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

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  • Reply 121 of 151
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,843member
    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. 
    Please explain.

    I also would like some kind of 'xMac' but the mini / eGPU works quite well. I suppose if you go beyond a couple of them, along with high external storage demands, etc. then it could be an issue.

    melgross said:
    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?
    No one really knows. You'd have to find out what percentage of MBP, mini, iMac, and iMac Pro buyers would have gone with something like that instead, if they were given the choice. Then, you'd have to try and figure out how many might buy a Mac (as opposed to some other PC product) if Apple had something like that.

    I'd bet it would be a bigger number than iMac Pro, or Mac mini, and certainly Mac Pro. The question would be how it would compare to MacBook Pro or iMac.

    melgross said:
    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.
    I suspect you might be right about this... but if so, this is terrible reasoning on Apple's part. New product lines and the product grid should be more driven by user need than profits. In fact, in terms of marketing/PR, having all these reluctant buyers and people complaining might be worth losing some money on a product line in the big picture.

    When you get to the point of ticked off client base who haven't left yet because you have them locked into the eco-system, that isn't exactly saying much.

    lorin schultz said:
    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.
    Very well stated points, overall. However, I just wanted to say that if cost isn't the major factor, adding an eGPU to the mini (from Blackmagic) won't make more noise! My Blackmagic is about the most quiet piece of gear in our home. I doubt the performance hit is more than a few percent (maybe a bit more if you put the fastest GPU there is in an eGPU). It's really a matter of the cost more than anything, as just a bare card into a slot is hard to beat in terms of cost.
  • Reply 122 of 151
    melgross said:


    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?
    Had you asked that question in 2013 after the Trashcan was released there would've been many thousands of classic Mac Pro users clamouring for a direct replacement.

    Today I can tell you the number has dropped dramatically. Virtually everyone who hung on to their cMPs because the Trashcan was not real upgrade to an upgraded cMP have drifted to the PC in the intervening years. I know that because not only am I one but many of the other artists on forums I frequent made the same decision.

    An i9 based Mini Tower with dual GPUs, M.2 drives and 4 slot for cheap sata SSDs and TB3 USB3 connectivity is 95% what many 3D artists, editors and compositors would've been very happy with as a replacement to the Trashcan. Instead Apple have aimed right over their heads at a tiny elite who probably aren't interested in MacOS in their workflow anyway. 

    The whole Mac product line is near perfectly segmented appliances with minimal upgradeability to provide maximum shareholder value and to manage the product life cycle all at the expense of the user not the benefit. This is exactly why the xMac doesn't exist because Apple would be powerless to manage the product life cycle and not manage the user's upgrade timing. With the new Mac Pro Apple are making sure they get the maximum profit right out the gate with such extreme pricing of what is a low-mid end PC spec, they couldn't do that with the xMac, Apple couldn't hide the gouging it would look even more ridiculously overpriced than the new Mac Pro does.

    I'm not even sure how many of the Pro segment between the iMac Pro and the new Mac Pro who drifted to the PC would even be interested in an official MacOS for PC hardware to make Hackintoshes legally legit. The almost maniacal micromanagement of the user experience on MacOS can enforce unacceptable compromises on the user like no nVidia GPUs, the EOL of OpenGL and OpenCL out of the blue. This doesn't benefit me as an end user of Pro software it means that developers now have to spend time reinventing the wheel, if technically possible, to follow Apple's dictates rather than adding new features. We had a slew of AV Codecs suddenly EOLed out of the blue too. I won't bore people with the FCPX debacle other than to say these moves plus the 7 year gap between Mac Pros has severed trust between many Pro users and Apple. MS is no longer the rudderless Ballmer MS of old, it's under new management and it shows with trust returning.

    For me MS is a much better Pro partner, they're a silent partner for the most part and get out of the way of the workflow, I can build whatever hardware I want and know that it's going to work and MS aren't going to impose any arbitrary restrictions on what I want to do. I get the same liberating feeling on Win 10 as I did when I made to move to the Mac nearly a decade and a half ago.
  • Reply 123 of 151
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,843member
    UrbaneLegend said:
    An i9 based Mini Tower with dual GPUs, M.2 drives and 4 slot for cheap sata SSDs and TB3 USB3 connectivity is 95% what many 3D artists, editors and compositors would've been very happy with as a replacement to the Trashcan. Instead Apple have aimed right over their heads at a tiny elite who probably aren't interested in MacOS in their workflow anyway. 
    Agreed, except that I don't think it is quite as tiny as you think... just smaller than it would have been several years ago. But, it is clearly the machine that the very high end were wanting. Why can't we just admit that, and STILL want something more like what you describe above?

    There is clearly a huge hole in the lineup, but that doesn't diminish the need for the new Mac Pro. If Apple had produced the above instead of the new Mac Pro, then we'd have the same argument in the other direction, with people laughing about this machine that wasn't high-end enough (even though people like you and I would be thrilled... just like the very high end pros are now thrilled).

    UrbaneLegend said:
    The whole Mac product line is near perfectly segmented appliances with minimal upgradeability to provide maximum shareholder value and to manage the product life cycle all at the expense of the user not the benefit. This is exactly why the xMac doesn't exist because Apple would be powerless to manage the product life cycle and not manage the user's upgrade timing.
    I'm not sure I agree it is that perfectly segmented for anyone. But, I thought Apple often has said they don't care about cannibalization of their own products. I think I agree with you that that is total BS, but that's what they say. The problem is that if they had a well-done xMac, sure, they'd miss some mini sales and Mac Pro sales, but I think they'd make up for that in volume... as it would be a better fit for more people (so you wouldn't have as many reluctantly going lower or higher, or possibly to PC).

    I guess what I'm saying, is there must be some other reason. I don't think they are either maximizing shareholder value, nor optimally satisfying their customer base with the current strategy. Unless we assume they are stupid, who knows, as it doesn't make much sense. But, I'd say the same about the SE sized iPhone or a number of other choices they've made over the years.

