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Apple 'likely' to launch low-cost iMac soon, Retina MacBook Air still on track for 2014 debut - Page 3

post #81 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Apple split out the desktop and laptop numbers in 2012 in their SEC filing and it was 75% laptop, 25% desktop and every filing since, they say the numbers have moved more to portables and they stopped splitting them out. The desktop ASP was $1300, which points to a higher purchase price. Tim Cook reported that the ~2-2.5 month iMac delay in late 2012 caused a 700,000 unit shortfall:

 

A $1300 desktop ASP indicates mostly cheap desktops not higher model desktops.  $1299 was the base price for an iMac.  For ASPs to be $1300 that means there must be many minis sold to offset every iMac above the base model and all mac pros.

 

Quote:
That was when they sold 4.1m Macs vs 5.2m the previous year. This means they should have sold 4.8m Macs, at least 75% of those would be laptops and at least 700k iMacs. This leaves 1.2m - 0.7m = 0.5m to be split between Mac Pro and mini. But, that assumes that they didn't sell any iMacs, which wasn't the case and it assumes desktops still hold 25% but they've been noted to slip further. If you assume the iMac would be 3/2.5 x 700k = 840k, this leaves 360k between mini and Pro.

 

Math is slightly wrong. 1.3M desktops assuming 75-25 split from 5.2M.  Assuming that 840K number that's 460K between mini and pro.  If you assume 160K for Mac Pros to get a nice 300K round number that's still double your 150K assertion.

 

Given the $1300 ASP the numbers are far closer to 500K minis than 100K minis.

 

Frankly there's no way for there only to be 150K mini sales/qtr unless you assume that 27" iMacs sales are under 100K/qtr.

 

Quote:
The other thing to consider is revenue. Even if the mini is 250k units but selling at $599, that's $150m with 30% gross = $45m gross profit. A $999 iMac might manage to boost revenue as it pushes Mac buyers looking for a quad-i7 to a much higher price, it offers a lower entry price for PC buyers and it pushes mini bundle buyers towards giving Apple money for the display. Maybe a lot of mini buyers just won't buy a Mac but I doubt they'd lose many sales. If they come in with a $799 Macbook Air, that'll more than make up for any losses from the mini.

 

Mini ASPs are higher than $599 and there is no reason to believe that the margins are only 30% for the mini.  And you really think that the $599 mini BOM is $420?  More likely the gross margins are north of 35%.

 

For the mid tier $799 mini they are essentially selling a $700 quad core i7 ultrabook for $800 without screen, keyboard, battery or trackpad.  

 

http://www.amazon.com/HP-ENVY-Quad-Notebook-Laptop/dp/B00D7Z84OY/ref=sr_1_14?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1398808182&sr=1-14

 

I'd be surprised if the BOM for the mid tier mini is higher than $520.

 

So assuming 400K minis with a $700 ASP and 35% margins is $98M gross profits/qtr or $392M/year.

post #82 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I don't disagree with much of what you have said in your entire message but I'm not certain I agree with this entirely. First off if anybody really thinks that desktops are doing well sales wise they have to be nuts. The demand for desktops has fallen substantially. In Apples world they likely have gone past 80% laptops though I'm kinda hoping for reinvigorated Mac Pro sales shifting that some. All one has to do is to walk into any store selling computers and see that desktops, if they even exist are relegated to a corner in the store. This is a fact in Apples stores too.
And yet here is an article today saying PC gaming now exceeds console gaming (by dollar amount): http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/analyst-pc-gaming-now-brings-in-more-money-than-console-gaming/

I think it's like Steve Jobs said, desktops are just becoming the "trucks" of computers. But that doesn't have to mean work only, high end gaming needs a truck, and gaming is increasing.

You don't need a desktop for games. Even the HD5000 in the Air will play the games in that link at reasonable quality:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-5000.91978.0.html

Laptops are also in the truck category - people are using them less in favor of post-PC devices.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
A $1300 desktop ASP indicates mostly cheap desktops not higher model desktops. $1299 was the base price for an iMac.

It wasn't $1299 when those stats were published, they shifted the entry to $1299 the month after. It was $1199 at that point. Plus they sell cheaper education models and have educational discounts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
Math is slightly wrong. 1.3M desktops assuming 75-25 split from 5.2M.

It was assuming 75-25 from 4.1m Macs plus the 700k iMac shortfall noted by Tim Cook so 360k between mini and Pro.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
Given the $1300 ASP the numbers are far closer to 500K minis than 100K minis.

Frankly there's no way for there only to be 150K mini sales/qtr unless you assume that 27" iMacs sales are under 100K/qtr.

That's true, 150k is on the low side, though it's possible to reach that later in the refresh cycle. Say the ASP of the Mini is $700, ASP of the iMac is $1350 and Pro is $3000 (entry was $2499). Go with 75k Pro in 2011-2012 (it was estimated at 50k), to hit an ASP of $1300, you need:

(m x $700 + i x $1350 + 75k x $3000)/(m+i+75k) = $1300
m = 300k, i = 840k

If the number of Mac Pros or ASP is higher, the number of Minis would also have to be higher but that can't happen as we know how many units they sold total so this is probably close. If the Mac Pro was 50k, the mini would be closer to 250k. The iMac ASP could have been lower but 300k for the mini is reasonable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
And you really think that the $599 mini BOM is $420?

Yes, the processor alone is $225:

http://ark.intel.com/products/67355/intel-core-i5-3210m-processor-3m-cache-up-to-3_10-ghz-rpga

Add in the metal case, motherboard, 4GB RAM, wifi, bluetooth, software, power supply, packaging, that can easily add $195.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
So assuming 400K minis with a $700 ASP and 35% margins is $98M gross profits/qtr or $392M/year.

