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Briefly: Dell at Best Buy; Mac Pro and 10.5.2 at Macworld?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Dell has bolstered its commitment to retail by placing some of its computer line on Best Buy's shelves. Meanwhile, one rumor suggests Apple will both update the Mac Pro at January's Macworld show and release an update to speed up new Intel processors.

Dell computers reach Best Buy

Texas-based PC maker Dell on Thursday said it would throw its hat into the ring at Best Buy, selling a portion of its desktop and notebook lines at 900 stores in the US.

Though Dell first began selling PCs at Wal-Mart and the affiliated Sam's Club chain this summer, the introduction at Best Buy is the first to include models from Dell's top XPS line. Both the XPS M1330 notebook and the XPS One desktop -- meant to target Apple's iMac -- will appear alongside a selection of budget Inspiron portable and tower systems.

The expansion is reportedly a reaction by Dell to poor sales versus HP, which has a stronger retail footing.

Apple is also heavily invested in Best Buy and plans to add 40 more of the stores to its roster of locations carrying store-within-a-store Mac boutiques.

Mac Pro, Leopard performance boost at Macworld?

Apple will kick off the new year with more than just a computer upgrade, according to a rumor from MacBidouille.

The January 15th keynote for IDG's Macworld San Francisco expo will see Mac Pros using new 45-nanometer, quad-core Xeons based on Intel's Penryn architecture, the French outlet reports -- systems which AppleInsider said earlier this year were dependent on Intel's supply of new processors before manufacturing could begin, and which would be available by the early 2008 event. These will clock up to the predicted 3.2GHz and use new video cards, including NVIDIA's latest Quadro FX workstation models.

A Blu-ray drive should also be an option, the site claims.

As significant as these updates may be, the report also cites sources which point to the release of Mac OS X 10.5.2 as being instrumental to the hardware upgrade. Apple software engineers are reworking Leopard code to optimize it for the SSE4 instructions found within Penryn and the architecture as a whole, both of which promise speed gains above and beyond clock speed boosts.

This update will be the most significant interim upgrade for Mac OS X ever made by Apple, according to the rumor.

Apple chief Jobs inducted into California Hall of Fame

Apple headman Steve Jobs was one of 13 luminaries inducted into California's Hall of Fame at an event held Wednesday night.

The Sacramento ceremony placed Jobs in the company of celebrities from diverse backgrounds who were also receiving the award, including actress Elizabeth Taylor and golfer Tiger Woods. Actor and now state governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver hosted the event.

Jobs was allegedly reluctant to attend the event out of modesty and respect for his family, according to Shriver, who asked that all living recipients attend to qualify for the Hall of Fame position.

"He's trying to balance children, family, business, he doesn't like to be singled out," Shriver says of Jobs. "He believes that Apple is the star of the Silicon Valley, not him."
post #2 of 37
As the crowd chants...

Steve... Steve... Steve
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post #3 of 37
This is interesting about the Leopard upgrade. A friend of mine purchased a new Macbook at an Apple retail store about three weeks ago. One of the salespeople told her that Apple was going to release a major OSX upgrade in January, and that it was so big that they might actually charge $7 for it. It sounded so odd that I didn't pay it any mind at the time, but after this talk of "the biggest interim upgrade ever," I have to wonder.
post #4 of 37
Im curious as to the PPC side of the update? I imagine it will only pertain to bug fixes etc..and not all the optimization as to the Intel side.
post #5 of 37
I hope they fix the disk permissions problem, I haven't been able to get it to run yet.
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post #6 of 37
Somehow I highly doubt that the 10.5.2 interim upgrade will be more significant than the 10.4.4 switch to Intel processors.
post #7 of 37
Quote:
Apple software engineers are reworking Leopard code to optimize it for the SSE4 instructions

As if SSE4 just came out last week?? I'm really starting to think that Leopard was released months too early. And the notion of charging for this upgrade? HA!
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post #8 of 37
Congratulations to Steve Jobs, who clearly deserves to be in that crowd.

That said, Jobs being "...... allegedly reluctant to attend the event out of modesty and respect for his family...." sounds a tad churlish and weird (if true).

