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Apple's new Mac Pro said to ditch expansions

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#41 Janichsan

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 02:01 PM

View Postchoiceweb0pen0, on 11 June 2013 - 11:12 AM, said:

Hmm was hoping it would be a pyramid or even a pentagon. Maybe next time.
I heard, Jonny Ive originally went for a rectangular design with a ratio of 1:4:9, but then the fan started to make a shrill noise and it caused odd behaviour in the ape and astronaut testing groups.

View Postltcommander.data, on 11 June 2013 - 12:59 PM, said:

... but they should have made it stackable so that expansion chassis can be directly added as needed with inset Thunderbolt ports so that no external cables are needed.
Sounds like a great idea. With enough of these chassis, you could build an awe inspiring shiny obsidian-black column, that could be used to flank a Steve Jobs altar. Or you could put a golden apple on top. ;)

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#42 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 05:31 PM

View PostFrost, on 11 June 2013 - 12:37 PM, said:

Feh.

I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping they didn't add GK110 support in OSX recently for nothing and embedded Titan or K Quadros will be an option.

I mean I want to like this thing, but no nVidia and no expandability except through insanely expensive, clutter-inducing Thunderbolt peripherals is a really big gut punch for me business-wise.

Why don't you like AMD? You mentioned CUDA, but that's just Nvidia's closed version of OpenCL.
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#43 JaguarGod

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 05:45 PM

View PostDiablofett, on 11 June 2013 - 08:01 AM, said:

Actually, there are people whom build their own Mac machines. They are often referred to as "Hackintosh" machines. It takes some modification of the operating system in order for it to accept the machine as an authentic Apple machine, but they do work. If one had the knowledge, I would imagine you could take an old Apple tower shell and place new hardware inside it.
I have built and use quite a few Hackintosh machines. I also use two of them for my game development testing, one with Lion and one with Mountain Lion. They are getting easier and easier to build and perfect. But upgrading the OS, even some point releases, can be a pain. As long as you research the parts needed and stick to the formula, it can be acheived quite quickly. The first Hackintosh I built used 10.5.8 and was not a very good experience. The newest one I did was 10.8 and works just like a real Mac. But again, you need to know what you are doing. People who think that a Hackintosh is a perfect clone of an actual Mac will be disappointed as upgrading will never be perfect.
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#44 doh123

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 07:11 PM

looks kind of like a flower pot... I can see 3rd parties making stackable enclosures for it though eventually like they have for the mini, if the price point is low enough.  I was hoping more that they'd made it more... standard with more options.  Like... standard i7 or Xeon version... no GPU, to multiple GPUs... etc... and not force things on the users, but I guess that isn't Apple's way.

#45 The Liberator

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:31 PM

Found this on Reddit:

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#46 yo-mike

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 12:22 AM

View PostThe Liberator, on 11 June 2013 - 08:31 PM, said:

Found this on Reddit:

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Awesomeness!

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#47 Janichsan

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 01:31 AM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 11 June 2013 - 05:31 PM, said:

Why don't you like AMD? You mentioned CUDA, but that's just Nvidia's closed version of OpenCL.
CUDA predates OpenCL by a couple of years and is supported by far more applications.

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#48 Diablofett

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 07:12 AM

View PostJaguarGod, on 11 June 2013 - 05:45 PM, said:

I have built and use quite a few Hackintosh machines. I also use two of them for my game development testing, one with Lion and one with Mountain Lion. They are getting easier and easier to build and perfect. But upgrading the OS, even some point releases, can be a pain. As long as you research the parts needed and stick to the formula, it can be acheived quite quickly. The first Hackintosh I built used 10.5.8 and was not a very good experience. The newest one I did was 10.8 and works just like a real Mac. But again, you need to know what you are doing. People who think that a Hackintosh is a perfect clone of an actual Mac will be disappointed as upgrading will never be perfect.