    UrbaneLegend said:
    For me MS is a much better Pro partner, they're a silent partner for the most part and get out of the way of the workflow, I can build whatever hardware I want and know that it's going to work and MS aren't going to impose any arbitrary restrictions on what I want to do. I get the same liberating feeling on Win 10 as I did when I made to move to the Mac nearly a decade and a half ago.
    Hmm, I work with Windows quite a bit, but that isn't the feeling I get. :) I do get how it can be liberating to just build what you want, but the actual UX/UI hasn't improved that much (the install and such has). I'd certainly say it is more doable now than it was back then, but it still isn't a good experience, IMO. I guess once you're inside a piece of software most of the day that probably originates on Windows anyway, maybe it doesn't matter quite as much. But, aside from macOS, the other aspect that always kept me on Mac was that the software side was better, too, at least in terms of UI/UX. (Software availability too, but not so much on the 3D side of things.)

    Also, just FYI... you moved to the Mac kind of at the pinnacle of the best of the OS, pricing, etc. If you go back another half-decade or decade, or more, the pricing was a bit more like the new Mac Pro.
  • Reply 124 of 151
    lmglmg Posts: 7member
    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.
    Yeah, maybe just "Mac" would work, though I'm not a huge fan of that naming convention. Just like with the MacBook and the iPad, I feel like it creates a little bit of confusion. Same thing with the Range Rover lineup - you have Evoque, Velar, Sport, and then... the full-size Range Rover, at least in Canada and the U.S. (It's Range Rover Vogue in the U.K. and Europe, but that's also a little awkward alongside Evoque). I feel like having a designator makes it a little easier to refer to the models precisely. 
    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.
    I would agree - I'd actually, at the time, have preferred a smaller screen premium phone - the 4-inch display from the iPhone 5. I found it much more comfortable in my hand, although I much prefer the rounded corners to the diamond-cut chamfered edges on the iPhone 5. They looked really nice, but I found that they were too hard/sharp on the hands, and that they were particularly susceptible to damage/chipping. Ironically, now that the rumour out there is that Apple is considering 5.4-inch displays (rather than 5.8-inch) on their next premium phone (and 6.7-inch displays on their Max model), I'm actually finding myself generally opposed to the change. I've become accustomed to the larger display now, and while the 5.4 might be more comfortable in the hand, I'm not sure if the relatively small difference in size will make much of an improvement to comfort and one-hand usability, but it likely will make a noticeable difference in display size now that we've all become accustomed to the larger screen. I guess the only way to know for sure which is best to to build the smaller phone and test it out, but I'm pretty happy with the size of my phone at this point. The 6.7-inch phone will be way too big for me - I've never particularly liked the size of the Plus and Max models!

    My hunch would be that most of Apple's customers would probably tend toward the iMac or the mini over something higher-end or expandable, but that's just my supposition. They likely have as much market research as it is possible to gather to make the best decision they can on it. I, personally, would probably buy an updated trash can Mac or a downgraded/smaller version of the new Mac Pro (either same size and lower-end components inside, or miniaturized) over an iMac, at least for one of my computers, but I would likely be in the minority. I doubt I'll fork up $12,000 for a Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, though, at least in the near future. I might consider the Mac Pro if there were a lower-end Apple-branded Retina display that I could pair with it to make a $7,000 - $7,500 rig, but it's really beyond my needs, at least most of the time. A $2,000 to $3,500 desktop Mac and a $1,200 display would work very well! The Mac Pro of yesteryear (the cheese grater tower before the trash can design) and the pricing thereof would appeal to me now, alongside a Retina display, though that design was, of course, quite large.
  • Reply 125 of 151
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,843member
    lmg said:
    Yeah, maybe just "Mac" would work, though I'm not a huge fan of that naming convention. Just like with the MacBook and the iPad, I feel like it creates a little bit of confusion.
    Yeah, actually a LOT of confusion. You almost have to know model numbers when you go to the store, or you might get an old product/model for a 'deal' by accident. They just need to stick with something... not: iPad -> iPad 2 -> iPad 3 -> iPad -> iPad (2018), etc.  I kind of like it just being iPad with the year clearly indicated (so long as they don't do more than one per year).

    lmg said:
    ... I guess the only way to know for sure which is best to to build the smaller phone and test it out, but I'm pretty happy with the size of my phone at this point. ...
    My wife has an iPhone 7, and while I suppose I haven't spent enough time with it, when I do try holding it, I just don't like it as I do my SE. It's not that much different, but it is enough to make a difference. Extra screen is always nice, but since I often have a desktop or iPad near, I seldom need it. And, when I have none of those, I just don't need to do 'big stuff' on the phone (or at least nothing that a slightly bigger screen will solve).

    lmg said:
    My hunch would be that most of Apple's customers would probably tend toward the iMac or the mini over something higher-end or expandable, but that's just my supposition. They likely have as much market research as it is possible to gather to make the best decision they can on it. I, personally, would probably buy an updated trash can Mac or a downgraded/smaller version of the new Mac Pro (either same size and lower-end components inside, or miniaturized) over an iMac, at least for one of my computers, but I would likely be in the minority. I doubt I'll fork up $12,000 for a Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, though, at least in the near future. I might consider the Mac Pro if there were a lower-end Apple-branded Retina display that I could pair with it to make a $7,000 - $7,500 rig, but it's really beyond my needs, at least most of the time. A $2,000 to $3,500 desktop Mac and a $1,200 display would work very well! The Mac Pro of yesteryear (the cheese grater tower before the trash can design) and the pricing thereof would appeal to me now, alongside a Retina display, though that design was, of course, quite large.
    For the average consumer, the iMac is probably pretty optimal. But, for businesses or prosumers, I think many would pick something more like the xMac if that choice existed. Many of us, would even pay more money for it. I suppose Apple could do some surveys, but aside from that, how could they have research on it, when they haven't tried it?

