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Which desktop Mac design (not features, just design!) do you like the most?

1/1: Which desktop Mac design (not features, just design!) do you like the most?

Original 1984 Mac 213 (3.41%)
Mac II 52 (0.83%)
Mac SE 189 (3.03%)
PowerMac 8500 56 (0.90%)
20th Anniversary Mac 532 (8.52%)
The Cube 2,334 (37.37%)
Original iMac 252 (4.04%)
Flat Panel iMac 1,348 (21.59%)
Any of the current PowerMac G4s 482 (7.72%)
PowerMac G5 649 (10.39%)
Other (list in comments!) 138 (2.21%)
Other polls | 6,245 votes | 38 comments

Which desktop Mac design (not features, just design!) do you like the most? | 38 comments | Create New Account
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PowerMac 9600 for Ease of Access + Expansion
Authored by: glowurm on Jul 28, '03 11:02:18AM
The x500 series = Crap Garbage Pain to do any sort of upgrades to.

In my memory the 9600 series was top notch in available space and ease of access, features which I still desire in current machines. Sure, you've got ease of access in the newer models, but nothing beats 12 RAM slots, 6 PCI expansion slots, and 4 drive bays. Nothing except a machine with more space than that, but Apple has yet to build one (AFAIK).

Granted, only 1 of those bays were free in the default configuration, and the RAM is listed as only being expandable to 1.5GB, but that's still a lot of freakin' memory. Especially at the prices back then...

Have a look here for more info, and for a demo of the "Easy Open Case" look no further than this QTVR.

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8500 etc...
Authored by: robg on Jul 28, '03 11:25:55AM

The 8500 was, indeed, a major PitA to work on. Four thumscrews at the back, then, if I recall correctly, you were then looking at the bottom of the motherboard, and that required some convolutions to remove in order to add RAM ... it's many years ago now, but that's my recollection of it.


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8500 etc...
Authored by: nathanst on Jul 28, '03 04:04:00PM

Yes; I have one sitting here that's been upgraded up the wazoo. Among other things I have a floppy cable hanging out the front of the floppy port where a second HD is mounted...

Not only do you have to mess with the screws in the back and remove other major components to get access to the memory, it is also a pain to put the cover back on, since you have to get the little metal strips on the edges lined up perfectly before the cover will go on, and you usually bend a few of them each time you do it.

But, the 7500 (which I recently got rid of) was relatively easy to get access to, since everything just unlatched and swung open. Almost as easy as today's machines.

The best thing about these machines is the processor daughter-card that makes it easy to upgrade the processor.

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PowerMac 9600 for Ease of Access + Expansion
Authored by: foo12 on Aug 11, '03 03:38:52AM

Don't forget that the 9600 also had a mounting points for (iirc) two internal hard drives in addition to the factory drive.

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17" Powerbook G4
Authored by: kowe on Jul 28, '03 01:23:23PM

I love this machine. It's so well designed. Sturdy, great looking case, huge bright screen, great keyboard, ambient light sensors for keyboard lighting, etc... They improved on all the issues they had with the Titanium powerbook. All this in about the smallest form factor possible for a 17" display. And it's VERY portable. The only people you'd hear say otherwise are those who don't own one!
I'm surprised none of the powerbooks were listed to choose from in the poll!!


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Wrong poll :-)
Authored by: robg on Jul 28, '03 01:37:55PM
The question was (emphasis added):

"Which desktop Mac design (not features, just design!) do you like the most?"

I was planning on running a separate poll on the laptops once this one has had a couple weeks of life :-).


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Wrong poll :-)
Authored by: kowe on Jul 29, '03 01:55:53AM

Whoops... I guess I should have read a little closer. Well you know my vote is coming in a few weeks!

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Wrong poll :-)
Authored by: adamjacobmuller on Aug 05, '03 07:05:01AM

aww geez, my powerbook G4 12' is the best computer i have ever owned, desktop or laptop.
the coolest thing about it that was never advertized to me is the fact that when you open it up the little apple icon on the back of the screen lights up!!!!
i love this little g4, it's just great.
and i love the fact that you can have a 12', 15', or 17' depending on your lifestyle and likes/dislikes.
a mac for everyone.