Modesty? Jobs? And, it is not clear what 'respect for family' has to do with taking one evening off to attend an event that seeks to honor you......
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Somehow I highly doubt that the 10.5.2 interim upgrade will be more significant than the 10.4.4 switch to Intel processors.

Agreed

And about having to pay for it, what about us PPC users? If I have to pay for an upgrade and not get much benefit out of it when I have already payed for 10.5 I won't be a happy camper.

Just fix Disk Utility Apple, and all the other quirky bugs PLEASE and do it SOON!
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post #10 of 37
I said it before, I'll wait until 10.5.2 is released before I even consider upgrading to Leopard. Tiger is just too darn stable and mature to upgrade right now...
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiMiC View Post

I'm really starting to think that Leopard was released months too early.

It was.

The first version of OS X that I upgrade to from OS 9 was 10.2. At 10.2 we had everything back to what it was from a functionality point of view.

With 10.5 it's like going back to some forward Beta in... Hummm, maybe we need to come up with a different definition.
post #12 of 37
Any thoughts on if I'll be able to upgrade my current Mac Pro with one of the new cards? \
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajr View Post

This is interesting about the Leopard upgrade. A friend of mine purchased a new Macbook at an Apple retail store about three weeks ago. One of the salespeople told her that Apple was going to release a major OSX upgrade in January, and that it was so big that they might actually charge $7 for it. It sounded so odd that I didn't pay it any mind at the time, but after this talk of "the biggest interim upgrade ever," I have to wonder.

Wonder about what? Fishy stories?

Keep in mind that retail is NEVER told about anything in advance.
post #14 of 37
Ditto MacRat.

Chances are that Apple won't charge for software update, but they'll start putting 10.5.2 in the retail boxes instead of 10.5.0, much like they did with the 10.4.3 update. \

If this does improve performance, it'll be nice. I think I'll wait for 10.5.2 before even thinking about buying Leopard.
post #15 of 37
It'll be weeks before I get my MacBook so maybe they'll surprise us and release 10.5.2 before Christmas and it will be pre-installed on my order.

If I recall correctly they've made several 10.x.2 releases in past Decembers.
post #16 of 37
A new Mac Pro and a new small formfactor Macbook Pro would be a pretty good Macworld.

The rumor about 10.5.2 using the new Intel compiler sounds a bit far fetched to me. I have heard Intel compilers are very efficient compared to GNU and it would make sense to use them from that perspective, but it just seems like it would be too much to distribute for a point update.

I guess it might be feasible if they just recompiled a few performance critical libraries and the kernel itself.
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Somehow I highly doubt that the 10.5.2 interim upgrade will be more significant than the 10.4.4 switch to Intel processors.

Well, not to be smart-assy, but... 10.4.4 Intel was not an upgrade, nobody could get it without buying an Intel Mac - it was an additional version, Tiger has never been Universal, up to and including 10.4.11 there are two distinct versions of every release.

So, if this rumour has any substance, it could be the most substantial upgrade. Especially if they start moving some apps to 64-bit and/or improve multi-core support with some applications (e.g. even Motion is still not sufficiently addressing more than two cores).
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajr View Post

... One of the salespeople told her that Apple was going to release a major OSX upgrade in January, and that it was so big ......... but after this talk of "the biggest interim upgrade ever," I have to wonder.

Perhaps it's the release of Leopard Touch. If the new sub notebooks are touch based they'll need a solid touch interface that differs somewhat from the existing interface. That would be pretty big.
post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiMiC View Post

As if SSE4 just came out last week?? I'm really starting to think that Leopard was released months too early. And the notion of charging for this upgrade? HA!

you thought correctly! like Aperture, Leopard was released prematurely. both were still beta-like. both disappointing marketing decisions by apple. would apple like to try for a third?
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiMiC View Post

As if SSE4 just came out last week?? I'm really starting to think that Leopard was released months too early. And the notion of charging for this upgrade? HA!

