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Desktops (Apple) Businesses Apple Hardware

New G5 Power Macs "Fastest Desktop In The World" 1283

Posted by pudge
from the want dept.
In the hardware part of his keynote address at WWDC, Jobs officially introduced the G5-based computers previously leaked on the Apple store.
The new G5 machines, with the IBM 970 processor, use the "world's first 64-bit desktop processor" (and the "fastest 64-bit processor ever") but run both 64-bit and 32-bit apps natively, and run up to 2GHz. The bus is 1GHz ("fastest ever") and it is designed for dual processing and full symmetric processing.

Beyond the many numbers, the bottom line is that the new machines have a new architecture, and that the memory speed is now the bottleneck, not the processor or bandwidth speeds. So they can have up to 8GB of 128-bit DDR RAM, as it is efficient to keep data in memory. The memory bandwidth is one of the most talked-about features of the new architecture.

USB 2.0 is now included, as are FireWire 400 and 800, Bluetooth, AirPort Extreme, and digital audio in and out. The 4x SuperDrive is now standard, and it can house up to 500GB of internal storage.

For video, the GeForce FX5200 is standard on low-end models, Radeon 9600 Pro on high-end models.

The case of the new machines is redesigned too, from the ground up, focusing on decreasing noise and heat. It is an aluminum enclosure, with ports for FireWire and USB on the front, and a door on the side to get into the box. It has four distinct "thermal zones" with computer-controlled cooling with its nine (yes, nine) independent fans. And it is much quieter than its predecessor.

The G5 is 10 percent slower than the P4 and Xeon in SPEC int scores in single-proc units, but 20 percent faster in FPU scores, and the dual-proc G5 beats the dual-proc Xeon in all SPEC scores.

The models are a single 1.6 GHz ($1999), single 1.8GHz ($2399), and dual 2GHz ($2999). They will ship in August. A 3GHz processor will be available from IBM in 12 months.

Apple notes that recompiling apps for the 64-bit architecture is easy, and in some cases can be done in minutes.

There was no word about the heavily anticipated redesign of the 15" PowerBooks.

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New G5 Power Macs "Fastest Desktop In The World"

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  • Thanks (Score:5, Informative)

    by pudge (3605) * <slashdot@nospAM.pudge.net> on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:19PM (#6276380) Homepage Journal
    Thanks to iPalindrome on irc.arstechnica.com for his running transcript of the keynote address.
  • Knock yourself out! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:20PM (#6276391)
    Power Mac page [apple.com]
    Apple store [apple.com]
    • by silentbozo (542534) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:54PM (#6276739) Journal
      Is it just me, or does the new G5 look like a massive cheese grater from the front?

      Unfortunately, it looks like they've abandoned the easy-access pull-down door that let you add ram and add-on cards with ease. Oh well, at least its *supposed* to be quieter...
      • by Golias (176380) on Monday June 23, 2003 @04:17PM (#6276938)
        Is it just me, or does the new G5 look like a massive cheese grater from the front?

        It looks more like an electic razor to me.

        Unfortunately, it looks like they've abandoned the easy-access pull-down door that let you add ram and add-on cards with ease.

        From the Apple web site:

        Access is everything
        Thatâ(TM)s why the Power Mac G5â(TM)s easy-to-open side panel unlatches in a snap, giving you fast access to the slots and bays inside. Designed for no-hassle expansion, the Power Mac G5 lets you add things like memory or an AirPort Extreme card without tools. And easy-to-use drive guides let you mount high-capacity hard drives as soon as your requirements grow. Additionally, a locking mechanism on the side door prevents unauthorized access, keeping the inside of your computer safe from tampering.

        In other words, they didn't just keep it, they improved it.

      • by Jon Abbott (723) on Monday June 23, 2003 @05:06PM (#6277518) Homepage
        Is it just me, or does the new G5 look like a massive cheese grater from the front?
        The new Apple Powercheesegrater 9000 guarantees to grate cheese 9.7x faster than any Intel lookalike. Gastronomically impress your friends with freshly grated parmesan, romano or limburger cheese by simply moving a cheese block along the front (or back!) of the Powercheesegrater case. The groundbreaking 64-bit G5 CPU gently heats your cheese while you continue to grate. This computer simply gives the greatest grate imaginable -- all from the folks who brought you the original Macintosh computer. Call 1-800-MY-APPLE today for more information, or to place an order.
  • USB 2.0 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:20PM (#6276399)
    Is this the *fast* USB 2.0 or the USB 2.0 that used to be USB 1.1 but got renamed USB 2.0 so as to not confuse consumers?
  • by Drakonian (518722) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:21PM (#6276400) Homepage
    Interesting tidbit there. Doesn't that make some people want to wait for the extra year? I thought hinting at anything to come in the future was very much against Apple policy.
  • Image Mirror. (Score:5, Informative)

