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Isn't it time for a plain old Macintosh again?

post #1 of 1658
Thread Starter 
Seriously... We have:

MacBook

MacBook Pro

Mac Mini

iMac

??????????

Mac Pro

Doesn't it seem like there's an empty space in there somewhere for a "Mac"? Something with a bit of expandability, tower enclosure, something mid-range... something similar to this maybe:

Single item with multiple configurations and a case similar to the Mac Pro

2.13 or 2.66 ghz Core 2 Duo
512 mb expandable to 4 gig
160 gb SATA hard drive (1 empty bay)
16x Superdrive
ATI X1800XT (Available Geforce 7600GT, Geforce 7900GT, ATI X1900XT)
1 x 16 PCI-Express slot
2 x 1 PCI-Express slot
2 Front USB 2.0, 3 rear USB 2.0
1 Front, 1 Rear Firewire 400
single Gigabit Ethernet
Front headphone
Airport Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0EDR

SLI or Crossfire would be nice as a BTO, but unlikely due to the multiple motherboards this would require, so we do without it for now to keep costs down. Then we bring the basic system in at a price point around $1,299.

I know there are many that would like something like this... question is, how likely is Apple to provide this solution?
post #2 of 1658
How often are we going to have these "OMG headless Mac" threads?
post #3 of 1658
As long as there aren't any?
post #4 of 1658
So, forever, then?
post #5 of 1658
Mac mini? For most users it is perfect; now you can even add a 23" monitor for just a grand more.
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post #6 of 1658
Two words...Mac mini. One day it'll have those specs.
post #7 of 1658
But you can't add an OMGWTFBBQ SLI GPU to a Mac mini! Millions of pimplefaces with too much time and allowance on their hands care!
post #8 of 1658
Thread Starter 
I don't pretend to know whether it would be a good idea for Apple or not. But, somebody is selling a boat load of Windows boxes at around $1,000 to $1,400 and they are NOT AIW designs. No, they aren't nearly as elegant as an iMac arguably is, and may canibalize some iMac sales, but like it or not, there are a lot of people out there willing to drop $1,000-$1,200 on a decent tower and roll their own monitor or $1,500-$1,800 with an Apple display.

How many? No tellling... possibly lots.

Worth Apple's trouble at a potentially lower margin? Profit is profit, even at 10-15% margin.
post #9 of 1658
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol

Two words...Mac mini. One day it'll have those specs.


I can't imagine a Mac Mini ever having those specs...
post #10 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anklosaur

I don't pretend to know whether it would be a good idea for Apple or not. But, somebody is selling a boat load of Windows boxes at around $1,000 to $1,400 and they are NOT AIW designs. No, they aren't nearly as elegant as an iMac arguably is, and may canibalize some iMac sales, but like it or not, there are a lot of people out there willing to drop $1,000-$1,200 on a decent tower and roll their own monitor or $1,500-$1,800 with an Apple display.

How many? No tellling... possibly lots.

Worth Apple's trouble at a potentially lower margin? Profit is profit, even at 10-15% margin.

Apple's not going to run the risk of cannibalizing iMac sales UNLESS margins on the headless mac are better than the average iMac sold. Also, one of the reason Apple's "survived" for so long despite very low market share is its higher-than-average profit margins--while cutting price might boost market share in the short term, look at what's happened to Dell: their extensive "$1000 coupon for 24 hours only" price cuts have ended up devaluing their business.

Mind you, I don't think a headless mac is a bad idea; in fact, I think it's one of those areas where we'll see Apple come up with something in the next year or so (in addition to adding an ultraportable offering), especially becaues Intel offers a considerably broader line of processors (whereas before the only differentiation was speed or G4/G5).
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post #11 of 1658
this "mac" notion has been brought up and argued like 100 different times, your idea is not new
post #12 of 1658
Headless Mac, even with compromised spec, is still good for many people and companies (ie. print design houses). They can buy many of that instead of just one or two MacPros
Mac Pro 2.66, 5GB RAM, 250+120 HD, 23" Cinema Display
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post #13 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker

But you can't add an OMGWTFBBQ SLI GPU to a Mac mini! Millions of pimplefaces with too much time and allowance on their hands care!

Geeks,spending all their money on gadgets and tech toys?
Apple certainly does not cater to them,do they?
post #14 of 1658
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by adezero

this "mac" notion has been brought up and argued like 100 different times, your idea is not new


Sadly, I don't recall suggesting it was a new idea... as a matter of fact, I recall including the word "again" in the topic. Yes, it's been argued hundreds of times. But maybe now, with the already mentioned wider breadth of options Intel affords, it may actually be a viable project.

