Editorial: New Mac Pro highlights the gap Apple isn't filling

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  • Reply 101 of 151
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    Still not bringing up the real problem with the compact Mac offerings and why people like me want a Mac Pro priced like the previous cheese grater models: thermals and constant full CPU/GPU usage without compromise.

    A machine designed for this is the only way to go. The compact machines are wonderful for general purpose computing and even some content creation work, but they’re not designed for full power, 100% usage, for hours at a time. Using compact machines in this way results in throttling and thermal stress damage, necessitating premature replacement. 

    Upgrade upgrade upgrade... No, not so much. Upgrading components is a small issue. Modular repairability is far more important than upgrading. However, the overall thermal design is the most important issue of all and people still don’t want to talk about it.

    An iMac, a MacBook, or a Mac mini are not where you go for mid-tier powerhouse machines expected to run full power, without compromise, for 6-10 years. The Mac Pro used to be this. Now the only Mac physically designed for this usage is priced well outside the reach of most of the people who used to buy Mac Pros. The Mac Pro market used to be more than just Pixar and Disney, but now Apple and their apologists want us to believe Apple has everyone covered with compact and disposable computers, OR this “Mac Plutocrat”.

    This is like getting people to realize that the real argument against GMO is the monoculture (and corporatocracy), not the nonexistent health effects of eating GMOs. No matter how many times you talk about the actual issue, people would rather push the non-issue narrative so they can easily burn a straw man.

    I’ve already had a MacBook Pro die from bad thermal design tolerances. I’m not going there again. My second-hand iMac is a disastrous design for repair and replacement of its already existing modular components, and I won’t go there again either. Apple doesn’t acknowledge me as a customer because they spend all their focus on either the end consumer (the most sales) or the Disney and Pixar corporate studios (the highest prices). Yes, there’s a market segment going unserved!
    Sanctum1972
  • Reply 102 of 151
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member

    maestro64 said:
    What this article is saying is people are looking for a Lego Mac, plan and simple. People want to reach into a box of pretty color pieces and assemble exactly what they think they want, they do not want Apple making the decision for them. 
    make macs expandable again.
    You do realize Jobs was staunching opposed to expandable, hobbyist Macs, going back to the very first one, right?. From original Macintosh team member Andy Hertzfeld:

    https://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=Diagnostic_Port.txt

    "Expandability, or the lack thereof, was far and away the most controversial aspect of the original Macintosh hardware design."

    "Apple's other co-founder, Steve Jobs, didn't agree with Jef about many things, but they both felt the same way about hardware expandability: it was a bug instead of a feature. Steve was reportedly against having slots in the Apple II back in the days of yore, and felt even stronger about slots for the Mac. He decreed that the Macintosh would remain perpetually bereft of slots, enclosed in a tightly sealed case, with only the limited expandability of the two serial ports."

    ...it just wasn't designed to enable tinkerers & hobbyists. It was a step toward the goal of appliance-computing. 

    Jobs wasn’t right about everything. He was wrong about a lot of what ended up helping Apple (3.5” diskette drive licenses from Sony, slots for addons, App Store, and many others). He DID have a solid vision for usability. He had a very solid vision that sometimes took people with complementary ideas (and ability to argue for them) to push good non-Jobs ideas into place. This resulted in a better product for everyone, and much more reliable software.

    Software bugs have become a norm, not an exception, since Jobs exited the picture, especially with iOS. The Apple that sold me on moving from PC to Mac no longer exists. Luckily their products are still less-bad compared to the competition, but they no longer recognize me as a market (no Mac Pro tier for me) and they no longer care about solid software. While pushing iOS and its devices, you’d think they’d use it more themselves and notice the multitudes of bugs they create and which go unfixed. So far, in six years, they’ve fixed two bugs I’ve reported. These aren’t rare or hard to find issues either. They’re just being ignored because the goal is to keep pushing  new hardware sales, and because the leadership is all Wall Street myopia.
    Sanctum1972
  • Reply 103 of 151
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    This so-called "gap" is filled by the Mac mini. They may be small, but they can be equipped to be very powerful. Problem solved.
    Problem NOT solved. Your attempt to end the discussion with a pithy and short absolute statement fails to address anything at all.
    runswithfork
  • Reply 104 of 151
    keithwkeithw Posts: 139member
    I might have missed this if someone covered it but I strongly suspect the iMac Pro will be updated with the latest processors and graphics (Radeon VII?) so there will be that option as well.  When, of course, is the question.
  • Reply 105 of 151
    colinngcolinng Posts: 116member
    dtb200 said:
    I'm 100% no expert on this but can you 'daisy-chain' Mac Minis in some way to create an in-between solution?
    Technically possible (ie ThunderBolt 3 would offer high bandwidth) but there isn’t a lot of software that can run across multiple cores across multiple machines (I can only think things like Xcode compile farm, or a distributed render). 

