Mac Pro Refesh in March

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  • Reply 141 of 374
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Actually those margins are thin, even Apple is relatively thin compared to workstation manufactures or IBM. Sadly most of the workstation manufactures have been absorbed by others but even then margins on the hardware is thick. Apple is unfortunately often judged against the likes of Dell which for lack of business sense has thrown the idea of margin out the window. Unfortunately for Dell it has caught up with them as many businesses are starting to look elsewhere as Dell has cut quality so much that the low price isn't worth it.



    I actually believe Apple was as surprised with iPads success as everyone else. In business you have to run with your successes. However what is glossed over here is that Macs are also very successful, it is just that the Mac Pro hasn't shared in that success. We could discuss at length Apples desktop shortcomings but I will skip that and just say now is a fine time to transition the desktop line up to new concepts. With Sandy Bridge E and a choice of Fusion or Sand/Ivy Bridge Apple could turn the desktop line around and sell good hardware at reasonable prices.



    Internally this hardware will look rather unique and split with the past. It will do so to deliver maximum performance in the price classes they market in.



    I meant that the dual socket workstation end held higher markup per unit sold. If the volume has dropped off making it less profitable, that's a separate issue. I wasn't really that surprised by the success of any of the idevices. The surprising thing is how successful they've been. I really didn't expect a flop. They really built up a solid foundation of development which is something that takes years. That kind of infrastructure in terms of itunes, the app store, and the brand recognition that they have among younger people (in that teenagers grow up being very aware of Apple) is something that takes time and investment. I really like some of their strategies. They invest heavily in testing their phones and stuff, but they'll either continue this line or they won't. It's actually kind of an awkward line in some ways. The hardware is very capable. The point of entry and what you get for it is a bit bleh, and it's missing some typical baseline workstation features. I had figured with the initial mac pro that they left out a couple of those things to keep costs in line as they offered incredibly competitive hardware for the price.



    Today they're still lacking on options, but obviously the starting hardware configuration has begun to feel a bit weak. I'd like to see them do something so that their desktop line makes actual sense. The mini was brought out as a budget model. Its current hardware is still somewhat of budget hardware. Obviously using mobile parts drives up the cost a little. Looking at the server at $1000 without a keyboard or mouse is a bit odd, and I find it sort of weird that the only display offered at time of purchase for such a model is the thunderbolt display. It may be an issue in that they wish to offer only Apple branded hardware and don't want to absorb a smaller display as a potential loss leader. The lack of keyboard and mouse at its price is still really awkard to me. Before anyone says it's a server (which in itself is funny) the mini below it suffers from the same thing. Looking at the imac, it seems like a computer that was designed for a market that has since moved on to other units. I mean I could totally see someone who might have purchased one of the old imac G4s buying an Air instead today. It's successful, but it's something they make because it was designed years ago. It's not something they would necessarily bring to market today.



    Their desktop strategy is pretty segmented. I referenced the lenovo and HP because they're newer designs that can accommodate a very wide range of hardware, and eventually their costs might be closer to the desktop hardware we know today. The HP had a dreamcolor display as one of the options on display choice, so they definitely tried to offer premium options with it. We haven't seen any real mac pro rumors, but at the same time we see mostly junk rumors that are mostly speculation, so I guess something could happen. My prediction remains no really massive desktop updates pre haswell. It's also possible we might see a major change in laptops this year or next with desktops seeing updates the following year. This kind of staggering would actually make a lot of sense, and I don't predict desktops will be refactored first. The Windows oems have a lot more of the enterprise market to cater to in that regard.



    Looking at Intel Xeon workstations, they've been a bit stagnant. If you look at the hardware offered, it hasn't changed much since 2009 unless you get into extreme price points, but the machines I referenced specifically may be the long term trend in desktops. I don't necessarily see the concept returning in homes outside of home offices in the form of something where you sit down in front of one at a dedicated piece of furniture. I'm not sure what I see there, but it's likely that it would be a discreet companion to something like an ipad. The mini wouldn't be such a bad option if it wasn't an incomplete system in its typical offerings.
  • Reply 142 of 374
    rbrrbr Posts: 631member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Actually those margins are thin, even Apple is relatively thin compared to workstation manufactures or IBM. Sadly most of the workstation manufactures have been absorbed by others but even then margins on the hardware is thick. Apple is unfortunately often judged against the likes of Dell which for lack of business sense has thrown the idea of margin out the window. Unfortunately for Dell it has caught up with them as many businesses are starting to look elsewhere as Dell has cut quality so much that the low price isn't worth it.



    I actually believe Apple was as surprised with iPads success as everyone else. In business you have to run with your successes. However what is glossed over here is that Macs are also very successful, it is just that the Mac Pro hasn't shared in that success. We could discuss at length Apples desktop shortcomings but I will skip that and just say now is a fine time to transition the desktop line up to new concepts. With Sandy Bridge E and a choice of Fusion or Sand/Ivy Bridge Apple could turn the desktop line around and sell good hardware at reasonable prices.



    Internally this hardware will look rather unique and split with the past. It will do so to deliver maximum performance in the price classes they market in.



    An Apple EDU Rep said that we (Apple) expected that it (the iPad) would be successful, but we had no idea it would take off the way it has. Now that it has become something of a phenomena, Apple have scrambled to develop capabilities suited to the uses which have been created for the iPad.



    I quite agree with your remark about the state of affairs of Apple's desktops. Let's face it, the iMac's chosen form factor and the consequent thermal issues dictates the choice of internal components. The notable exception to this is the much cussed and discussed 'high glare' display, which illustrates Apple's resistance to customer wishes. Personally, I wish someone other than Jonny Ives would design a lineup of desktops separate from the iMac. Jonny's designs historically have thermal issues. It would be good to see a small tower and a larger tower using proper desktop components in addition to the Mac Pro line, but Apple appear disinclined to take such a decision. This is not to say that the iMac is bad, but simply that it is not the solution everyone needs or wants.



    This thread is evidence of the concern about Apple's future course. There are more people than Apple acknowledge who have been long time Mac users, but are facing decisions about changing platforms if Apple does not give clear indications that the Mac Pro will be continued beyond the current rumored refresh.



    Cheers
  • Reply 143 of 374
    With about 1 'tower' sitting all alone in most Apple stores...I think it's safe to say we're not going to get multiple 'tower' line ups/designs.



    It 'may' get a redesign (the Pro) but it will be telling if it doesn't.



    If we look at any Apple store, the writing is on the wall...or on the wooden tables.



    The best hope if for a dramatic redesign that embraces some 'node'/modular computer. It's way too big as is. Beautiful. Classic. But ...boy...BIG.



    What use is a 'tower' that you can't upgrade the GPU on? When Thunderbolt Raid arrays eat your lunch? When you have to pay a fortune just to get into the club? The last time Apple had my attention on 'towers' was the old blue and whites. (Back when prices were sane?)



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 144 of 374
    Apple have just canned the Macbook (a cheap foot on Apple's laptop ladder.)



    That's two laptop ranges now. Air. Pro.



    What makes anyone think they'll keep 3 desktops? The Pro is looking vulnerable in that context.



    Mini. iMac?



    Does it work like that?



    *the cpus are now available. Apple's call.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 145 of 374
    rbrrbr Posts: 631member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    With about 1 'tower' sitting all alone in most Apple stores...I think it's safe to say we're not going to get multiple 'tower' line ups/designs.



    It 'may' get a redesign (the Pro) but it will be telling if it doesn't.



    If we look at any Apple store, the writing is on the wall...or on the wooden tables.



    The best hope if for a dramatic redesign that embraces some 'node'/modular computer. It's way too big as is. Beautiful. Classic. But ...boy...BIG.



