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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > The missing prosumer Mac tower

The missing prosumer Mac tower
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Aug 7, 2006, 04:59 PM
 
It seems that Apple has split their headless desktop market into the high-end (Mac Pro) and low-end (Mac mini), without anything in the middle. I've posted on this topic a few times before, but I just want to get a thead started to pull the comments out of the Mac Pro thread and discuss the possibilities.

I think that in the near future (perhaps January 2007), Apple will release the "Mac." I'm hoping for something in the same form factor as the Shuttle XPC, shown below.

Price and spec it somewhere around the $1000 point...

1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
2MB L2 Cache
1066MHz Frontside Bus
512MB memory (667MHz DDR2 SDRAM)
Intel GMA950 graphics with 64MB of shared DDR2 SDRAM
160GB Serial ATA hard drive
Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0
Apple Remote
$899

2.40GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
4MB L2 Cache
1066MHz Frontside Bus
512MB memory (667MHz DDR2 SDRAM)
NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT graphics with 256MB memory
250GB Serial ATA hard drive
16x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0
Apple Remote
$1499

With the same 1 optical/2 hard drive bays and 2 PCIe slots (16x, 4x) as the XPC and 4-5 USB, 1-2 FW400, optical audio, etc. Maybe an X1900 and 2.93Ghz Core 2 Extreme upgrade for a gaming box.

Thoughts?

mods: If you feel this belongs in the iMac, eMac & Mac mini forum instead, please move it.
     
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Aug 7, 2006, 05:05 PM
 
In principle I agree. Although I don't like the shuttle form factor. I'd prefer something like a PM 7600.

I think the $899 model is too close to the mini, but the $1499 model seems reasonable.
     
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Aug 7, 2006, 05:07 PM
 
Cool - thanks for the new thread.

So, I agree completely and emphatically!! I posted this on the other thread, but I'll repost most of it here...

The iMac is not really midrange. If you price a Mac mini with a 20" LCD display, you're in the same basic price range as the iMac. So, in my view, they're the same market. You're just paying a premium for the AIO design (due, I suppose, to the laptop parts).

I am now solidly left out of the Apple market. I fall precisely in the category discussed by others with the same beef. I am a prosumer. I need more than an iMac or Mac mini, but way less than the new Mac Pros. Someone already said it, but I'll repeat the requirements:

* headless
* extra HD bay
* single CPU (dual-core option)
* quiet, cool - lower CPU speeds
* fair number of ports (everyone needs these)
* upgradeable GPU
* upgradeable optical drive
* 1-2 PCI slots
* built-in BT and wifi


Note that I don't think you really need two optical drives, as long as you can upgrade the one you have easily.

The PCI slots (or PCIe or whatever is currrent) is a "would be nice" thing. Most Macs have just about everything you need built-in, but if you need more ports or something, it's nice to have at least a little space to throw in a card. I could live without that, if necessary - you can get most things with external hubs, external drives, etc.

Seriously... I'm ready to upgrade, I've got money allocated... but not $2200. I have no need of that much horsepower, I don't want something that big, I don't need 4 HD's or 2 optical drives, etc. I would think that the market for this would be much larger than the pro market, and maybe on par or slightly smaller than the consumer (iMac, Mac mini) market. I would think it has lots of potential - you could have a slightly higher markup and there would be lots of volume.

There's a huge gap now, though... I would have to hope that the reason for that gap is a forth-coming new product. Maybe it's just a "Mac", as someone said - not iMac, not Mac mini, not Mac Pro... just a Mac. That's what I need.
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Aug 7, 2006, 05:10 PM
 
This is what I was thinking of

• Conroe 2.4GHz
• 4 DIMM slots
• 2 HDD bays
• one optical drive bay
• 2-3 PCI express slots (one 16 lane for the GPU)
• BTO everything else (GPU, Combo or SD, HDD size)
• a case similar to the PM 7600, easy to open and compact
• $1699

[Edit: corrected price]
( Last edited by Simon; Aug 7, 2006 at 06:16 PM. )
     
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Aug 7, 2006, 05:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
In principle I agree. Although I don't like the shuttle form factor. I'd prefer something like a PM 7600.

