Apple warns of near-term iMac, Mac mini constraints

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  • Reply 81 of 136
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Achilles View Post


    Apple demonstrates again why Macs make no sense if you are in business. Imagine that you urgently need to acquire a couple more desktops. "Sorry," says Apple, "none available. Can't say when new models will be in stock. Just put your business on hold for a few weeks." No supplier to business can afford to behave that way towards its customers. Apple remains a consumer product.



    You are pretty bad at running a business if you have to buy extra computers on a whim, and you can still get a mac during this time. Apple just isn't shipping new ones to stores, most stores don't completely sell out before the new inventory comes in.
  • Reply 82 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Sadly, I think that's exactly what many of them do do.



    That's a good point, they deserve microsoft then and a 50+ strong IT stuff do manage control for the ms crap for the other 50 people who actually do some productive work.
  • Reply 83 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    If your last point is correct, your overall argument might be right, but I'm skeptical that we've come to that point (or ever will). Perhaps more importantly, how can we ever know if we've come to that point? How can we know that there won't be "something new" in 6 months that is highly beneficial but requires the latest processor to make it usable? I don't think we can.



    Historically, buying the low end of currently available processors hasn't been a good bet. I'm not sure I see evidence that we have reached a point where that no longer applies.



    The test, in my view, is editing HD video. When you get to the point where a computer can reasonably handle that demanding process, I suspect you're there. To be sure, more power is always welcome but from my perspective, it's all about having enough power to do what you want to relatively painlessly.



    I do realize that some use for our computers that is more demanding than HD video editing could conceivably come along but HD video editing is such a demanding process, any computer that can handle that tough task has to have a serious amount of horsepower.



    I still can't get over the fact that my then-state-of-the-art G4 Tower cost 10 times more than my first Mini and they were roughly equal in power. It causes me to balk at spending top dollar for a state-of-the-art tower. Sure a Mini is significantly less powerful but it's also significantly less expensive. You basically buy three Minis for the price of one Nehalem tower. It means that while you think in terms of extracting at least six or seven years out of the tower, turning over a Mini every three or four years seems reasonable enough. I'm on my second Mini and a third one soon enough will be in the mix. As the Mini gets more powerful, it makes it far more easy to live with as a low-cost desktop. Cake and eat it, too, comes to mind. Had I bought a tower back a few years ago when I bought my first Mini, would it be that much more powerful than the Mini is likely to be say, maybe, by next spring when we're likely to have an upgrade on the soon-coming upgrade?
  • Reply 84 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


    The test, in my view, is editing HD video. When you get to the point where a computer can reasonably handle that demanding process, I suspect you're there. To be sure, more power is always welcome but from my perspective, it's all about having enough power to do what you want to relatively painlessly.



    Two points:



    1. That may be today's test, but we don't know what that test may be in 6 months or, more likely, 2 years. Two years, for most people, would be a very short time to have to buy a new computer. We don't really have any way to know what is "enough" computing power in the future.



    2. Despite disclaimers to the contrary, Apple really does need to stay competitive in the specs race, especially to continue to draw switchers. If for no other reason than to counter word of mouth against them. People don't like uncertainty, so if Apple falls behind in the specs race, that creates uncertainty in peoples minds about whether the Mac they were thinking about buying will last them as long as they need it to. Plenty of people, especially in the Windows world, have had the experience of getting a computer that slowed to a crawl after a couple of OS updates, or upgrading some software, or just as the Web got more intense in regard to rendering requirements. People don't want to repeat that, and the perception, often created by FUD, that that could happen with a Mac they can afford isn't good for Apple.
  • Reply 85 of 136
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,031member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post


    ...and of course all self respecting businesses never plan ahead, they just wake up on day and go, we need new computers....



    I guess proper businesses also schedule their disasters to coincide with stock availability. Can i have your crystal ball, please?
  • Reply 86 of 136
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,819member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Listen to your brain! Gather up some stuff you can do without and get selling on ebay. Cut down on the Latte's for a few weeks, buy cheaper (and less) beer, and in no time you'll be back to normal except with a shiny new iMac. Some things can't be justified or rationalized, they just need to get done.



