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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 (Page 10)
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Sep 19, 2006, 04:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by P
All those times you got the HD back by reformatting, that was really a software issue. With a clever enough filesystem, you wouldn't have had that problem.
I understand that, but I fail to see how it matters. There's no such thing as a 100% foolproof file system (HFS+ certainly isn't one), and with either a hardware or a software failure, all non-backed up data is lost. Anyway, I've experienced both. And I've known some people who lost some very important work due to a hardware failure (the kind that required a replacement hard drive) and because they didn't back it up.

THAT has happened many many times - even on my current iMac G5, actually. When the HD fails so completely that you have to throw it out, that's a hardware failure. Correction to my original post: I've had that happen several times in servers, but those were RAID 5s with online spares and the whole shebang - that was expected. The constant use and the elevated heat makes the risk much higher. Add SMART warnings (you do use those, right?) and the risk of a single HD in a consumer machine failing before you have a chance to back it up becomes very small.
I can't believe you are advocating not backing up important data. I just... can't believe it. Yeah there are SMART warnings but given that they haven't caught any of the hardware failures that I've seen since SMART came out, I have to conclude that it's certainly not foolproof. I have seen disks that were already riddled with bad sectors and basically unusable pass the SMART tests with no errors at all. My experience may be unique, and they may have caught problems for most people, but at any rate it proves that SMART can't be counted on to always catch impending failures. And of course, SMART won't catch the software kind of failure at all. Now granted, I haven't seen too many of the software kind that were non-recoverable ever since the advent of DiskWarrior and its near-miraculous ability to save my ass. But that doesn't prove that it's not possible for a file system to fail in such a way that even DiskWarrior wouldn't be able to recover it. The moral of the story? Back up your data.

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Sep 19, 2006, 12:40 PM
 
Of course you should backup your data TODAY - neither hardware nor software is good enough to be safe. I actually have an external 250 gig drive - meant exclusively for backups - on order, because the old setup with one 80 giger and one 120 giger meant that I didn't backup as often as I should.

What I'm talking about is how you should move forward to increase the safety of users' data. There is no way that including a second HD in a consumer machine for reasons of backup is ever going to be the standard - for cost reasons. A small HD has been $70 or thereabouts for decades - it isn't coming down.

No, I think that a good filesystem should be able to avoid all software-related faults. Hardware-related faults aren't common today, and even a bad backup scheme (using DVDs to backup critical user data) can be made decent if the OS will organize it well enough. I hope that Time Machine will do that, so that with a better filesystem we'd be all but safe. The filesystem will take care of anything less than a complete HD crash, SMART will warn about most hardware issues (IME, it does) and for the rest, a new HD and a reinstallation of OS and apps paired with a restore from those DVDs will bring back the data anyway. The difference between this and the dual HD deal that I use today is of course the time needed to get back in shape after a crash - reinstalling apps=not fun.
     
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Sep 19, 2006, 08:17 PM
 
i might not be your average user, but the next tower i have will have RAID in it, and it will have a raid system that means a disk failure doesn't mean lost data. Sure i'm more hardcore than your average consumer, but if you tried to sell raid as a feature, people would buy it.

part of the problem is that apple's raid solution in the macpros doesn't tell you about drive failures, making it almost totally useless out of the box. evidently, it's also doing the raid in software even though the mb supports it in hardware.

but even with RAID, data is never safe. Data is never ever safe. the best you can do is try to spread it around and hope you don't have catastrophic failures. but when was the last time you tried to recover from a backup just as a test? never?

most people don't, and then discover that their backups are useless. this happens a lot. There's so much room for improvement in terms of computing experience, that this is what leopard promises to me.
     
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Sep 20, 2006, 03:25 AM
 
CharlesS, I think it is safe to say that Mac desktop sales are down because the core Apple markets have been waiting for the Mac Pro. Once numbers which reflect how many Mac Pros were shipped this quarter are revealed, I am sure we'll see that Apple saw a pretty hefty increase. I have seen VERY many individuals using CS on a Quicksilver because they were waiting for this Mac Pro ever since the Intel switch was announced.

