A True Desktop Class Mac, or another Cube?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
So the question is would you prefer:



A) Another Cube, or pretty much locked down non upgradable Mac that's just a little bigger than the mini.





B) Or a smaller desktop that falls between the iMac, and Mac Pro with Desktop Class parts, Upgradable graphics slot, and HD's Just not as excessive as the Mac Pro?



Something closer in size to this.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 648
    Neither, I prefer



    C) A cube-shaped computer that is beautiful, fits on my desk, and has the same components found in a Mac Pro, just without the Big Empty Box.



  • Reply 2 of 648
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by killerapp View Post


    Neither, I prefer



    C) A cube-shaped computer that is beautiful, fits on my desk, and has the same components found in a Mac Pro, just without the Big Empty Box.



    Obviously that's not going to happen because Mac Pro users out # you by thousands. Maybe Millions.
  • Reply 3 of 648
    glossgloss Posts: 506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by killerapp View Post


    Neither, I prefer



    C) A cube-shaped computer that is beautiful, fits on my desk, and has the same components found in a Mac Pro, just without the Big Empty Box.







    You do realize that a computer that size with those components would probably generate enough airflow to recirculate the air in your house every thirty minutes?
  • Reply 4 of 648
    snoopysnoopy Posts: 1,901member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post




    So the question is would you prefer:






    Why not both A and B? I could use both, eventually. For a music workstation, I want more than a PCI-e graphics card slot. I want a professional 24 bit audio PCI-e card for recording, and playback. Three PCI-e slots would be just right.



    For the office, a cube like Mac would be fine.



  • Reply 5 of 648
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by snoopy View Post


    Why not both A and B? I could use both, eventually. For a music workstation, I want more than a PCI-e graphics card slot. I want a professional 24 bit audio PCI-e card for recording, and playback. Three PCI-e slots would be just right.



    For the office, a cube like Mac would be fine.







    In the best of worlds apple would increase it's Mac Products to accomidate a few more spaces. I think we will be lucky to get one.
  • Reply 6 of 648
    royboyroyboy Posts: 448member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post


    Obviously that's not going to happen because Mac Pro users out # you by thousands. Maybe Millions.



    Do you mean specifically Mac Pro users or that Apple has sold millions of Mac Pro computers? If the latter, then how many millions of Mac Pro computers do you think Apple has sold in the one year that Mac Pro computers have been manufactured by Apple?.
  • Reply 7 of 648
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post


    A) Another Cube, or pretty much locked down non upgradable Mac that's just a little bigger than the mini.



    That's not a little bigger than the Mini - it's at least 3 times the height. Since this is big enough to accommodate the required upgrades, then on a design level, it would be more appealing.



    The ability to upgrade things like the GPU easily is not important to me as I probably couldn't get the parts easily anyway, I just want a machine that I can configure when I buy it and then the Apple store can put in the parts.



    It should still be fairly easy to upgrade though so that BTO options don't cause a backlog in the Apple Store orders.
  • Reply 8 of 648
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Royboy View Post


    Do you mean specifically Mac Pro users or that Apple has sold millions of Mac Pro computers? If the latter, then how many millions of Mac Pro computers do you think Apple has sold in the one year that Mac Pro computers have been manufactured by Apple?.



    Millions of Pro customers are out there, just not all of them have made the transition from PowerMac to Mac Pro.
  • Reply 9 of 648
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    That's not a little bigger than the Mini - it's at least 3 times the height. Since this is big enough to accommodate the required upgrades, then on a design level, it would be more appealing.



    The ability to upgrade things like the GPU easily is not important to me as I probably couldn't get the parts easily anyway, I just want a machine that I can configure when I buy it and then the Apple store can put in the parts.



    It should still be fairly easy to upgrade though so that BTO options don't cause a backlog in the Apple Store orders.



    Then I believe something like this is what your looking for. It's already available.



