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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Why bother with Apple's desktops (as opposed to their notebooks)?

Why bother with Apple's desktops (as opposed to their notebooks)?
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Feb 17, 2012, 04:40 AM
 
I'm considering a gift for parents and was going to buy a Notebook without much thought to a desktop (last used a desktop half a decade ago) and so I thought they might worth a revisit.

Thing is, when I think of desktops, I think cheap(er), configurable (upgrades) and modular (change a screen without having to change the tower).

The iMac removes all those things! Its neither cheap, not as configurable or modular (As say a Pro). So what is it exactly that got you to purchase one? And did you regret it or find something pleasantly surprising about it?

Similarly, the Mac mini can't be upgraded and is miniaturized. Why make something that's going to be in one place smaller?

Do you think either is worth purchasing as opposed to a Notebook+Display for primarily fixed location use? And which one would be better, Mac Mini or iMac? I'm looking more for a form factor functionality based answer (as in I know about the internals and they're sufficient in all cases)

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Feb 17, 2012, 05:18 AM
 
The primary reason the majority of people are buying laptops for home use is NOT because they want portability.

It's because "PCs" are noisy, ugly, clunky messes of cables and boxes, while laptops fold up and disappear in a drawer or on a shelf after use. Nobody buys (or rather, bought) them for expandability and modularity. People bought them because they were cheap; hardly anyone ever went through the trouble of ever upgrading one beyond the stuff done immediately at purchase.

Apple's Mac desktop offerings are the *only* desktops whose sales numbers are increasing, and it's because they are intended to disappear, or at least, not annoy. The mini goes next to the 50" plasma TV in the living room for a number of customers, and it better not be an eyesore.

In addition, the iMac offers desktop hard drives, up to 32 GB of RAM, and desktop CPUs, all of which result in a noticeable power advantage over the laptops, if needed.
     
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Feb 17, 2012, 06:29 AM
 
iMac advantages over an MBP: Bigger faster HD, bigger display and better GPU. The particular model I have also has a MUCH faster CPU compared to the MBPs that were available then, but that argument is less relevant today.

It is interesting to note how the desktop advantages have dwindled over the years. The CPU advantage is significantly reduced. The HD speed advantage is gone with SSDs. Displays and HDs are by some measure "big enough".
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Feb 17, 2012, 07:44 AM
 
I don't think many people have upgraded their towers, and if they did, it was mostly RAM and hard drive space -- and that's something you can do with the iMac or a notebook as well. As Spheric said, people bought them, because they were cheap.

I think you should see it as a desktop vs. notebook problem first: most people nowadays buy notebooks because they're more than powerful enough, they take up less space and are more comfortable to use (e. g. you could surf the web on your couch or in your bed). Ever since 1998 when I bought my first Mac, I have been using mobile Macs as my main machines (although I did have various desktops at work).

Regarding the appeal of the iMac: the iMac is a very fast, sleek, silent and beautiful machine. It takes up a lot less space than a desktop. The big models support up to 32 GB RAM, that's way more than most people need. If I were to get a computer for which I would be sure to not want to be able to carry it around, it'd definitely be an iMac.
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Feb 17, 2012, 09:39 AM
 
I upgraded ram (twice), HD (two more one an ssd), and the video card on my MacPro. I like the multi page nature of a big 20+ inch display you just can't get with a laptop.
     
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Feb 17, 2012, 09:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by BLAZE_MkIV View Post
I upgraded ram (twice), HD (two more one an ssd), and the video card on my MacPro. I like the multi page nature of a big 20+ inch display you just can't get with a laptop.
In principle, you can connect an external screen to a notebook. I have done that for the last 10 years or so, you don't need a desktop for that. Although the display takes up about the same amount of space as an iMac.
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Feb 17, 2012, 11:09 AM
 
The iMacs are comparable or better in performance, screen size, storage and expandability over a MacBook Pro and many of them are considerably cheaper too if you are looking at the larger MBPs.

If you don't need it to be portable, then the iMac is better value by far. They aren't bad for watching TV or movies on either.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Feb 17, 2012, 11:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
In principle, you can connect an external screen to a notebook. I have done that for the last 10 years or so, you don't need a desktop for that. Although the display takes up about the same amount of space as an iMac.
That's whats I do at work. Any I have to reset my window layout every time i plug the monitor back in. But that's windows for you. Though laptops are subpar development machines, they do enable telecommuting and working through pointless meetings.
     
