Apple ready and waiting with redesigned iMac line

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  • Reply 301 of 486
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post


    While we could argue about the effectiveness of low-clocked quad cores versus high-clocked dual cores, the real boost provided by hyperthreading and turbo mode, they merely obscure the fundamental problem: Intel sells high performance parts at reasonable prices, but Apple won't let us have them.



    Let's face reality here. Most people would be well served by a Mac mini or 3 year old iMac. The only way any computer company is going to make sales is by convincing us we want something new, whether we need it or not. Holding back new technology is not a very good strategy for encouraging unnecessary purchases and is a terrible strategy in the segment of the market that actually benefits from higher performance.



    Apple has decided they can do better offering mostly aesthetic changes rather than technical ones. That's their choice, but it's very frustrating to knowledgeable buyers.



    Well, the marketing angle is certainly reasonable, but we don't really know that the next iMac refresh is going to be purely cosmetic.



    It will almost certainly feature some kind of CPU boost, plus the usual upticks in ram and hard drive space, plus possible some hardware revisions we don't know about.



    Again, the value proposition for a potential buyer is a whole bunch of interrelated elements, not just "does it have the latest CPU", which I submit is fairly low on the list.
  • Reply 302 of 486
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    .....

    I think it's striking that for all the fulminating about Apple robbing its customers, no one is really citing instances where a quad core chip would actually enhance their day to day computing. Yes, if I'm doing batch video transcoding, I will welcome the additional power, and for 3D modeling, and few other edge cases.

    ....



    VM Ware. Two cores for the host and two for the guest. *Much* faster and crisper performance than on a dual core machine which can only devote one core for the host and one for the guest.



    Aside from that, look at the processes that run in the background, at least for me: Time Machine and mobile me sync. I'm sure others have even more apps running in the back ground. More cores help there. Dual core may be fine now, but I expect more processes to run in the background in the future. Not less.



    Even average users transcode by the way. Shoot some video, edit it and then upload to You Tube with iMovie. There's a transcoding step in there that is very time consuming. 10 minutes of video that my son and I shot took 45 minutes to transcode before it could be uploaded. And that was on a 2.6 ghz C2D iMac. That's not 'pro' work but it still takes a while.



    Also what's the advantage of thinner for the consumer? How many users sit around and say 'I wish my iMac was a half inch thinner'?
  • Reply 303 of 486
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Well, the marketing angle is certainly reasonable, but we don't really know that the next iMac refresh is going to be purely cosmetic.



    It will almost certainly feature some kind of CPU boost, plus the usual upticks in ram and hard drive space, plus possible some hardware revisions we don't know about.



    Again, the value proposition for a potential buyer is a whole bunch of interrelated elements, not just "does it have the latest CPU", which I submit is fairly low on the list.



    Actually I don't think we'll see any significant changes in base Ram or Hard drive space. Possibly a larger base hard drive, but the base iMac already comes with 4 GB, which given the lower memory requirements of OS X, is plenty for the vast majority. You can already upgrade it to 8GB for those running VM applications, or memory-centric applications. The hard drive already has an option for up to 1 TB of storage. Possibly high capacity SSD? That would be a nice perk.



    Video hardware tends to get outdated rather quickly, so I could see yet another bump to that, and possibly a new CPU (I can only hope as the core-2 duo is getting rather dated). Perhaps a BD-Rom.



    Apple has had a very easy 3 years due to Windows Vista, and the surge in interest due to iPhone/iPod Touch. Windows 7 will change that somewhat. I can see W7 being another game changer. Face it, with 90% market share, even a mediocre Microsoft product can have a huge impact on everyone else in the industry. I would not call Windows 7 mediocre. Not revolutionary, but certainly an improvement over Vista. It already has good buzz in IT circles which means the home user isn't far behind.



    Apple is going to have to work a bit harder.
  • Reply 304 of 486
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    VM Ware. Two cores for the host and two for the guest. *Much* faster and crisper performance than on a dual core machine which can only devote one core for the host and one for the guest.



    Aside from that, look at the processes that run in the background, at least for me: Time Machine and mobile me sync. I'm sure others have even more apps running in the back ground. More cores help there. Dual core may be fine now, but I expect more processes to run in the background in the future. Not less.



