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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > New iMac is here!

New iMac is here! (Page 2)
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Ado
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Mar 7, 2009, 09:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
They don't have the same price.

The 2.8 was $1799 but that money know buys you 2.93 GHz, twice the RAM, twice the disk, and a better GPU. Although I don't think the graphics performance difference will be that big (HD 2600 PRO vs. GT 120) - somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.

The previous 2.66 GHz model was $1499. Compared to the current $1499 model you now get twice the RAM, twice the disk, but you're stuck with the 9400M. It's no bad GPU, but if you're doing 3D games, the 2600 PRO would be the better choice.
Simon pardon my potential error with prices but the 2.8 in Australia was $2500 and the 2.93 is $2999... Are my calculations i missing something?
     
Terrin
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Mar 8, 2009, 12:16 AM
 
Why is it surprising? Apple manages it's product inventory better then any other tech company. To the day it knows how much inventory it is selling. More importantly, it would be stupid to lower prices right after a product refresh. Apple knows there is pent up demand for many of these refreshed products. Why would it cut prices when all the people who have been waiting for updates are going to be willing to purchase the new systems at the current price points? If sales slow, Apple can lower prices later if it thinks it needs to do so. Finally, the prices are comparable to similarly configured Windows machines.


Originally Posted by Simon View Post
It is truly surprising that Apple thinks even with this economy they can leave iMac price points untouched.
     
Terrin
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Mar 8, 2009, 12:24 AM
 
I'm a shareholder and you couldn't be further from the truth. Apple knows there is pent up demand for these products. It has bleed the channel dry for months. Why would Apple lower the price when it knows there are probably hundreds of thousands of people waiting for the refreshes to pull the trigger? Long time Apple users aren't expecting Apple to significantly lower it's prices.

The smart thing for Apple to do is release the new products at the current price points. Then it can determine how much demand slows below it's expectations after it satisfies the pent up demand. If needed, it later can adjust the prices accordingly. Obviously, if demand never slows below Apple's own internal expectations, there is no need to adjust prices lower.

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
With the 21 billion in the bank I can see where they're coming from, but their share holders sure aren't going to like it.
     
Simon  (op)
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Mar 8, 2009, 05:30 AM
 
I'm a shareholder too and I can tell you that I disagree entirely with you. Sure in theory it would be better for Apple to lower prices after the launch, but we both know that is rarely (read: pretty much never) what Apple does.

You are also assuming there is a lot of pent up demand. On the iMac I'm pretty certain there was hardly any. The update was a minor refresh. Those that were waiting for BluRay, quad-cores, etc. will keep on waiting or buy a PC.

Last time Apple saw economic crisis they innovated out of it. This time they are just trying to ignore it. As a shareholder I can only disagree with such a strategy.
( Last edited by Simon; Mar 8, 2009 at 02:35 PM. Reason: typo)
     
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Mar 8, 2009, 09:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by CheesePuff View Post
How is the older ATI 2600 Pro 256 MB GDDR3 graphics card in comparison to the GeForce GT120 256 MB GDDR3 card?
It's a slight boost with the new one. nVidia's naming is bordering on the ludicrous at the moment, but try to follow through the renamings:

The GT120 is a 9500GT renamed. The 9500GT is in turn an 8600 GT with a threadshrink - memory bandwidth is slightly higher, the shaders are clocked somewhat higher, etc, but a very small difference. It's somewhere between an 8600 GT and an 8600 GTS. nVidia generally won that generation's midrange by a small number, so slightly better than the 2600.

Another way to look at it is to compare it to the 9600M GT in the MBP. That is very nearly the same GPU as the GT120 - shaders clocked lower, memory clocked higher. My guess is that the official clocks aren't very useful info anyway, as Apple tends to tweak them. The MBP and iMac are likely to be neck and neck - again.
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.
     
P
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Mar 8, 2009, 09:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Ado View Post
Simon pardon my potential error with prices but the 2.8 in Australia was $2500 and the 2.93 is $2999... Are my calculations i missing something?
Yes, currency fluctuations. The USD is rising against many smaller currencies, as people seek the safe haven of US treasury bonds. Apple had to adjust prices overseas to compensate - same thing happened here in Sweden. The markets will realign themselves based on the strengths of the various economies, but right now, US products are becoming more expensive.
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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Mar 8, 2009, 10:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by pliny View Post
I'm surprised at the ship times for some of the BTO options. Adding the ATI Radeon HD 4850 512M bumps the ship time to 4-6 weeks.
The iMac uses mobile parts. That 4850 is in all likelyhood the Mobile Radeon 4860, a 40 nm part that ATi launched the same day or even the day after the iMac bump. It's possible that it's an underclocked 4870 (an older chip) but the new 4860 is the closest analogue to the desktop 4850.

