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Re: Pretty amazing Thunderbolt demo.

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Walter Soyka
Re: Pretty amazing Thunderbolt demo.
on Jan 23, 2012 at 7:22:40 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Drop the Optical Drive, drop the hard drive and PCIe expansion for the most part."

We've had this argument over and over. The things you want to eliminate from the Mac Pro in order to create a SuperMini aren't the things that add cost or space to the Mac Pro.

What does a DVD burner cost today? $20?

Drop the hard drive? And replace it with what? An SSD? That costs more money. A notebook HDD? That underperforms and still costs money.

Drop the PCIe expansion? That's the cheap part of the motherboard. You'll still need an expensive motherboard if you want dual-socket Xeon support, you'll need the hot and expensive Xeons themselves (one of which by itself costs more than half of your target price point), and you'll need expensive ECC RAM, a big hot power supply, a big cooling system, and enough space for all that plus airflow.


[Craig Seeman] "If Apple can drop the base price from $2500 to $2000 anticipating increased volume, they may make more. If they anticipate increased volume it may mean lower component costs."

If HP, Dell, and Lenovo, the numbers one, two, and three manufacturers of workstations respectively, can't get better component pricing on Xeons with all their volume, why do you think Apple would?

For Apple to build a system similar to what you envision at that form factor and price, it will have to be based on a single-socket Core i7 (and there are many PC systems much like this today).

You could pull everything but the CPUs, RAM, power supply, cooling, and a couple of Thunderbolt controllers out of the box, and it would still cost a lot of money relative to a well-equipped Core i7 system. Why would Apple expect increased volume on this system? The only advantage it would have over an existing workstation tower form is a slight size decrease, but it would also sacrifice internal expansion. You'd have to pay the same, but you'd get less for your money.

If you're going to build a performance computer, you need expensive components, and they still take up a lot of space. Dropping the optical drive, the hard drive, and two PCIe slots will not instantly halve the price or the case displacement.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
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