Editorial: What will Apple do with the Macintosh?

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  • Reply 21 of 198
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    bsenka wrote: »
    I don't know anyone who has gone the iMac route who didn't regret it. The issue is not the horsepower, it's the screen.

    What is wrong with the iMac display?
  • Reply 22 of 198
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

    What is wrong with the iMac display?


     


    The only possible answer is "it's glossy". And that's not even an argument anymore.

  • Reply 23 of 198
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    drblank wrote: »
    I dont know why people still bring up this ARM is going to replace X86 chips for desktops and laptops. I just don't see it, if it does happen, it will take YEARS to transition over to it.  Remember, Apple wants to have users run Windows on their desktops/laptops, so they can only switch to ARM when Microsoft re-writes Windows to ARM.  No, RT doesn't count.

    I don't think Apple cares so much about Windows capability anymore. It served its purpose in giving people a fall-back position for the computer in case they don't like Mac OS, it doesn't mean as much now that the brand is so much more widely known. And I say this as a person that uses virtualization to run Windows on a Mac. I just think my use is a minority use. If Apple ever actually deprecates the Intel architecture then I'll buy the newest Intel and use that until I can transition.

    solipsismx wrote: »
    What is wrong with the iMac display?

    Really, absolutely nothing, except maybe the cost.

    The new iMac finally has an incredibly high degree of anti-reflection coating that there's no reason to prefer the washed out blacks of a matte surface except to be a wanker.
  • Reply 24 of 198


    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    Possibly just me being grouchy then.  I don't see how the question was really answered at all though.  



     


    It's great to see Dan weigh in on this. There are few observers with a better sense of Apple's general direction than he, especially in relation to the rest of the industry. I think this is his core observation:


     




    "There's no question that the market for a new Mac Pro is very limited. But Apple can't afford not to maintain a presence at the top of the PC performance hill, if for no other reason that there's a lot of technology that trickles downhill. The support for multiple cores and multiple processors that Apple built for Mac OS X is now becoming relevant in mobile devices. Apple's experience in dealing with both desktop and mobile architectures isn't common across the industry. ... Just a few years ago, Apple had little chance wooing its way into many enterprise or government environments. Today, thanks to rapid adoption of iOS devices, Apple now has the ability to enter doors that were once locked up tight for anything other than Windows machines."



     


    But I think what irks you is this:


     




    "Apple could seek to broaden the appeal of the desktop computer, or it can instead simply deliver a really high end, attention getting workstation just for bragging rights."



     


    So which is it? He doesn't really say. But if everything he mentions were implemented in a new Mac Pro, it would make for a radical departure from the status quo. To begin with, he suggests Thunderbolt will displace PCIe. That's been discussed in these forums, of course, but step back and think for a minute about how big a move that is in the real world. It's something only Apple could do.


     


    Add to that the idea of some sort of "modular, flexible" design and you've really got something different. Remove the possibility of an optical drive but retain room for serious internal storage and you get a sense of the size.

  • Reply 25 of 198
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,241member


    Ironically, Thunderbolt is the only piece of the puzzle keeping Apple tethered to Intel. Intel refuses to license Thunderbolt to AMD so Apple is stuck, unless it managed with their joint relationship to have a license to do with Thunderbolt what it wishes; and without any Intel Bridge logic.

  • Reply 26 of 198
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

    Ironically, Thunderbolt is the only piece of the puzzle keeping Apple tethered to Intel. Intel refuses to license Thunderbolt to AMD so Apple is stuck…


     


    AMD? ARM. Forget AMD.

  • Reply 27 of 198
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,796member


    People that don't own a Mac Pro just don't get it. And as far as those silly benchmarks, that means nothing it actual daily use. Try some some video rendering for example and compare the results when all 12 cores are being used in a Mac Pro. Finally we can also use off the shelf video cards. Apple are notorious about not offering the latest or fastest video cards as an option. I recently bought a new Nvidia for my Mac Pro and it screams. I will never be interested in an iMac and certainly not a Mini. I enjoy the speed and expansion possibilities a Mac pro affords and I also have two very nice 30" monitors. The iMac is a fine computer for people in that market but I have all 4 hard bays used with drives from 2 to 3TB in size and even that isn't enough space. I have an external quad bay Firewire 800 enclosure daisy chained to another dual bay enclosure. I realize I am not typical and most people don't need over 10TB of storage like me but for those of us that do the iMac is not a great option. 


     


    People that need a Mac Pro NEED a Mac Pro and the iMac will never be a good substitute for me. It is like asking Corvette owners to just make do with a Chevette instead since they are both Vettes after all. 

  • Reply 28 of 198

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post



    None of the other Apple product lines are as amenable to manufacture in the US, save perhaps the Mac Mini. However, the shipment volumes are larger there, and so are the logistics involved.



    The question is where are these going to be made? Even with the smaller volume of Mac Pros being shipped, it's going to require a fairly decent-sized facility. Has Apple already set up such a facility and starting manufacturing already and nobody noticed?


