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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 2)
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Aug 12, 2006, 12:42 PM
 
The Cube was NOT a "middle of the product line" system. It was an elegant PowerMac... Period. It was MORE expensive than the low end PowerMac of the time.

What I want (and I think I'm not alone) is a "headless iMac" with SOME expandability (2nd HD and dual video out). It does NOT need to be either tiny or ultra elegant... A white mini-tower would be great!. I don't think that's asking too much.

Why the Cube failed:

The 450MHz Cube was $1799, yet you could purchase a 400 MHz PowerMac (which actually benchmarked faster than the cube) for $1599. The PowerMac also had more expansion slots which were still important back in 2000 (SCSI devices were still in abundance).

Looking at the more expensive Cube (500 MHz G4) which retailed for $2299, it was a joke when compared to the dual-processor 450 MHz PowerMac which was only $200 more.

Other strikes against the cube:
- The critics went on and on about how the video card wasn't full sized
- There was a big "to do" about no audio in.

I was SO on the fence when I purchased back then... but ended up going for the power of the tower over the elegance (and the tower wasn't ugly, so that was another strike against the cube).

The cube was amazing... they just screwed up the pricing structure...
     
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Aug 12, 2006, 02:56 PM
 
Size should be an option. I'd prefer a Mac that:

Would be easy to carry along for LAN parties.

+ Would fit nicely in an instrument rack for live music.

+ Had a GPU expansion option
-----------------------------------------------------
Total: No Match

I'm easy to profile, I've got a Shuttle PC for games and I own a Cube as well. SFF FTW!!!
All my expansion needs, except GPU, can be handled through external devices.

IMHO, it would be nice and clean to have Mac Pro Size as a BTO option. Small, medium, large.

The iMacs do that and the Macbook Pros too.
( Last edited by Judge_Fire; Aug 12, 2006 at 04:25 PM. )
     
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Aug 13, 2006, 12:52 AM
 
Not having any way for users to upgrade the GPU has to be harming Apple. Even the cheap brand-name PCs that use "integrated graphics" also have a PCI Express slot available for a separate GPU card.

As a maxed-out top of the line first gen flat panel iMac user, this GPU issue is the major factor that makes me leery about Mactel as a value proposition. For some reason Apple seems to have a fetish for skimping on the built-in GPU which, obviously, you're stuck with for the life of the machine.
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Aug 13, 2006, 02:23 AM
 
I think if you keep the price range below the Mac Pro stating configuration price, you could have a seller. This is what I would consider reasonable.

Core 2 Duo (Conroe) 1.83 GHz
1gig DDR2 667 FB-DIMM RAM
120 gig HD SATA 3 gb/s
GeFore 7300GT or ATI x1300
Combo Drive
Sound Blaster Audigy 2
6 USB 2 front, 4 back
2 FW 400, one front/back
1 FW 800 back
AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth included.

I think you could put the starting price between $1299-1699 US.

BTO options

up to 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo (Conroe)
up to 4 gigs RAM
up to 1.5 TB HD storage
up to GeForce 7950 GX2 or Radeon X1900XT
SuperDrive w/ option for second Combo or SuperDrive
Audigy 4, or X Fi audio card with digital optical out.

That would be $3000+ US with all top options but try and make it customizable for the prosumer and perhaps get the mid range gaming market.
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Aug 13, 2006, 09:10 AM
 
Canadian thinks the same way. Yesterday morning I posted the specs of "a Mac I wish Apple would make" on a Canadaian Mac site. Here's the link. http://www.ehmac.ca/showthread.php?t=43430
This morning I came over to Macnn to post the same thoughts and found this thread. For those who are too lazy open it - basically my justification for wanting a headless prosumer machine is that the iMac is not nearly expandable enough, and I don't need another monitor, I have a wide screen 20".

Steve
( Last edited by ssegaric; Aug 13, 2006 at 09:29 AM. )
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Aug 13, 2006, 10:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by G5man
1gig DDR2 667 FB-DIMM RAM
With 2-4 RAM slots, there is very little reason to go to FB-DIMMs. Plus none of the most appropriate chipsets support it anyway. The middle destkop Mac would/should stick with "regular" DDR2.
     