    What use is a 'tower' that you can't upgrade the GPU on? When Thunderbolt Raid arrays eat your lunch? When you have to pay a fortune just to get into the club? The last time Apple had my attention on 'towers' was the old blue and whites. (Back when prices were sane?)



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    I said 'I wish' and that someone other than Jonny would design it. From Apple's unresponsiveness to something as simple a non-glare screen it is clear the direction the company have chosen.



    If Apple fail to make a clear statement of commitment to continued development of the Mac Pro (which would be out of character) the time may be at hand to take another path or, as Yogi put it, when you come to a fork in the road, take it.



    I am increasingly less convince of the viability of Thunderbolt. It is an expensive substitute for a PCIe slot in most regards.



    To be clearer, a design without Jonny will not happen, even if it should. The whole situation is not encouraging.
  • Reply 146 of 374
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    I meant that the dual socket workstation end held higher markup per unit sold. If the volume has dropped off making it less profitable, that's a separate issue. I wasn't really that surprised by the success of any of the idevices. The surprising thing is how successful they've been. I really didn't expect a flop. They really built up a solid foundation of development which is something that takes years. That kind of infrastructure in terms of itunes, the app store, and the brand recognition that they have among younger people (in that teenagers grow up being very aware of Apple) is something that takes time and investment. I really like some of their strategies. They invest heavily in testing their phones and stuff, but they'll either continue this line or they won't. It's actually kind of an awkward line in some ways. The hardware is very capable. The point of entry and what you get for it is a bit bleh, and it's missing some typical baseline workstation features. I had figured with the initial mac pro that they left out a couple of those things to keep costs in line as they offered incredibly competitive hardware for the price.



    Today they're still lacking on options, but obviously the starting hardware configuration has begun to feel a bit weak. I'd like to see them do something so that their desktop line makes actual sense. The mini was brought out as a budget model. Its current hardware is still somewhat of budget hardware. Obviously using mobile parts drives up the cost a little. Looking at the server at $1000 without a keyboard or mouse is a bit odd, and I find it sort of weird that the only display offered at time of purchase for such a model is the thunderbolt display. It may be an issue in that they wish to offer only Apple branded hardware and don't want to absorb a smaller display as a potential loss leader. The lack of keyboard and mouse at its price is still really awkard to me. Before anyone says it's a server (which in itself is funny) the mini below it suffers from the same thing. Looking at the imac, it seems like a computer that was designed for a market that has since moved on to other units. I mean I could totally see someone who might have purchased one of the old imac G4s buying an Air instead today. It's successful, but it's something they make because it was designed years ago. It's not something they would necessarily bring to market today.



    Their desktop strategy is pretty segmented. I referenced the lenovo and HP because they're newer designs that can accommodate a very wide range of hardware, and eventually their costs might be closer to the desktop hardware we know today. The HP had a dreamcolor display as one of the options on display choice, so they definitely tried to offer premium options with it. We haven't seen any real mac pro rumors, but at the same time we see mostly junk rumors that are mostly speculation, so I guess something could happen. My prediction remains no really massive desktop updates pre haswell. It's also possible we might see a major change in laptops this year or next with desktops seeing updates the following year. This kind of staggering would actually make a lot of sense, and I don't predict desktops will be refactored first. The Windows oems have a lot more of the enterprise market to cater to in that regard.



    Looking at Intel Xeon workstations, they've been a bit stagnant. If you look at the hardware offered, it hasn't changed much since 2009 unless you get into extreme price points, but the machines I referenced specifically may be the long term trend in desktops. I don't necessarily see the concept returning in homes outside of home offices in the form of something where you sit down in front of one at a dedicated piece of furniture. I'm not sure what I see there, but it's likely that it would be a discreet companion to something like an ipad. The mini wouldn't be such a bad option if it wasn't an incomplete system in its typical offerings.



    Quote:

    I quite agree with your remark about the state of affairs of Apple's desktops. Let's face it, the iMac's chosen form factor and the consequent thermal issues dictates the choice of internal components. The notable exception to this is the much cussed and discussed 'high glare' display, which illustrates Apple's resistance to customer wishes. Personally, I wish someone other than Jonny Ives would design a lineup of desktops separate from the iMac. Jonny's designs historically have thermal issues. It would be good to see a small tower and a larger tower using proper desktop components in addition to the Mac Pro line, but Apple appear disinclined to take such a decision. This is not to say that the iMac is bad, but simply that it is not the solution everyone needs or wants.



    If Apple did something dumb like release iLife for Windows I'd build my own pc and that would be that. :-)
  • Reply 147 of 374
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR View Post


    I said 'I wish' and that someone other than Jonny would design it. From Apple's unresponsiveness to something as simple a non-glare screen it is clear the direction the company have chosen.



    If Apple fail to make a clear statement of commitment to continued development of the Mac Pro (which would be out of character) the time may be at hand to take another path or, as Yogi put it, when you come to a fork in the road, take it.



    I am increasingly less convince of the viability of Thunderbolt. It is an expensive substitute for a PCIe slot in most regards.



    To be clearer, a design without Jonny will not happen, even if it should. The whole situation is not encouraging.



    It was Ive that designed the Industrial looking Mac Pro? It IS a work of art, eh?



    Apple are a portable computing company now. The desktop argument may rage on this forum.



    But what is a desktop?



    Look at Apple's Final Cut software page. It has a Macbook Pro as the machine of choice. That's a hint as to what a desktop is. A desktop you can pick up and go with. It sits on the table as a 'desktop'. Nobody I know now has a tower. Well. Maybe a couple.



    I don't like laptops. Never have. But I think they're the new desktop. You want a bigger 'desktop' screen? Apple has an advert of you plugging into the 27 inch. Laptop gpus more than powerful now to drive such a display. Even their mini is plugged into a big display. Diminutive thing that it is.



    Take all the products apple does.



    Where is bigger, chunkier, hotter?



    It's smaller, slimmer and pushing the thermal envelope in design. That's what gave their iOS devices from the iPod Nano to the iPhone to the iPad their distinction. The iMac is a mid-tower that is squeezed into a 2 inch enclosure. (Sure, it will run a bit 'hot'...but so do Mid-Towers...in bigger boxes.) The Mini is a cheap-ass 'tower' in a very small enclosure. Hard not to fondle the Mini and 'ooooh...' at it in person. They're both 'desktops'. Not the desktops some on here may want. But plenty of PC converts have forsaken the tower to happily pick up iMacs, laptops Minis... Sure, some may not cross over for lack of affordable tower. (Is Apple really going to convince the hard core gamers in PC land with a Mac Pro? Will Apple ever release a £1000 tower? Can you SEE them doing it? I can't. I'd like a Mini x2. A double stack Mini Cube. But do you SEE them actually doing one? After the last Cube debacle?)



    The top of my iMac gets hot. Very under GPU/CPU load for hours on end. (Anybody who thinks it doesn't get hot is invited to my house to get their face gaffa taped to the top of it and see if it feels comfy...)



    But less hot, less noisy than my old 'hairdryer' tower Athlon. I appreciated the Mac Pro's monolithic design is quite quiet and cool. (It should be. It's huge.) But that is not and perhaps never was Apple's design mandate. (The original Mac was tiny. With a tiny screen.)



    Every product Apple has is all about the 'small.' The iPad packs a massive amount of power/capability in half an inch. It's astonishing.



    Contrast that with the 'ten year old' design of the Pro.



    Something has to give. Design. Price. Modularity. More GPU options. Cheaper, mainstream cpu options.



    Personally, I hope the 'pro' doesn't get canned. But it's looking mighty vulnerable given the Macbook just got canned and has been a better Unit shifting servant than the Mac Pro.



    If the Wizard is right and he can't see it selling more than...50K in units per quarter...the Pro is in deep, deep trouble. The Cube got canned for around those numbers or less.