I still think the price differential for the better graphics options are over the top. The bad part is that if I have to settle for the 9400M I might as well get the Mac Mini and save a bunch. (Still pondering it.)
The upside is that the new 24"er is an excellent option if you don't care about gaming. A 24" fully-featured AIO at $1500 is actually not a bad deal, and in a sense it satisfies that particular market segment better than the old model: You got a bigger screen and lost somehting you didn't really care for anyway.

The problem comes from the two upper models - the GT120 in the lower of them is too slow to be worth the upgrade price, and the only reason to pick it is to upgrade it further. The top-of-the-line suffers from the fact that it isn't really the top-of-the-line, even with its absurd price, because you can upgrade the thing further with the Radeon 4850. You get 133 MHz clockspeed and one overpriced GPU upgrade for HOW MUCH money? Oh, and 1 TB of HD. Awesome.

A better setup would be to either drop the price of the 2.8 GHz model $100 or include the GT130 by default. Upgrade the top-of-the-line one speed grade (to 3.2 GHz) and include the Radeon 4850. The would make the top-of-the-line droolworthy enough to drop that huge chunk of money on it. My guess is that last is what Apple wanted to do, but availability of the new GPU and faster CPUs stopped them.
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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Mar 8, 2009, 11:34 AM
 
This update was a price drop. The new iMacs are not any faster.

Where's my quad-core iMac?

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driven
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Mar 8, 2009, 12:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
The iMac uses mobile parts. That 4850 is in all likelyhood the Mobile Radeon 4860, a 40 nm part that ATi launched the same day or even the day after the iMac bump. It's possible that it's an underclocked 4870 (an older chip) but the new 4860 is the closest analogue to the desktop 4850.



The upside is that the new 24"er is an excellent option if you don't care about gaming. A 24" fully-featured AIO at $1500 is actually not a bad deal, and in a sense it satisfies that particular market segment better than the old model: You got a bigger screen and lost somehting you didn't really care for anyway.

The problem comes from the two upper models - the GT120 in the lower of them is too slow to be worth the upgrade price, and the only reason to pick it is to upgrade it further. The top-of-the-line suffers from the fact that it isn't really the top-of-the-line, even with its absurd price, because you can upgrade the thing further with the Radeon 4850. You get 133 MHz clockspeed and one overpriced GPU upgrade for HOW MUCH money? Oh, and 1 TB of HD. Awesome.

A better setup would be to either drop the price of the 2.8 GHz model $100 or include the GT130 by default. Upgrade the top-of-the-line one speed grade (to 3.2 GHz) and include the Radeon 4850. The would make the top-of-the-line droolworthy enough to drop that huge chunk of money on it. My guess is that last is what Apple wanted to do, but availability of the new GPU and faster CPUs stopped them.
Yes, so if I actually want to play a game occasionally (Half Life 2, Call of Duty, etc.) I either need to spend a ridiculous ransom to upgrade the thing, or just get the 24" base model and wait until the day when I decide to buy an MBP and game on that. :-) (Or, gasp ... build a PC ....)

Also: I found this paragraph buried in a review. It references the LED vs. LCD display issue: (Thoughts?)

Review source: http://i.gizmodo.com/5165335/imac-20...iew?sr=hotnews
The 20" iMac is cheaper at $1200, but doesn't carry as much value: It comes standard with only 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive. You'd really need to up the RAM to 4GB, so that brings the bill to $1300. At that point, you're just $75 away from doubling the internal hard-drive capacity. Now, at $1375, you're a stone's throw from the other system, the $1500 iMac with its noticeably larger screen—a screen that, mind you, Apple asks $900 for when sold a la carte. (I reviewed with the iMac side-by-side with the 24" Cinema Display; they're essentially identical even though iMac is CCFL while the Cinema Display is LED.)
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JRobinson
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Mar 8, 2009, 03:56 PM
 
So, is the $1800 24-inch iMac with the 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo worth $300 more than the 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo? Are there any comparisons between the GPUs?
     