I'd say it's 250k Mini at 30% margin but I'd agree with a $700 ASP = ~$53m gross/qtr. Is this an argument for or against though? Even your figure is half the revenue of the soon to be axed iPod line.

The unit volumes could be enough to keep it going but how many of those bought the mini simply because the iMac was too expensive? A $999 iMac could change that.
post #83 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

And yet here is an article today saying PC gaming now exceeds console gaming (by dollar amount): 
I don't doubt those specs one bit, but gaming rigs are a different beast than a desktop machine. That is they are more likely to be sold though specialty retailers/builders and contain hardware not commonly found in a desktop PC.
Quote:

I think it's like Steve Jobs said, desktops are just becoming the "trucks" of computers. But that doesn't have to mean work only, high end gaming needs a truck, and gaming is increasing.

I would tend to agree that Steve's characterization is more or less correct. In the context of Apple though they have nothing that can realistically pass for a gaming rig. The Mini isn't even remotely capable, the iMac may have a limited ability here and the Mac Pro is just configured wrong. The Mac Pro does have potential though for those with deep pockets.

Honestly my interest in gaming on a PC is near zero though for some reason I do simple games on the iPad. I'm not interested in an improved Mini for gaming, but rather to have a machine where I can leverage the GPU for design work. In other words I want respectable OpenGL and OpenCL support. Haswell does that for the Mini or would if Apple would plug one in. Of course a Broadwell machine with DDR4 and other improvements would be very nice and probably worth the wait. -- that is if we knew it was coming. The problem is if it takes until December for Broadwell to come out and then another six months for Apple to update to it, I may just say screw it in a moment of frustration.
post #84 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Why wow? You can't honestly believe that public sector employees need a union. Many a community has been bankrupted because of union holding hostage communities for ever increasing wages. Not to mention is the fact that most of these unionized positions are a relative cake walk compare to working in the real world.
 

Well, I can honestly say, I don’t believe it is possible to selectively deprive any group from collective means to justice in an educated liberal democracy. I'm sure many, maybe most, democratic governments throughout history have desired ways to restrict or remove the ability of their citizens to act collectively, but how do they do it without becoming a contradiction?  

 

Is that "real world" irony wizard, arguing for the removal of unions by expressing "cakewalk" resentments? 
post #85 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

If the number of Mac Pros or ASP is higher, the number of Minis would also have to be higher but that can't happen as we know how many units they sold total so this is probably close. If the Mac Pro was 50k, the mini would be closer to 250k. The iMac ASP could have been lower but 300k for the mini is reasonable.

 

It strikes me as unlikely that the iMac ASP is lower than $1350.  It strikes me as unlikely that the iMac ASP is as low as $1350 given all the upsell (memory, sad, etc).

 

 

In the quantities that Apple buys?  It was used in the MBP 13" as well.

 

$225 is the base price before volume discounts.

post #86 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

$225 is the base price before volume discounts.

I believe that price is for volumes of 1000. Of course, Apple doesn't pay that but they are still paying a lot more than what an Atom CPU costs and that BOM of around $400 is probably pretty spot on.

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post #87 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I think that's going to be an iMac with an A8 chip. That alone would shave hundred of dollars off the price.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

And hundreds of features off the capabilities.

 

Maybe an Atom CPU, like the Dell Venue Pro 11 and others are using that have been decently reviewed for speed running full Win 8.1....??

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post
 

Want to make a lower cost iMac?

 

Offer one WITHOUT the screen.

Some of us want a DESKTOP processor in a desktop Mac.

Instead Apple us a laptop without a screen in the mini.


"Some" being the operative word here...  ...Apple's playing a volume game (other than with the Pro - a strategic offering to keep a growth path to the top for OS X among true power users, and the ATV - the "strategic hobby" to date), and if they weren't going to release the endlessly-craved-by-gear-heads headless mid-range Mac when the PC market was healthy and growing, highly doubtful they'll do it now.

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post #88 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

It strikes me as unlikely that the iMac ASP is lower than $1350.  It strikes me as unlikely that the iMac ASP is as low as $1350 given all the upsell (memory, sad, etc).

The most revealing figures are from 2012 where they noted the desktop unit volume as 4.656 million and revenue $6.040b and when Tim Cook said there was a 700,000 unit shortfall in iMacs in January 2013.

This put the iMac above 800,000 units for the quarter. It might not be that every quarter but the iMac sold that many even as far back as 1999:

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2000/01/19Apple-Reports-First-Quarter-Profit-of-183-Million.html

If you assume the iMac sells 840k/qtr and Mac Pro 50k/qtr, that leaves 4.656m - 4x840k - 4x50k = 1.096m minis = 274k/qtr.

4x(274k x 700 + 840k x 1350 + 50k x 3000) = $5.9b, which is close to the reported revenue

The Mac Pro could sell more of course or have higher ASP and that throws things off a bit but this should have been roughly the distribution in 2012.

If the mini were to sell 500k with the iMac ASP higher to keep the revenue correct, it throws the unit volume out and it conflicts with the iMac volumes indicated by Apple explicitly.

One argument to keep the mini going is that these numbers mean it would make more revenue than the Pro, which they keep selling but I think they were going to stop selling the Pro and this latest design was simply because they decided they wanted to keep making them and there is no alternative for people using 12-cores and dual GPUs. There are performance equivalents for mini buyers albeit at far higher prices for the quad models. For dual-core i5, it's now $599 mini or $899 MBA and the Air has an SSD.

If they do decide to drop the mini, I'd like to see Apple make a more affordable laptop with a quad-i7 chip and Iris Pro. I reckon they could do a $1499 rMBP with one. It's a good bit higher priced than the $799 mini but the resale would be higher too.

