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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 7)
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Sep 6, 2006, 01:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS
You can add a few things via USB, but they're limited. Plus, too many USB devices and there goes all your bandwidth. Good luck adding something like 802.11n in the future, too - it's faster than USB 2.0 is.
Effective bandwidth of 802.11n is not over 240 Mbps - more like 150 Mbps. That the total theoretcial bandwidth is higher is irrelevant - only the actual data needs to be sent over USB, the control data can stay in the plug. Further, 150 Mbps is the total for the entire network, not for any one computer.

PC milestone--notebooks outsell desktops | CNET News.com

Sorry about not quoting that, I thought that it was common knowledge that laptops outsold desktops these days.
     
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Sep 6, 2006, 03:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by P
Sorry about not quoting that, I thought that it was common knowledge that laptops outsold desktops these days.
In the US. Worldwide, desktops sell quite a few more.

Either way, the desktop market is still huge. But I'm not so sure that desktop machines that don't cater to the particular strength of a desktop, which is expandability, are going to still be relevant in the coming years, outside of their particular niches.

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Sep 6, 2006, 04:09 PM
 
If anything I think the new iMacs have just made a HEM less likely.

The iMacs prices have been slightly reduced and the high end iMacs really close in on the pro features.

Judging by the 24" HD TFT, 2.33GHz Merom and 256MB 7600GT options, Steve really loves the iMac.
     
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Sep 6, 2006, 04:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS
In the US. Worldwide, desktops sell quite a few more.

Either way, the desktop market is still huge. But I'm not so sure that desktop machines that don't cater to the particular strength of a desktop, which is expandability, are going to still be relevant in the coming years, outside of their particular niches.
I'm not convinced that the majority of users are upgrading their desktop machines. I think most people are buying at CompUSA and BestBuy, and when the computer breaks down, they go buy another one, (or they take it in to get it serviced.)
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Sep 6, 2006, 04:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
The iMacs prices have been slightly reduced and the high end iMacs really close in on the pro features.
Except they're non-upgradable and they have built-in monitors, which many of us don't need. Therefore, they aren't really a substitute for "pro" anything.
     
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Sep 6, 2006, 04:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by ClockNova
Except they're non-upgradable and they have built-in monitors, which many of us don't need. Therefore, they aren't really a substitute for "pro" anything.
The "pro anything" is the Mac Pro. There's no substitute for that. If you don't wanna believe me, ask Steve.
     
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Sep 6, 2006, 04:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by SirCastor
I'm not convinced that the majority of users are upgrading their desktop machines.
Actually, it's been shown that a majority of all computer buyers hardly ever opens their boxes. And most of them switch the screen when they switch the computer. Hardly anybody keeps their screen and just swaps the computer.

That's the real market.

Geeks like us are a minority. Vocal maybe, but small.
     
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Sep 6, 2006, 04:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
If anything I think the new iMacs have just made a HEM less likely.

The iMacs prices have been slightly reduced and the high end iMacs really close in on the pro features.

Judging by the 24" HD TFT, 2.33GHz Merom and 256MB 7600GT options, Steve really loves the iMac.
While I don't _like_ it, I have to agree. I think the 24" iMac is Apple's answer to the gap between the 20" iMac and the Mac Pro, and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon.

Still, hoping we'll see a single processor Mac Pro, or even a barebones Mac Pro (bring your own memory, HD, graphics, display, CPUs), but I do think today's announcement makes a headless equivalent to the iMac less likely.
     
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Sep 6, 2006, 06:58 PM
 
everytime the screeen gets bigger on imacs, i just cringe.. why put such a great 24 inch screen on a machine that will be dead to me in 3 years?

why?

it's insanity!! with that said, the 24 inch imac is a pretty serious piece of kit, and i really like that apple upped the min ram to 1 gig on most of them and lowered the price of a ram upgrade to something reasonable.

wow 24 inch monitor and dual core machine for 2k? go back in time maybe a year ago and this would have been the awesomest computer ever built.
     