Chicken or egg... Market share or mass market system that garners market share?
post #15 of 1658
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by atari

Geeks,spending all their money on gadgets and tech toys?
Apple certainly does not cater to them,do they?


Watch it, that's me you're referring to!

It's about time for my kids to turn over new iPods... and their laptops are getting a bit long in the tooth as well.
post #16 of 1658
Remember that AI story about Intel taking over motherboard design, and AI reported that the first boards to come out of Intel were "radically small" or something? I've long thought that those smaller boards may well have been for a smaller Conroe-based headless mac to complement the Mac Pro.
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post #17 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anklosaur

I don't pretend to know whether it would be a good idea for Apple or not. But, somebody is selling a boat load of Windows boxes at around $1,000 to $1,400 and they are NOT AIW designs.

But they are not making money off of it. Several companies have gone out of business because of it. Others have been acquired. Others have given up. (Why do you think did IBM give up on desktops?)

What do you think does Dell make money off? "Inspiron" laptops? No. mid-end desktops? No. Workstations and servers. The high-end stuff. It's higher quality, and it's the huge majority of profits.
post #18 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker

...

What do you think does Dell make money off? "Inspiron" laptops? No. mid-end desktops? No. Workstations and servers. The high-end stuff. It's higher quality, and it's the huge majority of profits.

I understand your point, but it is not correct. Dell makes its money off all of that crap it installs on your computer. The last I heard, Wintel OEMs receive $70/machine for every third-party icon on the Windows Desktop. When you consider how many anti-spyware utility demos and other annoyances you deal with on your new Dell, at $70 each it adds up. I presume that the high end machines don't have the crap. If this is the case, Dell either charges a much higher price or takes a bath.
post #19 of 1658
Why the hell cant they package a core 2 duo, 4 ram slots, 2 HDD (desktop size) bays, 1 PCIe GPU slot, one PCIe expantion slot and standard I/O be sold for the price of the dual core Mini or even $500 more?

To all who say "the Mini is the headles Mac" I say why cant I add a desktop HDD to it? What is so bad about the idea of the Mac Mini (or something say 2.5x the height, which would still be one of the smallest computers on the market) having a little expandability?


There is something wrong with the idea that because some of us dont need dual xeons, 2TB storage, 4 video cards, and 16 GB ram, we are left with a laptop CPU, RAM and HDD and integrated GPU as our ONLY choice! If you dont see something wrong with that, you are a blind fanboy, the kind of leming that would follow the Apple corperation over a proverbial cliff...
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post #20 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer

Why the hell cant they package a core 2 duo, 4 ram slots, 2 HDD (desktop size) bays, 1 PCIe GPU slot, one PCIe expantion slot and standard I/O be sold for the price of the dual core Mini or even $500 more?

To all who say "the Mini is the headles Mac" I say why cant I add a desktop HDD to it? What is so bad about the idea of the Mac Mini (or something say 2.5x the height, which would still be one of the smallest computers on the market) having a little expandability?


There is something wrong with the idea that because some of us dont need dual xeons, 2TB storage, 4 video cards, and 16 GB ram, we are left with a laptop CPU, RAM and HDD and integrated GPU as our ONLY choice! If you dont see something wrong with that, you are a blind fanboy, the kind of leming that would follow the Apple corperation over a proverbial cliff...

I see the problem and this is why apple will lose games, and people who have there own monitor and don't want gma 950.
post #21 of 1658
Because, as has been said before, it would cannabalize sales of the iMac. Why should Apple render one product line defunct by making another computer that undercuts it in price and beats it in specs?
post #22 of 1658
Gimme a 17 and 20" iMac with a Conroe chip in it and I'm ok with that. Make sure it has some nice dedicated GPU ram. Great looking screen and enough slots to toss in some decent memory and you have the nice bridge computer.

When I look at the iMac I have a hard time thinking about what form factor would be better for the masses. Tweakers and gamers would want more but their numbers pale in comparison to the rank and file computer user that just wants a system that works.

The iMac needs Conroe and maybe a larger brother. Toss on a few more ports and its perfect.
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post #23 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison

Gimme a 17 and 20" iMac with a Conroe chip in it and I'm ok with that. Make sure it has some nice dedicated GPU ram. Great looking screen and enough slots to toss in some decent memory and you have the nice bridge computer.

