Originally Posted by jragosta
That's not true. Using the scheme begin proposed (essentially stackable boxes) offers a great deal of flexibility, as well.
Maybe you missed what I was saying but the point I was after was that Apple could have a much faster machine than the current Mac Pros in a smaller box. If they went with the new Suoer chip Intel just revealed, the one with built in Infiniband, the need for big boxes evaporate.
Lets's say that you're CPU-limited. Simply add a box with a couple of CPUs. Or maybe a box with a couple of GPUs. Or maybe you're limited by the number of ports.
Yes I realize that and in a perfect world we would have software to take advantage of such platforms. However the reality is that we don't and frankly for many users never will have such software.
Add a box with a couple of Ethernet or Thunderbolt or USB ports. Or a box with one or more hard drives.
There is little chance of success building a box that requires add ons for people to get the basic capabilities they expect.
Or a box with an optical drive. And when it's time to upgrade, you can keep the storage box and simply replace the CPU box. Thunderbolt would make all of that possible.
TB has its value, but I don't tink it has much of a play as a cluster inter connect.
Now, I don't really see it happening - it adds a layer of complexity in the purchasing decision that goes against the grain of what Apple has been doing for a decade. But it is an interesting concept. In particular, I could see an interesting niche market for small business or departmental servers.
Well for one Apple has pretty much given up on servers.
The bigger issue is Apples customers, I doubt the will accept a box that requires the purchase of another box just to get USB ports. Now don't take that as my being against smaller boxes for Pro usage, remember I'm a constant XMac advocate. What I'm saying is that a small box must present a rational Value equation. That is it must offer a feature mixe that appeals to a broad array of users.
After that base machine is available one can the configure later for various Pro needs. Here is where TB can come into play as a disk array would be a highly desired feature. That is an extended capability though, I suspect most Apple customers would be put off buying a box that doesn't have basic features. Further weakling demand for the Mini likely highlights and reinforces these thoughts. Especially in today's world where the economy doesn't allow for disposable purchases.
In a way I think we are in agreement in the large but disagree on the details.