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Mar 8, 2009, 04:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
Yes, so if I actually want to play a game occasionally (Half Life 2, Call of Duty, etc.) I either need to spend a ridiculous ransom to upgrade the thing, or just get the 24" base model and wait until the day when I decide to buy an MBP and game on that. :-) (Or, gasp ... build a PC ....)
No, the 9600M GT in the MBP is almost the exact same thing as the base GT120 in the 2.8 GHz. It is sufficient to play something as old as Half Life 2 or COD, but newer games (like the overrated Crysis) will choke it. IMO, that is the stupid level of graphics adapter - not fast enough for current graphics-intensive games, yet with a higher price than the integrated stuff that is still enough for WoW. A notch up - a Radeon 4670 or a GT130/GT150 or up again to Radeon 4830 - is enough to be able to play straight console ports from the PS3 and 360.

I'm thinking that maybe the 9400 will be enough for me. I mostly play Civ and the like anyway, and the 9400 would probably be enough for some time.
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.
     
P
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Mar 8, 2009, 04:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by JRobinson View Post
So, is the $1800 24-inch iMac with the 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo worth $300 more than the 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo? Are there any comparisons between the GPUs?
Please tell me that you didn't just ask the exact same question that was asked and answered earlier in this very thread.
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.
     
JRobinson
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Mar 8, 2009, 05:30 PM
 
I apologize, let me elaborate: let say someone wants to use an iMac to compress videos into H.264 format using Handbrake or some similar tool, while simultaneously running a developer's version of a database tool like Microsoft SQL Server in a Parallels virtual machine running Windows XP or Windows Server 2003. Would it make a difference if those tasks were being done on a $1,500 iMac or an $1,800 iMac? What role would the GPU play in compressing or transcoding video, or for that matter, playback?
     
P
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Mar 8, 2009, 05:52 PM
 
Much better. The answer is actually very simple:

Wait for the next revision.

Seriously. It will in all likelyhood have the Core i5 CPU, which brings a huge boost to precisely the two areas you mention: H.264 encoding and virtualization. If you can't wait, strongly consider a step up to the latest MP - it has the Xeon 5500/3500 series with the same architectural improvements. Actually that may not be a bad idea anyway - you're talking about some pretty heavy-duty workloads. Unfortunately the current low-end MP is very overpriced. Either you bite the bullet and pay that, upgrade to the octocore MP (it's more expensive, but a better deal and will last you much longer) or... wait.

The GPU will be used in the next version of Mac OS X, Snow Leopard or 10.6, but does nothing today. The exact effect of a GPU upgrade is impossible to predict at this point - you'll have to wait for the release to get some benchmarks on that.

Everything will be much clearer in 6 months time: New iMac Core i5, new OS, and hopefully a saner price on the MP. Right now, it's tricky.
( Last edited by P; Mar 8, 2009 at 06:00 PM. )
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.
     
driven
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Mar 8, 2009, 06:23 PM
 
Hopefully we will have economic recovery before the next iMac release as well.
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Eug
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Mar 8, 2009, 11:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
The answer is actually very simple:

Wait for the next revision.

Seriously. It will in all likelyhood have the Core i5 CPU, which brings a huge boost to precisely the two areas you mention: H.264 encoding and virtualization.
Yep. I'm waiting. Quad-core is awesome, but so is the potential for 8 GB RAM. Maybe by Q4 2009 memory prices might actually make 8 GB reasonable.

I could keep Parallels running 24/7 if necessary, and the memory usage wouldn't be an issue any longer. (With my current 3 GB, I frequently page to disk if I have Parallels running in the background and I've got a few other apps running.)

The GPU will be used in the next version of Mac OS X, Snow Leopard or 10.6, but does nothing today. The exact effect of a GPU upgrade is impossible to predict at this point - you'll have to wait for the release to get some benchmarks on that.
I run Aperture on the iMac. A GPU boost (along with the CPU boost) might give a significant bump in performance. Hopefully anyway... It's pretty mediocre on a C2D 2.33 with GeForce 7600GT
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 02:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Everything will be much clearer in 6 months time: New iMac Core i5, new OS, and hopefully a saner price on the MP. Right now, it's tricky.
So, you are saying Apple will release a new iMac in about 6 months again? I finally saved some money to buy my first Mac (was thinking of high end iMac), but I can wait 6 months if it's going to be a noticeable difference in performance, plus new OS...
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JRobinson
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Mar 9, 2009, 03:19 AM
 
Thanks all of you for your advice, especially P.