I think the $899 model is too close to the mini, but the $1499 model seems reasonable.
I actually love the shuttle form factor (FF). I love the Mac mini FF, though I couldn't get my requirements met with something that small. The pizza-box FF made more sense in the days of CRT's, I think. I like the LCD because it unclutters my desk - I gain a lot of real estate. I have my PM G5 under the desk, which is actually a PITA trying to run cables - mainly because it's so big. A shuttle would be the perfect size.

As for pricing, I love $899. Sure, it's close to the mini, but that's been done before. The mini is a different market. Size (or lack thereof) matters. If you had a "Mac" model, you could probably ditch the dual-CPU mini, which would widen the gap again.

Honestly... I think I'm looking at a dual-CPU mini right now... no, worse yet (for Apple), I probably just won't buy anything. My dual-CPU PM G5 will last a while. I bought it because it was the cheapest of the high-end machines at the time, and it was still more than I needed. I've love a new Intel-based box, but I'll just wait... maybe I'll buy an old Mac Pro used in a year.
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Aug 7, 2006, 05:26 PM
 
My problem with a mid-range tower is that I already know Apple is never going to offer what makes sense to offer according to price.

And by that I mean; Assuming Apple does opt to offer a mildly expandable Cube-2 like solution in the $1,500 range, you can pretty much bet that its specifications will be pretty comparable to those of the iMacs. Which makes sense given that both machines would populate the same price range segment. But it only makes sense until you take into account the fact that the iMac would be coming with an LCD, and a rather nice one at that. The mid-range tower would not.

So in exchange for a few PCI slots and a hard drive bay, you're giving up a $400 monitor.

Now of course, Apple could price this mid-range tower below the iMac to make up for the lack of an LCD. But they'd be too afraid of it eating iMacs sales to do it.

Such a mid-range tower would be a very nice option, but because of the way Apple usually does such things it would probably offer the worst bang for the buck of the entire Mac product like. Just like the Cube.
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Aug 7, 2006, 05:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
I think the $899 model is too close to the mini, but the $1499 model seems reasonable.
It can use cheaper hardware (full size drives and memory) and it's over 10 times the size of the mini... they fit into different places, no pun intended.

Originally Posted by Simon
This is what I was thinking of

• Conroe 2.4GHz
• 4 DIMM slots
• 2 HDD bays
• one optical drive bay
• 2-3 PCI express slots (one 16 lane for the GPU)
• BTO everything else (GPU, Combo or SD, HDD size)
• a case similar to the PM 7600, easy to open and compact
• $1799
I think the price and expansion are too close to the Mac Pro.
( Last edited by mduell; Aug 7, 2006 at 05:38 PM. )
     
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Aug 7, 2006, 06:06 PM
 
Mark, it seems likely, I sure hope your right..

I also wouldn't mind it being thin like this, picture it with the whole cheese grater thing going on, and less of a rounded look, in more of a rectangular shape. http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/pr...s/t5700_lr.jpg.
     
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Aug 7, 2006, 06:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
I think the price and expansion are too close to the Mac Pro.
True, the price is too high. Make that $1699.

Actually, not one expansion option I mentioned is identical to those of the MP. They're all stripped down by ~50%.
     
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Aug 7, 2006, 06:36 PM
 
This "Mac" model would definitely be cheaper than an iMac with the same general types of guts because it will be commodity desktop hardware, not laptop hardware.

I honestly don't get why the iMac (or any AIO unit) is so popular. (Maybe they're not.) Marrying the LCD to the rest of it is just such a strange proposition. You get the high costs of a laptop, without the portability. You're stuck with the screen. If you want a bigger screen, you have to upgrade the whole unit. And for what? You save the space of ... a Mac mini or a MacBook?

I can see some niche markets for the iMac AIO form factor, sure, but why would you go for the niche when you could have something much more versatile and with much broader appeal?