    I'll bet that you are also on the after-dinner speaking circuit!
  • Reply 87 of 136
    I just bought a base version of '09 mac mini 7 days ago and heard about the mini update rumor today. I was wondering if I should return the mini(and pay restocking fee) and get the updated mini when it comes out. Any advice/suggestions greatly appreciated.
  • Reply 88 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Two points:



    1. That may be today's test, but we don't know what that test may be in 6 months or, more likely, 2 years. Two years, for most people, would be a very short time to have to buy a new computer. We don't really have any way to know what is "enough" computing power in the future.



    2. Despite disclaimers to the contrary, Apple really does need to stay competitive in the specs race, especially to continue to draw switchers. If for no other reason than to counter word of mouth against them. People don't like uncertainty, so if Apple falls behind in the specs race, that creates uncertainty in peoples minds about whether the Mac they were thinking about buying will last them as long as they need it to. Plenty of people, especially in the Windows world, have had the experience of getting a computer that slowed to a crawl after a couple of OS updates, or upgrading some software, or just as the Web got more intense in regard to rendering requirements. People don't want to repeat that, and the perception, often created by FUD, that that could happen with a Mac they can afford isn't good for Apple.



    At one point you would have been right to argue that more demanding applications would come along and for years that has been the case. But just because something has been the case in the past doesn't mean it will be so going forward. I think it's of note that OSs are now becoming more efficient. Vista is giving way to Windows 7 and Leopard has been replaced by Snow Leopard. Keep in mind that rendering HD video is extremely demanding and even if other tasks come along, they may be different but not necessarily more demanding. We're not talking word processing.



    Certainly, if all I can do is everything I'm doing today plus whatever isn't more demanding than working with HD video, sounds to me like I've got a very useful device.
  • Reply 89 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maximac View Post


    I just bought a base version of '09 mac mini 7 days ago and heard about the mini update rumor today. I was wondering if I should return the mini(and pay restocking fee) and get the updated mini when it comes out. Any advice/suggestions greatly appreciated.



    I would most definitely pay the restocking fee and wait. It will most likely be worth it.
  • Reply 90 of 136
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,894member
    Couldn't this just mean that he Mini has finally been dropped?
  • Reply 91 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post


    You are pretty bad at running a business if you have to buy extra computers on a whim, and you can still get a mac during this time. Apple just isn't shipping new ones to stores, most stores don't completely sell out before the new inventory comes in.



    I disagree. I work for a post production/editorial/motion design company and if someone came to us with a really big job and we needed more hardware fast we might find this supply constraint a big problem. We have to run pretty lean (particularly these days) and cannot afford to have excess and idle hardware lying around. We have found ourselves in this very situation a a couple of times in the past.



    Sure we could probably find something that would get the job done, but it might not be the best fit or might cause us to spend more money than we planned just to get the hardware. I think Apple needs to get over this game they play with supply and keeping new products so completely secret. It's a delicate balance for them - they don't want to kill sales with a new product announcement.
  • Reply 92 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Achilles View Post


    Apple demonstrates again why Macs make no sense if you are in business. Imagine that you urgently need to acquire a couple more desktops. "Sorry," says Apple, "none available. Can't say when new models will be in stock. Just put your business on hold for a few weeks." No supplier to business can afford to behave that way towards its customers. Apple remains a consumer product.



    Not sure I would agree with you on that. I can goto a BestBuy and get a Mac but I can't get a PC with Vista Biz or XP Pro at BB, OM, Staples... And with the resale value of a 4 year old mac vs a PC the IT Budget stays lower, then you have IT support and I can tell you first hand the most IT does with Mac's on site is call to check if everything is going well... THAT's a first! IT calling the user checking for problems!
  • Reply 93 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post


    I disagree. I work for a post production/editorial/motion design company and if someone came to us with a really big job and we needed more hardware fast we might find this supply constraint a big problem. We have to run pretty lean (particularly these days) and cannot afford to have excess and idle hardware lying around. We have found ourselves in this very situation a a couple of times in the past.



