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New Mac Pro - Page 3

post #81 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Any thoughts on where the line is going?

Not a clue. The new Mini with the GPU is a nice move or maybe a partial step. For professional use it would be nice if that GPU had more RAM. On the flip side that new Mini is a disappointment as it appears that Apple is entrenched in the two machine lineup.

Limiting hardware models was smart when the company was about to go under. However now that they have a handle on the market they need machines that will expand sales. While every body imagines a different XMac I think there things define that machine. The first is far more expandable RAM. The second is the option for a high performance GPU card. Lastly easy to access and expandable secondary storage. The Mini offers none of these and the Pro is way to much machine for many. This machine should go for about $1200 to $1400 without the GPU card.

Note that the XMac doesn't have to have a removable video card option. The option could be built into the motherboard just like they do on the Mini. However the video option needs more video RAM and a step up in performance over the Mini. In any event these three items are critical as TB does not offer a viable alternative. It is a mid range machine for more advanced users.

That is all guessing at the moment. The lack of serious rumors with respect to the desktop line bothers me. It looks like Apple will just milk the lineup for another year.

On the other hand I saw yesterday that Intel released some info on new chips that could go into a laptop. Apple could bump many of it's machines this fall. This would hold people over to Ivy Bridge.
post #82 of 332
Bleh they could have at least bumped the ram to 4GB to match the imac, put in a better baseline processor given how much the cost of westmere retail processors have fallen, and update the graphics card to a 2011 model. Regardless of volume the sticker price should command a quality up to date machine. Anytime it's approaching or going beyond a year it could use a soft refresh.

I'm not sure what I wish to do in terms of towers right now personally. I can say that I don't see the laptop being updated until ivy bridge (if at all). Their laptops run quite hot when pushed to the max. If the update cuts heat/power consumption it may be a good time for me to jump on a new one.

By the way what chips were they?
post #83 of 332
To me, the writing is on the wall. I just bought a 2009 MacPro (2.66GHz) and plan to spec it out eventually to either a W3565 or maybe do the firmware hack and go for a W3670.

A used 2009 MacPro is the sweetspot right now. I got mine for $1650 (+tax) and if I were to stick in the W3565 ($320) it would be nearly identical to the current quad upgrade, which retails for $2899. That has 1TB storage instead of 640GB and a better GPU, but I can do without that if it saves me $900+

I'm thinking this will be the last Mac desktop I buy. For general purpose computing, my iPhone covers about 50% of the stuff, and the other 50% could easily be handled by a MacBookAir. My wife has a work laptop PC, but spends most of her free time on her iPad.


For the studio, I think my next workstation will be a bespoke Windows machine.
post #84 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

While every body imagines a different XMac I think there things define that machine.

Not pointing at you because you support the idea of the XMac. But too many people that do not understand our desire for a mid range headless Mac use this as an argument against it.

"Everyone has a different idea on what it should be."

That's because the product doesn't exist and we are free to imagine, dream, fantasize.
If the mini did not exist or if the iMac didn't exist everyone would have a different idea on what those products should be.
So what if the XMac can't have everything each one of us wish for. An XMac would still be closer to what I want than the mini or iMac offers (or limits you to).
I remember when Apple computers had an image of "possibilities". Now for me Apple has an image of "limitations".
post #85 of 332
Concepts that can be used to build a stable model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Not pointing at you because you support the idea of the XMac. But too many people that do not understand out desire for a mid range headless Mac use this as an argument against it.

"Everyone has a different idea on what it should be."

Well yeah but isn't this true of most products? Everybody has their own idea of what a pickup truck should be. That doesn't stop Ford or Chevy from making new and interesting models. Some flop big time others just keep on trucking.
Quote:
That's because the product doesn't exist and we are free to imagine, dream, fantasize.

Exactly! It is Apples job to take those dreams and come up with a core feature set that makes the platform viable while keeping the hardware with in an acceptable price range. Pricing of the Mac Pro is the big problem so any XMac has to control cost in a rigorous manner. They can do that by concentrating on core features and dropping everything else.
Quote:
If the mini did not exist or if the iMac didn't exist everyone would have a different idea on what those products should be.