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there can be only one :-)
Authored by: poenn on Jul 28, '03 06:19:04PM

and this one is definitely the cube!
i don't own one since i prefer powerbooks because of portability, but the cube still rocks in my opinion!

it was way ahead of its time (as apple is so often).
just look at these ugly pc-barebone cube-like things, that are so famous right now. :-)

the cube's design is just timeless, so:
there can be only one! :-)

on second thought: the ice-cubes for drinks are cool, too...
it's getting late, good night folks and

hallo world from germany

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LC Series
Authored by: Gigacorpse on Jul 28, '03 07:05:03PM

I liked the LC series. It was small and nice.

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LC Series
Authored by: bilca on Jul 31, '03 09:28:54AM

Yes, Yes, Yes! The LC should get an update with a G5.

It CAN float!

Now something on the poll: What do you all concider design? Just the looks or the total combination of features.

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Cube -- should've been an iMac
Authored by: filburt on Jul 28, '03 07:18:37PM

We all know why the Cube failed... it ain't a cube! Hyuck. 8)

A corny joke aside, the Cube is a beautiful box. Although I do not agree with top-loading slotless optical drive, it represents the design quite ahead of its time.

It is widely agreed that the New iMac is largely based on the Cube. The primary differences being integrated LCD, more practical design, and price. Particularly with the 17" widescreen iMac, there's a little reason to bring the Cube back (although I would much prefer higher resolution 20" or 23" Cinema Displays).

That said, I voted for the new PowerMac G5. Although many still ridicule its cheese grate-like front, it is the most future proof tower design out there (with a possible exception of single optical drive slot). In person, it really is beautiful. While the Cube is more beautiful, it is too limited as a desktop.

Anxiously waiting for Powerbook G5 (hopefully towards the end of next year?).

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Cube -- should've been an iMac
Authored by: willbank on Jul 29, '03 08:40:07AM
I really hope we don't have to wait until the end of NEXT year!

No, really. This is a healthy obsession.

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Color Classic
Authored by: flimflam on Jul 28, '03 09:40:10PM
My favorite is definitely the Color Classic. It looks a little funny in photos, but in person it's really sexy.

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why not extend to apple in general?
Authored by: rkchang on Jul 29, '03 12:03:23PM

What about the Apple IIc? The original plug-and-play computer!

I remember having (as far as I know) the first clone of this computer...a Laser 128!

"I have seen the evils of procrastination, and I vow to change my ways tomorrow."

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why not extend to apple in general?
Authored by: phi on Aug 13, '03 06:07:12PM

I remember saving up to buy a Laser 128, cause there was no way I could afford the Apple...

My fave form factor is still the "pizza box" (6100?)
If Apple would remake it with a G4 (or G5) and DVD-ROM, it would go right into my entertainment center, and I'd chuck the DVD player and VCR into the yard sale closet (with my IIFx, Classic II, and 2300c)

I guess I could take a 12" AlBook and remove the LCD to get a similar device using a bluetooth remote instead of infrared, hrmmm....


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Tough Choice
Authored by: Makosuke on Jul 29, '03 04:00:59PM

It was surprisingly hard for me to pick just one.

The LCD iMac is just beautiful--it'd be hard to improve on that. The Cube, of course, has its own mix of beauty and functionality.

Then again, I really like the G4 fold-out case, too--nice looking, nice for getting in to.

And I'm quite partial to the 8600s (pretty much the same as the 9600s, I think), too--first use of translucents on an Apple machine, I believe (the green plastic button to open it). Easy to get into (man, such a departure from thost 8500s... or the 8100s), elegant for a beige box, and lots of expansion.

But, my vote still went to the G5. It's not as beautiful as the iMac or Cube, and not quite as much to my liking as the G4s for expansion, but it's got one thing none of the others do on the same level--ultimate internal design. It's the only Apple machine to be designed, totally from the ground up, to keep the internals cool and happy, everything else be dammned. I like that in a big way.

