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<< Previous: Apple Watch: Airport... | Next: Remembering Reagan >>

Apple Watch: New PowerMac G5s
Wednesday, 2004 June 9 - 6:00 pm
Apple kicked up the speed of its PowerMac G5 lineup today. Here are some quick thoughts.

This was one of the worst-kept secrets in the Mac universe. In the last month or so, just about every Mac rumor web site was guaranteeing that new PowerMacs would be introduced by this week.

Most of the web sites got the details wrong, though. There was lots of speculation about an all-dual processor 2.2, 2.4, and 2.6 GHz lineup; that wouldn't really have made sense considering bus speeds and clock multipliers. (I had planned to make a very clever prognostication along those lines. Honestly. I just ran out of time.) It turned out to be all dual-processors, all right, but at 1.8, 2.0, and 2.5 GHz.

Now, the 1.8 and 2.0 GHz models are really not much different from yesterday's machines, and the 2.5 GHz won't be out until July. So until those 2.5 GHz models ship, this is really more of a price cut than a new product announcement.

There are a few things about which a lot of hay is being made. First, people are criticizing Steve Jobs for predicting 3.0 GHz by this summer, and not delivering. Tom Boger, Apple's director of PowerMac marketing, has been quoted as saying, "we just didn't realize the challenges moving to 90 nanometers would present". Um, by "we", do you mean "IBM"? Give Jobs a break; despite what you might think, he doesn't actually have a magic crystal ball. And besides, IBM isn't the only company having trouble with the 90nm manufacturing process; why do you think Intel can't deliver its 4 GHz Pentium 4s?

Second, people are either oohing and ahhing over the new liquid-cooling mechanism, or criticizing the idea or the design (based on a simplified graphic on Apple's web page). Hey folks, if you don't know what the hell you're talking about, shut up. Liquid CPU cooling is a concept that's at least seven years old; it's not groundbreaking, but it's also not some kind of unproven experiment.

Third, there are the usual complaints about insufficient RAM, underpowered graphics cards, lack of bundled software, etc. As usual, though, people don't understand Apple's relationships with VARs who make money by bundling extras on top of Apple's standard configurations. And people don't seem to understand the target market for these machines: people who already own Macs and a bunch of software, and are looking to upgrade.

Anyway, my overall assessment of these new machines is that they're a solid but modest upgrade. But stay tuned for the couple of weeks: the buzz suggests a pile of Apple announcements yet to come.
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Posted by Ken in: techwatch


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