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Closing the book on Apple's Mac mini - Page 14

post #521 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Killing the Mini does not equal abandoning this market segment. It only means that if the Mini were not replaced.

We all know there are plenty of people who think the Mini should die and be replaced with the xMac.

Not that low. Sub-$800 low end iMac, yes.
post #522 of 573
enough with the xMac already
post #523 of 573
Hopefully the new mini redesign will adopt a more user-upgradable design, rather than stabbing it with putty knives!

If I was a betting man (I used to be - scratch cards - a mugs game) I would say the mini will have a similar specification to the macbook. That's a realistic forsight.

I cannot see the mac mini having a dramatic design change and will not be user upgradable.

When the new machine is released, I cannot see myself buying it unless it is user upgradable.

Sorry folks, I am hoping in vain for a machine (xmac) that fits in the middle of a mac pro and a mac mini.
post #524 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by GavinScrimgeour View Post

Hopefully the new mini redesign will adopt a more user-upgradable design, rather than stabbing it with putty knives!

I don't find the putty knife thing to be any harder than removing a half dozen screws.

Obviously, upgrading a mini is much harder than upgrading a Mac Pro. Tiny components make it that way.

Unfortunately, I don't think Apple wants us upgrading our computers. They want us to buy new ones every year. The minis are much like the iMacs in that respect.
post #525 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

Unfortunately, I don't think Apple wants us upgrading our computers. They want us to buy new ones every year. The minis are much like the iMacs in that respect.

Ignoring the suggestion that Apple "wants" people to buy a new computer every year, how many people really buy a new computer every year?
post #526 of 573
Since 2001 I've owned both a laptop and a desktop Mac. I replace each about every two years so it ends up being approximately one new computer each year. The old ones are sold or given away.
post #527 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by GavinScrimgeour View Post

If I was a betting man (I used to be - scratch cards - a mugs game) I would say the mini will have a similar specification to the macbook. That's a realistic forsight.

I am guessing (and hoping for) the same.

Quote:
When the new machine is released, I cannot see myself buying it unless it is user upgradable.

Agreed - a MacBook-like upgrade path and I will be sold.

Quote:
Sorry folks, I am hoping in vain for a machine (xmac) that fits in the middle of a mac pro and a mac mini.

Hmmm I can't say that I want more than a Mac Mini with user-upgradeable HD and memory (and possibly optical drive). This whole graphics card lark is not a worry for me. I'm not a game player any more (hence having a Mac...)
post #528 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post

I am guessing (and hoping for) the same.


Agreed - a MacBook-like upgrade path and I will be sold.


Hmmm I can't say that I want more than a Mac Mini with user-upgradeable HD and memory (and possibly optical drive). This whole graphics card lark is not a worry for me. I'm not a game player any more (hence having a Mac...)

For me, it's down to the ease of every year or so upgrading the hard drive to a better model. For instance, my mark 1 macbook had a stock 60gb hard disk, which is laughable when you consider upgrading the operating system, then downgrading the operating system (vista with bootcampt), installing all you programmes etc, etc. Fairly soon, its going to be jam packed.

I recently changed that to a 200gb 7200gb 16mb cache seagate, and it makes a hell of a difference. I just wish people could see the benefits of having such convenience.

Okay, fair enough, the average person will buy a machine and probably won't upgrade it, because they won't know how, to the minority of people having a putty-knifeless entry method would be such a bonus.

OY!!!! JOBS! YOU GETTIN THIS!!!!!
post #529 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by GavinScrimgeour View Post

For me, it's down to the ease of every year or so upgrading the hard drive to a better model. For instance, my mark 1 macbook had a stock 60gb hard disk, which is laughable when you consider upgrading the operating system, then downgrading the operating system (vista with bootcampt), installing all you programmes etc, etc. Fairly soon, its going to be jam packed.

Absolutely. I "future proofed" mine with 100GB HD. Laughable!