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Sep 6, 2006, 10:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by zaghahzag
everytime the screeen gets bigger on imacs, i just cringe.. why put such a great 24 inch screen on a machine that will be dead to me in 3 years?

why?
Because you'll buy another in 3 years?
     
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Sep 6, 2006, 11:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Tuoder
Because you'll buy another in 3 years?
Yeah, my old iMac G3 (which was bumped off the product line a month after I bought it) lasted me five years — the screen failing was actually one of the biggest motivators to replace it, though the 1.1 GHz speed bump that accompanied the replacement was pretty sweet as well.
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Sep 7, 2006, 12:16 AM
 
yeah i dunno.. i tend to buy the highest end monitor/lcd i can afford and keep it for a long time. i've gone through 2 computers with my current LCD and 2 with my previous CRT.. i expect my next one (23 inch) will last for 10 years.

but i'll probably own 2-4 computers in that time. i'm just too cheap at heart to throw out a monitor that still works and is still quality.
     
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Sep 7, 2006, 01:17 AM
 
iMac=disposable computer concept is really way way too much wasteful in terms of money, technology and environment
     
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Sep 7, 2006, 04:38 AM
 
The screen is not such a biggy to Apple. I think you guys are overrating it's value. Here's the thing: If you look at the 24" iMac and the 23" ACD, you see that you're getting the entire 2.16 GHz Merom, 1 GB RAM , 250 GB HDD, SuperDrive, and all the other goodies for a mere $1k.

So if in three years you think this computer's obsolete, you'll be replacing a 1k computer and a 1k monitor. Not a bad deal if you ask me. I keep my screens for normally about three years and then I replace them with a technologically more advanced model. I'd be happy if the screens I'm replacing after 3 years would have only costed $1k.

If you guys are worried about the screen, just consider it a cheap add-on to a great Mac.
     
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Sep 7, 2006, 05:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
The screen is not such a biggy to Apple. I think you guys are overrating it's value. Here's the thing: If you look at the 24" iMac and the 23" ACD, you see that you're getting the entire 2.16 GHz Merom, 1 GB RAM , 250 GB HDD, SuperDrive, and all the other goodies for a mere $1k.

So if in three years you think this computer's obsolete, you'll be replacing a 1k computer and a 1k monitor. Not a bad deal if you ask me. I keep my screens for normally about three years and then I replace them with a technologically more advanced model. I'd be happy if the screens I'm replacing after 3 years would have only costed $1k.

If you guys are worried about the screen, just consider it a cheap add-on to a great Mac.
I still don't get this "Yeah, you're throwing away a perfectly good monitor, but at least it's cheap!" thing.

Now, have to admit, with prices of iMacs sliding downwards, the 20" model is looking more interesting, to replace my computer and 17" monitor, but upgradable graphics is still a requirement. Would probably also be more willing to consider it if they came with a DVI in, so I could use the iMac as a monitor for later computers.
     
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Sep 7, 2006, 06:11 AM
 
I keep monitors forever. I still have an IBM VGA monitor. It is only capable of 640x480. It hasn't even been that long since I used it.
     
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Sep 7, 2006, 08:46 AM
 
Don't forget that typical modern TFT screens utilise a backlight that has a rated lifetime of about 3 years of heavy use if I remember correctly. By the time you're buying a new iMac your screen will be effectively end of life as well...

Just looked up some MTBF for TFT backlights and some say 50.000hrs, which equals 5 years. Moost say 30.000 though.
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Sep 7, 2006, 12:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
In the Apple world, they are "pro" features in the sense that only the pro Macs offer them. If Apple introduces such features in inexpensive Macs it will increase downsale. That means less profits. And the stock holders don't want that. If Apple increases the price in an effort to balance the downsale effect, we have the Cube failure. Stock holders don't want that either.
Here's the real deal: If you want a HEM, please prove that every $ lost to downsale can be compensated by increased revenue due to additional switchers. Chance are you can't. Obviously Apple's market research people couldn't either. Once they can, we'll see a HEM. Not before.

OK, I have to call BS on this.