    by technix4beos (471838) <cs@cshaiku.com> on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:21PM (#6276421) Homepage Journal
    Head over to:

    http://www.beosjournal.org/wwdc/ [beosjournal.org]

    for some pictures of the new case.

  • The Dream System. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:23PM (#6276439)
    â Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5
    â 8GB DDR400 SDRAM (PC3200) - 8x1GB
    â 2x250GB Serial ATA - 7200rpm
    â ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
    â Apple Cinema HD Display (23" flat panel)
    â Apple Cinema HD Display (23" flat panel) + Apple DVI to ADC Adapter
    â AirPort Extreme Card
    â Bluetooth Module
    â SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
    â Apple Keyboard & Apple Mouse - U.S. English
    â Mac OS X - U.S. English
    â Logitech Z-680 THX 5.1 Speakers & Monster 2-meter Cable
    â AirPort Extreme Base Station (with modem and antenna port)
    â APP for Power Mac (w/ or w/o display) - Enrollment Kit

    Subtotal $12,632.95
    • Re:The Dream System. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BWJones (18351) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:48PM (#6276682) Homepage Journal
      The amazing thing here is that for less than $13k (cheaper educational), I can get a system with 2 big flat panels that absolutely SPANKS the $40k SGI Octanes. There is absolutely no reason that anyone in the sciences and engineering fields should consider any other workstation provided the software is available. Even that has been mitigated by Apple's inclusion of X11 in Panther now.

      Boy, if SGI and Sun were in trouble before.......

      • Re:The Dream System. (Score:5, Informative)

        by SuperBanana (662181) on Monday June 23, 2003 @05:18PM (#6277683)
        The amazing thing here is that for less than $13k (cheaper educational), I can get a system with 2 big flat panels that absolutely SPANKS the $40k SGI Octanes.

        Except that the Octane's bus is theoretically much, much faster. It has an end-to-end point speed of only about 3 and half GB/sec, but it can connect any of the individual systems to each other simultaneously at full speed; the memory can talk to the processor while the processor writes to the disk subsystem while the video card...and none of it ever has a collision and can operate at Crossbar's full point-to-point speed without effect from other subsystems.

        Not only that, but as you add processor modules(which if I remember right, have memory on them?), you add Crossbar bus bandwidth; adding modules adds extra Crossbar channels(I think. It's been a long time since that technology briefing).

        It's a quad-processor-capable system- so I don't think you are giving it a very fair shake; on a 4-processor system, I think each processor would have about +14GB/sec access to anything in the system(including memory), which is just a few GB shy of double the G5 which can only manage 8GB/sec for access to main memory. Oh, and let me remind you Crossbar is 5-6 years old...

        Thanks, but if I want to push around multi-gigabyte datasets, I'll take the Octane. I find Hypertransport, at only 16 bits wide, destinctly unimpressive...

        • by TheEnigma (520116) on Monday June 23, 2003 @07:06PM (#6278800) Homepage Journal
          Quote: Except that the Octane's bus is theoretically much, much faster. It has an end-to-end point speed of only about 3 and half GB/sec, but it can connect any of the individual systems to each other simultaneously at full speed Uh, for those of you on the short bus, Apple's new memory chip is also point-to-point. From the G5 (system, not chip) white paper: Advanced System Controller A new system controller is central to the overall performance of the Power Mac G5. This revolutionary application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC)â"one of the industryâ(TM)s fastestâ"is built using the same state-of-the-art IBM 130-nanometer process technology as the PowerPC G5 processor. A superefficient point-to-point architecture rovides each primary subsystem with dedicated throughput to main memory, so massive amounts of data can traverse the system without contention for bandwidth. In contrast, subsystems that share a bus, as on other PCs, must deal with time-consuming arbitration while they negotiate for access and bandwidth across a common data path.
    • by mgs1000 (583340) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:49PM (#6276695) Journal
      What? No iPod!!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:23PM (#6276448)

    So this is just my imagination ?