Exactly why I mentioned, "If one had the knowledge." A friend of mine at a recording studio has had Hackintosh machines since the PPC days. He mentions that very complaint, even the slightest OS updates can mess everything up. To me, a Hackintosh seems like more pain than it is worth. I have the technical knowledge to build one, but I do not want to deal with the hassle of issues and errors. I might consider making one if I could gut a cheap scrapped Mac Pro or G5 Tower and use that to build one. I want a machine that looks like an Apple machine! The difficulty in doing that might be finding hardware that fits, but I would imagine the newer towers are pretty standard in terms sizing and whatnot.
I love OS X, but I have been steadily losing more faith in Apple over the past decade. Their machine's structural quality has gone down tremendously. My clamshell iBook is so much more durable than any of the Intel machines I have. My Powerbook G4 from 2003 was more solid than my 2006 Macbook Pro as well. Then the Intel switch came and they continue to charge premiums for their machines while even their pro models offer middle-range hardware for a top-of-the-line price. Such pricing was fine when they used PPC chips, but now that we basically have nice-looking PCs. I feel the prices should be tremendously lower. One could argue that you pay for the ability to use the OS and have an authentic Apple product, but I do not think their brand holds the prestige it once had. As a lifelong Apple user, I would like to continue to like Apple, but I am finding that more difficult to do as time goes on.

#49 the Battle Cat

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 07:22 AM

View PostThe Liberator, on 11 June 2013 - 08:31 PM, said:

Posted Image

And just why the hell would C3PO be posing with Darth R2?  I'm calling fake, I think this is photoshopped.
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#50 Janichsan

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:33 AM

View PostDiablofett, on 12 June 2013 - 07:12 AM, said:

Then the Intel switch came and they continue to charge premiums for their machines while even their pro models offer middle-range hardware for a top-of-the-line price. Such pricing was fine when they used PPC chips, but now that we basically have nice-looking PCs. I feel the prices should be tremendously lower.
While I share quite a lot of your growing disappointment with Apple, I cannot agree with you on this point. I get these arguments ("Macs today are nothing but normal PCs and should be cheaper!") so often, and on closer inspection it's obvious that those who make these arguments simply don't take all aspects into account. A computer is simply more than a CPU and a graphics board.

Let's have a closer look: take the MacBooks Pro, for instance. They are powerful (at least the 15" models), lightweight (especially the Retina MBPs), have a long battery life time and a good to excellent screen. Can you get a powerful Windows laptop for less money? Sure, but then you end up with a laptop that weighs significantly more, has worse battery life time and a worse screen. When you choose to go for a cheaper lightweight Windows laptop with long battery life, you can't get anything really high-performance. Are there Windows laptops that combine all these aspects – performance, battery life and high portability? Sure, but these cost easily as much as the MacBooks.

Comparison of the iMacs and Mac minis with Windows equivalents is less easy, since both have rather special form factors. Still, both fare surprisingly well in my opinion: the iMacs are easily the most powerful all-in-one computers available, while the Mac mini is the most powerful compact computer of this size. Comparable competitors are across the board less well equipped and often not that much cheaper. The iMac even does not fare that bad in comparison to other desktop computers when you take into account that you get a really good display with it.

The only Mac that is without any doubt not worth its money is the still-current Mac Pro.

The bottom line is that you surely can get a decent Windows PC for less money, but when you try to get one that matches the competing Mac in all aspects, you'll suddenly notices that there isn't that much of that fabled "Apple tax". You surely pay a lot, but you also get a lot.

(Note that this is only valid for the Macs. The iToys will lose in every aspect in a similar comparison...)

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#51 Frost

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 01:22 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 12 June 2013 - 01:31 AM, said:

CUDA predates OpenCL by a couple of years and is supported by far more applications.
Yep. Several Adobe apps also have CUDA-specific operations that are heavily used by some of the folks I've done builds/upgrades for. Apple may be "rah, rah, OpenCL" and that's cool and OpenCL may well be the future, but the reality on the pro market is there's no shortage of people who want CUDA support and AMD does not deliver that.

That's not so much an issue on a Mac Pro where you can swap out cards easily. Want AMD? Buy AMD. Want nVidia? Buy nVidia. GPU outdated? Buy a new one. If the GPU is embedded, all of that suddenly becomes a serious issue.