Surely it's the new SSE4 instructions that are enabled by Penryn. Maybe there will be less advantage on current machines:

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...-sse4.html?rel

"The speedups for HL2 and DivX encoding are impressive, while the speedups for on the other benchmarks are modest but respectable. Penryn as a content creation platform is definitely going to rock the Mac Pro line when it comes out, even if long-time AltiVec hackers still turn their nose up at SSE4."

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypoluxa

Im curious as to the PPC side of the update? I imagine it will only pertain to bug fixes etc..and not all the optimization as to the Intel side.

Yes, no optimizations for PPC.
post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielchow View Post

you thought correctly! like Aperture, Leopard was released prematurely. both were still beta-like. both disappointing marketing decisions by apple. would apple like to try for a third?

Since many experienced users refuse to buy into an OS release until it's been "fixed," selling it in an "less-than-perfect" state to those who want it right away not only scores huge amounts of cash influx as a return on the lengthy development investment, but also provides the user base from which the "fixes" stem.

It would only be a bad Marketing decision if only a few early adopters bought Leopard, immediately panned it as unfit, and sales never took off despite a huge investment in advertising and market research. That hasn't happened; Apple's selling more copies of Leopard every day despite reported glitches and interface disappointments, so the decision to release it when Apple did (which likely rested with Jobs alone) was sound business.

It should be pretty apparent by now that all software is never in a perfect state, there will always be fixes and updates, and you buy into when you're ready. For that matter, it works that way with buying new models of cars, too.
post #22 of 37
The rumor I hear is the new Mac Pro case is going to be completely made out of a black zirconium dioxide material.
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by hugodrax View Post

The rumor I hear is the new Mac Pro case is going to be completely made out of a black zirconium dioxide material.

Don't you mean "cubic Zirconia"?
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielchow View Post

you thought correctly! like Aperture, Leopard was released prematurely. both were still beta-like. both disappointing marketing decisions by apple. would apple like to try for a third?


Yeah how about iLife 8 !
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post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by hugodrax View Post

The rumor I hear is the new Mac Pro case is going to be completely made out of a black zirconium dioxide material.

FYI, from Wikipedia

"On August 7, 2006, Apple Computer filed a patent for using zirconia as casing for mobile devices. Future iPods likely will contain radios for Bluetooth and wide area wireless. Using zirconia rather than steel or aluminum for its radio transparency characteristics enables antennas to be hidden internally in the device. Additionally, some iPods with plastic fronts have been known to scratch easily."
post #26 of 37
can i just point out that i think John French's little quote underneath his post reads somewhat oddly. surely the first line should read "if you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day". just thought i'd point it out!
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

And about having to pay for it, what about us PPC users? If I have to pay for an upgrade and not get much benefit out of it when I have already payed for 10.5 I won't be a happy camper.

I seriously doubt we will have to pay for the upgrade because that would be blatantly sticking it to anyone that bought Leopard before the update. Apple created the Accelerate.Framework so developers could create Universal Binary applications without having to hand-code AltiVec and SSE/SSE2/SSE3, and now, SSE4 instructions.

The $7.00 might be for swapping 10.5.0 disks for 10.5.2 disks. If the changes are as major as they are reported, Apple might feel it is worth the effort to provide users with the option of getting disk(s) with 10.5.2 so if they have to reinstall OS X they can start off with 10.5.2 instead of having to update to 10.5.2 before updating to the current version. People who won't have to reinstall OS X will just have to deal with this update and then it will be a distant memory.
post #28 of 37
Quote:
"If you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a day. But if you teach a man to fish, then he will buy an ugly hat. And if you talk to a starving man about fish, then you're a consultant."
-Scott Adams

Quote:
Originally Posted by ad4m.phillips View Post

can i just point out that i think John French's little quote underneath his post reads somewhat oddly. surely the first line should read "if you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day". just thought i'd point it out!

What are you...a consultant?
post #29 of 37
I think the real reason Jobs didn't attend the ceremony was that it was a black tie affair.
Have you ever tried getting a bow tie around a turtleneck?
post #30 of 37
Will the new Mac Pro require users to supply an iTunes account and credit card number before they can use it at all?
post #31 of 37
How about some decent video cards for the Mac Pro? Hmmm?
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

Will the new Mac Pro require users to supply an iTunes account and credit card number before they can use it at all?