20" is too small. I can llive with an AIO but I'd prefer to have 2x23" vs most other configurations (including 20"+30"). Yes, I'd like a Conroe tower but if it's in the $1500 range anyway I might as well cough up the extra $600 and get another 2 cores.

Vinea
post #24 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me

I understand your point, but it is not correct. Dell makes its money off all of that crap it installs on your computer. The last I heard, Wintel OEMs receive $70/machine for every third-party icon on the Windows Desktop.

Why am I have a REALLY hard to believing this is true...

1 Mill machines with '3rd Party Product X' installed on the desktop.

Are you saying that the developer of 'Product X' just forked over 70 MILLION to Dell?!?!

I just don't buy it... even if 1/10th (an ENORMOUS conversion rate but we can go with it) of the machine owners happen to buy 'Product X' the developer would have to sell their product for $700.00 EACH just to make back what they paid Dell. Something just doesn't add up with this one...

Dave
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post #25 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea

20" is too small. I can llive with an AIO but I'd prefer to have 2x23" vs most other configurations (including 20"+30"). Yes, I'd like a Conroe tower but if it's in the $1500 range anyway I might as well cough up the extra $600 and get another 2 cores.

Vinea

Conroe uses much cheaper ram.
post #26 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackilroy

Because, as has been said before, it would cannabalize sales of the iMac. Why should Apple render one product line defunct by making another computer that undercuts it in price and beats it in specs?

Yea, because the truth is few want the iMac, many SETTLE for it...
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post #27 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer

Yea, because the truth is few want the iMac, many SETTEL for it...

True I settled on my iMac rather than a full blown quad G5 powermac. O yah that was because of the price. For my price range the iMac is perfect and I wouldn't have bought a headless mac if they had one over my iMac. All they need to do is make an improved iMac with conroe, better graphics cards, up to 4 gigs of RAM and a 23" screen with all the top end graphics cards (Geforce 7950GTX2) and it could be your mac for gamers. Sure the 'extreme' gamers will want more but really the difference between what I put out and what they would want is not very noticable.
post #28 of 1658
isn't the mac mini the thing we're looking for?
post #29 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relentless1

isn't the mac mini the thing we're looking for?

Welcome to the forums.

I will be nice because this is your first post: the whole point of the discussion is that the Mini lacks what lots of folks need but the macpro is way overkill...
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post #30 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer

Welcome to the forums.

I will be nice because this is your first post: the whole point of the discussion is that the Mini lacks what lots of folks need but the macpro is way overkill...

In other words, the Mac mini lacks what a couple of speculators think someone out there must need and so they talk endlessly about a mini tower, which all of 10 people would buy.
post #31 of 1658
If it weren't so sad, it'd be comical. This very same topic reappears over and over again on virtually all Mac centric web sites, especially before and after Apple events.

Most people want the proverbial xMac. In the Windows world, the AIO has been tried and still has not been successful, some may say it has been an abject failure. AOpen offers a Mac mini knockoff and the jury is out on whether it will survive.

Whether or not people do indeed upgrade is moot. People expect the capability to upgrade and have proven it over and over again in the Windows world with their purchasing habits. The Mac mini and iMac are niche products and Apple will remain a niche player until they offer computers that people expect.

And yes, I settled for an iMac. It is a very capable machine and my family and I like it, but what will I do if the monitor or some other part fails? Not so easy to fix. What if I need to upgrade the computer for newer software? Will Apple offer a reasonably priced new motherboard or will I have to ditch the entire computer including Monitor, hard drive, etc.?

edit: note my signature, I've had it for years. I don't ever expect Apple to offer a normal computer, ever, but I remain an Apple customer. Does that mean I'm stupid or just like the OS that much?
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
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just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
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post #32 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat

In other words, the Mac mini lacks what a couple of speculators think someone out there must need and so they talk endlessly about a mini tower, which all of 10 people would buy.

You should read this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer

To all who say "the Mini is the headles Mac" I say why cant I add a desktop HDD to it? What is so bad about the idea of the Mac Mini (or something say 2.5x the height, which would still be one of the smallest computers on the market) having a little expandability?

There is something wrong with the idea that because some of us dont need dual xeons, 2TB storage, 4 video cards, and 16 GB ram, we are left with a laptop CPU, RAM and HDD and integrated GPU as our ONLY choice! If you dont see something wrong with that, you are a blind fanboy, the kind of leming that would follow the Apple corperation over a proverbial cliff...
post #33 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by b3ns0n

You should read this:

Yes, thanks benson, I'm well aware that a_greer's an idiot
post #34 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickag

If it weren't so sad, it'd be comical. This very same topic reappears over and over again on virtually all Mac centric web sites, especially before and after Apple events.

