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New iPads
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Thorzdad
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Mar 18, 2019, 04:14 PM
 
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andi*pandi
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Mar 18, 2019, 04:49 PM
 
well, that air looks nice but not sure it cures my yearning for a pro.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Mar 18, 2019, 05:26 PM
 
For me, the biggest negative with the new Air is that it’s compatible with Pencil v1 only.
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mindwaves
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Mar 18, 2019, 07:07 PM
 
I feel Apple is at a loss on iPads. We first had an iPad Pro 9.7'' then jumped to 10.5'' then jumped to 11''. We abandoned the 10.5'' and then came back to it as the 10.5'' iPad Air. 4 different sizes of iPads now is a bit weird.

Good news is we finally jumped from a 2014 processor to something much newer for the iPad mini. Those will be good to use.
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Mar 18, 2019, 08:05 PM
 
We got our parents an entry-level iPad which replaced an iPad 2 (that still works and looks as amazing as the day they got it). This is an amazing deal. Without that new entry-level model, the new Air looks like a solid machine, but as mindwaves has pointed out if you take it into context, the line-up seems quite muddled as far as technologies go. Why release two new iPads with physical home buttons? Why the divergence as far as screen sizes are concerned?
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mindwaves
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Mar 19, 2019, 08:34 AM
 
https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/19/1...cessor-amd-gpu

Apple updates 2 year old iMacs with last year's processors! The only good thing is that they haven't increased in price unlike the Mac mini which went up 60% in price.
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OreoCookie
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Mar 19, 2019, 09:26 AM
 
Bummer. I just bought an iMac for a student. Oh well, Apple was too late anyway, I had to have it delivered before the 22nd.
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ort888
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Mar 19, 2019, 10:06 AM
 
Pretty underwhelming all around...

iPads and iMacs...

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OreoCookie
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Mar 19, 2019, 10:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
Pretty underwhelming all around...

iPads and iMacs...
No, I am all for boring updates — as long as they come regularly from now on. Add enough boring upgrades and you are getting somewhere.
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ort888
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Mar 19, 2019, 11:38 AM
 
I'm okay with the iMacs being boring, but the iPad line feels like a confusing mess right now.

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mindwaves
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Mar 19, 2019, 12:25 PM
 
Way too many iPads, yes. Seems Apple is at a lost when it comes to sizes. Take the regular iPad Pro as an example. First it was 9.7, then 9.7 and 12.1, then 10.5, then 11 and 12.1, and now we have iPad Air 10.5 (non-Pro). We also have the normal 9.7 and the iPad mini line.

All during that time, Apple had a difficult time distinguishing what made an iPad a Pro model. I personally own a 10.5 Pro and love it, but it is just weird what Apple is doing.
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ort888
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Mar 19, 2019, 01:29 PM
 
I'm having a hard time figuring out who the iPad Air is really for. I feel like the $329 (see if for $279 all the time) covers what 99% of their customers want out of an iPad.

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Doc HM
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Mar 19, 2019, 07:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/19/1...cessor-amd-gpu

Apple updates 2 year old iMacs with last year's processors! The only good thing is that they haven't increased in price unlike the Mac mini which went up 60% in price.
That ANY of these iMacs is still available fitted with a spinning hard drive is shameful. That they are fitted with the shockingly slow and die on a dime laptop drives apple uses is borderline criminal. The low and mid end non ssd specs should be treated as violating suitable use laws.
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OreoCookie
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Mar 19, 2019, 10:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
I'm okay with the iMacs being boring, but the iPad line feels like a confusing mess right now.
Agreed. The entry-level iPad is still an incredible offering and in isolation, the new Air is great, too. But it is clear that Apple's main motive here was to bridge the hefty price gap between these products. Plus, it creates another naming mess: iPad —> iPad Air —> iPad Pro vs. MacBook Air —> MacBook —> MacBook Pro. Ugh.
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mindwaves
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Mar 20, 2019, 05:48 AM
 
Personally, I think that the MacBook Air and MacBook model should be combined. They have the same wedge design. Just call one MacBook 12'' and the other MacBook 13'', something like that. Add the word "Air" to the end of it if desired.
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Mar 20, 2019, 06:15 AM
 
All of Apple’s product lines are a mess right now. The iPhone has 7, 7+, 8, 8+, XR, XS, XS Max. What is the obvious logic there? The iPad as already mentioned, I don’t see why you need both the low-end model and the 2019 Air. The laptop line I can maybe see what they were going for at one point - no pro and non-pro split, just a single line from 12” MacBook up to a massive 15” MBP - but it is currently a mess as the 13” MBA was reintroduced.

