Originally Posted by Bregalad
I'm fairly sure that most xMac fans know that Apple will never make one.
What I'd like to know is how big the potential market really is. If there are only a few of us and most already buy Macs then Steve Jobs is right to ignore us. If, however, there are tens of thousands and most of them aren't contributing a penny to Apple, then it's foolish of them to ignore us.
I think it would be very interesting if someone took a poll of all the people who say they want an xMac. Ask them what computer they currently use, whether they bought it new or used and why they don't buy a model that Apple currently makes.
I'm not a potential buyer of an xMac, but I might be down the road. In addition to your poll of who is a potential xMac customer, I'm curious what they think an xMac would be? I've seen people say they basically want all the slots, bays, and flexibility of the MacPro, in case half the size for half the price. Obviously, that won't happen. We have to be reasonable.
Basically, what combination of speed, expandabiltiy, and upgradabilty are we looking for in an xMac? Video card upgradability and/or dual monitor support is the first obvious need, so one PCI slot is probably a must. Or if the included video card is in a slot and can be replaced, will that work? What else do you need a PCI slot for? The built-in HD must be 3.5" and easily upgradable (unlike the mini). Do we need a free HD bay, or is external storage sufficient (maybe add an eSATA port)? What class of processor are we expecting?
- A fast Core2Duo processor (maybe an option for 2 C2D CPUs, but unlikely)
- The new NVIDIA chipset with it's integrated graphics, I know that sounds kinda wimpy but
- 1 PCI slot so you can add whatever other graphics card you want and upgrade it later
- 3.5" HD with space for a 2nd drive
- SuperDrive (Blu-ray option?)
- 4 RAM slots
- USB, Firewire 800 (3200?), eSATA (?), wireless N (the mini is still stuck on G), Gigibit Ethernet, analog/digital audio in/out
A few years ago with Apple's tiny marketshare, it made sense to limit the number of models they made to streamline inventory and reduce R&D and production costs. But I would think that Apple's marketshare now is big enough to support expanding the lineup.
For me personally today, give me a mini with a 3.5" drive, the MB's motherboard (plus Firewire), and 802.11n, and I'd buy one. My main computer is a MBP, and even if Apple offered an xMac that wouldn't change (today).