The long decline of the Mac desktop?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Alan Browne, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. Alan Browne

    Lloyd Guest

    Yeah, the desktop is a bit of a dying market, or at best a good but not
    excellent growth market as people discover that for what they do, the
    smaller devices can perform well enough.

    I've been considering selling off my 27" iMac and getting a MacBook or
    Air and a big monitor instead. But I keep running up against the
    smaller size of the screen, the relatively poor keyboards and pointing
    device and the usually much slower HD in the MacBook and most other
    Lloyd, Aug 19, 2012
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  2. And for someone who has no need for portability, those differences are
    True, but compare that 15" MBP with a similarly priced iMac, not with the
    base model iMac.
    All that shows is that more people prefer portability, and are willing to
    forego specs and/or are willing to pay more for that portability.

    Fortunately, we all have those options so we can choose what's right for
    each of us.
    Michelle Steiner, Aug 19, 2012
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  3. Alan Browne

    Kurt Ullman Guest

    Unless on the road, I always run my MBP with a USB keyboard and mouse
    and a big monitor. Went years ago from a desk top and haven't had any
    problems with this set-up.
    Kurt Ullman, Aug 19, 2012
  4. Alan Browne

    Suze Guest

    Reasons I would think this to be true:
    1. My desktop is faster than I am, I simply have no need to get a faster
    2. My desktop runs everything I need for work (software and hardware),
    and I don't plan to screw that up with an updated OS that potentially
    outdates my software and peripheral drivers.
    3. I need fax capability and fax programs and modems are highly subject
    to getting messed up or deactivated with new OS's.
    4. Updating peripherals to new thunderbolt cable connections would
    probably be expensive.
    5. The trend is toward laptops and other portable devices, not just for
    leisure but for work and schools too. People are more "mobile-minded"
    than they've ever been before.
    6. People and businesses often just don't have the discretionary
    financial funds to update every time something new comes out.
    Suze, Aug 19, 2012
  5. Alan Browne

    Lloyd Guest

    That's what I've been considering and may yet do.

    Yesterday I got a 24" Sony PS3 3D display to use as a bedroom TV. At
    the moment it is connected to my W7 laptop that I use for
    Playon/Playlater and my PS3.

    I'm giving that a run for a bit and will use the W7 laptop for some of
    my music engraving with Sibelius which is what I do other than the usual
    internet stuff on the iMac. I'll have a better idea if that is
    something I like well enough.
    Lloyd, Aug 19, 2012
  6. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Alan Browne, Aug 19, 2012
  7. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    No shit?
    The real issue splits about portability, then performance and affordability.
    No shit?
    Alan Browne, Aug 19, 2012
  8. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Normally true here. Except when converting 10 GB of raw images to DNG's
    and loading same into the raw converter. Also running handbrake (the
    most efficient app I've ever seen: the CPU is always 100% when it runs).
    I don't use HB that often but it can take 10 - 20 minutes to convert a
    short hi def clip.

    So while my 4.5 YO iMac handles my needs well, an up to date iMac would
    handle them quicker.
    I've kept up with the OS X evolution with no particular problems to
    date. This means foregoing the Nikon scan software and using Vuescan
    (for example).
    I have an external fax/modem (USB). Works fine.
    Evolution, not revolution.
    Yep. Most people in an office environment could in fact use "thin
    client" type machines for their word processing, spreadsheets and
    preparing presentations and accessing databases and the web. Or for
    that matter using web based apps for the same.

    That could be a good market for Apple with an Apple TV based device -
    though it's already quite loaded with the likes of Wyse (recently
    purchased by Dell).
    Alan Browne, Aug 19, 2012
  9. Seems to me like you just contradicted yourself, though perhaps I
    overlooked intended sarcasm. I was going to reply to the first para
    above with a list of reasons that the smaller devices don't perform well
    enough, but then I saw that in the second para, you pretty much already
    did a good start at that.

    And even if you connect the laptop to an external monitor, keyboad, and
    mouse, as I used to do at work when NASA would provide me with either a
    laptop or a desktop, but not both, you still run into limitations like
    the video cards in laptops. Depends on your particular use, of course. I
    managed ok with that setup for what I needed in a work machine. But it
    wasn't even close to adequate for my home use, where games were
    Yep. And my Macbook pro reasonably suits my personal travel needs. I
    just got back from a month-long European vacation, where it served fine.
    (I did do some gaming on it, but the game I was playing is over a decade
    old - from - and was well within the capabilities of bootcamp on
    the laptop).