Anyway, it was down because folks were waiting (even though the G5 Quad is a pretty sweet machine) for the Mac Pro. Now that it's here, they are still on backlog a month and a half later...
     
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Sep 21, 2006, 08:27 AM
 
Sure but aren't most of those sales simply upgrades? Not sales to new mac users who grow the market share.

Quick somebody make a graph!
( Last edited by Gavin; Sep 21, 2006 at 08:35 AM. )
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Sep 21, 2006, 08:35 AM
 
I suggest that the G5 is a big player in our calculations with respect to the mid-range mac. Because it put out so much heat Apple needed a very expensive case. I'll bet that not only does the case add a lot to the unit cost of each machine, but that they are still even now covering the initial costs of the design and manufacturing. It takes a lot of money to design a product and gear up a factory to produce it.

They are stuck with an expensive case and must ship so many units to justify it. I'd guess that the second they can afford to drop this case they will. Like they did with the more functional but more expensive half dome iMac case.

Now we all know the new case designs tend to coincide with new OS X version releases. In fact they look like each other. 10.0 looked like the rainbow imacs. The later OS X's looked like the brushed aluminum powermacs and powerbooks.

leopard is still under wraps but should give us a clue as to the new case design.

New OS, new case.

New case, new ball game. We won't know till next year.
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Sep 21, 2006, 08:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Gavin
Sure but aren't most of those sales simply upgrades? Not sales to new mac users who grow the market share.

Quick somebody make a graph!
Upgrades count too. Basically it doesn't matter if its upgrade or not for market share. What you mean is INSTALLED market share but thats much different and very hard to estimate.
     
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Oct 18, 2006, 09:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacKeyser View Post
CharlesS, I think it is safe to say that Mac desktop sales are down because the core Apple markets have been waiting for the Mac Pro. Once numbers which reflect how many Mac Pros were shipped this quarter are revealed, I am sure we'll see that Apple saw a pretty hefty increase. I have seen VERY many individuals using CS on a Quicksilver because they were waiting for this Mac Pro ever since the Intel switch was announced.

Anyway, it was down because folks were waiting (even though the G5 Quad is a pretty sweet machine) for the Mac Pro. Now that it's here, they are still on backlog a month and a half later...
i agree.. until Mac Pro came alone the Core Duo alternatives (be it macbook/MBP/imac) were close enough in performance to a G5 (except quad) to not be worth the difference in price unless you're a power user. now that there's more performance differenciation, i think we'll see more desktop sales. Mac Pro is overpowered for most users, but i wouldnt exactly call that a problem
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Dec 8, 2006, 09:28 AM
 
Hi. I surfed on from Google and read this entire thread tonight while researching Apple computers. I'm a life-long PC user interested in switching to a Mac desktop namely for the OS/software. Sadly, despite my willingness to pay $1500-$2000 for a prosumer Mac tower, the lack of such model will force me to once again turn to a PC (in this case, a Dell Dimension 9200 Core 2 Duo system w/ 2GB of RAM, etc for around $1000). As much as I love the idea of switching to a Mac, I refuse to settle for a Mini or the lack of expandability with an iMac, and the Mac Pro is far more power than I need. Like others have suggested in this thread, I have heard similar complaints as mine from endless PC users for years. As a prosumer, I feel a little cheated by Apple's marketing since I seem like the type of person their advertising is targeting (I basically look like their "Mac guy" and all that youthful hipster crap). I want to do some video/photo editing, I like the way their systems look, etc. But no way am I dropping $2500+ on a Mac Pro unless someone's paying me to use it. And no way I'm getting sucked into a laptop when I don't need portability. I'm hopeful that Apple expands into this prosumer desktop market next year, but sadly I don't have time to wait. Too bad.
     
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Dec 8, 2006, 10:37 AM
 
Have you looked into used Powermacs


They hold their value for a reason, I am sure you could find something that would accomadate your lower power needs and will be quite a bit cheaper then the current line.