    If you’re a single user doing those kinds of tasks, you’ll probably just go with the Mac Pro. If you have a workplace full of Macs then you can do that for free. 
  • Reply 106 of 151
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    Great article, but a couple of points...

    First, the thing about Apple not having to support every market is true. But, I think they had to return to supporting those high-end users, for the influence they have on the rest of the product line. I think it is coming out how Apple realizes this (now), and is indeed going to put what they've learned at the high end into the rest of the lineup. (BTW, some of us were making that argument for many years now... and being poo-poo'ed in the process.)

    Second, maybe I'm the only one? Surely not! But, it isn't just about a computing power gap. While I'd love a new Mac Pro, my 2018 Mac mini typically has enough or even more power than I need (can one ever have enough?). What it doesn't have, though, is excess, or even adequate, thermal capacity. An xMac could easily have that. Why? So that prosumers and lower-end pro users could push it to it's limits, 24x7, and would just get their jobs done more slowly than those luck Mac Pro folks. (But wouldn't damage their machines.)

    Third, the iMac or not-to-iMac thing is about more than not needing the display around. Some people want to use specific displays, or don't want space taken up by a display that can only display their Mac screen. Got a PC under the desk, or maybe want to do some PS4/Xbox gaming? You're out of luck with an iMac.

    But, the 'Apple knows best' aspect of this article is a bit annoying... along the lines of that poo-poo'ing I mentioned above. It doesn't take a rocket-scientist to know if Apple created an xMac, it would be as successful as a number of their other products. It might not be the most successful product, but I'm not sure why it has to be. Saying Apple hasn't made one, and inferring that's because they know the market for one doesn't really exist, though, is silly. Could it also be, that like the cylinder Mac Pro, or Apple's massive lag in updating the Mac line... that Apple is mistaken?
    lorin schultz
  • Reply 107 of 151
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,270member
    plovell said:
    I'm waiting for Mac Mini Pro - an upgradeable Mac Mini. My current one is the last of the upgradeable ones, from 2013, with quad i7 and [now] a 1 TB SSD, plus a regular HDD for movies/music. Apple's pursuit of "thin" has gone too far - even new iPhones and iPads are slightly thicker than some earlier versions. So it is with the Mini so beef it up a bit and make space for two 2.5" drives, or one plus a replaceable SSD.
    Wouldn’t that be the old Mac cube with updated internals. 
    Now wonders if we have an old cube in storeroom.
  • Reply 108 of 151
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    melgross said:
    Normally I don’t like skipping all the posts before posting something that’s not a response on my part, but I’m going to do it here.

    we’ve discussed the business case here, to some extent. But I ran two companies for 37 years, and I, along with partners, had to make the case for new products and services. Unless you’re the one in the hot seat, it’s hard to understand how difficult some decisions are. Often, we received requests from customers (sometimes, demands). We always considered them, if they weren’t off the wall, as some always are.

    some were reasonable, and we put some work into seeing if they were also viable, because not every reasonable request is viable, which is something to remember. Some were too expensive, some would take too much time, and others weren’t technically feasible. But there’s another reason why not everything was considered past a certain point. That’s because, and read this carefully, most customers will choose a product, or service, that they’re saying they would not prefer to have, in favor of another, if that other isn’t available. That’s very important.