    I somewhat agree with the idea that the majority of users don't upgrade machine, at least not anymore. But, again, that might be a chicken-and-egg thing in that most consumer devices have become throw-away these days. People just don't think like that anymore (though they are starting to swing back, IMO). Back in the day, I think most people upgraded machines, even Macs. When I did Mac consulting, almost every client added more RAM or changed out storage at some point. I did, and all my family members did. I'd say it used to be odd not to at some point.
  • Reply 126 of 151

    Hmm, I work with Windows quite a bit, but that isn't the feeling I get. :) I do get how it can be liberating to just build what you want, but the actual UX/UI hasn't improved that much (the install and such has). I'd certainly say it is more doable now than it was back then, but it still isn't a good experience, 
    From my point of view when I'm using, Houdini, C4D, Davinci Resolve/Fusion, Affinity Photo etc the only difference is the file requester. There is no practical difference between the functionality or stability between platforms. I didn't have to change any part of my workflow when I moved to WIndows.

    Here is the reason why I moved to Windows. I had been a strong advocate of FCPX despite the appallingly handled introduction. I could see this was the future and was in for the long haul. Anyway I decided to get a fully loaded iMac just for video editing and it was fantastic, I could easily cut 4 streams of 4k from my FS7 and F5, it almost managed 5 streams with colour correction but would drop the odd frame. So a 2015 iMac had more than enough power for my promo short editing work, an absolute joy to use.

    Here's the real rub, Apple moved FCPX over to Metal from OpenCL in 2017 and the performance nosedived. This iMac that could handle nearly 5 streams of 4k could barely manage more than 2 streams and would stutter and drop frames with 3 streams. As of today with Mojave and the latest release of FCPX the performance has not improved a single bit. Apple could not be bothered to optimise their APIs and Apps so a 2 year old computer didn't have a significant performance regression. Imagine the GPU and CPU upgrades that would be necessary to redress that performance loss, that was several years of CPU/GPU development wiped away in one upgrade.

    The truth is, Apple is very happy to take your money but the don't have your back. There's a huge lie that Apple makes the OS so Apple Apps are more optimised, clearly the performance regression in FCPX supports the inconvenient truth. I reported the issue to Apple but they never got back, in the past I had worked with Apple support on numerous bugs in FCPX but they went silent.

    This was the straw that broke the camel's back and I moved my whole production to the PC, the trust between me and Apple had been broken. I replaced FCPX with Resolve and haven't looked back. Apple then subsequently announced the EOL of OpenGL and OpenCL key APIs to a lot of software I used on the Mac and I knew I'd made the right decision. I can live without massive performance regressions and arbitrary API culling on the PC platform just fine even if Windows 10 is rougher round the edges than MacOS. In the areas that matter MacOS and Apple fall down.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 127 of 151
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,843member
    UrbaneLegend said:
    From my point of view when I'm using, Houdini, C4D, Davinci Resolve/Fusion, Affinity Photo etc the only difference is the file requester. There is no practical difference between the functionality or stability between platforms. I didn't have to change any part of my workflow when I moved to WIndows.
    I think most of those apps have PC origins, though, right (or have been cross-platform for quite some time)? The reason I point that out, is that if the app is the same on both, then you aren't noticing the difference between an app that was once properly built for Mac and more typical Windows apps. Other things bug me too, like just having the buttons in odd places or the 'close' x on the wrong side (kind of like driving in England, I suppose one gets used to that). Or, the keystrokes I use constantly like cut, copy, paste... I guess some software could re-map them, but they aren't, IMO, as optimally placed. Or, having menu bars as part of windows vs top of the screen. Or, the way Windows apps do text selection. There are just a gazillion little things that all add up.

    Yes, once you're in some app, I guess it's mostly (aside from UI issue with the app), mostly the file dialogs and such. Though, I've also never found the control-device/pointer 'connection' to feel quite the same in Windows. Kind of like the difference between a Ford and a BMW in steering/handling. So, even if the apps are identical, there is kind of a 'feel' difference between platforms.

    UrbaneLegend said:
    Here is the reason why I moved to Windows. ... I can live without massive performance regressions and arbitrary API culling on the PC platform just fine even if Windows 10 is rougher round the edges than MacOS. In the areas that matter MacOS and Apple fall down.
    Yeah, I hear you there. I've had close moments to taking the same path you have. The whole Final Cut thing would probably have pushed me to do the same if I worked in that area. The OpenGL thing may do the same in 3D (though it hasn't hit yet). I'm impressed by the response to to Metal (more than I thought). But, there are still going to be dozens of apps and utilities that won't make that move, so eventually won't be available on the Mac.

    We'll see. I'm impressed with some of Apple's recent moves, but I unfortunately, might have to join you some day as well.
  • Reply 128 of 151
    Well I just discovered the pricing of the Xeon W that the Mac Pro will have. Figures taken from ChipWiki.

    24 core and 28 core are $4.5k and $7.45k respectively before any Apple tax. These two processors are the M variants which can address the 1.5 TB RAM Apple spoke about.

    When you consider a Threadripper 32 core is $1.6k who is able to justify a Mac Pro from a business point of view? Rumours that the 48 core Threadripper 3000 will be sub $2.5k pours even more cold water on the idea. 

    Yes there's a gulf in the Mac product line where the xMac should be but how would it compete with Threadripper?

    I see a lot of talk on forums that Pros are prepared to pay for these Mac Pros but I haven't met a professional that isn't as price sensitive as the next person. Professionals may have deeper pockets because we're investing in business but we still want the same value for money out of our expenditure and no one is going to justify to their accountant spending 3-4x on a Mac Pro than on a Windows/Linux workstation. The numbers simply don't work.

    I've yet to see someone on a Houdini or C4D forum say they're going to buy a Mac Pro. After a few pages of excitement the REDUser thread on the Mac Pro has now begun comparing real world pricing and the Mac Pro is 2x more expensive than a comparable PC for an 8k RED workflow.
    edited June 2019
  • Reply 129 of 151
    lmglmg Posts: 7member
    For the average consumer, the iMac is probably pretty optimal. But, for businesses or prosumers, I think many would pick something more like the xMac if that choice existed. Many of us, would even pay more money for it. I suppose Apple could do some surveys, but aside from that, how could they have research on it, when they haven't tried it?