I'm not sure if I want to wait for what could happen 6+ months down the line. My current desktop computer is a PowerMac G5 that I bought in November 2005. I run it 24/7 so it can act as "server" for my 2 AppleTV devices. In addition, it runs Apple Mail and Thunderbird at all times to filter out some of the spam that slipped through (I use Spam Sieve). Finally, that computer is capable of converting a DVD I bought to a H.264 file, even though a 2-pass job would theoretically 4 or 5 hours. On top of all that, the computer is in a relatively small room with no air conditioning and windows that can't open.

The logical thing to do would be to wait for Apple's next move. That is the right thing to do. However, I held off on buying an iMac last November because I was waiting for this update. Having a computer that is capable of holding 8 gigs of memory is an improvement to me, especially when using Parallels (which I currently use on my MacBook Pro). Having a larger internal hard drive is also a plus. In addition, I imagine there is a big difference between the heat that a PowerMac G5 generates (not to mention I have an old Apple Cinema Display, the plastic one that uses the defunct Apple Display Connector) and the heat that a new iMac generates when running 24/7.

Like I said, this is a tough decision, but you all have given me food for thought. I am not going to jump to a decision immediately. Thanks!
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 04:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by .onearm View Post
So, you are saying Apple will release a new iMac in about 6 months again? I finally saved some money to buy my first Mac (was thinking of high end iMac), but I can wait 6 months if it's going to be a noticeable difference in performance, plus new OS...
Well, Snow Leopard is certainly going to be released by then. Mainstream desktop/laptop versions of Nehalem, Core i5, are planned for Q3 2009 and is likely to drop at the very end of September. Apple tends to be quick to use Intel's new architechtures, so my guess is that we'll have a new MBP and iMac using these by the end of September. Delays are always possible, and you never know what Apple will do, but this is the best guess.

Please note that Nehalem is not a huge improvement on all workloads. The two examples above are specific cases where performance improves by leaps and bounds. Others, such as gaming, are less affected by the improved throughput and might even take a hit from the lower clockspeeds and changed cache structure.
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.
     
Simon  (op)
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Mar 9, 2009, 05:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
Yes, so if I actually want to play a game occasionally (Half Life 2, Call of Duty, etc.) I either need to spend a ridiculous ransom to upgrade the thing, or just get the 24" base model and wait until the day when I decide to buy an MBP and game on that. :-) (Or, gasp ... build a PC ....)
That's exactly what makes this new iMac lineup so clumsy.

If you're into games, Aperture, Motion, or any other task that uses the CPU OR you actually believe Snow Leopard's Grand Central will benefit from a fast GPU, you are basically forced to get the $1799 iMac and then add the 4850 for another $200.

A 24" iMac at $1499 sounds great at first. But as soon as people notice they actually need to spend at least $1999 to get it with decent specs, the new iMac line loses its initial appeal.
( Last edited by Simon; Mar 9, 2009 at 05:33 AM. )
     
Simon  (op)
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Mar 9, 2009, 05:57 AM
 
For the record

• there are no guarantees we will see a new iMac within 6 months; It could be eight months from now and still be in time for holiday buying season. Of course it could take even longer.

• there is zero guarantee it will be Core i5. Apple could just as well select to stick with mobile CPUs and then we'll be looking at Clarksfield or worse yet Auburndale. Both of these notebook CPUs will be come with Nehalem improvements (like built-in mem controller, new SSE, etc.) plus quad-core option (Clarksfield), but they will be geared at mobile low-power use just like today's Penryn. We have no guarantee that Apple will indeed switch to desktop CPUs with the new iMac (although I personally sure hope they will).

That said, I agree with P that if you can, you should wait. Chances are the next iMac will be a whole more attractive and with the additional information on SL and GC you will be better informed to make a buying decision.
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 07:21 AM
 
Clarksfield (mobile mainstream Nehalem, quadcore without integrated graphics) will also be called Core i5 according to persistent rumors - and yes, it may very well be the mobile version again, which may keep clockspeeds low. Auburndale is cancelled - the replacement is Arrandale (32nm; graphics, MC and L3 cache in the same package but off the die) and arrives Q1 2010. That should be enough as well, but waiting a year doesn't sound like a plan. I don't think that Arrandale is very likely anyway, at least for the iMac.