    so if there are, say, a million customers that are asking Apple for an xMac, almost all will buy an iMac, or Mini instead, if the xMac isn’t available. That’s a very important point. Yes, there will be a very small number that may leave the platform because of it, but it really is a very small number, though you may find that hard to believe because of all the fuss they make over it. People on the edge always seem to be more numerous, because most satisfied people don’t bother commenting anywhere, they just go about their business.

    apple has likely researched this a number of times, and found the case for it wanting. I’m not saying that there aren’t people out there would buy it. But I am saying that Apple likely feels that the number isn’t big enough to be profitable, given what I just said above. Remember, this is Apple. They are not likely to make a cheap case of sheet metal and plastic. The last one was the MirrorDoor, and that wasn’t a cheap metal/plastic case. It was a fairly expensive one. I’m not so sure Apple wants to go back to sheet metal and plastic. Remember that the PowerMac G5, and following Mac Pro, were made out of 1/8” anodized aluminum plate. Very expensive.

    so the question is that given their subsequent practices, can Apple even make a mini tower for $2,500? I’m not sure. Would it pay for them to do,so, let’s not be sure about that either.
    You are proposing an intelligent, open, well thought out design philosophy.
    But, I don't think that is what has been going on with the Mac Line in recent times.   Instead, I think it has been constrained by 2 main things:
    1)   Apple simply didn't put a lot of resources into the line and instead let them languish.
    2)  The Mac team seems to have been caught up in a rigid design over function trap that left the line with a narrow focus.  (The MacBooks are a good example:   Most people have to ask if they are looking at MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.   They are so similar that most people  tell them apart.)

    I am hopeful that Apple will adopt your more open design, business planning philosophy.   And, with this newest Mac, I think I see that happening.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 109 of 151
    lmglmg Posts: 7member
    I think you could also make an argument that Apple could fill a gap by launching a second standalone display, to address the market that exists for a less expensive display. Take the 4K and 5K panels out of the iMac/iMac Pro, add Face ID, an SD card slot, some ports, perhaps some speakers, and possibly even an eGPU (perhaps with some facility to allow for interchangeability/upgradeability), and you've got displays that could come in at a price point palatable to a lot more people. I'm not sure, though, that Face ID would work at the typical viewing distance of a display that size. I just tried it by positioning my iPhone at the same distance as my MacBook, and it did work, but you'd typically be positioned a little further away from a 21.5" or 27" display than you would from a laptop, I think.
    Good thoughts and absolutely correct! Why couldn’t they just update and rebrand the previous generation Mac Pro to serve the middle? It’s sleek cylindrical design and small footprint is perfect for whatever you want to do; it is somewhat upgradable, and it doesn’t look like a cheese grater or any other tower available today. ߘt;/div>
    I really like the idea of re-purposing the design of the previous-generation (2013) Mac Pro to fill the gap discussed in this editorial, so long as there is some reasonable upgradeability (RAM, SSD, GPUs). (Even if the design didn't allow for GPU upgrades, I think it could still work for this niche if it were priced competitively, particularly given the option to add an external eGPU via Thunderbolt). I always really liked the design of this unit - it just wasn't well-suited to be the flagship Mac. The internals certainly need to be updated, but if you could have this machine, alongside the downmarket display discussed above, at a price that comes in under the new (2019) Mac Pro, that would be an appealing product! And from a business perspective, re-using this design would surely be more economical than creating one from scratch.
    edited June 2019
  • Reply 110 of 151
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    jdw said:
    jdw said:
    A long-winded defense of the status quo intended to make Mac-loving readers feel ashamed for wanting more.

    How awful!
    Read the article for comprehension next time. That is 100% not the point.

    FTA: "If there's any other characteristic that identifies a demanding Mac user, too, it's how they have no single identifying characteristic. This is a market that is wildly fragmented and you know where this is going -- mid-range users need a modular Mac that they can customize to their work."
     I did read it comprehensively and my comment was based upon my personal interpretation of it,  in light of other articles here on AppleInsider which tend to defend Apple over and above the consumer.   That one paragraph is but a pearl in the snout of a pig.  