You have been hitting us over the head with authoritative terms like "stock holder" this and "increasing downsale" that, and "cannibalizing margins", etc . And throwing out statements like "People buy Macs for other reasons and with other considerations in mind than PCs. Apple knows that. You obviously don't" and "Why should Steve do something that reduces profit?" is if these were facts, implying that you have some insider knowledge.

Are you on Apple's board? Are you privy to certain managerial accounting reports? Sales projections or cost studies?

In other words, can you back any of this up?

The truth is none of us has any idea what Apple's real decision factors are. Simply looking at the current product line-up is insufficient to claim knowledge of the company's internal reasoning for choosing one path over another. You can couch your statements in authoritative language but like this whole thread it's pure conjecture.

Maybe Apple only has so much money and staff that developing one more device is beyond them - nothing to do with the market or profit margins at all.

While marketing projections have influence, in the end it's a human decision. It could simply be that the iMac is Steve's pet and in order to push it he's willing to eat potential profit on a broader line.

Now my guess is the reason we won't see a computer like this is due to Planned Obsolesce. Macs already have a longer usable life than PCs, having a low end machine that you can nurse along even longer with cards and other upgrades lengthens the replacement cycle.
( Last edited by Gavin; Sep 7, 2006 at 01:12 PM. )
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Sep 7, 2006, 12:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
If anything I think the new iMacs have just made a HEM less likely.
The iMacs prices have been slightly reduced and the high end iMacs really close in on the pro features.
Judging by the 24" HD TFT, 2.33GHz Merom and 256MB 7600GT options, Steve really loves the iMac.
I agree with you 100% here.
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Sep 7, 2006, 01:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by mousehouse
Don't forget that typical modern TFT screens utilise a backlight that has a rated lifetime of about 3 years of heavy use if I remember correctly. By the time you're buying a new iMac your screen will be effectively end of life as well...

Just looked up some MTBF for TFT backlights and some say 50.000hrs, which equals 5 years. Moost say 30.000 though.
50,000 hours = 5 years ????

Good grief at 40 hours a week for 52 weeks you are only at 2080 hours.

Or 24 x 7 x 52 is 8736. So even with 24x7 usage 50,000 hours is over 5 and 1/2 years.
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Sep 7, 2006, 02:16 PM
 
I had noticed that while I often didn't upgrade my screen and computer at the same time, I upgraded my screen as often as my computer. So, a couple years ago I just bit the bullet and got the 20" iMac.

Now, later on I did drool over 24" screens, but they just never were cheap enough to fit my budget until maybe in the last six months.

However, cheap enough for mainstream means cheap enough for the iMac... and yesterday I pulled the trigger on the new prosumer Mac, the 24" iMac.
     
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Sep 7, 2006, 02:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by G5power
50,000 hours = 5 years ????

Good grief at 40 hours a week for 52 weeks you are only at 2080 hours.

Or 24 x 7 x 52 is 8736. So even with 24x7 usage 50,000 hours is over 5 and 1/2 years.
That's basically my use on my powerbook, so a 30,000 hour life (as some of the displays are quoted) would mean the LCD on my powerbook is approaching its MTBF.

But that's getting off track; the whole iMac screen thing is almost a silly discussion. There are a lot of people out there who equate the monitor with the computer. We moved my girlfriend's grandma from a gateway to a mac mini but kept her perfectly good CRT monitor.

What'd she have to say about it? "Where's the new computer, it looks the same to me"

For every one of us sitting here discussing this stuff on the message boards, there are probably 10 grandmas, parents, friends, etc who just want the damn thing to work.

The iMac isn't really an alternative to the HEM, they're vastly different machines. The problem with the HEM as I see it is that it isn't a Mac - its a PC that runs OS X. And as much as I'd love to see it, I just don't see where it fits into Apple's lineup. The good news is that Rev B pricing almost always drops, hopefully we'll see a $1700 2.0 with a $200 video upgrade option. Maybe a lineup that includes 2 Quad (2.6 and 3.0) and 2 8-Core (3.0 3.3?) machines from $1700-$3200 once the cloverdales are out.

