Future updates for rest of Mac line

2

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  • Reply 21 of 52
    rbrrbr Posts: 631member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maddan View Post


    Actually from a profit perspective it is pointless to put a Thunderbolt port in a Mac Mini at this time. The Mac Mini will need two of them and when that happens USB and Firewire will probably be eliminated from the Mini. It does make sense to put it in every Mac notebook, the iMac and the Mac Pro as soon as they are refreshed.



    There is also another reason why a midrange xMac desktop should come out the same time as Lion. There's no longer an Xserve and it appears the server software will be included in Lion. Such a midrange headless desktop that can also be used as a server could be much more lucrative for Apple than the Xserve ever was and as long as it has a separate graphics card it can have a Thunderbolt port too.





    I don't disagree about the mid-range desktop/server, but I am not the one who needs convincing. Apple seems to have come to a crossroads and can't decide which way to go. There is supposedly a new 'small business' support unit, which is all fine and well, but is Apple abandoning the larger enterprises and the Edu clients?



    As to the Mini, it needs Thunderbolt as badly as any other product. External drives are one of the first things many users or prospective users are interested in. I know that I have not purchased one because of the lack of eSATA...I know you can hack them, but it seemed senseless to buy one and void its warranty the first thing you do to it.



    As to USB, there will be a need for a USB port on the MIni for the foreseeable future so that someone can hook up a keyboard and mouse to a headless unit if need be, but, looking forward, Firewire is history as far as I can see. What Apple does need is a Thunderbolt hub with eSATA, Firewire 800, and USB 2 or 3 for people to attach legacy devices. People will not just throw them away because Thunderbolt is neat.



    Cheers
  • Reply 22 of 52
    joebjoeb Posts: 29member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maddan View Post


    Actually from a profit perspective it is pointless to put a Thunderbolt port in a Mac Mini at this time. The Mac Mini will need two of them and when that happens USB and Firewire will probably be eliminated from the Mini. It does make sense to put it in every Mac notebook, the iMac and the Mac Pro as soon as they are refreshed.



    There is also another reason why a midrange xMac desktop should come out the same time as Lion. There's no longer an Xserve and it appears the server software will be included in Lion. Such a midrange headless desktop that can also be used as a server could be much more lucrative for Apple than the Xserve ever was and as long as it has a separate graphics card it can have a Thunderbolt port too.



    The mini will still need USB and The high speed Thunderbolt is not for low speed USB keyboard and mouses.
  • Reply 23 of 52
    beetlebeetle Posts: 8member
    I am quite disappointed that new Mini and iMacs did not turn up yesterday. Can I reasonably maintain hope for the 11th? Or should I set my expectation out for a month or more? I have $1200 from tax refund with Apple's name on it! I disagree that the 21.5" iMac should be dropped, as that is the largest format I can reasonably fit into my home office!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR View Post


    I don't disagree about the mid-range desktop/server, but I am not the one who needs convincing. Apple seems to have come to a crossroads and can't decide which way to go.



    Cringely has an interesting idea for this. Since that was published, Apple has annouced Thunderbolt and Server being built into Lion! The only thing missing is the Mini having a more rack-friendly form factor (and having two Thunderbolt ports).



    Quote:

    As to the Mini, it needs Thunderbolt as badly as any other product.



    Agree. The Mini already has the Mini Display Port (same form factor as Thunderbolt). I think the only questions are is if the Firewire 800 stays. Does anyone know if Thunderbolt supports Target Disk Mode?



    Quote:

    What Apple does need is a Thunderbolt hub with eSATA, Firewire 800, and USB 2 or 3 for people to attach legacy devices.



    I don't think Apple will make such a hub themselves, but that 3rd parties will. I expect Apple to build such functionality (well, probably not eSATA) into their Cinema displays. You will also external drives that can be daisy chained, with Display Port capable monitors as the last item in the chain. This is what Apple shows on their Thunderbolt page!
  • Reply 24 of 52
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beetle View Post


    I am quite disappointed that new Mini and iMacs did not turn up yesterday.



    At the iPad event. Right.



    Quote:

    Can I reasonably maintain hope for the 11th?