    Either the iMac continues it's land grab on 'Pro' territory...or we get something new. But that leaves Apple with '3' desktop machines. Which doesn't make sense. Surely they'd have more laptop lines than desktop given respective sales?



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 148 of 374
    rbrrbr Posts: 631member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    It was Ive that designed the Industrial looking Mac Pro? It IS a work of art, eh?



    Apple are a portable computing company now. The desktop argument may rage on this forum.



    But what is a desktop?



    Look at Apple's Final Cut software page. It has a Macbook Pro as the machine of choice. That's a hint as to what a desktop is. A desktop you can pick up and go with. It sits on the table as a 'desktop'. Nobody I know now has a tower. Well. Maybe a couple.



    I don't like laptops. Never have. But I think they're the new desktop. You want a bigger 'desktop' screen? Apple has an advert of you plugging into the 27 inch. Laptop gpus more than powerful now to drive such a display. Even their mini is plugged into a big display. Diminutive thing that it is.



    Take all the products apple does.



    Where is bigger, chunkier, hotter?



    It's smaller, slimmer and pushing the thermal envelope in design. That's what gave their iOS devices from the iPod Nano to the iPhone to the iPad their distinction. The iMac is a mid-tower that is squeezed into a 2 inch enclosure. (Sure, it will run a bit 'hot'...but so do Mid-Towers...in bigger boxes.) The Mini is a cheap-ass 'tower' in a very small enclosure. Hard not to fondle the Mini and 'ooooh...' at it in person. They're both 'desktops'. Not the desktops some on here may want. But plenty of PC converts have forsaken the tower to happily pick up iMacs, laptops Minis... Sure, some may not cross over for lack of affordable tower. (Is Apple really going to convince the hard core gamers in PC land with a Mac Pro? Will Apple ever release a £1000 tower? Can you SEE them doing it? I can't. I'd like a Mini x2. A double stack Mini Cube. But do you SEE them actually doing one? After the last Cube debacle?)



    The top of my iMac gets hot. Very under GPU/CPU load for hours on end. (Anybody who thinks it doesn't get hot is invited to my house to get their face gaffa taped to the top of it and see if it feels comfy...)



    But less hot, less noisy than my old 'hairdryer' tower Athlon. I appreciated the Mac Pro's monolithic design is quite quiet and cool. (It should be. It's huge.) But that is not and perhaps never was Apple's design mandate. (The original Mac was tiny. With a tiny screen.)



    Every product Apple has is all about the 'small.' The iPad packs a massive amount of power/capability in half an inch. It's astonishing.



    Contrast that with the 'ten year old' design of the Pro.



    Something has to give. Design. Price. Modularity. More GPU options. Cheaper, mainstream cpu options.



    Personally, I hope the 'pro' doesn't get canned. But it's looking mighty vulnerable given the Macbook just got canned and has been a better Unit shifting servant than the Mac Pro.



    If the Wizard is right and he can't see it selling more than...50K in units per quarter...the Pro is in deep, deep trouble. The Cube got canned for around those numbers or less.



    Either the iMac continues it's land grab on 'Pro' territory...or we get something new. But that leaves Apple with '3' desktop machines. Which doesn't make sense. Surely they'd have more laptop lines than desktop given respective sales?



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    Hi LBB,



    I certainly agree that there are many people whose needs can be met with a laptop and a bigger screen with some peripherals at home or the office, but there are many others who need the laptop as a mobility tool to sync with their desktop whether they are on the Mac platform or another.



    Actually, I was disappointed with the design of the Mac Pro case, but then I prefer functionality over appearance and I would hardly ever see it as it goes out of the way under the desk...yea, yea, yea, I know it's called a desktop, not an under the desktop, but I didn't make up the name. I just call them a tower. :-)



    I knew people who were infatuated with the cube, but I never cared for it. It had a lot of shortcomings.



    I would like to stay with OS X, as long as Apple doesn't mess it up too badly, but the direction Apple appears to be taking with hardware is not encouraging to me.



    Tim Cook has not been at the helm too long and I will reserve judgment on the direction of hardware development. We will see if he takes Steve's advice to not ask "what would Steve do?"



    If Apple starts killing off products which constitute an important part of the overall environment because they don't sell a gazillion, just where does the slashing end?



    I look forward to being proven wrong in this less than optimistic assessment.



    Cheers
  • Reply 149 of 374
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Many seem to be looking at alternative machines or actually jumping ship. That should bother Apple a lot.



    The problem with Apples desk top sales is that they try to refactor the same old machine in the hopes of souring sales not realizing that the machines simply aren't all that desirable no matter how much lipstick gets put on them. Reminds me of one definition for insanity about doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. No one other than Apple themselves are responsible for the poor desktop sales.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    It was Ive that designed the Industrial looking Mac Pro? It IS a work of art, eh?



    Apple are a portable computing company now. The desktop argument may rage on this forum.



    But what is a desktop?



    Look at Apple's Final Cut software page. It has a Macbook Pro as the machine of choice. That's a hint as to what a desktop is. A desktop you can pick up and go with. It sits on the table as a 'desktop'. Nobody I know now has a tower. Well. Maybe a couple.



    I don't like laptops. Never have. But I think they're the new desktop. You want a bigger 'desktop' screen? Apple has an advert of you plugging into the 27 inch. Laptop gpus more than powerful now to drive such a display. Even their mini is plugged into a big display. Diminutive thing that it is.



    Take all the products apple does.



    Where is bigger, chunkier, hotter?



    It's smaller, slimmer and pushing the thermal envelope in design. That's what gave their iOS devices from the iPod Nano to the iPhone to the iPad their distinction. The iMac is a mid-tower that is squeezed into a 2 inch enclosure. (Sure, it will run a bit 'hot'...but so do Mid-Towers...in bigger boxes.) The Mini is a cheap-ass 'tower' in a very small enclosure. Hard not to fondle the Mini and 'ooooh...' at it in person. They're both 'desktops'. Not the desktops some on here may want. But plenty of PC converts have forsaken the tower to happily pick up iMacs, laptops Minis... Sure, some may not cross over for lack of affordable tower. (Is Apple really going to convince the hard core gamers in PC land with a Mac Pro? Will Apple ever release a £1000 tower? Can you SEE them doing it? I can't. I'd like a Mini x2. A double stack Mini Cube. But do you SEE them actually doing one? After the last Cube debacle?)



    The top of my iMac gets hot. Very under GPU/CPU load for hours on end. (Anybody who thinks it doesn't get hot is invited to my house to get their face gaffa taped to the top of it and see if it feels comfy...)



    But less hot, less noisy than my old 'hairdryer' tower Athlon. I appreciated the Mac Pro's monolithic design is quite quiet and cool. (It should be. It's huge.) But that is not and perhaps never was Apple's design mandate. (The original Mac was tiny. With a tiny screen.)



    Every product Apple has is all about the 'small.' The iPad packs a massive amount of power/capability in half an inch. It's astonishing.



    Contrast that with the 'ten year old' design of the Pro.



    Something has to give. Design. Price. Modularity. More GPU options. Cheaper, mainstream cpu options.



    Personally, I hope the 'pro' doesn't get canned. But it's looking mighty vulnerable given the Macbook just got canned and has been a better Unit shifting servant than the Mac Pro.



    If the Wizard is right and he can't see it selling more than...50K in units per quarter...the Pro is in deep, deep trouble. The Cube got canned for around those numbers or less.



    Either the iMac continues it's land grab on 'Pro' territory...or we get something new. But that leaves Apple with '3' desktop machines. Which doesn't make sense. Surely they'd have more laptop lines than desktop given respective sales?



    Lemon Bon Bon.