At least if I had to replace my Power Mac thats what i would do.

Find a nice quad G5 or something like that

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Dec 8, 2006, 11:29 AM
 
Purely for reference; got fed up waiting, bought a MacBook Pro just after the C2D versions were released, and am keeping the PC around as a power system.
     
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Dec 8, 2006, 08:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacKeyser View Post
CharlesS, I think it is safe to say that Mac desktop sales are down because the core Apple markets have been waiting for the Mac Pro. Once numbers which reflect how many Mac Pros were shipped this quarter are revealed, I am sure we'll see that Apple saw a pretty hefty increase.
Unfortunately, but completely expectedly, Mac Pro sales aren't hot at all (it's too bad because I really like mine). Photoshoppers are waiting for CS3 and few other people need a real workstation. I wouldn't be surprised if Q4 results show a further drop in desktop sales (in line with the Q3). They *need* a decent headless Mac (mini/MacBook "video cards" are a complete travesty but that's another issue). But hey, we're getting three new iFreakingPods next year so that's just as good!
     
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Dec 8, 2006, 08:23 PM
 
Quick follow-up to my previous post a few posts up. I'm a web producer/programmer looking to get into video editing and would like to use this as justification to finally switch over to Mac. As I said earlier, I'd only do so if they had a prosumer expandable tower priced below $2k. If I'm determined to use a Mac, what do you think makes the best sense for me to purchase in the mean time? I'm in need of a new system ASAP since I sold my previous one and am currently using my girlfriend's laptop. I thought about possibly getting a mini just to feel my way around the Mac OS and get into the whole iLife/FCP setup, knowing that I'd want to upgrade the machine whenever possible. Do you think a mini is even capable of giving me an honest look at the Mac OS and video editing on a Mac? If so, I'd eventually give the mini to my girlfriend as a replacement for her laptop (which she'd love). I'm just having a really hard time justifying even a mini when a super fast Dell machine is a comparable price.
     
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Dec 8, 2006, 08:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by shane View Post
Quick follow-up to my previous post a few posts up. I'm a web producer/programmer looking to get into video editing and would like to use this as justification to finally switch over to Mac. As I said earlier, I'd only do so if they had a prosumer expandable tower priced below $2k. If I'm determined to use a Mac, what do you think makes the best sense for me to purchase in the mean time? I'm in need of a new system ASAP since I sold my previous one and am currently using my girlfriend's laptop. I thought about possibly getting a mini just to feel my way around the Mac OS and get into the whole iLife/FCP setup, knowing that I'd want to upgrade the machine whenever possible. Do you think a mini is even capable of giving me an honest look at the Mac OS and video editing on a Mac? If so, I'd eventually give the mini to my girlfriend as a replacement for her laptop (which she'd love). I'm just having a really hard time justifying even a mini when a super fast Dell machine is a comparable price.
A mini or an iMac with maxed out RAM is fine for running the OS and non-pro video editing (with an external drive for the mini).

The refurb store (click on Special Deals at the Apple Store) has Mac Pros for about 20% off list price; selection varies constantly.
     
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Dec 8, 2006, 10:12 PM
 
Your precious xmac isn't going to happen.
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Dec 11, 2006, 01:12 AM
 
Perhaps what Apple has to do is sell a dumbed down version of the current MacPros.

We really do need some more pricing options below the current top-of-the-line system.

And for those who suggest that we look into the used market for older towers... this is feasible unless you value the idea of having a warranty. Which most of these used machines do not come with, unless of course you buy it from a authorized dealer.

At this point, as good as the current line up is, there still is a gaping hole in the offerrings.





/end rant.
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Dec 11, 2006, 09:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by shabbasuraj View Post
And for those who suggest that we look into the used market for older towers... this is feasible unless you value the idea of having a warranty.
Or you want Intel.
     
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Dec 11, 2006, 10:07 AM
 
Sorry guys, Captain Obvious, among others, is right. If it's worth arguing this long about this, it must be important to you, but it isn't to apple. It's not gonna happen.