Yes exactly. Frankly people have had ideas after those products emerged. Especially the Mini. I've followed the Mini closely since it came out and have seen it evolve into a tiny powerhouse. some of the improvements came directly from the community and I suspect are responsible for its sales success up until now. While it hasn't completely abandoned its past todays Mini is a substantial improvement over the older models.
Quote:
So what if the XMac can't have everything each one of us wish for. An XMac would still be closer to what I want than the mini or iMac offers (or limits you to).

The key here is to try to meet as many needs as possible without inflating the machines cost. A larger enclosure would immediately lead to room for standard RAM and more of it. Such a machine might allow for more rational access to secondary storage and more of it. Then there is the option of a good GPU.

The thing that bothers me here is the Apple did a wonderful job with the Unibody laptops yet we have yet to see the same creativity applied to desktops. The iMac is certainly creative but has been around for a long time and is less than creative when it comes to serviceability. I'm surprised this isn't brought up more often but Apples laptops are more user serviceable than the desktops. One can argue until they are blue in the face but serviceability benefits everybody.
Quote:
I remember when Apple computers had an image of "possibilities". Now for me Apple has an image of "limitations".

Well I'm not sure I'd go that far. I'm a guy that switched from Linux to a MBP for his primary home machine. My Mac has opened up the world a little more the it use to be. Further I have none of the limitations I have at work on Windows machines. Note though that that is a laptop, I'd have to think long and hard about an Apple desktop. The limitation is simply nothing cost effective with the expandability I expect in a desktop. The Mini has the potential to change my mind but they just don't get it when it comes to GPU's.

What do I mean about the Min and GPU's. Simply this if you are going to the trouble of making a desktop machine with a GPU make damn sure it has enough GPU memory and GPU performance to make it worth the investment. The GPU performance isn't extremely bad but the lack of video RAM is pathetic. I'm not sure why we have to constantly struggle with Apple over this, it isn't like the price delta doesn't cover it.
post #86 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Well I'm not sure I'd go that far. I'm a guy that switched from Linux to a MBP for his primary home machine. My Mac has opened up the world a little more the it use to be. Further I have none of the limitations I have at work on Windows machines. Note though that that is a laptop, I'd have to think long and hard about an Apple desktop. The limitation is simply nothing cost effective with the expandability I expect in a desktop.

Your last that I bolded is what I really meant to say. Right now the Mac Pro is the only desktop I would purchase but I also know it is overkill for my needs. An iMac based XMac (sans screen of course) in an easy to open case with a little room inside and some jacks on front is really what I am after.

Having no choice in a mid range Mac but to accept a glossy built in screen and of course having processor speed tied to screen size is the type of limitations I'm talking about.

But offering four different iPods somehow makes good business sense.
post #87 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Your last that I bolded is what I really meant to say. Right now the Mac Pro is the only desktop I would purchase but I also know it is overkill for my needs. An iMac based XMac (sans screen of course) in an easy to open case with a little room inside and some jacks on front is really what I am after.

This is close to what I'm looking for. The easy open case should be a no brainer for Apple after Unibody Mac Books.

Now what is in that case is a where people vary. My thoughts are as follows.
  1. Conventional RAM slots, with one bank empty for expansion.
  2. A fairly fast CPU. I'm not expecting Mac Pro type performance but something in-between the Mini and the Pro.
  3. Expansion slots. 2 would be more than enough but at least one needs to support a high performance GPU card.
  4. At least 3 laptop sized drive bays.
Note about the drive bays, I don't want this machine to turn into another giant desktop and I especially don't want it sucking down power. The idea is to make use of components that control power waste but yet gives us a leg up on performance.
Quote:
Having no choice in a mid range Mac but to accept a glossy built in screen and of course having processor speed tied to screen size is the type of limitations I'm talking about.

The argument about the screen is a non starter. People buy the iMac because it is an all in one, here we are interested in machines that aren't. The reasons we aren't interested in all in ones actually varies a bit.
Quote:
But offering four different iPods somehow makes good business sense.

This is what I don't get about Apple. I understand that there was a huge need years ago to save the company, but Apple and it's customer base is hugely different now. The Mac is accepted by the mainstream and is even getting corporate traction. It wouldn't hurt one bit to broaden the line up.

I suspect one problem here is that they don't want to undermine what is already pathetic Mac Pro sales. The problem is pretty clear Mac Pro sales suck because so few people need a platform like that. In the end a good XMac design would only lead to even more sales overall. The two or three people that need to buy a Mac Pro will still continue to do so. An XMac would grab customers for Apple that feel compelled to look elsewhere.