Dare to dream.

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Sep 7, 2006, 02:57 PM
 
Look what I came across today on Engadget:

the story:
A new Apple Cube on the horizon? - Engadget
and
Unwired View / Apple Cube reborn

the patent application:
United States Patent Application: 0060198112
     
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Sep 7, 2006, 03:27 PM
 
lol how funny would that be since all you suckers keep saying they'll never bring back the cube. I love my cube and i'd buy another one in a heartbeat. I hope this is true!

i actually think it would make a lot of sense. The original cube was one of the masterpieces of industrial design from the outside and inside. It's only flaw was that the video card was a bit too small - a flaw which could be fixed with a 9 inch square case instead of 8. Please apple, bring back the cube!! Make simon eat his cube-hating words!!

He's an anti-cubite!
     
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Sep 7, 2006, 03:38 PM
 
The Mac mini is the Cube.

I don't think we'll see a true Cube Redux either, and I don't think I'm biased as I'm typing on a Cube right now.
     
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Sep 7, 2006, 03:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by zaghahzag
lol how funny would that be since all you suckers keep saying they'll never bring back the cube. I love my cube and i'd buy another one in a heartbeat. I hope this is true!

i actually think it would make a lot of sense. The original cube was one of the masterpieces of industrial design from the outside and inside. It's only flaw was that the video card was a bit too small - a flaw which could be fixed with a 9 inch square case instead of 8. Please apple, bring back the cube!! Make simon eat his cube-hating words!!

He's an anti-cubite!
The Cube was awesome, but I seem to recall there being a reason Apple stopped making it…
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Sep 7, 2006, 04:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS
In the US. Worldwide, desktops sell quite a few more.
In the US, true. In Western Europe, 2006 is expected to be more than 50% laptops (which of coruse remains to be seen - and I'll see if I can find that quote again, but I think it was in an offline magazine). I can't find any recent figure for the Japanese market, but it was 40% back in 97:

The Business of Portable Computing

Apple's marketshare outside of those markets is miniscule, but I really think it's your turn to show some quotes. You say that the worldwide desktop market is significantly bigger than the laptop market. OK, spill: where is your source for that?
     
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Sep 7, 2006, 05:46 PM
 
i wonder if desktops would recover if they weren't so fracking ugly. The beige box is a monstrosity. And most cpu vendors seem unable to get around it.
     
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Sep 7, 2006, 05:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by zaghahzag
i wonder if desktops would recover if they weren't so fracking ugly. The beige box is a monstrosity. And most cpu vendors seem unable to get around it.
Apple's desktops are very attractive, but their laptops are kicking the desktop's asses as well.
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Sep 7, 2006, 08:10 PM
 
apple doesn't sell a desktop computer. they sell pro workstations and email appliances.. (see above discussion.)

     
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Sep 7, 2006, 08:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
The Cube was awesome, but I seem to recall there being a reason Apple stopped making it…
It bombed, because it was non-expandable, and for pretty much the same price you could get an expandable computer. If you didn't need expansion, the Cube was a nicer computer. But no one bought it.

But of course, no one cares about expansion in the desktop market...

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Sep 7, 2006, 09:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS
But of course, no one cares about expansion in the desktop market...
The great majority of users? Yeah... pretty much.
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Sep 7, 2006, 09:51 PM
 
Right, that's why the Cube sold so well, and why so many people bought it instead of the expandable Power Mac G4.

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Sep 7, 2006, 09:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS
Right, that's why the Cube sold so well, and why so many people bought it instead of the expandable Power Mac G4.
That might be valid for the Mac userbase 5 years ago, but approaching the subject at hand, we're looking at the whole of the computer using market, not a handful of Mac Geeks.
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Sep 7, 2006, 10:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by SirCastor
That might be valid for the Mac userbase 5 years ago, but approaching the subject at hand, we're looking at the whole of the computer using market
...most of whom buy expandable towers if they're getting a desktop...