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Dec 11, 2006, 12:05 PM
 
shane: ask yourself why you need expandability. Storage? There are thousands of external HDs with USB 2.0 at good prices. Firewire, Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi, decent audio are all included. Do you need SCSI or SAS? Please excuse me for being blunt, but I know a lot of people who require expandability as a security blanket rather than for any real current need. Futureproofing is always nice, but will you really use it?

shabbasuraj: It would be very easy to sell a model with cheaper Xeons, or only one Xeon, as a CTO down to about $1600. I do not know why Apple doesn't do that, but the price of the low-end Powermac/Mac Pro has slowly crept upwards, followed by the top iMac. I don't know, but when comparing an expandable Powermac without a display with the non-expandable iMac with a display, most people pick the iMac.
     
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Dec 11, 2006, 04:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
ask yourself why you need expandability.
How about: I already got a 30'' LCD and I want a decent video card that can be upgraded a year or two down the line?
     
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Dec 12, 2006, 01:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
shane: ask yourself why you need expandability.

My requirement for expandability is the need to power more than 1 display. (ideally 4 would be nice)

As a pro-sumer/amateur photographer (as a hobby) the plunge in LCD prices (i.e., 20" wide is SOOO cheap), is making me want to utilize such advantages. Processing power is not all that important, because users such as myself try to do as little photochopping as possible. But having the ability to edit and enjoy photos on a larger scale is a 'nice treat'

As an academic, the increased display areas are a welcome when viewing multiple files, documents, pdfs, and seem to reduce fatigue when working in such a computer environment for hours on end.

And oh yeah expandable storage that is redundant (on site, RAID 1) is a nice feature to have IN ADDITION to external backups.




...and oh yeah.. Apple will most likely not do much to address this hole in the lineup, aside from introducing new versions that are superior to the current machines, which would inturn nomally reduce the current prices. I guess this is good to in the long run, aside from the fact that we just have to wait around a bit.
( Last edited by shabbasuraj; Dec 12, 2006 at 02:41 AM. )
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Dec 12, 2006, 11:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by shabbasuraj View Post
My requirement for expandability is the need to power more than 1 display. (ideally 4 would be nice)

As a pro-sumer/amateur photographer (as a hobby) the plunge in LCD prices (i.e., 20" wide is SOOO cheap), is making me want to utilize such advantages. Processing power is not all that important, because users such as myself try to do as little photochopping as possible. But having the ability to edit and enjoy photos on a larger scale is a 'nice treat'

As an academic, the increased display areas are a welcome when viewing multiple files, documents, pdfs, and seem to reduce fatigue when working in such a computer environment for hours on end.

And oh yeah expandable storage that is redundant (on site, RAID 1) is a nice feature to have IN ADDITION to external backups.




...and oh yeah.. Apple will most likely not do much to address this hole in the lineup, aside from introducing new versions that are superior to the current machines, which would inturn nomally reduce the current prices. I guess this is good to in the long run, aside from the fact that we just have to wait around a bit.
You can get a 24" iMac and hook up another 24" external screen, and that is a TON of screen space. I'd say 4 displays is definitely a 'pro' feature.
     
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Dec 12, 2006, 03:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Gossamer View Post
You can get a 24" iMac and hook up another 24" external screen, and that is a TON of screen space. I'd say 4 displays is definitely a 'pro' feature.
LOL...4 is probably overkill..true.

But only possible with a tower.

An imac with another screen is just not as elegant as a solution aesthetically. IMHO.

Come on Apple, we just want OPTIONS!
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Dec 13, 2006, 10:29 AM
 
Rebel. Build your own.
     
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Dec 13, 2006, 09:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Gossamer View Post
Rebel. Build your own.
I already did, I built a 4 panel 20" wide command centre with 4 BenqFP202W's.

Pics soon.
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Dec 14, 2006, 10:40 AM
 
I was talking about the Mac.
     
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Dec 14, 2006, 05:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Gossamer View Post
I was talking about the Mac.
ok tomorrow.
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