How bad a lag in future hardware will you accept?

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I ask this question while not really knowing for sure where I stand myself.

On the software side I'm happy now. I like OS X at version 10.1.5, and with everything I've heard about Jaguar, I'm going to be even happier. $129 -- no problem! I just wish I had some [email protected] hardware to run it on.

I was disappointed with the latest Power Mac updates. What I was hoping for wasn't too outlandish -- it wasn't like I was expecting 2 GHz G5s, for instance. 1.4 GHz G4s with real DDR would have made me very happy. Just this little bit of extra speed on a better system bus, and I'd have already placed my order.

I find myself wondering... will it take another six months for Apple to get to the not-so-demanding point of performance of 1.4 GHz and true DDR? Might we see MWSF come and go, and still not even be that far? What happens if a full year from now Apple is still struggling with small incremental updates of the G4, while AMD and Intel are doing 3+ GHz 64-bit systems with 500 MHz busses?

Well... I won't suddenly like Windows XP because of that. I won't suddenly like Microsoft's licensing, their proprietary formats, and their future plans like Palladium. As much as I like the open-software spirit of Linux, I still won't suddenly like Linux nearly as much as OS X.

But the "user experience" aspect of using Macs will definitely start to lose a lot of its shine. Apple's plans to get Windows users to switch will fail under those circumstances, and the already-small niche market will shrink further. Getting good Mac software and support will get even harder.

I already own a PC as well as a Mac -- I've been a Mac user long, but I need a PC for software compatibility checking -- so it's not like I'd have to suddenly make any jarring transition. But lately, with OS X, Mozilla for web browsing and e-mail, CodeWarrior for a Java development, PhotoShop and BBEdit for web site development -- I've been a very happy camper on my Mac, and I've been using my PC less and less.

I have no excitement about upgrading my current 1.1 GHz AMD Athlon system -- there's plenty I could buy that's faster, but I don't really care for now. On the other hand, I'd love to really have a great Mac upgrade -- but there's nothing out there that's a compelling upgrade compared to my 800 MHz TiBook.

A year from now, however... If the best I can get is a 1.6 GHz G4 with Xserve DDR for $3300... I won't drop my Mac entirely, but I'll sure start thinking seriously that my next upgrade will be a $1500 3 GHz PC instead.

I'm hoping that Apple really does have something exciting in the works to save us from such a sad scenario.


  • Reply 1 of 30
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    Patience is a virtue. My patience was over, so I ordered. A Mac.

  • Reply 2 of 30
    kidredkidred Posts: 2,402member
    Why wait? Get a PC now and you can post your whines on the pc forums.
  • Reply 3 of 30
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,375member
    A PC would have to be at a MINIMUM twice as fast for me to even contemplate switching. And then again I prolly wouldn't go Wintel because MS turns my stomach right now.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    Shetline, I think you're expressing a yearning that many mac users have right now. There's a growing consensus across the Mac web that these new powermacs are half-stops - a kickass backbone with a lameass processor. The G4 is in the iMac for cripes sake, what's it still doing in the powermacs?

    Like you, I'm itching for a new computer. I have a $10,000 apple loan already approved and waiting to be spent. We have aging machines at work that need replacing. But I'm not budging.

    i can wait until January, and if i HAVE to, I can wait until next summer, but beyond that, I don't I'll have any more patience left. I'll buy a decent mid-range powermac (whatever is available) and spend the real money on an AMD rendering machine for after effects. I'd rather stay all apple, but until we see 1.5ghz (or higher) Power4 or G5 Powermacs, I'm not budging. I bought a G3 laptop and G3 desktop right at their end of their respective lives and felt like a bonehead four months later when the g4's came out. I can wait for the next generation. I just hope it's in January. Apparently IBM is talking about this desktop Power4 chip in the present tense, which hopefully means Apple already has test machines circulating in top secrecy. Once i see some benchmarks, I'll dig a debt hole for myself and dive right in. i don't buy computers every year, so i want something kickass that will last an easy 3-4 years without going rancid.

  • Reply 5 of 30
    robsterrobster Posts: 256member
    well, to be honest i'm as pissed as anyone that the new powermacs are a hold over, i don't think it's apples fault they are caught between a rock and a hard place.

    I never EVER want to use windows, i'd maybe use Linux if there was a decent GUI (and YES I have tried em all...). The PC and mac aren't so different except that Apple take the time to make them look attractive, function well and puts out usable well written apps and encourages the developers to do the same.

    No matter how pissed off I am it'll never come to the point where i'll want to use windows, just use the Mac OS on a decently fast box.

    Until the dualies were released it was pointless to buy a PM unless you need PCI slots, you might as well buy the Ti Powerbook, I did and i don't regret, it's one area where Apple rules still...
  • Reply 6 of 30
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,375member
    Shetline. Imagine how Steve Jobs feels. They gave Motorola a chance and they dropped the ball.