Remember, the Mac Pro is for professionals. Not people who want Superman's Mac mini.
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#52 JaguarGod

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:04 PM

View PostDiablofett, on 12 June 2013 - 07:12 AM, said:

Exactly why I mentioned, "If one had the knowledge." A friend of mine at a recording studio has had Hackintosh machines since the PPC days. He mentions that very complaint, even the slightest OS updates can mess everything up. To me, a Hackintosh seems like more pain than it is worth. I have the technical knowledge to build one, but I do not want to deal with the hassle of issues and errors. I might consider making one if I could gut a cheap scrapped Mac Pro or G5 Tower and use that to build one. I want a machine that looks like an Apple machine! The difficulty in doing that might be finding hardware that fits, but I would imagine the newer towers are pretty standard in terms sizing and whatnot.
I love OS X, but I have been steadily losing more faith in Apple over the past decade. Their machine's structural quality has gone down tremendously. My clamshell iBook is so much more durable than any of the Intel machines I have. My Powerbook G4 from 2003 was more solid than my 2006 Macbook Pro as well. Then the Intel switch came and they continue to charge premiums for their machines while even their pro models offer middle-range hardware for a top-of-the-line price. Such pricing was fine when they used PPC chips, but now that we basically have nice-looking PCs. I feel the prices should be tremendously lower. One could argue that you pay for the ability to use the OS and have an authentic Apple product, but I do not think their brand holds the prestige it once had. As a lifelong Apple user, I would like to continue to like Apple, but I am finding that more difficult to do as time goes on.
While it is very hard to find cases that look Apple-like, it is possible to find some that are pretty nice. Even the cases that "copy" Apple designs are simply ugly. But one of mine uses the NZXT H2 Classic and the big one uses the ORIGINAL Level 10 (Metal) case designed in conjunction with BMW. I say original because they have those plastic level 10's now. It is a very nice case, but not Apple-like at all.

It is too bad that you feel you are losing faith in Apple. I have been using Macs since the early 90's and though I wish they would concentrate more on the computer aspect of the company, I am still quite happy with them. I like OSX and I think the hardware is still the top of the line. Before I sold my PowerBooks, iBooks and PowerMacs, I loved them. But I have to admit that my MacBook Air is very solid for an 11" screen and as thin as it is and My MacBook Pro, I feel, is very solid. But I also take very good care of my computers and I have also taught my children to do the same.

If you are technically savvy, building a Mountain Lion Hackintosh can be very rewarding. They work very well. But I end up back at my Apple Mac Pro for the work as I just trust it more. And that, I feel, is a good enough reason to stick with an original Apple product. But my hackintosh builds did save me a lot of money though in the end.

Oh, and I did notice that you mentioned the "if one had the knowledge" statement. I was simply reiterating the point as I have fairly extensive knowledge of building them. I was not trying to ignore your comment. That's all.
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#53 Diablofett

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 06:10 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 12 June 2013 - 08:33 AM, said:

While I share quite a lot of your growing disappointment with Apple, I cannot agree with you on this point. I get these arguments ("Macs today are nothing but normal PCs and should be cheaper!") so often, and on closer inspection it's obvious that those who make these arguments simply don't take all aspects into account. A computer is simply more than a CPU and a graphics board.

Let's have a closer look: take the MacBooks Pro, for instance. They are powerful (at least the 15" models), lightweight (especially the Retina MBPs), have a long battery life time and a good to excellent screen. Can you get a powerful Windows laptop for less money? Sure, but then you end up with a laptop that weighs significantly more, has worse battery life time and a worse screen. When you choose to go for a cheaper lightweight Windows laptop with long battery life, you can't get anything really high-performance. Are there Windows laptops that combine all these aspects – performance, battery life and high portability? Sure, but these cost easily as much as the MacBooks.

Comparison of the iMacs and Mac minis with Windows equivalents is less easy, since both have rather special form factors. Still, both fare surprisingly well in my opinion: the iMacs are easily the most powerful all-in-one computers available, while the Mac mini is the most powerful compact computer of this size. Comparable competitors are across the board less well equipped and often not that much cheaper. The iMac even does not fare that bad in comparison to other desktop computers when you take into account that you get a really good display with it.