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Feb 17, 2012, 11:47 AM
 
My folks have an iMac, and a crappy PC laptop. The crappy PC has been replaced twice. Rock on, iMac.

They have configured neither, beyond me putting extra RAM in the iMac for them.
     
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Feb 17, 2012, 12:23 PM
 
I do all my design and illustration work on an iMac (previously, I worked on a 2x2 G5) I've tried doing my work on a friend's MBP, but I just find it too constraining with the smaller screen and the trackpad. And, yes, you could always add an external monitor and a mouse, but you might as well have a desktop at that point.
     
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Feb 17, 2012, 12:38 PM
 
I've been up to 3 video cards for multiple monitors and card testing. Vid capture/tuner card, eSATA and (earlier) ATA cards, more than 2 drives installed for multiple boot options (in case of drive failure) and now for TM and media library. Easy & cheap swaps when the optical drives fail, and even a CPU upgrade. RAM upgrades too, but those are infrequent.

My most common case crack is to swap which HDs are internal. The newest (biggest) drives will be internal for max speed, while the older ones go to the external case.

People who never upgrade their hardware are in danger of losing their hardware nerd credentials. And notebooks do not come with 28" screens.

note: if the OLED people ever release roll-up screens, a portable notebook with 30" screen would be cool.
     
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Feb 17, 2012, 06:12 PM
 
Some folks like iMacs but not me.

• I hate the glossy-only iMac displays. Good value quality third-party non-glossy displays are readily available. Personally I like a 2-display setup when deskbound (I use a Viewsonic with my MBP).

• I like portability. I move my MBP around all the time. Some times it is in my home office attached to the display, another time it may be on the dining table while I eat breakfast, or in my lap in the living room, or I may walk it into another room to share something with someone. And of course I travel with it constantly. To intentionally eliminate those options just to save a few bucks on an iMac configuration makes no sense to me.

-Allen
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Feb 17, 2012 at 06:34 PM. )
     
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Feb 17, 2012, 06:33 PM
 
SSD is a necessity, so do your price comparisons including an Apple SSD for boot/apps unless you intend to retrofit a third party SSD.

-Allen
     
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Feb 17, 2012, 06:55 PM
 
My MacPro has had it's RAM upgraded, has three internal HDDs (e.g. tidy and no wires/external cases), and has a new video card. If I were to buy a new Mac I'd probably go with a Mac Mini (w. discrete GPU) rather than an iMac.
     
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Feb 17, 2012, 07:18 PM
 
I haven't bought a desktop for myself since 2000. I'm on my third laptop since then.

I am considering buying my parents a new machine, and I can't decide between an iPad, a MBA, or an iMac. I could ask them, but that would spoil the surprise.
     
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Feb 17, 2012, 07:19 PM
 
i have too many computers. a month ago i had two imacs, a mac mini and three ibooks. i'm currently downsizing, i will keep both of my imacs. all laptops will be going. my mini just left my possession. when i want portability i will get an ipad to complement my imacs.
imac g3 600
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Feb 17, 2012, 10:40 PM
 
My 24" Core2Duo iMac will be my last iMac. Why?

1. Current iMacs have Apple's "glassy" display. 'Nuff said.

2. The iMac lacks basic ergonomic adjustments except for tilt, which is of minimal value. I developed serious neck pain when I first purchased my iMac and I almost returned it before I cobbled together a fix that wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg. Even so, I still have to look up at the display...

3. The difficulty of accessing the interior of the iMac.

I now have a 13" MBP connected to a high-end NEC 24' display. The display is a joy to use compared to the glassy iMacs that I have used. I can position the display at the ideal ergonomic position with one hand. When my 5'4" wife uses the display she can easily adjust it so that it is suitable for her and not for a 5'10" man. The matte panel is glare-free and I don't see my reflection in the display.

Your parents probably don't care about updating the Mac and perhaps the glassy display won't bother them either, depending on the room in which it will be used. So the lack of easy adjustments is likely to be the only one on my list that pertains to their situation.

Pairing a MacMini with an external display would solve the ergonomic problem and probably be less expensive than an iMac depending on the MacMini and display. Your parents would presumably not need the extra CPU/GPU power of an iMac.

Something to think about: My wife is turning 65 next week and she likes having the option of being able to use her Mac anywhere in the house. So the MBP/display option is the best of both worlds for her: she can use the Mac on the couch, at her writing desk in the living room or outside in the garden. When she wants more screen real estate she connects the MBP to the display.