    I somewhat agree with the idea that the majority of users don't upgrade machine, at least not anymore. But, again, that might be a chicken-and-egg thing in that most consumer devices have become throw-away these days. People just don't think like that anymore (though they are starting to swing back, IMO). Back in the day, I think most people upgraded machines, even Macs. When I did Mac consulting, almost every client added more RAM or changed out storage at some point. I did, and all my family members did. I'd say it used to be odd not to at some point.
    Yeah, businesses in particular may find them especially appealing. 

    I would agree. Once upon a time, I used Windows PCs, and I regularly opened them up to upgrade - hard drive, memory, graphics card, and optical drives. Since switching to Mac, I’ve never made an upgrade. Part of that is the nature of the computers - I’ve mostly had laptops and iMacs, and neither is especially upgradeable (or even reparable - I had a 2010 iMac that started having issues with its HDD, so I took it to Apple and they were unable to fix it as it was then considered a vintage product (this was a few years back now), and so referred me to a third party reseller. They wanted about $600 to replace the drive in it, and they cautioned me that during the replacement process, it’s possible that they’d break the display and would not be liable for that. That was ridiculously expensive, so I simply replaced the computer with a new,
    much faster model with an SSD. The non-reparability was, admittedly, a little irritating... but, on the other hand, by the time it failed, the hardware had gotten old enough that it was starting to struggle to keep up, running slowly and in need of replacement. Not only that, but in that timeframe, the iMac had transitioned to Retina displays, and having adopted and grown accustomed to them on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Pro, it had become a little difficult to look at the lower-res display. 

    But another part of it, I think, is that the necessity of upgrades feels lower than it once did. Part of that, in my case, is I simply have more money now and can (1) max out my systems at purchase to maximize their capabilities and their lifespans, and (2) replace my computers often enough (usually about five to six years) that upgrades aren’t really a need, for the most part. My current MBP has 16GB of RAM and it’s still so fast... my next will have 32GB and possibly 64GB depending on the specs of their next-gen model! Either way, I don’t really expect the need to upgrade that until the time comes to replace the laptop altogether.

    (I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I really want to see a MacBook Pro with the footprint of the previous 17-inch model again. I never actually bought a 17-inch MBP when they were available, because at that time the computers were much thicker and heavier than they are now, primarily relying on HDDs, and I wanted to be able to carry the computer easily, and to be able to hold it in one hand, standing, and use it with the other, if I needed to. Since then, iPhones and iPads have proliferated, so the need for mobility in a laptop has been greatly diminished. Most of the time, I find myself using my laptop in the same spot or two, and while it’s great to be able to move it around, I have much less need to use it the way I described. The rumour, of course, is that we will soon see a 16-16.5-inch MacBook Pro with similar dimensions to the current 15-inch model, but with the display stretched to the edge of the glass. That sounds nice, but I think Apple should go a step further: build a laptop with dimensions similar to the previous 17-inch model, but with the display stretched to the glass to make an 18-19-inch display. Use the extra space to make the computer more powerful, and consider offering a Xeon processor as an option on that unit. The battery life would be bad, I’m sure, at least without putting a much larger battery in it, but I’m sure there’d be some users that would appreciate a true mobile workstation from Apple. I’d probably stick with the i9 to keep some battery life, but I’m sure there are those who’d love the increased power - and maybe the selection of that processor and top-end GPUs would make the chassis thicker to accommodate a larger battery and increased airflow. If they offered a bigger version of the MacBook Pro, I’d almost certainly buy it! Seeing as how they put out a pro version of the iMac with a Xeon, and a Mac Pro with incredible specs, it’d be nice to see them give similar treatment to the MacBook Pro.)

    If the products were built to be more upgradeable, would I hang onto them longer and upgrade rather than replace? Possibly, at least when it comes to the desktops. (I have my doubts that a high-quality laptop could be built that is fully upgradeable and anywhere near as compact as the current MacBook Pro.) But I guess I like getting the latest and greatest thing, and replacing the entire unit from time to time. Each time I move from one Mac to the next, I’m upgrading CPU, RAM, SSD, GPU, I/O, and display all at once, and it would be difficult, I think, to make most of their computers such that everyone of those components could be upgradeable, particularly if they aim to maintain any semblance of a cohesive system design. Part of the excitement for me, I suppose, is the design and aesthetics of the new things they put out, and that is, of course, missing in the upgrades. Very different story, needless to say, when you have to consider the ROI on a piece of equipment in a business use case, but for my personal use, these things matter to me. 

    What I do wish is that’s Apple would make its MacBook Pro chargers a lot more durable so I wouldn’t have to shell out $95 a pop when they inevitably fray! For a company that is as particular as they are when it comes to most of their products, they make truly terrible cables! The MacBook chargers, the Lightning cables, and the Time Capsule 3TB have easily been the worst Apple products I’ve ever owned! Over-priced and not very durable! Switched to Anker Lightning cables, and they are not only cheaper, but much longer-lasting. 
    roundaboutnow
  • Reply 130 of 151
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,771member
    lmg said:
    [...] What I do wish is that’s Apple would make its MacBook Pro chargers a lot more durable so I wouldn’t have to shell out $95 a pop when they inevitably fray!
    That issue was addressed three years ago. Chargers now have detachable cables.  If/when it frays, you replace a $25 cable rather than a $95 charger.
    roundaboutnow
  • Reply 131 of 151
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,843member
    When you consider a Threadripper 32 core is $1.6k who is able to justify a Mac Pro from a business point of view? Rumours that the 48 core Threadripper 3000 will be sub $2.5k pours even more cold water on the idea. 

    Yes there's a gulf in the Mac product line where the xMac should be but how would it compete with Threadripper?
    Again, maybe I'm too out of the loop, but I wonder how much most people care. I looked and HP doesn't make a workstation with Threadripper either. And, doing a bit of googling, found a few threads of people complaining that they couldn't procure Threadrippers at their place of work, because the IT departments wouldn't order gaming rigs, and they couldn't find a Threadripper from a company that was considered reputable.