    From the beginning of recorded human history to March 10, you have had absolutely no reason to have ANY "reasonably maintained" hope for these updates on the 11th.



    Quote:

    Or should I set my expectation out for a month or more?



    Yes.
  • Reply 25 of 52
    rbrrbr Posts: 631member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beetle View Post


    I don't think Apple will make such a hub themselves, but that 3rd parties will. I expect Apple to build such functionality (well, probably not eSATA) into their Cinema displays. You will also external drives that can be daisy chained, with Display Port capable monitors as the last item in the chain. This is what Apple shows on their Thunderbolt page!



    Apple probably won't make it themselves, but someone at the mother ship should definitely work closely with "the usual suspects" to see that such a product comes to market soon. (TBolt port(s), eSATA ports, FW800, USB (2or 3) ports. Did I miss anything?



    Slightly off topic, but about yesterday's event. The still pix of Steve I saw concerned me, but then I saw a WSJ video of Walt Mossberg right after the event and he said that Steve moved around well, seemed to have energy and all that. I wish him the best.



    [Edit] P.S. Thanks for the link. That is an interesting idea. I saw an article yesterday that someone or other had put together a $150k Intel Atom based server system so people are beginning to take the idea of smaller, lighter, and quicker, if not necessarily "faster" seriously. Sooner or later I would not be surprised to see Intel get into the ARM fight with something based on their SCC "many core" concept.



    Cheers
  • Reply 26 of 52
    penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR View Post


    Slightly off topic, but about yesterday's event. The still pix of Steve I saw concerned me, but then I saw a WSJ video of Walt Mossberg right after the event and he said that Steve moved around well, seemed to have energy and all that. I wish him the best.



    Watch the video of the event available at apple.com. He is thin but he definitely had good energy.
  • Reply 27 of 52
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    You're like a 50-year-old man who believes in Santa Claus.



    How did you know?

    Quote:

    Insert Titanic/xMac reference here.



    Whatever my personal opinion is with respect to XMac you have to admit that Apple will need to try different configurations of the Mac Line up to keep the line up form becoming stale. The Mac Pro is dyeing and there is little room for innovation in the iMac line up. I actually see the Mini as the one Mac that has a future as Apple seems to be a little freer to redesign this platform. The problem is the Mini will never meet everybody's needs. So I still maintain the thought that a XMac like device is coming.



    It might not be a machine to sit between the Mac Pro and the Mini but rather a machine designed to replace the Mac Pro completely. I sales of the Mac Pro lag much more is will surely go the way of the XServe. I actually think it is well on its way there, but Apple will need something to feed the demand from the mac Pro crowd.
  • Reply 28 of 52
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Not that it is a bad thing but you seem to miss that the way TB is suppose to work is that devices can be daisy chained. In this case the monitor simply needs to be the last device in the chain.



    Two TB ports would obviously be better so I'm not dismissing that as the preferred way to go. I'm just saying it isn't required for the Mini. I don't really think two ports will be a problem considering the size of the chip supporting the TB ports.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maddan View Post


    Actually from a profit perspective it is pointless to put a Thunderbolt port in a Mac Mini at this time. The Mac Mini will need two of them and when that happens USB and Firewire will probably be eliminated from the Mini. It does make sense to put it in every Mac notebook, the iMac and the Mac Pro as soon as they are refreshed.



    Which makes no sense at all. If they should put TB into the iMac ad the Pro then they really can't afford not to do so on the Mini. In some ways the Mini is the device that needs the TB port the most. Think about it, the machine needs I/O more than most of the other platforms.

    Quote:

    There is also another reason why a midrange xMac desktop should come out the same time as Lion. There's no longer an Xserve and it appears the server software will be included in Lion. Such a midrange headless desktop that can also be used as a server could be much more lucrative for Apple than the Xserve ever was and as long as it has a separate graphics card it can have a Thunderbolt port too.