  • Reply 150 of 374
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    Apple have just canned the Macbook (a cheap foot on Apple's laptop ladder.)



    That's two laptop ranges now. Air. Pro.



    What makes anyone think they'll keep 3 desktops? The Pro is looking vulnerable in that context.



    Mini. iMac?



    Does it work like that?



    *the cpus are now available. Apple's call.



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    The last of the cpus came available a couple days ago or something right? If this is like the last refresh, Apple will be the last to implement it. If they became available last year, I could have seen Apple rushing it to market for year end purchases to get rid of leftover budgets or shift tax liability. Now I'm thinking more like summer after everything else is refreshed. I thought I should explain the reason for my change in prediction. Anyway it also matters if appropriate gpus have begun to hit the market. Apple doesn't really wait on workstation variants which tend to become available later. Apple isn't reliant on them so they don't have to wait there.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by geneking7320 View Post


    If Apple did something dumb like release iLife for Windows I'd build my own pc and that would be that. :-)



    iLife isn't a big concern for me personally.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post




    I don't like laptops. Never have. But I think they're the new desktop. You want a bigger 'desktop' screen? Apple has an advert of you plugging into the 27 inch. Laptop gpus more than powerful now to drive such a display. Even their mini is plugged into a big display. Diminutive thing that it is.



    They can bog down for a lot of things, and i've encountered some weird bugs with laptops plugged into large displays in general. Anyway I'm not 100% sure which way it's going to go. The mini has a loyal following, but it's in a very odd place. For $1000 you can put up with intel graphics, no keyboard or mouse bundled, and the only display option at time of purchase is another $1000. I wouldn't personally pay that much for the tb display. I'm sure it cost Apple something to design and build, but it's nothing special considering its price. I've had and seen too many problems with Apple displays to ever consider purchasing a discrete one. I don't think it makes for a very competitive grand total, yet the imacs have always given me other issues.







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    Something has to give. Design. Price. Modularity. More GPU options. Cheaper, mainstream cpu options.



    Personally, I hope the 'pro' doesn't get canned. But it's looking mighty vulnerable given the Macbook just got canned and has been a better Unit shifting servant than the Mac Pro.



    If the Wizard is right and he can't see it selling more than...50K in units per quarter...the Pro is in deep, deep trouble. The Cube got canned for around those numbers or less.



    Either the iMac continues it's land grab on 'Pro' territory...or we get something new. But that leaves Apple with '3' desktop machines. Which doesn't make sense. Surely they'd have more laptop lines than desktop given respective sales?



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    Right now I think they keep the mac pro going with very little effort. They probably collect a high per unit margin, and don't really devote a lot in the way of skilled employee or management resources. It has a place in some of the larger Apple stores and on the site. Things like the imac are still leveraged units. Many people using them professionally are making a choice from what Apple offers rather than a completely objective choice on a computer. There are a lot of guys with 2009 or 2010 models. If Apple doesn't do anything, they are still likely to keep these going for some time. Usually from a working standpoint, your upgrades are intended to improve efficiency in some way. Either they're less restrictive on your working patterns or the old computer chokes on a newer software version, or something of that sort. If the newest one won't make them more competitive or solve one of the issues I just mentioned, they won't be really forced into expediency in that regard.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Many seem to be looking at alternative machines or actually jumping ship. That should bother Apple a lot.



    The problem with Apples desk top sales is that they try to refactor the same old machine in the hopes of souring sales not realizing that the machines simply aren't all that desirable no matter how much lipstick gets put on them. Reminds me of one definition for insanity about doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. No one other than Apple themselves are responsible for the poor desktop sales.



    That is true. They are somewhat predictable though. They've just been using their developed product lines in that market segment. I linked you a couple newer workstation designs, but we haven't seen a lot in that regard. The product lines available on Windows have been a bit stagnant too, although I expect to see more C20 like machines as in rackable and sized to fit many in a 42U rack.
  • Reply 151 of 374
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,737moderator
    We should find out more about the Mac Pro next week some time:



    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/...channel-boston



    The iPad 3 event is on the 7th so there's a chance they could announce something one way or the other e.g new design or talk about how the iPad represents the direction computing is going so the Mac Pro is the first casualty.



    What we can be certain of is that if it arrives, it will have Thunderbolt support in order to be compatible with the Cinema displays and this standard requires that displayport and PCI are merged so GPUs cannot have their ports on the outside of the machine.



    To me, that requirement mandates that no PCI slots can allow cards to have external ports and this removes the whole reason for PCI slots to exist.



    What I would do with the Mac Pro is the following:







    The current 2010 model is on the left. The new one would have a single 6-core/12-thread or 8-core/16-thread CPU, 4 RAM slots as before, 500W PSU, no optical bay and 3 hard drives.



    Some might complain about the storage but you can buy a 4TB drive now so you can have an 8TB RAID0 with an SSD boot drive or 12TB overall.



    The GPU would be a custom version of the desktop GPU without ports soldered onto it but possibly able to be removed/upgraded.



    The machine is single socket, single CPU, starts at 6-core with BTO 8-core. The pull out tray for the RAM doesn't pull the PSU out. Due to the redesign with less metal, lower PSU, no optical etc, it means they could put a 6-core chip in for the same price as a quad, which adds to its value next to the quad 27" iMac.



    4 x Thunderbolt ports make up for the lack of slots. Could possibly be as much as 6 as it will have PCI 3.



    Hardware RAID should be built-in so you don't have to rely on software to do it or fork out $700.



    The entry CPU model would be Xeon E5-1650 6-core 3.2GHz ($583) for $2499. The 8-core models are all lower clocked so I'm not sure if they would have a performance advantage over the 6-core to justify even selling one with an 8-core chip.
  • Reply 152 of 374
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    We should find out more about the Mac Pro next week some time:



    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/...channel-boston



    The iPad 3 event is on the 7th so there's a chance they could announce something one way or the other e.g new design or talk about how the iPad represents the direction computing is going so the Mac Pro is the first casualty.



    What we can be certain of is that if it arrives, it will have Thunderbolt support in order to be compatible with the Cinema displays and this standard requires that displayport and PCI are merged so GPUs cannot have their ports on the outside of the machine.



    To me, that requirement mandates that no PCI slots can allow cards to have external ports and this removes the whole reason for PCI slots to exist.



    What I would do with the Mac Pro is the following:







    The current 2010 model is on the left. The new one would have a single 6-core/12-thread or 8-core/16-thread CPU, 4 RAM slots as before, 500W PSU, no optical bay and 3 hard drives.



    Some might complain about the storage but you can buy a 4TB drive now so you can have an 8TB RAID0 with an SSD boot drive or 12TB overall.



    The GPU would be a custom version of the desktop GPU without ports soldered onto it but possibly able to be removed/upgraded.



    The machine is single socket, single CPU, starts at 6-core with BTO 8-core. The pull out tray for the RAM doesn't pull the PSU out. Due to the redesign with less metal, lower PSU, no optical etc, it means they could put a 6-core chip in for the same price as a quad, which adds to its value next to the quad 27" iMac.



    4 x Thunderbolt ports make up for the lack of slots. Could possibly be as much as 6 as it will have PCI 3.



    Hardware RAID should be built-in so you don't have to rely on software to do it or fork out $700.



    The entry CPU model would be Xeon E5-1650 6-core 3.2GHz ($583) for $2499. The 8-core models are all lower clocked so I'm not sure if they would have a performance advantage over the 6-core to justify even selling one with an 8-core chip.



    I think that's a reasonable solution, Marv'. Should cost the Earth for a company with 100 Billion in the bank... Makes perfect sense to me. From the single six core to the single 8 core option...decent gpu and built in Hardware Raid...to help create value. No need for an entry quad core. You can get entry quad cores for peanuts in PC land. Time to create more value with better kit and a price cut.