Quote:
Okay, fair enough, the average person will buy a machine and probably won't upgrade it, because they won't know how, to the minority of people having a putty-knifeless entry method would be such a bonus.

Agreed. And what you've described is exactly what the next Minis should (and hopefully will) have. Thing is, a lot of the xMac argument surrounds full-sized parts (3.5-inch HD etc) and a graphics card. These are not things which bother me in terms of upgrade path. All I'm concerned with - like you I believe - is upgradeable storage (RAM and HD).

But to be honest, even the stuff which you'd think isn't upgradeable in something like the MacBook, the wireless speed, can be upgraded if you don't mind getting your hands a bit dirty.
post #530 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post

Absolutely. I "future proofed" mine with 100GB HD. Laughable!


Agreed. And what you've described is exactly what the next Minis should (and hopefully will) have. Thing is, a lot of the xMac argument surrounds full-sized parts (3.5-inch HD etc) and a graphics card. These are not things which bother me in terms of upgrade path. All I'm concerned with - like you I believe - is upgradeable storage (RAM and HD).

But to be honest, even the stuff which you'd think isn't upgradeable in something like the MacBook, the wireless speed, can be upgraded if you don't mind getting your hands a bit dirty.

Mind you jowie74:
From the point of view of Joe Blogs who would go into PC World or other computer retailers, to buy a computer and are confronted with the various machines i.e. emachine, ei system, hp, sony, packered bell (knackered bell) - an apple computer is becoming a more viable option.

One of the selling points to any pc is the ability to upgrade - to "futureproof" their computer (to quote yourself). People now-a-days are looking for a PC sized system in an apple where they can have multiple 3.5 inch hard disks and where they can swap out dvd drives for blue ray, and they most definitely want the ability to upgrade the graphics card without going to the lengths of a macpro size or money.

Then the old arguement "if you want to play games, buy a PC". That's all very good and well, however Apple have been working closely with EA Arts to release games and publisise this openly on the mac.

But who in their right mind is going to spend £1400 on a mac pro to play games, or £800 on an imac, which is reasonable amount for a good system, only to find six to eight months down the line their gaming system is out of date, and because of design limitations are snookered to upgrade.

Mac pro good machine, but too expensive. Imac, good machine, but not viable to keep up with the times.

Solution - make a machine in the middle - a cheaper alternative to the mac pro. Apple are over looking a large group of people who want to flexibility to upgrade their mac the same way they would upgrade their PC.

Come on Jobs don't overlook a valuable community of people.

Oh dear me, reading this over, I have to remember all this was over a mac mini!
post #531 of 573
Been doing some research, and have concluded that the Mac Mini should die.

mac mini £529
1gb
160gb
2.0 ghz


imac £800
1gb
250gb
2.ghz

Okay, thats £271 more expensive, and you get the following:

2600 HD Pro 256MB graphics card
20 inch monitor
Keyboard and mouse
90GB extra hard disk space
isight camera

Okay, so in comparison that's a good deal for an imac and I would rather pay that extra cash for an imac, rather than a mac mini. Only thing is, where am I going to put it????

I think we should all just buy a PC

I'm joking of course!
post #532 of 573
Then again:

Who's to say you can't fit a 2600 HD Pro 256MB graphics card into a mac mini.

The other arguement not to buy a mac mini:

* specification VS price
post #533 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

Since 2001 I've owned both a laptop and a desktop Mac. I replace each about every two years so it ends up being approximately one new computer each year. The old ones are sold or given away.

OK, there's a difference in how we're considering it, I thought you meant replace a given computer every year, you're replacing a given computer every other year. Even so, replacing a given computer every other year is ahead of the curve. It looks like the peak replacement cycle is about three years, but most computers are used for longer than that before getting replaced.

https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/facsemi...-04_Gordon.pdf

The pictures start at page 42. Page 43 shows that the average time to replacement has been steadily increasing, 3.5 Years for high end, 4.5 years on low end computers, but that's only with the newest data being from 2004.
post #534 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by GavinScrimgeour View Post

One of the selling points to any pc is the ability to upgrade - to "futureproof" their computer (to quote yourself). People now-a-days are looking for a PC sized system in an apple where they can have multiple 3.5 inch hard disks and where they can swap out dvd drives for blue ray, and they most definitely want the ability to upgrade the graphics card without going to the lengths of a macpro size or money.