    You may be surprised to hear that I don't expect XMac to have a separate graphics card. Rather I expect it to be built into the motherboard, either via a integrated chip (Sandy Bridge) or as a discrete chip set. In any event the big draw for the XMac would be internal expansion bays for a suitable number of storage devices. I use the word devices there because they may or may not be disks depending upon the users preferences. Such a platform would be a huge draw and would be even better with one of more PCI-Express slots.



    Like you I see a demand for a Mac with expandable storage be it for server or other duties. Frankly XServe could have filled that roll if it was a lower cost platform.



    Dave
  • Reply 29 of 52
    beetlebeetle Posts: 8member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Why would Mini need two ports?

    • To make creating a Mini array (true xServe replacement) dead easy.

    • The current Mini support dual monitors, I don't expect Apple to drop that feature.

    The current Mini has Mini DisplayPort, Firewire, and HDMI. Obviously, the Mini DisplayPort will be replaced by Thunderbolt. I am guessing that Apple does not have a Thunderbolt to Firewire dongle ready, or the new MacBooks would not have kept Firewire. Keeping HDMI would be short sighted, but would save Apple the cost of including a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI dongle in the box. Directly supporting dual (Display Port) monitors out of the box would be elegant, and provide users with older Mini (and dual monitors) a straighforward upgrade path (although, they would need at least one new dongle).



    A single Thunderbolt port has the bandwidth to run two displays, but a Mini with a single Thunderbolt port and no HDMI would need some kind of ugly (and currently unavailable) dongle to run two monitors, or a display that can be daisy chained (also currently unavailable, but Apple might add such a feature to their Cinema Displays). I don't see Apple making an updated Cinema Display a required and necesary component to running two monitors on a Mini.



    Apple has a "four corners" marketing strategy (distinct consumer and profession desktops and laptops). We are lucky to have the Mini, there is just no room for another model.
  • Reply 30 of 52
    rbrrbr Posts: 631member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beetle View Post
    • To make creating a Mini array (true xServe replacement) dead easy.

    • The current Mini support dual monitors, I don't expect Apple to drop that feature.

    The current Mini has Mini DisplayPort, Firewire, and HDMI. Obviously, the Mini DisplayPort will be replaced by Thunderbolt. I am guessing that Apple does not have a Thunderbolt to Firewire dongle ready, or the new MacBooks would not have kept Firewire. Keeping HDMI would be short sighted, but would save Apple the cost of including a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI dongle in the box. Directly supporting dual (Display Port) monitors out of the box would be elegant, and provide users with older Mini (and dual monitors) a straighforward upgrade path (although, they would need at least one new dongle).



    A single Thunderbolt port has the bandwidth to run two displays, but a Mini with a single Thunderbolt port and no HDMI would need some kind of ugly (and currently unavailable) dongle to run two monitors, or a display that can be daisy chained (also currently unavailable, but Apple might add such a feature to their Cinema Displays). I don't see Apple making an updated Cinema Display a required and necesary component to running two monitors on a Mini.



    Apple has a "four corners" marketing strategy (distinct consumer and profession desktops and laptops). We are lucky to have the Mini, there is just no room for another model.



    Apple have blurred the "four corner" model to the point that it is questionable it still exists, even if Apple believe they are adhering to it.



    Certain models are plainly "pro", such as the very high end Mac Pro, but many actual pros have been pushed into the iMac because of a misfit of capabilities of the various models. In truth, the iMac is the only model which is a fit for many professional uses which do not require an all out work station and, nice as it may be, it lacks a lot of flexibility, though Thunderbolt will help resolve some of the issues with it.



    Speaking of Thunderbolt, it is not as fast as everyone seems to be assuming. The present Thunderbolt can be saturated by a simple three drive RAID array...and then there is the matter of the display. A single display can use up sufficient bandwidth that there is not all that much left over so the simple fact of the matter is that there are needs for more than one Thunderbolt port. The aesthetic of a single cable on the desktop, while possible in some instances, is not a one size fits all solution. Plainly, Intel and Apple need to get a much faster Thunderbolt to market if they wish to actually accomplish this goal in the desktop world. They also need to do this if there is to be any hope of Thunderbolt achieving widespread adoption in the PC world. Otherwise it becomes just another proprietary footnote to history.