I added a $35 Power Support anti-glare film to the MBP. The high-quality film doesn't introduce color-shifts or artifacts while eliminating reflections and glare. When I compared it to my 15" MBP matte display I could not see a difference.

I am in the market for a new Mac and it looks like another MBP. The only thing that attracts me to a MacMini is the discrete GPU option but so far the Intel HD3000 has worked very nicely so it looks like it is all I really need. I like the idea of being able to have two Macs in one without the hassle of keeping a desktop and portable Mac synced.
     
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Feb 18, 2012, 05:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
• Personally I like a 2-display setup when deskbound (I use a Viewsonic with my MBP).
iMacs can power one or two external monitors as well (depending on the model, the 21.5" sports one, the 27" iMac two DisplayPort ports).
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
• I like portability. I move my MBP around all the time.
Exactly. Just for that reason alone, I'd pick a notebook over a desktop any day.
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Feb 18, 2012, 05:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by BLAZE_MkIV View Post
That's whats I do at work. Any I have to reset my window layout every time i plug the monitor back in. But that's windows for you.
Then there is no way to help you, sorry!
With OS X, it mostly works. Every once in a while OS X would forget my settings (e. g. my notebook is on the left of the main display at work, but to the right of my main display at home), but it's mostly smooth sailing
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Feb 18, 2012, 07:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
I am in the market for a new Mac and it looks like another MBP. The only thing that attracts me to a MacMini is the discrete GPU option but so far the Intel HD3000 has worked very nicely so it looks like it is all I really need. I like the idea of being able to have two Macs in one without the hassle of keeping a desktop and portable Mac synced.
Whatever you do, get an SSD. A 2.5" HDD is noticeably slower than even an older 3.5" HDD in an iMac.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Feb 18, 2012, 08:29 AM
 
There is no doubt in my mind that the larger screen size on the iMac (we have the 21") is a major reason to buy it over the MBP. Using an MBP to actually read any thing is painful. Increasingly magazines are going to pdf versions of the paper originals and you can't begin to read a full page on a MB or MBP, much less two of them side by side. And sure you can get an MBP and extra display, but then there are the extra wires (video cable and power cord).

And finally, the iMacs are a much better value - more bang, less bux. We usually buy our iMacs as Apple refurbs, getting the full warranty from Apple and use the price savings to buy Applecare for 3 years.
     
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Feb 18, 2012, 02:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Whatever you do, get an SSD. A 2.5" HDD is noticeably slower than even an older 3.5" HDD in an iMac.
The stock drive has been fine for me. The MBP with Lion is considerably faster than my iMac. The iMac is maxed-out at 3GB RAM while the MBP has been upgraded to 8GB. I may consider an SSD when the price comes down...
     
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Feb 18, 2012, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by footie07 View Post
There is no doubt in my mind that the larger screen size on the iMac (we have the 21") is a major reason to buy it over the MBP. Using an MBP to actually read any thing is painful. Increasingly magazines are going to pdf versions of the paper originals and you can't begin to read a full page on a MB or MBP, much less two of them side by side. And sure you can get an MBP and extra display, but then there are the extra wires (video cable and power cord).

And finally, the iMacs are a much better value - more bang, less bux. We usually buy our iMacs as Apple refurbs, getting the full warranty from Apple and use the price savings to buy Applecare for 3 years.
Exactly. I have a 21" Intel iMac that I got new and stock in 9/07. It now has 4GB of RAM, a 2TB Seagate internal HD and a 3TB Seagate external for Time Machine and I'm running 10.8 Preview. Since I'm now 75 and retired, with presbyopia, glaucoma, and cataracts, my expectation is to die with this iMac or to upgrade to the next largest-screened iMac, after system upgrades obsolete this one, whichever comes first. What use could I possibly have for a notebook? My wife is quite happy with a an 18" '07 refurb, bought "new" at the same time as the 21". Of course, not every Mac-user is an elderly retiree with defective vision who doesn't fly around the world on business three times a week. You get what works for the person that you're getting it for. How difficult is that to figure out? Different strokes for different folks. What's to discuss?
     
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Feb 18, 2012, 03:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The primary reason the majority of people are buying laptops for home use is NOT because they want portability.