Geeks do those sort of things, but not the average consumer customer. They do not add disks, and they do not even know what a graphics card is, except that it makes the iMac better than the mini.

I have maintained that if there was a market for the xMac, Apple's market research would have indicated so.

When the Macintosh II came out, and had six slots, more than 95% of the owners never added a card.

If Apple offered the xMac, and had customers weigh "expandability" versus the compact size and built-in monitor of the iMac, the consumer will choose the iMac the vast majority of the time. It can be ordered with a huge hard drive if that is a concern, and Apple does not want people buying the cheapest one and then shopping at NewEgg for a bigger disk - they want you to buy the big disk from them to begin with.

Geeks whose main criterion is expandability and swapping things in and out make up a very small segment of those who would want an Apple. Most geeks are gamers and would buy the PC.

As far as the Mac mini, one look at the pricing tells you that the idea is for you to spend the extra money and get the iMac instead. The reason the mini is $599 and $799 is so that it will be within reach of an upsell to the iMac.
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post #535 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by lundy View Post

I have maintained that if there was a market for the xMac, Apple's market research would have indicated so.

Apple doesn't do market research.

Link
post #536 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by lundy View Post

Geeks do those sort of things, but not the average consumer customer. They do not add disks, and they do not even know what a graphics card is, except that it makes the iMac better than the mini.

Although I'm not a particular advocate of the xMac, I guess the point is perceived extra value. If Janet and John go to their local PC World, they'll look at the PC and think that for less money they can buy a machine and upgrade it when they have a bit more money. The fact they probably never will doesn't really matter.

Quote:
I have maintained that if there was a market for the xMac, Apple's market research would have indicated so.

I have a feeling Apple would like to break into that market, but it's a biiiig market already dominated by many PC manufacturers. They also dominate this market using cheap parts, which I'm sure Apple would not want to do. I guess this is the dilemma.

I'd be interested in finding out how many Mac Minis were bought by PC converts. From my own Apple-tinted-spec experience, anyone I know who has bought a Mac Mini has bought one as a second Apple machine, and usually as some kind of media server.
post #537 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post

I'd be interested in finding out how many Mac Minis were bought by PC converts. From my own Apple-tinted-spec experience, anyone I know who has bought a Mac Mini has bought one as a second Apple machine, and usually as some kind of media server.

I have a mini at home, as a second machine hooked up to my TV.

At the office, we have a mini which is used for graphic design running QuarkXPress, InDesign and Illustrator all day long. So a Mac mini works great as a primary computer too.
post #538 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

Apple doesn't do market research.

Link

Thanks for that link. Have tried to tell Lundy this for ages, but he didn't buy it. Good to have an unambiguous, indisputable quote direct from the horses mouth: "we do no market research".

Quote:
Originally Posted by lundy View Post

As far as the Mac mini, one look at the pricing tells you that the idea is for you to spend the extra money and get the iMac instead. The reason the mini is $599 and $799 is so that it will be within reach of an upsell to the iMac.

Always thinking about it as Apple as an island, rather than the possibility of instead of the people being up-sold to the iMac, they piss-off and buy a decently-specified-for-the-money $699 PC. Or indeed, they never walk in to the Apple store in the first place because the already know that Apple don't offer anything worth the money under $1199.
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post #539 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Always thinking about it as Apple as an island, rather than the possibility of instead of the people being up-sold to the iMac, they piss-off and buy a decently-specified-for-the-money $699 PC. Or indeed, they never walk in to the Apple store in the first place because the already know that Apple don't offer anything worth the money under $1199.