    Trimmed much of the 'unnessary' size and 'over design' from the 'monolith.' A fresher, more compact and modern design.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 153 of 374
    With the right price, I'd consider that as a possible purchase...along with a 27 inch Apple display.



    (The latter of which is probably due a price trim.)



    Did you do that 'comact' Pro design yourself? Maybe pass it onto Jonny Ive and Phil Schiller...



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 154 of 374
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,737moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    With the right price, I'd consider that as a possible purchase...along with a 27 inch Apple display.



    (The latter of which is probably due a price trim.)



    I do wish Apple would drop the prices on some of their products more aggressively. Apple's Cinema display used to be cheaper than Dell's. Dell's 27" IPS is now £528 on Amazon vs £899 for the Cinema display. I can't deny Apple has a good strategy since they make a lot of money from it but as time goes on, it's harder to justify spending more on their display for example than alternatives, which are still decent displays and creeping down to half the price.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    Did you do that 'comact' Pro design yourself? Maybe pass it onto Jonny Ive and Phil Schiller...



    I'm sure some of them read the forum so they'll see what we're talking about (their lawyers at least). My design is only an aesthetic design though to some extent. When Ive designs the machine, he has to think about technical design like air flow and circuitry design as well as tooling, product costs, volumes, margins. A whole bunch of things have to be taken into account before they set out on a new hardware model for the incoming few years.



    The people spending the most on the Mac Pro at present might well be on the dual-CPU models in which case a single CPU model could kill sales dramatically. Only Apple knows the best roadmap going forward.



    People do need to let go of the notion that computer form factors are set in stone though. At every stage in their development, computer designers design around a desired performance threshold, usually keeping the performance lower so the product line has growth.



    The Mac Pro design came from mid-2003, almost 9 years ago now. The first machine had a 1.6GHz single core PPC, 256MB RAM, 80GB HDD and 64MB GPU. Every component is over a factor of 10 better now (the iPad 2 matches the G5's performance and the GPU will in fact exceed it) but the Mac Pro still has the same chassis. I think it's time to refocus what the Mac Pro is for - it's not primarily for render farms, nor for server use, it's a headless, self-serviceable workstation that doesn't get upgraded and individuals need good value from it. By fulfilling the latter, it actually makes it more useful for the other applications too.



    I'd like to see them make an attempt at another Mac Pro designed around the tech we have now but whenever I see how much technology has stepped up since it was introduced, it just feels like the performance of the current iMac is good enough to use as the new threshold. Just because other manufacturers choose to build 'trucks' doesn't mean Apple has to.



    They were needed to get us to a point where we don't want to break our computers out of frustration but that point is largely passed. If you want to do visual effects like the big boys, you need to use GPUs:



    http://www.nvidia.com/object/wetadigital_avatar.html



    25x-100x faster than the CPU allowing you to cut your server clusters down from 5000 machines to 200 and this isn't a synthetic benchmark. These are movies that you can watch at 4k resolution in 3D. The Mac Pro is no longer fit for purpose as it has chosen the wrong area of emphasis, one that applied a decade ago.
  • Reply 155 of 374
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR View Post


    Hi LBB,



    I certainly agree that there are many people whose needs can be met with a laptop and a bigger screen with some peripherals at home or the office, but there are many others who need the laptop as a mobility tool to sync with their desktop whether they are on the Mac platform or another.



    Actually, I was disappointed with the design of the Mac Pro case, but then I prefer functionality over appearance and I would hardly ever see it as it goes out of the way under the desk...yea, yea, yea, I know it's called a desktop, not an under the desktop, but I didn't make up the name. I just call them a tower. :-)



    I knew people who were infatuated with the cube, but I never cared for it. It had a lot of shortcomings.



    I would like to stay with OS X, as long as Apple doesn't mess it up too badly, but the direction Apple appears to be taking with hardware is not encouraging to me.



    Tim Cook has not been at the helm too long and I will reserve judgment on the direction of hardware development. We will see if he takes Steve's advice to not ask "what would Steve do?"



    If Apple starts killing off products which constitute an important part of the overall environment because they don't sell a gazillion, just where does the slashing end?



    I look forward to being proven wrong in this less than optimistic assessment.



    Cheers



    We'd do well to remember that Apple are relentless and yes, ruthless in their march forwards. They don't support ten year old software like Photoshop 7. Why would they support a 'ten' year old Pro design? The iMac has evolved over time. Follow the line from the 13 inch iMac to the current 27inch wonder in a 2 inch enclosure. iPad 2s that can rival G5s. Portables that have close the gap to the entry Mac Pro model.



    How many buyers are there for just the upper two tier models of dual processor Mac Pro? Less than for the entry models?



    The Macbook was dropped. Quietly. As one poster put it.., 'that was due to the natural evolution of technology' (as is often the case re floppy vs usb on the first imac...) Sure, the iMac might not be able to go toe to toe on absolute number crunching vs a 12 core model.



    But given that you have a 27 inch screen, can buy the Pegasus Raid, install an SD drive, load the ram to 16 megs with 4x4 or 32 with 4x8 modules (yes?) you can certainly smack around the entry Pro model, give the middle model a bloody nose' and bruise any of the dual processor models.



    'Absolute?' with each model loaded to the brim? Sure. But who was arguing that? Anyone? But the iMac/Airs/Mini/Pro laptop are Apple as a portable computing company and the sales and their designs are heading in that direction. The numbers don't lie. Look in any store. Look at their online store. Everything is tiny, small, thin and most things have a screen included.



    Is this a new phenominon? Hardly. Look at the original Mac. Had a screen included. A tiny machine really.



    Even when the towers were 'competitive' PC reviewers beat them up over PPC, poor GPUs and a lack of monitor bundle. The prices have doubled on the low to middle ground since then.



    We can speak of X-Macs. But the iMac is it. If not for Dave. Then for Apple. One is the spiritual successor to the original Mac. (The computer for the 'rest of us.') One isn't. One drives sales through hard to get into obselessance over time and the other doesn't. one drives profits...one doesn't. One is driving units (I'm guessing...) 15:1 (iMac vs Pro units.)



    Somebody spell out to me...the exact specs and show me the design of this mythical desktop that Apple will produce and will prevent their desktops sales from remaining 'flat.' (...not so much...the iMac is at historical highs despite a price increase of £300+ Sterling on the low end in 2008!!!) but relative to the surging momentum of portability.)



    How many sales will that be? 100K? 200K? 250K? 500K? 1 million? (the first few numbers are hardly worth the engineering effor the latter number? Unlikely.) If the iMac is selling 750K, how many will this 'X-Mac' sell? More than the original Cube? (A lesson hard learnt that APple maybe doesn't think there is a market for THEM to be a differentiator. There's plenty of PC mid-towers. And they're selling loads, right? In a razor thin, cut throat margin market?!)



    Can one X-Mac model stem the tide of portability? And will the iPad eat the laptop's lunch? As the laptops are eating the desktops lunch over 4-1. And heading for an unassailable 5-1 ratio. Why would you want to put a clunky box on your desktop after getting used to all the space saving offering by an iPad and Air? For the average consumer and not for die hards on forums...who will care? Where's the demand? (Outside of people who MUST have the latest ATI card for £500 and more than half the cost of an Air. No deal that...for the average person.) Apple's traditional market is relatively tiny. And it's being treated accordingly.



    When Jobs pulled engineers off OS X to focus on iOS years ago. When iOS became the focus of WWDC...when iOS started selling stratospheric numbers that buried the Mac userbase in a few years...and the current level of cash in the bank and the current APple stores tell what their focus is.