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/64bit/ [microsoft.com]

    • by sql*kitten (1359) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:45PM (#6276667)
      So this is just my imagination ?

      What PC and Mac users can't seem to understand is that 64-bit desktops were commonplace in the early 90s among the very large technical computing market - everything from universities to engineering firms to Hollywood studios. I am incredulous at all the hype that both Apple and Intel are spreading - for almost 10 years, it's been unusual for me to only use 32-bit processors!

      I wonder how one of these Apples would stack up against an SGI Fuel with an R16K.
  • by drgroove (631550) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:25PM (#6276472)
    Apparently, the G5's aren't entirely house-broken, yet.

    G5-based computers previously leaked on the Apple store
  • by agent oranje (169160) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:25PM (#6276479) Journal
    As a PC user, I was used to buying a machine and having a processor with double the clockspeed a year down the line... And now Apple has pulled the same trick :(

    Oh well. I'm not going to complain... The specs on those machines were unbelievable - I'm just glad Apple is no longer lagging behind in the specs anymore, and the prices on those machines are reasonable to boot.

    Gimmie.
  • by SockLegend (304331) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:26PM (#6276491) Homepage
    All that technical jargon...they didn't even tell us what colors they come in!
  • For music (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ericdano (113424) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:34PM (#6276551) Homepage
    Damn you Steve Jobs. You introduce something perfect for the Music world yet again. The Emagic 1000 note demo was very cool, but thinking about all the plugins one could use in Protools or other programs.....plus Optical Inputs.....the drool factor is extreme.

    So, Steve, I'm going to be saving my money again to get one of your products. The last one, a 9500 bought in 1996 has lasted very well. I wish I could say the same for the Pentium PC I bought in 1997.

    I look forward to making tons of recordings and music with this new rig!

    • by Bastian (66383) on Monday June 23, 2003 @04:19PM (#6276955)
      Heck, I put down the PC laptop from 1998 to write my thesis on a Powerbook 540c from 1994.

      That's the painful part about Macs. They keep putting out these machines with a high drool factor that you just have to buy, but the old one is still more than adequate. What to do, what to do. . . .
  • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:34PM (#6276554)
    Mac arguments through the years:

    1994: Your peecees suck so bad because they're soooo slow. Our CPU benchmarks kick your butts. We are the speed kings!

    1999: So what if your peecee CPUs are faster than ours. It's not about speed, it's about quality. Speed is totally irrelevant. You're all just speed whores.

    2004: Your peecees suck so bad because they're soooo slow. Our CPU benchmarks kick your butts. We are the speed kings!

  • SPEC results (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Florian Weimer (88405) <fw@deneb.enyo.de> on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:36PM (#6276570) Homepage
    The SPEC results are really interesting. Single-processor integer performance (which matters most at least for me, although CPU performance is hardly interesting for me these times) is slightly worse than Intel's flagships, but the clock rate is also significantly lower.

    However, the most interesting part is that they used GCC to compile the SPEC suite, and not some special compiler to make hardware look good in benchmarks (in contrast to some vendor compilers). Given that all the software I run has been compiled by GCC (with the exception of a few Lisp programs), the numbers are a bit more relevant than the usual SPEC results for me.

    On the other hand, you could claim that Apple chose GCC on the Intel platforms to make them look bad in this comparison...
  • AltiVec (Score:4, Informative)

    by ikewillis (586793) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:38PM (#6276598) Homepage
    Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these new systems will be seeing how AltiVec performs now that the processor has a bus with sufficient bandwidth to keep the AltiVec unit supplied with instructions and data. On the older G4s the AltiVec unit could execute instructions faster than the bus could supply it with instructions and data to process.
  • by jspectre (102549) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:39PM (#6276606) Journal

    Apparently someone got sacked over last week's "leak".

    Looking for a new job [apple.com] as a Web Publishing Manager? Apply at Apple Today!

  • by Moses Lawn (201138) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:42PM (#6276631)
    Aluminum cases? Yeah BABY -- no more cheesy plastic! For years now I've been impressed by Apple's being the only computer shop doing anything whatsoever with industrial design. Ever since I saw the original Mac in the mid-80s I've been impressed by the 'fit and finish', for want of a better term, of Macintoshes versus the basic generic shitbox clone PCs. However, ever since the iMac New Way I've been really, really disappointed by the cheapness of the desktop cases, especially of the high-end towers. If you want me to pay extra, give me something that looks worth the price.