Yep, I've tried for years to talk my brother and dad into switching. They don't even consider it because they can get nice specs in a windows box for about $700 and the Mac mini looks like a toy, despite its acceptable specs. They use their monitors three times longer than their computers, so the iMac seems unnecessary and overpriced.
post #540 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

Mac mini looks like a toy, despite its acceptable specs.

I beg to differ on the Mac mini having "acceptable" specs. For the price, the specs are very poor*, unless you specifically need something that small.

But "really really small desktop computer" is probably one of the smallest niches out there.

* You can get a quad-core Intel Core 2 @ 2.4 GHz, with a 320 GB HDD for under $700 from Dell.

Am I saying Apple should rush out and match Dell dollar-for-dollar and spec. for spec.? No. But what I am saying is that if you think the Mac Mini even begins to compare to what you can get from brand-name PCs at the same price-level, you're either joking, have your head in the sand, are smoking something or are simply insane.
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post #541 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Am I saying Apple should rush out and match Dell dollar-for-dollar and spec. for spec.? No. But what I am saying is that if you think the Mac Mini even begins to compare to what you can get from brand-name PCs at the same price-level, you're either joking, have your head in the sand, are smoking something or are simply insane.

You're right, the mini is falling behind and is not really comparable to what's out there for similar prices.

I guess what I meant by "acceptable" was that the specs would meet the requirements of my dad and brother for what they need to do. But they won't buy one because it looks like a toy compared to the "real" computers that they end up with.
post #542 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by lundy View Post

Geeks do those sort of things, but not the average consumer customer. They do not add disks, and they do not even know what a graphics card is, except that it makes the iMac better than the mini.

It's a particular kind of geek too. I'd class myself as a geek but the likelihood of me actually wanting to upgrade a machine ended in about 2000. It's really kind of pointless constantly chasing specs and computers are so cheap now that a new one every few years is often more economically sensible than upgrading an old board.

Even gamers are increasingly just settling for consoles now instead of always keeping their god box up to date.

I'm sure there's still 'normal' people who fall for the salesman's spiel about upgradeability but most people I know seem to keep their PCs for 3-4 years at which point they discover that upgrading them beyond maybe RAM and the HD is pointless if not impossible.

I was at the local refuse tip at the weekend and people were chucking out Pentium 4 boxes and AMD64s. I bet they worked but were a) old and b) riddled with viruses and c) probably just needed a reformat and some more ram. But when you can buy a PC for £300, why would someone spend the money for a pro to come out and clean it for them and install RAM when they can have a shiny new one with Vista installed?

The mini is overpriced, or possibly over-specced with it's CPU to compete against the £300 PC market which is a pity. It should really be cheaper. Here it's £399 and it needs to be £299 or less. And Apple need to fix the keyboard drivers so that it works with UK PC keyboards without the user having to relearn where @, # and " went.
post #543 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

And Apple need to fix the keyboard drivers so that it works with UK PC keyboards without the user having to relearn where @, # and " went.

A nice idea I remember someone posting here a long time ago was for Apple to include some stickers in the Mini box that could be stuck onto old PC keyboards. For example, a sticker the apple symbol to be stuck onto the "Windows" key of the PC keyboard.

But yes, Apple fixing the keyboard drivers in OS X would help Mini users using PC keyboards. They also need to sort out their Windows keyboard drivers for UK Mac users using Windows on their Macs.
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post #544 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by lundy View Post

Geeks do those sort of things, but not the average consumer customer. They do not add disks, and they do not even know what a graphics card is, except that it makes the iMac better than the mini.

I have maintained that if there was a market for the xMac, Apple's market research would have indicated so.

When the Macintosh II came out, and had six slots, more than 95% of the owners never added a card.

If Apple offered the xMac, and had customers weigh "expandability" versus the compact size and built-in monitor of the iMac, the consumer will choose the iMac the vast majority of the time. It can be ordered with a huge hard drive if that is a concern, and Apple does not want people buying the cheapest one and then shopping at NewEgg for a bigger disk - they want you to buy the big disk from them to begin with.