And when we get to the desktop-laptop split. If you have $1299, which is the fastest Mac for you in general usage? Should be the midrange 21.5” iMac, right? Lots of cores, lots of clockspeed. But no, it is hamstrung by the 2.5” 5400rpm drive. So a MacBook Air, then? 7W CPU isn’t making anyone happy. No, the smart choice is the non-Touchbar 13” MacBook Pro, from 2017.

Don’t get me wrong, you can configure good models there - in particular on the iMac side - but the base models are a mess. Why Fusion Drive in particular isn’t a standard feature is beyond me.

But I suppose the 27” iMac has an appropriate GPU for decent gaming again, which is a first since... the 2011 models, I think? Also some of the SSD upgrade prices dropped, that is always nice.
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.
     
mindwaves
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Mar 20, 2019, 07:36 AM
 
You are right, but the reduction is price is pretty stingy and RAM upgrades are still as expensive as ever.

https://www.engadget.com/2019/03/19/...-pro-mini-ssd/
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mindwaves
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Mar 20, 2019, 09:13 AM
 
Another day, another Apple hardware update. New AirPods this time with improved battery life. Case can be sold separately for use with older AirPods which is a nice touch. Of course, new AirPods command a price premium over old ones.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/20/1...g-case-siri-h1
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Doc HM
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Mar 20, 2019, 09:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Why Fusion Drive in particular isn’t a standard feature is beyond me.
And not the current 32GB SSD (really 32GB! 32!!!) That means only enough room for the system and maybe a couple of apps. Reinstate the 128GB SSD you penny pinching dicks! It's probably of a 50cent difference at wholesale anyway.

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Mar 20, 2019, 11:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
And not the current 32GB SSD (really 32GB! 32!!!) That means only enough room for the system and maybe a couple of apps. Reinstate the 128GB SSD you penny pinching dicks! It's probably of a 50cent difference at wholesale anyway.

Cray. Zee
I thought it was 24GB in the 1TB model, and still 128GB in the 2TB and bigger Fusion Drives. Could be 32GB, I suppose.

Anyway: I have seen massive usability improvements with a 4GB read-only flash cache. 32GB flash cache would make a very real improvement. I’m not super upset about that decrease, and it does save some real money. Flash prices are here:

https://www.dramexchange.com/#pc-client-oem-price

We probably need SLC flash for a cache like this to be certain to have enough rewrite cycles. That is a bit more than 50 cents.
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 20, 2019, 03:11 PM
 
I like this boring AirPods update because it doesn't make me want to replace my current AirPods.

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mindwaves
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Mar 21, 2019, 10:06 AM
 
I would buy the new AirPods if they had noise cancellation, I only recently found out about this feature a few years ago and love it.
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Mar 21, 2019, 10:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
I would buy the new AirPods if they had noise cancellation, I only recently found out about this feature a few years ago and love it.
Me too. I use a pair of Audio-Technica ANC 40BT all the time for noise cancellation. I may have to replace them now - they’re more than a bit worn, and a new version was just released - but they’re still great.
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 23, 2019, 01:56 AM
 
     
mindwaves
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Mar 24, 2019, 06:25 AM
 
I think I might buy the new mini base model but the cellular model. Be nice to put inside my car and be nice to use at my house without needing to tehther to my phone. I don’t have internet at my house and constantly tether which is inconvenient.
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Mar 24, 2019, 02:03 PM
 
FWIW, I’m thrilled with my decision not to get an “infotainment” system and use a cellular Mini instead.
     
