The Headless Mac kills the Mini

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Sooo...I think these would sell like hotcakes. Keeping the price down and using the Nano candy colors, I think this could be released in the fall with Leopard. It would basically be an upgraded Mini with lots of extra internal room. I couldn't draw the back very well, but I envisioned a spring clip back similar to any standard battery holder (like TV remotes or the origional gameboy) making it very accesible. I wasn't sure about the architecture, or where all the components would actually be housed inside, and I'm not even sure about upgradeability (Apple would have to create drivers? or 3rd party?). I also wanted to include an ipod dock, but it looked stupid with my feeble Adobe Illustrator CS3® skills (and i also didn't know how it would meld with the arcitecture/disk drive)



All in all I'm pretty satisfied with my work, although this never would have happened if my girlfriend hadn't been working .



If they made these they would be a hit on campuses and homes and everyone and their grandma would buy one, or atleast, buy one for their grandma.





http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcdstudios/538904103/



I don't think I'm uploading the image correctly, if not follow the link I'll try again.



Thanks!



kcd
«1345

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 94
    "tool-less rear entry" hehehe.





    I personally like the expandability, but I don't hink Apple would; It wants to sell your grandma 3 Macs, not have her upgrade her own twice.
  • Reply 2 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by waytogobuddy View Post


    I personally like the expandability, but I don't hink Apple would; It wants to sell your grandma 3 Macs, not have her upgrade her own twice.



    I've never been sold on this as an issue. Sure, there are occasional areas like buying a second HDD or another gig of RAM where people can upgrade and have it be cost effective, but a lot of the time, it's not. Let's look at two scenarios:



    A. The Extreme Upgrader:

    Mr. Extreme wants to stay bleeding edge. He wants to have high-quality current stuff in his computer at all times. This means that he upgrades his processor and video card every 12-18 months. If he buys a $500 processor, he can probably only sell his for $100 or less. Video card, let's say it's a $300 video card with $120 back for the old one. He spent $580 on the upgrades. If he does it twice, that's $1160, and 2-3 times is the most he can do that, because in a few years he won't be able to get a new processor without a new motherboard, or he'll need faster RAM (not more RAM, higher speed RAM). That's over a thousand dollars in upgrades on a machine he probably bought for $1500 or so.



    B. Mr. Lazarus

    Bringing a computer back to life with upgrades probably won't work well either. Suppose SJ introduces a xMac tomorrow. By 2011, to get it near the speed of current Macs, it'll need a 10k-rpm HDD, 4 GB of RAM, a new video card, and a faster processor. You can buy [2011] low-end, and only spend a few hundred dollars to get a big boost, but you have two problems:


    1) You'll hit the socket/Memory-controller barrier, where doing an upgrade requires a new motherboard (and thus, for Macs, a new computer). At some point, you simply won't be able to drop in a new processor.

    2) If you avoid (1), you still can't easily get the latest of some stuff. You can't move to DDR3, or SATA III or use Turbo Memory, or use PCIe2, or whatever.

  • Reply 3 of 94
    Joe - very few $500 computers from OEMs come with both dedicated graphics and a GB of RAM. A Dell Dimension E521 (the $599 Dell with a $100 rebate) comes with 1 GB and IG, and a combo-drive. HP's website seems to hate me, but it looks like most of the discrete GPUs put the total over $500.
  • Reply 4 of 94
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    I think it would be half the height of that (it only needs to be about 1.5-2x the current Mini).



    I also don't think there would be two apple logos. I've never liked the grey ones behind the plastic so I'd go for the one on the front but smaller. Either that or use metal all over and put an embedded white logo on top.



    I also see a cube being able to fold out so you can see all the inside parts. So all 4 sides fold out separately but the lid is attached to one of them. When the lid comes down on top, it holds the sides in place and then you put two screws in at the top at the back to hold the lid down.



    A replaceable front side would allow multiple optical drives. Or maybe leave it at one and allow two hard drives.
  • Reply 5 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kcdstudios View Post


    Sooo...I think these would sell like hotcakes. Keeping the price down and using the Nano candy colors, I think this could be released in the fall with Leopard. It would basically be an upgraded Mini with lots of extra internal room. I couldn't draw the back very well, but I envisioned a spring clip back similar to any standard battery holder (like TV remotes or the origional gameboy) making it very accesible. I wasn't sure about the architecture, or where all the components would actually be housed inside, and I'm not even sure about upgradeability (Apple would have to create drivers? or 3rd party?). I also wanted to include an ipod dock, but it looked stupid with my feeble Adobe Illustrator CS3® skills (and i also didn't know how it would meld with the arcitecture/disk drive)



    All in all I'm pretty satisfied with my work, although this never would have happened if my girlfriend hadn't been working .