Geeks whose main criterion is expandability and swapping things in and out make up a very small segment of those who would want an Apple. Most geeks are gamers and would buy the PC.

As far as the Mac mini, one look at the pricing tells you that the idea is for you to spend the extra money and get the iMac instead. The reason the mini is $599 and $799 is so that it will be within reach of an upsell to the iMac.

I agree. Very few people change, or add cards. There will be about 300 million computers sold this year, and only a few percent will ever modify their machines.

The Mac II had eight slots, as I seem to remember.

I do think there would be a market for an xMac though.

In most business articles I've read over the past two years, one of the biggest reasons why business doesn't buy more Macs is because they want a headless machine, so they can replace the computer without replacing the monitor, or to replace the monitor without replacing the computer.

At Citigroup, where my wife works, they have done both to her machines over the years.

And, no, they don't want a Mini.
post #545 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

Apple doesn't do market research.

Link

I don't believe it. It doesn't matter how many times they say it. They may not have a major market research department as many other companies do, but they must do some.
post #546 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post

Although I'm not a particular advocate of the xMac, I guess the point is perceived extra value. If Janet and John go to their local PC World, they'll look at the PC and think that for less money they can buy a machine and upgrade it when they have a bit more money. The fact they probably never will doesn't really matter.

This is a very big point that I've been trying to make for a long time. It doesn't matter if people won't mod their machines. They want to believe that they may.


It's the same reason why, over the years, people would buy Nikons, or Canons. The excuse would be that they have much better, and larger lens lines. But these people rarely would buy anything other than the basic lenses. The fact that they COULD buy the expensive lenses made them feel more important though.

It's different with pros. Those of us involved in a profession where we need more, buy more. But, if we aren't, we deceive ourselves into thinking that we are more professional if we have more professional equipment.
post #547 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

At Citigroup, where my wife works, they have done both to her machines over the years.

And, no, they don't want a Mini.

What is the mini missing that CG needs in a workstation?

Just asking. Not trying to start a fight.
post #548 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

What is the mini missing that CG needs in a workstation?

Just asking. Not trying to start a fight.

No, but like most businesses, they buy medium priced towers that THEY can fix when they go wrong. Apple is out on two counts there. They have no towers like that, and they don't authorize companies to repair their own machines.

They do add their own network cards, and sometimes spec a specific graphics card and HDD.
post #549 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

No, but like most businesses, they buy medium priced towers that THEY can fix when they go wrong. Apple is out on two counts there. They have no towers like that, and they don't authorize companies to repair their own machines.

If Apple remedied this by making the Mac mini user-serviceable like I mentioned earlier today, would that satisfy "most businesses"?
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post #550 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post

If Apple remedied this by making the Mac mini user-serviceable like I mentioned earlier today, would that satisfy "most businesses"?

No it wouldn't.
post #551 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post

If Apple remedied this by making the Mac mini user-serviceable like I mentioned earlier today, would that satisfy "most businesses"?

it also needs to be better priced next to other desktops.
post #552 of 573
I keep thinking that I’d like the Mini, but when I start adding a keyboard, mouse, monitor, and more memory, it gets into the price range of an iMac – which has better specs. Then I stop and think I don’t want an AIO. I go round and round with this until I make myself crazy and I want to go back to a PC. No, I don’t. It has Windows, not OS X. I WANT an Apple OS. I want an xMac which Apple probably will never make.
Scr__ you, Apple, I’ll make do with my 800 G4 Tiger which you didn’t see fit to make Leopard work with.

I’ve convinced several in my family and some friends to switch to a Mac and I praise it.
I only wish Apple was as loyal to me as I am to Apple.
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post #553 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

I keep thinking that Id like the Mini, but when I start adding a keyboard, mouse, monitor, and more memory, it gets into the price range of an iMac which has better specs. Then I stop and think I dont want an AIO. I go round and round with this until I make myself crazy and I want to go back to a PC. No, I dont. It has Windows, not OS X. I WANT an Apple OS. I want an xMac which Apple probably will never make.
Scr__ you, Apple, Ill make do with my 800 G4 Tiger which you didnt see fit to make Leopard work with.