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Sep 7, 2006, 10:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS
...most of whom buy expandable towers if they're getting a desktop...
Most of them who buy a machine from a retailer and have little-to-no interest in adding hardware to their computer, and even less interest in doing it themselves. They don't buy the machine because it's expandable, they buy it because it's there.

Most computer users, look at only a few things: Processor speed, hard drive space, and price tag.
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Sep 8, 2006, 04:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Gavin
The truth is none of us has any idea what Apple's real decision factors are.
Gavin, I agree with you.

But exactly because we don't have deep inside knowledge here, I object to this attitude that there's some kind of "Steve conspiracy" that makes Apple only want to sell stuff nobody allegedly wants to buy and that Steve gets a kick out of not catering the gamer market, etc. That's nonsense. I believe there is no such conspiracy. I believe Apple is a business and does what it does for one sole reason: profit. I believe stock holders want Apple to behave that way and as a (small) stock holder I agree. I believe in order to guess future Apple products we need to ask ourselves what Apple expects will generate most profit rather than ask what we as geeks would like. That's all.
     
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Sep 8, 2006, 04:17 AM
 
Does anybody else here think the MXM GPU in the iMac might be another sign that there won't be a HEM anytime soon?
     
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Sep 8, 2006, 04:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
But exactly because we don't have deep inside knowledge here, I object to this attitude that there's some kind of "Steve conspiracy" that makes Apple only want to sell stuff nobody allegedly wants to buy and that Steve gets a kick out of not catering the gamer market, etc. That's nonsense. I believe there is no such conspiracy. I believe Apple is a business and does what it does for one sole reason: profit. I believe stock holders want Apple to behave that way and as a (small) stock holder I agree. I believe in order to guess future Apple products we need to ask ourselves what Apple expects will generate most profit rather than ask what we as geeks would like. That's all.
Who said anything about a conspiracy? I've just said that it's a bad business decision not to sell the machines that users want. That's all.

Originally Posted by Simon
Does anybody else here think the MXM GPU in the iMac might be another sign that there won't be a HEM anytime soon?
Whoa, is the new iMac's graphics card actually upgradable? That would be a good sign, in my estimation.

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Sep 8, 2006, 05:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS
Who said anything about a conspiracy? I've just said
It's not all about you, ya know.

that it's a bad business decision not to sell the machines that users want. That's all.
Well you're just claiming you know 'what users want'. Of course Apple actually *does* a ton of market research to find that out while you just write whatever from your armchair, so I think I'll give them the benefit of the doubt here.

Apart from that, what incentive would Apple have to not make guaranteed profits? None. So it's rather likely those 'guaranteed' profits are all but certain. They're likely connected to a large risk. One Apple obviously doesn't want to take (yet).

Whoa, is the new iMac's graphics card actually upgradable? That would be a good sign, in my estimation.
It looks as if there might be ways to upgrade the iMac's GPU in the future. That might make some people believe that the iMac's attached screen will retain its value for a longer period of time. I think it's a good thing. Although I would have liked to see Apple's HEM implementation, I think the introduction of the 24" iMac with all its goodies just screams 'there will be no HEM'.
     
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Sep 8, 2006, 08:38 AM
 
Simon, give us at a least a hint of those legendary market researches. I've never seen Apple market research data and I would like to take a look at.
     
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Sep 8, 2006, 08:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
Does anybody else here think the MXM GPU in the iMac might be another sign that there won't be a HEM anytime soon?
Tell you what, it's a sign I'm buying one. See ya guys, been nice arguing with you!

Seriously though, if I can clear enough space for a 24" iMac on my desk, and there's strong signs we'll see new graphics cards released for them, this is close enough to what I want, to be worth it. Particularly given how cheap it is, compared to buying a 24" screen and a seperate computer (which makes me a lot less reluctant to have to get rid of my 17").
     