    Even though Apple's sales are relatively bigger than when they had the Cube...maybe they don't want to have '3' desktop models. The 'pro' now no longer occupies the £1495 to £2000 segment here in the UK. Partly dollar vs Sterling. Mostly not. The iMac has moved on up. It batters the entry Pro...and smacks around the lower mid model. And if you can wait a minute saves you selling your liver and kidneys for the dual processor model and an Apple 27 inch monitor.



    So given that Desktop sales are down 1:4+ Times the Cube sales by a factor of 4 relatively. Be generous. 100K (for a 'mini me Pro' with a price tag to match...£1495) a number ball park the Cube's initial sales? 100k x 4 gives you 400k in sales. It might cannibilise some sales though...Pro sales?!) so absolute desktop sales will hover just over 1 million. Say 1.2-3 million. Apple recently had 1.1 million desktop sales...and more people even more recently chose laptops so Apple desktops are around 1 million with the iMac leading a respectable charge. I don't think the sales or complete 180 degree reversal in design direction will make it worth Apple's while.



    Apple's iMac is the best All in One out there. It's eating into, soaking up lower end Pro Mac sales leaving the dual Pro even more niche...and pricey! (Gone are the relative recent days of Apple 'giving us' dual processors at sub £2k prices.)



    The iMac is Apple's 1k-2k machine. The Mini is below that on the 'low' end (not so much by the time you add a k/b, mouse, apple monitor...poor value relative to the iMac...) Whereas the iMac is very good value relative to the low end Pro's.



    They aren't going to can the iMac for an X-Mac. Nor the Mini. Apple don't do overlap. The natural law of technology will cause teh iMac top end to eat the low end Pro...



    Apple may give the Pro no further investment but slam in the latest components and 'hope' that the sales reach 100k. (I remember years ago posters on this very board saying we'll be lucky to see Pro sales of 250k ever again. I didn't believe it at the time. Prices haven't helped. But technology is going portable and smaller. Honking Towers and Cray machines are so over. Are Apple doing to give us ANOTHER desktop in addition to 3 models?)



    The alternative is to make a smaller Pro. Single processor as standard with the Mac Pro on 6/8 core models and lop the price by £1000. To give us two models under 2k. £995 and £1395 and another dual model sub £2k. The iMac still wins because of the included monitor. But I see this as the only chance to get the Pro anywhere near 250K unit sales. And yes. With a redesign to save costs. Maybe with a revolutionary modular aspect (at odds with Apple selling sealed boxes and obsolescence.) But I don't see this causing any great resurgence in Apple's desktop sales.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 156 of 374
    Apple sales are at a record high. But the reason for that isn't so much down to desktops. It's down to Apple not Apple Computer (the latter of which was stripped of it's title some time back...) Any halo kick back is down to iPod, iPHone and iPad in that (historical) order and their more desirable Mac products ie laptops are being pulled along for the ride. It's down to an era of portability that is breaking Redmond's stranglehold on the desktop in a not so similar way IBM and they broke Apple's 'hold' on the desktop before them. All empires fade in time. Hubris and all that.



    The desktop in the way we used to think of it is OVER. If you plonk a lap top or the soon to come iPad 3 on your desk. That's going to be your 'desktop.' (Earth sim and 1 week long render Pros...might not take that lying down. Send your feedback to Apple...)



    A misnomer from the start (thinks of a tower that sits under your desk with a facking mountain of wires.) The king is dead. The laptop is the new desktop. Most of the power, less wires and vast portabilty. But the 'new' king should be wary. The iOS Mammals are evolving fast and selling in vast numbers...



    It's game, set and match. And Apple's been leading this charge for years.



    Plug your laptop into an overpriced 27 inch monitor. Or buy an iMac. While Apple still make them...



    The next iteration of the Pro will tell us alot...but maybe less than Apple dropping Mac from their OS name. Or 'computer' from their company name.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 157 of 374
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    I do wish Apple would drop the prices on some of their products more aggressively. Apple's Cinema display used to be cheaper than Dell's. Dell's 27" IPS is now £528 on Amazon vs £899 for the Cinema display. I can't deny Apple has a good strategy since they make a lot of money from it but as time goes on, it's harder to justify spending more on their display for example than alternatives, which are still decent displays and creeping down to half the price.







    I'm sure some of them read the forum so they'll see what we're talking about (their lawyers at least). My design is only an aesthetic design though to some extent. When Ive designs the machine, he has to think about technical design like air flow and circuitry design as well as tooling, product costs, volumes, margins. A whole bunch of things have to be taken into account before they set out on a new hardware model for the incoming few years.



    The people spending the most on the Mac Pro at present might well be on the dual-CPU models in which case a single CPU model could kill sales dramatically. Only Apple knows the best roadmap going forward.



    People do need to let go of the notion that computer form factors are set in stone though. At every stage in their development, computer designers design around a desired performance threshold, usually keeping the performance lower so the product line has growth.



    The Mac Pro design came from mid-2003, almost 9 years ago now. The first machine had a 1.6GHz single core PPC, 256MB RAM, 80GB HDD and 64MB GPU. Every component is over a factor of 10 better now (the iPad 2 matches the G5's performance and the GPU will in fact exceed it) but the Mac Pro still has the same chassis. I think it's time to refocus what the Mac Pro is for - it's not primarily for render farms, nor for server use, it's a headless, self-serviceable workstation that doesn't get upgraded and individuals need good value from it. By fulfilling the latter, it actually makes it more useful for the other applications too.



    I'd like to see them make an attempt at another Mac Pro designed around the tech we have now but whenever I see how much technology has stepped up since it was introduced, it just feels like the performance of the current iMac is good enough to use as the new threshold. Just because other manufacturers choose to build 'trucks' doesn't mean Apple has to.



    They were needed to get us to a point where we don't want to break our computers out of frustration but that point is largely passed. If you want to do visual effects like the big boys, you need to use GPUs:



    http://www.nvidia.com/object/wetadigital_avatar.html



    25x-100x faster than the CPU allowing you to cut your server clusters down from 5000 machines to 200 and this isn't a synthetic benchmark. These are movies that you can watch at 4k resolution in 3D. The Mac Pro is no longer fit for purpose as it has chosen the wrong area of emphasis, one that applied a decade ago.



    A very creative post. Constructive. And more visionary in terms of what the 'aged' Pro could (and should?) become. A respectable, affordable, serviceable box that can be augmented by the budgets by one of the 40 film company fx houses still left in the world working in an economy that is in teh crapper and the dollar on the verge of collapsing.



    Plug in Raid Boxes. Plug in GPU Render stacks. I guess they're not buying Apple kit for that.



    And if the iMac reaches the point of acceptable ram, gpu and cpu (as I feel the current top end is...ie as you say, you're no longer in physical pain due to the limitations of said machine) surely you plug into Raids/GPU stacks/Modular Render stacks? And/Or the 're-factored' Pro could.



    To be honest. I'm surprised it's taken us this long to get the GPU on board. (Great link by the way, Marvin. Enjoyed reading about Nv and Weta working together to take Avator and move fx to the next level.) Yes. A fascinating read. Made me think of the implications, if any for APple's software and hardware. Apple talk Open CL and GL. They're the lead developer/biggest proponent? Yet their 3D gpu selection is embarrassing. (They could have at least updated that in the meantime...)



    It's not like Apple ever had a 3D program. And the market has consolidated in that time if any debate was had over Apple and 3D. (Between the 'rump' of 'PRos' that stayed during the bruising' mhz wars and the dark Apple years. Who was left after the 'bail?') Enough to power sales of less than 100k Pros? 55K?