The timing for an XMac is almost perfect. The interest from non traditional Apple customers is huge right now.
post #88 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Concepts that can be used to build a stable model.



Exactly! It is Apples job to take those dreams and come up with a core feature set that makes the platform viable while keeping the hardware with in an acceptable price range. Pricing of the Mac Pro is the big problem so any XMac has to control cost in a rigorous manner. They can do that by concentrating on core features and dropping everything else.


I don't think hardware cost is a big issue here. It's been proven before by past models that apple could make it if they wanted to do so (cheaper mac pros 2008 and before had more expensive parts). While we can't agree on what we want, I'm fairly certain that no one wants an $1800 i5 machine with a severely underpowered graphics card and two hard drive bays, one of which is SSD only. That is the kind of machine I could see apple presenting if they went that route. It's not just pricing on the mac pro that is an issue but that it starts in a really bad place. They have a $2500 model but it isn't worth buying. Even coming up with a worthy model for that price point would be a start.
post #89 of 332
post #90 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fus View Post

http://www.magma.com/thunderbolt.asp


Whatever value something like that has it is not a replacement for internal slots.
post #91 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fus View Post

http://www.magma.com/thunderbolt.asp


You're either trolling or delusional. Either way this was not an intelligent post because if you look at the item you linked, it solves absolutely nothing. If you disagree you may want to read up on that device.
post #92 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

It's not just pricing on the mac pro that is an issue but that it starts in a really bad place. They have a $2500 model but it isn't worth buying. Even coming up with a worthy model for that price point would be a start.

Yes. Or lower the entry-level price point to $1999.
post #93 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post

Yes. Or lower the entry-level price point to $1999.

Apple needs a desktop that starts at less than $1500. It is simple as that. The Pro is fine as a high end machine but few people are willing to part with that much cash just to get an extra drive bay and room for other expansion.
post #94 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Apple needs a desktop that starts at less than $1500. It is simple as that. The Pro is fine as a high end machine but few people are willing to part with that much cash just to get an extra drive bay and room for other expansion.

I'm really not sure on this. I think they need a scalable solution. I think they need to determine a price point where they can build a functional baseline machine rather than these awkward part collections that are basically niche market machines without being truly right for any particular niche market.

I think Apple needs better PR with some of the major software developers who make things for OSX. The feud with Adobe is ridiculous and it doesn't benefit anyone.
post #95 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Apple needs a desktop that starts at less than $1500. It is simple as that. The Pro is fine as a high end machine but few people are willing to part with that much cash just to get an extra drive bay and room for other expansion.

Not gonna happen. MacMini/iMac + Thunderbolt is the way forward in that price range, and frankly, I can see why. The only reason I still have a MacPro is for SATA HDD's and a possible future CPU-upgrade. For the majority of users these are non-issues. If ThB HDD's perform as well as or better than SATA, I doubt a possible cpu-upgrade path would be sufficient reason to stick with a tower.

The single-CPU MacPro lineup could realistically come down to $1999, in keeping with comparably spec'd HP/Dell/Lenovo workstations.
post #96 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Apple needs a desktop that starts at less than $1500. It is simple as that. The Pro is fine as a high end machine but few people are willing to part with that much cash just to get an extra drive bay and room for other expansion.

I think that if Apple radically revise the Mac Pro, the purpose will be to eliminate the problems that accrue to Apple from the expandability. I predict that any radical replacement for the Mac Pro will have zero expansion slots other than for memory and storage. I would not be surprised to see something with the performance of the Mac Pro and the expandability of the Mac Mini. It would obviously need to be somewhat larger than a Mini in order to dissipate the heat at reasonable noise levels.
Mac user since August 1983.
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Mac user since August 1983.
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post #97 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post

Not gonna happen. MacMini/iMac + Thunderbolt is the way forward in that price range, and frankly, I can see why. The only reason I still have a MacPro is for SATA HDD's and a possible future CPU-upgrade. For the majority of users these are non-issues. If ThB HDD's perform as well as or better than SATA, I doubt a possible cpu-upgrade path would be sufficient reason to stick with a tower.

The single-CPU MacPro lineup could realistically come down to $1999, in keeping with comparably spec'd HP/Dell/Lenovo workstations.

I agree with you that it probably won't happen but mini isn't a good solution if you need a real computer. It's grown somewhat but it's still using laptop parts and the mini server is kind of expensive for what you get (I'd rather go the imac route).