    From what I can tell of the WWDC pictures, things have finally changed. These things look sweet, even if they do look just like the last 5 years worth of towers. Plus it sounds like they kick ass performance-wise. All I have to do now is convince myself why I should go and drop 3 grand I can't afford for no other reason than to connect with the iPod I don't have.
  • by nicholas. (98928) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:50PM (#6276700)
    just thought i'd point out that Apple is claiming [apple.com] fastest SPEC benchmarks.

    normally they just brag about photoshop. but this time they're actually breaking out SPEC.

    Dual 2.0 GHZ G5 is supposedly 3% faster in interger and 42% faster in FPU than a dual 3 Ghz Xeon. might be worth the premium that Apple charges.

    though come to think of it, $3000 is pretty sweet. i can't imagine where you'd find a dual Xeon for $3000.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:52PM (#6276716)
    I hope the uninformed writers won't discourage potential buyers. I offer the following example from a Business Week post [businessweek.com] in the last hour as an example. I'm sure /.'ers will quickly find more to offer.

    For several years, Apple has lagged in the megahertz race. Motorola's G4 processors have only slowly improved in performance, while Intel and Advanced Micro Devices crank out ever-faster chips at a much swifter clip. Megahertz isn't everything when it comes to performance, but increasing the clock speed generally does boost chip and computer performance.

    Yeah the writer eventually says megahertz isn't everything, but fails to grasp that megahertz isn't anything. The only scale that matters is how much work the system can do. Megahertz doesn't even have to enter into the discussion.

    Btw, for the record, I'm a PC owner/user who probably won't switch, but still thinks these new Macs, along with the AMD Opteron chips, are the best news to come along in a good long while for all of us!

  • by The AtomicPunk (450829) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:56PM (#6276759)
    Sun Ultrasparc I - 64 bit.

    Introduced: 1995

    Aquired, used, for a few hundred bucks and running on my desktop: 1998

  • iSight and iPod (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cryptochrome (303529) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:57PM (#6276768) Journal
    Am I the only one who thought, immediately after hearing about the high quality firewire based iSight (not to mention that new video codec), that there ought to be able to connect that sucker to your iPod to record on the road? So your webcam can double as a REAL cam?

    Of course it would be much easier if you could display color video on your iPod... and generate it on the fly...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:58PM (#6276779)
    Apple lists some rather low scores for the intel xeon on their website as compared to the scores listed on www.spec.org (889 vs. 1164 in base-integer, 693 vs. 1213 in base-fp). The fine print on apple's web page says that the scores were generated with gcc on both platforms. Give me a break. Intel should be penalized because they have better compilers?

    Also, the opteron, using intel's compiler, manages to beat the 970 in int and fp.

    Fastest desktop processor? No.
    • by X (1235) <x@xman.org> on Monday June 23, 2003 @06:56PM (#6278706) Homepage Journal
      Actually, if you look at the benchmarks, the GCC scores are actually pretty close (for the FP benchmarks). Where the Intel side really fails is with the Fortran compiler, which is generally considered to be a pretty good Fortran compiler.

      Given that if you are comparing Linux vs. OS X, the vast majority of your code will have been compiled with gcc, and the number of man years spent optimizing gcc's x86 performance, I think this is actually a pretty fair benchmark.
  • Was that Steve Would address the attendees like a mad Principal addressing a class called in for detention:

    Steve: "We WERE going to sell 10.3 for $129, but since one of you had to go and ruin it for the rest of you, it'll be $200."

    Attendees: Awwww!

    One guy punches another guy in the arm in the back row.
  • Trolls? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jon Abbott (723) on Monday June 23, 2003 @04:03PM (#6276824) Homepage
    Either I'm surfing /. at too high of a threshold, or the anti-Apple trolls seem to have run away in fear today... :^)
  • The benchmarks for the new G5 PowerMacs can be found here [apple.com].

    Summary: It not only beats up the P4 and Xeon, it takes their lunch money as well.

    n âoeSPEC rateâ tests, the dual 2GHz Power Mac G5 completed the set of floating-point calculations 95 percent faster than the Pentium 4 â" based system and 42 percent faster than the dual Xeon-based workstation. Integer performance was also far superior to the Pentium 4 â" based system and 3 percent faster than the dual Xeon-based system.