The more I look at those specific needs (JRobinson), the more I'm thinking MP. It just sucks that the current one is so freakishly expensive. Since SL isn't here anyway, maybe you should wait for that, hope for a price cut (it HAS happened, historically. Once) and tough it out for three more months if the price cut doesn't come.

As for needing to upgrade... My current main Mac is an iMac G5 from 2004. It's still alive and kicking, even if I was sorely tempted to upgrade last year. I'll last me another 6 months.
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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Mar 9, 2009, 07:29 AM
 
The other thing about the current iMac is the max HD size is 1 TB. I would have hoped it'd be 1.5 TB.

P.S. I wonder how "slow" a quad 2.53 GHz will be compared to a 3.06 GHz dual with most current apps.
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 07:34 AM
 
From all I have so far heard Intel will use i5 for Lynnfield, not for Clarksfield. I guess the difference will be similar to today's Penryn/Wolfdale. While both Clarksfield and Lynnfield will be based on the same Nehalem architecture and manufacturing process, due to mobile power/heat constraints, the iMac would see lower component cost and better performance if it would go with Lynnfield rather than Clarksfield. Of course Bloomfield would be (considering the MP price and performance range) an even better choice. But that's certainly not going to happen as long as Steve is in charge.

There have been rumors about a revamped cooling system for >65W CPUs in the iMac, but judging by Apple's past I'm all but convinced that will actually happen. Still, a quad-core Clarksfield with int. mem controller on Calpella would be a decent iMac. It can't arrive too early.
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 07:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
The other thing about the current iMac is the max HD size is 1 TB. I would have hoped it'd be 1.5 TB.
Why wouldn't 1.5TB work? Or better yet the 2 TB WD Green!

IIRC the interface and the physical dimensions are the same. I'm betting this is just another case of Apple being conservative with specs.
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 08:59 AM
 
I wonder how hot the iMac would get with one of the ATI 4850 cards in there and one of these down-the-line CPUs you guys are talking about.

One of the design limitaitons of all AIO's is heat; another at least for the iMacs, is noise. Don't those ATI's run very hot and a bit loud?

iMacs with top of line cards and cpus could easily be sold but given the form factor, might not be the best to sit in front of.

I'm not expert on heat dissipation specs but I can see those cases running very hot with certain parts that are drooled over. The current iMacs run pretty cool and are whisper quiet--something to be said for this!

I don't have any comparisons of heat between the Nvidia chips, the 9400m, and the ATI at hand.

JRobinson--there is always going to be improvement on systems and software down the line.

You get the system you need and can afford, when you need/want it.

An iMac would def. run quieter and cooler than a G5.
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Simon  (op)
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Mar 9, 2009, 09:13 AM
 
I think nobody objects to the iMac being quiet.

The problem is that since the iMac is the only midrange desktop Apple has they are basically forcing people who want a midrange desktop Mac to buy something which has been designed to use low power, dissipate less heat, be whisper quiet. Those are not bad things, but what a lot of people here would like to see is some choice. Some people want quiet, others want performance, again others want expansion options. The current lineup only caters to one of those groups.
     
driven
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Mar 9, 2009, 09:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
I think nobody objects to the iMac being quiet.

The problem is that since the iMac is the only midrange desktop Apple has they are basically forcing people who want a midrange desktop Mac to buy something which has been designed to use low power, dissipate less heat, be whisper quiet. Those are not bad things, but what a lot of people here would like to see is some choice. Some people want quiet, others want performance, again others want expansion options. The current lineup only caters to one of those groups.
Well ... you could jump up to the Mac Pro .... and pay the associated cost to get what you want.
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Maflynn
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Mar 9, 2009, 09:21 AM
 
If I had the $$ I'd opt for the new Mac Pro's, but alas, I'm broke
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Mar 9, 2009, 09:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
If I had the $$ I'd opt for the new Mac Pro's, but alas, I'm broke
Same here. Actually I have the cash, but in this economy I'm not spending for big ticket items like that until things stabilize. (Hence why I'm looking at the lower-end offerings.)
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Simon  (op)
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Mar 9, 2009, 09:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
Well ... you could jump up to the Mac Pro .... and pay the associated cost to get what you want.
The Mac Pro is not a midrange desktop. At $3299 it is actually quite far from it. I'm sure you are aware of that.
     
driven
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Mar 9, 2009, 09:57 AM
 
$3299? I'm seeing $2499 or $2299 in the Edu store.