    Even average users transcode by the way. Shoot some video, edit it and then upload to You Tube with iMovie. There's a transcoding step in there that is very time consuming. 10 minutes of video that my son and I shot took 45 minutes to transcode before it could be uploaded. And that was on a 2.6 ghz C2D iMac. That's not 'pro' work but it still takes a while.



    Also what's the advantage of thinner for the consumer? How many users sit around and say 'I wish my iMac was a half inch thinner'?



    Those are not good examples. Neither Time Machine, or MobileMe takes up any significant CPU cycles when it's not active. You actually have far more threads than those running in the background. Those are user threads, not system threads, but even then, a typical Mac will only utilize 1-2% for all user and system threads combined during idle times. Time Machine has more of a bottleneck with the storage bandwidth, not CPU load. Quad won't change that significantly. I think most will agree that it's the power users that would see the most benefit. Users who encode video, play CPU intensive games or work with CPU intensive apps like Adobe's suite, Virtual Machine software, etc. Granted a typical user may not need these things on a daily basis, but a power user would. It also extends the useful life of a Mac when you have more powerful hardware to begin with.



    I have to agree on the width issue though. I think this single minded distraction with being thin is wasted on a desktop. Certainly not for a laptop, but I would rather see a 'current' mac rather than shaving another 10 mm from the width of a desktop unit that I never see the edge or the back of for that matter.
  • Reply 305 of 486
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post


    Those are not good examples. Neither Time Machine, or MobileMe takes up any significant CPU cycles ...



    You're missing the point. These are background processes that exist now that didn't exist two years ago. They don't strain the machines of today but who knows what other processes we'll run in the background two years from now.



    And Vm Ware is a resource intensive app. It can bring my MBP to its knees.
  • Reply 306 of 486
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    You're missing the point. These are background processes that exist now that didn't exist two years ago. They don't strain the machines of today but who knows what other processes we'll run in the background two years from now.



    And Vm Ware is a resource intensive app. It can bring my MBP to its knees.



    Background processes will never clobber a CPU. This isn't Microsoft we're talking about here, but Apple. It's the hard hitting apps that will need quad, not minor maintenance threads, and squatter threads that activate every 15 minutes to perform some mundane task.



    I already mentioned VMWare as a heavy hitter. I run my work "XP" desktop image on my 3.06 iMac. It would very much benefit from more cores from my first hand experience. I would VERY much welcome a quad-core choice for that reason.
  • Reply 307 of 486
    Quote:

    How about Apple is the only company that can charge over $1,000 for a dual core laptop on a stick and call it a desktop?



    The quad core iMac has been a desire since Intel released the QX6700 back in November 2006.



    An interesting quote from macrumors where a similar debate is taking place.



    Blunt. But true.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 308 of 486
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member
    Quote:

    Quote:

    How about Apple is the only company that can charge over $1,000 for a dual core laptop on a stick and call it a desktop?



    The quad core iMac has been a desire since Intel released the QX6700 back in November 2006.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    An interesting quote from macrumors where a similar debate is taking place.



    Blunt. But true.



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    You really should avoid generalizations. Core-2 is far more common in Notebooks than quad, and the price for comparable parts from other manufacturers is right in line with Apple's for similar quality hardware. Of course none of these have the 20" or 24" inch screen and most won't offer the larger storage options or the faster core-2 that iMac has, but you get the idea.



    HP

    Dell

    Sony

    Lenovo
  • Reply 309 of 486
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Well, the marketing angle is certainly reasonable, but we don't really know that the next iMac refresh is going to be purely cosmetic.



    I think what most people here are saying is that the next iMac had damn well be more than a cosmetic upgrade. As much as Apple would like to you can't market around the facts to the majority of the people.

    Quote:



    It will almost certainly feature some kind of CPU boost, plus the usual upticks in ram and hard drive space, plus possible some hardware revisions we don't know about.



    Which would not be good enough. In my case it would force me to not reccomend the iMac to anyone.

    Quote:



    Again, the value proposition for a potential buyer is a whole bunch of interrelated elements, not just "does it have the latest CPU", which I submit is fairly low on the list.



    Then simply put you are wrong. The CPU is the biggest shortcoming in the iMac and I would put forth is the most important element on the list that informed shoppers use. An i7 derived or like processor is really what Snow Leopard was built for.