  • Reply 10 of 648
    buddhabuddha Posts: 386member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by killerapp View Post


    Neither, I prefer



    C) A cube-shaped computer that is beautiful, fits on my desk, and has the same components found in a Mac Pro, just without the Big Empty Box.







    that's pretty ugly actually, it's like a fat midget.
  • Reply 11 of 648
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    I like the cube form factor. This is what I voted for. I'm assuming such a machine has one expansion slot and would have dedicated graphics such that it fills the void between mini and MP.
  • Reply 12 of 648
    mjteixmjteix Posts: 563member
    Here are some other images, more in Apple style:



    slim tower (with 2 PCIe slots, I suppose):





    mini cube (PCIe slots not shown!):





    Keep in mind that full-sized PCI cards are 12.28" long by 4.xx" tall. Half-sized PCI cards are 6.6" long (could fit in a 7"^3 or 8"^3 enclosure). Still, something smaller than 10"x10" would need a custom-size motherboard/power supply, while there are lots of microATX motherboards/power supplies, and I am sure that Intel would be please to rework one of their motherboards to meet Apple (our) requierements...



    I wouldn't mind the mythical xMac to be bigger than smaller, I can certainly imagine it being neither a cube or slim tower as shown, but half-a-cube of 13"x13"x6.5" that could accomodate:

    - a microATX motherboard G31/G33/G35/Q35/P35 chipset, C2D/C2Q, 4 RAM slots (up to 8GB)

    - One 16x PCIe slot and Three 1x PCIe slots (or One 4x slot for the slim tower design)

    - One desktop optical drive

    - Two desktop 3.5" hard disk drives (if not four, depending on the interior design: 2 on top below the ODD, and two at the bottom, if you start from the Mac Pro interior design)

    - the usual complete range of ports (usb2/FW400/FW800/Gb Ethernet/audio...)



    If I was in charge of the specs, I would make it with integrated graphics standard because not everybody needs dedicated graphics, and those who need it could still add a dedicated card), I'd use one of the chipsets mentionned above, so that it would allow for dual and quad chips and compatibility with the upcoming penryn desktop chips (at least for the G33/G35 chipset).

    I would offer a barebone configuation at the free $999 price spot, two better/best configurations at $1299 (quad-core) and $1999 (EE quad-core), and offer all the BTO options of the Mac Pro and more...



    If there were more PCIe Macs, manufacturers of PCIe cards would create more compatible drivers for the Mac and make more PCIe products available, including graphics cards. Ditto for Expresscard products by the way. Too bad the new iMac doesn't offer one Expresscard slot.
  • Reply 13 of 648
    ^ Bingo!
  • Reply 14 of 648
    snoopysnoopy Posts: 1,901member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post




    In the best of worlds apple would increase it's Mac Products to accomidate a few more spaces. I think we will be lucky to get one.






    As I see it, we already have the low end Mac, the Mac Mini. Apple can do a a major revision, making it taller and cube shaped. A mini tower would be the only new product in the lineup.



  • Reply 15 of 648
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    I disagree with the poll...the real debate is really SFF vs Tower.



    The slim Mac Lite above and the Cube are likely about the same in^c inside. Note that the cube had a half length PCI slot. I think the 7300GT card used by Apple is a half length PCIe card. So a Cube doesn't need to be "locked down".



    I believe the Mac Lite would be acceptable to anyone hoping for a Cube. Its small, its elegant and it offers some but limited expansion and its not really a "tower" or as you phrase it "true desktop".



    Likewise the Shuttle SG33G5 would likely fit most Cube proponent desires and is not a cube since its deeper than it is wide or tall (12.2" x 7.8" x 7.2"):







    http://hq1.shuttle.com/products_page...LLI=551&PI=635



    But I doubt that would satisfy some of the folks that argue for a xMac tower desktop. But I bet many folks that would buy a mini or cube would flock to the thing.



    Its actually a sweet little box. GMA X3100, 1 PCIe slot, 1 PCI slot, 2xDDR2 DIMM, eSATA, HDMI !!!!, S/PDIF in/out, FW, 2x3.5" bays, 1x5.25" bay.



