Convergence...The Mac?

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Tower users, tell me why, SPECIFICALLY you like/require towers.

Drive bays? How many?

PCI slots? How many? What for? What specific uses? Music? Video?

Hard drives: do you like one large one, or multiple hard drives, of varying capacities? Again, reasons?

Are you happy with the I/O set-up on the new iMac? Does a SuperDrive cover all your optical drive needs?

I'm asking all the above because I'm: a) not a tower kinda guy, and b) I'm not a "power user", having need for all the things I asked about above (PCI slots, extra drive bays, etc.).

Okay, the reason I was curious because I was wondering what would be the response if the new iMac's design - with a few tweaks, of course - could ever work for the "pro crowd"? I don't know, I'm asking.

What if, someday, instead of iMac, Power Mac, etc., you simply had this iDome, with a monitor on top?

What if Apple someday realized that what Mac users want MOST of all is personalization and customization? Yeah, I know..."fat chance".

But, what if, you could go to the Apple online store and TRULY configure a Mac the way you wanted it, based around this basic new iMac design:

- LCD screen: 15", 17", 19", 22" Cinema, 15" widescreen, 17" widescreen

- G3, G4, G5

- Hard drive: ANY size/speed you wanted: 20GB to 200GB (or more?)

- RAM: see hard drive (128MB - 2GB)

- Video card: choice of several popular models, depending on your primary needs/desires: gamer, graphics, 3D modeler, animator, consumer, hobbyist, etc.

- Optical drive: CD-ROM, DVD, CD-RW, SuperDrive

If the iMac's "dome" base could be modified (enlarged, deepened, raised, etc.?) a bit to house an area for more pro-requested features (PCI slots, extra drive bay). Think of how an igloo looks, with the little extended roof over the "door". That could be in the back, hidden from view and used to house a power supply or whatever, opening up other room.

I guess what I'm getting at is this: pretend, for just a moment, that this new iMac design COULD be modified to accommodate all the things you really picky, high-end guys are always bitching about...would you buy a set-up like this?

In other words, do you absolutely HAVE to have a tower AND a separate monitor?

Or, could an highly customizable iMac-esque all-in-one design meet your requirements.

Seems to me, this new high-end SuperDrive iMac has everything a tower does, EXCEPT the PCI slots and room for an extra drive or two.

Just curious on your take/opinion.

What if there was only ONE desktop Mac, The Mac (or whatever). It could be sold in retail or mail order in several, pre-built/configured popular options, ranging in a wide variety of specs, features, prices...from the iMac-using consumer, up to a pro-level set-up with all the trimmings?

BUT, for the truly picky or adventurous, a quick trip to Apple's online store would let you built The Mac? of your choice...EVERY component subject to customization (within reason, of course).

Would you guys dig on that?

My grandmother could get a 15" model with a 800MHz G3 and Microsoft Office pre-installed.

The pro-est of the pro could get a 1.8GHz G5, with an attached 22" LCD, 2GB RAM, 250GB hard drive, etc.

But it shared one body/design style.

Remember, this is hypothetical/fantasy territory. I realize that economics and all would probably prohibit an approach like this.

But humor me and pretend that it COULD be done...would you play along and like that approach?

What is it about towers that make them towers? What would make you give up the whole "tower plus monitor" approach?

I don't know...I'm asking.


  • Reply 1 of 8
    willoughbywilloughby Posts: 1,457member
    heh, you could have asked your question in about one paragraph and still got your point across.

    I don't think it would work because Apple charges too much for its BTO options. Any Mac I buy will be with the least amount of RAM possible. I can get a 256 meg DIMM for 50 bucks with free 2 day shipping from or pay what $150 from Apple? Same goes for harddrives. I'd rather get the extras from other companies so I have more choices and get to pay less money.

    Besides, Apple could offer me the largest HD available but how could they make one machine that could fit up to 3 drives and still keep the cost down? With the tower I can order 1 drive and add 2 more later (when HD sizes increase even).
  • Reply 2 of 8
    applenutapplenut Posts: 5,768member

    your idea sounds similar to the "Apple's Mustang" thread I had back several months ago. just a bit more indepth
  • Reply 3 of 8
    mmicistmmicist Posts: 214member
    Well, I currently have two PCI cards (plus video card in a all PCI B+W G3) in my Mac, a TV tuner and an audio I/O card. My next Mac will definitiely be a dual, as I am writing threaded software and want to test it on Macs as well as PCs.

    I think the problem with your sugestion is that the current iMac base design is not well suited to PCI cards (it has no straight edges for them to come out), or multiple drives (no room), or high power dissipation components (insufficient cooling). As things stand at the moment I don't think it makes sense to try and create a single universal enclosure.

    A single motherboard/chipset is a different matter, however.

  • Reply 4 of 8
    amoryaamorya Posts: 1,103member
    The point is customisation afterwards, not when ordering. If you had a different designed base depending on what drives you ordered, what if you want more in the future?

    I do think Apple should have a pro comp that's designed better, but it should not be crammed into too small a space.

  • Reply 5 of 8
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    Fair enough. I asked a legit (albeit, lengthy) question and got legit answers.

    I was just curious about somethings.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    the problem with those beautiful flatscreens is color reproduction. they're lovely to look at but CRT is still more accurate...especially for print.

    i work in video animation. our machines need to drive 2 monitors, one of which will be at least 19-21''. we need at least 2-3 slots for various video cards and an extra drive bay would be incredibly welcome...since we capture uncompressed D1 video and need a ton of storage for that.

    i'm not sure if everything we'd want would fit into a imac like another big problem. we rack mount all of our machines, and the imac shape is not very rack friendly.

    if apple wanted to score major bonus points in broadcasting, they could create a case that fits directly into a equipment rack. current G4's have to be turned on their sides to fit, and that makes using the cdrom (now at a 90degree angle) very awkward.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    I was thinking about the use of the current iMac design as the desktop part of the new PowerMac. The display (please Widescreen and pivot-capable) and the Cd-combo or superdrive on your desktop, while you have a extra tower module under your desktop which hold all the processors, PCI and HD stuff connected via a new ADC II connector whith Firewire. Make that tower part rackmountable and add clustering capabilities : then you can drive a whole rendering farm from one little iMac like desk part.

    What do you think ?
  • Reply 8 of 8
    Voulge - I like this alot, as it splits up the parts you need to deal with day to day (USB/FW/Disc Drive) and the parts that you never need to access or vary rarely (HD/Processor/Pro PCI cards/Airport hardware) in a more remote location.

    I would guess the Pro crowd would love for the Pro parts to be rack mounted in one location with access to more than one machine.

    Maybe the difference between an iMac and a PowerMac is this extra connectivity and ability to use bigger monitors and in plural.

    As to CTR vs LCD - I have seen 22" Apple LCD being used at Metro London for use on Vogue covers and Dior Campaigns.

    I'm as yet undecided on the best though - if I could, I would go for a large LCD in an instant ! - but thats my desire against practicality.


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