The only Mac that is without any doubt not worth its money is the still-current Mac Pro.

The bottom line is that you surely can get a decent Windows PC for less money, but when you try to get one that matches the competing Mac in all aspects, you'll suddenly notices that there isn't that much of that fabled "Apple tax". You surely pay a lot, but you also get a lot.

(Note that this is only valid for the Macs. The iToys will lose in every aspect in a similar comparison...)

Many comparably-priced Windows laptops have contained superior hardware in comparison to the Macbook Pros. Sure, they may be heavier and have less battery life... but often times you will find that their processors and other hardware (Blu Ray drives!) are better. If I recall correctly, the Macbook Pros of 2011 did not use the top-of-the-line portable i7 chips that were available from other laptop brands or in custom builds.
Whatever anyone else may think, I still feel that the Apple brand is tarnished. I will still continue to use my 17'' Macbook Pro for as long as possible. Thankfully, the fields I work in do not often require the latest and greatest OS. I think I can at least get five more years out of this thing, so my time of leaving Apple is still in the distant future if it does happen. Until that time, I will stick with 10.6 and bitterly await that time. :P


View PostJaguarGod, on 12 June 2013 - 03:04 PM, said:

Oh, and I did notice that you mentioned the "if one had the knowledge" statement. I was simply reiterating the point as I have fairly extensive knowledge of building them. I was not trying to ignore your comment. That's all.
Yeah, I did not take offense or anything. No worries. Thanks for pointing that out and giving a bit more information on your Hackintosh experiences. I suppose I could also look into building a 10.6.8 Hackintosh if I had to, and that would enable me to avoid the updating headaches. Of course, I am not sure if I can continue to use my work-related software on that OS version for five more years. That means no more Raven Shield for Mac too... darn!

#54 The Liberator

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 06:30 PM

View PostFrost, on 12 June 2013 - 01:22 PM, said:

Yep. Several Adobe apps also have CUDA-specific operations that are heavily used by some of the folks I've done builds/upgrades for. Apple may be "rah, rah, OpenCL" and that's cool and OpenCL may well be the future, but the reality on the pro market is there's no shortage of people who want CUDA support and AMD does not deliver that.

That's not so much an issue on a Mac Pro where you can swap out cards easily. Want AMD? Buy AMD. Want nVidia? Buy nVidia. GPU outdated? Buy a new one. If the GPU is embedded, all of that suddenly becomes a serious issue.

Remember, the Mac Pro is for professionals. Not people who want Superman's Mac mini.
Although the Adobe apps that I know, which are After Effects, Media Encoder and Premier, also render in OpenCL. I cannot say for the others.

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#55 Janichsan

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 01:30 AM

View PostDiablofett, on 12 June 2013 - 06:10 PM, said:

Many comparably-priced Windows laptops have contained superior hardware in comparison to the Macbook Pros. Sure, they may be heavier and have less battery life... but often times you will find that their processors and other hardware (Blu Ray drives!) are better. If I recall correctly, the Macbook Pros of 2011 did not use the top-of-the-line portable i7 chips that were available from other laptop brands or in custom builds.
That's exactly the cherry picking I meant: you focus on a few aspects, but disregard the others. Yes, the Apple laptops (or other computers) may not the best in any regard, but they are at least good in most, if not all, of them. In cheaper Windows laptops, you generally find that they might be superior in some aspects, but totally suck in many others.

Take the Retina MBP I'm sitting in front of at the moment as example: it's reasonably powerful and light-weight and not bulky and has a great battery life and has an excellent high resolution screen. I have all at once and don't have to pick one thing over the others, as I have in cheaper Windows laptops.

Apple has the better rounded computers (stupid decisions like not expandable "Pro" computers aside).