    I'm not saying you're necessarily wrong in that for your use-case you'd get more out of that CPU, but I'm wondering why it isn't more main-stream then and available from more of the big workstation makers.

    And, for the xMac, maybe similar to above, I'm not sure it has to. The average computer prosumer computer buyer probably knows/wants an i5, i7, i9, etc. even if technically they'd get more cores or better performance with the AMD. Kind of like me, it isn't even on their radar (until someone brings it up, like here).

    UrbaneLegend said:
    I see a lot of talk on forums that Pros are prepared to pay for these Mac Pros but I haven't met a professional that isn't as price sensitive as the next person. Professionals may have deeper pockets because we're investing in business but we still want the same value for money out of our expenditure and no one is going to justify to their accountant spending 3-4x on a Mac Pro than on a Windows/Linux workstation. The numbers simply don't work.
    Yes and no. They generally aren't gullible or just throw cash around. But, if you'll pardon the pun, they consider apples to apples. Then aren't looking at price lists of the parts that go in it and comparing what they could build one for to Apple's pricing. They aren't looking at competition outside the particular market. They are probably deciding whether they should go Mac/Windows, looking at HP workstations vs Apple, etc. Then they'll buy the equipment they need, a bit regardless of the price.

    When I was spec'ing stuff out to buy (more server oriented, or laptops), I had a list of vendors and models, and just built up what I wanted/needed from there. $38k for this machine? $27K for that machine? 5 laptops at $3k each? Order submitted. The red flags would be if I had wanted something not on the list (from one of the vendors we used), or if the pricing had been something out of sorts (which could be too low or too high, I suppose). For example, I once ordered a RAM-drive (I'm trying to remember, but I think it was in the $50-60k range) for a special project and had to get special approval for that.

    But, as someone who has also run a small business, yes in that situation I'd have been very price conscious. But, I'd probably also have been boarder-line on being the target market for one of these, and if my cashflow allowed/workflow demanded one, I'd have bought it. If not, I'd have bought something more like the iMac Pro or the Mac mini I currently have. And, aside from the iMac Pro, there is a huge hole there for someone like me.

    lmg said:
    ... I had a 2010 iMac that started having issues with its HDD, so I took it to Apple and they were unable to fix it as it was then considered a vintage product (this was a few years back now), and so referred me to a third party reseller. They wanted about $600 to replace the drive in it, and they cautioned me that during the replacement process, it’s possible that they’d break the display and would not be liable for that. That was ridiculously expensive, so I simply replaced the computer with a new,
    much faster model with an SSD. The non-reparability was, admittedly, a little irritating... but, on the other hand, by the time it failed, the hardware had gotten old enough that it was starting to struggle to keep up, running slowly and in need of replacement. ...
    Just in case you encounter such a situation again (or know someone), you might have gotten more time out of it (if you wanted) by adding an external SSD as the drive, especially for an iMac. I had a late-2012 (last with base-model quad-core?), and when I sold it, I considered mentioning that to the buyer, but didn't, as I didn't want to scare them off (thinking there might be something wrong with the HD)... but that was the only component I would think might go at some point. It was a little beast of a machine besides that. :) Maybe the GPU would have slowed it down at some point too, I suppose. Otherwise, it would probably still be competitive for what it was.

    With an SSD replacing that HD, you might be surprised how much it would speed up!

    lmg said:
    ... But another part of it, I think, is that the necessity of upgrades feels lower than it once did. Part of that, in my case, is I simply have more money now and can (1) max out my systems at purchase to maximize their capabilities and their lifespans, and (2) replace my computers often enough (usually about five to six years) that upgrades aren’t really a need, for the most part. ...
    Yeah, I agree that this is just more the modern reality if computers, I think. I used to hang onto them for a long time as well, but the OS/software side of things is now moving faster, especially with subscriptions.

    I'd buy a computer and maybe keep upgrading the OS (maybe not, too). The software would get purchased, and at some point I'd just stop where it was at and maybe use it for another couple years (if I didn't need some feature of the upgrades). Now, once either the OS or a software package, requires a newer computer model, you have to get a new one.

    I don't spend enough to max the machine out, but I spend enough to get what I need now, and for the next few years. For example, I bought the i7 mini (because I wanted the cores) and 16GB RAM (because I could upgrade that at some point if I need to), and 256GB SSD (because that's enough for OS/apps/scratch-space, and I can add more to suit my needs externally). That put it at a reasonable price point, considering I also bought an eGPU.

    But, more to the point of this article... it would easily have put me in the range of some kind of xMac machine aimed at the ground between consumer and pro. And, I'd have spent even a bit more if I could have gotten a mid-tower case with my GPU in it (upgradable) and proper cooling. So, Apple could have made more money off me if they had such a machine. How many more like me are there? That's the big question.

    lmg said:
    What I do wish is that’s Apple would make its MacBook Pro chargers a lot more durable so I wouldn’t have to shell out $95 a pop when they inevitably fray! For a company that is as particular as they are when it comes to most of their products, they make truly terrible cables! The MacBook chargers, the Lightning cables, and the Time Capsule 3TB have easily been the worst Apple products I’ve ever owned! Over-priced and not very durable! Switched to Anker Lightning cables, and they are not only cheaper, but much longer-lasting. 
    I someone disagree here, but maybe I'm the odd one (considering my family members, too). I still have some of the original cables from older Apple devices (Firewire from iPod, 30-pin from iPod touch, etc.). My family members, on the other hand, go through cables like crazy. I don't understand what they do, but I don't seem to have the issues. So, I LOVE Apple cables, as they are super-non-bulky when I travel and I just like the feel of them. Thick cables with bulky connectors are things I don't like.

