Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon.
You have £1450 i7 680 Mx with 8 gigs of ram. I don't think that's too bad. Dual processor config at £1850 and up. While not revolutionary...it would get us back to sane pricing...and be in line with less materials and cheaper freighting.
If it was me? I'd have a mini tower picking up right where the Mini leaves off. £999. Include decent gpu, ram and i5. Then BTO i7 and gpu 680mx takes you to £1450 duals at nearer £1850+ Or an 8 core system starting at that...and a dual core at 2k plus.
We have to be realistic when it comes to pricing though, we know roughly what their gross margins are and therefore what their costs are to build. Typically they've been working at 40%+ gross margins so the build cost of the original Mac Pro at $2199 had to be around at least 0.6 x 2199 = $1319 (£852 - no tax).
Assuming the same base costs, it looks like this has gone up to (2499-1319)/2499 = 47% gross.
The price you are suggesting for the same parts is perfectly achievable but Apple has to justify the price drop. The main reason would be for marketshare. The workstation market isn't large and Apple already has a sizeable chunk of it. At best they'd take some of HP's and Dell's sales away so they'd drop margins and increase volume but their net profit would probably end up the same so they are doing more work for the same profit.
If they price it into the desktop market range, there is a bigger chunk of desktop owners they might get over to the platform and I could see these people being attracted by a Cube form factor. It would however cannibalize the iMac to some extent and increase the sales of their competitor's displays.
I think they can safely start the Cube at $1999 (£1699 inc tax), same as the highest non-custom iMac and it would have a quad-core Xeon with 6GB RAM and the equivalent of a Radeon 8770 or Geforce, which can be upgraded to one higher model of both AMD and NVidia (3 cards total). FirePro and Quadro would be left to the manufacturers to build and support because they have so little market appeal.
It would effectively be a page with one Cube on it and you'd just spec out the options and have the Server software as BTO just like every other Mac and you'd pick the number of cores 4,6,8,10,12 and RAM from 6-64GB, one of 3 GPUs and it would start with a single 1TB and they'd offer up to dual 3-4TB Fusion with up to 2x768GB SSDs. The keyboard and mouse might have to be shipped separately so it might be best to make people buy them separately, which helps get the price down. If they get used in a server environment, you just end up with loads of peripherals that won't get used anyway.
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon.
If they can give billions to share holders...how about giving the customers a break.
I know, it's not like we ever complain about anything. Well, it's not like we sue them. Ok maybe some people take out class action lawsuits but we definitely don't make money off them like shareholders and so they should treat us better. We sacrifice for their benefit.
Originally Posted by SolipsismX
I always loved that design even though a less cube-less tower is more practical (Allen's Rule).
The majority of the heat in the machine wouldn't dissipate from the surface though like it does with humans, it gets blown out the back (humans blow hot air out the back for different reasons - analysts earn a living from it). Cold air is sucked in from the front like with the current one, the air travels quickly through the cold metal grating, it gets warmed up by the components, which have their heat spread into the airflow and it gets drawn out the back.
The smaller the internal volume, the less cold air there is to get in so it has to move faster (faster, louder fans) or the parts just have to generate less heat (lower power envelope). With a better cooler, they don't have to try nearly as hard to spread the heat into the airflow so the Cube design shouldn't even require faster fans.
The way heatsinks work now is to stick a piece of very conductive metal onto the chip with thermal paste to draw heat away from it by keeping the metal it's being drawn into very cold but getting that heat away from the heatsink as the above PDF describes is limited because all of the surfaces have a layer of dead air leaving it to move heat through molecular diffusion. The Sandia design fixes this dead air problem.
I figured one problem with the Sandia cooler might have been relying on it being upright to balance the air gap but in the Sandia paper, they gave the example of the hockey puck that relies on gravity to maintain the gap and said their cooler will work in any orientation. It will need some tight mechanical tolerances overall but I think for a company that puts atomic layers of anti-glare coatings in their displays and fits iPhone parts accurate to a few microns, it should be a stroll in the park.