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Aug 13, 2006, 11:13 AM
 
G5 Man

I'm not aware of OS X drivers for the sound cards referenced above. Most people are find with built in Audio. Lets remember that we're talking about Apple and not Dellienware [saw the term used in another forum, very funny name for the new Dell and Alienware merger]. True audio pros will not be buying SoundBlaster in any case.
     
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Aug 13, 2006, 10:14 PM
 
Well if this is meant for prosumer then why would you run sound cards? Do you realize that this is for the prosumer and not the pro market we are talking. You would have to partner up with someone in order to do the drivers. Aren't sound cards supposed to have better quality?
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Aug 14, 2006, 01:19 AM
 
I think it makes sense from a marketing standpoint, to have a trimmed down Mac Pro, called the "Mac"..

The Mac Mini is a little less than a mini version of the Mac Pro. The iMac is still the "integratedMac". And the Mac Pro, by consensus, is the only box that offers the expandability that consumer computer enthusiasts would like, but to the extreme.

Hence, the Mac. It's completely marketable, but it would take a bit of a change in their selling patterns. After all, most consumers buying Mac's these days are taking the iMac or the MacBooks. If Apple was to see a market for the "Mac", would they be willing to lose some sales on the Mac Pro?

As for the form factor, I'm picturing a machine with the exact same aesthetics as the Mac Pro, with a shorter vertical. So it's kind of shuttle'ish with the feet and a sleeker design that might reside on top of someones desk instead of under it.
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 04:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by mBurns
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?
No, the Cube failed because of the initial price Apple offered it at. Additionally, the lack of expandability crosses it out as a true "Mac Pro mini".

Originally Posted by Simon
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.
Personally, I would just want a headless desktop, with some internal expandability. I would even go for a Core 2 Duo, if it had those features and was priced about right. Most other manufacturers have more variety in their product line-up, and yet they continue to sell all models well, so I don't see how this would be "charity" for Apple.

Instead, I see it as more of an opportunity for Apple, because I believe that a lot of potential Mac users are waiting for such a machine, and a lot of Mac mini or cheaper iMac users would rush at the chance to have a desktop like this as well.

Originally Posted by Simon
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..."
Agreed. It's like not giving it a first name (Mac being the family name, though usually put in front).

Originally Posted by ndptal85
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....
You're right, ndptal85. Actually, that may be what I'll end up doing at some point. And there's nothing wrong with that at all-- but wouldn't it be better for (current and potential) Mac users and Apple to have a current ready-to-sell Mac that fits these needs instead of relying on the used market, which can be frustratingly unpredictable for the user, out of the radar for many users, and makes Apple no money?

Originally Posted by wvx
We know it's not going to happen... can we have a little fun anyway???

Please?

Exactly. I don't understand this "It's not going to happen. You can't dream!" Attitude.

Besides, that's what most thought about the Mac mini (as has been stated in this thread already), or the Intel transition, just to name a few examples.

Originally Posted by iREZ
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.
Apart from what you mentioned, it's also a waste of money. If money weren't an object at all, then most of us wouldn't be discussing this and we'd all just get Mac Pros. But of course, it always is.

Also, part of the point of an integrated design is the small footprint. If you're really not interested in using the built-in display and instead want to opt for a larger or higher resolution one, for instance, then not only have you wasted your money on the built-in display, but you no longer have the benefit of a small footprint. And, of course, you're forced to give up the small form factor or buy a new unit if you want to upgrade your display.

Also, there is the issue of failure with all-in-one units. Although, most of the time, they don't fail, sometimes they do. I have an eMac which got it's CRT fried after an electrical issue in the neighborhood (even though I had it connected to a UPS).

The form factor makes no sense now, and I'm stuck with it thinking that it still has a working built-in display so I get annoyances like losing icons, windows and so forth, even though I sue an external display. After that experience, I decided not to get another all-in-one desktop again.

