build the best IGP ever made, they just came up short on the CPU. With extra engineering effort, they could get dedicated GPUs in there like other manufacturers but it may be the wiser option to side-step and wait for Intel to improve their IGPs.

Or just go AMD. I think it is important to realize that part of the equation here is offering value for the money. There is no reason why Apple needs to use high price intel chips, Llano would make for a very nice XMac.

Since this is all about getting Apple to break the mold that they have been using design wise, AMD inside could help the process along. IMac, Mini and Pro are a throw back to tge days when Apple couldn't afford a reasonable line up. They need to rethink that strategy now that sales are strong and more people are taking an interest in Apple.
Quote:
The decisions they make at the end of this month will be interesting to see - does their allegiance lie with innovation or chipzilla?

Actually I'd be surprised if anything more than the laptops got updated.
post #64 of 308
On the otherhand technology moves forward, at some point you won't be able to get dual core CPUs. Even this year could lead to a major improvement to the Mini if Apple really wants to. Both Llano and Sandy Bridge would be excellent for the platform. If Apple waits till next year most of the hardware bugs should be gone and AMD should have even better cores for their APUs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by geneking7320 View Post

I hope I'm wrong but somehow I don't think Apple will build the mini that Marvin refers to in post #60.
OTOH, if Apple manufactures a small laptop with that much power they might indeed do so.

Laptops are strong sellers no doubt but that does not excuse neglecting the desktops. I'm really of the opinion that Apple is currently in a position hardware wise where they can't realize the full potential of the market. The big chill in the publics mind has melted away, nobody these days expected Apple to go under. However they now need to have the right products to service a wider array of customers.
post #65 of 308
The Mac Pro (and PowerMac that preceded it) is a niche product, but I don't think the niche that Apple is selling it to will buy anything else. At least, not as long as they can.
post #66 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

To put it simply there is no reason I can think of for them not to have a decent monitor around $350 for use with the laptops and Mini. It almost looks like they go out of their way to force people to buy outside of the Apple supply chain.

There has to be something to do with inventory though. The middle two iMacs have the exact same spec and for just $200, you jump from a 21.5" screen to a 27" screen. I've never seen such a small and large IPS display separated by so little money. In Dell terms, that jump is $800.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'd rather see an XMac then screen size just drops out if the equation.

Indeed it does for informed consumers but can you imagine an average shopper standing in the Apple store being advised about a computer screen:

Shopper: Thanks for the Cube, now where can I get a screen for it?
Apple employee: Anywhere you want.
Shopper: Yeah but where?
*tumbleweed*

They won't be allowed to recommend non-Apple screens so the average shopper would have to go home with an unusable product. It is interesting that Apple sell 3rd party hardware on their store so long as it's products they don't compete strongly with. I wonder how many people actually do blow $1000 on the 27" Cinema screens. There are 165 reviews, a lot of them complaining about the glare so maybe it sells ok but I can't imagine there would be all that many.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I see that word spec and immediately realize that you still don't get it. It has nothing to do with the CPU spec but rather flexibility. For example you mention 512GB of SSD but yet many people have real applications where that is a none starter with out expansion capability. It also drops out the request for a PCI Express slot or two. Not to mention the need for more RAM than the base models provide.

Yeah but these requirements will pass soon. Light Peak can replace PCI Express and if they combine it with USB 3 ports, you'd get 4-5 PCI slot equivalents without having to open the machine and compromising the design for people who don't need them with external power for some components. If you could buy a GPU that way, that would be awesome.

Also when it comes to storage, I'd rather have things stored on an external RAID so I can switch drives with the turn of a key and not touch the computer at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Llano would make for a very nice XMac.

It would - the quad-core version would be ideal, not least because it's codenamed Beavercreek. I want to use the phrase 'I have a Beavercreek in my Mini' in everyday conversation just to see how people react.

Rumour has it that it's due in May now and will no doubt undercut Intel's pricing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Actually I'd be surprised if anything more than the laptops got updated.

