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The Future of Apple's Pro Desktop Line 266

Posted by Hemos
from the where-to-walk dept.
SB_SamuraiSam writes "WWDC is drawing nearer and ArsTechnica has a thorough look at what they think Apple's plans are for their future Pro desktop line. It's a decent read. As always Ars has a competent pulse on Apple and is more reasonable than purely speculative. From the article:
I think Apple's CPU choice is clear cut. Strange as it sounds, the Xeon 5100 series is the best fit for the Mac. If Apple wants to keep the Quad name alive, it's the only option. Dual CPU configurations are not possible with anything else in Intel land, so if Apple wants to offer two CPUs and four cores, Xeon is the only game in town. With the benchmarks we have seen, the Core 2 Duo is a clear winner for Intel, outperforming anything AMD has to offer. The Xeon? With its faster FSB and different memory, it's even faster than the Core 2 Duo."
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The Future of Apple's Pro Desktop Line

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  • by brucmack (572780) on Monday July 17, 2006 @09:39AM (#15730921)
    It's pretty interesting how things have developed for Apple... It looks like Windows will be faster on an Apple machine than on any other factory-built desktops.
    • Although Apple has introduced Boot camp, I find it difficult to believe that they intended the primary OS to be Windows.

      I tend to be optimistic, and believe that Apple is trying to woo third party vendors to take advantage of the new architecture, and introduce more applications.

      • by mrxak (727974) on Monday July 17, 2006 @10:41AM (#15731296)
        I don't think anybody believes Apple intends windows to be the primary OS on their hardware. However, it does make for an interesting comparison when windows and windows apps run faster on a Mac than a PC.

        What will be most interesting is what Leopard has in store in the way of windows compatiblity. Some think Bootcamp functionality will no longer require a reboot.
        • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Monday July 17, 2006 @10:59AM (#15731421)
          Some think Bootcamp functionality will no longer require a reboot.

          I wonder, would that mean running Windows in a Window (like Parallels), or having a hypervisor and a hotkey to switch between OSes?

          Of course, I'd still rather see a complete and 100% compatible DarWINE instead of any kind of virtualization... perhaps Apple ought to put some funding and developer manpower into that!

          • by monoqlith (610041) on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:29AM (#15731628)
            I'm pretty sure Parallels runs using a hypervisor too, IIRC. It's not Mac virtualizing a Windows platform, it's Parallels virtualizing both Mac and Windows. The Mac acts as a host operating system, and Windows as a guest but only in appearance, because Apple won't allow OS X to boot on anything else besides TPM. If Apple would allow booting OS X outside of TPM in some circumstances(which is probably never going to happen) you could conceivably do it the other way around - run Mac as a guest OS to Windows. Is there a Virtual Machine that makes the guest OS think it's running inside a trusted platform? I'm not sure about the specifics.

            I could definitely see Mac supporting Windows inside a built-in "Classic"-type virtualization environment and integrating with the OS, so that double-clicking on an exe file in the Mac would launch it in Windows. I could even see them doing that in "rootless" mode like they did with Classic when they first made the transition to OS X - run Windows applications as though they were running on OS X directly - they draw regular Aqua windows instead of Windows Windows, can be switched to from the Dock, and have the same background as other OS X applications (although Classic still head a lot of the appearance of Mac OS 9).

            Some people have suggested reproducing the Windows API inside of Mac OS X, since Apple has been given access to the entire Windows API but I think that would run counter to Apple's commitment to comparmentalizing different APIs inside of different protected memory stacks, so that a crash inside a Windows application doesn't take down the whole host OS with it. While reproducing the Windows API doesn't preclude the possibility of running it on top of OS X, instead of parallel to it, it's not worth the effort when an instance of Windows itself can already run on top of OS X. I also don't think that would be better than virtualizing Windows, since a hack could easily make Windows run applications in rootless mode inside the OS X graphical environment . Then they could advertise that Mac OS X now runs Windows programs just as well as it runs Mac programs - even though really it would be Windows running Windows programs on top of Mac programs.
    • Nope (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Wesley Felter (138342)
      It looks like Windows will be faster on an Apple machine than on any other factory-built desktops.