    As a Mac fan since 1984 and an AppleInsider reader for as long as I can remember, I’m not normally this harsh. But I felt compelled to state how insulted I felt after reading the article and pondering the overall thrust of it, not being sidetracked by one single positive paragraph. 

    The article, in the eyes of me the reader, is not a call for a change at Apple, but rather a statement that says, “Apple knows more about consumer wants and needs than you do as a consumer, so suck it up!“

    Again, that’s my overall feeling after having comprehensively read and pondered it. And it doesn’t matter to me if others disagree. We all have our own personal takes on the media that we consume. 
    Considering that Apple is a company with over $250 billion in yearly sales, it isn’t proper to say that defending Apple is defending them over the consumer. Obviously, Apple is an overwhelmingly popular “consumer” company.

    but AI and most of us posting here, do understand that Apple is right far more than they are wrong, which often is a much better record than most, if not all, of their competitors. But a company has the right to pick, and choose, to have products that not everyone is happy about. No one company can satisfy everyone. Apple has some gaps in their lineup. That’s true. But I also remember a long time ago, when they didn’t, and that attempt to satisfy everyone led to condemnations that they had too many products, and needed to cut lines out. So that’s what they did.

    i brought up the point that when they research the possibility of products, they have to look at what they have and what will happen if they do have another line. If that line cannibalizes present lines, and they end up at the same place in sales, then there’s no point in doing it. only if that cannibalization adds to sales does it make sense. I also brought up the point that most people who want this mythological xMac will just buy an iMac or Mini instead. Apple knows that.

    Most people really don’t need and expandable machine. In the old days, particularly for PcDos machines, and Wintel machines before the early 2000’s, very little canes as standard, so people bought expandable boxes, as they all were back then. They needed to, because many things we, as Mac users took for granted, were not supplied in a basic non Mac box. Even so, I knew a lot of people who would buy them with 8 slots, and only add a modem card.

    the truth is that upgrading a machine is expensive, and can easily cost a very large percentage of the original machine’s cost. Buying an iMac, and buying a new one every three years, or so, for most pros is more cost effective than spending almost the same amount, and upgrading g it several times over the same period, or for even another year. This is particularly true since the CPU can’t be effectively upgraded to any really useful extent, if it’s socket based, and that’s expensive too.

    if someone is professional, and I keep making this point, because it’s valid, then your purchase is a capital expense, and can be depreciated. That lowers the purchase cost over a three year period, just in time to be replaced by a noticeably more powerful machine, and the old one can then be sold off. Many pros do exactly this. The value of that 25” monitor in an iMac has rightly been called more of a bargain that a self boxed monitor would be, and that the iMac is a tremendous bargain because of the cost savings of having everything in that one chassis. It would likely cost an addition $1,000 if Apple were to sell it separately with a mini tower. Would that be worth it? Well, to some, yes, but I would bet that not to as many as would be thought.

    i also don’t think it’s in Apple’s DNA to produce a relatively cheap tower. The last towers that could be thought of as that would be the mirror door models, and they really weren’t cheap by the prices of the day. But I think Apple is finished with sheet metal and plastic.
    roundaboutnow
  • Reply 111 of 151
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    lmg said:
    I really like the idea of re-purposing the design of the previous-generation (2013) Mac Pro to fill the gap discussed in this editorial, so long as there is some reasonable upgradeability (RAM, SSD, GPUs). (Even if the design didn't allow for GPU upgrades, I think it could still work for this niche if it were priced competitively, particularly given the option to add an external eGPU via Thunderbolt). I always really liked the design of this unit - it just wasn't well-suited to be the flagship Mac. The internals certainly need to be updated, but if you could have this machine, alongside the downmarket display discussed above, at a price that comes in under the new (2019) Mac Pro, that would be an appealing product! And from a business perspective, re-using this design would surely be more economical than creating one from scratch.
    Agreed. They could just put a RX580 in it (I think it could cool that), or even an Intel GPU to keep the base cost down. Yes, we can easily add an eGPU to our liking, but the problem was lack of TB3 and rather outdated (and over-expensive) hardware. I'd have purchased something like that instead of my mini if it were available (and paid more money for it).

    melgross said:
    ... I also brought up the point that most people who want this mythological xMac will just buy an iMac or Mini instead. Apple knows that.