mindwaves
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Mar 27, 2019, 10:18 PM
 
Mostly excited by Apple Arcade, no more buying coins to build that house in 5 seconds instead of 5 hours. News subscription, no need. I have BBC News and SCMP all free for me. I don't need anything else. I do occasionally like to read and buy finance magazines but I like the paper copy and don't want a subscription. Apple card, probably will do it, but won't make me switch from my CapitalOne Venture card. AppleTV+ maybe....but wait until I have a proper internet connection at my house first.
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Apr 2, 2019, 12:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
FWIW, I’m thrilled with my decision not to get an “infotainment” system and use a cellular Mini instead.
Mount? Pics? Wife's next car will have CarPlay. But my old car just uses an Android tablet since the ECU monitoring app is Android-only.
     
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Apr 2, 2019, 04:26 PM
 
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00...b_b_asin_image

It’s extra beefy, and has a strain relief which sits on the dash.

I’ll take an actual pic next time I go somewhere.
     
mindwaves
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Apr 4, 2019, 11:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00...b_b_asin_image

It’s extra beefy, and has a strain relief which sits on the dash.

I’ll take an actual pic next time I go somewhere.
Thanks, I just ordered one. My iPad mini will come on Monday so hoping to try it soon. In a related note, my iPhone XS eSIM works very well. Absolutely love it. Great international traveling companion without need to buy a physical SIM.
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mindwaves
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Apr 4, 2019, 12:52 PM
 
HomePod also reduced by $50. Still too expensive relative to others especially considering the limitations of Siri. I saw one for the first time yesterday and was surprised at how tiny it was. I think if Apple made it bigger, they didn’t have to miniaturize the components so much and made a better profit margin or lower the price. Home stereo speakers are one area which do not need miniaturized components.
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subego
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Apr 4, 2019, 02:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Thanks, I just ordered one. My iPad mini will come on Monday so hoping to try it soon. In a related note, my iPhone XS eSIM works very well. Absolutely love it. Great international traveling companion without need to buy a physical SIM.
My only complaint is the the suction needs to be “re-pumped” every now and again.
     
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Apr 6, 2019, 02:12 AM
 
Great i think i buy a new i pad
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Apr 6, 2019, 11:05 AM
 
I for wait update to j pad.
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Doc HM
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Apr 6, 2019, 06:33 PM
 
and we got some new iMacs but I see essentially zero f**ks given.

Is the iMac really "that" irrelevant now?
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reader50
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Apr 6, 2019, 07:15 PM
 
For those who want upgradeability, no current Mac is interesting.

After waiting years, since before the Darth Pro introduction, it was interesting to look at Ryzen boards recently on newegg. Instead of the constant fight with Apple to have basic upgrade options, it's all there at newegg today. Logic boards with slots. PCIe slots, RAM slots, socketed CPUs with later versions promised that can just be plugged in. Cases with drive bays, and the logic boards have the SATA and M.2 connectors to use those bays. Add a graphics card you want, without having to worry if Apple is feuding with nVidia this year.

My 2009 MacPro is still going, just needs a GPU upgrade. But when its time runs out, if Apple does not have a real desktop available, I'm ready to jump. Linux + macOS in a VM would be enough. Minor added software hassle, in exchange for clean hardware. With *internal* drive bays. You know, ones that work without connection issues if the dongle gets nudged.
     
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Apr 6, 2019, 07:53 PM
 
We are currently still running a tower macpro. Works great for all we need as long as software continues to support it.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Apr 6, 2019, 09:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Is the iMac really "that" irrelevant now?
I hope not. Near every graphic designer I know works on some flavor of iMac or another, or a laptop. I rarely see anyone with a MacPro in their office.
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Apr 7, 2019, 10:09 AM
 
They priced right out of our department. When the round pros came out our office switched to imacs. <grumble> and now we are considering replacing those imacs with macbookpros. (interestingly, we can plug new macbooks into the old imacs to use as monitors!)
     
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Apr 8, 2019, 05:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
and we got some new iMacs but I see essentially zero f**ks given.