Originally Posted by mitchell_pgh
What I want (and I think I'm not alone) is a "headless iMac" with SOME expandability (2nd HD and dual video out). It does NOT need to be either tiny or ultra elegant... A white mini-tower would be great!. I don't think that's asking too much.
Hallelujah- I hear 'ya!

That's basically what I'm looking for as well. Upgradable video card and another available full-size PCI-e slot, two internal 3.5" HD bays and at least one internal, upgradable 5.25" optical drive. CPU speed doesn't worry me too much. As long as it's at least as fast as the iMac, that should do fine for me.

I wouldn't mind if the GPU was optional. Apple could even ship the Mac Pro mini with Intel Integrated graphics, but allow for users to turn it off and install an Apple or third-party graphics card.

My own version of the "Mac Pro mini":
  • 2 Ghz Core Duo (Conroe I suppose?) or better
  • 512 MB or 1 GB of built-in RAM
  • 160 GB Serial ATA hard drive
  • iMac graphics card or free slot (see paragraph above)
  • Standard SuperDrive (only one internal optical drive)
  • Standard BT & AP Extreme
  • One open 3.25 internal drive bay (in addition to HDD)
  • One open PCI-express card slot (in addition to the graphics card slot)

Price: $1,000 - $1,500
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 09:59 AM
 
I don't see why everyone is insisting that such a thing will cannibalize Mac Pro sales. I would imagine the bulk of people who would buy a lower-priced but expandable headless Mac are those who can't actually afford a Mac Pro. The market might include some people who could afford a Mac Pro but choose not to buy it, but I think they'd be made up for by folks who would otherwise buy either a mini or no Mac at all.
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 10:23 AM
 
Since a Intel tower is both overkill and out of my price range, I will most likely end up with a reburb or used duo core Powermac G5 in the 1500 USD range.

If available, I would prefer to buy a brand new, small form - on desk tower which could handle modern photo apps such as aperture, lightroom and Photoshop CS2 with ease and offer upgrade possiblities such as kickin video card, 4 gigs of memory and a 2nd hd.
All this for 1399 USD with tiger.
Somebody please get Apple to make this machine because they are going to sell a boatload of them. Look at all the posts here and everybody wants basically the same thing, a scaled down tower. I'm ready.

Intel 2ghz core duo chip
1 ghz frontside bus
4 memory slots
dual DVI out on video card in AGP slot
1 extra 3.5" SATA HD bay
1 optical drive slot for IDE internal DVD-+R
1-2 PCIe slots
4 USB2, 2 Firewire and 1 Firewire 800, Ethernet, Audio in and out
built-in BT and wifi
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Aug 14, 2006, 02:07 PM
 
Check out the new poll: would you buy a prosumer Mac. I asked them to defer posting thoughts or comments to this thread.

Cheers
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Aug 14, 2006, 02:38 PM
 
There are several uses for this type of box that have nothing to do with it being a desktop machine. MacPro is too damn big. The size of the mini is great but it doesn't quite cut it for the hardware I need.
My reason for wanting such a thing is to use it as a media server.
I need 2 cards: dual TV tuner, and HDTV out. I need 2 full sized drives not 1 laptop drive. And it should fit in my TV cabinet, so it needs to be smaller than a standard VCR. It should be quiet. It needs to have enough balls to concurrently drive my 50" plasma as well as stream to another TV in a bedroom, etc.

Essentially my living room computer. It's a tivo, TV tuner, DVD player, an itunes server, a movie jukebox, a video game console. It's a home network server, backup storage for my laptop, a web and fileserver. A giant Jetsons sytle video phone. My family can use it to sync thier calendars. A home security and X11 manager. It's not for photoshop or checking my email.

I should be able to control almost everything with a remote control. I should be able to get an optional bluetooth keyboard with a built-in trackpad. It needs IR on the front and several input ports for hooking in a camcorder, or a digital camera, flash drive, etc..

It could be stood up in a base vertically for use as a desktop computer, or rack mounted for portablility - great if you are a musician, DJ, light-show technician.