That's why I love the concept of a basic Mac. It can suit just about any need, short of a pro who needs maximum specs. It could be a media center. It could be a bare bones cheapie. It could be a video editing box. It could be an all-purpose machine. It could be a game machine. You could even make it a low-end pro machine. With a little planning and good design, at which Apple excels, you could serve so many market segments!

I don't get why people want the pizza-box FF, though. It's just a waste of footprint, unless you could turn it on its edge... even so, I hate vertical optical drives. I'm all for easy to open and upgrade, but you don't need a pizza box for that. So, please explain your point of view on that... maybe I'm missing something.

BTW - some guy was marketing a similar Mac a couple years ago, remember that? He was effectively shut down by Apple. They cut off his suppliers or something. Anyone remember that? I wanted one of those machines badly.
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Aug 7, 2006, 06:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Zoom
I honestly don't get why the iMac (or any AIO unit) is so popular. (Maybe they're not.) Marrying the LCD to the rest of it is just such a strange proposition. You get the high costs of a laptop, without the portability. You're stuck with the screen. If you want a bigger screen, you have to upgrade the whole unit. And for what? You save the space of ... a Mac mini or a MacBook?
It's not a choice, it's a lack of options.
If you need something more powerful than a mini, yet aren't ready to blow $2700+ on a "pro" desktop, your only option is the iMac.
     
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Aug 7, 2006, 06:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Lateralus
So in exchange for a few PCI slots and a hard drive bay, you're giving up a $400 monitor.

Now of course, Apple could price this mid-range tower below the iMac to make up for the lack of an LCD. But they'd be too afraid of it eating iMacs sales to do it.
I disagree. Laptops are judged almost completely separately from desktop (except that there's this "desktop replacement" movement supposedly under way). They serve different needs, and because of those needs, they're manufactured and priced very differently. I think the same is true for minis and iMacs. I think they server very particular niches, and people will pay for them if they meet those niche requirements.

Where's the VolksMac? AHA! That reminds me, now! There was a thread about this a while ago! Click here. I think I may have even coined the term! Anyway, there was a huge discussion about the AIO design and the need for this middle-of-the-road, all-purpose VolksMac.
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Aug 7, 2006, 06:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
It's not a choice, it's a lack of options.
If you need something more powerful than a mini, yet aren't ready to blow $2700+ on a "pro" desktop, your only option is the iMac.
Yes, my point entirely - and the point of this thread. The iMac is a poor option. It's like saying you can either have a Cooper Mini or a Lambourghini (sp?)... or otherwise, there's this spiffy Prius (or some other useful, but niche-market car)! Where's the (wait for it... ) VolksMac? The Taurus or Camry for the masses?
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Aug 7, 2006, 07:17 PM
 
I do see something lacking in Apple's product line. I have a mini which is just a little too underpowered for Aperture, and to be honest the ProMac does seem over kill. In all likelyhood I'll probably get the ProMac but I'd rather see a more powerful mini or some other desktop. I love the form factor of the mini, its small, quite and fast (for everything except aperture).

Now I understand that the mini is uses the GMA950 and really isn't made for pro level software.
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Aug 7, 2006, 07:22 PM
 
HA! That's funny. I'm re-reading my old posts, and then I wanted a pizza box! :-) But hey, that was two years ago.... Actually, it was before I actually had my LCD monitor, I think. Now that I have it, I don't want a pizza box to waste all that gained desk space.
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Aug 7, 2006, 07:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Zoom
I don't get why people want the pizza-box FF, though. It's just a waste of footprint, unless you could turn it on its edge... even so, I hate vertical optical drives. I'm all for easy to open and upgrade, but you don't need a pizza box for that. So, please explain your point of view on that... maybe I'm missing something.
I totally agree that Apple needs to offer a "Mac Pro Mini." I prefer the pizzabox form factor over the cube style. It's so much slimmer and sleeker, and it takes up less desk space when oriented vertically (which it would be - horizontally only made sense in the days of huge CRTs). Your optical drive would be slot-load. You'd get 2 or 3 open PCI Express slots, 4 DIMM slots, and a single CPU socket, all for the price of a 17" iMac. The Mac Mini is 6" square, the Mac Pro Mini would be 14" square or around that but a similar thickness as the Mac Mini. The low-end MPM would cost what a 17" iMac does, or a little more, and the high-end model would cost what the 20" iMac does.