Is the iMac really "that" irrelevant now?
I am not super worried about this update. I am disappointed that the Fusion Drive isn't standard (and I would give up the sixcore for that in a heartbeat), but it is a straight speedbump. This can still mean that there is a new model coming.

There was an interview with the iMac product manager on some podcast (Upgrade, I think), and apparently they do sell them on looks to a large extent. The current iMacs look good, no doubt about that, so I suppose that makes sense.

I have thought a little bit more about this thing with storage, flash and Fusion Drives. Fusion Drive came out in 2012, and presumably they didn't hack it up in an afternoon, so let's say they started working on it in 2010. If you look at the market in 2010, it is not at all clear that all flash, all the time is going to be solution. There was a real worry about write cycles as node sizes got smaller, and node sizes had to get smaller to make the storage capacity increase. At the same time, Intel was talking about 3D Xpoint, what would become Optane. Optane is faster than flash - and Intel promised even greater speeds than they actually delivered - and has way more write cycles than flash. If you launch Fusion Drive with flash, you could conceivably upgrade to Fusion Drive 2 with Optane down the line. The average read speed would probably be higher than an all-flash solution, because the speed for accessing that cache would be so much higher. Add in that Intel has been hitting nothing by homers lately (in 2010), and you need to guard against this future.

It didn't pan out this way. Flash manufacturers, led by Samsung, managed to figure out 3D NAND to make big flash chips on older processes with decent write cycle count, and Intel failed at Optane (yes, Optane launched, but it was late, had serious reliability concerns at first and isn't that fantastically fast anyway). I still think it was a good plan to be safe.

As the world is looking now, I think that the future is all flash, all the time, and Fusion Drive is a passing thing. Flash prices are down, reliability is much better than spinning disks, and capacity isn't that big of an issue anymore.

Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
For those who want upgradeability, no current Mac is interesting.
Depends on how you look at it. Right now, all Macs except the low-end laptops have several PCIe slots. That the PCIe slots are external and referred to as "Thunderbolt 3" is an implementation detail.

After waiting years, since before the Darth Pro introduction, it was interesting to look at Ryzen boards recently on newegg. Instead of the constant fight with Apple to have basic upgrade options, it's all there at newegg today. Logic boards with slots. PCIe slots, RAM slots, socketed CPUs with later versions promised that can just be plugged in. Cases with drive bays, and the logic boards have the SATA and M.2 connectors to use those bays. Add a graphics card you want, without having to worry if Apple is feuding with nVidia this year.

My 2009 MacPro is still going, just needs a GPU upgrade. But when its time runs out, if Apple does not have a real desktop available, I'm ready to jump. Linux + macOS in a VM would be enough. Minor added software hassle, in exchange for clean hardware. With *internal* drive bays. You know, ones that work without connection issues if the dongle gets nudged.
I'm going to be building a Ryzen computer once Zen 2 launches, because getting 12-16 5GHz cores at that price is just too good to pass up. I will even put it into a new, thin case (that I plan to mod a bit) along with the Vega GPU I already have. That is a very different thing than my Mac, though - I'm doing that for gaming, and I don't expect to be able to install MacOS on it.
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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Apr 8, 2019, 03:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Right now, all Macs except the low-end laptops have several PCIe slots. That the PCIe slots are external and referred to as "Thunderbolt 3" is an implementation detail.
Most new Macs have TB ports, but those are only the capability to add slots (with added latency). I have an eGPU box for my MBP 2011, which I use to work around the failed discrete GPU. It does work. But...

To actually add a card, it takes another $200+ for a TB3 box. $300+ if you want one with higher power supply and full length. More if you need the TB1/2 <-> TB3 adapter. So your $200 graphics upgrade (RX580 is $170+ on newegg) becomes ~$500 with the box. To say nothing of adding a 2nd card, internal drives, or RAM upgrades where the RAM has been soldered. Soldering down the flash chips is another downer.

I'll give bonus points for having Thunderbolt - it does open possibilities. But my definition of expansion is internal.
     
