Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Apple Recap

How'd I do with those predictions?

The big surprise, to me, was that the "It's Been Way Too Long" teaser image appears to have been nothing but a red herring. It doesn't seem to match up with any of the things they actually announced. It makes me wonder if perhaps they had to shelve a planned announcement.

The iPad Air and iPad Mini received incremental updates. The star of the show, obviously, was the Retina iMac.

As Marco Ament notes:

According to early Geekbench reports, the 4 GHz, 4-core Retina iMac appears to be 25% faster than the 6-core Mac Pro in single-threaded tasks and only about 15% slower in multi-threaded tasks...

...The Mac Pro is still more expandable than the iMac in some ways. It has 6 Thunderbolt ports across 3 buses for more monitors and high-bandwidth external storage capacity, and it supports up to 64 GB of RAM instead of the iMac’s 32 GB ceiling. Otherwise, the differences are small.

Retina iMac with 4 GHz, 16 GB, 512 GB SSD, M295X: $3500
Mac Pro with 6-core, 16 GB, 512 GB SSD, D500: $4300

But that's a bit like saying a $70,000 Corvette is cheaper than a $250,000 Ferrari. Sure it is, but it's way more than I could ever realistically spend. My most realistic hope involves my boss buying himself a Retina iMac so I can at least check it out.

Biggest Letdown. The Mac Mini's update was more of a downgrade, going from a quad-core CPU to a dual-core CPU, losing its second drive slot, and losing user-upgradable RAM. That's a real bummer, because Mac Minis make pretty good servers and you can host them very cheaply at hosts like MacMiniVault or MacMiniColo. I'd also been considering getting an 2014 Mini I could use for development work, since you can plug a couple of 27" monitors into one -- but the new Mini is just too lackluster.

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