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Cube by far, but . . . .
Authored by: mmulhern on Jul 29, '03 05:00:04PM

The Cube is by far the "best" design for a desktop computer I have ever seen, but it came out in the era when I had moved from my Apple][s (+, //e, and //c) over to x86 platforms. Now I've come back with a vengence and have a PowerMac (QS2002), iBook (White 2xUSB), and a TiBook800.

The Cube is a far better design than the LCD iMac because while I am impresssed by the actual LCD screen and it's mounting, the deflated soccer ball base just does not have the same flair, or vibrance of the new iBook, or the stunning simplicity of the Cube. The dull white surface just doesn't do it for me sitting under that beautiful 17" LCD screen. Come on Apple, now that you've upsized the LCD, how about a make-over on the iMac base.

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Cube by far, but . . . .
Authored by: tim_bissell on Aug 01, '03 05:19:16AM

I've a Cube iMac 17" and powerbook 15" (not to mention a Mac plus, Apple II+ and //e)

The cube is definitely the coolest, but I still hanker after an
Apple ///. The iMac base could definitely do with updating, perhaps
a chrome finish; brushed aluminium would look too much like a kettle!

My dream apple design to succeed the cube would be a transparent cylinder, with the mobo bisecting it; and two whacking great copper fan heatsinks on each side. Perhaps a big fan on top, protected by a mesh, turning at a couple of hundred RPM. Dual G5s, and all the peripherals/PSU in a separate box connected by a 800MHz firewire cable which sits by the screen.

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Ah, Macs of yore....
Authored by: Han Solo on Jul 30, '03 04:07:27AM
I remember fondly when the SE/30, the IIci, the 840A/V each were released.... Each in its time made you wish you could afford one. (Note that each was, in unadjusted dollars, as or more expensive than the upcoming dual 2GHz G5!) None of these where necessarily the best case design, but as a "complete package" they each had a coolness to them at the time. The Cube was probably the height of pure design, but it was form over function and thus doomed to relatively weak sales because of that.

In other words, don't judge a Mac by its plastics! ;) What's inside (including the version of the OS that shipped on each) ultimately matters much more. Along those lines....

Decidedly less cool was the IIvx, and just about anything in the LC series. (The latter were good deals for students, but no one bragged about owning one.) And what got into the Cupertino water supply that led to the Dalmation iMac seeing the light of day? Ugh. :P

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Re: Blue Dalmatian
Authored by: gayoakland on Aug 27, '03 05:37:01AM

If you ever saw the Blue Dalmatian (or Flower Power) iMacs in person, you might not be disparaging them. The Blue Dalmatian was more than just blue and white. They were a lot more interesting close up with extra colors that didn't show in pictures.
But Apple did respond quickly when they didn't sell.
And, of course, I never bought one either.

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Blue and white G3
Authored by: kal_zakath on Jul 30, '03 09:21:23PM

It's like the Original G4 (my model), but I really like the way the blue looks. Also, my G4 has a tendency to come open, and none of the G3s I've worked with do that.

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Blue and white G3 definitely
Authored by: sebid on Aug 03, '03 01:33:53PM

I totally agree with you.
The b/w G3 has the coolest tower design ever.
I can't understand, why Apple got back to this boring grey with the G4s.
Unfortunately I had to sell my b/w G3 to buy an iBook which is also very cool.

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Blue and white G3
Authored by: UltraNurd on Aug 05, '03 10:36:15PM

It started their amazing series of tower designs. So easy to get to everything, especially compared the the PPC 9000 series!

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Authored by: ChuckR on Aug 01, '03 03:47:10PM

I liked the original LC I/II/III series. Compact elegant form. Was a great departure at its time in desktop CPU design.
Second choice the 9500/9600 series for its 6 slots.