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Apr 8, 2019, 03:41 PM
 
A model with those available internally would probably cost at least $300 more.

Latency is obviously a thing, but is there that much of a price difference?
     
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Apr 8, 2019, 03:57 PM
 
2012 Mac Pro (4-core) $2,499
2013 Mac Pro (4-core) $2,999

The 2012 had 4 PCIe slots, the 2013 had none. No drive bays either. One (1) proprietary SSD socket. Oh, and it's still $2,999 today, though in the 6-core config. With dual 6-year-old GPUs.

2011 iMac 27" (MXM GPU slot) $1,699
2012 iMac 27" (soldered GPU) $1,799

In my observation, Apple does not reduce the price when removing slots. So it stands to reason they do not need to increase prices restoring them. In the meantime, it costs us a lot to add them back. eGPU boxes come with only 1 PCIe slot. If you want more, you have to add more boxes.

Yes, it costs more. If you want the multiple slots back, it costs a lot more.
     
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Apr 8, 2019, 04:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
In my observation, Apple does not reduce the price when removing slots.
Cost has little to no bearing on price. This is something people have a difficult time understanding, because "you get what you pay for" has been so deeply ingrained in us, likely by the marketers of premium (read: high profit margin) products.

What Apple found is that they could eliminate the cost of designing expandability into the product, while still commanding the same (or increased! - ooo, it's so compact and sleek) price, thus capturing a higher profit margin.
     
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Apr 8, 2019, 04:26 PM
 
The original MacBooks were awesome to upgrade - yank out the (removable!) battery, and your hard drive and RAM slots were right there, for super easy access.

But when consumers are shopping for laptops, they see what the thing looks like (so thin! so light!) and how the spec sheet stacks up (0.001" thinner! so much better!) - they don't see upgrade-ability. Few people care about that, and even fewer factor it into their buying decision when shopping.

Compounding that is how specs have basically leveled off in recent years. Since 2012, every (non-i3) iMac came standard with 8GB of RAM. Today, every iMac comes standard with...8GB of RAM. Every (non-i3) iMac came with a 1TB hard drive. Today, every iMac comes with...a 1TB HD. Sure bus speeds are faster now, but that was never something you could upgrade on a laptop in the first place.

Most people didn't bother upgrading their 2008 MacBooks in the first place - after a few years they just grabbed the new model.

I have a 2010 Mac Pro and a 2013 MacBook Air and there's nothing a new machine could do so much better than my current machines that it's worth the hassle of an upgrade, let alone the cost.
     
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Apr 8, 2019, 04:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
2012 Mac Pro (4-core) $2,499
2013 Mac Pro (4-core) $2,999

The 2012 had 4 PCIe slots, the 2013 had none. No drive bays either. One (1) proprietary SSD socket. Oh, and it's still $2,999 today, though in the 6-core config. With dual 6-year-old GPUs.

2011 iMac 27" (MXM GPU slot) $1,699
2012 iMac 27" (soldered GPU) $1,799

In my observation, Apple does not reduce the price when removing slots. So it stands to reason they do not need to increase prices restoring them. In the meantime, it costs us a lot to add them back. eGPU boxes come with only 1 PCIe slot. If you want more, you have to add more boxes.

Yes, it costs more. If you want the multiple slots back, it costs a lot more.
I’d be curious how those Mac Pro numbers would turn out if they were corrected for factors such as economy of scale, and, well... literal scale.
     
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Apr 9, 2019, 12:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Most new Macs have TB ports, but those are only the capability to add slots (with added latency). I have an eGPU box for my MBP 2011, which I use to work around the failed discrete GPU. It does work. But...

To actually add a card, it takes another $200+ for a TB3 box. $300+ if you want one with higher power supply and full length. More if you need the TB1/2 <-> TB3 adapter. So your $200 graphics upgrade (RX580 is $170+ on newegg) becomes ~$500 with the box. To say nothing of adding a 2nd card, internal drives, or RAM upgrades where the RAM has been soldered. Soldering down the flash chips is another downer.