    ... i also don’t think it’s in Apple’s DNA to produce a relatively cheap tower. The last towers that could be thought of as that would be the mirror door models, and they really weren’t cheap by the prices of the day. But I think Apple is finished with sheet metal and plastic.
    I suppose so, but because they have little other choice. I don't think it would have to be a 'relatively cheap' anything, aside from in comparison to the Mac Pro. I'd expect the pricing to fall between the price of a mini and the Mac Pro if Apple produced such a thing.

    But, I guess there is a divide on what this thing should even be. Some want a an expandable mini-tower. I'd be thrilled with something like the cylinder Mac Pro with updated ports and non-pro (ie: i7, non-ECC RAM, doesn't have to be ultra-high-end storage, etc.) parts inside (or the mini tower). I just want something prosumer/low-end-pro that is reasonably robust.
  • Reply 112 of 151
    HerrDrumpfHerrDrumpf Posts: 3unconfirmed, member
    Not to sound like a dope, but how much of a market is there outside of power users for expandability?
    In the old days, even the average tech-savvy owner would reach a point of finding expansion cheaper than replacing to keep up with advancements in apps. But these days, most devices are plenty enough. (FWIW, I'm typing this on a machine that's overkill for our needs and it's only an iMac.)
    So, again: How much of a market is there for non-power users for expandable machines?
  • Reply 113 of 151
    lmglmg Posts: 7member
    cgWerks said:
    lmg said:
    I really like the idea of re-purposing the design of the previous-generation (2013) Mac Pro to fill the gap discussed in this editorial, so long as there is some reasonable upgradeability (RAM, SSD, GPUs). (Even if the design didn't allow for GPU upgrades, I think it could still work for this niche if it were priced competitively, particularly given the option to add an external eGPU via Thunderbolt). I always really liked the design of this unit - it just wasn't well-suited to be the flagship Mac. The internals certainly need to be updated, but if you could have this machine, alongside the downmarket display discussed above, at a price that comes in under the new (2019) Mac Pro, that would be an appealing product! And from a business perspective, re-using this design would surely be more economical than creating one from scratch.
    Agreed. They could just put a RX580 in it (I think it could cool that), or even an Intel GPU to keep the base cost down. Yes, we can easily add an eGPU to our liking, but the problem was lack of TB3 and rather outdated (and over-expensive) hardware. I'd have purchased something like that instead of my mini if it were available (and paid more money for it).
    For sure, if they aren't going to keep the specs current then it's of little value, and while it was the Mac Pro, it was hardly updated at all. I'm not sure what it could be called, though. cMac? Mac medium? Mac cylinder? Just roll with xMac? Mac desk or Mac desktop? Mac roll?
    cgWerks
  • Reply 114 of 151
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,480member
    Absolutely spot on piece.  

    No idea how I missed this piece and don't have time to read the comments just yet but the first line of the first post summed it up for me:

    "Absolutely spot on piece"
  • Reply 115 of 151
    lmglmg Posts: 7member
    I love my iMac 5K, but it is not expandable at all, and extremely cumbersome to upgrade the whole machine.

    Apple should be offering a base model of the Mac Pro for $2999 and a 27" 5K display for $999.

    That is well within my budgetary range for a work Mac. And it would get me a lot more mileage than an of-the-shelf iMac will. I would be happy to put another $1000/year or so into the machine for upgrades for the next 5-10 years. So in 10 years, it would still be a beast with relatively modern components.
    As per my previous comment, I think the trash can (2013) Mac Pro could perfectly fill this niche with at least some expandability/upgradeability. Or, Apple merely offers the (2019) cheese grater Mac Pro with lower end components - i7 and i9 processor, slower RAM, lower-grade SSDs, less powerful GPUs - and boom, they've covered their bases. I'm not entirely sure there's need to create an entirely new design to make an expandable Mac at a lower price point - and probably not a large enough market to justify that from a business perspective. I do believe they need to add lower-end displays, though, again as mentioned above. Take the 27" panel out of the iMac 5K and you've got what you need.