It's because "PCs" are noisy, ugly, clunky messes of cables and boxes, while laptops fold up and disappear in a drawer or on a shelf after use. Nobody buys (or rather, bought) them for expandability and modularity. People bought them because they were cheap; hardly anyone ever went through the trouble of ever upgrading one beyond the stuff done immediately at purchase.

Apple's Mac desktop offerings are the *only* desktops whose sales numbers are increasing, and it's because they are intended to disappear, or at least, not annoy. The mini goes next to the 50" plasma TV in the living room for a number of customers, and it better not be an eyesore.

In addition, the iMac offers desktop hard drives, up to 32 GB of RAM, and desktop CPUs, all of which result in a noticeable power advantage over the laptops, if needed.


I still say the whole "eyesore" argument when it comes to Desktops is pretty lame, especially since they can easily be buried or hidden from view. I can understand this argument more with monitors than I can the CPU case.
( Last edited by besson3c; Feb 18, 2012 at 03:49 PM. )
     
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Feb 18, 2012, 03:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Regarding the appeal of the iMac: the iMac is a very fast, sleek, silent and beautiful machine. It takes up a lot less space than a desktop. The big models support up to 32 GB RAM, that's way more than most people need. If I were to get a computer for which I would be sure to not want to be able to carry it around, it'd definitely be an iMac.

I think there will always be an appeal for a big honking maxed out computer for a small number content creators and people that need this sort of computer, but I can see consolidation between the iMac and the Mac Pro - I don't see the need for both. I frankly think that the Mac Pro is the better form factor for this crowd of user.

Besides, I don't think that fast and silent differentiates the iMac a great deal from its PC competition, I think the differentiation is all about OS X vs. Windows.

Apple is smart to let the other PC vendors fuss over competing for the best antiquated sort of mode of computing.
     
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Feb 18, 2012, 04:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I still say the whole "eyesore" argument when it comes to Desktops is pretty lame, especially since they can easily be buried or hidden from view. I can understand this argument more with monitors than I can the CPU case.
What you think doesn't really matter.

What the people buying computers think is what matters. And they're buying laptops, mostly. Not because they need them.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Besides, I don't think that fast and silent differentiates the iMac a great deal from its PC competition, I think the differentiation is all about OS X vs. Windows.
Increasingly, that is the case. For the longest time, people were actually coming in because the iMacs were beautiful, and in that, they STILL have no competition.
     
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Feb 18, 2012, 04:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
What you think doesn't really matter.

What the people buying computers think is what matters. And they're buying laptops, mostly. Not because they need them.
This is true, I shall rephrase and say that the eyesore argument is a silly rationale, although I would not be surprised if it was still a prevailing rationale.
     
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Feb 18, 2012, 05:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
This is true, I shall rephrase and say that the eyesore argument is a silly rationale, although I would not be surprised if it was still a prevailing rationale.
It's never been a silly rationale.

Most people actually do care what their home looks like.
     
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Feb 18, 2012, 05:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
It's never been a silly rationale.

Most people actually do care what their home looks like.

Most people do not care what their Desktop computers look like, because:

a) most people do not consider computers furniture or something that adds to the design aesthetics of their home

b) most people do not keep Desktop computers in the parts of the house they show off or spend the most time in when not working

c) most people have clutter and unattractive things around their CPU cases anyway

d) when it comes to towers many people leave them on the floor in a concealed space
     
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Feb 18, 2012, 05:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Most people do not care what their Desktop computers look like, because:
circular reasoning.

Most people DO care what their desktop computers lookED like, and no longer buy desktop computers BECAUSE of this.

While there are other reasons why people might like to buy portables (including the increase in mobile CPU power over the past few years):

The ONLY exception to the decline in desktop sales is the iMac. It's growing.

Go figure.
     
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Feb 18, 2012, 05:28 PM
 
The Mac itself is growing though.

There are many reasons to choose a portable computer over a desktop, I think trying to isolate aesthetics as a significant variable would be difficult to do.
     
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Feb 18, 2012, 09:07 PM
 
Once the computer became used for more than work and games the frequency of its use required greater accessibility than tucked away in a home office. A laptop you can plop down anywhere in the house and do your web/twitter/facebook while still interacting in meat space. This also happens to be the primary use case for tablets which is why netbooks are dead.
     
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Feb 18, 2012, 11:52 PM
 
The iPad satiated my need for portability. Still do the majority of my computing from my Mac Pro. I wonder how many people are in the same boat.
     