    We've had 3D cards for ever and the 3d packages were very slow to take advantage of this in the Open GL viewports. (Wouldn't want to affect teh 'workstation' premium 3d card market, eh?) But these days even programs like Lightwave 11 can handle 3D port GL with instances in the millions with over a billion polygons...and bullet - explosive object particles. My LW upgrade would cost me less than £500 to get this capability. A very good production orientated suite. But 3D packages are like fruit. Everybody has their own favourite.)



    The numbers you point to show quite an immense time saving going GPU over traditional cpu render farms by a factor of 6-7 to 1!!! That's pretty immense. Where will computer/Apple computers be in ten years time? The bang per buck in the possible iPad3 (if it goes quad core...) tickles teh fantasy. (and the iOS goes quad core mainstream in far less time than the Mac did? And the iPad gets retina!!!)



    Maybe Apple need to re-factor the Pro's role in today's world...instead of looking like a beautiful dinosaur from a bye-bye gone age. ...when Apple was a very different company in a different place.



    I think your post highlighted the recent history of the Pro and how things have changed. And if the Pro wants to play with the 'big boys' maybe Apple need to give it greater value when people world wide are struggling with budgets. Your price note of the APple studio display vs the Dell highlights this absurdity by APple. Giving ground to the tune of £400 almost.



    That's ridiculous. As is the price of the pro with ancient components.



    Guess that has no correlation to sales, then?



    The Mac was the computer for the 'rest of us.' At least Apple is trickling down the power, irrevocably, to the masses care of their superb gateway. The Apple stores. We get 'most' of the power with Apple's design differentiator. Clutter free. Mobility, simplicity...economy of design. Like Steve Jobs said, 'What do 9/10 people do with their computers? ie for most of the time? He then gave us the iPad. And iPad3 will be an order of magnitude better than the 1st one!!!!!!)



    For those that don't want this...other companies make the stuff 'on the edge' with boxes to match. But anybody trying to stand toe to toe with what Apple's design mantra is finding it hard going (ie Apple is making billions in profit at doing what it does, it's not just about units, it's profit also..)...and finding it's not so easy to trump Apple's specs or their prices or their design. (Notes iPad. Notes Air.) Now that Apple has moved the battle to a new 'post' PC level playing ground...PC companies are getting rucked around the ring.



    Who's yer daddy now, eh?



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 158 of 374
    I'd like to re-iterate. If Apple could give me that re-factored entry pro at £1k with the studio monitor at a more reasonable £495. I'd buy it. In a heartbeat. It's almost an impulse buy!!!!



    £1495 isn't cheap! It's only 'cheap' for Apple. But they're locked into their upsale model. But it's hurting sales of the Pro along with the eternal wait for a CPU and their steadfast refusal to update the components, ram (8 gigs of ram is peanuts these days...but that want a x8 mark up on that. I call that greed.) etc.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 159 of 374
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    We'd do well to remember that Apple are relentless and yes, ruthless in their march forwards. They don't support ten year old software like Photoshop 7. Why would they support a 'ten' year old Pro design? The iMac has evolved over time. Follow the line from the 13 inch iMac to the current 27inch wonder in a 2 inch enclosure. iPad 2s that can rival G5s. Portables that have close the gap to the entry Mac Pro model.



    At least people are recognizing the Pros very old design these days. Take a ten year old laptop and compare it to today's, things have changed a lot. Not so much with the Mac Pro where each revision just freshens the architecture while not innovating.

    Quote:

    How many buyers are there for just the upper two tier models of dual processor Mac Pro? Less than for the entry models?



    Good question which one needs to have confidence in guesses about current Mac Pro sales. I could see sales of less than 10k a month. Obviously internal information would be required to say for sure, and frankly the upper tier models are the only ones some would consider. So sales actually could be biased towards the high end.

    Quote:

    The Macbook was dropped. Quietly. As one poster put it.., 'that was due to the natural evolution of technology' (as is often the case re floppy vs usb on the first imac...) Sure, the iMac might not be able to go toe to toe on absolute number crunching vs a 12 core model.



    Please get a grip here the MacBook was replaced by something that better serves the same market. Every time I see comments like this I shake my head, it was pretty clear where the Mac Book was going the first time Apple debuted the refactored AIRs at a more reasonable price.

    Quote:

    But given that you have a 27 inch screen, can buy the Pegasus Raid, install an SD drive, load the ram to 16 megs with 4x4 or 32 with 4x8 modules (yes?) you can certainly smack around the entry Pro model, give the middle model a bloody nose' and bruise any of the dual processor models.



    This constant falling back to performance is a waste of time, because for every case that one can find for an iMac smacking a Pro around a like number can be found where the Pro smacks the iMac. Notably at lot harder than the iMac can manage to smack the Pro.



    More importantly I don't really see a lot of Pro sales going to people simply focusing on performance, at least not CPU performance. They are instead buying for the other capacities that the machine offers.



    Quote:

    'Absolute?' with each model loaded to the brim? Sure. But who was arguing that? Anyone? But the iMac/Airs/Mini/Pro laptop are Apple as a portable computing company and the sales and their designs are heading in that direction. The numbers don't lie. Look in any store. Look at their online store. Everything is tiny, small, thin and most things have a screen included.



    It all depends upon how you look at the numbers. Apples Mac sales are cooling off and the desktop market for Apple in the US is absolutely flat. Also look at the stores and what do you see most directly - the low cost products. It isn't so much that devices are selling well because of portability but rather because of cost.

    Quote:

    Is this a new phenominon? Hardly. Look at the original Mac. Had a screen included. A tiny machine really.



    Yes but look back to all of through all of those years and realize that Apple did have reasonable desktop offerings. Even the Mini was a more reasonable offering. Not that the Mini is extremely bad just that one could go to Apple and get a complete system at a reasonable cost. Today theMini is more expensive and the monitor solution is terrible. It is no surprise then that the Mini is the sales darling of the online industry where it is packaged with reasonable screen solutions.

    Quote:

    Even when the towers were 'competitive' PC reviewers beat them up over PPC, poor GPUs and a lack of monitor bundle. The prices have doubled on the low to middle ground since then.



    PPC became a joke performance wise, so they got beaten up simply due to real world performance. It is the pricing of the low end that really bothers me. Apple simply doesn't have anything remotely competitive Asa midrange desktop machine.

    Quote:

    We can speak of X-Macs. But the iMac is it. If not for Dave. Then for Apple. One is the spiritual successor to the iMac. One isn't. One drives sales through hard to get into obselessance over time and the other doesn't. one drives profits...one doesn't.



    How in the hell can you make any of those statements???. There is nothing about an XMac that would be unprofitable in the least. The Pro is likely the least profitable machine in Apples line up. Further a properly built XMac would be more of a successor to the Apple 2.

    Quote:

    Somebody spell out to me...the exact specs and show me the design of this mythical desktop that Apple will product and will prevent their desktops sales from remaining 'flat.' (...not so much...but relatively to the surging momentum of portability.)



    Exact specs - how about using your imagination? There are many ways for Apple to realize an XMac. What you need to see though is that this in part would be the total overhaul of the Mac lineup. Gone would be the current Pro at the high end and the Mini at the low end. In stead we would have a scalable platform that could cover the entire performance spectrum.



    Beyond that Macs don't have anymore momentum portability wise. The surge or better yet the ramp will be biased towards iOS devices more and more every quarter. If momentum was there Apple wouldn't be sending me ads for AIRs and other Mac hardware.

    Quote:

    How many sales will that be? 100K? 200K? 250K? 500K? 1 million? (the first few numbers are hardly worth the engineering effor the latter number? Unlikely.)



    A model range that replaces both the Pro and Mini and takes a few iMac sales along with it could easily sell 2 million or more a quarter.

    Quote:

    If the iMac is selling 750K, how many will this 'X-Mac' sell? More than the original Cube? (A lesson hard learnt that APple maybe doesn't think there is a market for THEM to be a differentiator. There's plenty of PC mid-towers. And they're selling loads, right? In a razor thin, cut throat margin market?!)