Dropping the mini shouldn't have a downside for Apple as people will simply have to buy more expensive Macs so even if the unit volume goes down, the revenues go up.
post #89 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

Maybe an Atom CPU, like the Dell Venue Pro 11 and others are using that have been decently reviewed for speed running full Win 8.1....??
Atom is and has been seen in poor light compared to AMDs BRAZOS offerings. As such Intel has had to increase performance drastically to keep up. However realize that reviews by many online sources bias expectations when it comes to low end hardware. A good review doesn't imply that a laptop even remotely competes against mainstream laptop processors.
Quote:


"Some" being the operative word here...  ...Apple's playing a volume game (other than with the Pro - a strategic offering to keep a growth path to the top for OS X among true power users, and the ATV - the "strategic hobby" to date), and if they weren't going to release the endlessly-craved-by-gear-heads headless mid-range Mac when the PC market was healthy and growing, highly doubtful they'll do it now.

Maybe not but they need something that fills the gap below the Mac Plus. The sad thing here is that the Mini with the newest chips would be a far better machine than it has been in the past. Haswell would solve the GPU performance problems right now. Broadwell would give Apple the opportunity to do significantly better performance wise. In a nut shell I'd hate to see the Mini discontinued just when technology is catching up with user needs.

In any event I'm pretty much convinced that Apple needs a low cost offering of some sort no matter how well it sells. It is simply an expectation that customers have that is reasonable.
post #90 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



Dropping the mini shouldn't have a downside for Apple as people will simply have to buy more expensive Macs so even if the unit volume goes down, the revenues go up.

If Apple where to do something like that I'd probably go back to Linux. I can tolerate a bit of "Apple Tax" for ease of use and reliability but that implies hardware I'm willing to buy in the price range that I see as reasonable.

Don't get me wrong if I won the lottery tomorrow I would buy a Mac Pro that day. However these days I'm in a position where hardware purchases must be justifiable and frankly I don't need a Mac Pro. I certainly would like one but that is far different from being able to actually put one to use.

The problem with today's Mini, especially considering how long Haswell has been out, is that it is over priced. It is overpriced because the hardware is simply outdated by a good 8 months now. Even if I didn't want the Haswell GPU, I still can't justify paying list price for the Mini considering how outdated it is.

WWDC is a month away now so maybe we will see something then or just before. If not I will be extremely disappointed with Apple as I don't see it as unreasonable to expect them to keep up technology wise.
post #91 of 121
If I go from mini to iMac (and I won't rule it out), I don't want an i3. To me if Apple is going to get away with charging $1,299 for the base 21.5" iMac they have now, it needs a 256 GB PCIe SSD at minimum as well. Iris is fine though Iris Pro would be better.

Otherwise give me a new mini with a i5-4200M for $599 (better for it to be $499) and if they want go for the usual 500 GB HDD with a $200 option for a PCIe SSD.
post #92 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

If I go from mini to iMac (and I won't rule it out), I don't want an i3.
I3 is pretty bad, we have ARM and even a few AMD chips encroaching on that level of performance.
Quote:
To me if Apple is going to get away with charging $1,299 for the base 21.5" iMac they have now, it needs a 256 GB PCIe SSD at minimum as well. Iris is fine though Iris Pro would be better.
At this point I'm not sure the processor is the big thing to wait for, rather at this point you might as well wait for hardware that supports DDR 4 or what ever new generation of RAM Apple goes with. Every APU out there suffered from slow RAM, so a real update in RAM performance means a much better performance profile.

In this regards I was hoping for a Haswell refresh variant that supported a new generation RAM interface. It doesn't look like that is coming though so we may have to wait for Broadwell. intel supposedly will have DDR4 support mid year but not on processors Apple is likely to use in either the Mini nor the iMac. What i'd rely like to see is Apple contract with Intel for an Apple specific variant that does have a DDR4 or what ever early. It is obviously that Intel has the tech to do so with Haswell architecture.
Quote:
Otherwise give me a new mini with a i5-4200M for $599 (better for it to be $499) and if they want go for the usual 500 GB HDD with a $200 option for a PCIe SSD.

Why this hardware isn't out yet is beyond me. Personally I'd like to hope that Intel and Apple are teaming up again to offer something ground breaking. The other possibility is that Apple introduces an ARM based machine. The longer the wait the more unrealistic my dreams I guess.
post #93 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


The longer the wait the more unrealistic my dreams I guess.

 

Perhaps it will resemble a black coffee mug. It would be amusing to me to own a trash can, mug, and whatever else that resembles the newest mac pro. I don't really care about machine aesthetics, but it would amuse me anyway.

post #94 of 121

Who cares!

post #95 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Perhaps it will resemble a black coffee mug. It would be amusing to me to own a trash can, mug, and whatever else that resembles the newest mac pro.
I like to think that a few designers at Apple where glancing at pictures of an old Cray when designing the Mac Pro. As for a coffee mug I'm surprised that hasn't happened already. The design is so generic you would think that Apple would have a hard time stopping the coffee cup from being marketed.
Quote:
I don't really care about machine aesthetics, but it would amuse me anyway.

Well I do care about what the new Mini will look like. Mainly because I don't see myself shelling out for a Mac Pro today. Even here it isn't so much about the specifics of the "look" as it is remaining compact while maybe up rating its performance a bit. I'd really like to see the new Haswell or Broadwell/SkyLake processors from the desktop line up moved into this platform simply to control costs. With the desktop lines running very cool these days that shouldn't be a problem with a little engineering effort. Make the new Mini a baby sized Mac Pro which should be entirely doable with single PCB and a power supply.
post #96 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvfox View Post

Who cares!

Why would you read this forum if you don't care. Since there is zeros leakage as to what the new hardware will be like, the best we can do is entertain ourselves with levity.
post #97 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I3 is pretty bad, we have ARM and even a few AMD chips encroaching on that level of performance.