Yeah but I mean the way in which they choose to update them will be interesting because whatever they do to the low-end laptops generally applies to the Mini. I do think the iMac could use a chip refresh though and using 65W chips in those would help keep the temperatures down.
post #67 of 308
On the topic of the PCI slot removal after externalising PCI using Light Peak, They could perhaps shrink the Mac Pro down again:



People will complain about the 2.5" drives not being enough but long-term, they will be fine, lower powered, lower heat and SSD is mostly 2.5". Takes up less space as a server too. Forcing the GPU to be external may not be a great idea but it depends on what Light Peak is capable of and what GPU developments come along. I could see the CPU block containing 2x Xeons and a 3rd GPU chip in there that performs about 3-4x a 320M. Anything more and it goes outside with its own power supply.

If the optical is scrapped, there could actually be 5x or 6x 3.5" drives vertical in the space vs 2.5" drives.
post #68 of 308
I used to work IT Support in a newspaper environment. All the graphic artists and page layout staff used Mac Pros. In practice, the only internal changes we made were when we needed to add ram, add/replace hard disks, and sometimes add the occasional PCI SCSI card for connecting legacy equipment like professional bed-style scanners.

In an IT environment, being able to do on-site replacements (RAM, HDD, or even swap in a fan from another Pro) is extremely important. Even if it's to install a PCI NIC because the on-board one died.

That kind of modular design for "workstation" machines will always be needed.

Now, as for the machines used by the writers and salespeople who live in Microsoft Office for a living? They demand laptops. They get laptops. If they are serviceable onsite, it's nice, but pretty much we'd just replace the whole thing when one gets sufficiently broken.
post #69 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

The Mac Pro (and PowerMac that preceded it) is a niche product, but I don't think the niche that Apple is selling it to will buy anything else. At least, not as long as they can.

However for many users that is just too much of a machine for their needs. Easy serviceability and minimal expandability is all that they really need.
post #70 of 308
The goal rather is a midrange system between the Mini and the Pro. There is really no point in shrinking the Pro or following it's design points.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

On the topic of the PCI slot removal after externalising PCI using Light Peak, They could perhaps shrink the Mac Pro down again:

To put it simply I'm not a big fan of externalized I/O. Generally it is a very expensive way to do I/O. On top of that it could be years before the IP is generally available for custom I/O.
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People will complain about the 2.5" drives not being enough but long-term, they will be fine, lower powered, lower heat and SSD is mostly 2.5".

I'd go even farther and would hope for a couple of the blade SSD slots.
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Takes up less space as a server too. Forcing the GPU to be external may not be a great idea but it depends on what Light Peak is capable of and what GPU developments come along.

In a year or two I would expect that on die GPUs will be good enough for this platfom. That is assuming AMD hardware.
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I could see the CPU block containing 2x Xeons and a 3rd GPU chip in there that performs about 3-4x a 320M. Anything more and it goes outside with its own power supply.

My image of an XMac is a little less than what you are after. In this regards I'm of the opinion that a single chip processor is the way to go. I'm mixed on the use of a discrete GPU. The whole point here is to design a much lower cost XMac. The goal is a small single board computer with no riser or CPU cards.
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If the optical is scrapped, there could actually be 5x or 6x 3.5" drives vertical in the space vs 2.5" drives.

Stick to the smaller drives.

In any event the goal isn't smaller Mac Pro but rather an alternative desktop Mac.
post #71 of 308
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Originally Posted by vandil View Post

I used to work IT Support in a newspaper environment. All the graphic artists and page layout staff used Mac Pros. In practice, the only internal changes we made were when we needed to add ram, add/replace hard disks, and sometimes add the occasional PCI SCSI card for connecting legacy equipment like professional bed-style scanners.

I'm not sure people understand the importance of serviceability in a large IT environment.
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In an IT environment, being able to do on-site replacements (RAM, HDD, or even swap in a fan from another Pro) is extremely important. Even if it's to install a PCI NIC because the on-board one died.

Your mention of Ethernet is interesting because we often find need to install a second Ethernet port. Sometimes though far simpler expansion is needed for things like USB ports or even RS 232 ports. It is very easy to populate all your ports in a commercial application.