I think $1999 would still be above all the manufacturers listed. Dell will sell you a workstation with that same W3530 cpu starting at $1079 with a three year warranty. This isn't a perfect match to a mac pro (I don't care for dell workstations for a number of reasons) but it matches the expandability. I actually liked that Apple was maintaining the kind of lean approach to its mac pro line when it replaced the powermacs. It seemed like they were trying to curb manufacturing costs this way and in doing so were able to build pretty competitive machines. Now they just look bleh and overpriced relative to the other macs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I think that if Apple radically revise the Mac Pro, the purpose will be to eliminate the problems that accrue to Apple from the expandability.

Let me ask you, how would they market/sell this? To me your idea neuters the product, and turns it into something they already have in the imac. Second question, why is your opinion that the problems arise from its expandability? Do you think it makes it too expensive to produce? The internals such as power supply, logic board, processor, etc. add up to less than the top imac. The processes used to make the mac pro cases are less expensive than the process used to make their laptops. CNC is a really labor intensive/expensive process. They leveraged it by volume.

I just think you're missing the mark here because the redesign you're asking for renders the machine completely pointless without reducing costs as much as you seem to believe.
post #98 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post


I think $1999 would still be above all the manufacturers listed. Dell will sell you a workstation with that same W3530 cpu starting at $1079 with a three year warranty. This isn't a perfect match to a mac pro (I don't care for dell workstations for a number of reasons) but it matches the expandability.



That's because Apple doesn't adjust their prices when cost of parts drop. At the beginning of a new MacPro's life cycle it is priced sensibly compared to similar offerings from HP/Dell/Lenovo. But those manufacturers do adjust their prices to reflect actual parts prices.

IIRC, a HP Z400 (W3530) goes for $1400 without GPU. But it does not have the MacPro's 1000W PSU.
post #99 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post

Not gonna happen. MacMini/iMac + Thunderbolt is the way forward in price range, and frankly, I can see why. The only reason I still have a MacPro is for SATA HDD's and a possible future CPU-upgrade.

That is you but I suspect that almost no one buys a Mac Pro for a CPU upgrade in the future. The drive bays are a big point supporting the Mac Pro but I don't see accessing disk drives over TB competing with that. In any event you ignore video hardware as a significant reason for the Pro. Beyond that dropping internal slots will simply result in more expensive and more limited solutions for Pro users.
Quote:
For the majority of users these are non-issues. If ThB HDD's perform as well as or better than SATA, I doubt a possible cpu-upgrade path would be sufficient reason to stick with a tower.

Why would a reasonable person choose a TB based array when they could slip drives into a bay at far lower cost? This whole idea of external drive arrays is bogus as you will be hooking up over a thin pipe. A pipe that may be in use by other components of the system.
Quote:

The single-CPU MacPro lineup could realistically come down to $1999, in keeping with comparably spec'd HP/Dell/Lenovo workstations.

I'm not talking about a lower cost Mac Pro here, I'm talking about what is referred to as an XMac. XMac here refers to hardware that sits between a Mini and a Mac Pro. The idea being a desk top Mac with easy access to storage bays/slots, RAM expansion and PCI Express slots for a GPU card or expansion. This is not a Pro replacement nor a massive workstation, $1500 is more than enough to launch a base model.

I'm not sure why people have such a hard time with this. Apple effectively redesigned the MBPs with some of the same goals in mind. You gain access to a Unibody MBP and the drives and RAM are right there. All I'm saying is that Apple could if it wanted to, design a desktop Mac that is as easy to access as the MBPs. Is asking for additional RAM slots, extra drive bays and other features, rocket science so advanced it is beyond Apples ability? Just look at the difference in RAM capability between the Mini and Pro, an easy gap to fill in a XMac desktop.
post #100 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I agree with you that it probably won't happen but mini isn't a good solution if you need a real computer. It's grown somewhat but it's still using laptop parts and the mini server is kind of expensive for what you get (I'd rather go the imac route).