 

The i3 is still faster than ARM and one would hope AMD would be faster.  I think you have that sentence backwards.  The A7 (2564 64 bit multicore) is still slower than the Intel Core i3-3217U (3095 64 bit multicore) and on par with the Pentium (2564) and Celeron 2955 (2387).

 

http://www.computingcompendium.com/p/arm-vs-intel-benchmarks.html

 

Note that the i3-3217U is an under clocked ivy bridge ULV processor from June 2012, not a desktop part.  The Celeron 2955U is a Haswell ULV chip and that's pretty impressive.  But not enough that I'd want to run OSX on it.

 

The desktop i3's do a bit better.  The 2100 iMac Core i3-2100 benches in at 4968 for 64-bit multicore.  

 

The current $1099 edu only iMac Core i3-3225 benches in at 5911.

 

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/imac-core-i3-3.3-21-inch-aluminum-early-2013-education-specs.html

 

2564 isn't encroaching on 5911 unless you think less than half is encroaching.

 

In comparison the 2013 $1299 Core i5 iMac benches in at 10310.

 

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/imac-core-i5-2.7-21-inch-aluminum-late-2013-specs.html

 

For $200 the base iMac is better.

 

The 2012 mini clocks in at 5666 for the Core i5 and 12567 for the Core i7.

 

 

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/specs/mac-mini-core-i7-2.6-late-2012-specs.html

 

From JUST a CPU perspective the 2012 Core i7 mini is still pretty damn good trailing the current 2013 21" iMac Core i7 (14159) by only 1600 points.

 

GPU wise it's a different story.

post #98 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


I like to think that a few designers at Apple where glancing at pictures of an old Cray when designing the Mac Pro. As for a coffee mug I'm surprised that hasn't happened already. The design is so generic you would think that Apple would have a hard time stopping the coffee cup from being marketed.

 

I don't have any issues with the design. I mean with the old one I didn't care how it looked. It was designed to accomplish work, and I wouldn't want them to favor of aesthetics if it necessitated any engineering compromises. It just amuses me picturing an office where the computers, coffee mugs, and trash cans all match. Speaking of cray, I posted this in another thread. I think it's funny and simultaneously an awesome question.
 

Quote:

Well I do care about what the new Mini will look like. Mainly because I don't see myself shelling out for a Mac Pro today. Even here it isn't so much about the specifics of the "look" as it is remaining compact while maybe up rating its performance a bit. I'd really like to see the new Haswell or Broadwell/SkyLake processors from the desktop line up moved into this platform simply to control costs. With the desktop lines running very cool these days that shouldn't be a problem with a little engineering effort. Make the new Mini a baby sized Mac Pro which should be entirely doable with single PCB and a power supply.

 

 

I don't think they'll go that route. It was probably the most compact way to fit 2 large gpus and an (up to) 130W cpu. It doesn't necessarily have to make sense with the mini. By the desktop lines I assume you mean the less costly  cpus classified as desktop variants.

post #99 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

The i3 is still faster than ARM and one would hope AMD would be faster.  I think you have that sentence backwards.  The A7 (
2564 
64 bit multicore) is still slower than the Intel Core i3-3217U (3095 64 bit multicore) and on par with the Pentium (2564) and Celeron 2955 (2387).
When I first wrote that I was thinking about AMDs new Puma based cores for low end hardware. It is a good core that does better than Atom and comes close to i3 in some cases.

As for ARM based devices that landscape is changing so fast that it is hard to know where we stand. In Apples case though I think they have a lot of unlocked potential in A7. The hardware already has near Haswell quality features in the CPUs, improve the caches and memory interfaces and I really see i3 like performance as being possible.
Quote:
http://www.computingcompendium.com/p/arm-vs-intel-benchmarks.html

Note that the i3-3217U is an under clocked ivy bridge ULV processor from June 2012, not a desktop part.  The Celeron 2955U is a Haswell ULV chip and that's pretty impressive.  But not enough that I'd want to run OSX on it.
There in lies the problem with a low end iMac, the performance would need to be good enough that people would actually want to use it. Frankly Apple needs to focus on better performance at their price points.
Quote:
The desktop i3's do a bit better.  The 2100 iMac Core i3-2100 benches in at 4968 for 64-bit multicore.  

The current $1099 edu only iMac Core i3-3225 benches in at 5911.

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/imac-core-i3-3.3-21-inch-aluminum-early-2013-education-specs.html
2564
isn't encroaching on 5911 unless you think less than half is encroaching.

In comparison the 2013 $1299 Core i5 iMac benches in at 10310.

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/imac-core-i5-2.7-21-inch-aluminum-late-2013-specs.html

For $200 the base iMac is better.

The 2012 mini clocks in at 5666 for the Core i5 and 12567 for the Core i7.
Benchmarks are one thing if you use your machine that way but I tend to run my machine in ways that can make use of cores. The more the better at times. For instance running XCode or eclipse while surfing the net waiting on a compile, transcoding video files while trying to do just about anything. I know with my old MBP there are numerous activities that cause the machine to come to a screaming halt. Of course being old doesn't help but then again its limitations are why I'm looking for a new machine. To sum it up I'm looking for an economical machine that can run lots of busy processes at the same time.

In the case on a low end iMac, Mini and the like I have this feeling that I would be happy with an ARM based machine with lots of cores where lots is more than 4 and possibly 8. Now I don't see Apple going this route but the idea appeals to my desire to see a compact high performance machine. If Apple got the processor to run each core a a maximum of 2 watts, that would be 16 watts of power plus everything else, so let's say a 30 watt SoC. That would slot into a compact Mini nicely and might even make for a passable iMac.
Quote:

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/specs/mac-mini-core-i7-2.6-late-2012-specs.html

From JUST a CPU perspective the 2012 Core i7 mini is still pretty damn good trailing the current 2013 21" iMac Core i7 (14159) by only 1600 points.