I didn't say "mid-range", but was addressing the desire for configurable and expandable.
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Mar 9, 2009, 10:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by pliny View Post
I wonder how hot the iMac would get with one of the ATI 4850 cards in there and one of these down-the-line CPUs you guys are talking about.

One of the design limitaitons of all AIO's is heat; another at least for the iMacs, is noise. Don't those ATI's run very hot and a bit loud?
It's not really a 4850, it's a laptop card with roughly the same performance. If it is the brand-new 4860 that is the base for it, then that is a 40 nm card - a more modern process than the CPU.

Originally Posted by pliny View Post
iMacs with top of line cards and cpus could easily be sold but given the form factor, might not be the best to sit in front of.
In practice, noise is mainly a problem if it's there when you're not using the extra power. Radeon 4xx0 cards clock down to almost nothing when idle - if Clarksfield does the same, the iMac would be whisper quiet even with those powerful chips inside. Besides, I did suggest a 4670, not a 4850 - a 4850 is what I'll settle for.

Also note that the current discrete GPUs use quite some energy themselves, and while the new Clarksfield/Lynnfield CPUs may use more power than their predecessors, they no longer need a separate northbridge - a small power saving.
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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Mar 9, 2009, 11:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
$3299? I'm seeing $2499 or $2299 in the Edu store.
A $2499 Mac Pro offers RAM expansion, but only to 8GB. The iMac already offered that so obviously nobody would upgrade to a MP if all they needed was 8GB. But what if you needed more? And what about a system with a really good GPU for less than $1999?

The point is if you need more than the iMac's 8GB RAM for example you are forced to look at a $3299 Mac Pro. The important thing to notice is that while the Apple wants the iMac to cover the entire midrange it only covers a select part of it. And all those people who are forced to go beyond the iMac (because of its limitations) are pushed into a workstation price range even though they don't actually want the workstation. This is unique to Apple. And it's the kind of stuff that discourages people from buying a Mac.

And for the record, not even a $2299 EDU price would be considered midrange by 95% of computer buyers. Even if you look at recent Apple history that's pro territory, not midrange.
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 11:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
A $2499 Mac Pro offers RAM expansion, but only to 8GB. The iMac already offered that so obviously nobody would upgrade to a MP if all they needed was 8GB. But what if you needed more? And what about a system with a really good GPU for less than $1999?

The point is if you need more than the iMac's 8GB RAM for example you are forced to look at a $3299 Mac Pro. The important thing to notice is that while the Apple wants the iMac to cover the entire midrange it only covers a select part of it. And all those people who are forced to go beyond the iMac (because of its limitations) are pushed into a workstation price range even though they don't actually want the workstation. This is unique to Apple. And it's the kind of stuff that discourages people from buying a Mac.
Eventually market forces will change this. (I hope)
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Mar 9, 2009, 11:10 AM
 
It would be interesting to see sales numbers for the Mac Pro. Unfortunately Apple stopped publishing them a while ago. I guess we'll see estimates though.
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 12:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Why wouldn't 1.5TB work? Or better yet the 2 TB WD Green!

IIRC the interface and the physical dimensions are the same. I'm betting this is just another case of Apple being conservative with specs.
There's no problem with those sizes... except that Apple isn't offering them, and AFAIK the hard drives are not (easily) user replaceable.
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 12:46 PM
 
You can get an AASP to install the drive for you. No voided warranty, no hassle.

1.5 TB Barracuda 7200.11 for $130 (includes shipping)
2.0 TB WD Green for $299 (will drop soon)
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 01:12 PM
 
I'm thinking the 2.93 + 640HD + 4850 = decent.

I don't know why Apple didn't make the second model a 2.8 instead of another 2.66?
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 03:49 PM
 
You guys are truly the reason why Apple needs to make a mini-tower Mac. Your needs are robust and you all deserve better than the Mac mini or iMac, in my opinion.

I find it unfortunate that the least expensive expandable Mac costs around $2,500. That is more money than I am willing (or able) to spend. Besides, I don't know if I still need that expandability. As I mentioned earlier, I have had my PowerMac G5 since November 2005. I have opened up the case exactly twice since I've had that computer: once to add memory and once to add an internal hard drive. Thanks to Firewire 800, I don't really need to add internal hard drives anymore. In fact, I have a 500 GB RAID 1 Firewire drive coming to me soon.