Most people want the proverbial xMac. In the Windows world, the AIO has been tried and still has not been successful, some may say it has been an abject failure. AOpen offers a Mac mini knockoff and the jury is out on whether it will survive.

Whether or not people do indeed upgrade is moot. People expect the capability to upgrade and have proven it over and over again in the Windows world with their purchasing habits. The Mac mini and iMac are niche products and Apple will remain a niche player until they offer computers that people expect.

And yes, I settled for an iMac. It is a very capable machine and my family and I like it, but what will I do if the monitor or some other part fails? Not so easy to fix. What if I need to upgrade the computer for newer software? Will Apple offer a reasonably priced new motherboard or will I have to ditch the entire computer including Monitor, hard drive, etc.?

edit: note my signature, I've had it for years. I don't ever expect Apple to offer a normal computer, ever, but I remain an Apple customer. Does that mean I'm stupid or just like the OS that much?

Because PC AIO's have looked incredibly ugly and been obscenely overpriced. Last I heard the AOpen mini has also been overpriced.

What happens when a part fails? You replace it. Your iMac isn't sealed in plastic. Get some kind of warranty for it. If you don't like AppleCare, there's third party warrantees.

The idea that people who buy low end hardware upgrade to newer low end hardware is laughably silly. You buy low end hardware to save money. You'd be much better off saving the money you'd spend on upgrades and getting a nicer computer next time around.
post #35 of 1658
Quote:
Why the hell cant they package a core 2 duo, 4 ram slots, 2 HDD (desktop size) bays, 1 PCIe GPU slot, one PCIe expantion slot and standard I/O be sold for the price of the dual core Mini or even $500 more?

To all who say "the Mini is the headles Mac" I say why cant I add a desktop HDD to it? What is so bad about the idea of the Mac Mini (or something say 2.5x the height, which would still be one of the smallest computers on the market) having a little expandability?


There is something wrong with the idea that because some of us dont need dual xeons, 2TB storage, 4 video cards, and 16 GB ram, we are left with a laptop CPU, RAM and HDD and integrated GPU as our ONLY choice! If you dont see something wrong with that, you are a blind fanboy, the kind of leming that would follow the Apple corperation over a proverbial cliff...

Well said a_greer. I have a very simple requirement from Apple, expandability. Currently, the only computer Apple makes that has any real expandablity is the Mac Pro, and it just so happens that most people don't need, nor can most people afford, a quad-core powerhouse or expensive server ram.

Most want something where they can add a HDD without voiding their warrantee, or have 3 gigs of ram without breaking the bank. No, I am not asking for Apple to build a dell, just a headless mac that isn't a laptop minus the screen.

The mac mini is not an answer, it is a low-cost, entry level computer with absolotely no expandability. The fact that you need a putty knife to even open the computer just further pushes that point.

And a headless mac would not cannibalize iMac sales if priced correctly. The iMac is the Average Joe/consumer mac for web browsing and video messenging, the headless mac is for the pro-sumers, and people that need iMac or greater power, but already have a display.

And now that Apple went all quad in the Mac Pro, it's an even better time than ever for a headless mac, or a mini Mac Pro.

Noah
post #36 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah93

Well said a_greer. I have a very simple requirement from Apple, expandability. Currently, the only computer Apple makes that has any real expandablity is the Mac Pro, and it just so happens that most people don't need, nor can most people afford, a quad-core powerhouse or expensive server ram.

Most want something where they can add a HDD without voiding their warrantee, or have 3 gigs of ram without breaking the bank. No, I am not asking for Apple to build a dell, just a headless mac that isn't a laptop minus the screen.

The mac mini is not an answer, it is a low-cost, entry level computer with absolotely no expandability. The fact that you need a putty knife to even open the computer just further pushes that point.

And a headless mac would not cannibalize iMac sales if priced correctly. The iMac is the Average Joe/consumer mac for web browsing and video messenging, the headless mac is for the pro-sumers, and people that need iMac or greater power, but already have a display.

And now that Apple went all quad in the Mac Pro, it's an even better time than ever for a headless mac, or a mini Mac Pro.