It just makes so much sense... Mac Mini -- iMac -- HUGE GAP -- Mac Pro

Fill the gap Apple!
     
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Aug 7, 2006, 07:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Zoom
BTW - some guy was marketing a similar Mac a couple years ago, remember that? He was effectively shut down by Apple. They cut off his suppliers or something. Anyone remember that? I wanted one of those machines badly.
I'm on fire today! It was called CoreCrib. Kinda funny, given the new Intel processor names.
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Aug 7, 2006, 07:47 PM
 
The iMac is the "Mac". Case closed.
     
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Aug 7, 2006, 08:49 PM
 
I'm totally there. I have an old G5 that I want to replace with an Intel Unit, but I don't have the $2500 to replace my SP 1.8Ghz. If they had a $1500 unit that I could put a decent graphics card into, I would buy it in a second!
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 04:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
It seems that Apple has split their headless desktop market into the high-end (Mac Pro) and low-end (Mac mini), without anything in the middle. I've posted on this topic a few times before, but I just want to get a thead started to pull the comments out of the Mac Pro thread and discuss the possibilities.

I think that in the near future (perhaps January 2007), Apple will release the "Mac." I'm hoping for something in the same form factor as the Shuttle XPC, shown below.

Price and spec it somewhere around the $1000 point...

1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
2MB L2 Cache
1066MHz Frontside Bus
512MB memory (667MHz DDR2 SDRAM)
Intel GMA950 graphics with 64MB of shared DDR2 SDRAM
160GB Serial ATA hard drive
Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0
Apple Remote
$899

2.40GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
4MB L2 Cache
1066MHz Frontside Bus
512MB memory (667MHz DDR2 SDRAM)
NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT graphics with 256MB memory
250GB Serial ATA hard drive
16x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0
Apple Remote
$1499

With the same 1 optical/2 hard drive bays and 2 PCIe slots (16x, 4x) as the XPC and 4-5 USB, 1-2 FW400, optical audio, etc. Maybe an X1900 and 2.93Ghz Core 2 Extreme upgrade for a gaming box.

Thoughts?

mods: If you feel this belongs in the iMac, eMac & Mac mini forum instead, please move it.
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Aug 8, 2006, 05:50 PM
 
The first one looks a lot like a Mac mini. I'd say GMA3000 rather than GMA 950, but oherwise I think it's the top model of the next version of it. The other one is more unique, and I agree with you, it'd make a nice machine. Just don't think Apple will make it.

To be honest, a Mac mini but slightly higher, with space for one or two PCIe boards (one graphics and one more) and a full 3.5" HD shouldn't be that hard, should it? Sell it to possible PC converts and let them install Windows if they want to.
     
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Aug 10, 2006, 01:34 PM
 


Mockup and specs

To me the older G4 case was a home run. I'm still using a GHz Digital Audio G4 and I love it. It's small, easy to get into, looks great and has a lot of power.

I was looking over the mirrored drive door G4 and couldn't believe what Apple crammed in there.
4 drive bays, 2 optical drives, 1 AGP slot, 3 PCI slots and a huge heat sink for the G4. You'd have to believe they could fit a Conroe in there.

Update the case design but keep the form factor. It would be dual only because of Conroe but it would still be fast, very fast and could be a great computer for a lot of people.

Thoughts?
( Last edited by wvx; Aug 10, 2006 at 01:44 PM. )
     
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Aug 10, 2006, 01:49 PM
 
It would break Apple's Sales Paradigm, but it's a cool idea. The idea on Apple's side is that they have computers for Pros, and computers for consumers. People who need more than the iMac are forced to go with the Mac Pro. People who need more than the MacBook have to get a MacBook Pro. If they created such a product, it would undermine sales of the Mac Pro.