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For all you cube lovers:
Authored by: Anonymous on Aug 04, '03 04:43:43AM
Authored by: Brian Kendig on Aug 04, '03 10:06:00AM

Where are the IIci and IIcx in that list? Those had a GREAT design! At a time when PC cases would rip your fingernails off if you tried to get into 'em, the IIci/IIcx were a cinch to open to add cards or memory, to get at the hard drive, or to replace the battery. The IIci in particular was a solid workstation that you could hold under your arm and cart off to wherever it was needed.

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Damn, people, what about the Color Classic?
Authored by: afgillitt on Aug 04, '03 12:17:38PM

what a fine machine- all the style of the original Mac, but on steroids, with a sweet 9" display... i finally picked one up last summer, and it is an awesome little machine.

That being said.... i love my AlBook12 even more, thank you veddymuch

"There are no stupid questions, only stupid people." Mr. Herbert Garrison

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Authored by: dcclark on Aug 04, '03 08:41:34PM

My PowerBook G3 (Pismo) is extremely stylish and very nice to look at. It's stealth. :-D

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20th Anniv
Authored by: saint.duo on Aug 04, '03 10:35:57PM

I have always loved the look of the 20th Anniversary Mac. With the speakers, optical drive, computer, and screen all in a nice vertical stand. I want one to put in my living room as an MP3 jukebox with a G3 upgrade, running iTunes visuals.

As far as the speaker humming problem... I think I would find a way to make that stop. From what I've been told, it's a heat, interference, and bad solder problem.


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G4 Cube....
Authored by: GORDYmac on Aug 07, '03 11:12:57AM

...followed by Quicksilver.

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The BlackMac
Authored by: Hodag on Aug 07, '03 05:14:37PM

The Mac TV is still my absolute favorite looking Mac, followed closely by the 20th Anniversary.

Adam C.

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8-way tie!
Authored by: ihafro on Aug 11, '03 02:19:51AM

It's pretty much a tie between the IIci (the first Mac I ever actuall fell in love with)/Q700 and the PM73/75/7600 series for nice case design and awsome upgradability then there is the PM86/9600 series that is basically the same as the Beige G3.

Hard to pick just one, so i just about own them all! :)

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Authored by: Crawfish Jones on Aug 19, '03 12:06:40PM
Don't forget the G3 All-In-One, aka Artemis. Pictures don't do it a lot of justice, because the molded plastic on the top and the back had very soft curves to it. I set up two classrooms full of these, and they were very attractive.

It was the only All-In-One that Apple made that had PCI slots, so if the monitor went out, it was possible to drop in an video card and keep running it.

Unfortunately, Apple only sold these to the educational market.

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iBook is my favorite
Authored by: cpathenry on Aug 20, '03 04:12:53PM

iBook is my favorite. Handy rugged tool for a sales person. Does enough good fancy things and is strong enough to ride around without dents and scratches

C.Pat Henry

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Powerbook G4
Authored by: tomem on Aug 23, '03 06:21:40PM

For an everyday personal communicator (hardly a computer anymore), it's got to be a powerbook, and who needs anything else except a modest server to have a presence online and on which to do backups? For that I would prefer a cube to a big case behemoth

I have a 15 in. but admit there are issues. I've broken the hinges on the display twice and it ain't cheap to fix that, believe me! I probably won't buy another until the mechanical design is improved, but I'm not sure I want to buy a special carrying case for a 17in model...

But I prefer working on a laptop keyboard with trackpad to any other configuration I've ever used. I have no use for mice or trackballs separated from my keyboard. Of course, a numeric keypad would be nice on the 17in model, and might get me over the hump on that switch...

Crofton, MD

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Authored by: terceiro on Aug 25, '03 06:11:33PM

Yes, my Cube is only a 450mhz G4, but it's sitting on my desk quiet as a mouse. Yes, because of the convection cooling you can't put anything on top of the enclosure, but there it sits beautifully on my desk.

Yes, it does have an annoyingly gigantic brick sitting on the floor, and yes, the speakers are external, but I love the way it looks, sitting beautifully quiet, on my desk, artfully.

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Original 1984 Mac
Authored by: juz10mac on Dec 03, '04 09:29:58AM

Nothing compares to that Original 1984 Mac! But, the cube would have been my seconds choice.

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