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Mac Tower user


Sculptor
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Hi, This is my first post under this topic.  I have an older Mac aluminum tower.  I have it set up just the way I like it, slightly slow, but still good. 

Physically it's too big for the fifth wheel, which will soon be our full time address.

I wonder if there is a way to take the internal components and install them in a smaller box?  Has anyone done this?

A new laptop is way down the priority list at this time.

Thanks in advance.

 

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5 hours ago, Sculptor said:

I wonder if there is a way to take the internal components and install them in a smaller box?  Has anyone done this?

Sculptor - practically, there isn't.    BTW,  your older Mac aluminum tower is an iconic design.  Sorry it's too big for your RV.

The principal reason is that several of the parts inside won't fit in a smaller box. 

 

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1 hour ago, DanZemke said:

Sculptor - practically, there isn't.    BTW,  your older Mac aluminum tower is an iconic design.  Sorry it's too big for your RV.

The principal reason is that several of the parts inside won't fit in a smaller box. 

 

Thank you Dan. I have seen some windows computers with a custom enclosure. I have had my Mac apart and can’t imagine an easy way to do it. 

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2 hours ago, Sculptor said:

Thank you Dan. I have seen some windows computers with a custom enclosure. I have had my Mac apart and can’t imagine an easy way to do it. 

I suspect those windows computers with custom enclosures weren't populated with vintage tower parts.  

Old computer parts produced much more heat for less performance than current parts.  Your Mac aluminum tower doesn't just look good, it has a relatively thick aluminum case that acts as a very good heat radiator.  Trying to fit hot parts in a small case that doesn't radiate heat as efficiently generally doesn't work.

Suggestion: clearly define in your mind (hopefully writing it down to clarify your thoughts) what "set up just the way I like it" means.  And define what you mean by a "smaller" (e.g.  iMac or Mac Mini?).   And would you be OK with used device?

Hopefully you can find a Mac enthusiast or consultant that can configure you replacement computer to work the way you like it.

Based on what you've said, your choices certainly aren't limited to a laptop, if that is not what you want.

Edited by DanZemke
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8 hours ago, DanZemke said:

Since he specifically said "A new laptop is way down the priority list at this time.", the doesn't appear to be very helpful.

 

And within 18 months or so, he will finally figure out that he can’t do a lot of things, run programs, etc, because his unit is so out of date, won’t run current software, etc. he will be looking for a notebook.  We went fulltiming in 2006 and that was on the top of my list to save space and so I could be flexible.  I am giving him advice BASED UPON EXPERIENCE.   

 

 

 

 

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If buying a new Mac laptop, make sure it is one of the new ARM ones, since Apple is phasing out Intel processors.  

if buying a new laptop is out, then get creative on bringing the tower along.  Many do use desktop computers in RVs, they just have to figure out where everything goes when traveling and when stopped.  Where there is a will, there is often a way.

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It is worth acknowledging that a "tower" type system offers advantages that cannot be found in laptops, depending on the usage. I do a lot of photo editing and a smaller amount of video editing. I have a very capable laptop, but with some of the plug-ins I use it struggles both with processing and driving a second 4K monitor and rendering times can be slow.  I had a tower system custom-built for this reason, and it is far superior to any laptop available, mainly due to the power of the CPU and GPU processors and the ability to cool them. So "just get a laptop" may not work for the OP, depending on his needs.

And I agree with Bill, taking a tower system along isn't that difficult if you do some planning. I still use the laptop when we are travelling, as I'm not going to set up the tower for two or three nights. But it really doesn't take up that much room. 

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On 7/23/2020 at 12:56 PM, Pat & Pete said:

Exactly what we did about 10 years ago . Dumped all the towers I had and never looked back .

11 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

And within 18 months or so, he will finally figure out that he can’t do a lot of things, run programs, etc, because his unit is so out of date, won’t run current software, etc. he will be looking for a notebook.  We went fulltiming in 2006 and that was on the top of my list to save space and so I could be flexible.  I am giving him advice BASED UPON EXPERIENCE.  

Thank you Dan!  :) 

I agree with the folks above concerning the advice about outdated software and space.  The reason I added the 'priority' statement was because I am hoping for an easy stopgap measure until the moving and budget and rig upgrades get more manageable.   