As a living room computer it doesn't canibalize anything and fits in nicely with all that digital lifestyle mumbo jumbo.
( Last edited by Gavin; Aug 14, 2006 at 02:48 PM. )
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Aug 14, 2006, 02:54 PM
 
That's kind of the problem. Even though it would be marketed as a 'living room' computer, it would by virtue of it's existence canibalize sales. Unless it was so specific of a machine that it couldn't do anything else, it would become, whether we like it or not, the prosumer tower that everyone wanted.

The elusive 'perfect Mac' has the problem of being perfect...
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Aug 14, 2006, 03:13 PM
 
Because steve doesn't want to go through this next keynote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0NbG...elated&search=

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Aug 14, 2006, 03:52 PM
 
As much as I would like to see one, it just isn't going to happen, the 899 price point is taken by the educational iMac, 799 by the mac mini, 1199-w/e the iMac, and the MacPro picks up from there, I just don't see room for it. And I really think it would flop like the cube, because even at 1499 you might as well get an iMac which comes w/ a display, why pay more for something that lacks a key feature for many.
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Aug 14, 2006, 04:18 PM
 
I really hate to bust the party, but has Apple ever had a prosumer Mac? I can't remember.
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 04:22 PM
 
SWG, why are you comparing this hypothetical Mac to the Cube? The Cube was more expensive than a tower G4 at the same clock speed, and less expandable. It was a high-end fashion piece that didn't make any sort of market sense.

Something less powerful and less expandable than the Mac Pro, but cheaper (and at the same time more expandable than an iMac or mini) has a place in Apple's lineup, especially since the cheapest tower now comes in at over 2 grand.
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 04:24 PM
 
But now it is a very hot Mac.
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 04:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by slugslugslug
SWG, why are you comparing this hypothetical Mac to the Cube? The Cube was more expensive than a tower G4 at the same clock speed, and less expandable. It was a high-end fashion piece that didn't make any sort of market sense.

Something less powerful and less expandable than the Mac Pro, but cheaper (and at the same time more expandable than an iMac or mini) has a place in Apple's lineup, especially since the cheapest tower now comes in at over 2 grand.
Because it will be seen as the same thing.

What exactly do you want this pretend computer to have and for how much?

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Aug 14, 2006, 04:46 PM
 
I want it to have a 1.83 core duo, and 1 gig of RAM and a 128 meg ATI graphics card.
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 06:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5
I want it to have a 1.83 core duo, and 1 gig of RAM and a 128 meg ATI graphics card.
So pretty much a mini with a video card or an iMac with no display.

I don't think there is a high demand for.

So in the end you don't want an iMac because you want to hook at 30" display to this device.

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Aug 14, 2006, 06:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Landos Mustache
Because it will be seen as the same thing.

What exactly do you want this pretend computer to have and for how much?
I haven't really put much thought into the specifics, because I don't intend to buy a desktop again for at least a year. OTOH, while I'm happy with my iMac G5 now, I don't like that with the later models, Apple has made upgrading the hard drive difficult again.

Anyway, I think a lot of people would go for a machine that had user-upgradeable video card, room for 2 hard drives, one dual-core CPU, and even as few as 2 PCI slots (in whatever incarnation is fashionable). Base prices could be $1200-1800 depending on CPU and bundled video card. And again, I think the folks who would go for such a thing are largely people who would not otherwise be buying higher margin Mac Pros. They'd be choosing the new Mac over lower-margin minis, similar-margin iMacs, or (no-margin for Apple) Windows PCs.

The folks here who are saying a prosumer Mac is a good idea are talking about a fundamentally different target market than the Cube, which really didn't have one.
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 06:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Landos Mustache
..So in the end you don't want an iMac because you want to hook at 30" display to this device.
Well, yes. Or 23" or 24". Or whatever. Is there something wrong with someone wanting that?
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 07:08 PM
 
I'd like to see Apple price the thing at the exact same price as the 17" and 20" iMac. Two versions with different clock speeds. This way the Apple gets it's margins and those of us who want the expanadability get it without spending more than 2 grand on a computer.