    Except for the possibility on the lowest end machines I can't see dual core in Apples machines as being even remotely viable for leveraging SL. SL and GCD are meant to exploit highly parallel machines supporting many threads. Without quad cores and more the ability to leverage those new features is extremely limited. Frankly the development effort that went into SL indicates that Apple sees these parallel machines as it's near term future. So if you want to buy into this new world order you need to expect a minimal of 4 hardware threads.





    Dave
  • Reply 310 of 486
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    I know! I was just talking to my brother, and he was all like, "I hear they might be bringing out new iMacs, but whither quad core? I am hungry."



    Seriously though, does anyone outside of gear hounds think in terms of "yesterday's technology", especially when it comes to chip sets?



    Once upon a time there might have been some awareness of clock speed, but that's just because Intel was flogging same as a metric of awesomeness. Number of cores are a much harder thing to drive into the public consciousness, partly because no one much knows what that even means, and because "4 instead of 2" doesn't have quite the impact of "3GHz overclocked extreme!"



    I think the iPhone is a great example of where things are headed, if they're not already there: people react to the entire device, and don't know or care what's inside. In the case of the iPhone, there was a noticeable speed up of system processes in the move from 3G to 3Gs, so people took note of that, still without caring what, exactly, had been done to the internals to make that happen.



    Since the move from 2 to 4 cores is not going to have anything like that impact on the day to day use of a desktop or laptop computer, most people really have no reason to care.



    What, exactly, are the folks in this thread proposing the impact of quad core is going to be on 95% of what people do with their computers? Is Firefox going to load pages 4 times as fast? Is Office going to make letters appear on the screen before you type them? Will your emails fly off your computer like missiles? Will your music sound better?



    For the few that are doing genuinely processor intensive things like batch processing media or editing HD movies or doing 3D animation work, then, yes, you would probably be advised to seek the latest and greatest. But that's the few, a fact that hasn't been lost on Apple.



    I can't speak for the mobile Core i7, but I have a tower that I built with a Core i7 920 processor with the X58 chipset, and I can tell you that the Core i7 line is significantly more responsive than the non-Core i7 quad cores, which were marginally better than the dual cores. The jump from a dual core to a Core i7 would be a significant speed improvement all around. I'm completely aware that some applications don't take advantage of the quad cores and actually have shown to take a performance hit in the previous generation quad cores, but I'm telling you that the Core i7 is a different beast. Previously, you'd be willing to save a few bucks and look at AMD's offerings, but the Core i7 is so much better, AMD simply has no answer. That's the difference.



    On top of that, a fast GPU like a 275 GTX, with Snow Leopard's OpenCL, should result in a machine that would leave the current gen in the dust.



    Besides, it's not what the public needs, it's what the public wants. GM built cars for years based on what they thought the public needed, instead of what they wanted. Do you see where they are today?
  • Reply 311 of 486
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post


    I can't speak for the mobile Core i7, but I have a tower that I built with a Core i7 920 processor with the X58 chipset, and I can tell you that the Core i7 line is significantly more responsive than the non-Core i7 quad cores, which were marginally better than the dual cores. The jump from a dual core to a Core i7 would be a significant speed improvement all around. I'm completely aware that some applications don't take advantage of the quad cores and actually have shown to take a performance hit in the previous generation quad cores, but I'm telling you that the Core i7 is a different beast. Previously, you'd be willing to save a few bucks and look at AMD's offerings, but the Core i7 is so much better, AMD simply has no answer. That's the difference.



    On top of that, a fast GPU like a 275 GTX, with Snow Leopard's OpenCL, should result in a machine that would leave the current gen in the dust.



    Besides, it's not what the public needs, it's what the public wants. GM built cars for years based on what they thought the public needed, instead of what they wanted. Do you see where they are today?



    You forgot to mention the fact that the quads are substantially cheaper. They certainly won't hurt the 'I don't care' majority, but they will certainly help the "I Want" minority a great deal.
  • Reply 312 of 486
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,837member
    Guys, this endless processor debate is getting stale. Not to mention it's likely a lot of worry over nothing.



    If Apple does go with 24" and 27" models, it goes without saying that the 27" is going to have a higher tolerance for heat. So the Core2 chips could be the 2 lower end configs, with the higher end config going Quad.