      There's no evidence for this. You can buy a Dell or HP that has the exact same components as a Mac Pro.
      • Re:Nope (Score:2, Insightful)

        Here. Have a sip of this kool aide, then tell me what you think. No? You're not feeling it? Step over here, then. Over here, next to this portable reality distortion field. It runs off of Steve Job's urine. Pretty amazing, huh? Now. Are you ready to admit that an Apple computer, with the exact same specs and components as another brand machine, is faster? Way faster? Just nod your head.
        • Re:Nope (Score:3, Insightful)

          by twofidyKidd (615722)
          All sarcasm aside, I think that an Apple computer running Windows will appear to run faster than a similarly configured Dell or HP running Windows because the Apple computer doesn't start up with all the extra "support/bonus" software that Dell and HP dump onto their computers before they ship it out to the customer. Also, let us forget the fact that Apple Computers don't ship with Windows, i.e. *Clean Install* of Windows, which we all know runs faster than the 3-year old Win2K install running with spy/bloa
    • How do you come to that conclusion? Apple machines use the same chips and chipsets as their rivals. Therefore comparable models are going to perform with comparable results. The only thing I expect is faster is their time to market. They appear to be getting first cut on Intel chips, which gives them some edge on new machines until other makers catch up. For that you pay the Apple premium and still have to fork out for a Windows licence, if that was your intended OS in the first place.
  • The Switch? (Score:2, Informative)

    by TrippTDF (513419)
    It seems to me that Apple might as well hold off on releasing the Pro line until CS3... I've talked to a few designers, and they are all holding out for CS3 to make the upgrade, since they work so frequently in these applications, and they take a big performance hit on the new hardware.
    • Re:The Switch? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday July 17, 2006 @09:44AM (#15730963)
      If you spend all your time working in a few select apps, it clearly makes more sense to wait until those apps work well on the hardware. Doing otherwise is just foolishness. OTOH, Adobe won't get their shit together until there are machines out there for the CS apps to run on, so telling Apple to hold off releasing the pro machines until Adobe is ready doesn't make sense. Chicken-egg thing...
      • OTOH, if Adobe waits around too long, they leave a gap that their competitors can use to sneak in and gobble up their market share.

        Assuming, of course, that Adobe has any competitors.
        • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday July 17, 2006 @10:35AM (#15731250)
          You severely underestimate the stubbornness of artist types... : p
        • Adobe cares about their professional customers and those people are having Quad or Dual G5 workstations with massive SCSI arrays etc right now.

          I am speaking about Photoshop CS type of applications.

          Professionals does not throw out $20k mission critical workstations because Steve Jobs became Intel fanboy recently. :)

          Adobe listens to their professional consumers and I seriously suspect if they will rush a "mactel binary" because couple of Macbook "Pro" users wanted it.
      • Re:The Switch? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by sootman (158191) on Monday July 17, 2006 @10:53AM (#15731371) Homepage Journal
        We already went through this just a few years ago with OS X. Apple would be STUPID to wait until CS3 comes out. Yes, designers squirmed for a year or two while they waited for all their apps to come out, but Apple managed to stay in business in the meantime, and by the time the apps came out, the OS was quite nice. Hell, the FINDER in OS X 10.0 sucked ass performance-wise; I can't imagine trying to run any real APPS with it. (I used 10.0 to play around with the UNIX side of OS X while I waited 9 months for 10.1 to appear. While 10.1 was out, all the apps were released, and then Apple came out with 10.2 and the whole package was finally very nice.)

        Same thing this time: Apple will have new hardware out, and one day when the apps appear, users will be able to buy them and use them that day. Apple will continue to sell G5s, and designers will hoard them, just like they did with the last of the OS-9-booting MDD G4s. The switch to Intel is really no different. Doesn't matter if it's the OS or hardware changing, the effect on the applications is the same: the apps won't run in an ideal manner, so people will either wait to change, or get by with non-optimal systems, untill the apps match the system.

        Besides, plenty of people buy nice Macs and don't use CS. Final Cut is already shipping for Intel and Apple's other pro apps will all be universal soon--maybe even coincident with the release of the hardware. I'd expect to see an announcement regarding that at the WWDC as well: "We at Apple have just finished our transition to Intel, and we've also transitioned all of our apps. Yay us!"

        The biggest difference this time, actually, is with Adobe: since OS 9 came out, they purchased Macromedia, and Quark almost dead, so Adobe can drag their feet all they want for the Intel transition.* That's another big reason that Apple would be stupid to wait for Adobe to get a product out the door. (Besides, how would it look for Apple to be waiting on Adobe before releasing new hardware? Very weak, that's how.)

        * Plus, the switch to Intel ain't exactly easy. [adobe.com] Same situation at Microsoft. [msdn.com]
      • Re:The Switch? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by thelost (808451)
        chicken and egg or not, the amount of time it took for quark to update quark express to work with mac os x meant alot of designers I knew who needed to use it stayed with mac os 9, as balmy as that sounds, it's sometimes a case.
      • The whole point of Dev Kits is so software can be ready for hardware when it comes out.

        Although, I sometimes get the feeling that Apple has intentionally withheld information about the Intel switch from it's development partners to give Apple's own products an edge as far as having universal binaries is concerned.
    • Re:The Switch? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ratbag (65209) on Monday July 17, 2006 @09:54AM (#15731029)
      I think the video and coding communities might have a bit to say about that. Not all Apple Pros depend of Photoshop, you know?
    • Re:The Switch? (Score:3, Insightful)

      In February, Steve Jobs promised a complete transition by year's end. And as the transition was announced at WWDC, it'd be fitting to end it there.