Before they can use what?
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

Agreed

And about having to pay for it, what about us PPC users? If I have to pay for an upgrade and not get much benefit out of it when I have already payed for 10.5 I won't be a happy camper.

Just fix Disk Utility Apple, and all the other quirky bugs PLEASE and do it SOON!

I ran into the same issue, as well as other utilities crashing after upgrading to Leopard. A Google search led me to this thread:

http://discussions.apple.com/message...sageID=5818587

It seems that you can end up with two Utility folders, one for Leopard and one for Tiger. After doing a spotlight search for the app in question, I found that the older versions crash everytime, while the contents of Applications>Utilities all work perfectly. Trash the old folder AND any old icons in the Dock (they just bounce once, and do nothing else), and your troubles (related to this) should be over. Mine were... after a month of profanity. For once, it was something ridiculously simple, totally hidden right under my nose.

Good luck.
post #34 of 37
Quote:
Apple software engineers are reworking Leopard code to optimize it for the SSE4 instructions found within Penryn and the architecture as a whole, both of which promise speed gains above and beyond clock speed boosts.

Everything in here I pointed out months ago and the lack of comments noting it as relevant reveals to me how very little most of you know how an Operating System is developed.

Perhaps 10.5.2 will be the first release worthy of upgrading.
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Because Mac Video Cards are HORRIBLE...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Apple's video card choices suck, plain and simple. Not only are the video cards in the iMacs underpowered, they have been isolated as the main reason for the freezing issue. I think the MBP got a decent break with the 8600gt, but it is by no means a screamer. The mini has older-than-dirt integrated GMA950, and the Mac Pro's video cards are almost three years old in some cases.

The base video card in the Mac Pro (nVidia 7300GT) is 17 months old and pathetically underpowered. It's like putting a 2-cylinder engine in a Mustang.

The x1900xt in the Mac Pro will be three years old this coming January. Some people had to have their cards replaced due to artifacting. Apple had Foxconn produce a revision 2 of the card that supposedly cut down on the artifacting.

The Quadro FX 4500 is about two and a half years old (July 05) and has been superseded by several generations of professional-level graphics.

Apple prefers cards that are quiet, and in doing so have and will regularly de-tune the cards to lower clock speeds so that fan speed can be kept to a minimum. Apple never takes into account graphics performance, or anything related to gaming, because quite frankly, His Steveness doesn't want you playing games on your Mac. He wants you to make edible garbage with iMovie 08 and post it to YouTube.

Pouring salt in the wound, Apple charges outrageous prices for these video cards, when you build-to-order. Want to add a second 7300GT to your Mac Pro?? It will cost you $150.00, when it can be purchased RETAIL for $50.00 or less. How about the x1900xt?? $400.00 for that card, where (if you can even find it anymore) it costs $150 or less. Consider this: an nVidia 8800GTS that would literally spank the x1800xt costs about $250.00. So for an extra $150.00 you can have a three year old card.

They could have done so much better on the video card options in the iMac, but they wanted high margins and low noise. And they could have at least updated the Mac Pro's at least ONCE since its inception a year and three months ago. The Mac Pro has been virtually untouched since its inception.

Apple has no grasp of video card technology, given their long history of poorly-performing and absurdly expensive graphics card choices.

Now that, THAT, my friends, is one hell of a 'fringe pulling'.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

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You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

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post #36 of 37
^^^^

It gets worse.

Hopefully Apple will address the video card situation at Macworld because its starting to get ridiculous. Is it me or does the combination of Apple machine and ATI cards just suck?
post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Is it me or does the combination of Apple machine and ATI cards just suck?

I think just the combination of any kind of graphics chipset and a Mac sucks. Almost every single model they've released has had some sort of driver problem.

The nVidia cards have had big problem in the past too.

Something is very clearly wrong with the way they do things related to graphics cards because they only support about 10 distinct models over the last 5 years or so and they can't even make them work properly.

How bad can your development be when Windows supports hundreds of graphics chipsets with better support like anti-aliasing and better shader support and you can't even support 10 properly.

Not only that but charge more than double for the cards.
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