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Aug 14, 2006, 07:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by slugslugslug
Well, yes. Or 23" or 24". Or whatever. Is there something wrong with someone wanting that?
IMHO no. In Apple's opinion, yes. They'd rather sell you a MP and make more money.
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 07:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
IMHO no. In Apple's opinion, yes. They'd rather sell you a MP and make more money.
I know you could afford to get a MacBook and a MacBook Pro, Simon, but I imagine you understand that there are people who just plain won't be buying a Mac Pro because it's out of their price range. Apple would rather sell MPs to all the mini owners out there, but they know it's not gonna happen. I'm saying (again) that I think the people who would buy a more affordable expandable headless Mac instead of a mini or a Dell might make up for the ones who'd buy it instead of a Mac Pro. I could be wrong, but you and SWG seem to be ignoring that this is the scenario I'm talking about.
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 07:51 PM
 
nm.
( Last edited by Goldfinger; Aug 14, 2006 at 08:02 PM. )

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Aug 14, 2006, 07:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by slugslugslug
Well, yes. Or 23" or 24". Or whatever. Is there something wrong with someone wanting that?

Well I would like a tower with just one PCI slot, 16 memory slots and 2 hard drives. Not that I expect apple to come out with an product just like that to appease me.

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Aug 14, 2006, 07:57 PM
 
I would also like it to have one or two PCI slots, maybe as BTO, and an option of a higher graphics card.
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 08:11 PM
 
It's amazing how stubborn you nay-sayers are about there not being a chance for a "Mac Pro mini". It's not just that you don't think it'll come out, it's almost as if you don't want it to come out, and just don't want to hear it from the supporters of such a product.

If you're so set that there is no demand for this type of machine and that it would eat at Apple's margin, then the continuation of this thread merely suggests rather the opposite. There indeed is demand for a "Mac Pro mini" type machine within the $1,000 - $1,500 price range, and already many in this thread have made it clear that they won't be getting a Mac Pro in it's stead.

I fall into these two categories myself. I will not be getting a Mac Pro from Apple anytime soon, but I would gladly get "Mac Pro mini" at the proposed price range instead.

The Cube comparison is flawed, and if you don't see that then you're not seeing very clearly. The Cube was over-priced and not expandable enough. Also, the addition and success of the Mac mini should already point out that there are other realistic possibilities beyond Apple's current product matrix, and that they can be beneficial for both Apple and users.
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 08:47 PM
 
No doubt. A new model never hurts! I also most likely will not be getting a Mac Pro unless I win the lottery in the near future, but I would love a tower Mac in the iMac price range.
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 09:14 PM
 
So much energy is being spent talking about a product that Apple will never consider making.

Its simply not a smart move from a financial standpoint for the company. It will hurt the sales of the other products despite what the peanut gallery here is trying to convince each other of.

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Aug 14, 2006, 10:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Captain Obvious
So much energy is being spent talking about a product that Apple will never consider making.

Its simply not a smart move from a financial standpoint for the company. It will hurt the sales of the other products despite what the peanut gallery here is trying to convince each other of.
thank you captain obvious.

for the record, I have a cube. I'd love to buy a desktop that had an expandable video card. I don't care how well it benchmarks. 99.9999% of us will use those 4 procs in the new powermacs like .00001% of the time. It's just not worth it, when having 2 procs covers you that 5% of the time when one CPU is busy.

And I'll never buy a mini b/c of the tiny slow HD, and no video card. I'll never buy an imac because i refuse to buy a computer with a monitor built in. In 5 years when the box dies, does the screen go to the dumpster too? that just stinks.

And apple's pro box is just fricking expensive. Comparisons with PCs are annoying, but my 5 year old dell has 50x the expansion capability of all but the mac pros, and it cost 1300 bucks. Apple needs a "normal" tower with reasonably fast specs.
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 10:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Captain Obvious
So much energy is being spent talking about a product that Apple will never consider making.
And yet so much energy is bring spent trying to discourage even the thought and reasonable discussion of such a product. Why?

Originally Posted by Captain Obvious
Its simply not a smart move from a financial standpoint for the company. It will hurt the sales of the other products despite what the peanut gallery here is trying to convince each other of.
No matter how many times you say it and with what attitude or conviction, it does not deny the fact that indeed there are good reasons for Apple to offer such a line.
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 10:06 PM
 
Everyone always whines about the mythical headless iMac, but it's already existed and sold worse than cold poop. No, it wasn't the cube, it was the single processor G5 1.8ghz powermac.