    But, ultimate durability, I'm about to find out. They (family) destroy Apple cables, and they've destroyed Monoprice cables. I ran out of those, so we ordered some Anker cables most recently. So far (knock on wood), so good. I now confiscate the Apple cables and give them replacements right away.

    lorin schultz said:
    That issue was addressed three years ago. Chargers now have detachable cables.  If/when it frays, you replace a $25 cable rather than a $95 charger.
    I think my concern would be that if they are putting those kind of stresses on the cable where it meets the 'stress relief', won't those forces just be transferred to the USB-C connection? It is kind of like my concern over 3.5mm -> Lightning. I'd rather have an audio cable break than the Lightning port in my phone!
  • Reply 132 of 151
    lmglmg Posts: 7member
    lmg said:
    [...] What I do wish is that’s Apple would make its MacBook Pro chargers a lot more durable so I wouldn’t have to shell out $95 a pop when they inevitably fray!
    That issue was addressed three years ago. Chargers now have detachable cables.  If/when it frays, you replace a $25 cable rather than a $95 charger.
    I hadn't noticed that, as I have yet to upgrade to the Touch Bar MacBook Pro with USB-C (I'm waiting for the next-gen MacBook Pro!). That's a major improvement, though the quality and durability of Apple's Lightning and USB-C cables could still be improved. I switched awhile back to Anker cables and I've been far happier with them. I'd consider Fuse Chicken, Nonda Züs, Nomad, Native Union, or Moshi cables.
  • Reply 133 of 151
    lmglmg Posts: 7member
    cgWerks said:
    When you consider a Threadripper 32 core is $1.6k who is able to justify a Mac Pro from a business point of view? Rumours that the 48 core Threadripper 3000 will be sub $2.5k pours even more cold water on the idea. 

    Yes there's a gulf in the Mac product line where the xMac should be but how would it compete with Threadripper?
    Again, maybe I'm too out of the loop, but I wonder how much most people care. I looked and HP doesn't make a workstation with Threadripper either. And, doing a bit of googling, found a few threads of people complaining that they couldn't procure Threadrippers at their place of work, because the IT departments wouldn't order gaming rigs, and they couldn't find a Threadripper from a company that was considered reputable.
    I've been following AMD processors a little more closely recently, and it's blown me away how far ahead of Intel they seem to be at the moment. A 32-core processor, use of a 7nm manufacturing process, meanwhile Intel hasn't made it to 10nm yet! I've never had a machine with an AMD processor, and if memory serves, I believe they were more widely available in Windows-based machines from mainstream manufacturers (Dell, HP) some years ago than they seem to be now? Since both Intel and AMD processors are x86-based, I assume they are reasonably interchangeable, at least insofar as operating systems and software? It seems like Apple should offer AMD processors and Nvidia GPUs as options, at least on their higher-end machines. The Threadripper chips compete most closely with the Intel Core i9, do they not? What would come closest to the various Xeon processors (workstation-grade components)? 

    If the rumors that Apple is gearing up to switch to their own ARM-based processors designed in-house hold true, much of this will be moot, of course. I'm not sure how Apple's own chips might fare against the latest AMD chips, particularly on the high endcgWerks said:
    lmg said:
    What I do wish is that’s Apple would make its MacBook Pro chargers a lot more durable so I wouldn’t have to shell out $95 a pop when they inevitably fray! For a company that is as particular as they are when it comes to most of their products, they make truly terrible cables! The MacBook chargers, the Lightning cables, and the Time Capsule 3TB have easily been the worst Apple products I’ve ever owned! Over-priced and not very durable! Switched to Anker Lightning cables, and they are not only cheaper, but much longer-lasting. 
    I someone disagree here, but maybe I'm the odd one (considering my family members, too). I still have some of the original cables from older Apple devices (Firewire from iPod, 30-pin from iPod touch, etc.). My family members, on the other hand, go through cables like crazy. I don't understand what they do, but I don't seem to have the issues. So, I LOVE Apple cables, as they are super-non-bulky when I travel and I just like the feel of them. Thick cables with bulky connectors are things I don't like.

    But, ultimate durability, I'm about to find out. They (family) destroy Apple cables, and they've destroyed Monoprice cables. I ran out of those, so we ordered some Anker cables most recently. So far (knock on wood), so good. I now confiscate the Apple cables and give them replacements right away.
    I've had a terrible time with them! I don't think I've ever had an Apple cable of any sort (at least for a mobile product) that didn't eventually succumb to fraying, and eventually functional failure - except perhaps for my Apple Watch! Every cable for iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Pro has eventually fallen apart. The cables for stationary/desktop products (iMac, Time Capsule) have been much more durable, both because they are rarely stressed and because they are of a much heavier build. After years of insisting on purchasing Apple-branded cables, I finally did some research and chose a third-party alternative for Lightning cables as I was sick of replacing these cables at the premium Apple charges on a fairly frequent basis, and it is a material waste (though I refuse to use third-party power adapters for my MacBook Pros). I chose Anker, but I'd consider Fuse Chicken, Nonda Züs, Nomad, Native Union, or Moshi, especially if more of them offered cables of a greater length (I like 10 ft cables for my iPhone and iPad!).
  • Reply 134 of 151
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,843member
    lmg said:
    Since both Intel and AMD processors are x86-based, I assume they are reasonably interchangeable, at least insofar as operating systems and software?
    They are supposed to be, but I don't really know the current state. A number of years ago I used an AMD CPU for a unix-based MythTV box I built and had all kinds of troubles until I switched back to an Intel CPU. That said, it could have been some combo of components too, I suppose.
  • Reply 135 of 151
    xsmixsmi Posts: 138member
    I may have told this story before, so I'm sorry if you've heard it. Back around 1999-2000, I sent Jobs and email about this very Mac that you speak of. I felt that the iMac, though a great machine, was not a machine for ALL consumers. We Mac people wanted something like our PC brethren who had an inexpensive tower that they could tinker with, that had some upgrade path. I even suggested bringing back the Power Mac 6400 as the candidate for that machine. Steve, told me that Apple was not in the business of making machines that people put their hands in to upgrade. There was nothing that could not be done on an iMac or a Power Mac G3 of that era. At that time, which I saw as an explosion of computer based gaming, they were not interested. Granted the cost of the iMac and PMG3 were closer than the iMac and Power Mac are today, but I have a feeling that the sentiment is still there.