The Mini is a real computer but an extremely limited one. Even simple things like RAM expansion is expensive and time consuming to do.
Quote:
I think $1999 would still be above all the manufacturers listed. Dell will sell you a workstation with that same W3530 cpu starting at $1079 with a three year warranty. This isn't a perfect match to a mac pro (I don't care for dell workstations for a number of reasons) but it matches the expandability. I actually liked that Apple was maintaining the kind of lean approach to its mac pro line when it replaced the powermacs. It seemed like they were trying to curb manufacturing costs this way and in doing so were able to build pretty competitive machines. Now they just look bleh and overpriced relative to the other macs.

I don't dismiss the Mac Pro for it's price point as it is a very good machine for what it is. My problem is it is far to much machine for what most people need or want on the desktop. When I say that this new model needs to start at $1500 that is assuming a stiff Apple tax. I know that building such hardware isn't a huge issue for around $1200 for other manufactures.

Frankly it would be rather pathetic if Apple couldn't produce a decent desktop for $1500. By the way I'm not talking tower here either, the goal is a compact but serviceable machine.
Quote:


Let me ask you, how would they market/sell this? To me your idea neuters the product, and turns it into something they already have in the imac.

I don't get this either. Who would buy such a machine?
Quote:
Second question, why is your opinion that the problems arise from its expandability? Do you think it makes it too expensive to produce? The internals such as power supply, logic board, processor, etc. add up to less than the top imac.

This is not the first time I've heard such things said, it seems to be totally baseless. How is having a machine with economical RAM expansion a problem. Even more so how does a disk drive slot cause a problem. It boggles the mind because these solutions enable Apple hardware for advanced uses.
Quote:
The processes used to make the mac pro cases are less expensive than the process used to make their laptops. CNC is a really labor intensive/expensive process. They leveraged it by volume.

More importantly Apple is free to design a case that fits the hardware needs of the platform. XMac or whatever you want to call it does not have to look like a HP tower.
Quote:
I just think you're missing the mark here because the redesign you're asking for renders the machine completely pointless without reducing costs as much as you seem to believe.

It would turn the platform into a piece of junk especially for power users. One of the reasons I support an addition to the Mac line up is that the Pro does have it's niche. It makes far more sense to have a machine that meets the more general needs of the user base in addition to the Mini and Pro.

Frankly I'm pretty much convinced Apple is working with a mindset from 8 years ago when they had far fewer sales and a very narrow customer base. Today sales are wild and interest is growing, they need a product line up that reflects the new reality.
post #101 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm not talking about a lower cost Mac Pro here, I'm talking about what is referred to as an XMac. XMac here refers to hardware that sits between a Mini and a Mac Pro. The idea being a desk top Mac with easy access to storage bays/slots, RAM expansion and PCI Express slots for a GPU card or expansion. This is not a Pro replacement nor a massive workstation, $1500 is more than enough to launch a base model.

I'm not sure why people have such a hard time with this. Apple effectively redesigned the MBPs with some of the same goals in mind. You gain access to a Unibody MBP and the drives and RAM are right there. All I'm saying is that Apple could if it wanted to, design a desktop Mac that is as easy to access as the MBPs. Is asking for additional RAM slots, extra drive bays and other features, rocket science so advanced it is beyond Apples ability? Just look at the difference in RAM capability between the Mini and Pro, an easy gap to fill in a XMac desktop.

Take iMac. Remove screen. Add easy open case. Make case big enough for some expansion. Sell for $1500. I'd gladly give $1500 for that but I'll never give $1500 for an all in one.
post #102 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Take iMac. Remove screen. Add easy open case. Make case big enough for some expansion. Sell for $1500. I'd gladly give $1500 for that but I'll never give $1500 for an all in one.

That would be great. I'd buy one
post #103 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Take iMac. Remove screen. Add easy open case. Make case big enough for some expansion. Sell for $1500. I'd gladly give $1500 for that but I'll never give $1500 for an all in one.

The case is where Apple has a lot of room to innovate. The only limitation here is that I'd like to be able to plug in standard PCI-Express video cards. I'd also like to see them move to PCI-Express SSD cards but they need to use industry standard cards. If they put half the thought they put into the UniBodies they could have a very serviceable and innovative platform.

In any event if Apple can't hit $1500 for this machine something is very wrong at one infinite loop. Frankly $1500 is a little high.
post #104 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Take iMac. Remove screen. Add easy open case. Make case big enough for some expansion. Sell for $1500. I'd gladly give $1500 for that but I'll never give $1500 for an all in one.