    I'm not getting another machine unless it's a Mac. The PC market has stagnated other than puny megahertz updates. Big whoop. I need software that enables my hardware to power new technologies. Hardware is already too far ahead.
  • Reply 7 of 30
    [quote]Originally posted by KidRed:

    <strong>Why wait? Get a PC now and you can post your whines on the pc forums.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    ... actually, it'd be better for his money if he'd just wait for sales in tower machines to go on life support, pick up Apple stock cheap, wait until they bring out a serious upgrade, sell stock, buy new Mac with the gains.

    Perfection in theory strikes yet again!
  • Reply 8 of 30
    First of all Apple knows it is behind the 8-Ball. They do not think that the Mac faithful will always be there, because at one time Macintosh held about 8% to 9% of the market and now it is around 4.5%. Their switch campaign is designed around the fact that they must increase market share or else. Every Mac user knows that Apple is using older technology in their computers. What does Apples future hold?

    Motorola: What can we say about the abysmal company. It seem that the development of the G5 may have been stopped a year or so ago when Motorola made major cuts to their semiconductor group. I also find it quite possible that Apple has funded the improvements to the current G4. Where are the 1.4 or 1.6 GHz chips we have heard so much about? Do they exist? They exist as Apples insurance to have one final speed bump out of G4 design. If Apples new processor is not ready in time you will see these processors, if the new processors do make it out in time these chips will only be used in the consumer models.

    Intel & AMD: The speed of there chips increase and their cost keeps going down. At first it seems like a good idea using these chips in your new computers. Apple would have a problem with this. The first of their problems would be the margins; most people would expect the cost of apple hardware to be in line with comparable hardware (same processors, video, memory, etc&#8230 from Dell, HP, and Gateway. Dell may be able to survive on single digit margins because of their percentage of the market and their direct sales only, but Apple would die. Another problem may come from people who may develop a way to hack the Mac OS to run on any current hardware being sold. This could result in a huge lost in hardware sales and lets face it, Apple does not want to be just a software company (Microsoft wants to more than a software company…OK OK MICROSOFT WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD).

    IBM: Is developing a new desktop Power4 Chip and we all are waiting to hear what is going to be said at the Microprocessor Forum in October where IBM will disclose the technical details of a new 64-bit PowerPC microprocessor designed for desktops and entry-level servers. Based on the award winning Power4 design, this processor is an 8-way superscalar design that fully supports Symmetric MultiProcessing. The processor is further enhanced by a vector processing unit implementing over 160 specialized vector instructions and implements a system interface capable of up to 6.4GB/s.

    Apple: Is a company that is still delivering great designs as well as outstanding consumer applications. What is holding back Apple is the Hardware. If Apple was shipping 2+GHz on 400 or 533 MHz Motherboards the Apple Faithful would be grinning from ear to ear (yes you would still have those who would find something to complain about). But what is Apple doing?

    -The new motherboard controller chip was certainly planed and built because Apple is well aware of the Motorola chip problems. This is clearly a stop gap measure until a whole new line of pro level computers are delivered (although it will be used in the consumer line until they get step up sometime after the new line has seen a revision or two).

    -Apple is buy graphic and audio companies and killing of the window versions.

    -Apple has 4 billion in cash on hand and I bet they have a few companies to buy.

    What does this mean Apple is getting all its duck in a row… switch campaign to have people look at the Macintosh (iPod for windows helps here), Let IBM start the buzz about their a new 64-bit PowerPC microprocessor, all this while Apple is designing new motherboards and working with graphic companies to improve the video on their systems so sometime next year apple will come out with a that the industry will have to stop and take notice….the switch may then be on.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    jcgjcg Posts: 777member
    I think that a better question is how long will the market allow Apple to lag behind in technology. I am not only talking about processor speed, but also memory, system bus, etc. All of these add up, and Apple is behind the curve. Can they catch up? It dosent look like the G4 will allow them to. I'm not even sure that the G4 will be a viable consumer level chip in the next 12-18 months. And with its lack of support for DDR on a FSB it could be argued that it is not a viable Pro processor today.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    [quote]Originally posted by KidRed:

    <strong>Why wait? Get a PC now and you can post your whines on the pc forums.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    As I stated, I already own a PC as well as a Mac -- but don't want to upgrade the PC yet, and would rather get a great new Mac.

    I suggest you re-read what I wrote if you wish to characterize it as "whines". I thought what I said was rather balanced -- especially compared to knee-jerk responses such as the above quote from you.
  • Reply 11 of 30
    spookyspooky Posts: 504member
    How bad a lag in future hardware would I accept?

    2 years - ie PCs lagging 2 years behind apple!

    BostonMH I sincerely hope you are right. Personally I think there is somethign we are not seeing here. I cannot believe that Stevo would sit around for the best part of three years and just seethe quietly while MOTO drives apple into the ground.

    Even apple's design is suffering - the new towers look like cr*p to accommodate the extra stuff that is supposed to take our minds off the hardware problems.

    After all Firewire 2, DDR etc - these are not solely MOTo's fault. Apple seemed to choose not to employ these.

    If only we could get back to the time when Mac were the most powerful and cool computers on earth. That's what I'm waiting for. Does it make sense for me to change my G4 400 for a 3500k dualie? No. would I change for a Dual 2.5Ghz, firewire 2, superdrive 2, DDR equipped mac? hell yes.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    [quote]Originally posted by spooky:

    <strong> Does it make sense for me to change my G4 400 for a 3500k dualie? No. would I change for a Dual 2.5Ghz, firewire 2, superdrive 2, DDR equipped mac? hell yes.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Would you change for a Dual 1.25Ghz, firewire 2, superdrive, DDR equiped mac is the question?