Everyone complained how it had a crippled bus speed (600Mhz) and that for only a few hundred dollars more you could upgrade to the dual!

Sounds like what everyone is asking for again!

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Aug 14, 2006, 10:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by GSixZero
Everyone always whines about the mythical headless iMac, but it's already existed and sold worse than cold poop. No, it wasn't the cube, it was the single processor G5 1.8ghz powermac.

Everyone complained how it had a crippled bus speed (600Mhz) and that for only a few hundred dollars more you could upgrade to the dual!

Sounds like what everyone is asking for again!
i think the processor situation is different now. those Xeons cost a lot of money and offer only moderate speedup to normal users. A headless machine would be dual-core, which is still awesome without needing 4 cores.

There are only a handful of apps that get any real benefit from 4 cores over 2, and if you're not doing 500 meg photoshop files, or video work, even 2 is crazy fast.

and the new pro machines are way more pro than the previous incarnations. I don't need 4 drive bays. The last ones had 2? Which is a joke for a real workstation.
     
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Aug 14, 2006, 10:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by freakboy2
i think the processor situation is different now. those Xeons cost a lot of money and offer only moderate speedup to normal users. A headless machine would be dual-core, which is still awesome without needing 4 cores.

There are only a handful of apps that get any real benefit from 4 cores over 2, and if you're not doing 500 meg photoshop files, or video work, even 2 is crazy fast.

and the new pro machines are way more pro than the previous incarnations. I don't need 4 drive bays. The last ones had 2? Which is a joke for a real workstation.
But unless Apple made it so good it ate into the Mac Pro market, you'd still be able to upgrade to the way more powerful Mac Pro for only a little bit more, and it would still (rightly) look like a crap deal. Just like the low-end G5 did.
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Aug 14, 2006, 11:01 PM
 
Here's the only way it could ever happen:

KEY: Same price point as iMac (i.e. give consumers a choice - AIO or headless)

2.0GHz Intel Core Duo with 2MB shared L2 cache

512MB (single SO-DIMM) 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM ---> 4 slots

250GB Serial ATA hard drive ---> 2 more drive bays

Slot-load 8x double-layer SuperDrive ---> 1 more OD bay

ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 memory ---> Upgradeable

Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0

ADD: 3 PCIe slots

Those are the specs for the current 20" iMac with the added features of the "Headless iMac" in bold. I don't see why they couldn't offer a headless "iMac" with no display, 3 PCIe slots, upgradeable GPU, more RAM slots, and more drive bays for the same price as an iMac. The margin would even be better than the iMac I would think.

I can hear the marketing now: "You wanted expandability and performance. Now you have it. Introducing the new iMac SE. Instead of a built-in display, for the price of an iMac you can have the expandability of the Mac Pro. Upgradable graphics card? Check. More RAM slots? Check. Room for multiple harddrives? Check. PCI slots in an iMac? Check. Build yours today..."
     
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Aug 15, 2006, 12:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by Captain Obvious
So much energy is being spent talking about a product that Apple will never consider making.

Its simply not a smart move from a financial standpoint for the company. It will hurt the sales of the other products despite what the peanut gallery here is trying to convince each other of.

Thank you. And I own a cube that is still in heavy use today.

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Aug 15, 2006, 03:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by slugslugslug
I know you could afford to get a MacBook and a MacBook Pro, Simon
Umm sorry, but what the heck does that have to do with this discussion? It doesn't matter what I can afford. What matters is what Apple wants to sell and how they believe they can maximize their profits.

but I imagine you understand that there are people who just plain won't be buying a Mac Pro because it's out of their price range.
Of course. And they will either suck it up and get refurb G5, a mini, an iMac or buy from another company. Obviously Apple believes the sales lost to competition due to this are less than the cost of having a fourth desktop line.