Would the G4 tower case be large enough to house the iMac "guts" using an Intel
quad core i7 chip?
post #105 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by geneking7320 View Post

Would the G4 tower case be large enough to house the iMac "guts" using an Intel
quad core i7 chip?

I'm not really interested in a massive tower like machine, we already have that in the Mac Pro. Rather I'm looking for a desktop sized machine just big enough to give us the desired flexibility described so far. If you look at the iMac there really isn't a lot there, likewise recent laptops. . The higher integration chips have had a significant impact on board size.

The real trick is figuring out how much power to budget for the PCI Express slot(s). One use for those slots would be a supplemental video card which to be useful would need to be supported up to 150 watts. I have no illusions here of top of the line video cards, but the supplemental card needs to be able to supply a real advantage over the integrated.

Frankly I'd be happy if Apple takes the current Mini approach and offers a machine variant with a built GPU. There would still be a need for the expansion slots but they could use a different power budget then. However Apple can't screw up and build in a GPU with to little performance or RAM.

In any event back to your question about the processor. The issue revolves around one word "heat". Any chassis they come up with needs to be able to remove the heat generated. Sounds simple but Apples noise limitations will make it more difficult than for an average PC. This is where freedom to design comes in, they can custom tailor the case for thermal efficiency. Given that it should be easy to do better than the iMac. The current Mini is an excellent example of good thermal design and the integration of all of the components to achieve that goal.

Speaking of the Mini, I really like the new models but wish that Apple would stop castrating the upper end models. Why they would put in a GPU and then artificially limit the RAM dedicated to it is beyond me. Anybody with a need beyond integrated GPUs will likely want or need a discreet GPU with more RAM than Apple supplies. Maybe it is me but I wanted to bang my head against the wall when the new Minis where announced.
post #106 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm not really interested in a massive tower like machine, we already have that in the Mac Pro. Rather I'm looking for a desktop sized machine just big enough to give us the desired flexibility described so far. If you look at the iMac there really isn't a lot there, likewise recent laptops. . The higher integration chips have had a significant impact on board size.

The real trick is figuring out how much power to budget for the PCI Express slot(s). One use for those slots would be a supplemental video card which to be useful would need to be supported up to 150 watts. I have no illusions here of top of the line video cards, but the supplemental card needs to be able to supply a real advantage over the integrated.

Frankly I'd be happy if Apple takes the current Mini approach and offers a machine variant with a built GPU. There would still be a need for the expansion slots but they could use a different power budget then. However Apple can't screw up and build in a GPU with to little performance or RAM.

In any event back to your question about the processor. The issue revolves around one word "heat". Any chassis they come up with needs to be able to remove the heat generated. Sounds simple but Apples noise limitations will make it more difficult than for an average PC. This is where freedom to design comes in, they can custom tailor the case for thermal efficiency. Given that it should be easy to do better than the iMac. The current Mini is an excellent example of good thermal design and the integration of all of the components to achieve that goal.

Speaking of the Mini, I really like the new models but wish that Apple would stop castrating the upper end models. Why they would put in a GPU and then artificially limit the RAM dedicated to it is beyond me. Anybody with a need beyond integrated GPUs will likely want or need a discreet GPU with more RAM than Apple supplies. Maybe it is me but I wanted to bang my head against the wall when the new Minis where announced.

I hadn't seen a G4 Mac in a while so I didn't think it was that large (at lease compared to
the Mac Pro). I wonder what size box would be able to quietly remove the heat from a
a quad core i7 and still meet Apple's standards?
post #107 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by geneking7320 View Post

I hadn't seen a G4 Mac in a while so I didn't think it was that large (at lease compared to
the Mac Pro). I wonder what size box would be able to quietly remove the heat from a
a quad core i7 and still meet Apple's standards?

The large tower was designed for the G5. I'm not sure what the i7s would require but they have one in a 27" imac. I don't think they'd get one in a mini, but with the next die shrink I imagine a fairly compact enclosure might be possible. The low end mac pro still makes no sense in its positioning, and the mac pro still overall lacks some features of a true workstation line. That's why I find it a bit awkward.

As much as I complain I do like some what Apple does, but their line has been growing in a way where it makes it hard for me to use their machines in my work, which makes me sad.
post #108 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by geneking7320 View Post

I hadn't seen a G4 Mac in a while so I didn't think it was that large (at lease compared to
the Mac Pro). I wonder what size box would be able to quietly remove the heat from a
a quad core i7 and still meet Apple's standards?