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Feb 19, 2012, 05:23 AM
 
My MacBook very rarely leaves the house, and doesn't leave the desk very often, then it goes as far as the sofa so I can watch tv. I'm trying to save for a new mac because a) mine is 5 years old now and b) 10.8 apparently won't support GMA graphics. I'll probably go desktop and iPad, undecided on Mac Mini or iMac though. This may all change when I've actually got the money together and Ivy Bridge and all the other rumours like retina displays do or don't happen.
     
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Feb 19, 2012, 06:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The ONLY exception to the decline in desktop sales is the iMac. It's growing.
Are you sure? I'm under the impression that overall Mac sales are growing because of the strong laptop lineup, but Mac desktops sales are in decline, including the iMac. Does anyone know one way or the other?
     
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Feb 19, 2012, 07:16 PM
 
They claim to have had "record desktop sales" in the quarter ending September 2011.
Apple Earnings Call: Tim Cook Expresses Gratitude for Steve Jobs Condolences | WebProNews

They also "Set new records for desktops and portables" in the holiday quarter, implying another quarter of record desktop sales.
Apple Reports Best Quarter Ever in Q1 2012: $13.06 Billion Profit on $46.33 Billion in Revenue - Mac Rumors
     
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Feb 19, 2012, 07:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Demonhood View Post
The iPad satiated my need for portability. Still do the majority of my computing from my Mac Pro. I wonder how many people are in the same boat.
This is exactly what I do. The iPad replaced a dying TiBook.
     
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Feb 19, 2012, 08:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by BLAZE_MkIV View Post
This is exactly what I do. The iPad replaced a dying TiBook.
Yep, at home I do casual browsing and email on my iPad, and when I do stuff that demands a real computer (primarily Aperture) I use my Mac mini with a 24" display. Since getting an iPad I hardly touch "real" computers at all at home.
     
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Feb 24, 2012, 03:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Are you sure? I'm under the impression that overall Mac sales are growing because of the strong laptop lineup, but Mac desktops sales are in decline, including the iMac. Does anyone know one way or the other?
Desktop sales make up for about 25% of Apple's total computer sales and dropping, excluding the iOS devices. Of that ~25%, most are iMacs. The funny thing is that, with the large YOY increases in Mac sales, Apple is selling more desktops than they used to, even while desktop sales are a smaller percentage of their overall sales. So, desktop sales are both up and down, depending on how you look at it.

What is clear is the trend: desktop sales are declining. We've reached a point where even relatively inexpensive machines are more than enough for most people's usage. $1,500 will get you a 2.8 dual-core i7 MacBook Pro, which is more power than your average home user will use.

To answer the question, the reasons for getting a desktop machine have become very clearly defined: you get an iMac/Mac Pro if you need lots of power and/or a pimped out GPU and/or lots of RAM/storage. This is a pretty small slice of the user base, and it includes mostly people doing work which can use those things. Think Apple's traditional commercial user base: print/prepress/design/video/audio/scientific visualization. And, within those fields, you can define things even more. In the print world, unless you're doing serious Photoshop work, you really don't need more than a single, four core Mac Pro or an iMac. On the other end of the spectrum, if you're doing video editing, you can actually use 12 cores and 64 GB of RAM.

For the fun of it, I did some digging. In FY04 Apple sold 709,000 desktops. In FY10 they sold 13.66 million Macs. Take the 25% number as a guideline and that means Apple sold ~3.4 million desktops. So, even if only 25% of their desktop sales were Mac Pros, they still sold more Mac Pros in 2010 then they did G4s/G5s in 2004.
The era of anthropomorphizing hardware is over.
     
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Feb 24, 2012, 04:03 AM
 
What I'd like to know is what will come of the people clinging to OS X server solutions (for whatever reasons be they flimsy or well justified) once Apple ditches the Mac Pro?

I can see them dropping either the Mac Pro or iMac, but it's harder to see them ditching the iMac since it sells better. Maybe Apple has no plans to ditch either, but they generally have a history of ditching products that aren't selling well. At the very least, I would assume that product refreshes will continue to be slow. I'm not sure where the Mini fits in either... Maybe a rackable Mini with an SSD will be where the server users gravitate towards. It's a pretty underpowered server, but it will probably suffice for most of this user base.

Another option for Apple might be to work with the VM host makers on drivers so that OS X can run without major caveats on all x86 hardware. This would be the technologically superior choice if Apple were so inclined.
     