    Why would you bring up the Cube which back then was a terrible value relative to anything else just like most of today's Mac Pros? If anything Apple learned nothing from the Cube as they repeated that insanity with the original AIRs. At least with the AIRs they pulled their collective heads out of a dark place and produced something the market could eventually accept.



    Quote:

    Can one x-Mac model stem the tide of portability?



    tides go in and out, currently the tide is receding.
    Quote:

    And will the iPad eat the laptop's lunch? As the laptops are eating the desktops lunch 4-1. And heading for an unassailable 5-1 ratio. Why would you want to put a clunky box on your desktop after getting used to all the space saving offering by an iPad and Air?



    Let me count the ways.
    1. A much larger screen that fits my needs.

    2. The ability to actually add disk storage to the base configuration.

    3. Serviceability.

    4. Speed, a desktop can easily exceed the performance of any portable.

    5. Expandability or configurability. And no I'm not talking GPUs here.

    6. A desktop actually reduces clutter. Throw a laptop on a desk and you have to connect a bunch of wires to it.

    7. I need someplace to store everything and to backup all of those portable devices.

    Quote:

    For the average consumer and not for die hards on forums...who will care? Where's the demand? (Outside of people who MUST have the latest ATI card for £500 and more than half the cost of an Air. No deal that...for the average person.) Apple's traditional market is relatively tiny. And it's being treated accordingly.



    This makes no sense at all. Average consumers shop and thus are more sensitive to value than your so called die hards. They can perceive a bargain and a screwing.

    Quote:

    When Jobs pulled engineers off OS X to focus on iOS years ago. When iOS became the focus of WWDC...when iOS started selling stratospheric numbers that buried the Mac userbase in a few years...and the current level of cash in the bank and the current APple stores tell what their focus is.



    Do you really understand business at all? I can't tell you how many time I've been pulled off primary tasks to solve the problem of the moment. We aren't even talking consummer electronics here.



    Apples condition is no more different than John Dears, they sell big and little tractors and everything in between. They do not give up on one segment just because another is hot.

    Quote:

    Even though Apple's sales are relatively bigger than when they had the Cube...maybe they don't want to have '3' desktop models. The 'pro' now no longer occupies the £1495 to £2000 segment here in the UK. Partly dollar vs Sterling. Mostly not. The iMac has moved on up. It batters the entry Pro...and smacks around the lower mid model. And if you can wait a minute saves you selling your liver and kidneys for the dual processor model and an Apple 27 inch monitor.



    Just because you can constantly repeat something does not make it true. IMac can't possibly smack the Pro unless you are very narrowly focused on optimal benchmarks. Your constant obsession here tells me you have no idea or appreciation of the Pros advantages.



    I'm with you on pricing though. The whole discussion about XMac revolves around the idea of a far more cost effective desktop line up.

    Quote:



    So given that Desktop sales are down 1:4+ Times the Cube sales by a factor of 4 relatively. Be generous. 100K (for a 'mini me Pro' with a price tag to match...£1495) a number ball park the Cube's initial sales? 100k x 4 gives you 400k in sales. It might cannibilise some sales though...Pro sales?!) so absolute desktop sales will hover just over 1 million. Say 1.2-3 million. Apple recently had 1.1 million desktop sales...and more people even more recently chose laptops so Apple desktops are around 1 million with the iMac leading a respectable charge. I don't think the sales or complete 180 degree reversal in design direction will make it worth Apple's while.



    It would be very bad voodoo for Apple to abandon the desktop.

    Quote:

    Apple's iMac is the best All in One out there. It's eating into, soaking up lower end Pro Mac sales leaving the dual Pro even more niche...and pricey! (Gone are the relative recent days of Apple 'giving us' dual processors at sub £2k prices.)



    If this was true I'd almost be happy. The fact is iMac has soaked up nothing. Apple is in fact loosing sales. People that want a desktop are simply going elsewhere.

    Quote:

    The iMac is Apple's 1k-2k machine. The Mini is below that on the 'low' end (not so much by the time you add a k/b, mouse, apple monitor...poor value relative to the iMac...) Whereas the iMac is very good value relative to the low end Pro's.



    The iMac is not a replacement for either the Mini nor the Pro, it is as simple as that.

    Quote:

    They aren't going to can the iMac for an X-Mac. Nor the Mini. Apple don't do overlap. The natural law of technology will cause teh iMac top end to eat the low end Pro...



    Considering that the iMac is in a category of its own and is the only machine with some success there is no reason to can it. The Mac Pro and Mini on the other hand could die tomorrow and no one would bat an eye.

    Quote:

    Apple may give the Pro no further investment but slam in the latest components and 'hope' that the sales reach 100k. (I remember years ago posters on this very board saying we'll be lucky to see Pro sales of 250k ever again. I didn't believe it at the time. Prices haven't helped. But technology is going portable and smaller. Honking Towers and Cray machines are so over. Are Apple doing to give us ANOTHER desktop in addition to 3 models?)



    Again you have a very narrow view of reality. There is still a strong demand for performance that can't be had in a portable. That is the driver for desktop machines. Apple doesn't need a Tower in the sense of the Mac Pro to deliver such performance any more, that we can agree upon. However neither the iMac nor the Mini can deliver such performance. The obvious response is a midrange capable machine.

    Quote:

    The alternative is to standard the Mac Pro on 6/8 core models and lop the price by £1000. To give two models under 2k. £995 and £1395 and another dual model sub £2k. The iMac still wins because of the included monitor. But I see this as the only chance to get the Pro anywhere near 250K unit sales. And yes. With a redesign to save costs. Maybe with a revolutionary modular aspect (at odds with Apple selling sealed boxes and obsolescence.)



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    Interestingly you are half way there to a XMac. Just throw in modern technology and you would be all set. In fact you seem to have pretty much verified in my mind why an XMac is needed. You dismiss XMac one moment but then turn around and realize that some of the points offered up are important and suggest what could be considered to be an XMac.



    The more thought that people put into this the more obvious it should become that Apple needs to do something about the Mini and the Pro. XMac is simply a concept that they can build a new family around.
  • Reply 160 of 374
    mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    We can speak of X-Macs. But the iMac is it.



    Somebody spell out to me...the exact specs and show me the design of this mythical desktop that Apple will produce and will prevent their desktops sales from remaining 'flat.'



    Can one X-Mac model stem the tide of portability?




    Exact specs. I always love this type of response. If the iMac didn't exist, if the mini didn't exist, nor the iPod, iPhone or iPad each of us would have different ideas on what the specs should be.

    But all those items sell very well even though I bet none of them meet the ideal specs of anyone.



    Can the XMac stem the tide of portability? I think the XMac could be a game changer in how we think of desktop computers. Take me. I'll never own a laptop as my only computer. Too many limitations at home. To use it properly as a desktop computer I have to buy a larger monitor and full size keyboard. No thanks.

    I don't really feel the need for portability but I admit that in some situations it might be nice. But for those few times I sure don't want to buy a heavy laptop to lug around.

    Okay, so I could buy a MacBook Air but again I wouldn't want to have it as my only computer, same limitations at home as a laptop. Actually more since it doesn't have an ODD.

    So a tablet might work for those few portable times. Okay. Now what kind of computer do I get to do the things the iPad can't?

    So I buy a mini that to me has the same limitations as the Air? No internal ODD? DO I buy an iMac that has no expansion and sticks me with a glossy screen I hate? Do I chunk out big bucks for a Mac Pro in order to get a desktop Mac that has internal expansion and an easy to open case?



    I'm holding out. I don't see my buying portability (iPad) without the mid range Mac I need for everything else I would do.
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