For me, it really comes down to just two models, the $1,500 iMac or the $1,800 iMac. I would really rather not have this heat generating PowerMac sitting in my house this summer like it was last summer, so I would like to buy soon. If that means I might have to buy another Mac 2 years from now instead of 3 years from now, then so be it.

So what do you guys think, $1,500 iMac or $1,800 iMac?
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 04:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
You can get an AASP to install the drive for you. No voided warranty, no hassle.

1.5 TB Barracuda 7200.11 for $130 (includes shipping)
2.0 TB WD Green for $299 (will drop soon)
No thanks. I'm not gonna pay an AASP to install hard drive just because Apple isn't offering a bigger size that is standard for consumer machines. 1.5 TB should be a standard option in Q1 2009.

Remember, the prices you quoted above are simply the cost of the drives, and doesn't include installation costs (often a minimum of 2 hours), or the fact you've already paid for the original drive that came with the machine. ie. Going from 1.0 TB to 1.5 TB could cost about $250, and going from 1.0 TB to 2.0 TB could cost over $400.
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 04:31 PM
 
I'd probably be happy with the 640MB internal and a large external. (Similar to what I do on my laptops)

But that's just me. Everyone's needs are different.
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Mar 9, 2009, 04:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
No thanks. I'm not gonna pay an AASP to install hard drive just because Apple isn't offering a bigger size that is standard for consumer machines. 1.5 TB should be a standard option in Q1 2009.
I certainly agree that these should be options. But what good is all that reasoning if you need more disk but still want that iMac now? If somebody here needs 1.5TB or 2TB internal that's the way to go.
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 04:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
I'd probably be happy with the 640MB internal and a large external. (Similar to what I do on my laptops)
Absolutely. Enter the iMac's missing expansion comes. No eSATA. So your external disk will always be limited by a bridge of some sort. That's actually a problem MBP owners don't face thanks to EC/34. In that sense the "desktop" iMac is clearly inferior to the portable MBP. A shame really.
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 05:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Absolutely. Enter the iMac's missing expansion comes. No eSATA. So your external disk will always be limited by a bridge of some sort. That's actually a problem MBP owners don't face thanks to EC/34. In that sense the "desktop" iMac is clearly inferior to the portable MBP. A shame really.
But that's the thing, the MacBook Pro is for Professionals, but the iMac was never intended for Professionals. The iMac is built for "regular" folks who will just plug a drive into the USB port and call it a day, people who don't know what e-SATA is or Firewire. That's why it would be nice if Apple made a less-expensive computer in a mini-tower case, even though that market is shrinking.
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 05:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by JRobinson View Post
But that's the thing, the MacBook Pro is for Professionals, but the iMac was never intended for Professionals. The iMac is built for "regular" folks who will just plug a drive into the USB port and call it a day, people who don't know what e-SATA is or Firewire.
Yeah, I guess that's why Apple sometimes demos Final Cut Studio and Aperture on iMacs, and puts Firewire 800 on iMacs too.

     
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Mar 9, 2009, 05:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Absolutely. Enter the iMac's missing expansion comes. No eSATA. So your external disk will always be limited by a bridge of some sort. That's actually a problem MBP owners don't face thanks to EC/34. In that sense the "desktop" iMac is clearly inferior to the portable MBP. A shame really.

Sorry. I thought the iMac had Firewire or FW800 ....
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Mar 9, 2009, 05:34 PM
 
The iMac does have a single Firewire 800 port and I'm grateful for that. I wish they did the same for the MacBook. I have no idea why they demo Final Cut on the iMac though. Are people really using that app on the iMac professionally?

Still, it would be really nice if Apple either dropped the price of the Mac Pro or created a model between the iMac and the Mac Pro. I wonder how much it would cost to make a Mac Pro that has an quad core processor that isn't a Xeon?
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 06:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
Sorry. I thought the iMac had Firewire or FW800 ....
Simon knows that. He said that the iMac always requires a bridge to external storage - either a USB bridge or a Firewire bridge.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Mar 9, 2009, 06:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Simon knows that. He said that the iMac always requires a bridge to external storage - either a USB bridge or a Firewire bridge.
Is eSata really THAT much faster than FW800? (I have eSata on my Dell E6400 ... doesn't seem to be a huge diff from the FW800 I used to use on my MBP)
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