Good question. A smaller box works better to keep the air flow concentrated where it is needed. The Mini is a very good example of good thermal design and and management. Obviously a more powerful design requires a different approach. The other thing here is that Core i7 comes in different wattage ranges, something in the 45 to 60 watt range has different needs than a 120 watt processor.

In any event Apple doesn't use off the shelf ATX type parts so they can build to suit their engineering goals.
post #109 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

The large tower was designed for the G5. I'm not sure what the i7s would require but they have one in a 27" imac. I don't think they'd get one in a mini, but with the next die shrink I imagine a fairly compact enclosure might be possible.

What do they use in the Mini server? For some reason I thought that was a i7. It doesn't really matter though because you can get i7 in several variants.
Quote:
The low end mac pro still makes no sense in its positioning, and the mac pro still overall lacks some features of a true workstation line. That's why I find it a bit awkward.

I agree with the first part there, though I actually think the Pro does meet the needs of many workstation users. The thing is it is beyond awkward, it is almost as if Apple thumbs it's nose at the Mac community. They are basically saying you are screwed if you want slots or disk bays in a reasonably priced machine.
Quote:

As much as I complain I do like some what Apple does, but their line has been growing in a way where it makes it hard for me to use their machines in my work, which makes me sad.

Yep they are killing any prospect for traditional business uses.
post #110 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

What do they use in the Mini server? For some reason I thought that was a i7. It doesn't really matter though because you can get i7 in several variants.

I agree with the first part there, though I actually think the Pro does meet the needs of many workstation users. The thing is it is beyond awkward, it is almost as if Apple thumbs it's nose at the Mac community. They are basically saying you are screwed if you want slots or disk bays in a reasonably priced machine.


Yep they are killing any prospect for traditional business uses.

I still disagree on the low end mac pro. The mac pro was designed for a different spec than that one, and what you see there is basically a reverse engineered downgrade from the higher models. It really doesn't boast anything truly impressive for its price, and the processor/ram/etc feel underpowered for such a machine and compared against a few others in its line. I've been over the details before but it's easy to track when you look at how intel does their product numbering and pricing. Going down to a single socket logic board should have further cut costs and allowed them some kind of budget for the other components.


The mini server uses a 2.0 ghz quad core i7 laptop variant. It's engineered to be as small as possible, and does fit in well as a home server. It's clocked lower with more cores and a raid 0 drive configuration, so yeah it's well thought out for its intended purpose from what I can tell.
post #111 of 332
Looks like new processors will be available soon so if they are going to refresh the MAC Pro line I would imagine that it may be soon.

Article is here
post #112 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by p40whk View Post

Looks like new processors will be available soon so if they are going to refresh the MAC Pro line I would imagine that it may be soon.

Article is here

Mac Pro. Mac.

Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #113 of 332
I know this is pure fantasy, but wouldn't it be neat if Apple would sell a kit that would fit into an older MacPro case or even oldies like the lucite G4. Gut the old, slide in the kit and Voila, a new(er) tower.

It could come in many flavors that you could specify for your own needs. Price depending on your specifications.

Stop the flames, guys; I'm only fantasizing. I know that Apple would never field a kit like that.
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post #114 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

Stop the flames, guys; I'm only fantasizing. I know that Apple would never field a kit like that.

They did with the Apple ][gs. You never know.

You could send in your Apple ][ or Apple ][e and have its guts replaced with Apple ][gs guts and a shiny new top panel that reflected that it was now a ][gs.

Or you could buy a ][gs in the new design on its own.

Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #115 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

I know this is pure fantasy, but wouldn't it be neat if Apple would sell a kit that would fit into an older MacPro case or even oldies like the lucite G4. Gut the old, slide in the kit and Voila, a new(er) tower.

It could come in many flavors that you could specify for your own needs. Price depending on your specifications.

Stop the flames, guys; I'm only fantasizing. I know that Apple would never field a kit like that.

If Apple manufactured their computers here that might work.
How about this: bring your Mac to the Apple store, they update it and return it to you
in two weeks and recycle the old parts.
post #116 of 332
I know forum members want flexibility and expandability, but Apple want the opposite. I expect any radical redesign of the Mac Pro to have the upgradeability of the current Mini. I expect the next major redesign of the Mini to have the upgradeability of the iPad.
Mac user since August 1983.
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post #117 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I know forum members want flexibility and expandability, but Apple want the opposite. I expect any radical redesign of the Mac Pro to have the upgradeability of the current Mini. I expect the next major redesign of the Mini to have the upgradeability of the iPad.