    I was really hoping for Face ID, ports (USB-A, 3.5mm headphone, ethernet, perhaps HDMI), a memory card slot, and an (optional?) eGPU in the Pro Display XDR (and I don't believe it even has a camera built-in, does it?), but I have to admit that as a display, it surpasses any expectation I could have had. 
  • Reply 116 of 151
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    Not to sound like a dope, but how much of a market is there outside of power users for expandability?
    In the old days, even the average tech-savvy owner would reach a point of finding expansion cheaper than replacing to keep up with advancements in apps. But these days, most devices are plenty enough. (FWIW, I'm typing this on a machine that's overkill for our needs and it's only an iMac.)
    So, again: How much of a market is there for non-power users for expandable machines?
    I think it depends on, expandable in what way? Stuff like RAM and storage are especially susceptible to expansion, as costs for more are initially quite high (and come done in cost) and needs for them often expand over time.

    So, when I buy my machine, maybe I'd want 64 GB of RAM, but opt for 32 GB to save some money. But, down the road, my software could use more and the costs come down such that upgrading to 64 GB or beyond becomes more feasible. If it is locked-in on the machine, it means a new machine. So, having that option can be quite nice.

    For things like GPU, that also used to be a big deal. But, with eGPUs there is a less of an argument to be made there (outside the really high end of multiple GPUs which probably do better internally).

    But, my argument isn't so much around expandability, but having an adequate machine even available at all, or being adequate at the start. For example, my 2018 Mac mini is a nice little machine and meets my performance needs. But, it doesn't do as well under heavy utilization (ie: fans run too hard, etc.). Having a mid-tier semi-pro box (possibly with the exact same components as in my mini) that has reasonable performance, can keep cool, and is a bit expandable, would be very welcome!

    lmg said:
    For sure, if they aren't going to keep the specs current then it's of little value, and while it was the Mac Pro, it was hardly updated at all. I'm not sure what it could be called, though. cMac? Mac medium? Mac cylinder? Just roll with xMac? Mac desk or Mac desktop? Mac roll?
    Hmm, don't know. Maybe just Mac, lol. But, a huge debate would then happen over it not being expandable enough for the tinkerers. They'd probably be better off to just do a mini version of the Mac Pro (ie: use the cooling concept) with room for a card or two, RAM slots, M.2 slots or something like that. I'd be fine with that, too. I think it would be more acceptable to the broadest range.

    lmg said:
    ... probably not a large enough market to justify that from a business perspective. I do believe they need to add lower-end displays, though, again as mentioned above. Take the 27" panel out of the iMac 5K and you've got what you need.
    Yes, exactly. But, the problem is that we just don't know how big the market for it is. Given how Apple has positioned the lineup, what percentage of iMac and mini buyers would have bought something like this instead, if they had the choice?

    It's kind of like the iPhone SE. They created a self-fulfilling prophecy about its sales numbers by the design. Apple never released a smaller-screen premium model to see if people want a smaller screen. They make a small-screen 'budget phone' and then declare that high-end phone users don't want small screens.
  • Reply 117 of 151
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,755member
    People suggesting a Mac Mini with a GPU over Thunderbolt are ridiculous.  Until Thunderbolt can provide 16 lanes it is NOT a solution for decent GPU in the Mac. 

    There is a reason the Iicx and Iici's are spoken with reverence even today - they are utilitarian and fill specific needs.  

    Apple is currently the sole provider of Mac hardware.  it's up to them to provide for us - and this article is spot on - there is still a gaping hole in the Mac line they need to yet fill.

    Or let someone else do it if they don't want to.  They could allow clones with terms to prevent some of the cannabilization issues from the clones in the 90's (I still can't believe I didn't grab my Mom's PowerComputing clone).
  • Reply 118 of 151
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Not to sound like a dope, but how much of a market is there outside of power users for expandability?
    In the old days, even the average tech-savvy owner would reach a point of finding expansion cheaper than replacing to keep up with advancements in apps. But these days, most devices are plenty enough. (FWIW, I'm typing this on a machine that's overkill for our needs and it's only an iMac.)
    So, again: How much of a market is there for non-power users for expandable machines?
    The truth is—very little. Those who demand it seem to be in a small minority. Back in the early days, withPCDos and early Microsoft DOS models, there was very little included in the box. That even means modems. So in order to equip a machine, you needed to expand. Once Jobs was gone, and Apple came out the the Macintosh II, which was a horizontal desktop model, which was the most popular design type of the time, we had 8 slots. That was as many at tall towers from the other guys. But Apple included, on the mobo, and small daughter boards, most of what was needed, for most people.