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#56 Janichsan

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 02:02 AM

View PostThe Liberator, on 12 June 2013 - 06:30 PM, said:

Although the Adobe apps that I know, which are After Effects, Media Encoder and Premier, also render in OpenCL. I cannot say for the others.
It's not just Adobe or video/media editing software. The Mac Pro is also rather popular with scientist and many, many scientific applications, no matter whether for quantum chemistry, physics, climate research or mathematics, are optimised for CUDA, but not for OpenCL.

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#57 The Liberator

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 02:18 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 13 June 2013 - 02:02 AM, said:

It's not just Adobe or video/media editing software. The Mac Pro is also rather popular with scientist and many, many scientific applications, no matter whether for quantum chemistry, physics, climate research or mathematics, are optimised for CUDA, but not for OpenCL.
Yeah, I had an idea about that, as I knew there was lots of graphical accelerated software in other stuff like that, I just did not know much.

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#58 Diablofett

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:15 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 13 June 2013 - 01:30 AM, said:

That's exactly the cherry picking I meant: you focus on a few aspects, but disregard the others. Yes, the Apple laptops (or other computers) may not the best in any regard, but they are at least good in most, if not all, of them. In cheaper Windows laptops, you generally find that they might be superior in some aspects, but totally suck in many others.

Take the Retina MBP I'm sitting in front of at the moment as example: it's reasonably powerful and light-weight and not bulky and has a great battery life and has an excellent high resolution screen. I have all at once and don't have to pick one thing over the others, as I have in cheaper Windows laptops.

Apple has the better rounded computers (stupid decisions like not expandable "Pro" computers aside).

I do look at the whole picture. Hard drives are another thing, after 2003-2004ish, Apple started using cheaper brands of internal hard drives on most of their computers. I could go one about every piece of hardware and what else is on the market, but that would make for a really long post! Apple has definitely become cheaper in terms of quality over the past decade or so. You can have your opinion and I will have mine. Mine comes from product research and experience. I am sure you are knowledgable in hardware as well and you seem to be a long-term customer too. Maybe you have been lucky.

All I know is that my 2006 Macbook Pro's power button caved in after a week, it still worked, but the aesthetic was blemished. I did not press down on it very hard, I take exceptionally good care of my belongings. I still have an SNES that is in mint condition that I have had since I was 4 or 5. The hard drive failed in the 2006 MBP after five years, while the 1997/1998ish iMac ran until 2012 before the power supply died. The iBook clamshell keeps on going strong, and a 1996 PowerMac is alive and well too. So far, my 2011 is showing no issues, aside from blue screens while running Logic Pro/Studio or viewing flash content in web browsers. Oh, and when it runs out of battery it likes to die completely (unlike my other laptops, that simply go to sleep). Sometimes it likes to give me the illusion that it will awaken from sleep like a normal laptop, but after I enter my password it decides to turn off. This may be more of an Intel issue rather than being specifically Apple's fault, but that is another story. My 2003 Power Book G4 ran until a backpack zipper somehow fell apart at a train station. The Powerbook took a historic marble tile with it as a twisted act of revenge. It still worked after that, but I had to put it out of its misery due to the extreme cosmetic damage. I would bet money that my 2006 MBP or my 2011 would crumple and crack without damaging said-tile if they met a similar fate, and they would not start afterwards. Of course, I am not going to take said-bet and try it. I still love both computers despite their obvious flaws.

#59 Janichsan

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:47 AM

View PostDiablofett, on 13 June 2013 - 06:15 AM, said:

I do look at the whole picture. Hard drives are another thing, after 2003-2004ish, Apple started using cheaper brands of internal hard drives on most of their computers. ... Apple has definitely become cheaper in terms of quality over the past decade or so.
Now we are talking about something completely different: performance and design features are one thing, quality of manufacture is another.

I both agree and disagree with you on that topic. First of all, that the quality of recent products is worse than that of past ones is hardly limited to Apple. Even if we just take computer hardware into account, I see a general trend that current products are of lesser quality. I have old computers with hard disks that are about 15 years old, that still work without any flaw, while on the other hand more recent drives – regardless of the brand! – seem to fail after two or three years on a regular basis. You mention your still working SNES. Try finding a current console from any manufacturer that would survive that long without a hardware failure. (Just ask Frost about his experiences with the Xbox 360.)