One example might be to drywall screw the mainboard to a thin piece of plywood, and arrange the internals on the board so it fits in a nearby cabinet.  Cool and recyclable.  I would not actually DO this, THIS IS HUMOR, and I wont try it really.

Another possibility might be to move the computer to the sleeper and use the work station there.  I know that will be inconvenient.

This is all good input and thats what I asked for.  

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2 hours ago, mptjelgin said:

It is worth acknowledging that a "tower" type system offers advantages that cannot be found in laptops, depending on the usage. I do a lot of photo editing and a smaller amount of video editing. I have a very capable laptop, but with some of the plug-ins I use it struggles both with processing and driving a second 4K monitor and rendering times can be slow.  I had a tower system custom-built for this reason, and it is far superior to any laptop available, mainly due to the power of the CPU and GPU processors and the ability to cool them. So "just get a laptop" may not work for the OP, depending on his needs.

And I agree with Bill, taking a tower system along isn't that difficult if you do some planning. I still use the laptop when we are travelling, as I'm not going to set up the tower for two or three nights. But it really doesn't take up that much room. 

Thank you mptj,

You are correct I run PS, occasionally Aftereffects, and various CAD packages.  I use a secondary graphics card to get 4k on a 40" monitor. (some might call it a "TV")  I have not done any rendering lately but I thought it was slow years ago.  I think it was about 48 hours for 15 seconds of 30fps hi-def video.  (2 quad cores)  Internet is "nice to have when needed" but won't be walking over to the camp store for better reception with this setup.

Edited by Sculptor
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Sculptor,

I went from tower to iMac on a stick. Next stop is MacBook, but you can't beat a tower for "upgradability".

For example, my wife's 13" MacBook (Intel, couldn't wait) has soldered internal RAM and SSD drive. Not cool.

If you're looking for power (video rendering, intense graphics, etc), you'll at least need a high end laptop. $$$

However, if that's your intent, wait for the ARM MacBooks.

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57 minutes ago, Zulu said:

Sculptor,

I went from tower to iMac on a stick. Next stop is MacBook, but you can't beat a tower for "upgradability".

For example, my wife's 13" MacBook (Intel, couldn't wait) has soldered internal RAM and SSD drive. Not cool.

If you're looking for power (video rendering, intense graphics, etc), you'll at least need a high end laptop. $$$

However, if that's your intent, wait for the ARM MacBooks.

Thanks Zulu,

I have priced the high end Dell and $2k isnt available.  In a few years I might buy yesterday's model?  My graphics needs are not increasing.

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58 minutes ago, dixonge said:

Not to pick on you, in particular, but I've seen a lot of posts like this where someone with tens of thousands (if not hundreds) of dollars of rig/trailer balks at a 1-2,000 dollar upgrade for something else. It is a bit mystifying to me. lol

In your particular case, you are also trying to hold on to customization capabilities, which I understand. But Apple isn't focused on upgradeability unless you look at the latest Mac Pros.

Frankly I don't see any way to achieve what you are trying to do unless you loosen the purse strings or abandon Mac hardware and try to get some form of 'hackintosh' working.

Like I said, we are moving into the rig soon.  So priorities are temporarily elsewhere at this time.  I agree this move was foreseen for some time but it was much more important to actually get a rig complete and ready to move into. 
When I am ready I will ditch the Apple and maybe install Linux on my new Windows laptop.  For myself There doesn’t appear to be any reason to pay double for a high end Mac anymore. 

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Being deeply in the digital media realm, I need horsepower. I have a tower that has been pimped out. It still rocks most other machines. BUT it's not in my RV.

The 2017 and newer MacMinis are formidable little boxes. Fit about anywhere in a rig. Prices for these are really quite good on the used market.

I have built lots of Hackintoshes. They work. They will be killed off after the latest OS. Mac has been trying to neuter  this effort for years. Which means, you get one going using the current OS and don't upgrade it until nothing will run on it... that will be a few years. Plenty of time to get your money out of the effort. And you can run Linux and windows. I built one in a mini-itx case with a good graphics card and a goodly amount of storage. Just bigger than a MacMini. The little machine rocks video, graphics, photo work etc.

The tutorials on the web to convert are easy to follow and the tools are almost automated to the point of point and shoot.

All this being said... a mac laptop is hard to beat on the road. Something used, 2014 or newer, will be affordable on the used market and serve you for years to come. Then, as we have to do with all these bits-n-bytes boxes... we move the data to a new box.