    If they made these they would be a hit on campuses and homes and everyone and their grandma would buy one, or atleast, buy one for their grandma.





    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcdstudios/538904103/



    I don't think I'm uploading the image correctly, if not follow the link I'll try again.



    Thanks!



    kcd



    get rid of the gma 950 and bump it up the on board video in the next chip set and up the base ram to 1gb
  • Reply 6 of 94
    mrtotesmrtotes Posts: 759member
    Why the slot-loading optical drive? They're half the speed and twice the cost. If they did re-introduce the Cube using cheaper desktop size components would allow them to drive the cost right down.



    I don't believe a Mini replacement wouldn't have shared VRAM; I'm sure a having a third of the Mac product line using GMA graphics is part of Apple's deal with Intel.



    Yeah and only one logo....



    but these would sell very well as iPod accessories...
  • Reply 7 of 94
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ZachPruckowski View Post


    I've never been sold on this as an issue. Sure, there are occasional areas like buying a second HDD or another gig of RAM where people can upgrade and have it be cost effective, but a lot of the time, it's not.



    Well look at the system I just built this past November. (7 months ago)



    An Intel bad axe 2 mobo

    Intel C2D E6300 CPU

    2GB of DDR2

    NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT (256MB)

    320GB Seagate SATA 300

    Case / PS

    Keyboard & Mouse

    (stock cooler)



    Put the sucker together for under a grand... and it runs XP & Ubuntu like the blazes and it could even be capable of running OS X but that would be illegal and very wrong and in my case unnecessary since I have an Intel mini, iMac G5 plus a 17" Powerbook G4 and others that I wont bother to list.



    Come this summer I'll be able to buy an Intel Q6600 2.40Ghz CPU for $266 (or less!!)



    I'll be going from a 1.83Ghz dual core to a quad core (with larger cache) and it'll run me less than 300 bucks and maybe even less than 250 if I hold off till the fall and that will likely hold be for at least another year from the time I do the upgrade... That's a pretty compelling feature if you ask me **but** after that I'd be pretty much backed into a corner for my next hardware pop since the mobo wont likely support those newer cpus that'll be shipping then and the newer mobos and cpus will demand DDR3 memory and even tho I'm far from a gamer the GT7600 will likely be looking really long in the tooth come next summer or fall (if not sooner)..



    Having an upgradable systems isn't necessary the "be-all end all" but it does let you buy some time without ditching the system and buying everything new each time around. The difference is with the Apple hardware I have you are 'ON TOP' only once and then as time goes its straight down hill when it comes to performance - with a build your own you get that 'mid-age' chance to bring things back up to 'respectable levels' but after that it's pretty much straight down hill for that box too.



    Dave
  • Reply 8 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    Well look at the system I just built this past November. (7 months ago)



    An Intel bad axe 2 mobo

    Intel C2D E6300 CPU

    2GB of DDR2

    NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT (256MB)

    320GB Seagate SATA 300

    Case / PS

    Keyboard & Mouse

    (stock cooler)



    Put the sucker together for under a grand... and it runs XP & Ubuntu like the blazes and it could even be capable of running OS X but that would be illegal and very wrong and in my case unnecessary since I have an Intel mini, iMac G5 plus a 17" Powerbook G4 and others that I wont bother to list.



    Come this summer I'll be able to buy an Intel Q6600 2.40Ghz CPU for $266 (or less!!)



    I didn't specify (because I'm stupid like that), but I was primarily referring to Apple VS. conventional OEMs (Dell, HP, Gateway, etc.) as opposed to custom system builders or actual DIY. You'd be hard-pressed to get a machine like that for that sort of price from Dell 7 months ago.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    ...**but** after that I'd be pretty much backed into a corner for my next hardware pop since the mobo wont likely support those newer cpus that'll be shipping then and the newer mobos and cpus will demand DDR3 memory and even tho I'm far from a gamer the GT7600 will likely be looking really long in the tooth come next summer or fall (if not sooner)..