    It did even better at DNA matching: "Testing BLAST with common searches using a word size of more than 11, the Power Mac G5 far outperformed the Pentium 4-based system and the dual Xeon-based system, and nearly five times faster at the long word length of 40."
  • Safari 1.0 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Llywelyn (531070) on Monday June 23, 2003 @04:27PM (#6277049) Homepage
    Safari 1.0 is now available through Apple's software update.

    The new version seems noticibly faster and has no bug button, but there is still a "Report Bugs To Apple" option under the Safari menu.
  • That's great.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by puppetman (131489) on Monday June 23, 2003 @04:42PM (#6277203) Homepage
    Happy the Apple people are fairly cutting edge. Nice to see ATI and nVidia options.

    Why only 8-gig of RAM? 64-bit CPUs supports terabytes. I guess it's not a server, but 8 gig isn't that much any more.

    Some comparisons with the Opteron (or, to be more fair, Athalon64) would be nice. Of course, since you can (or will be able to) select from a slew of motherboards, it will be tough to get a decent comparison.

    One other thought just struck me (I can feel a bruise developing) - Apple never releases their stuff to independant hardware vendors. Never seen an Apple product (other than an iPod) reviewed at Anandtech, Toms Hardware, TechExtreme, Ars Technica, etc. Would be interesting to hear what a site like that had to say.
  • by DeadBugs (546475) on Monday June 23, 2003 @04:46PM (#6277252) Homepage
    Steve Jobs also noted in his speech that the new G5 outperforms a comparable Xeon system on the all imporant "Duke Nukem Forever" time demo. Attaining the impressive score of 233fps compared to just 147fps on the Intel system. As verified by the idependent test lab Pixar Studios.

    However SCO has sued to challenge these results.
  • I'm Jealous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kermit6306 (568489) on Monday June 23, 2003 @05:09PM (#6277561)
    The machine is fast and the OS is advanced. But what irks me to no end is that Apple seems hell-bent on keeping the Mac in its little niche market. It doesn't make much sense but Apple refused to capitalize on people's migration from traditional Unix to the more "user friendly" NT. As an example I'll use the situation I am most familiar with but keep in mind this sort of thing is probably similar across dozens of industries. Computer hardware and electronics design. The most popular tools today are probably those from Cadence [cadence.com] and Synopsys [synopsys.com]. Both have powerful software suits available for 32-bit and 64-bit versions Solaris, Linux, HP-UX, and NT(32)/XP. For some reason people started migrating from Unix to NT. So now I'm stuck using design and verification tools on 2000. When I use Mentor Graphics ModelSim and Cadence's Layout and PSpice I have to install all this extra stuff like Cygwin, and Perl just to try to imitate the functionality avaialable in Unix. I'm sure many other people do this. Plus, these third party tools are so poorly integrated into the rest of the OS.
    With Mac OS X, it's all there. The complete Unix toolset and environment comes standard, the Macs are good for graphics as it is (which is what all these new design tools focus on anyway), and the UI is a dream to use. It's simply a better platform in a lot of different ways. Check out Sun and SGI's third party applications pages, then look at Apples. There are whole industries missing.
    Here's where Apple needs to come in and sell these people on their product. Users want better software, software companies want a larger use base and better product and Apple wants to ship more units. Why is this not being done?
    The funny thing is that in-house ASIC design at Apple is probably done on Solairs, HP, or NT. I'm sending e-mail Cadence and gang. Everyone who doesn't want to see this whole industry to be swallowed by NT and wants to move to OS X should do the same.
  • by thx2001r (635969) on Monday June 23, 2003 @05:42PM (#6277971) Homepage
    For students and/or educators (personal purchases), the Powermac G5 line goes like so in prices:

    1.6GHz - $1,899
    1.8GHz - $2,299
    Dual 2GHz - $2,849

    The discounts are consistent with previous Apple academic discounts. These are the same configurations as the corresponding non-educational priced retail systems:

    1.6GHz - $1,999
    1.8GHz - $2,399
    Dual 2GHz - $2,999
  • by omarKhayyam (544074) on Monday June 23, 2003 @05:53PM (#6278085)
    My completly self-serving question is: How does it stack up to a machine I can buy myself for gaming in terms of price performance? Here's the system I'm about to build myself -