Again I think you're applying trends in consumer products to pro level rigs (even though they aren't always faster than the consumer versions).

If they go this direction, I'll probably build my own workstation and continue to buy Apple laptops. I'm pretty close to that point anyway for software reasons (even parallels isn't a perfect solution). I think they need to clean up the overall line of macs for uniformity reasons. Thunderbolt is really needed on the mac pro so that thunderbolt peripherals match up across the line.

The mac pros need a lot of work, but most of all Apple needs to spend some time optimizing them because some of the Aperture/final cut numbers have been really disappointing as they often don't take (near) full advantage of machine resources even when left alone. I used those two as an example because they're developed in house. If they don't feel it's worth doing so with the current design then it's on them to replace it with something they feel more comfortable supporting. I want to see Apple be proactive in the matter rather than eventually just having to ditch a failing product line.
post #118 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Again I think you're applying trends in consumer products to pro level rigs (even though they aren't always faster than the consumer versions).

If they go this direction, I'll probably build my own workstation and continue to buy Apple laptops. I'm pretty close to that point anyway for software reasons (even parallels isn't a perfect solution). I think they need to clean up the overall line of macs for uniformity reasons. Thunderbolt is really needed on the mac pro so that thunderbolt peripherals match up across the line.

The mac pros need a lot of work, but most of all Apple needs to spend some time optimizing them because some of the Aperture/final cut numbers have been really disappointing as they often don't take (near) full advantage of machine resources even when left alone. I used those two as an example because they're developed in house. If they don't feel it's worth doing so with the current design then it's on them to replace it with something they feel more comfortable supporting. I want to see Apple be proactive in the matter rather than eventually just having to ditch a failing product line.

I believe there are only two things we can write with certainty about the next Mac Pro (or whatever replaces it) that we can't write about the current Mac Pro:
- it will include at least one Thunderbolt port, and
- it will be faster than the current Mac Pro.

The extent to which the next major redesign of the Mac Pro may or may not be expandable is somewhat less clear. However, I think many forum members underestimate the extent to which the card slots (other than the DIMM slots) in the Mac Pro are a support nightmare for Apple. Having those slots also adds to cost and reduces reliability. My guess is that Apple will continue to make a screaming fast Pro machine, but without the expansion slots.

I think a second Thunderbolt port is likely. It should be possible to simply include two Cactus Ridge chips.
Mac user since August 1983.
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post #119 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

They use desktop CPUs in the iMacs and mobile GPUs. The mobile GPUs are also among the fastest you can buy so not much advantage to buying a tower + screen separately. The time for a mid-range tower is gone.

Yup. Apple is just no longer interested in the desktop-monitor paradigm any longer, despite the excellent suggestions made in this thread...


Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The case is where Apple has a lot of room to innovate. The only limitation here is that I'd like to be able to plug in standard PCI-Express video cards. I'd also like to see them move to PCI-Express SSD cards but they need to use industry standard cards. If they put half the thought they put into the UniBodies they could have a very serviceable and innovative platform.

In any event if Apple can't hit $1500 for this machine something is very wrong at one infinite loop. Frankly $1500 is a little high.

Nothing's wrong at One Infinite Loop. They just don't see any significant value or profit in pursuing something like this. And I'm inclined to agree: the people who swarm their stores every hour of the day are buying iPhones, Airs and iMacs - more than ever before.
post #120 of 332
Thunderbolt is basically an external PCI-Express slot so support issues are almost identical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I believe there are only two things we can write with certainty about the next Mac Pro (or whatever replaces it) that we can't write about the current Mac Pro:
- it will include at least one Thunderbolt port, and
- it will be faster than the current Mac Pro.

This is almost certainly the case.
Quote:
The extent to which the next major redesign of the Mac Pro may or may not be expandable is somewhat less clear. However, I think many forum members underestimate the extent to which the card slots (other than the DIMM slots) in the Mac Pro are a support nightmare for Apple. Having those slots also adds to cost and reduces reliability. My guess is that Apple will continue to make a screaming fast Pro machine, but without the expansion slots.

I think a second Thunderbolt port is likely. It should be possible to simply include two Cactus Ridge chips.
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