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Sep 8, 2006, 09:07 AM
 
Just a note by an old timer Mac addict since 1984: have you ever considered that it's been a long time ago when our friend Mr. Job has decided, correctly, as it was proved by results, that the gadgets - toys market is far more lucrative than the workstations market?
Somebody suggested that the latest robust iMac upgrade and the nice new GPU indicate that the latter are 'Job's pets'. True enough, like the iPods and the new Cube, if it should be coming. Very lucrative pets indeed.
Let's hope that the PowerMacs are not discontinued soon, I would be very happy with that only, and ready to forget about the mid price machine.
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Sep 8, 2006, 10:55 AM
 
The Power Macs have already been discontinued.
     
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Sep 8, 2006, 11:26 AM
 
This looks interesting!

An updated Cube ~
     
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Sep 8, 2006, 11:57 AM
 
YES YES!!! I hope something comes of this!
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 8, 2006, 01:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by rnicoll
Tell you what, it's a sign I'm buying one. See ya guys, been nice arguing with you!

Seriously though, if I can clear enough space for a 24" iMac on my desk, and there's strong signs we'll see new graphics cards released for them, this is close enough to what I want, to be worth it. Particularly given how cheap it is, compared to buying a 24" screen and a seperate computer (which makes me a lot less reluctant to have to get rid of my 17").
Bear in mind that there's a difference between it being technically possible to replace a video card and Apple actually releasing replacement video cards for the iMac.
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Sep 8, 2006, 02:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
Well you're just claiming you know 'what users want'. Of course Apple actually *does* a ton of market research to find that out while you just write whatever from your armchair, so I think I'll give them the benefit of the doubt here.
And Apple has a tiny percentage of the market.

Apart from that, what incentive would Apple have to not make guaranteed profits? None. So it's rather likely those 'guaranteed' profits are all but certain. They're likely connected to a large risk. One Apple obviously doesn't want to take (yet).
Well, this is stupid. Nothing is "guaranteed". The iMac wasn't, the Mac mini wasn't, the iPod wasn't, OS X sure wasn't, and the original Mac sure as hell wasn't. Everything involves risk, and if you never want to take any risks, you'll never end up doing anything.

The second assumption you make is that Apple is infallible, and that their "market research" which we've never seen must be completely flawless. News flash: Apple is run by humans just like every other company. They make mistakes. Sometimes they make really big ones (see: puck mouse, Cube). And apparently this "market research" isn't doing that well right now in the desktop area, since desktop sales are down although laptop sales are up. Apple can be remarkably out of touch with what their customers want sometimes; fortunately, they've been doing a lot of "they'd never do that!" sort of things lately - iTunes for Windows, the Mac mini, the Intel switch, Boot Camp - hell just keeps freezing over. Most of the obstacles that would traditionally stop a PC user from switching have been removed, the only remaining one being the lack of an expandable mid-range desktop machine. I'm actually kind of optimistic that we'll probably see something sooner or later, because Steve has got to be able to notice this quite obvious fact.

The fact that there's a huge market for previous-generation Mac towers on eBay caused by people looking for a less expensive tower shows that something is wrong with Apple's current "market research."

It looks as if there might be ways to upgrade the iMac's GPU in the future. That might make some people believe that the iMac's attached screen will retain its value for a longer period of time. I think it's a good thing. Although I would have liked to see Apple's HEM implementation, I think the introduction of the 24" iMac with all its goodies just screams 'there will be no HEM'.
Or perhaps they're just trying to make the iMac a better value so that it will be able to compete well against the HEM when it's released, thus allaying the fears of the anti-minitower guys that it would "kill iMac sales."

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
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Sep 8, 2006, 02:14 PM
 
You don't have to buy the video card from Apple anymore than you have to buy the CPU or RAM or HD from Apple.
Main Computer and EyeTV 200 DVR: Mac Mini Core Duo 1.66Ghz 2GB Ram 160GB HD.
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Sep 9, 2006, 08:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by ndptal85
You don't have to buy the video card from Apple anymore than you have to buy the CPU or RAM or HD from Apple.
Are you sure? I thought the graphics cards depended on the firmware (which is very different between Apple hardware, and your average PC)...
     
 
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