    What if it also had USB 2.0, Gigawire, bluetooth, a $50 fibrenic and apple offered a $150 fibreswitch?

    Would you still buy it if it was "only" dual 1.25 Ghz?

    I would buy a new 2.5 Ghz mac if all the other techs were the same.

    [ 08-16-2002: Message edited by: Eupfhoria ]</p>
  • Reply 13 of 30
    Well. I accepted a hardware lag when I purchased my Quicksilver DP 1 GHz in Febuary. I guess this machine is fine though, and I never ever want to have to use Windows. I love Apple, but I'm not too pleased with the current hardware situation. What is even more depressing to me is things that really don't have to do with hardware speed processors etc, but common sense. There is so much wasted empty space in my G4, and I could certainly use at least 2 extra full-size drive bays. Problem (partially) solved with the new towers, right? Yes, but an ugly hack job and I'm hearing some bad reviews on those machines. The one thing that made me buy another Mac was OS X. I love it. I'm going to be even happier when I get a hold of 10.2. I've stuck with Apple, and I don't plan on turning back. Give me a reason to believe Steve!
  • Reply 14 of 30
    I don't really think Apple cares...
  • Reply 15 of 30
    [quote]Originally posted by G-News:

    Patience is a virtue. My patience was over, so I ordered. A Mac.


    I think you're more virtuous than I. Luckily, instead of patient, I'm lazy. That, and the thought of Germany's 16% VAT kept me from ordering a dual 1GHz this time around.

    I can get buy with an upgrade card for a while, but if Apple whips out a nice DDR solution, or 1.4GHz in the USD2,000-2,500 range, then I'm in.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    i'm working with macs for more than 4 years but still use wintel at home.

    and yes, i want to switch. i want to switch since 4 years...

    the only mac for my private use will be an imac (budget!) - and thats a big problem.

    when the first imacs came out i already worked with an 17" iiyama triniton monitor and had no reason to switch down to that poor 15"crt imac. then i waitet and waitet but nothing happened (they STILL sell this 15"crt shit). when the 15" tft imac was announced i just purchased a 15"tft samsung for my pc and thought "ok it's getting better but there has to come more." now i really want the 17" imac and i really want to switch soon but - 24x cd???, 8x cdr???, 4x cdrw??? - no way!

    so if apple wants more switchers they have to give them more than excellent design and OSX with poor hardware support (scanner!!)

    pc people love to choose so let them at least choose between the optical drives for every modell and an optional "gamer-video card" give them mor speed (ghz is the magic word - one pc user to another: i changed my 2000mhz athlon for an 700mhz imac but, believe me, it is faster...) and they'll love you.

    [ 08-17-2002: Message edited by: schrumpl ]</p>
  • Reply 17 of 30
    xypexype Posts: 672member
    [quote]Originally posted by schrumpl:

    <strong>24x cd???, 8x cdr???, 4x cdrw??? - no way!</strong><hr></blockquote>

    ouch! but the reason for that is probably heat generation of a 40x drive. stupid steve and his fanless fanatism.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    zosozoso Posts: 177member
    [quote]Originally posted by xype:

    <strong>ouch! but the reason for that is probably heat generation of a 40x drive. stupid steve and his fanless fanatism.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    AFAIK the Cube was the only fanless G4 system. IIRC the new iMac has in fact a fan. Furthermore, I s'pose the guy above is more concerned with the write speed of the drive, not the read.

    Oh, one more thing: how about the SuperDrive iMac? Do you think that produces less heat than a 12x (minimum decent speed) CDR?

  • Reply 19 of 30
    blackcatblackcat Posts: 697member
    [quote]Originally posted by Eupfhoria:


    Would you change for a Dual 1.25Ghz, firewire 2, superdrive, DDR equiped mac is the question?

    What if it also had USB 2.0, Gigawire, bluetooth, a $50 fibrenic and apple offered a $150 fibreswitch?

    Would you still buy it if it was "only" dual 1.25 Ghz?

    I would buy a new 2.5 Ghz mac if all the other techs were the same.

    [ 08-16-2002: Message edited by: Eupfhoria ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

    I can't believe Apple are waiting for DDR G4s before designing the system for it, but I can see why they left the good stuff off last weeks towers.

    It's a bit like X & Aqua - X could easily have had the 9.x GUI but it would have faded in with the rest. The 100% new internals wouldn't have got any press and it would have looked like an update.

    I think when Apple finally gets a decent CPU we'll see an all new Mac to show it off, until then stuff like Firewire2 would be drowned out by the G4 issue.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    i just think that the combo drive is more suitable for most of the switchers.

    and once more: i work on mac too and i like it much more than working on wintel, but believe me - most of you and me are burning much more cd's than dvd's (if they ever did) - and therefor the combo is much better.

    [ 08-17-2002: Message edited by: schrumpl ]</p>
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