On top of that high speed serial ports like USB have serious problems like latency. So good old PCI is still required for many applications.
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That kind of modular design for "workstation" machines will always be needed.

More so it isn't always the realm of a high performance workstation where these needs come into play. Sometimes you simply need I/O ports of one type or another.
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Now, as for the machines used by the writers and salespeople who live in Microsoft Office for a living? They demand laptops. They get laptops. If they are serviceable onsite, it's nice, but pretty much we'd just replace the whole thing when one gets sufficiently broken.

This is pretty familiar however I think you leave out a huge array of systems for more middle of the road usage. That is machines for use in Engineering, R&D, manufacturing, metrology and all the other parts of a modern company. These are all places where desktops are commonly implemented but don't always require the performance of a Mac Pro.
post #72 of 308
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Nope to the overbuilding. The problem with the Mac Pro is that it is a very good solution for certain classes of users. The problem is it is a terrible solution for people that need something similar.

More importantly there are few alternatives.

So if the Mac Pro sells ten thousand a month those are sales to customers with little in the way of real alternatives.

Or they know they have people over a barrel with little in the way of real options. I'm not really sure what drives the ultimate price on the Mac Pro but I'd have to say a big part of it is greed on Apples part. I say that due to the rather stiff price increases for rather marginal component upgrades.

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Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

The Mac Pro (and PowerMac that preceded it) is a niche product, but I don't think the niche that Apple is selling it to will buy anything else. At least, not as long as they can.

That's what it looks like to me as well. They know they can get away with the MacPro's inflated prices. As if the base model isn't pricy enough, the upgrades is what really kill it. I have tried to find RAM priced similar to Apple's 3x4GB @ $1275 and it simply can't be had for that money.

OWC (certainly not a price-fighter) sells 3x4GB @ $220, that is more than a $1000 deficit. Apple's HDD prices are a little more reasonable but still more than twice the price of OEM.


I feel slightly let down by Apple. I need the expandibility of the MacPro, but to spec it up to my requirements would jettison the price into the $5000+ stratosphere. If I were to get a barebone 3.2GHz quadcore and spec it out myself, I could save about $1500. But a comparable custom-built rackmount i7 PC would cost about $2500, and likely offer better performance too.

I say that the single-CPU MacPro should drop the Xeon. I don't mind paying a premium for a Mac, but it has gotten a little disproportionate. I am seriously considering the aforementioned custom-built PC as my next machine.


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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

As a side note for a company that is growing it's PC sales Apples Mac Line up is very stale. I honestly believe they would be even farther ahead sales wise if they had a broader desktop offering. The reality is many shoppers fit into that gulf between the Mini and the Pro.

Since this is all about getting Apple to break the mold that they have been using design wise, AMD inside could help the process along. IMac, Mini and Pro are a throw back to the days when Apple couldn't afford a reasonable line up. They need to rethink that strategy now that sales are strong and more people are taking an interest in Apple.

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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm really of the opinion that Apple is currently in a position hardware wise where they can't realize the full potential of the market. The big chill in the public's mind has melted away, nobody these days expected Apple to go under. However they now need to have the right products to service a wider array of customers.

I for one would heartily agree, but I bet Apple is not going to do an xMac...ever. It simply does not coincide with their vision of the future. Think of two famous Jobs' utterances, first he likened desktops to the trucks everybody drove in the early 20th century, and more recently he said that Apple's strategy is (I kid you not) "to price it aggresively, and go for volume".

To me, that is a clear indication of where Apple is headed (consumer electronics/lifestyle/content/cloud), and although I do not think they will abandon the MacPro anytime soon, it would take a seismic shift (think near-banktruptcy) to make them focus again on the small and insignificant performance desktop market.


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Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

There has to be something to do with inventory though. The middle two iMacs have the exact same spec and for just $200, you jump from a 21.5" screen to a 27" screen. I've never seen such a small and large IPS display separated by so little money. In Dell terms, that jump is $800.

I wonder how many people actually do blow $1000 on the 27" Cinema screens. There are 165 reviews, a lot of them complaining about the glare so maybe it sells ok but I can't imagine there would be all that many.