    AMD (whose financial interest is obvious) makes these nevertheless accurate
    -Proprietary-Standard,12297.html" target="_blank">observations
    . AMD's comments, however, presume that Thunderbolt is not version 1.0 with more to come. Still, it will be in Intel's interest to get a faster version out quickly to promote its adoption. If I had to guess, I would guess that much of the PC community will be taking a 'wait and see' approach to Thunderbolt because of the obvious limitations of the present deployment. It may not be worth the effort of most of their customer base to adopt what seems to be a very short term technology, especially when the expense of the change is factored in. If the PC community does adopt Thunderbolt, I would expect to see multiple ports. Even if there are a handful of Thunderbolt connectors running around, there will still be less clutter than there was before which can't be all bad.



    The importance of the PC community to Thunderbird adopting it is fairly obvious. IF not adopted by enough manufacturers of PCs and peripherals there simply will not be a critical mass. Apple could continue using it, but with limited choices of devices.



    The question no one outside of Intel and Apple seems to know the answer to at the moment is whether the Thunderbolt chip being deployed is maxed out at its current transfer rate or can be throttled up with firmware updates. If it is the former, when will the replacement chip surface?
  • Reply 31 of 52
    zephzeph Posts: 133member
    Lately I have been thinking that the next-gen MacPro may well be a new, smaller design. As such they could actually make it a box that can stand upright like a tower or lay flat like a desktop model.



    From there it would not be a big step to have optional rack ears and with that you could substitute your xServe.



    Just thinking out loud.
  • Reply 32 of 52
    beetlebeetle Posts: 8member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR View Post


    Apple have blurred the "four corner" model to the point that it is questionable it still exists, even if Apple believe they are adhering to it.



    True, and I think it is even fuzzier with the laptops, but this only makes an xMac even less likely. Do you disagree that, even with the corners a bit rounded, Apple sees clear benefit to a streamlined product line?



    Thanks for the AMD sour grapes link, very amusing! I find their characterization of Intel?s position at odds with their actual press release!
  • Reply 33 of 52
    zephzeph Posts: 133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR View Post


    Certain models are plainly "pro", such as the very high end Mac Pro, but many actual pros have been pushed into the iMac because of a misfit of capabilities of the various models. In truth, the iMac is the only model which is a fit for many professional uses which do not require an all out work station and, nice as it may be, it lacks a lot of flexibility, though Thunderbolt will help resolve some of the issues with it.



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



    The importance of the PC community to Thunderbird adopting it is fairly obvious. IF not adopted by enough manufacturers of PCs and peripherals there simply will not be a critical mass. Apple could continue using it, but with limited choices of devices.



    A) Indeed. I am a potential high-end iMac user. The top-spec i7 27" with SSD and HDD could be a reasonable fit for me, except that it's too large and ideally I'd like three internal HDD's. What makes the base spec quad-core MacPro such a hard sell is that its CPU is basically overclassed by the top-spec iMac. That means users needing expandibility take a performance hit at a higher price. Not sure how to explain that away.



    B) I think you're right, but the PC community did not take to FW either. The videocams did, though, and the audio interfaces. That gave it the momentum it needed.
  • Reply 34 of 52
    rbrrbr Posts: 631member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beetle View Post


    True, and I think it is even fuzzier with the laptops, but this only makes an xMac even less likely. Do you disagree that, even with the corners a bit rounded, Apple sees clear benefit to a streamlined product line?



    Thanks for the AMD sour grapes link, very amusing! I find their characterization of Intel?s position at odds with their actual press release!



    I think that Apple will continue to "rationalize" the product line. That is to say that they will provide a limited number of choices for customers and will not take a "let us build one for you" approach. That helps inventory, manufacturing and cost control in ways that are beneficial to the company.



    Apple have taken an investment position in many of the core component manufacturing companies. Though the details are not public, it is not unreasonable to presume that, in doing so, Apple have acquired a "most preferred customer" position not only as to supply, but as to price. There have been articles, for example, about how Apple have tied up the majority of NAND RAM production for themselves. :-) The same is true for some of the suppliers of touch screens and I am sure there are more examples available. The one area which Apple does not seem to have attached any particular priority to is the matter of separate displays used by Mac Pro and other computers. I suspect this is a reflection of the reality that Mac Pro sales represent a small and apparently declining portion of Apple's sales.