The reason that the Mini works so well is because it's drawing over primarily users that aren't familiar with computers, and they are getting away from windows. Unplug the windows box, plug in the mini, and you're set, don't change anything else.

That's the reason Apple will never do it. That said, I agree that the G4 tower design was brilliant. I'm using a 6 1/2 year old G4 Sawtooth, and I think it's the best tower Apple has ever made, hands down. The fact that a computer can last as long as this one has and still run current software is a testament to the engineering at Apple.

If it would happen, this I think would be good:

1 Dual Core Conroe
4 memory slots
2 drive bays
3 PCIe slots
1 optical drive
Price point: $1500
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Aug 10, 2006, 02:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by wvx
...3 PCI...
Four.
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Aug 10, 2006, 02:57 PM
 
Didnt Apple try this concept with the PowerMac G4 Cube? Please refresh me if I'm wrong..
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Aug 10, 2006, 03:07 PM
 
Wasn't the Cube more expensive than the towers?
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Aug 10, 2006, 03:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
Wasn't the Cube more expensive than the towers?
No if memory serves me, it was a scosh cheaper but being so close to the price of the tower, it was hard to justify it (lack of expansion).

I loved the cube, awesome design, which is why I like my mini small, quiet powerful. Of course the MacPro is going to beat the snot out of it
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Aug 10, 2006, 03:52 PM
 
The funny thing is, I'll be spending over 3k for this macpro but I'd be happy with a slower (and cheaper) machine. My mini is great except for the GMA950, the iMac isn't a good fit since I already have a 24" monitor. A powerful desktop unit is definitely missing in Apple's line up.
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Aug 10, 2006, 03:58 PM
 
You guys are talking about a machine that is cheaper then the Mac Pro and is focused more in the middle of the road. That is exactly what the cube was -- cheaper and focused more towards the "Pro Consumer". It didn't do well because of the expandibility but do you really think Apple will release a similiar thing to the Mac Pro with the same expandibilty for cheaper? I think Apple gave use a chance with the Cube, and when it failed they gave up on the idea. Dont you guys agree with me a little bit?
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Aug 10, 2006, 04:55 PM
 
The Cube is the perfect example why Apple won't do the 'Mac'.

In order not to cannibalize MP sales and to encourage upsell Apple would have to price the 'Mac' rather high. At that price nobody would buy it because for a little more the MP would offer a lot more. So it would flop. Just like the Cube. You guys are asking Apple to offer some key advantages of the MP at below the iM price point. That means less margin for Apple. And that's why Apple won't do it. They're a business people, not the Make-A-Wish-Foundation. You need to start becoming aware of that.

Btw, who came up with this brain dead idea of calling this thing 'Mac'? First of all Apple would never call it that and secondly imagine all the confusion. "Yo dude, did you get your new Mac? - No, I got an iMac instead. - So the iMac's not a Mac? - Well yes it is, but not the Mac..."
     
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Aug 10, 2006, 05:51 PM
 
Agreed. I want middle of the road performance to replace my aging G5. Something dual core, reasonably good graphics, and 2 HD expandability would be just about perfect.

Originally Posted by TailsToo
I'm totally there. I have an old G5 that I want to replace with an Intel Unit, but I don't have the $2500 to replace my SP 1.8Ghz. If they had a $1500 unit that I could put a decent graphics card into, I would buy it in a second!
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Aug 10, 2006, 06:00 PM
 
I'm happy someone is seeing my point of view. If Apple brings out something a bit less then the Mac Pro with less expandibilty, people will just go for the Mac Pro because it won't be much more. What you guys are asking for is unrealistic..
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Aug 10, 2006, 06:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
Wasn't the Cube more expensive than the towers?
I was looking at buying a cube when I got my iMac in fall of 2000. The cube was going for $1800 and was 450/500MHz, while the base G4 tower was 400MHz and cost $1600.
     