GPU wise it's a different story.
Sometimes I wish Apple would just go back to discreet GPU machines. Even though I technically understand the advantages of integrated I like the idea of no power limitations and reduced bandwidth limitations. Of course not everything about integrated is a limitation and faster RAM will address much that is. All of this does make me wonder about all of those GPU engineers Apple has hired lately, I see another big step in performance coming probably around A9.
post #100 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I don't have any issues with the design. I mean with the old one I didn't care how it looked. It was designed to accomplish work, and I wouldn't want them to favor of aesthetics if it necessitated any engineering compromises. It just amuses me picturing an office where the computers, coffee mugs, and trash cans all match. Speaking of cray, I posted this in another thread. I think it's funny and simultaneously an awesome question.
That was funny. What isn't so funny is the computational power the Mc Pro puts on ones desk today. For a guy who's first computer was a Vic 20 we have come a very very long way indeed.

Given that I could see batman using an array of Mac Pros. The machine is already black so it fits in with the common motif.
Quote:
 

I don't think they'll go that route. It was probably the most compact way to fit 2 large gpus and an (up to) 130W cpu. It doesn't necessarily have to make sense with the mini. By the desktop lines I assume you mean the less costly  cpus classified as desktop variants.

Yes the CPUs classified as desktop which frankly is becoming a very blurry distinction these days. Intel now has 35 and 45 watt desktop chips. With a little work these could go in other current chassis though we might not get the GPU we want. My thought here is that a little redesign work similar to the Mac Pro would allow them to easily accommodate such processor in a box more or less the same volume. "Box" here being anything from a tube to a cube or even a pyramid. The idea is for better thermal behavior to allow for better all around performance.
post #101 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


That was funny. What isn't so funny is the computational power the Mc Pro puts on ones desk today. For a guy who's first computer was a Vic 20 we have come a very very long way indeed.

I had to google that. I've heard of Commodores. I've never actually seen one in the wild. The first computer I ever used was in elementary school. It was one of the older Apples. I don't recall the model, but it was definitely in the 5.5 inch floppy drive era.

Quote:

Given that I could see batman using an array of Mac Pros. The machine is already black so it fits in with the common motif.
Yes the CPUs classified as desktop which frankly is becoming a very blurry distinction these days. Intel now has 35 and 45 watt desktop chips. With a little work these could go in other current chassis though we might not get the GPU we want. My thought here is that a little redesign work similar to the Mac Pro would allow them to easily accommodate such processor in a box more or less the same volume. "Box" here being anything from a tube to a cube or even a pyramid. The idea is for better thermal behavior to allow for better all around performance.

 

 

I'm actually not sure why the concept of an array of mac pros comes up. It seems unlikely to be the ideal solution, although if I obtain one, it's definitely getting a batman sticker. As for the mini, everyone likes a silent machine. That in itself would be a big win. Note that the cpu cost went up this year when Apple started to swap in iris pro chips. That may explain the lack of a mini update, even if it's a poor reason to delay the thing.

post #102 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I had to google that. I've heard of Commodores. I've never actually seen one in the wild. The first computer I ever used was in elementary school. It was one of the older Apples. I don't recall the model, but it was definitely in the 5.5 inch floppy drive era.
Growing up I had very little cash to use on electronics of any type. The Vic was cheap relative to an Apple 2.
Quote:
I'm actually not sure why the concept of an array of mac pros comes up. It seems unlikely to be the ideal solution, although if I obtain one, it's definitely getting a batman sticker.
The problem with leveraging clusters or arrays of Mac, or any computer for that matter, is software. With TB 2 and the ability to cheaply implement high speed commas channels between machines it is an interesting concept. It also deals with one of the complaints about upgrade ability of the new MacPro. With a cluster you really don't need to throw out the old as often, rather you just add new hardware to the cluster every year or two. With TB there would likely be a limit to the number of machines that could be employed, but after say six years the original machine will start to look a bit slow (we can hope).

As noted though clusters are really only useful if you have the software that works well with that cluster. This doesn't appear to even be a remote priority for Apple as they are not even driving the required improvements to LLVM/CLang to support such clusters.
Quote:
As for the mini, everyone likes a silent machine. That in itself would be a big win.
Actually silence isn't a big deal for me, the related feature of low power usage is though. The other desire is striking the right balance of power (performance) and size. These of course are moving targets, chip technology allows for improvements in all three areas every time a new node is hit.
Quote:
Note that the cpu cost went up this year when Apple started to swap in iris pro chips. That may explain the lack of a mini update, even if it's a poor reason to delay the thing.
I was expecting Iris Pro to be installed only in the up sell model. Apple still needs an entry level machine, one that is frankly a better value than the current machine, so I don't expect top end Intel graphics in the entry level machine.
post #103 of 121
This probably should have been fitted in with my previous post but I just wanted to point out that performance is at times very software bound. It had been sometime but the other day I downloaded the latest Safari nightly and wow, fast even on my old hardware. If Apple merges the improvements seen there, into the next release of Mac OS and iOS, I suspect people will be very pleased.

The improvements where so obvious that I spent some time reading the WebKit blog to see what is going on. It looks like considerable effort has been out into optimization, cruft reduction, the use of C++11 features and other improvements that lead to snappy. I bring this up in this thread because many people like myself, are looking towards new hardware because our machines just don't cut the mustard any more. We often forget that throwing hardware at the problem often solves nothing if the software continues to bloat.

This has me wondering how much better the rest of Mac OS / iOS will be. It would be nice to find that Apple has regained an interest in performance, rather than focusing on features nobody uses. In any event people running constrained machines like the Airs ought to consider trying out the WebKit nightlies.
post #104 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Growing up I had very little cash to use on electronics of any type. The Vic was cheap relative to an Apple 2.
 