I'll give bonus points for having Thunderbolt - it does open possibilities. But my definition of expansion is internal.
How much latency does TB3 add over PCIe4? Because in what figures I have seen it is in the tens of nanoseconds. Don’t get me wrong, latency is bad, but nanoseconds? I mean, if you’re on that level, you would see difference between different PCIe slots as well.

I wasn’t thinking of making an eGPU or similar, I was looking beyond that. What is the improvement in use from putting the storage internally instead of externally? Bandwidth? No. Latency? Irrelevant compared to flash storage latency (and certainly compared to spinning rust). Save on the power supply? You can get more than enough power over TB3 to power any drive, from the computer. What else do you want expansion cards for? Networking? Even USB 3.0 is fast enough for that. Audio? Easy-peasy. No, the one thing that is even debatable is a GPU. The market for that isn’t big enough that there are dedicated external GPUs that aren’t based around a PCIe card, but there is no technical reason why you couldn’t make one.

I want a RAM door for upgrades, but on the laptops with LPDDR, that isn’t possible. Other than that, TB3 is enough expansion.
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.
     
reader50
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Apr 9, 2019, 02:19 PM
 
My MBP has TB1, so I had to pay the rest of the overhead: eGPU box + TB1->3 adapter. Latency may be a concern, but when I wrote that, I meant bandwidth. Sorry.

Even a TB3 bus is hogged by an eGPU, and I ran into it. My box has additional ports, including a drive bay. When using the eGPU, connected drives were slow and may have unmounted occasionally. Not certain of that, the experiment was months ago. Extra connected drives were stable if the eGPU was not in use. That's why I wrote that you need a 2nd box (and 2nd TB bus) if you want additional slots.

Internal storage is free to the user. The bays already exist, so it's not a few hundred more + cables & boxes on your desk. And added internal drives tend to be quieter than adding them to a separate box with separate fan.

I use my PCIe slots for:
main GPU (upgraded every few years)
eSATA card, for more than 4 drives.
USB3 card.
2nd small GPU that has drivers in older OSX versions. (boot back for older software)
Sometimes, my video capture card.

A newer machine would have USB3 already. But without PCIe slots, all the other uses are in question. I've considered adding a card with M.2 slots, but I may not have a spare slot for it. PCIe gives standardized expandibility, to work around Apple's proprietary SSDs, add later ports, etc. Or older ports, if Apple takes more away. Slots put the user in control of their hardware.
     
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Apr 9, 2019, 03:19 PM
 
TB1 is an issue. It is the equivalent of a single x1 3.0 slot, and I’m not sure about the backhaul from that to the memory controller in your model - I think it shares 2 lanes with...everything in the world, which gets congested. TB3 is much better about this - and all modern Macs have that, along with at least 4 lanes of backhaul.

But internal bays over external, that is where I disagree. An external USB 3 chassis costs essentially nothing, as the computer provides power, and I would pay that over opening a slim a computer (or even my 2009 iMac). Sound does not matter for an SSD. eSATA is dead, replaced by USB 3 or TB 3 for everything. Internal expansion has value for a GPU, but that’s it.
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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Apr 9, 2019, 04:05 PM
 
If flash prices fell, I'd agree with much of that. But an 8TB HD costs ~$200, while a similar-sized SSD runs over $1200. Anything bigger is not readily available in SSDs.

If you want storage, you need 3.5" hard drives. As those have hit density issues, they're limited to 14TB each (16TB announced, but not shipping). So that means RAID arrays. The best price-per-TB is in the 8-10TB range today.

I doubt TB3 can power a 5-drive external 3.5" cage, and it certainly needs at least one fan. Probably a 2nd for the power supply. If you need more than one drive cage, double the fan count. And you need eSATA if you want SMART to be readable. Last I heard, USB does not pass SMART data.

I'm not sure why you'd be against internal drive options or PCIe slots. Even if you do not use them personally, they increase options for all owners. They are to our collective benefit, allowing deferred purchase of newer computers. The added design cost to Apple is minimal compared to our collective savings. There are environmental benefits too, as e-waste recycling is often messy.
     
 
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