    On a side note, I'd take an xMac built on the AMD Ryzen platform if Apple made it.
  • Reply 136 of 151
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,843member
    xsmi said:
    I may have told this story before, so I'm sorry if you've heard it. Back around 1999-2000, I sent Jobs and email about this very Mac that you speak of. I felt that the iMac, though a great machine, was not a machine for ALL consumers. We Mac people wanted something like our PC brethren who had an inexpensive tower that they could tinker with, that had some upgrade path. I even suggested bringing back the Power Mac 6400 as the candidate for that machine. Steve, told me that Apple was not in the business of making machines that people put their hands in to upgrade. There was nothing that could not be done on an iMac or a Power Mac G3 of that era. At that time, which I saw as an explosion of computer based gaming, they were not interested. Granted the cost of the iMac and PMG3 were closer than the iMac and Power Mac are today, but I have a feeling that the sentiment is still there.

    On a side note, I'd take an xMac built on the AMD Ryzen platform if Apple made it.
    Yes, I believe that sentiment is there too... with the new Mac Pro being the slight exception. But, I think this discussion always confuses two different things.

    I know Mike and Charles always make the claim that only a few percent of people ever broke open the 'upgradable' Macs, but I don't know the time-frame. My experience was quite the opposite in machines I owned, friends, family, companies, or all the people I worked with over the years as a consultant. I'd say, the majority were cracked open, and only a minority weren't. People were always (or getting someone else to) adding RAM or putting in bigger hard drives.

    But, even if most people won't crack open a machine to upgrade it... and certainly the tech-geek types who enjoy doing so are a dying breed...

    There is still a very practical need for a machine, upgradable or not, that sits between what Apple offers for their desktop (iMac) and the Pro models like the iMac Pro and now Mac Pro. The Mac mini is the closest thing, now that we have eGPUs, but a machine that would have a more consumer build, but have a slot that can take a standard GPU would still be desirable. And/or, a machine big enough to run higher end consumer/prosumer parts but still have adequate cooling.

    So, I don't really care if I can put my hands in it, but I need a reasonably capable machine that doesn't cost $5000+. Such a machine could easily exist if Apple decided to fill in that hole. Again, I think the mini is that machine (in Apple's mind), but it could be better than it is (even though I love mine). And, they think the iMac also is that machine, which I suppose it is for many. But, I think it becomes so out of being the only option, not what people would buy if they had a choice.
  • Reply 137 of 151
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,513administrator
    cgWerks said:
    xsmi said:
    I may have told this story before, so I'm sorry if you've heard it. Back around 1999-2000, I sent Jobs and email about this very Mac that you speak of. I felt that the iMac, though a great machine, was not a machine for ALL consumers. We Mac people wanted something like our PC brethren who had an inexpensive tower that they could tinker with, that had some upgrade path. I even suggested bringing back the Power Mac 6400 as the candidate for that machine. Steve, told me that Apple was not in the business of making machines that people put their hands in to upgrade. There was nothing that could not be done on an iMac or a Power Mac G3 of that era. At that time, which I saw as an explosion of computer based gaming, they were not interested. Granted the cost of the iMac and PMG3 were closer than the iMac and Power Mac are today, but I have a feeling that the sentiment is still there.

    On a side note, I'd take an xMac built on the AMD Ryzen platform if Apple made it.
    Yes, I believe that sentiment is there too... with the new Mac Pro being the slight exception. But, I think this discussion always confuses two different things.

    I know Mike and Charles always make the claim that only a few percent of people ever broke open the 'upgradable' Macs, but I don't know the time-frame. My experience was quite the opposite in machines I owned, friends, family, companies, or all the people I worked with over the years as a consultant. I'd say, the majority were cracked open, and only a minority weren't. People were always (or getting someone else to) adding RAM or putting in bigger hard drives.

    But, even if most people won't crack open a machine to upgrade it... and certainly the tech-geek types who enjoy doing so are a dying breed...

    There is still a very practical need for a machine, upgradable or not, that sits between what Apple offers for their desktop (iMac) and the Pro models like the iMac Pro and now Mac Pro. The Mac mini is the closest thing, now that we have eGPUs, but a machine that would have a more consumer build, but have a slot that can take a standard GPU would still be desirable. And/or, a machine big enough to run higher end consumer/prosumer parts but still have adequate cooling.

    So, I don't really care if I can put my hands in it, but I need a reasonably capable machine that doesn't cost $5000+. Such a machine could easily exist if Apple decided to fill in that hole. Again, I think the mini is that machine (in Apple's mind), but it could be better than it is (even though I love mine). And, they think the iMac also is that machine, which I suppose it is for many. But, I think it becomes so out of being the only option, not what people would buy if they had a choice.
    1999-2012.
    cgWerksfastasleep
  • Reply 138 of 151
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,843member
    Mike Wuerthele said:
    1999-2012.
    Ahh, OK. That makes a bit more sense, or at least puts it outside the time of my main experience. I was mostly involved in the early to later 90s in terms of Mac consulting.
  • Reply 139 of 151
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,422member
    IMHO in the past couple of pages this thread has evolved into one of the finest quality, informative, and most respectful/courteous discussions I've seen here at AI in recent months. This is what a forum is for. Congrats in order for each of the participants. 
    cgWerks
  • Reply 140 of 151
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,258member
    lmg said:
    For the average consumer, the iMac is probably pretty optimal. But, for businesses or prosumers, I think many would pick something more like the xMac if that choice existed. Many of us, would even pay more money for it. I suppose Apple could do some surveys, but aside from that, how could they have research on it, when they haven't tried it?

    I somewhat agree with the idea that the majority of users don't upgrade machine, at least not anymore. But, again, that might be a chicken-and-egg thing in that most consumer devices have become throw-away these days. People just don't think like that anymore (though they are starting to swing back, IMO). Back in the day, I think most people upgraded machines, even Macs. When I did Mac consulting, almost every client added more RAM or changed out storage at some point. I did, and all my family members did. I'd say it used to be odd not to at some point.
    Yeah, businesses in particular may find them especially appealing. 