I didn't have one at home until late teenage years. My dad disliked computers and hadn't heard anything about the internet other than the availability of porn. I wasn't implying there was anything wrong with the Commodore units. I just never personally encountered them as they were sort of before my time. The district I attended at that age was well funded, so they had a full computer lab in the late 80s. I don't think that was common at the elementary school level at that time.
 

Quote:

The problem with leveraging clusters or arrays of Mac, or any computer for that matter, is software. With TB 2 and the ability to cheaply implement high speed commas channels between machines it is an interesting concept. It also deals with one of the complaints about upgrade ability of the new MacPro. With a cluster you really don't need to throw out the old as often, rather you just add new hardware to the cluster every year or two. With TB there would likely be a limit to the number of machines that could be employed, but after say six years the original machine will start to look a bit slow (we can hope).

As noted though clusters are really only useful if you have the software that works well with that cluster. This doesn't appear to even be a remote priority for Apple as they are not even driving the required improvements to LLVM/CLang to support such clusters.

 

It's unlikely that Apple would maintain software support to maintain aging nodes on a cluster for a significant number of years. That to me is still in the domain of Linux. Beyond that we don't know how far Apple and intel will carry backwards compatibility with future versions of thunderbolt. While it isn't present in a wide range of hardware, they have been fairly aggressive on updates.

 

Quote:
Actually silence isn't a big deal for me, the related feature of low power usage is though. The other desire is striking the right balance of power (performance) and size. These of course are moving targets, chip technology allows for improvements in all three areas every time a new node is hit.
Noise factor is one thing I tell people to be careful with when choosing DAS options. Some of the cheap ones can be extremely noisy. It freaks a lot of people out when their machine goes from silent to noticeably audible. For me that would be a bigger factor than a minor difference in size.
 
Quote:
I was expecting Iris Pro to be installed only in the up sell model. Apple still needs an entry level machine, one that is frankly a better value than the current machine, so I don't expect top end Intel graphics in the entry level machine.

I was looking specifically at what components they use. Last round they used a cpu shared with the 13" macbook pro in the base mini. The cost is higher this year as that machine has transitioned to one of the iris chips. It doesn't use iris pro. The middle and upper range minis used quad chips which were shared with the 15" macbook pros. Comparing recommended customer pricing from intel on each, the price rose somewhat. The comparison would be the 3615QM used in the mini to the 4750HQ used in the current entry 15" rmbp. Strangely I remember the gap being wider than $56. Going from 2011 to 2012 they dropped the discrete graphics yet went to a significantly more expensive chip in the mini. The cost difference is actually significantly higher at the low end, 13" to 13". 3210m listed at $225 and the 4258U listed at $315. That might present a greater problem when it comes to sharing components.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

This probably should have been fitted in with my previous post but I just wanted to point out that performance is at times very software bound. It had been sometime but the other day I downloaded the latest Safari nightly and wow, fast even on my old hardware. If Apple merges the improvements seen there, into the next release of Mac OS and iOS, I suspect people will be very pleased.

The improvements where so obvious that I spent some time reading the WebKit blog to see what is going on. It looks like considerable effort has been out into optimization, cruft reduction, the use of C++11 features and other improvements that lead to snappy. I bring this up in this thread because many people like myself, are looking towards new hardware because our machines just don't cut the mustard any more. We often forget that throwing hardware at the problem often solves nothing if the software continues to bloat.

This has me wondering how much better the rest of Mac OS / iOS will be. It would be nice to find that Apple has regained an interest in performance, rather than focusing on features nobody uses. In any event people running constrained machines like the Airs ought to consider trying out the WebKit nightlies.

At this point I can deal with C++, but I'm not entirely familiar with what was specifically added by C++11. I've also been on firefox for years.

post #105 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I didn't have one at home until late teenage years. My dad disliked computers and hadn't heard anything about the internet other than the availability of porn. I wasn't implying there was anything wrong with the Commodore units. I just never personally encountered them as they were sort of before my time. The district I attended at that age was well funded, so they had a full computer lab in the late 80s. I don't think that was common at the elementary school level at that time.

 
When I was gong to school there was inititially no computers at all. At some point the science teacher got some sort of HP device (forgot the model) but it was a cross between a calculator and a desktop computer running BASIC if I remember correctly. I'm not really sure because he would not let anybody use it. Effectively it was the first "personal" computer that I ever saw and was out of bounds for me. Talk about frustrating.
Quote:
It's unlikely that Apple would maintain software support to maintain aging nodes on a cluster for a significant number of years. That to me is still in the domain of Linux.
Contrary to popular opinion Apple does very well with the support of old hardware. With the complete transition to 64 bit systems I can see 7-10 years of life out of hardware maybe longer. That means support in the latest OS releases. Admittedly it would be nice if Apple where to define how they expect to support 64 bit hardware into the future.
Quote:
Beyond that we don't know how far Apple and intel will carry backwards compatibility with future versions of thunderbolt. While it isn't present in a wide range of hardware, they have been fairly aggressive on updates.
Surprisingly aggressive but I take that as an indication that they didn't meet their original launch goals. TB did have that taste of a rushed launch.
Quote:
At this point I can deal with C++, but I'm not entirely familiar with what was specifically added by C++11.
I'm by far not an expert nor even a skilled practitioner but I do follow the C++ standards developments. Don't ask why because if given a chance I use Python. That aside C++11 is a pretty major overhaul of C++. C++11 does add some technologies that lead to faster code, however that isn't exactly the root cause of the faster WebKit/Safari.