    PCIe2 shouldn't become a must for a while, so you should easily be able to get a GeForce 8800 or a Radeon X2900 (and most of the G90/R700 lines) on PCIe alone. But you'll need a new power supply. And you're correct that a 2006 mobo may not run a Nehalem based processor, and you will need a new one with DDR3, but a lot of DDR3 boards seem to be DDR2-compatible.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    Having an upgradable systems isn't necessary the "be-all end all" but it does let you buy some time without ditching the system and buying everything new each time around. The difference is with the Apple hardware I have you are 'ON TOP' only once and then as time goes its straight down hill when it comes to performance - with a build your own you get that 'mid-age' chance to bring things back up to 'respectable levels' but after that it's pretty much straight down hill for that box too.



    Upgrades are primarily for the advanced computer users. It's not nerds-only, because we have stores that will do that stuff, but it's not for Mom and Dad. Look at it this way:



    BoxLife = lifespan of computer (in years)

    BoxCost = cost of computer (US$)

    CostPerYear = BoxCost/BoxLife



    An upgrade is only effective if the years it adds to BoxLife and the cost it adds to BoxCost balance such that CostPerYear declines or remains the same. Otherwise, you're likely better off buying a new machine. That logic makes some upgrades look attractive (add a GB of DDR or DDR2 to a 512MB or 1 GB Mac) but others untenable.
  • Reply 9 of 94
    This is actually why after 10 years as an Apple user I no longer own a Mac. Apple doesn't make a computer that fits my needs and I doubt they ever will.



    My job is graphic design so for the longest time I always had an expensive tower with Apple Display. However I eventually got to the point where I wasn't doing anything at home that a lower powered machine wouldn't handle nicely and I found myself using the computer more and more for games. So spending $3,500 on a new tower/display combo would have been overkill.



    So last round I thought I would try out the iMac G5. Well that was a mistake. The fan noise has always been a problem and several of the internal components failed. Aside from the technical problems it has no expandability at all. Of course you can replace the RAM and HD, but beyond that if you want to upgrade the graphics card or if a new technology comes out that you would like to have chances are you aren't going to get it short of a new machine.



    Eventually I just gave the machine to my parents and built my own PC. Cost me half the price and performs about the same for what I need to do. Windows sucks of course and I really miss OS X, but it's an acceptable price to pay for a machine that actually does what I want without replacing it completely every 2-3 years.
  • Reply 10 of 94
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by misterjingles View Post


    Cost me half the price and performs about the same for what I need to do. Windows sucks of course and I really miss OS X, but it's an acceptable price to pay for a machine that actually does what I want without replacing it completely every 2-3 years.



    Well if 'Windows sucks' then I'm really not sure you can accurately claim that it performs the same. I too hate Windows and consider it an annoying all be it necessary evil but when it comes to enjoying my time in front of a computer... It's Apple all the way.



    Dave
  • Reply 11 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    Well if 'Windows sucks' then I'm really not sure you can accurately claim that it performs the same. I too hate Windows and consider it an annoying all be it necessary evil but when it comes to enjoying my time in front of a computer... It's Apple all the way.



    Dave



    Oh I agree that working on a Mac is a much better experience, but to me, it's just not worth the extra money anymore. When most of the potential of the machine sits unused or on the other hand when you feel handicapped by your machine then there is no reason to use or purchase it. Maybe I am just getting old and practical but the "Mac experience" isn't worth what it used to be to me



    By perform the same, I mean that this machine runs Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. as well (far better actually) than they performed on my last Mac. So it's adequate to do the limited amount of work I do at home and all other time spent on the machine is playing a game or simply browsing the internet.



    There is no middle ground in the Mac world. You have the $2,500(min.) tower or the $1,500(mid range) all-in-one. The towers are overkill and the iMacs are far to limited. I would gladly pay a bit of a premium for a headless Mac with some limited upgradeability. Bare minimum two PCI slots.



    However it's just wishful thinking as Apple has positioned themselves in a strange place between expensive Pro gear and mid-range Appliance PCs and anything in between would be hard to market.
  • Reply 12 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ZachPruckowski View Post


    Joe - very few $500 computers from OEMs come with both dedicated graphics and a GB of RAM. A Dell Dimension E521 (the $599 Dell with a $100 rebate) comes with 1 GB and IG, and a combo-drive. HP's website seems to hate me, but it looks like most of the discrete GPUs put the total over $500.