      And don't forget Pros using Apple apps - they're UB already.
      • Re:The Switch? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sammy baby (14909) on Monday July 17, 2006 @10:02AM (#15731069) Journal
        And don't forget Pros using Apple apps - they're UB already.


        I don't have any numbers of any kind to back this up, so take this with several large dollops of salt, but: I suspect that the number of creative pros who rely on Adobe tools is much, much higher than the number of those who rely on the Apple in-house tools.

        And don't underestimate the capacity of design pros to drag their feet. For years, I knew graphic artists who refused to upgrade to OS X because Quark wouldn't run natively in it. Of course, when the new version of Quark finally was release, Adobe's answer was arguably much better.
        • by Mies van der Robot (989357) on Monday July 17, 2006 @10:32AM (#15731231)
          Here's a heaping pile of salt for you:

          Your suspicion is based on the erroneous assumption that all "creative pros" are people who work in graphic design, publishing, web design, etc.

          Let's not forget that filmmakers are "creative pros" and a lot of them are using Final Cut Pro Studio and Shake. Musicians are "creative pros" and a lot of them are aready using UB versions of Garageband or Logic. Ableton Live is also already Universal Binary, and very widely used by laptop musicians and DJs.

          In fact, a lot of musicians are even using Final Cut Pro Studio, because they loved Soundtrack Pro and their only option to upgrade was an attractively priced crossgrade offer to FCP Studio.

          There are many professional creatives already working on Intel Macs to earn their daily bread.

          So let's stop acting as if design pros are the only pros who are "creative". They didn't invent creativity, and judging by the current state of the majority of the web, they're not the final word in it either.
          • I forgot to mention... can we not mod the parent 'insightful'?

            He just definitively informed us that real creative professionals are waiting for the intel powermac to use garageband, and that using Final Cut Pro is the norm with recording musicians.
        • Re:The Switch? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by eltonito (910528) on Monday July 17, 2006 @10:44AM (#15731316)
          On the other hand Quark lost market share by not moving to OS X in a timely manner. My wife's firm moved to InDesign when they upgraded to new OS X native machines back in the day. For every person who held out, another switched applications. Quark really dragged their feet on the conversion and I don't think Adobe will hold out as long on the move to UB, particularly if the hardware is selling well. People want the new hotness.

          To stay on topic, I've always felt that Apple releases hardware and then developers create software to take full advantage of it. In short, hardware drives software development. It seems to differ slightly from the WinTel universe where hardware upgrades are often invoked by mew software. Admittedly, I have this perception because I always upgrade when new software runs dog slow on my PC. I don't seem to do that on my Mac as much, though the Intel move will probably hasten an upgrade from suddenly ancient G4.
          • On the other hand Quark lost market share by not moving to OS X in a timely manner. My wife's firm moved to InDesign when they upgraded to new OS X native machines back in the day. For every person who held out, another switched applications. Quark really dragged their feet on the conversion and I don't think Adobe will hold out as long on the move to UB, particularly if the hardware is selling well. People want the new hotness.

            Wrong, Quark is/was too expensive, had too many problems and too many bad releas

        • I don't have any numbers of any kind to back this up, so take this with several large dollops of salt, but: I suspect that the number of creative pros who rely on Adobe tools is much, much higher than the number of those who rely on the Apple in-house tools.


          Apple and Adobe seem to have had a 'falling out' of sorts in the past few years, namely that Adobe's been relucatant to support Apple's latest and greatest technologies for the sake of preserving platform-compatibility with Windows. Adobe's becoming les
          • I think that future incarnations of Photoshop will be geared more toward retouching photos that have already been post-processed elsewhere. This is the one area where Photoshop has no competition, and it genuine excels in. Hopefully the rest of the 'cruft' will be taken out, and in the place of one giagantic monolithic application, we'll have several small applications tweaked and tuned for doing more specific tasks. By virtue of the fact that it will be easier for competetiors to compete with adobe on thes

            • I hear you...

              If you've got a PC around, you might give RawShooter [pixmantec.com] a try. Although it lacks much of the advanced retouching features of Photoshop, it's a great RAW Converter/Organization tool that works great for about 90% of the images I process (the other 10% requiring some sort of adjustment in Photoshop, because as you've said.... it does everything).

              And unlike Adobe's products, RawShooter's multithreaded, which makes it fast and responsive on just about any hardware.

              As an interesting development, Adobe
          • Apple and Adobe seem to have had a 'falling out' of sorts in the past few years, namely that Adobe's been relucatant to support Apple's latest and greatest technologies for the sake of preserving platform-compatibility with Windows. Adobe's becoming less and less relevant for mac users every year.

            Quite true.