Apple would rather sell MPs to all the mini owners out there, but they know it's not gonna happen.
Yeah, sometimes not and sometimes it will. Obviously Apple isn't worried so much about these lost sales. Obviously they are more worried with the cost overhead (and possibly dev effort) for a fourth desktop line.

I'm saying (again) that I think the people who would buy a more affordable expandable headless Mac instead of a mini or a Dell might make up for the ones who'd buy it instead of a Mac Pro.
You *say* that. And you can repeat that 40 times AFAIC. But you don't offer any proof (and no, 10 posters on this board does not count as anything) - it's all just "I wish this, I want that, and I know another guy that wants exactly the same". Yippee! Problem is, Apple says otherwise. And since they probably have done the market research and since it's them raking in the cash, I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I can't count how many times I've already said that I'm in favor of such a system and I've also mentioned that I'd probably buy a headless iMac immediately. But...

Just because I like an idea does not make it more likely for Apple to introduce such a system. Just because I think the idea is good, does not indicate Apple will release it sometime down the road. Just because I like a concept does not make it a to-do item on Apple's list. What some of you people fail to acknowledge is that Apple does not do what a couple of geeks dream of. They rather build fewer systems and maximize profits on those. You Mac geeks are the best evidence that this works. Which one of you will dump OS X because there's no headless iMac? Not one single one. Case closed.

That all said, Apple surprised us with the mini. They might as well do it again. And of course dreaming and spec'ing out dream machines is ok. But no matter how good your imaginary specs are, the product does not become more likely just because 50 people here think it's a nice concept.
     
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Aug 15, 2006, 03:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mrjinglesusa
Here's the only way it could ever happen:

KEY: Same price point as iMac (i.e. give consumers a choice - AIO or headless)

2.0GHz Intel Core Duo with 2MB shared L2 cache

512MB (single SO-DIMM) 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM ---> 4 slots

250GB Serial ATA hard drive ---> 2 more drive bays

Slot-load 8x double-layer SuperDrive ---> 1 more OD bay

ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 memory ---> Upgradeable

Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0

ADD: 3 PCIe slots
More like:

2.0GHz Intel Core Duo with 2MB shared L2 cache

512MB (single SO-DIMM) 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM ---> 4 slots

250GB Serial ATA hard drive ---> 1 more drive bay

Slot-load 8x double-layer SuperDrive

ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 memory ---> Upgradeable

Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0

ADD: 1 PCIe slot

That's something you might get if you want a headless iMac-type computer rather than a Mac Pro-type computer. And the extra hard drive bay and PCIe slot are if Apple is feeling generous. Does it sound good to you?
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Aug 15, 2006, 09:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
Umm sorry, but what the heck does that have to do with this discussion? It doesn't matter what I can afford. What matters is what Apple wants to sell and how they believe they can maximize their profits.
Sorry, I guess I thought you were one of the parade of folks who insisted that no one will buy a Mac Amateur if they can get a Mac Pro for a few hundred more, and I was responding to that argument by pointing by pointing out that a few hundred isn't chump change to lots of folks.

Of course. And they will either suck it up and get refurb G5, a mini, an iMac or buy from another company. Obviously Apple believes the sales lost to competition due to this are less than the cost of having a fourth desktop line.

Yeah, sometimes not and sometimes it will. Obviously Apple isn't worried so much about these lost sales. Obviously they are more worried with the cost overhead (and possibly dev effort) for a fourth desktop line.
Okay, now someone is putting forward a cohesive argument instead of just berating people with "Not Gonna Happen". I think it's plausible that a headless iMac is worth the cost, since two of the options you mentioned mean less profit for Apple, and the no-Mac option means less marketshare.

I'm saying (again) that I think the people who would buy a more affordable expandable headless Mac instead of a mini or a Dell might make up for the ones who'd buy it instead of a Mac Pro.
You *say* that. And you can repeat that 40 times AFAIC. But you don't offer any proof (and no, 10 posters on this board does not count as anything) - it's all just "I wish this, I want that, and I know another guy that wants exactly the same". Yippee! Problem is, Apple says otherwise. And since they probably have done the market research and since it's them raking in the cash, I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt.[/quote]

I know I'm not offering any proof, and I acknowledge (in the sentence following the one you quote) I could be wrong. But I imagine none of us here have done the market research and we're all working on hunches or anecdotal data at best, so the people who are putting so much bile into insisting they know such a machine would flop are puzzling. Anyway, thanks for mentioning the market-research angle, a point which I was about to bring up.