If you read the blog they have done extensive work on refactoring code, attempting to instill new patterns in to the minds of contributors and making sure that the usage of C++ in general leads to the compiler generating good code. The WebKit blog is a most interesting read and some of the concepts apply to programming in general. So though the language is C++, the ideas would be of interest to just about anybody that programs professionally or not. I found the blog to be enlightening, they also dive in what has been done recently to make JavaScript and CSS faster. An interesting read.
Quote:
I've also been on firefox for years.
I must be weird because I could never get into Firefox. I prefer the simpler interface of Safari and the integration with Apples ecosystem. Firefox, the last time I used it, was slow too. Of course the last time was probably six years ago.
post #106 of 121

Who cares!

post #107 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvfox View Post

Who cares!

Obviously not Marvfox and probably few others. However considering the new Mac Book Airs are here this thread is quickly loosing its original value. So we dwell on the past because it isn't likely that much will happen to the iMac.
post #108 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Obviously not Marvfox and probably few others. However considering the new Mac Book Airs are here this thread is quickly loosing its original value. So we dwell on the past because it isn't likely that much will happen to the iMac.

They were updated? I thought it was just a simple price drop. : /
post #109 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

They were updated? I thought it was just a simple price drop. : /

100MHz CPU bump, too, with the newer chips. I'm not sure if Taht includes any other CPU features or power savings, or if anytjhing else was changed.

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post #110 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

100MHz CPU bump, too, with the newer chips. I'm not sure if Taht includes any other CPU features or power savings, or if anytjhing else was changed.

As far as I know it was just a CPU update and a lower price. As noted the CPU update is nothing to get excited about. I'm actually surprised that Apple lowered the price. I'm not complaining but would have rather end seen them upgrade the base RAM or SSD sizes.

I'm thinking we are starting to see a new Apple here, one that is more aggressive with pricing.

Of course I'd rather that they be more aggressive with getting the new Mini out.
post #111 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

As far as I know it was just a CPU update and a lower price. As noted the CPU update is nothing to get excited about. I'm actually surprised that Apple lowered the price. I'm not complaining but would have rather end seen them upgrade the base RAM or SSD sizes.

I'm thinking we are starting to see a new Apple here, one that is more aggressive with pricing.

Of course I'd rather that they be more aggressive with getting the new Mini out.

I think the move with the MBAs is because this design is EOL. I expect the next one to be Retina and IPS, and hopefully a single 12" model at the price point of the current 11".

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post #112 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I think the move with the MBAs is because this design is EOL. I expect the next one to be Retina and IPS, and hopefully a single 12" model at the price point of the current 11".


I actually don't know if it will go IPS at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I think the move with the MBAs is because this design is EOL. I expect the next one to be Retina and IPS, and hopefully a single 12" model at the price point of the current 11".

I am not sure they'll immediately go IPS, but there's no way of knowing. I thought they would continue that as a point of upsell. There are some consistency issues that could be addressed in their IPS implementations, but those might be partly LG. I know I'm using wiki a lot today, but there is some truth to the idea of them migrating to IGZO, regardless of whether it uses in-plane switching. The initial purpose was to cut power and long term display costs. Note the reason the misuse of that name makes me cringe. It refers to an alternative to amorphous silicon rather than a panel implementation.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


When I was gong to school there was inititially no computers at all. At some point the science teacher got some sort of HP device (forgot the model) but it was a cross between a calculator and a desktop computer running BASIC if I remember correctly. I'm not really sure because he would not let anybody use it. Effectively it was the first "personal" computer that I ever saw and was out of bounds for me. Talk about frustrating.

 

Oh that's awesome. I remember Basic. I don't remember it well. I think one of the first things I think the first thing I used was Logo. It was presented by a woman who ran the computer lab. It was either first or second grade. I don't think that was on a Mac though.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



Contrary to popular opinion Apple does very well with the support of old hardware. With the complete transition to 64 bit systems I can see 7-10 years of life out of hardware maybe longer. That means support in the latest OS releases. Admittedly it would be nice if Apple where to define how they expect to support 64 bit hardware into the future.

They do have a vintage policy relative to how long it has been since they stopped selling an item as new. That refers to hardware, but software tends to be somewhat similar. 64 bit wasn't the only thing the last time. Some machines were retired due to deprecated driver support. In a couple cases they cited that the machines did not support the minimum required opengl specification. A minimum opencl might produce the same effect on a later version of OSX. 
 

Quote:

 

Surprisingly aggressive but I take that as an indication that they didn't meet their original launch goals. TB did have that taste of a rushed launch.

 

It may not have been interesting enough to draw large numbers of vendors. At this point PCI solutions are still more cost effective. It's also not a great match for long cabling in my opinion given the lack of a hardware lock. It's not a mechanism that protects the computer like magsafe. It just doesn't have any way of ensuring the connection remains secure.

 

Quote:

If you read the blog they have done extensive work on refactoring code, attempting to instill new patterns in to the minds of contributors and making sure that the usage of C++ in general leads to the compiler generating good code. The WebKit blog is a most interesting read and some of the concepts apply to programming in general. So though the language is C++, the ideas would be of interest to just about anybody that programs professionally or not. I found the blog to be enlightening, they also dive in what has been done recently to make JavaScript and CSS faster. An interesting read.

I know some C++, and I have the latest revision of the Stroustrup book which covers C++ 11. I just need a large enough block of time to go through it in detail. It's around 1200 pages and doesn't entirely constitute light reading.

 

Quote:
I must be weird because I could never get into Firefox. I prefer the simpler interface of Safari and the integration with Apples ecosystem. Firefox, the last time I used it, was slow too. Of course the last time was probably six years ago.