The 27" is actually a pretty good deal. Similar displays from competing companies aren't a lot cheaper and do not look as sexy. In fact, dollar-for-dollar the 27" iMac is better value than the 21.5" right now.
post #73 of 308
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Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The middle one would either explode or melt itself.

The small one makes no sense whatsoever; why would Apple make a device with external graphics? That's just one more cable and one more box on your desk; an iMac would do better.

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post #74 of 308
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

The middle one would either explode or melt itself.

The small one makes no sense whatsoever; why would Apple make a device with external graphics? That's just one more cable and one more box on your desk; an iMac would do better.

It wouldn't have external graphics by default, there would be an on-board chip but upgrades could be external. Think of it like the Turbo 264 USB dongle that processes video files.

The more advanced computers get, the less people need expansions and upgrades so you don't need the big PSU, or the PCI slots so there's no need to force a large enclosure on everyone. They should analyse what the majority of buyers are doing with their Mac Pro and if over 80% don't use the functionality, either build a smaller custom model on top or just go with one size fits all.

With a fast enough IO port, the manufacturers will adapt.
post #75 of 308
back in the 90s having a IIfx, or PM 7500 acually meant that scrolling in Word and editing a small image was way faster than in a office compiter and way way faster than a portable computer.

Now portable computers is more than fast enough for such apps and much more. An iMac is even more powerful. So the step up from iMac to Pro is needed by fewer now. The pro is not dead it is just relegated to a smallar share of the market
post #76 of 308
One thing is very clear over the years of all the xmac threads and comments and that is just about everybody agrees that Apple should make a tower xmac.

But it is obvious that they aren't going to - I resigned myself to that fact a long time ago.
And if they did they'd cripple it so that it would be limited for expansion in some way, like having one only pcie slot etc; It's just not worth it for them competing in that end of the market.

"Now portable computers is more than fast enough for such apps and much more. An iMac is even more powerful. So the step up from iMac to Pro is needed by fewer now. The pro is not dead it is just relegated to a smallar share of the market"
Exactly - but the moment you need expansion -> it's 0800 MacPro.
At the moment that 12 core is a big ask but if you want the latest greatest you'll stump and pay or go the open source route and build a Linux system.
post #77 of 308
I don't think the macpro is dead. I think it's time for a new case design...
post #78 of 308
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Originally Posted by sc_markt View Post

I don't think the macpro is dead. I think it's time for a new case design...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again; f you're buying it because of the case design, you're buying it for zero of the reasons it exists.

The case is meaningless. There's no point in redesigning it.

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post #79 of 308
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In any event the goal isn't smaller Mac Pro but rather an alternative desktop Mac.

wizard, that's your goal but not everyones.

I like the MacPro for all the reasons vandil points out in a previous post. Presently I have a 2006 MacPro. It's still chugging along and doing everything I need it to do. At some point old age will catch up to it and it'll need replacing, which I'll do with another MacPro more likely.

But what I really would want is a MacPro Jr, with a case design similar to the toaster design in post #15 or the middle one posted by Marvin. It would have the same processor as the entry MacPro, 2 HD bays, 4 memory slots, 1 optical bay, blu-ray please, a video card slot, plus one additional slot, 2 ethernet ports plus a full array of other connector ports. Priced about $200 - $250 cheaper than the entry level MacPro.

Would there be a market for this type of machine? I doubt it. Would Apple build something like this? Again I doubt it.

I guess the point of this post is that not everyone wants an inexpensive, read cheapened, xMac.
post #80 of 308
The xMac is different things to different people. If everybody agreed on what it ought to be, Apple might actually think that there's untapped market potential there.

The simplest option (I think) would be:

- a regular MacPro case, no need to spend R&D $$$ on something new.
- a consumer-grade i7 could conceivably work on exisitng mainboards with few (or no) modifications.
- a less powerful, cheaper PSU
- no ECC memory
- lower-cost GPU
- no dual-CPU support

This way there's little extra R&D cost involved, and I bet they could sell this profitably at $1500 with full options approaching the $2500 base-model MacPro.

Hey, am just dreaming out loud...
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