    I would agree. Once upon a time, I used Windows PCs, and I regularly opened them up to upgrade - hard drive, memory, graphics card, and optical drives. Since switching to Mac, I’ve never made an upgrade. Part of that is the nature of the computers - I’ve mostly had laptops and iMacs, and neither is especially upgradeable (or even reparable - I had a 2010 iMac that started having issues with its HDD, so I took it to Apple and they were unable to fix it as it was then considered a vintage product (this was a few years back now), and so referred me to a third party reseller. They wanted about $600 to replace the drive in it, and they cautioned me that during the replacement process, it’s possible that they’d break the display and would not be liable for that. That was ridiculously expensive, so I simply replaced the computer with a new,
    much faster model with an SSD. The non-reparability was, admittedly, a little irritating... but, on the other hand, by the time it failed, the hardware had gotten old enough that it was starting to struggle to keep up, running slowly and in need of replacement. Not only that, but in that timeframe, the iMac had transitioned to Retina displays, and having adopted and grown accustomed to them on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Pro, it had become a little difficult to look at the lower-res display. 

    But another part of it, I think, is that the necessity of upgrades feels lower than it once did. Part of that, in my case, is I simply have more money now and can (1) max out my systems at purchase to maximize their capabilities and their lifespans, and (2) replace my computers often enough (usually about five to six years) that upgrades aren’t really a need, for the most part. My current MBP has 16GB of RAM and it’s still so fast... my next will have 32GB and possibly 64GB depending on the specs of their next-gen model! Either way, I don’t really expect the need to upgrade that until the time comes to replace the laptop altogether.

    (I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I really want to see a MacBook Pro with the footprint of the previous 17-inch model again. I never actually bought a 17-inch MBP when they were available, because at that time the computers were much thicker and heavier than they are now, primarily relying on HDDs, and I wanted to be able to carry the computer easily, and to be able to hold it in one hand, standing, and use it with the other, if I needed to. Since then, iPhones and iPads have proliferated, so the need for mobility in a laptop has been greatly diminished. Most of the time, I find myself using my laptop in the same spot or two, and while it’s great to be able to move it around, I have much less need to use it the way I described. The rumour, of course, is that we will soon see a 16-16.5-inch MacBook Pro with similar dimensions to the current 15-inch model, but with the display stretched to the edge of the glass. That sounds nice, but I think Apple should go a step further: build a laptop with dimensions similar to the previous 17-inch model, but with the display stretched to the glass to make an 18-19-inch display. Use the extra space to make the computer more powerful, and consider offering a Xeon processor as an option on that unit. The battery life would be bad, I’m sure, at least without putting a much larger battery in it, but I’m sure there’d be some users that would appreciate a true mobile workstation from Apple. I’d probably stick with the i9 to keep some battery life, but I’m sure there are those who’d love the increased power - and maybe the selection of that processor and top-end GPUs would make the chassis thicker to accommodate a larger battery and increased airflow. If they offered a bigger version of the MacBook Pro, I’d almost certainly buy it! Seeing as how they put out a pro version of the iMac with a Xeon, and a Mac Pro with incredible specs, it’d be nice to see them give similar treatment to the MacBook Pro.)

    If the products were built to be more upgradeable, would I hang onto them longer and upgrade rather than replace? Possibly, at least when it comes to the desktops. (I have my doubts that a high-quality laptop could be built that is fully upgradeable and anywhere near as compact as the current MacBook Pro.) But I guess I like getting the latest and greatest thing, and replacing the entire unit from time to time. Each time I move from one Mac to the next, I’m upgrading CPU, RAM, SSD, GPU, I/O, and display all at once, and it would be difficult, I think, to make most of their computers such that everyone of those components could be upgradeable, particularly if they aim to maintain any semblance of a cohesive system design. Part of the excitement for me, I suppose, is the design and aesthetics of the new things they put out, and that is, of course, missing in the upgrades. Very different story, needless to say, when you have to consider the ROI on a piece of equipment in a business use case, but for my personal use, these things matter to me. 

    What I do wish is that’s Apple would make its MacBook Pro chargers a lot more durable so I wouldn’t have to shell out $95 a pop when they inevitably fray! For a company that is as particular as they are when it comes to most of their products, they make truly terrible cables! The MacBook chargers, the Lightning cables, and the Time Capsule 3TB have easily been the worst Apple products I’ve ever owned! Over-priced and not very durable! Switched to Anker Lightning cables, and they are not only cheaper, but much longer-lasting. 
    You can only do so much on a modern computer, especially laptops.

    Intel used to sell socketed CPUs for laptops until the 5th-generation.  Despite that, you can't upgrade them across platforms as newer processors always required a redesign.  Still, you can upgrade within a generation by desoldering.  MacBooks never offering PGA sockets, though still possible to swap if you try.

    RAM - that's limited by the processor.  The current i9 supports 128GiB total - four slots, dual-channel.  Most laptops offer two slots, which you can only go half as much - 64GiB.  On top of that, they don't support XMP, it stays as whatever the processor can support.  The 16" maxed out the best one can offer, as almost every MacBook does.  By the way, as far as my knowledge goes, you can't swap your 2x16 RAM sticks into 2x32, those older memory controllers can't support newer chips.  You can only go so far with RAM.

    SSD - to be fair, that's one thing I think it's worth upgrading for, yet the T2 locks it down with specific speed, probably to balance between the performance and consumption.  I do hope to see at least two modules like the (i)Mac Pro while offering upgrade options.

    Graphics - While there are dedicate mobile graphics cards, they require extra cables and beefier heatsinks.  You never know how much more power and cooling some other cards would take, which they're only available for thicker ones.  Most people with them never tinkered it, then there's the eGPU where you can upgrade like a desktop...

    Wi-Fi, Bluetooth & misc - the only time I saw people took them out is when they need to repair.  I assume the better case design matters more.
    edited December 2019
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