     


    Florida. In progress. Been noticed.

  • Reply 29 of 198
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    gwmac wrote: »
    People that don't own a Mac Pro just don't get it. And as far as those silly benchmarks, that means nothing it actual daily use. Try some some video rendering for example and compare the results when all 12 cores are being used in a Mac Pro. Finally we can also use off the shelf video cards. Apple are notorious about not offering the latest or fastest video cards as an option. I recently bought a new Nvidia for my Mac Pro and it screams. I will never be interested in an iMac and certainly not a Mini. I enjoy the speed and expansion possibilities a Mac pro affords and I also have two very nice 30" monitors. The iMac is a fine computer for people in that market but I have all 4 hard bays used with drives from 2 to 3TB in size and even that isn't enough space. I have an external quad bay Firewire 800 enclosure daisy chained to another dual bay enclosure. I realize I am not typical and most people don't need over 10TB of storage like me but for those of us that do the iMac is not a great option. 

    People that need a Mac Pro NEED a Mac Pro and the iMac will never be a good substitute for me. It is like asking Corvette owners to just make do with a Chevette instead since they are both Vettes after all. 

    I have a Mac Pro.

    The line about using off the shelf video cards doesn't really ring true. You use whatever is supported by available drivers and firmware, which hasn't been much.
  • Reply 30 of 198
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,796member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post





    I have a Mac Pro.



    The line about using off the shelf video cards doesn't really ring true. You use whatever is supported by available drivers and firmware, which hasn't been much.


    The only problem with off the shelf Windows video cards is you don't see a start up screen. It just goes straight to your desktop but it works fine and Nvidia are good at keeping drivers up to date. I have an old ATI Mac video card installed  as well in case I need to boot into CLI. 


     


     


  • Reply 31 of 198
    hungoverhungover Posts: 602member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post





    I don't think Apple cares so much about Windows capability anymore.


     


    I think that you underestimate the number of people that want Macs but work in industries that are reliant upon windows only software. The only Mac owners I know that are exclusively OSX are those who could do all of their work on iOS if they were thus inclined., or indeed any OS/platform.


     


    Anecdotally, most of them, if forced to buy a Mac AND a  Wintel, would just pay a bit more for a decent MS unit and ditch OSX, and possibly get an ipad as well.

  • Reply 32 of 198
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    hungover wrote: »
    I think that you underestimate the number of people that want Macs but work in industries that are reliant upon windows only software. The only Mac owners I know that are exclusively OSX are those who could do all of their work on iOS if they were thus inclined., or indeed any OS/platform.

    Anecdotally, most of them, if forced to buy a Mac AND a  Wintel, would just pay a bit more for a decent MS unit and ditch OSX, and possibly get an ipad as well.

    I certainly don't fall under the category of ditching Mac OS for a higher-end Win PC if they pushed out x86/x86_64 but If given a choice between an architecture that can also virtualize Windows and one that can't I would take the Mac that can. I like having VMWare for Windows, Linux distros, and other OSes that I want to test. If forced on me I would still use a Mac and then VNC into some other box that contained my virtualized environments, perhaps via Citrix XenServer.
  • Reply 33 of 198
    Mac Pro's are the only Mac's I buy now as they are hardware configurable. If they drop the Pro I will reluctantly drop OSX (still my favourite OS). I want some control over my machines. Apple can't have it all.
  • Reply 34 of 198
    My prediction: the next Mac Pro will be a new [B]Cube, 2.0[/B]. No, really. Of course, I seriously doubt Apple will call it that, but nonetheless that is essentially what it will be. Look here:

    What has gone:
    - Optical drive
    - Internal expansion slots (aside from RAM)

    Removing these has given Apple much more freedom in shrinking the Mac Pro down to something closer to say, mini-ITX size. Notice I did not say, Mac mini-size. Why? Because of what Mac Pro users still do need:

    - Insane amounts of high-performance RAM. Think 128-256GB-512 GB (or more!) of ECC DDR-3 (or -4!) running quad-channel.

    - Top of the line, multi-core CPU and GPU**, especially with the ability to upgrade or replace them as newer versions are introduced. (**See nVidia's new DirectCU Mini graphics card for a look at how powerful graphics are now, even in mini-ITX size.)

    - Massive amounts of storage. While impressive, Apple's new Fusion drive is nothing compared to, say, two 512GB SLC-based SSDs running on PCIe in RAID 10, along with three or more 4TB Enterprise drives running in RAID 5.

    Taken together, all of this suggests that, while there is still a great need for a high-end Mac Pro, [B] the next Mac Pro will be much, much smaller.[/B] Cube 2.0
  • Reply 35 of 198
    ptramptram Posts: 58member
    The success of most Apple products has been based on creating new needs, while changing perspective to older practices. Making publishing, multimedia or video editing on your desk. Listening to music around. Keeping your agenda with you. Syncing your data.

    The focus on design is only part of Apple success, and continuing to focus only on better design will keep Apple far from their old mission: giving people a beautiful, pleasant to use and effective tool to make or enjoy contents.