Noah

IF priced correctly. But most of the people here who've been whining about wanting one want it for the same price or cheaper then the iMacs, which would cannabalize Apple's sales.
post #37 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee

Why am I have a REALLY hard to believing this is true...

1 Mill machines with '3rd Party Product X' installed on the desktop.

Are you saying that the developer of 'Product X' just forked over 70 MILLION to Dell?!?!

...

This is advertising. The third-party developer doesn't have to fork it over all at once. They pay as the computers are sold. One million Dell computers are not all sold in an afternoon, but over time. Think about how much money AOL spends on TV ads. Heck, think about how much money AOL spends in at the same time on those CDs that fall out of every magazine that you buy and placed next to the napkin dispensers in every cinema multiplex. When you consider the fact that preinstalling the software is much more effective advertising than installing it from those CDs, then you will see that $70 million is not at all out of line.
post #38 of 1658
I happen to think that something between the iMac and the Mac Pro is a good idea. However unlike some others, I understand that it may be a good idea for the USER but not necessarily a good idea for Apple. If Apple was going to do it, without hurting either the iMac or the Mac Pro, this would be my suggestion.

1 - Take the Mac Pro and essentially cut out HALF of it's expansion capabilities.

1 Woodcrest instead of 2 Xeons
1 optical drive bay instead of 2
2 HD bays instead of 4
2 PCI-E slots instead of 4
4 RAM slots instead of 8

2 - Leave the rest of the external ports exactly the same, with the exception of possibly removing FireWire 800 and the 2nd Gigabit Ethernet that the Mac Pro has.

3 - Offer the same video card options as the Mac Pro...nothing more, nothing less.

4 - Put it in a mini-tower that looks just like the Mac Pro enclosure, only less tall. The name: Mac Pro mini. (Or if I really had my way, cross the G4 Cube shape with the Mac Pro design and call it the Mac Pro Cube.

This would be the headless Mac some are demanding, that eliminates the only flaws of the iMac: No upgradable video card, hard to upgrade hard drive, no PCI-E slot, and forever tied to the LCD it comes with.

However, what should the price be? $1799 minimum. This makes the machine $700 less than the Mac Pro, but about the same price as the most expensive iMac. Add the 20" Cinema Display for $700, and you're at the same $2500 a Mac Pro costs. Give up half the expansion, get a 20" screen instead.

When you're standing in an Apple Store trying to decide which one you want, you'll be basing it specifically on whether or not you need more expansion than the iMac, but less than the Mac Pro. The price is the same as the top of the line iMac, so it doesn't undercut it in any way. And since it has half the PCI, ram slots, HD bays, optical bays, and processors of the Mac Pro, the Mac Pro is still going to be sold to the professionals who need that.

At $1799, it's a fair price for what it gives those who want it: futureproofing. And it fits right between the iMac and Mac Pro in expansion and price. Those who want what I described (or something more) for less than $1799 are never going to get it out of Apple. Sorry.
post #39 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat

Because PC AIO's have looked incredibly ugly and been obscenely overpriced. Last I heard the AOpen mini has also been overpriced.

What happens when a part fails? You replace it. Your iMac isn't sealed in plastic. Get some kind of warranty for it. If you don't like AppleCare, there's third party warrantees.

The idea that people who buy low end hardware upgrade to newer low end hardware is laughably silly. You buy low end hardware to save money. You'd be much better off saving the money you'd spend on upgrades and getting a nicer computer next time around.

I've heard and read in numerous forums that the iMac is ugly. This is so subjective a criteria as to be meaningless.

It's kind of funny that you mention that the Windows niche machines are/were "obscenely overpriced". You seem to be quoting the exact same statement from Window's users when they say Apple computers are overpriced(note: I don't agree with this statement when comparing price per feature lists, but that is a separate argument). At introduction, the AOpen clone was $100 more, not a real deal breaker when compared to the Mac mini. The Compac AIO was price competitive when I looked years ago, and had more processing power than the iMac at the time.

I didn't say a word about low end hardware???

Nothing in your statement(s) refutes the fact that the Mac mini and iMac are niche products.
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
Reply
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
Reply
post #40 of 1658
not again.

OMG i really want a powermac but it's too expensive, so we need the headless MacCheapo with 800 USB ports and dedicated graphics arrrghblaraghs for 799 damn you apple

it's quite simple:

on a budget? get the mini.
have some buck to spend? get an imac.
need more power/expandability? mac pro. YES ITS EXPENSIVE but so are lamborghinis and they kick assss

you can't have it both ways. cheap and high end don't usually go together.
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