    But at home - no way. Not even if I replaced it with the newest model
    and tricked it out with external stuff. In fact, after fighting it for
    many years, I've finally largely given up doing games on my iMac (which
    I'm typing this on). I broke down and got a Windows 7 desktop machine,
    which I use for nothing but games. It works much better for the purpose
    than either this iMac or my laptop. (Yes, I have bootcamp on both the
    Macs, but my separate Windows 7 box still works *MUCH* better for

    Once I take games out of my personal Mac picture, I do find that my
    laptop with adequate peripherals could be adequate for the rest. I've
    told my wife that she could have this 27" iMac instead of buying
    something new if she wanted something better to replace her 6-year-old
    iMac. I could make do with the laptop plus my Windows game machine.

    So maybe Apple desktops are starting to move out of my personal picture.
    Desktops aren't, but Apple desktops might be.

    That's just me. I quite acknowledge that other people have other needs
    and make other tradeoffs.
    Richard Maine, Aug 19, 2012
  10. Alan Browne

    Lloyd Guest

    For the most part, I use the iMac for the normal internet stuff. Email,
    web surfing and online videos.

    But I also use it for music engraving as a hobby. I'm retired so don't
    do any actual work these days! :)

    You know, every day is a Saturday!! :)

    And I wasn't trying to be sarcastic in my post. Yeah, the laptops all
    suffer from poor keyboards, pointing devices and screen size, which can
    be got around with external ones. But that sort of defeats the purpose.

    The hardest part for me is that I really don't have travel needs. I'm
    at the point in my life where I don't enjoy travel much and often just
    make a trip or 3 a year to Kansas City area where most of my family is.
    But that is just a 6 hour drive away. I don't fly anymore as I have
    much lesser tolerance for bullshit, and the airports and airlines are
    all about piling on bullshit these days!

    So getting a MacBook or Air would be mostly about want...
    Lloyd, Aug 19, 2012
  11. Alan Browne

    John Young Guest


    Yes I always have a Desktop and a portable. My Mac Pros or earlier
    desktops last about six years. My Portables I usually replace in about
    two years. As you say about 3:1.
    John Young, Aug 19, 2012
  12. Alan Browne

    Your Name Guest

    Unless you actually need portability, getting a laptop is a rather silly
    exercise in wasting money compared to an all-in-one like the iMac.

    A laptop with the equivalent power, storage space, etc. plus the extra
    device like the larger display, external keyboard and mouse / trackpad
    will cost you more to buy and use up more desk space. Many people buying a
    laptop do so simply because it looks "cool" / as a trendy fashion

    These days, even if you only need some degree of portability, you might
    still be better off buying an iMac for "normal" use and an iPad for when
    you want to be elsewhere.
    Your Name, Aug 19, 2012
  13. Alan Browne

    Your Name Guest

    Apple already has an almost thin client-like desktop device: the Mac Mini.
    Your Name, Aug 19, 2012
  14. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    It looks really silly when you plug your 27" Mac in at Starbucks or put
    in the basket at the airport to go through the x-ray.
    That was my hope but iPad falls short in a couple key areas for my
    travel needs.
    Alan Browne, Aug 19, 2012
  15. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    It would need to be thinner. No HD, very limited local storage.

    Ethernet 10/100/1000
    WiFi b/g/n
    2 or 3 USB ports
    DVI out
    Audio in/out.

    With a retail price around $250.
    Alan Browne, Aug 19, 2012
  16. Alan Browne

    Your Name Guest

    I did say "almost".
    Your Name, Aug 20, 2012
  17. Alan Browne

    JF Mezei Guest


    Laptops have traditionally (or perhaps historically) not been designed
    for 24/7 use because it was assumed they would be used for a couple of
    hours at a time. Ventilation and battery may not be suitable for
    continuous use, especially if the CPU is constabtly being used (such as
    Handbake etc).

    Can anyone comment whether this is still applicable to Apple designed
    laptops ?

    Have CPU and GPUs gotten efficient enough that their heat production is
    no longer an issue and allow continuuoius use without heat damage ?
    JF Mezei, Aug 20, 2012
  18. Alan Browne

    Your Name Guest

    I did have a paragraph before that which said "Unless you actually need
    portability ..."
    Your Name, Aug 20, 2012
  19. Alan Browne

    Lewis Guest

    To the computer or to your legs?

    Laptops are still too hot for anyone in the industry to call them
    "laptops", but I've never had any Apple "laptop" damage *itself* due to
    heat. The very fact that they can be too hot to stick on your bare legs
    is because they are quite efficient at expelling their heat.
    Lewis, Aug 20, 2012
  20. Alan Browne

    JF Mezei Guest

    To the computer. I know that some models of laptops had been used as
    consoles for x86 machines in computer rooms (which means on 7/24) and
    experienced high failure rates and the vendor told the customer that
    laptops had not been designed to be used 7/24.

    This was a number of years ago and they weren't Apple ones. So I was
    wondering if this would be an issue/concern with modern laptops,
    specifically the oned designed by Jonathan Ives for Apple with the fancy
    but quiet ventilation.
    JF Mezei, Aug 20, 2012
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