Originally Posted by Snowdog65
How would a midrange machien help sell high end Mac Pros? Unless the midrange is the new Pro.
Imagine a machine that had at the low end a quad core configuration and a dual processor 12 core machine at the high end. Build the hardware on common components when ever possible and strive for volume at the low end.
As an example let say we have for the low end a Sandy Bridge based machine using the built in GPU, This machine would come in a largish box for what is offered up but would have access to the drive bays and maybe two PCI slots.
AT the high end we have a more powerful machine running Xeons of some sort and also driving a decent GPU on the motherboard. The machine would come with at least 6 PCI-Express slots and extended memory capacity. However the machine would still occupy the same box or a box compatible with its smaller brother.
Now here is the catch there isn't a lot of commonality between the Main stream SB and Xeon at least not today. But I don't want to see Apple release another PC of any type based on yesterdays technology. What I want them to do is to take the innovation mind set used in the laptops to redefine desktop hard ware. The first start there would be to define a common storage module board for these machines, something like the blade cards in the AIR's but yet sized for the desktop. In the same way they could innovate with power supplies on the desktop. Size the supply to run the low end model alone but make the supply suitable for N+1 installation in the high end machine. There is much that could be done to the desktop hardware to create a family of devices.
The xMac is essentially one of the most discussed/wanted Macs on boards and I do think Apple should give us something closer to that.
Obviously I do because I'm constantly posting about it. The problem is pretty clear, if you have modest expandability/performance needs the Mac Pro is massively overpriced but yet your only alternative.
My solution would be to move the Pro to a cheaper case. The current one is a work of art, but adds several hundred dollars to the price.
It can't be cheap but on the other hand I don't think it is an issue of price. Rather the unit is a big waste of space.
They should then extend the range of CPU offerings, starting with a single normal desktop i7 with normal, non ECC RAM.
I don't see it as being that simple. In order to be cheaper the low end machine has to give up something.
That should get the entry level price of the Pro down to ~$1500.
Even lower would be better.
You can still have optional dual Xeon Motherboards with ECC memory for those that want that (if any really do).
I'm absolutely certain that people do need the Xeons along with the ECC memory. The problem is that isn't me. What I want is a place to install multiple storage modules and maybe a couple of PCI-Express cards. This isn't capability that should surprise anybody, even with todays terabyte drives you still run out of room.
The Pro shouldn't be killed, it should be made more affordable, it isn't like modern Apple doesn't know how to do that.
No! The Pro has a market to be served and Apple really shouldn't abandon that market. What they don't have is a midrange desktop. That is something slotted above the Mini performance wise that is also expandable and serviceable. This really isn't rocket science, the could go down to the local pizza shop and get inspiration for an XMac housing.