Originally Posted by Marvin
The things we need from a PC are:
Right now, the iPad 2 is 1/7 the performance of an entry i5 MBA CPU-wise and 1/7 the performance of an NVidia 320M graphics-wise.
I'd expect the iPad 3 to be 1/5 the CPU performance and 1/3 the GPU performance. As time goes on, the gap will close until the iPad matches the current entry MBA and will do so in under 5 years. Performance marches on for desktops/laptops but the resources required for the tasks they perform don't always increase.
They can add a Mini-Displayport output for display connectivity. Peripherals I'm not sure but there's a chance they can switch to Intel chips and get a Thunderbolt port.
For storage, we should be hitting 128GB this year in mobile devices and this is only a cost limitation.
When it comes to software control, an iPad works just fine with a mouse (behaves a little bit like Lion don't you think?):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wklrVOFMKA
This all suggests that a setup like the following isn't so far-fetched:
It could even be an iPhone where the iPad is sitting.
If it uses x86 CPUs, it will run all of the current Mac apps without modification and Windows games would be simple to port. Not only simple to port but the marketshare is huge (10x larger than the Mac marketshare).
The iOS has lots of limitations (e.g no terminal, Finder, modality) but they are superficial and the OS can be made to behave differently when connected to a large display. If you screw up your phone by messing around with the OS, it's no big deal now with diskless recovery and small OS downloads.
Will lots of people be doing things with their computers in 8 years that would require more than a current Mac Pro? I'd say no. There will be the odd few who need 64-cores, 96GB of RAM and 20TB of storage but very, very few to the point that it may not be worth Apple (or Intel) catering to them.
It's a worrying prospect trusting Apple to define our future computing, given some of their choices regarding Pro Apps but I think in the end they'll do the right thing.
Originally Posted by Ireland
You can't be for real.
I have a setup that looks like that -- except instead of the display I have a new 27" iMac.
The Pegasus RAID is an amazing piece of kit -- easily could have been designed and built by Apple.
The key to all this may be Thunderbolt.
As I understand it, Thunderbolt is fast enough that you could offload all the heavy-llifting hardware CPU/GPU/RAM to one or more headless devices -- something like the new Minis.
And, I don't know if you need to use an Intel CPU in the iPad to get Thunderbolt -- I think you could add a Thunderbolt chip to the A6 or whatever,
If that is not possible, with an adapter or dongle, Thunderbolt can interface USB (whatever versions) are in the current or next iPad and iPhone.
In the pictured setup, I see some use for the iPad as an auxiliary display -- but the major use would be a horizontal, flexible multitouch control surface (custom sliders, buttons, knobs, fretboards, keyboards) and as a graphics tablet with or without a stylus.
A similar configuration using a maxed-out Mini, maxed-out iPad WiFi, 27" TB Display, Magic Mouse, KB, 2 TB Cables, Pegasus 12 TB RAID would cost $5,012.00 at the Apple Store before Taxes.
With the Pegasus 4 TB RAID it would be $4,012.00 at the Apple Store before Taxes.
My maxed-out iMac 27", Pegasus 12, Magic Mouse, KB, 2 TB Cables,cost $6,000.
And FCP X and Motion 5 just sing
on that hardware setup -- noticeable, but minor, speed enhancement to FCP 7 and Motion 4,