Electronics nowadays are in general cheaply mass produced of lesser quality, if not even designed to fail after a couple of years. That's a sad fact of life.

Secondly, Apple's manufacturing quality always had ups and downs. My first bondi-blue iMac was incredibly well built and robust, while the iMac DV not much later was not only badly assembled but also went through two hard drive and one DVD drive replacements. My now 12 year old iBook still works fine, while first Intel MacBook Pro from 2006 was simply a sh*tty piece of junk. Both my 2008 13" MBP and my current 15" rMBP work without any flaw, while my 2011 Mac mini has a Kernel Panic at least every two months. Since you mention your experience with dropping a G4 Powerbook: the rMBP fell also on a tiled floor a while ago (roughly 1 meter falling distance) and only got a minor dent on one corner.

Quote

Oh, and when it runs out of battery it likes to die completely (unlike my other laptops, that simply go to sleep).
That sounds as if you should try to reset your SMC. I had the same problem with the 13" MBP and the SMC reset fixed that.

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#60 Diablofett

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:52 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 13 June 2013 - 06:47 AM, said:

Now we are talking about something completely different: performance and design features are one thing, quality of manufacture is another.

I both agree and disagree with you on that topic. First of all, that the quality of recent products is worse than that of past ones is hardly limited to Apple. Even if we just take computer hardware into account, I see a general trend that current products are of lesser quality. I have old computers with hard disks that are about 15 years old, that still work without any flaw, while on the other hand more recent drives – regardless of the brand! – seem to fail after two or three years on a regular basis. You mention your still working SNES. Try finding a current console from any manufacturer that would survive that long without a hardware failure. (Just ask Frost about his experiences with the Xbox 360.)

Electronics nowadays are in general cheaply mass produced of lesser quality, if not even designed to fail after a couple of years. That's a sad fact of life.

Secondly, Apple's manufacturing quality always had ups and downs. My first bondi-blue iMac was incredibly well built and robust, while the iMac DV not much later was not only badly assembled but also went through two hard drive and one DVD drive replacements. My now 12 year old iBook still works fine, while first Intel MacBook Pro from 2006 was simply a sh*tty piece of junk. Both my 2008 13" MBP and my current 15" rMBP work without any flaw, while my 2011 Mac mini has a Kernel Panic at least every two months. Since you mention your experience with dropping a G4 Powerbook: the rMBP fell also on a tiled floor a while ago (roughly 1 meter falling distance) and only got a minor dent on one corner.


That sounds as if you should try to reset your SMC. I had the same problem with the 13" MBP and the SMC reset fixed that.

I did not say that all other brands remained the same, you are trying to argue something that I did not bring up in the first place. Regardless, one has to admit that Apple has gone pretty cheap. My other point was that there used to be a point of them having a premium price. Now our computers share the same innards as many mid-grade PCs, yet we still pay that premium price. I regularly encounter PCs, Macs, and Hackintoshes in my work-fields and I am always eager to compare the machines (specs and sometimes actual performance) when I get the chance. Sure you may not have the battery life or as pretty of a machine at times, but the performance of many similarly-priced PC machines from 2006 can easily defeat my 2006 MBP, for example.
As I mentioned before, I was not trying to argue that only Apple has gone cheap. The point of mentioning my SNES was so no one would ask, "Did you press the power button too hard?" Believe me, I used to get that question all-the-freaking-time when I used it as my work machine. When you have a high-end Mac, people often want to look at it. If they were even moderately observant, they would ask about the power button.
You mention your rMBP. I will say that my 2011 seems to be a bit more solid than the 2006. I would say that is because of a structural design change rather than a quality material change. The casing is still thinner than the Powerbook G4's.
I already tried the SMC thing shortly after I bought it, no luck. I reverted this laptop to 10.6.8, however, a friend of mine has the same machine in the 15'' format and he has the same issue. He used the stock 10.7.x OS and now has 10.8.x. So I highly doubt the fault is mine or is OS-version-related.