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Aug 10, 2006, 06:17 PM
 
Aside from the crazy heat they throw off, whats wrong with just picking up used or refurb PowerMac G5s? In about 6 months even the QuadCores should be going for $1500-2000.... http://search.ebay.com/PowerMac-G5-Quad and http://search.ebay.com/PowerMac-G5

Then as time goes on, as faster Intel chips come out, the current Mac Pros will hit the used market and come down in price also.

So basically we don't have to do anything but wait (something Mac users are very used to) till you can pick up a first generation Mac Pro for $1500. These new Intel Core CPUs are so friggin fast that no Core based machine will be "slow" for a very very very long time. Especially not those which have available PCI slots to upgrade video cards. Plus the CPUs themselves are socketed meaning you can upgrade the CPUs. I even have a name for these future used 1st Gen Mac Pros....... "TimeMacs".

;-) I coined the phrase, TimeMac is mine.
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Aug 10, 2006, 07:50 PM
 
The laptops do not have socketed CPUs.
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Aug 10, 2006, 08:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by mBurns
The laptops do not have socketed CPUs.
No one said they did, and that's not the point of this thread. No one's complaining about a hole in the laptop line, but one in the desktop line.
     
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Aug 10, 2006, 08:41 PM
 
Seems like we have this discussion after every major hardware announcement. I've always advocated for a headless Mac with an upgradable GPU. PCI slots are great, but at leave give me the upgradable GPU.

Right now I have a Mini. I was ecstatic that Apple finally had a non-AIO for under $2k. Yes, its a bit underpowered and no expansion but its been a great little machine and I can't really complain. In fact, it was the Mini that brought me back to Apple hardware after a very long stint as a Windows only guy. Hated Windows but saw no reasonable Mac hardware options.

So yes, hell yes count me as one of many many many people who would love to see Apple fill the obvious gap in the product line-up. At the very least, offer a Mac Pro with a single CPU BTO. That would settle it quite nicely. sure, a smaller enclosure would be fantastic, but I'd live with the full case quite happily. I just don't need 4 cores.

Repeat: headless with an upgradable GPU. That's all I really want.
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die." -- Hunter S. Thompson
     
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Aug 10, 2006, 09:02 PM
 
Repeat: Not Gonna Happen.
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Aug 11, 2006, 11:56 AM
 
We know it's not going to happen... can we have a little fun anyway???

Please?
     
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Aug 11, 2006, 12:21 PM
 
I think it may happen, with no new case for the mac book pro/ and now mac pro perhaps there will be a mid-tower unveiled around the $1500 mark....

Something like the mac book case in black or white would be nice, 2 HD drive bays, 1 optical and a single 2.0 xeon or a core duo 2 possibly.... this is all possible now.
     
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Aug 11, 2006, 12:52 PM
 
Buy the lowest model Mac Pro, then take out a CPU and sell it!
     
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Aug 11, 2006, 01:05 PM
 
all i hear is, 'the imac has a screen but i already have a screen'...well you probably also already had a computer with that screen that you probably sold so why not get rid of both and use the screen in the imac...or better yet, dont let this shock you but...the imac can span on to your screen if you want it to. granted this means the gpu is cut in half, so opt for the 20" with a 256mb gpu.

id like the option of being able to choose a headless unit, but its lack there of doesnt create a hole in the apple line...you want pci slots and 2 drive bays yada yada yada...opt for an older G5 or MP. realize that apple doesnt want people using their computers for 3+ years if they could avoid it, and they do avoid it by not offereing these types of units.
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Aug 11, 2006, 01:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by SirCastor
Repeat: Not Gonna Happen.
That was the general refrain during the rumor build-up to the Mini.

I highly doubt we'll see a mid-tower Mac. But I wouldn't be surprised to see a single CPU Mac Pro down the road a bit.
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die." -- Hunter S. Thompson
     
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Aug 11, 2006, 07:29 PM
 
I think there is now plenty of room for a mid-level mac. The problem before was the narrowness between the G4 and G5 processors and the problem of cannabalized sales.

Yet really I think the problem is the Mac Mini and iMac kind of have the middle ground well covered and to put something between the prices would cannabalize sales of the iMac which is kind of their signature piece. They would almost have to charge iMac prices and provide Mac Mini specs to prevent this from happening I would imagine...
     