Edited by hmm - 5/12/14 at 8:33pm
post #113 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I think the move with the MBAs is because this design is EOL.
Could very well be. If Intel ever gets to 14nm it would out Apple in a position to debut a whole new generation of machine. Especially if they incorporate other new tech such as DDR 4.
Quote:
I expect the next one to be Retina and IPS, and hopefully a single 12" model at the price point of the current 11".
I'd consider a 12" model but frankly these mini notebooks rub this old guy the wrong way. As for price I see potential for another price cut. Mainly due to the intense pressure Intel is under in the mobile arena. Maybe I'm optimistic about that price cut 😂😂😂😂 but Apple may have little choice to keep the Air popular and competitive against its own tablet business. If they do go retina I really doubt that it will be a high performance screen option.
post #114 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post


I actually don't know if it will go IPS at this point.
I am not sure they'll immediately go IPS, but there's no way of knowing. I thought they would continue that as a point of upsell. There are some consistency issues that could be addressed in their IPS implementations, but those might be partly LG. I know I'm using wiki a lot today, but there is some truth to the idea of them migrating to IGZO, regardless of whether it uses in-plane switching. The initial purpose was to cut power and long term display costs. Note the reason the misuse of that name makes me cringe. It refers to an alternative to amorphous silicon rather than a panel implementation.
I doubt the screen will be as good as the one shipping in the Mac Pro if it is retina.
Quote:

Oh that's awesome. I remember Basic. I don't remember it well. I think one of the first things I think the first thing I used was Logo. It was presented by a woman who ran the computer lab. It was either first or second grade. I don't think that was on a Mac though.
Brings back some memories but I never got into BASIC that deeply. As a kid I spent much of my time in the great outdoors. I was just frustrated that the school had a computer sitting there that I couldn't play with. At the time my only contact with computers was through electronics magazines. That was the late seventies and frankly nobody cared on the east coast. " why would you need/want a computer"
Quote:
They do have a vintage policy relative to how long it has been since they stopped selling an item as new. That refers to hardware, but software tends to be somewhat similar. 64 bit wasn't the only thing the last time. Some machines were retired due to deprecated driver support. In a couple cases they cited that the machines did not support the minimum required opengl specification. A minimum opencl might produce the same effect on a later version of OSX. 
I have to read up on that policy but some of the issues of the past are behind us now. Hardware just doesn't get updated as rapidly anymore. At least not at the level requiring major driver rewrites. The GPU companies are now taking two years or more to introduce a major new architecture and often these are refinements of past designs. I just see hardware being viable for longer than it has been in the past.

You look at Haswell refresh and the GPU world in general and the best you can say is that it isn't like the old days when six months later you can double performance.
Quote:
 
I know some C++, and I have the latest revision of the Stroustrup book which covers C++ 11. I just need a large enough block of time to go through it in detail. It's around 1200 pages and doesn't entirely constitute light reading.

I've only written a couple of programs in C++ and that was a long time ago. One I even used at work for years. For the programming I do now the competing world of scripting languages like C++ often grasp my interest. That being said I like to think that I at least keep myself informed as to what is going on in the C++ world. As you note just about every tome dedicated to C++ is rather thick and at times dense. I just concentrate on the parts I'm likely to use.
post #115 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Benchmarks are one thing if you use your machine that way but I tend to run my machine in ways that can make use of cores.

 

Which is why multi-core benchmarks single-core benchmarks are both available.  The numbers posted are all 64 bit multi-core benchmarks.

 

In any case single core performance is still key to how snappy a machine feels since some things cannot be parallelized effectively.

 

Quote:
In the case on a low end iMac, Mini and the like I have this feeling that I would be happy with an ARM based machine with lots of cores where lots is more than 4 and possibly 8. Now I don't see Apple going this route but the idea appeals to my desire to see a compact high performance machine. If Apple got the processor to run each core a a maximum of 2 watts, that would be 16 watts of power plus everything else, so let's say a 30 watt SoC. That would slot into a compact Mini nicely and might even make for a passable iMac.

 

No it wouldn't make for a passible iMac or even passable Mini.  The performance delta between the Core i5 and the A7 is large whether on a processor or core basis.  The Core i3 edu iMac is nothing to write home about and an ARM based Mac even slower.

post #116 of 121
Is it out of the realm of possibility to at least get options for 16 GB of RAM and a 256 GB PCIe SSD in the low cost iMac?
post #117 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Is it out of the realm of possibility to at least get options for 16 GB of RAM and a 256 GB PCIe SSD in the low cost iMac?

You can with the i3 edu.
post #118 of 121
I currently use my Mac mini along with my HDTV as a monitor although I'm moving soon and being that I have to share with a roommate, I can't use the computer if he is using the TV so I may just settle for an iMac.
post #119 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I currently use my Mac mini along with my HDTV as a monitor although I'm moving soon and being that I have to share with a roommate,
Just go out and buy another HDTV! I've turned to such screens for a couple of my computer installations and frankly they are a bargain. Often the screens are cheaper than computer monitors at the discounters. Plus you get the TV for "Free". Generally they work out good for uses where you don't sit directly in front of the monitor for long stretches.
Quote:
I can't use the computer if he is using the TV so I may just settle for an iMac.

Then you have to seriously consider a laptop as an alternative to a monitor / computer box combo. Who knows maybe Apple will address the iMacs in ways that reduce my resistance to the platform but right now there are better alternatives to the iMac.

In any event WWDC isn't far away, maybe we will see new hardware there or shortly after.
post #120 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Is it out of the realm of possibility to at least get options for 16 GB of RAM and a 256 GB PCIe SSD in the low cost iMac?

It depends upon what low cost means to Apple. If they seriously intend to replace the Mini with a low cost iMac you are talking something in the $600 range for the entry level model. I doubt that 16GB would come in the base machine. If it doesn't come with 256GB of SSD then frankly I wouldn't be interested. The machine would need to support TB too.

It would be tough to hit that $600 mark but they really have no choice. An entry level iMac starting at $800 would get a Luke warm reception by the buying public in my mind. Mainly because most Mini buyers are there either due to the price or the form factor (headless).

I sit here thinking that Apple is really going to screw up the desktop lineup even more instead of keeping the line up balanced.
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