Hope this helpful. I can answer any questions you might have if needs be.

Bob

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3 hours ago, trimster said:

Being deeply in the digital media realm, I need horsepower. I have a tower that has been pimped out. It still rocks most other machines. BUT it's not in my RV.

The 2017 and newer MacMinis are formidable little boxes. Fit about anywhere in a rig. Prices for these are really quite good on the used market.

I have built lots of Hackintoshes. They work. They will be killed off after the latest OS. Mac has been trying to neuter  this effort for years. Which means, you get one going using the current OS and don't upgrade it until nothing will run on it... that will be a few years. Plenty of time to get your money out of the effort. And you can run Linux and windows. I built one in a mini-itx case with a good graphics card and a goodly amount of storage. Just bigger than a MacMini. The little machine rocks video, graphics, photo work etc.

The tutorials on the web to convert are easy to follow and the tools are almost automated to the point of point and shoot.

All this being said... a mac laptop is hard to beat on the road. Something used, 2014 or newer, will be affordable on the used market and serve you for years to come. Then, as we have to do with all these bits-n-bytes boxes... we move the data to a new box.

Hope this helpful. I can answer any questions you might have if needs be.

Bob

Thanks Trimster Bob.  Yes it’s  helpful, and thank you.  I’m not very familiar with the Mac mini.   In the old SGI days most CAD packages were only available for Unix.  Hardware got better for PC/windows, until now I can’t find much of what I want for Mac. I think Adobe is the exception.  
So the next platform I buy will likely be a high end laptop by Dell.  Might be used.  
I like Mac products pretty well, and they seem much more secure from virus and malware problems, but for surfing and email an iPad works for me.

How is YOUR search for an HDT going?

Your helpful advice is much appreciated.  🙂

Edited by Sculptor
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Kevin,

Short version I see HP and a couple of other vendors offering a bit more bang for the buck in laptops. Click on the link below. Remember storage is cheaper today than ever. I stay away from Seagate drives. I switched from Samsung SSDs to WD Blue. same warranty and very fast for the buck.

I did not chime in earlier because I am Windows all the way. A bit disappointed in Dell with my last purchase the AIO which will have to go back for warranty repair. They have terrible USB hardware on it and the headphone jack won't work because the drivers of any description don't work.

They have the same headphone jack issues on recent XPS laptops. I rebuilt my 2720 and it runs rings around the new one.

For portable you can't beat the form factor of the Surface Pro systems. Mine are both i7 with 16 GB RAM and 256GB SSDs.

I agree having tried Apple that they offer no advantage over equally priced high end systems like my 2720 which even has the thunderbolt port, but has touch screen which Apple does not. And now they go to use the same OS and hardware architecture as their phones and iPads?

Microsoft tried that and I bought one; the infamous Surface . Sold it within a week. Went to the HP aluminum two in one with first gen Atom chips which were fast at first then too slow and I went to the Acer two in one 11.6" until I could buy warranted refurbished by Microsoft Surface Pros. I have had the Pro 3, the Pro 4, and the newest Pro 7, the only one I bought new. The Surface Go I can't recommend , too slow. I am selling mine. I will put the Surface Pro 4 bedside next to my Amazon Fire 10" 2017 tablet I use for reading. Kindles are just too small. I still have a Kindle Paperwhite I need to sell because outdoors I am not reading.

Anyway look at some of the HP and other offerings in the big box stores. Just looking for quad core gen 10 Intel 17" laptop I found this: https://www.amazon.com/HP-Quad-Core-i5-1035G1-Bluetooth-Accessories/dp/B089GJ18BV/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?crid=2B050YPGTIAA2&dchild=1&keywords=quad+core+windows+laptop&qid=1596134904&sprefix=quad+corewindows+laptop%2Caps%2C206&sr=8-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFJTFNKTURUWUJMTSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRJZD1BMDQ4MDk3MDFWREI2NU5HMjBFWVEmZW5jcnlwdGVkQWRJZD1BMDk3NzUxNTJFUVlZQkdJSVU5MDkmd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl

If I am buying a laptop for all my uses I want a 17" screen size in full HD as this one is. Also plenty of configurations in that link.

Today I want 1TB SSD on desktops internally and I have external drives for off line storage and backup system images.