    So, yea, Apple will maintain a streamlined product line, but there is a danger that, in doing so, they may leave gaps in the line.



    Let's face it, Apple believe that the overwhelming majority of their customers purchase a computer and never open it up. Where a lot of us disagree is the loss of the ability to open one up, pop in a new RAID card or a PCIe SSD boot drive (very, very trick I am told) and so on. If Apple were to at least give us multiple Thunderbolt ports we would be able to have a number of high speed peripherals.



    Oh, it is not addressed in this thread, but one thing which is driving a lot change in the computing world, not just the Mac world is "the cloud". Let me spell it a different way..."thin client". That's right, sealed box thin clients. The iPad and MacBook Air are previews of this trend.



    Cheers
  • Reply 35 of 52
    beetlebeetle Posts: 8member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zeph View Post


    What makes the base spec quad-core MacPro such a hard sell is that its CPU is basically overclassed by the top-spec iMac.



    I don't follow. My understanding was that the 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon W3530 is notably faster than the 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7. Please provide a link where I can educate myself!
  • Reply 36 of 52
    zephzeph Posts: 133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beetle View Post


    I don't follow. My understanding was that the 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon W3530 is notably faster than the 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7. Please provide a link where I can educate myself!



    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html



    i7/870-2.93GHz scores 6100

    Xeon W3530-2.8GHz scores 5016



    Or more Apple-related:



    http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks/



    iMac i7/870/2.93GHz scores 9084

    MacPro Quad Xeon W3530-2.8GHz scores 8360



    disclaimer:

    This is not to say that the MacPro can't be faster for general computing.
  • Reply 37 of 52
    zephzeph Posts: 133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR View Post


    Oh, it is not addressed in this thread, but one thing which is driving a lot change in the computing world, not just the Mac world is "the cloud". Let me spell it a different way..."thin client". That's right, sealed box thin clients. The iPad and MacBook Air are previews of this trend.

    Cheers



    ...and that is another reason why my next puter may well be a rackmount PC. The writing is on the wall.
  • Reply 38 of 52
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    MacBook Air when a Sandy Bridge chip exists that can be put in it.



    Released 20 February:

    2649M\t2.3 GHz\t25W suitable for 13" MBA

    2629M\t2.1 GHz\t25W suitable for 13" MBA

    2657M\t1.6 GHz\t17W suitable for 11" MBA

    2617M\t1.5 GHz\t17W suitable for 11" MBA

    2537M\t1.4 GHz\t17W suitable for 11" MBA



    What I really want is a 15" MacBook Air.
  • Reply 39 of 52
    beetlebeetle Posts: 8member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zeph View Post


    iMac i7/870/2.93GHz scores 9084

    MacPro Quad Xeon W3530-2.8GHz scores 8360

    disclaimer:This is not to say that the MacPro can't be faster for general computing.



    I am reading 9723 and 10544, but still that is a 8% to the bad for a chip that is 5% slower and only $40 more expensive. Quite disappointing, and certainly a disincentive to purchase. Sure, the MacPro probably is faster for general computing, but why give your high-end customers any pause for doubt?
  • Reply 40 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beetle View Post


    I am reading 9723 and 10544, but still that is a 8% to the bad for a chip that is 5% slower and only $40 more expensive. Quite disappointing, and certainly a disincentive to purchase. Sure, the MacPro probably is faster for general computing, but why give your high-end customers any pause for doubt?



    Xeons support registered ECC RAM. Long story short, you can put in a lot more RAM in a computer, way beyond what anybody would put in a simple desktop system. For example the dual CPU Dell towers support 192 GB.



    Anyway, what you guys seem to want that iMac doesn't give you (other than superficial "I want a separate box with the computer in it") is a way to use whatever GPU you want. I think this is intentional on Apple's part because of the driver issues, they're controlling your experience here because the industry isn't in the habit of supporting anything other than Windows, at least not yet.
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