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By Jason Snell for The Verge
Apple’s announcement of the Mac Studio on Tuesday may have fulfilled a dream that some Mac users have been clinging to for a couple of decades. Finally, there’s a modular desktop Mac that’s more powerful than the Mac mini without carrying the Mac Pro’s high price tag.
Back in the ‘90s and early 2000s, being a Mac nerd meant using a Power Mac. The arrival of the original iMac in 1998 was greeted with enthusiasm by Mac nerds because it meant that Steve Jobs might be able to restore Apple to greatness after it foundered in the mid-’90s—but none of them would ever stoop to using one themselves.
When Jobs returned to Apple, he presided over a dramatic and necessary simplification of the product line. The desktop Power Mac, a go-to model for power users, vanished in 1998. The choices dwindled to the underpowered iMac (and later, the Mac mini) on one end, and the increasingly expensive Power Mac/Mac Pro tower on the other.
In between, at least for Mac power users, was a desert. And rising out of the desert was a glorious mirage: a mythical mid-range Mac minitower like the Power Macs of old. This legendary creature was known as the xMac.