    Sure we could probably find something that would get the job done, but it might not be the best fit or might cause us to spend more money than we planned just to get the hardware. I think Apple needs to get over this game they play with supply and keeping new products so completely secret. It's a delicate balance for them - they don't want to kill sales with a new product announcement.



    I think they did. The article states you can order from Apple but it MAY come from another source. So if I oder an iMac with overnight shipping I'll still get it.



    However with Mac's at BestBuy, Local retailers as well as Amazon you need one, order next day and you'll get it... Or order through Newegg and it will arrive an hour later.
  • Reply 94 of 136
    "Apple demonstrates again why Macs make no sense if you are in business. Imagine that you urgently need to acquire a couple more desktops. "Sorry," says Apple, "none available. Can't say when new models will be in stock. Just put your business on hold for a few weeks." No supplier to business can afford to behave that way towards its customers. Apple remains a consumer product."



    Actually, they do. I use my Mini, one of the earliest Intel models, to run OS X and Linux both at home and at work. At work, I use Vista on an iMac to work with programs that are Mafia$oft only. The days of a one-PC-fits-all-business-solution but with a crazy multi-level-price-martix are numbered.



    When it comes to customer support with Mafia$oft, for our level of support, three hours of technical support is generally 250 USD per hour. Many of the K-12s and higher education institutions in the US cannot afford to be treated as a cash teet for a bloated corporation. We are already paying enormous licensing fees just for the privilege of running software.
  • Reply 95 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maximac View Post


    I just bought a base version of '09 mac mini 7 days ago and heard about the mini update rumor today. I was wondering if I should return the mini(and pay restocking fee) and get the updated mini when it comes out. Any advice/suggestions greatly appreciated.



    IMO you should save the money on the restocking fee. You just need to put a 7200rpm drive and 4GB RAM in that Mini and you're good to go for another 2 years at least. Oh and get Snow Leopard.
  • Reply 96 of 136
    "Historically, buying the low end of currently available processors hasn't been a good bet. I'm not sure I see evidence that we have reached a point where that no longer applies."



    I bought a top of the line dual 1 Ghz Quicksilver in 2002. It's still my main machine. However, it was $3000. Then there was a roughly $400 midterm upgrade for Tiger; a new video card, a SATA card and drive, and a USB 2 card. Total cost, $3400. Divided by (rounding up) 8 years, it comes to $425 per year.



    A new mac Mini, at least for the last batch, is $600. For another $150 I can get it to 4 GB and add a larger 7200 RPM hard drive. Total cost, $750. If it lasts only two years before it gets tossed/demoted, my TCO is less than buying a high-end box and riding it into the dirt. So I think I do see evidence that the paradigm has changed.



    I was all ready to buy a new mini last weekend, but the rumors caused my finger to rise from the 'buy now' button even before I heard about the mini's speed bump. I want to see the new iMacs first. But if they don't have either a quad core or an express-card slot, then it's back to the buy base mini and trick it out plan.
  • Reply 97 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


    At one point you would have been right to argue that more demanding applications would come along and for years that has been the case. But just because something has been the case in the past doesn't mean it will be so going forward. I think it's of note that OSs are now becoming more efficient. Vista is giving way to Windows 7 and Leopard has been replaced by Snow Leopard. Keep in mind that rendering HD video is extremely demanding and even if other tasks come along, they may be different but not necessarily more demanding. We're not talking word processing.



    An analogous argument has been repeatedly made in the past and it has always turned out to be wrong. You could be right this time, you may very well be, but why should anyone count on the chance that you are.



    And yes, I understand that rendering HD video is extremely demanding, but I don't think that by itself makes the argument. There have always been "extremely demanding" tasks, supplanted by more demanding tasks, and so on.



    But, even if we assume that there will never be a more demanding task than rendering HD video (which, frankly, seems unlikely), wouldn't we want to be able to do it faster, or to do something else, like render 2 or even 3 HD videos at the same time, or multiple other things, at the same time.



    As an argument, it just isn't convincing. It's not convincing because past personal experience and everything they hear and read (true or not) contradicts it.