I can't count how many times I've already said that I'm in favor of such a system and I've also mentioned that I'd probably buy a headless iMac immediately. But...

Just because I like an idea does not make it more likely for Apple to introduce such a system. Just because I think the idea is good, does not indicate Apple will release it sometime down the road. Just because I like a concept does not make it a to-do item on Apple's list. What some of you people fail to acknowledge is that Apple does not do what a couple of geeks dream of. They rather build fewer systems and maximize profits on those. You Mac geeks are the best evidence that this works. Which one of you will dump OS X because there's no headless iMac? Not one single one. Case closed.
Well, the geekiest ones might dump Apple hardware and do the Hack That Shall Not Be Named. And some potential switchers might stay on the other side.

That all said, Apple surprised us with the mini. They might as well do it again. And of course dreaming and spec'ing out dream machines is ok. But no matter how good your imaginary specs are, the product does not become more likely just because 50 people here think it's a nice concept.
Again, thanks for at least acknowledging that head-in-the-clouds speculation doesn't hurt anything. It's actually just not sound for any of us to extrapolate market demand from personal observations, and we don't even know what research Apple's done lately, so it's not that useful to talk about the likelihood in any direction except to note that 1) Steve likes to keep the product lines simple and 2) Apple's selling plenty of what it's got out now.

Originally Posted by Captain Obvious
It will hurt the sales of the other products despite what the peanut gallery here is trying to convince each other of.
You only need to worry about hurting the sales of other products if they've got a way higher margin or you grossly overforecast their demand.
     
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Aug 15, 2006, 11:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
More like:

2.0GHz Intel Core Duo with 2MB shared L2 cache

512MB (single SO-DIMM) 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM ---> 4 slots

250GB Serial ATA hard drive ---> 1 more drive bay

Slot-load 8x double-layer SuperDrive

ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 memory ---> Upgradeable

Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0

ADD: 1 PCIe slot

That's something you might get if you want a headless iMac-type computer rather than a Mac Pro-type computer. And the extra hard drive bay and PCIe slot are if Apple is feeling generous. Does it sound good to you?
You really think taking out a couple PCI slots and drive bays will save Apple $500?

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Aug 15, 2006, 12:04 PM
 
You really think the price of Apple's machines is a function of the cost of the components?
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Aug 15, 2006, 12:12 PM
 
I sure don't. It would save the buyer maybe $100.
     
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Aug 15, 2006, 12:17 PM
 
if the cube had been 200-300$ less expensive it would have been a hit.

apple just needs to bring back a slightly larger cube. call it a headless imac or whatever you want. minis are just too dinky. people want a video card.

as for fitting it into the prices.. the core2duo costs like what? 300$ and the xeon is like 600? there's the price difference right there.
     
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Aug 15, 2006, 12:28 PM
 
The minis are great for the average consumers who want to use the internet, play a few games, and the like. I agree, the price difference between the Core 2 Duo and the Xeon would be enough to make the prosumer Mac cheaper.
     
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Aug 15, 2006, 12:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
Does it sound good to you?
Sure. My only point is that this "prosumer Mac tower", for it to ever become a reality, needs to be set at a price-point that is in the iMac range. Apple's margin will need to be the same as or better than the iMac. Essentially, it needs to be an upgradeable iMac with no display. I would think the added expandability would not cost more to Apple than the 17" and 20" LCDs built into the current iMacs.

Offer consumers the choice: a) AIO Mac with limited expandability (i.e. current iMac) or b) "headless" iMac with more expandability than the Mini but less than the Mac Pro.

I would bet current iMac buyers would be divided ~50:50 between the two.

Budget: Mini

Consumer: iMac

Prosumer: "headless" iMac

Pro: Mac Pro

There is no need for the Prosumer Mac to be "better" than the iMac. It just needs expandability.
     
 
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