    $85 - AMD XP 2600+
    $140 - 1 Gig (2x512) Kingston 2700 DDR ram
    $150 - Chaintech Nforce2 board (raid 0, surruond sound, ethernet)
    $160 - 160 GB (2x80) Western Digital Special Edition drives, 7200rpm, striped raid 0 for speed
    $360 - Radeon 9800 pro 128
    $230 - Sony DRU-500A mutliformat DVD burner
    $120 - some descent computer case
    $180 - Win XP
    $50 - Descent keyboard and mouse


    Total - $1475

    A comparable (except obvious diff of OS and processor) 1.6 Ghz Apple system comes to $2820, and that's without the raid harddrive setup. How much better is the apple system going to do at games? I realize that's not the entire (or even a big part) of the computer market, but it is MY market :), and I'd be interested to know.
  • by hysterion (231229) on Monday June 23, 2003 @06:36PM (#6278519) Homepage
    ...if you configure it with Combo Drive instead of SuperDrive:

    Combo Drive (CD-RW/DVD-ROM) [Subtract $200] [apple.com]

  • by FalconRed (91401) on Monday June 23, 2003 @07:11PM (#6278838)
    Am I going crazy, or are all three systems using the same CPU?

    Given that BusSpeed * ClockMultiplier = Processor Speed

    Apple's three configurations:
    1.6 Ghz - 800 Mhz bus
    1.8 Ghz - 900 Mhz bus
    2.0 Ghz - 1000 Mhz bus

    Means that all three systems have the same multiplier on the chip. Which strongly implies to me that they're all the exact same chip. We'll have to wait and see how easy they are to overclock, but if you could just change the 800Mhz bus system to 1Ghz bus, you'd save yourself $1000 in the process.
  • Mind blowing stuff (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afantee (562443) on Monday June 23, 2003 @08:09PM (#6279326)
    No other company can pull off so many cool things so quickly like Apple, not MS, not Sun, not HP, not even IBM, and certainly not Dell the box maker.

    You have to watch Steve in QuickTime to fully appreciate how many amazing things Apple has done. Panther Developer Preview has already left Longhorn (Windows 2005) firmly in the dust bin: the new user-centric Finder, search-as-you-type, Expose, fast user switch, iChat AV, FileVault, Xcode, FontBook, and so on.

    The PowerMac G5 is just amazing, 2 GHz 64-bit CPU with 2 independent FPUs and Velocity Engine, 1 GHz FSB, PCI-X, Serial ATA Drive, FireWire 800 & 400, USB2, Bluetooth, 802.11g, etc.

    In terms of SPEC2000 floating point performance, the 2 GHz G4 is 21% faster than the 3.06 GHz P4, and the dual 2 GHz G5 PowerMac is 41% faster than a dual 3 GHz Xeon Dell which cost $1000 more. In real world tests (PhotoShop, Mathematica, 3D rendering, music), the PowerMac is more than 200% faster than the Dell.

    It's clear that Apple has all the vital pieces nailed - harware, OS, applications, developers, Apple Retail Stores, iTune Music Store, iPod. It's time to buy some more Apple shares.
  • by chfriley (160627) on Monday June 23, 2003 @09:19PM (#6279936) Homepage
    The longer Apple waits to update the 15" PB, the more likely it will be a G5 for lots of reasons.

    1. The 12" (or perhaps the 17") motherboard could fit in the 15" case, so from a tech standpoint, I can't see the motherboard design being 6+ months behind that of the 12" (or 17"), it would be nearly impossible to be that far behind.

    2. Steve wants to be the first to ship a 64 bit portable. (No one is closer than Apple now).

    3. Bluetooth, AirPort Extreme. Plenty of people want those in a portable, but don't want a 12" screen or a 17" screen. (me for one :-) ).

    All this points to the fact that something significant is going on. It is something like the G5 or, perhaps, a higher-density screen. I doubt it would be the higher-density screen because that should NOT be that huge a tech issue, and I can't believe they'd delay the product 6+ months for that when they could've shipped it with a regular screen and then updated it now.