    And, from a marketing standpoint, it's just not a good idea for Apple to let the perception take hold (again) that Macs are slower. In this regard, "fast enough" doesn't matter. No, most Mac users aren't going to switch to Windows because of this, but it would likely deter significant numbers from switching from Windows. And, even if it only adds, say, 6 months to the average time between upgrades for Mac users, it would have a significant impact on Apples revenue.



    EDIT: Semantic disconnect. I was reading and writing "rendering" but thinking "encoding". Not that it matters to either of our points, but...
  • Reply 98 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PVguy View Post


    "Historically, buying the low end of currently available processors hasn't been a good bet. I'm not sure I see evidence that we have reached a point where that no longer applies."



    I bought a top of the line dual 1 Ghz Quicksilver in 2002. It's still my main machine. However, it was $3000. Then there was a roughly $400 midterm upgrade for Tiger; a new video card, a SATA card and drive, and a USB 2 card. Total cost, $3400. Divided by (rounding up) 8 years, it comes to $425 per year.



    A new mac Mini, at least for the last batch, is $600. For another $150 I can get it to 4 GB and add a larger 7200 RPM hard drive. Total cost, $750. If it lasts only two years before it gets tossed/demoted, my TCO is less than buying a high-end box and riding it into the dirt. So I think I do see evidence that the paradigm has changed.



    I was all ready to buy a new mini last weekend, but the rumors caused my finger to rise from the 'buy now' button even before I heard about the mini's speed bump. I want to see the new iMacs first. But if they don't have either a quad core or an express-card slot, then it's back to the buy base mini and trick it out plan.



    I'm going to agree with you. At this stage for mobile CPUs we're seeing the Penryns do quite well overall, such that even a 2ghz Penryn can go for a few more years. There is a bit more shift into other factors being important, such as GPU, RAM and hard disk. Sure a 2.8ghz Penryn would do very well against a 2ghz. But in the context of the next few years, Mac or PC, while Intel would like you to believe CPU is the main dominant factor, things like RAM, GPU (what I've been saying for the past few weeks) and hard drive especially, will affect overall computing experience a lot.



    Of course, if you're doing 3D renders and a lot of video encoding, then sure, CPU will be important. But that's a bit further away from the mainstream, and video encoding is at the very cusp of really exploding in terms of speed once they shift it to the GPU. Using even a 9400M has the potential to be faster than a 3ghz Core 2 Duo.



    Nonetheless, some of the iMacs should go quadcore, if nothing else but as a differentiating factor, for competing with PCs, and maintaining *some* leading edge.



    I got my refurb MacBook Alu 2.0ghz in May or so ... Even though it is the "slowest" (I cringe a bit when I think that I bought the "lowest end CPU") ... It is a Penryn, the MacBook Alu has the aluminium build, 9400M, DDR3 RAM, and I got my SATA2 7200rpm drive I popped in. Paying a significant amount more for 2.5ghz or so CPU was just... I just didn't see the real value.



    For me multitasking is important, fast opening and switching between apps, Adobe CS4 and iLife and music creation, not really hardcore video editing but casual editing for YouTube. I run Virtual XP now, so RAM will be important more so than CPU. Currently with VMWare Fusion it is actually better to just allocate 1 CPU to the virtual machine...



    I may not be making total sense here, just arrived at work so just wanted to type out a quick reply.
  • Reply 99 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maximac View Post


    I just bought a base version of '09 mac mini 7 days ago and heard about the mini update rumor today. I was wondering if I should return the mini(and pay restocking fee) and get the updated mini when it comes out. Any advice/suggestions greatly appreciated.



    The mini won't get a major update until next year. If it gets updated soon, most likely we're talking about the Core 2 Duo getting a notch faster and the hard drive a little bigger. Probably best to just be happy with what you got.
  • Reply 100 of 136
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post


    The mini won't get a major update until next year. If it gets updated soon, most likely we're talking about the Core 2 Duo getting a notch faster and the hard drive a little bigger. Probably best to just be happy with what you got.



    Why wouldn't they redesign the Mini case at the same time as the iMac? Maybe they will match.
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