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Feb 24, 2012, 04:42 AM
 
The Mac Mini Server may be underpowered for render farms or certain Enterpise applications (though I would argue thats mostly a lack of software problem as the CPU power to power consumption ration on them is very good) but for small businesses its perfect and in fact overpowered.

You cannot imagine how many companies are running SBS and Exchange servers for up to 30 users on hardware which is often over 5 years old (and still overpowered). The only issue being the ability to run a Windows directory service for clients newer than XP.

The other job the Mini does is it bolts on to an existing AD for use as an MDM server to the iOS devices.

I do find it odd that Apple has abandoned trying to serve Mac clients in the Enterprise. The current plan seems to be to let AD look after the Macs while providing an option for iOS devices. I would have expected them to be a little more patient given the inroads they have finally made over the last few years into the enterprise with client machines. Executives are finally taking them seriously and if they could produce a sturdy server product that gave Mac clients something more than Windows had then it would drive adoption even faster.
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Feb 24, 2012, 10:29 AM
 
The new Xeons are finally out in March, so I expect we'll see a new Mac Pro sometime after that. Question is, will it be the last Mac Pro?
( Last edited by Don Pickett; Feb 24, 2012 at 10:57 AM. )
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Feb 24, 2012, 10:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What I'd like to know is what will come of the people clinging to OS X server solutions (for whatever reasons be they flimsy or well justified) once Apple ditches the Mac Pro?
They're buying XServes and stockpiling them and their spare parts.
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Feb 24, 2012, 10:42 AM
 
The MacPros require almost no R&D. Whoever makes the boards handles any issues from the changes Intel makes across all their customers. Their video cards are reference designs right from AMD and NVidia so no headaches there. AMD and NVidia are going to need to get on the thunderbolt train for it to work with dedicated cards but they could add non-video ports easily, the video support isn't really targeted at MacPro users anyway.

The demand would have to dry up them, but with the idiot move they made with FinalCut that may happen.
     
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Feb 24, 2012, 10:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by BLAZE_MkIV View Post
The MacPros require almost no R&D.
Every Apple product requires substantial R&D. It's the nature of the beast.
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Feb 24, 2012, 11:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Don Pickett View Post
Every Apple product requires substantial R&D. It's the nature of the beast.
The last three Mac Pros have had pretty similar motherboards. The 2009 could be flashed to become a 2010 board. I don't think it took much R&D to drop the newer Xeons in there. Testing yes, R&D no.

I'm still quietly hoping for an all new rackable Mac Pro to replace the Mac Pro and Xserve in one fell swoop.
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Feb 24, 2012, 11:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The last three Mac Pros have had pretty similar motherboards. The 2009 could be flashed to become a 2010 board. I don't think it took much R&D to drop the newer Xeons in there. Testing yes, R&D no.
Apple, as you know, doesn't do anything drop in. It's all R&D'd and tested.

I'm still quietly hoping for an all new rackable Mac Pro to replace the Mac Pro and Xserve in one fell swoop.
I think there's a chance we'll see a new case for the Mac Pro.
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Feb 24, 2012, 11:48 AM
 
The desktop market is shrinking but Apple's desktop sales (and probably share too) appear to be strong. I see no reason why Apple should chop (good) products like the Mac Pro selling well to segments Apple is strong in. If anything they should concentrate on keeping them best possible tech.

The case design, power supply, etc. is well evolved and still beautiful so major retooling is not required. That said, I would love to see a rackable product and a new emphasis on the enterprise, server, etc. but it looks like Apple gave up on that market.

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Feb 24, 2012, 11:56 AM
 
A Mini Server could morph into a rack mount.
     
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Feb 24, 2012, 12:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
The desktop market is shrinking but Apple's desktop sales (and probably share too) appear to be strong. I see no reason why Apple should chop (good) products like the Mac Pro selling well to segments Apple is strong in. If anything they should concentrate on keeping them best possible tech.
I hope they don't drop the Mac Pro but, if they do, I can understand the reason. I don't remember the exact figures, but desktops account for something like 5% of Apple's revenue. Given the total costs associated with producing them, including things like personnel, shipping, tooling, etc., you can make a good financial case for exiting the market. When you combine that with the obvious trend in computing sales--mobile, mobile, mobile--their possible reasoning becomes clear.

Like I said, I hope they don't.
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