I am essentially through with Dell. My 2720 needed to be replaced four times! My new 10th gen Intel i5 Inspiron 7790 AIO comes in with a non-functioning headphone jack I need to run my external Bose speakers from. And the HDMI input flakes out too. The same 4k Fire TV works perfectly on this 2720 and the TVs. It is their input and output internal circuits and drivers. And I'm capable of figuring out most things.

The only good thing that came from my new Dell is that I got motivated and found the minor repair needed to get my old Dell 2720 back up and running. I feel like an idiot not looking at the CMOS battery right away. I then upgraded it to max RAM of 16 GB and swapped the 2 TB HDD for Storage to a 1TB Western Digital Blue SSD. I left the LITEONIT mSATA 32GB SSD it came with in 2015 when I bought it refurbed by Dell as Cache but may spend the 40 bucks for the 256GB half size mSATA faster replacement and make it the boot drive. However, this 2014 High end Intel Core i7 4770S @ 3.10GHz Haswell processor now boots in under 10 seconds. Much faster then the new Dell AIO 10th gen booting from a 256GB BC511 NVMe SK hynix raid SSD, with a 1TB Western Digital SSD for storage from the factory! It came with one 8GB stick of RAM with two slots making adding RAM up to the 32 GB minimum less wasteful than throwing away an 8GB stick, or selling it. I just got a 16GB on sale of Crucial RAM bringing it to 24GB.

The only improvement on the new 27"AIO Dell is it runs much cooler. I do have a quad HD Acer 27" monitor.

 

 

 

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On 7/30/2020 at 3:47 PM, RV_ said:

I have had the Pro 3, the Pro 4, and the newest Pro 7, the only one I bought new.


Thanks RV, for sharing the in depth research.  It seems you would not recommend a Dell for any reason.  HP would be your choice.

I looked at the link and am surprised by the price, for what you get.  It seems quite affordable.  Do you think the 1 gh cpu speed is a typo?

I will need to run a large screen for a work monitor from a laptop.  On my current tower I use a 4K screen and a 4K capable Nvidia card.  It works well except for the tower size.  Any recommendations for an HP with 4K Nvidia graphics?

 

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Sculptor, NO I would not buy Dell XPS again.

I said I just did a quick search for a laptop and I agree that is a lot of bang for the buck on paper. Now go play with one in a big box store. I have not used one but I have seen great stuff for better prices than Dell in AIO units like I now use. SO I am not recommending HP, or any manufacturer but just saying to look around. Caveat emptor applies, YMMV! 😉

No the 1GHz is not a typo, they just separated the base frequency from the burst speed. Cache is good too. The best way to compare is to now avoid anything but quad core and up. Eight and six core CPUs are not really ustilized by the software companies so become like installing more than the max ram for a machine. Wasted.

So anytime you ant to know just google the CPU name,  in this case "Intel® Core™ i5-1035G1 Processor." and add specs to the end. I like Ark because I am used to their layout. Now go there with this link and it all becomes clear.

This is a 10th gen CPU and will be faster and run cooler than earlier iterations.

Then look at the Amazon ratings. I always go to all reviews and change the sort from Top REviews to most recent so if they are better than when introdiced we asee thed reviews from the machines being shipped now, Here is that link: https://www.amazon.com/HP-Quad-Core-i5-1035G1-Bluetooth-Accessories/product-reviews/B089GJ18BV/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewopt_srt?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews&sortBy=recent&pageNumber=1

Don't buy it on my say so. I never used it!! BUt if you can get one from the store to play with first great. However the reviews make that a terrific "looking" buy. If I used laptops, I'd likely buy it now and sell my current laptop later after everyone isn't a death threat from the COVId pandemic.

I am switching my main system when this XPS 2720 AIO that screams now, but really heats up my little home office. as does the Gen 4 Tower in the other room. My wife will get the new Dell Inspiron AIO 10 th gen.

Here is the page for my new Inspiron I have to get fixed for the audio/HDMI circuits. But everything else is pretty dang fast for 8GB of RAM I bought an add on stick of 16 GB I installed, tested, and removed until I see if it has to shipped to Dell. When it is returned or fixed it will have 24GB of RAM and really scream. It is fast now. So go here to see my specs: https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/195436/intel-core-i5-10210u-processor-6m-cache-up-to-4-20-ghz.html

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