Apple Needs to Make a Mac Mini(ish) Tower

There's still a need for something in between Apple's Mac mini and Mac Pro. That is not an iMac. Professionals, like me, that are professional consumers, or prosumers, still need something more than the Mac Mini and very much less than the Mac Pro.

There’s still a need for something in between Apple’s Mac mini and Mac Pro. That is not an iMac. Professionals, like me, that are professional consumers, or prosumers, still need something more than the Mac mini and very much less than the Mac Pro.

Unserved Apple Customer Needs

I consider myself a professional customer. Not a typical Apple consumer that loves their iPhone 8 or 11, their AirPods, and their MacBook Air. What I need is a top of line iPhone 11 Pro, a MacBook Pro, and a Mac desktop too. It’s that prosumer Mac desktop that Apple was ignoring for years. And while the new-ish 2018 Mac mini is pretty good – which BTW is what I’m writing this article on right now – there’s still an unserved need.

While I just happen to work in the technology business, I don’t need the Mac Pro – nor the iMac Pro. And the Mac mini and the iMac (regular and Pro) are not configurable and expandable enough for me.

Apple Left Me with Money Burning a Hole in My Pocket

I had been waiting and waiting – and then waiting some more – for Apple to finally do something, ANYthing, with desktops for prosumers and professionals, for years and years. I was on the verge of giving up and building a Hackintosh and had been researching the latest about Hackintosh tech every few months, for those years that Apple left me out in the cold. Putting it off, on the rumors and more rumors of a Mac mini refresh and a new Mac Pro. Basically Apple left me with money burning a hole in my pocket.

iMac Doesn’t Cut It for Me

All in one designs have never done it for me. Because technology advances fast and furious, and components don’t all advance at the same rates. And I’m a tech nerd. I need the flexibility to upgrade components any way and whenever I want to. So building a computer into a monitor never made any sense for me. Except, of course, in a notebook. Cause that’s kinda the point of a notebook design, so… But desktops… No way dude !!! Especially the workstation and server class desktops that I need.

So, there’s no way I would ever buy an iMac. While I do admire it’s design and engineering, an iMac is just not for me.

The 2019 Mac Pro Costs WHAT !!!??

Mac Pro Model from 2019

The tech in the 2019 Mac Pro is crazy cool !!! The engineer in me is wicked impressed and really really wants one. But it starts at $5,999.

It’s crazy – you can build this beast up to $52,599 !!! WHAT !!!??

I love it, but it’s not designed for all professionals. It’s great for some software engineers. And awesome for audio, movie and TV editing and producing. And killer for game, VR and AR engineers.

But it’s not designed, nor priced, for prosumers. And probably most software engineers.

Mac mini is Great but Not Perfect

Mac mini 2018

While the 2018 Mac mini is not perfect, it still beats the crap outta PCs and especially the Windows OS. I started writing about my experience with the mini while writing this article, and it turned into it’s own thing. So I published that here in My Mac Mini Saga.

It’s the closest to meeting my prosumer needs. But I still need and want more.

Enter the In-Between Pro Desktop

Maybe like in the announcement of the iPad, positioning it in between the iPhone and Mac. There’s a need for a desktop in between the Mac mini and the Mac Pro, that is not an iMac. For people that need:

  • i7 and i9 Core processors, but not Xeon.
  • Small tower case design that is easily accessible for upgrades.
  • Simple and affordable to upgrade RAM with at least 4 slots, no more than 2 used in shipping models. 6 slots would be nice.
  • Simple and affordable to upgrade SSDs with at least 4 NVMe slots, no more than 2 used in shipping models. 6 or 8 slots would be better.
  • Apple warranty that supports third party upgrades.
  • At least 2 Thunderbolt 3 buses supporting at least 4 USB-C ports. More is better.
    FYI: These ports would also support USB 3.1 Gen 2/USB 3.2 Gen 2×1/SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbit/s, and earlier USB protocols.
  • Support for USB 3.2 Gen 2×2/SuperSpeed USB 20 Gbit/s when possible on those USB-C ports.
  • 4 or more USB-A ports supporting USB 3.1 Gen 2.
  • Doesn’t need expansion slots.
  • Doesn’t need a monster GPU, or are good with an external GPU.
  • Same starting price points as Mac mini.

This model pro machine, would fill out the pro class line of Apple computers. And fulfills the promise Apple made to take care of all professionals, which they admitted they were neglecting for years.

This would fill in the last hole in Apple’s Mac hardware lineup.

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