    My scenario about the 15" delays is this:
    They intentionally held back on the 15" in Jan/Feb 2003 and kept it as it was so that if there were huge problems with the 12" and 17" (e.g. long(er) delays, engineering/manuf issues etc) they'd have a proven machine that was shipping. They were planning that the PB 15 was supposed to be updated in May at WWDC with a G5 (or very shortly thereafter) and so didn't waste any design and engineering resources on updating it to the specs of the current 12" and 15" because (back then it would have been May 2003 for WWDC, so only about 3 months wait for it). They intended to make it the 1st 15" G5 and have it ready with the PM G5s.

    However, they are a little behind for some reason, just like they were with the PM G5s - that's why they pushed back WWDC a month.

    Until they know when they can ship them in volume they're not announcing it for at least two reasons: avoid killing 12", 15" and 17" sales; and so they'll get even more bang for the buck when the announce "the world's first 64-bit portable," just like they got with the "world's 1st 17 inch portable". It will be on its own and won't get overshadowed by the PM G5s.

    Face it, Apple loses sales because of some of the factors above and they don't want to lose sales. Therefore there is some BIG reason for the delay. The only logical one is a 15" PB G5, followed as quickly thereafter as possible with a 17" ("The world's 1st 64-bit 17 inch portable) and a 12" ("The world's smallest 64-bit portable). Followed thereafter by G4 iBooks.

    I can see a 15" PB G5 announcement within 1-3 months (e.g. by the end of the summer). Apple *has* to do something to update the 15" PB to current specs (speed, AEX, Bluetooth) and if they've invested engineering in the PB G5 they don't have time to go back and do the engineering to make it a G4 - which is why I think it will be soon. If it was going to be > 3 months then they'd have time to do a 15" G4 to match the 17", BUT then they would've done it well before now.

    I don't think it is wishful thinking because Apple is not dumb. They wouldn't hold up 15" PB sales for more than 6 months without a great reason. (Plus I read somewhere that 15" PB supplies were low.)
  • My only concerns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MacGod (320762) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @12:39AM (#6281419)
    This is the machine that I have been waiting for (and have been putting off upgrading my G4/450).

    Still, there are a few things I would like to have seen different, that I think are a step back from my Sawtooth:

    1) Only one outward-facing drive. My Sawtooth can only have one optical and one 3.5" (A now-nearly-useless Zip drive for me), but the last generation of G4s had those dual optical drive bays. Given how cheap standard IDE CR burners etc are, it would be great to have that upgradeability option. In my quest to convert my friends, this has been a sticking point for many of them (most have at least two optical drives). Externals work, yes, but are much more expensive, and take up much more space.

    2) Two hard drive bays. Even my Sawtooth has room for four internal hard drives. Again, IDE hard drives are cheap (Serial ATA not as much, but still....) and not everyone wants to pay a $100 premium for an external firewire box, just to do a drive upgrade. In many cases, that doubles the price of the bare drive. There are PC cases out there (ugly ones, natch) which give six front-facing bays and as many hard-drive bays.

    3) The G4s were notoriously easy to access. The one side just flipped down and BAM! there was your whole motherboard. While the side of the G5 may be easy to remove, you still have to cram your hands into that tiny space to reach anything. Having everything fold out was a great innovation that I'm sad to see go.

    4) The handles look OK in my opinion but are fairly thin metal. I can't imagine these things not hurting your hands if you're carrying a G5 around. I know you don't move a tower case that much, but if you're going to bother putting on handles, at least put on comfy ones.

    5) As others have said, it would be nice to see a 128MB graphics card in the high end. But that's a minor quibble, really.

    6) No reset button on the front. I know OS X crashes quite rarely, but sometimes this thing comes in handy. And it's a lot easier and more intuitive than holding the power button.

    That said, I think these are fabulous machines, and will do Apple proud. Aside from the obvious blazing speed, a few other touches I liked:
    1) front-mounted USB & firewire. Finally!

    2) Optical digital audio ports. Also finally! Crossing my fingers that this means there's a 5.1-enabled DVD player app en route.

    3) I think the cooling system is a stroke of genius. Nine fans sounds like a lot, but it gives much more custom air circulation patterns.

    4) Eight RAM slots! I will likely never need 8 gigs of RAM (at least not before the Power Mac G7 in 2008 :), but having that many slots allows you to upgrade at your desired rate. ie: you are less likely to have to pull out chips to make room for new ones. My G4's slots are all full right now, so if I wanted to add RAM, I'd have to ditch one chip.

    All my whining aside, this is a great machine! Now if only I had some money...

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