    What are possible new needs? I see the need for a new way of thinking the office, that is currently satisfied by the iPad but not by iWork (nor, godsave, MsOffice). Home automation is still a dream. And I cannot still really make publishing and video editing on an iPad.

    As for the Mac, I find it a mature product, with issues in entering data: voice dictation is still in its infancy, but it would be a true revolution. And I'm sure there are several innovations in Apple labs, that only await to be released. If the focus was not only in delivering the thinnest, or the most reflective, computer ever.
  • Reply 36 of 198
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    My prediction: the next Mac Pro will be a new Cube, 2.0. No, really. Of course, I seriously doubt Apple will call it that, but nonetheless that is essentially what it will be. Look here:

    […]

    Taken together, all of this suggests that, while there is still a great need for a high-end Mac Pro, the next Mac Pro will be much, much smaller. Cube 2.0

    Even with all that gutted it seems unlikely to me that it will be as diminutive as the old Power Mac G4 Cube or following the design of the old NeXTcube. The former's role appears to be filled by the Mac mini and the latter is fall to tricky in trying to design an option that is easy to access without having a mobo down the center that HW can attach to on either side as well as making it so it works well in a server environment where you'd want to have fairly efficient rack placement.
  • Reply 37 of 198
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member


    There's still going to be a need for Macs for the foreseeable  future.  Steve, when he was alive, stated that using the car and truck analogy.  Cars dominate the roads at probably a 10 to 1 ratio or more to trucks.  Yet trucks are still needed to get real work done.  The same will be said with computing hardware.  Mobile smart devices (e.g. iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone) will continue to outnumber the sales of computers 10-1 or better.


     


    We need Macs to do heavy computational tasks and/or heavy writing tasks.  I am way more productive in my writing on a traditional desktop/laptop than a tablet computer or iPad.


     


    I can see a day where at work I'll be able to dock a tablet and use a wireless keyboard to do all the writing I need to do.  The Surface Pro has all the work apps that I need for that.  However, our creative departments need as much power as they can grab.  The Power Macs haven't seen a significant upgrade in years yet they still continue to use them.


     


    I have a docked laptop and desktop at work.  For the future desktops I'd like to see Apple or someone make a desktop with RAID 1 (mirrored set with 2 or more disks) as standard.  I know that the Mac Pro can do that, but the DELLs we buy don't have that option.  Even better would be standardizing on SSD for even faster performance.  I'd also like to see a battery backup built into desktops rather than relying on an external one - why haven't desktop adopted that similar to the laptops?  The Mac Mini should be treated as a headless laptop in that regard.  Anyway, those things are way overdue.  When I upgrade my iMac I'm going for  Fusion drive option.  Yet, that won't help much in a power hiccup.  

  • Reply 38 of 198
    jim wjim w Posts: 75member


    Exactly, I have essentially the same setup as gwmac that I use intensively for video, animation, and photo work. iMac level systems just don't cut it for that level of production. I wouldn't be too anxious to dump Pci either. That is where the truly powerful GPUs are developed that are essential to animation, color correction, realtime playback and editing of HD and soon 4k resolution video. NAB, the world's biggest video show, was all about 4k production this year. Four times the pixels of HD. Huge bandwidth and processing requirements. Thunderbolt and external boxes are interesting developments, but are really mostly about storage and displays at this point. Yes, Falcon Ridge is in development to deal with 4k, but that won't be a viable solution for another year at least. I would like to have it in addition to the Pci 3 technology that can already handle it with existing GPUs. Also, I don't want 5 or 10 boxes on my desk connected by cables. The tower may not be revolutionary, but it combines the necessary technology in one compact high speed enclosure. Just give us a faster, better Mac Pro, with access to the best GPUs, tons of memory, and yes, Thunderbolt for the new stuff.

  • Reply 39 of 198
    solipsismx wrote: »
    Even with all that gutted it seems unlikely to me that it will be as diminutive as the old Power Mac G4 Cube or following the design of the old NeXTcube. The former's role appears to be filled by the Mac mini and the latter is fall to tricky in trying to design an option that is easy to access without having a mobo down the center that HW can attach to on either side as well as making it so it works well in a server environment where you'd want to have fairly efficient rack placement.
    As the Macminicolo's can attest, the Mac mini seems to do quite well as an Xserve replacement. Aside from that, I'm not saying Apple will re-adopt the old Cube's internal layout (everything coming off of a single main-board), just the Cube's much smaller size volume. It's entirely possible (though not likely) that the next Mac Pro will be fully modular, where users can swap out CPU, GPU, and storage boards at will.
  • Reply 40 of 198
    There are still many things that one cannot do well or at all with anything less than a Mac Pro and a huge monitor. I like the idea of stacked Mac Minis (NeXT could be expanded with up to 4 motherboards) but that doesn't address the expansion slot and other issues easily addressed in a tower config. MacOS X hard/software may not be the biggest wage earner in the family anymore but they are essential in keeping the family together.
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