You, sir, are part of a very large group I think.
post #554 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post

If Apple remedied this by making the Mac mini user-serviceable like I mentioned earlier today, would that satisfy "most businesses"?

I think it would take more than that to completely rectify the situation (price is a big factor too) but it would go some way to satisfying some businesses yes.
post #555 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

I keep thinking that Id like the Mini, but when I start adding a keyboard, mouse, monitor, and more memory, it gets into the price range of an iMac which has better specs.

Here's a sober question for you then... Imagine tomorrow Apple released an update to the Mac mini. Its specs are:

Penryn Core 2 Duo, 2.1 GHz
Intel GMA X3100 graphics
Super Drive
160GB 5400rpm HD
1GB RAM (up to 4GB)
801.11n, Bluetooth
$599 / £399

Penryn Dore 2 Duo, 2.4 GHz
Intel GMA X3100 graphics
DL Super Drive
250GB 5400rpm HD
2GB RAM (up to 4GB)
801.11n, Bluetooth
$799 / £499

The casing and internal layout have also been changed so that both the RAM and HD can be swapped with a few screws.

So... Do you buy now?
post #556 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

I keep thinking that Id like the Mini, but when I start adding a keyboard, mouse, monitor, and more memory, it gets into the price range of an iMac which has better specs. Then I stop and think I dont want an AIO. I go round and round with this until I make myself crazy and I want to go back to a PC. No, I dont. It has Windows, not OS X. I WANT an Apple OS. I want an xMac which Apple probably will never make.
Scr__ you, Apple, Ill make do with my 800 G4 Tiger which you didnt see fit to make Leopard work with.

Ive convinced several in my family and some friends to switch to a Mac and I praise it.
I only wish Apple was as loyal to me as I am to Apple.

There are ways to get Leopard to work with your machine.

Format and install the OS in another machine, or put it into an external drive case and do it. then put it back into your machine. That works.
post #557 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post

Here's a sober question for you then... Imagine tomorrow Apple released an update to the Mac mini. Its specs are:

Penryn Core 2 Duo, 2.1 GHz
Intel GMA X3100 graphics
Super Drive
160GB 5400rpm HD
1GB RAM (up to 4GB)
801.11n, Bluetooth
$599 / £399

Penryn Dore 2 Duo, 2.4 GHz
Intel GMA X3100 graphics
DL Super Drive
250GB 5400rpm HD
2GB RAM (up to 4GB)
801.11n, Bluetooth
$799 / £499

The casing and internal layout have also been changed so that both the RAM and HD can be swapped with a few screws.

So... Do you buy now?

If you add at least $100 to each of those prices, you would be closer to a real world possibility. Possible even $125 to $150.
post #558 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

If you add at least $100 to each of those prices, you would be closer to a real world possibility. Possible even $125 to $150.

I think the prices are a near definite. They hardly ever change the price range of an existing product. More likely is that the specs I mentioned are a little high, although they are perfectly in line with the MacBook updates.

Slightly slower chips, 120GB drive on the base model maybe, but I can't see Combo Drive being sold any more (unless I'm naive!). If they up the price however I'd be rather fuming, as I'm sure a lot of other people would be.
post #559 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post

I think the prices are a near definite. They hardly ever change the price range of an existing product. More likely is that the specs I mentioned are a little high, although they are perfectly in line with the MacBook updates.

Slightly slower chips, 120GB drive on the base model maybe, but I can't see Combo Drive being sold any more (unless I'm naive!). If they up the price however I'd be rather fuming, as I'm sure a lot of other people would be.

For your specs, the prices would have to be higher.
post #560 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

For your specs, the prices would have to be higher.

What specs would you expect for those prices then?
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