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Aug 11, 2006, 08:09 PM
 
what I'd like to see is a slightly larger mini (maybe twice as thick) with a core 2 duo 2 PCIe slots (16x Graphics 8x spare) 2 memory slots of course USB 2.0 and Firewire 400.... and 2-4 eSATA ports and NO HD OR OPTICAL DRIVE!!! You see you would buy the base machine and then pick what you wanted to add externally by stacking the devices and connecting to the eSATA ports you choose DVD, CDR, BD-DVD, 100 G, 400G, 1TB or even use it at a netboot machine
     
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Aug 11, 2006, 09:50 PM
 
I'm just excited to see others see the need for something I've said I needed for a long time: something more powerful than a Mac Mini and not as big as a Mac Pro! I don't need an iMac because I already have an Apple Cinema display. I don't need all the extra expandibility, but would like the power. As for me, I'd still like to have the multi processor options, a couple of drive bays, a couple of Dimm slots, and an upgradeable optical drive bay. Definitely like the ports on the front as well as the back, and do like the looks of Shuttle XPC shown. Maybe call it a "Mac Maxi". I'd order one tomorrow, especially if they promised a free upgrade to Leopard when it came out!
     
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Aug 11, 2006, 11:48 PM
 
My problem is my MacMini won't work with a 30" cinema display, the biggest it can go to is 23". If I want a 30" display, I have to buy a MP Tower which is too big in my living room. I don't want an iMac because it already comes with a screen and I want a 30" cinema screen.

Apple's strategy prevents me from buying the 30" cinema screen I would otherwise get. I would love to get the 30" screen both for more screen space, but also to play DVDs on, and to do video editing when cheaper consumer model 3CCD HDTV video cameras come out.

I've got a G5 Tower in the office, and it looks great in that environment, but since I've had the Mini at home I wonder why computers for the home need to be any bigger. It's just a little underpowered for my needs, and the iMac is "over-screened".

So Apple, please produce a medium range headless sculpture Mac Midi, or a 30" iMac!

Mac
     
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Aug 11, 2006, 11:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by rebelrouser
Maybe call it a "Mac Maxi".
For your feminine computing needs?
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Aug 12, 2006, 12:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by SwissMac
My problem is my MacMini won't work with a 30" cinema display, the biggest it can go to is 23". If I want a 30" display, I have to buy a MP Tower which is too big in my living room. I don't want an iMac because it already comes with a screen and I want a 30" cinema screen.

Apple's strategy prevents me from buying the 30" cinema screen I would otherwise get. I would love to get the 30" screen both for more screen space, but also to play DVDs on, and to do video editing when cheaper consumer model 3CCD HDTV video cameras come out.

I've got a G5 Tower in the office, and it looks great in that environment, but since I've had the Mini at home I wonder why computers for the home need to be any bigger. It's just a little underpowered for my needs, and the iMac is "over-screened".

So Apple, please produce a medium range headless sculpture Mac Midi, or a 30" iMac!

Mac

The obvious solution is to buy a 15" MBP!
     
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Aug 12, 2006, 10:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by P
The first one looks a lot like a Mac mini. I'd say GMA3000 rather than GMA 950, but oherwise I think it's the top model of the next version of it. The other one is more unique, and I agree with you, it'd make a nice machine. Just don't think Apple will make it.

To be honest, a Mac mini but slightly higher, with space for one or two PCIe boards (one graphics and one more) and a full 3.5" HD shouldn't be that hard, should it? Sell it to possible PC converts and let them install Windows if they want to.
A few months ago I saw an article at a web site -- sorry, I don't remember where -- with the rumor that Apple was indeed going to update the Mac Mini with a machine having the same footprint, but a fraction of an inch greater height to accommodate a 3.5 inch desktop hard drive. That means cheaper, faster and higher capacity. But I suspect Apple will do it mainly to get the price down and not add new slots. If they do it, I hope they make the new design easy to open.
     
 
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