    in reality, most don’t need anything more than what comes in the box. If you’re a gamer, you want to upgrade to more RAM, more powerful graphics card, and faster drive. But if you’re not, then most just want more RAM and a bigger drive. Nobody knows how many people really want, by Apple’s standards, a less expensive xMac. Those who do are very vocal, but really, how many are they?
  • Reply 119 of 151
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    docno42 said:
    People suggesting a Mac Mini with a GPU over Thunderbolt are ridiculous.  Until Thunderbolt can provide 16 lanes it is NOT a solution for decent GPU in the Mac. 

    There is a reason the Iicx and Iici's are spoken with reverence even today - they are utilitarian and fill specific needs.  

    Apple is currently the sole provider of Mac hardware.  it's up to them to provide for us - and this article is spot on - there is still a gaping hole in the Mac line they need to yet fill.

    Or let someone else do it if they don't want to.  They could allow clones with terms to prevent some of the cannabilization issues from the clones in the 90's (I still can't believe I didn't grab my Mom's PowerComputing clone).
    No more clones. Period. There is no way Apple can do that without having cannabilization of their lines. I pointed out earlier that Apple likely looks at who is buying what, and why. They also look at what would happen if they come out with another product line, and how that may cannibalize their other lines. If they think it will do that, but will increase overall sales an profits, going by their past history, they’ll do it.

    But if they feel it’s an even exchange, that there’s no real change in sales or profits, there’s no reason for them do do it. Because what I see even in this forum, is that most people wanting that xMac have something else instead. And likely that’s what is happening. People who want an xMac buy what Apple does sell, and complain about it. Complaining is fine, and we all do it, but it’s not the same as leaving the platform, which very few actually do. And then, there are people coming into the platform, despite the lack of that product.

    so back to clones. If those clones are good, and have no problems, as some of the clones did back then, then those who want that xMac might leave Apple, and buy that xMac clone instead. That’s a big negative for Apple, and the platform. Instead, Apple keeps those people.
  • Reply 120 of 151
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,771member
    There seems to be a sense that an xMac product is all about future upgrades. To me it’s about being able to  customize my rig out of the gate.

    I think there really is a hole in the lineup. While the mini, iMac, and Pro all overlap, they do so in ways that limit buyer choices. For example, the monitor built-in to the iMac is not an asset for me, it’s a liability. There’s no elegant way to set up a multi-display configuration that includes the iMac’s screen, and why pay for what amounts to a placement inconvenience if one isn’t going to use it?

    So that’s where the mini comes in, but its graphics are anemic. If I want more grunt I can add an eGPU, but it will cost more, perform more poorly, and generate more noise than dropping a card into something like the cylinder or 2019 design.

    Despite Apple’s dream of ignoring PCIe cards, some products still exist only in that form, like Pro Tools DSP/IO and various video interfaces. Even in cases where Thunderbolt alternatives exist, they’re often saddled with compromises in features and performance.

    Even though future upgrades aren’t my primary concern, the flexibility would be welcome. It would be nice to be able to add a function (via PCI card) that didn’t exist at the time of purchase, or even to correct miscalculations. When I bought my mini I thought a 256Gb boot drive would be big enough. I’ve since discovered that having certain files on external storage introduces headaches I hadn’t anticipated. Sadly, there’s now no way to increase the capacity of that drive without buying a whole new computer at roughly $3000 or so. That’s not good value.

    I can work with Apple’s existing line, but only by accepting a series of compromises, and, with the advent of soldered components preventing me from using affordable third-party parts, at ever increasing cost. I don’t know how long that will be sustainable for my one-person business. A customizable Mac would solve that problem.


    cgWerksgatorguy
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