    Of more far interest is whether we get USB3, the faster Firewire or easier hard drive upgrades.
  • Reply 313 of 486
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    I think what most people here are saying is that the next iMac had damn well be more than a cosmetic upgrade. As much as Apple would like to you can't market around the facts to the majority of the people.



    Which would not be good enough. In my case it would force me to not reccomend the iMac to anyone.





    Then simply put you are wrong. The CPU is the biggest shortcoming in the iMac and I would put forth is the most important element on the list that informed shoppers use. An i7 derived or like processor is really what Snow Leopard was built for.



    Except for the possibility on the lowest end machines I can't see dual core in Apples machines as being even remotely viable for leveraging SL. SL and GCD are meant to exploit highly parallel machines supporting many threads. Without quad cores and more the ability to leverage those new features is extremely limited. Frankly the development effort that went into SL indicates that Apple sees these parallel machines as it's near term future. So if you want to buy into this new world order you need to expect a minimal of 4 hardware threads.





    Dave



    Then I guess we disagree that what you're defining as an "informed shopper" makes up any substantial part of the potential iMac market. I don't disagree with the SL is there, why not take advantage? argument, but the idea that the average computer shopper is studying the box for info on number of cores is simply untrue, IMO.



    I doubt the average computer shopper has the faintest idea what a "core" is. And don't tell me I'm being patronizing, I know a lot of people and I know a lot of computer users. Self regarding geeks, for whom a tech savvy is a mark of character tend to wildly overestimate the interest and expertise in the internals of computers among the general public.



    I work at a very large high school, and I doubt if 1% of the faculty could even tell you what version of their operating system they're running, much less any particulars of the hardware. Among my perfectly smart but non-geekish friends, even the effort to bring them up to speed on price vs. hardware stuff makes their eyes glaze over.



    I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so it's not like this is some kind of tech benighted backwater, either. Of course there are people who care. They are a slim fraction of people who buy computers for their homes.
  • Reply 314 of 486
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post


    Background processes will never clobber a CPU.



    Really? Have you run AV software on a pc? It can kill performance.



    That's one background process I think we'll likely see in the next 2-3 years on the mac and it will hurt performance on dual core machines. Especially with other background processes running.
  • Reply 315 of 486
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleWiz67 View Post


    THAT causes a potential MacPro buyer to get a Dell for much less money. All fair and good that many think Apple has hit a winner with making iMac useless for anything above using Firefox.



    Giant & obese Mac Pro



    ---- big gap ---- <<Dell, HP, Acer, etc



    Weedy skinny iMac



    depends on which buyer you're talking about. If you're talking about the guy who just needs/wants a tower for expandability you're right. Apple, for better or for worse, positioned themself to make their only tower very clearly a workstation/dev class machine. On *that* field apple is priced competitively.



    Put another way, it's not that the mac pro is expensive, it's that apple doesn't have a cheap tower that's the problem (which, btw, is true of their laptops too to some extent).
  • Reply 316 of 486
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    I yearn for the Power PC days.



    At least then Apple used the best cpus Motorola and IBM could produce.



    Not entirely, neither company was making *enough* chips for apple to divert the engineering resources to make the desktop user chips apple really needed. I yearn for a POWER6 based MP :-D
  • Reply 317 of 486
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by seek3r View Post


    Not entirely, neither company was making *enough* chips for apple to divert the engineering resources to make the desktop user chips apple really needed. I yearn for a POWER6 based MP :-D



    There is this thing called sarcasm. Have you heard of it?
  • Reply 318 of 486
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Of course there are people who care. They are a slim fraction of people who buy computers for their homes.



    Exactly so, but this group is hugely over-represented in forums like this, which leads many to believe that the real world is being accurately reflected in these discussions. Technical people need to understand that they are but a tiny minority of the people who buy computers, and that their priorities are not the same as the rest of the universe of users.
  • Reply 319 of 486
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    There is this thing called sarcasm. Have you heard of it?



    Not my day, that wooshing sound? that's it going right over my head :-p



    I would give my first born for a POWER6 MP though :-p
  • Reply 320 of 486
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Put down the bottle pleez. So "Pros" only use iMacs now and not PCs?????

    Stop embarrassing yourself.



    If you read the melgross post carefully, nowhere does he say "Pros" only use iMacs now and not PCs" ... Why do you insist on putting your words into other people's mouths? Can you not make a point without misquoting, and btw, you do it often enough it can't be unintentional.
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