    I was saying move up to the newer chip set on board video and make the ram 1gb for the base system I did say put a full video card in the base system.
  • Reply 13 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ZachPruckowski View Post




    PCIe2 shouldn't become a must for a while, so you should easily be able to get a GeForce 8800 or a Radeon X2900 (and most of the G90/R700 lines) on PCIe alone. But you'll need a new power supply. And you're correct that a 2006 mobo may not run a Nehalem based processor, and you will need a new one with DDR3, but a lot of DDR3 boards seem to be DDR2-compatible.



    pci-e 2.0 is like agp x2 x4 x8 same slot faster speed older and cards work in 2.0 pci-e systems and 2.0 cards work in 1.1 systems.
  • Reply 14 of 94
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    The cube returns. How quaint. In iMac colors no less. How.... 90's.

    If Apple brings back the cube it will be better than that stale idea. But I doubt to see the return of the cube regardless.
  • Reply 15 of 94
    trobertstroberts Posts: 701member
    I do not think a headless Mac would kill the mini because the majority of the people buy a computer until it cannot run the software they want or need it to run. Update the mini with Core 2 Duo, 802.11n, and GMA x3500 and it will continue to fill the niche it is designed to fill. The headless Mac should have the following (maxed) specs:



    1 optical drive

    2 FireWire 400 (1 front, 1 back)

    3 USB 2.0 (1 front, 2 back)

    1 Gigabit Ethernet

    audio-in (combined optical digital in back)

    audio-out (combined optical digital in back)

    2 drive bays (3.5")

    1 processor (user replaceable)

    4GB RAM (two DIMMS)

    AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi (802.11n)

    Bluetooth

    USB modem (sold separately)

    1 expansion slot for video card

    1 expansion slot for sound/game controller card



    height: 8"

    depth: 10"

    width: 6.5"



    This system is supposed to closely match the iMac in power, but provide a way to upgrade the items most likely to get upgraded. Any cannibalization of the Mac mini, Mac Pro, and iMac sales would be offset by the sales from people that won't buy the Mac mini (underpowered, not expandable), or the Mac Pro (too expensive/much/big), or the iMac (not expandable, its an all-in-one) in the first place.
  • Reply 16 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ZachPruckowski View Post


    I didn't specify (because I'm stupid like that), but I was primarily referring to Apple VS. conventional OEMs (Dell, HP, Gateway, etc.) as opposed to custom system builders or actual DIY. You'd be hard-pressed to get a machine like that for that sort of price from Dell 7 months ago.







    PCIe2 shouldn't become a must for a while, so you should easily be able to get a GeForce 8800 or a Radeon X2900 (and most of the G90/R700 lines) on PCIe alone. But you'll need a new power supply. And you're correct that a 2006 mobo may not run a Nehalem based processor, and you will need a new one with DDR3, but a lot of DDR3 boards seem to be DDR2-compatible.







    Upgrades are primarily for the advanced computer users. It's not nerds-only, because we have stores that will do that stuff, but it's not for Mom and Dad. Look at it this way:



    BoxLife = lifespan of computer (in years)

    BoxCost = cost of computer (US$)

    CostPerYear = BoxCost/BoxLife



    An upgrade is only effective if the years it adds to BoxLife and the cost it adds to BoxCost balance such that CostPerYear declines or remains the same. Otherwise, you're likely better off buying a new machine. That logic makes some upgrades look attractive (add a GB of DDR or DDR2 to a 512MB or 1 GB Mac) but others untenable.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by troberts View Post


    I do not think a headless Mac would kill the mini because the majority of the people buy a computer until it cannot run the software they want or need it to run. Update the mini with Core 2 Duo, 802.11n, and GMA x3500 and it will continue to fill the niche it is designed to fill. The headless Mac should have the following (maxed) specs:



    1 optical drive

    2 FireWire 400 (1 front, 1 back)

    3 USB 2.0 (1 front, 2 back)

    1 Gigabit Ethernet

    audio-in (combined optical digital in back)

    audio-out (combined optical digital in back)

    2 drive bays (3.5")

    1 processor (user replaceable)

    4GB RAM (two DIMMS)

    AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi (802.11n)

    Bluetooth

    USB modem (sold separately)

    1 expansion slot for video card

    1 expansion slot for sound/game controller card



    height: 8"

    depth: 10"

    width: 6.5"



    This system is supposed to closely match the iMac in power, but provide a way to upgrade the items most likely to get upgraded. Any cannibalization of the Mac mini, Mac Pro, and iMac sales would be offset by the sales from people that won't buy the Mac mini (underpowered, not expandable), or the Mac Pro (too expensive/much/big), or the iMac (not expandable, its an all-in-one) in the first place.