    I think Cube proponents really DON'T want this:







    Vinea
  • Reply 16 of 648
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    The difference between a Shuttle designed enclosure and an Apple designed enclosure is that the Apple designed enclosure looks good from all sides...



    All the Shuttles look like PCs from behind. Butt ugly bare metal.
  • Reply 17 of 648
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjteix View Post


    Here are some other images, more in Apple style:



    slim tower (with 2 PCIe slots, I suppose):





    mini cube (PCIe slots not shown!):





    Keep in mind that full-sized PCI cards are 12.28" long by 4.xx" tall. Half-sized PCI cards are 6.6" long (could fit in a 7"^3 or 8"^3 enclosure). Still, something smaller than 10"x10" would need a custom-size motherboard/power supply, while there are lots of microATX motherboards/power supplies, and I am sure that Intel would be please to rework one of their motherboards to meet Apple (our) requierements...



    I wouldn't mind the mythical xMac to be bigger than smaller, I can certainly imagine it being neither a cube or slim tower as shown, but half-a-cube of 13"x13"x6.5" that could accomodate:

    - a microATX motherboard G31/G33/G35/Q35/P35 chipset, C2D/C2Q, 4 RAM slots (up to 8GB)

    - One 16x PCIe slot and Three 1x PCIe slots (or One 4x slot for the slim tower design)

    - One desktop optical drive

    - Two desktop 3.5" hard disk drives (if not four, depending on the interior design: 2 on top below the ODD, and two at the bottom, if you start from the Mac Pro interior design)

    - the usual complete range of ports (usb2/FW400/FW800/Gb Ethernet/audio...)



    If I was in charge of the specs, I would make it with integrated graphics standard because not everybody needs dedicated graphics, and those who need it could still add a dedicated card), I'd use one of the chipsets mentionned above, so that it would allow for dual and quad chips and compatibility with the upcoming penryn desktop chips (at least for the G33/G35 chipset).

    I would offer a barebone configuation at the free $999 price spot, two better/best configurations at $1299 (quad-core) and $1999 (EE quad-core), and offer all the BTO options of the Mac Pro and more...



    If there were more PCIe Macs, manufacturers of PCIe cards would create more compatible drivers for the Mac and make more PCIe products available, including graphics cards. Ditto for Expresscard products by the way. Too bad the new iMac doesn't offer one Expresscard slot.



    $999 is to high for a desktop with on board video drop start it the mini price levels.
  • Reply 18 of 648




    One of my favorite Shuttle boxes. PCI Express slot and a PCI slot (usable if the GPU isn't double-height.) But some of the newer Shuttles (slightly larger) also have room for as many as 3 HDDs.



    I'd like to see Apple "Mac-ify" this form factor, or at least have a MacPro model with the specs brought back down to prosumer level.
  • Reply 19 of 648
    shanmugamshanmugam Posts: 1,200member
    xMac thread never dies huh?



    Steve should read this forums!!!



    i am impressed with MacLite 0702!
  • Reply 20 of 648
    trobertstroberts Posts: 701member
    I think a desktop, using desktop components, with the following (max) specs would be a good buy:
    • 1 processor

    • 1 optical drive

    • 2 hard drives

    • 1 PCI Express x16 (graphics card) no onboard video

    • 1 PCI Express x1 (USB, FireWire, sound card, etc.)

    • 4 GB RAM

    • 2 FireWire 400 (1 front, 1 back)

    • 4 USB 2.0 (1 front, 3 back)

    • 1 headphone jack in front

    • 1 Gigabit Ethernet

    • audio in/out

    • 802.11n

    • Bluetooth

    • onboard audio that can be disabled

    I do not have any hard numbers but I think if Apple sold my system with 8GB RAM there would be a significant drop, up to 15%, in Mac Pro sales. Given a choice, especially with quad-cores available, people will gladly trade an extra processor for more RAM, which is why I intentionally kept it at 4GB. Not including FireWire 800 keeps another "pro" feature off my consumer system. I could even go without the second PCI Express slot.
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