    make it 4 DIMMS

    and x16 x1 x1 slots
  • Reply 17 of 94
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by misterjingles View Post


    Oh I agree that working on a Mac is a much better experience, but to me, it's just not worth the extra money anymore. When most of the potential of the machine sits unused or on the other hand when you feel handicapped by your machine then there is no reason to use or purchase it. Maybe I am just getting old and practical but the "Mac experience" isn't worth what it used to be to me



    By perform the same, I mean that this machine runs Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. as well (far better actually) than they performed on my last Mac. So it's adequate to do the limited amount of work I do at home and all other time spent on the machine is playing a game or simply browsing the internet.



    There is no middle ground in the Mac world. You have the $2,500(min.) tower or the $1,500(mid range) all-in-one. The towers are overkill and the iMacs are far to limited. I would gladly pay a bit of a premium for a headless Mac with some limited upgradeability. Bare minimum two PCI slots.



    However it's just wishful thinking as Apple has positioned themselves in a strange place between expensive Pro gear and mid-range Appliance PCs and anything in between would be hard to market.



    I've been thinking like this for the past few years. The whole Mac experience isn't really enough. I don't even use any of the ilife suite and I only started to use iwork because all the other word processors for Macs suck. The hardware model doesn't suit me and if I'm being honest, it never has. When I was a student, I always had to get the lowest models whereas my PC buddies got quite nice machine but cheaper.



    I don't want to switch to a Windows PC but Apple are making things very difficult for me. OS X is all that's keeping me holding on because of the unix core and some critical Mac-only apps. I could probably convert to some equivalents of those apps but it wouldn't be that easy. All my problems would disappear with a suitable cube with a good GPU, which I'd be willing to pay extra for. What don't Apple understand about this?
  • Reply 18 of 94
    I'm not that good at rendering, i have little comprehension of the engineering inside of a computer and I think the words on the ad may have been a bit hokey.



    However, i think i might understand some simple marketing principles that folks here do not understand. The most of us here are already mac owners, this was an idea i thought up for the 90%+ out there who don't own one.The whole point is to grab their attention, give something different for a change (God forbid) that they can't find anywhere else. The mini is quaint and niche but this is a different approach. This mac has flair. It's cheap, simple and a trophy computer. Apple has refused to make a beige box or anything near it. Their high end consumer products (HDD and imac) have their signature white plastic and for the low end they have used candy aluminum. This box would fill the gap. An innexpensive "me too" product for the unsold consumer that aggresively uses the halo effect, not just a "oh yeah and we kinda sell minis too." What is a mini anyways, are they even trying? They havent updated it. If they want real market share (not saying that they do) they need to create an "ipod nano" computer. Remember when Jobs first released the powerbook G4, he showed that grid in the keynote? Its the same principal.



    cheap pricey

    small, candy big, white

    ______________________________

    | | |

    | shuffle/ | HDD iPod |

    ipods | nano | |

    | | |

    |-----------------------

    | | |

    macs | ?empty? | imac |

    | (new mac) | |

    |-----------|------------



    As for the shape, there are few things you can do that isn't a cereal box, that apple hasn't done yet. The cube shape is perfect because it's different yet practical. Apple has this this about style and substance and it would be both. Everyone keeps talking about halo effect, well use the halo effect! Nano users can walk buy and go, "oh, that looks like what I have already" not "what is that?"



    Are you kidding me the halo effect would be huge! Could you imagine walking through a best buy and seeing That!. Seriously different than any other box in the store.



    Some of the specs may have to change like using a tray drive instead and i forgot the pc expansion slots. I also just C/V the current imac specs which would be way cheaper in 4-5 months.



    I would love to own a Mac Pro with two 30's and right now i have a 20" imac. But to think like a non owner, this is what screams out to me. This is what non mac people would like, and what would make them buy. So that's it for now, but i may be back to add some more soon.



    Oh and everyone suffers through bad keynotes, no reason to take it out on the homies . Am i alone on this design? Does anyone agree with me?



    Self-defensibly,



    kcd
  • Reply 19 of 94
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,937member
    Please, someone ban this recurring disaster of a rumor. I implore you.
  • Reply 20 of 94
    see, crabby.



    This wasn't based on any rumor, it was just an idea I had. But thanks for your input, I'll rethink it.



    kcd
Sign In or Register to comment.