            Video editing on the mac is pretty much entirely occupied by users of apple's pro stuff. In its price-range, Final Cut is easily the best video-editing solution out there. Adobe doesn't even suppor

      • Well, you can look forward to new XServes in January then.
    • It seems to me that Apple might as well hold off on releasing the Pro line until CS3... I've talked to a few designers, and they are all holding out for CS3 to make the upgrade, since they work so frequently in these applications, and they take a big performance hit on the new hardware.

      Whatever Apple or designers will be holding, I hope it won't be their breath. CS3 for Intel Mac is said to be out next years fall if they will feel lucky.
    • There are plenty of folks around who will buy the new pro machines who are using, say, Final Cut Pro, Motion, or Shake. A lot of high end 3d software is probably going to be announced jointly with any new pro machines (e.g. Maya, Lightwave; Blender [blender.org] just released an Intel binary). Unity [otee.dk] has been universal for a few months now.
  • by A Dafa Disciple (876967) * on Monday July 17, 2006 @09:53AM (#15731026) Homepage
    I think Ars made wonderful points and a well informed prediction. However, though this article [frameworkx.com] is a few months old, I think that the principles behind it will still be in effect for Intel's upcoming lines, namely that a motherboard setup with a multi-core chip is in general cheaper than a roughly equivalently configured multi-chip one, and still for most applications the multi-core configuration will result in greater performance.
    • I don't recall anyone ever suggesting that Apple would use multiple single-core chips; Ars is only predicting that Apple will use the Xeon because it wants multiple dual-core chips (and single dual-core chips, to get better economies of scale).
      • I don't recall anyone ever suggesting that Apple would use multiple single-core chips; Ars is only predicting that Apple will use the Xeon because it wants multiple dual-core chips (and single dual-core chips, to get better economies of scale).

        One wonders when the quad-core chips are coming out. AMD plans them for 2007. What about intel?

    • I think Ars made wonderful points and a well informed prediction. However, though this article is a few months old, I think that the principles behind it will still be in effect for Intel's upcoming lines, namely that a motherboard setup with a multi-core chip is in general cheaper than a roughly equivalently configured multi-chip one, and still for most applications the multi-core configuration will result in greater performance.

      Yes, but here, I don't think there are any single-core chips in play. The de

    • by spicyjeff (6305) on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:00AM (#15731428) Homepage
      I don't understand your arguement. Apple currently ships a dual-processor workstation and each CPU has dual cores, referred to as the Quad G5. The article points out the obvious that the only way to duplicate this is with the Woodcrest Xeon parts since the Conroe is dual core, however it does not support more than a one CPU configuration. If Apple is to at least match and hopefully succeed the perceived and true power of their current offerings, they need a Quad core workstation as they offer now with the Quad G5. Two Woodcrest Xeon CPUs is the only way to achieve this goal with Intel's lineup. And the cheaper version will most likely mirror the G5 version as well, only sporting one Woodcrest Xeon with dual cores.

      Apple is doing what is possible whith the chips that are available. And of course its a no brainer that as soon as a CPU with four cores or more is available from Intel, Apple will be looking for ways to get it in a Mac.
  • pure speculation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Monday July 17, 2006 @10:02AM (#15731070) Homepage
    Pure speculation here, but what's preventing Apple from using an Opteron in their Pro lines? Last I heard, AMD had the competitive edge in the high-end/server market...

    Personally, I'm waiting on an Intel XServe.....
    • by imsabbel (611519)
      But its no server.
      Its a workstation.

      Abd sadly, AMDs advantage rather violently evaporated the last 2 weeks.
      • AMD advantage will come back with quad-core CPU as the Intel ones are the hack jobs of there first duel cores and with the Intel chip set NO SLI, NO Cross Fire apple will loss some of the high market on just that.

        Amd Also has plans for Hyper Transport based cards and Co-processors that sound like the next thing to have in the high end market and people in it who are not into games may want to go for it.
      • Apperantly you did not read AMD's announcement about it's 4x4 architecture which provides EXACTLY what Apple is looking for, Quad computing - 2 dual-core processors.

        Again, Intel lags behind. It was a mistake not to have Conroe not be multi socket capable.

      • Why unfortunately?

        Let's leave brand loyalism out of this. The whole purpose of capitalism is for this exact phenomenon to happen. The "underdog" company (AMD) came up with great products, people bought those products, the big bad corporation (Intel) got spooked and was forced to play harder to catch up. Result? The stunning results we're seeing from Conroe.

        As long as we're moderately sure that Intel is playing fair and not leveraging their position to kick AMD out, I don't care who has the best processors

    • I'd have to guess being uniform. It's pretty obvious that they're going with the Intel route for everything else as the Core Duo is a decent chip (and the Core 2 chips are supposedly quite nice). Having their pro line be the black sheep might cause more headaches than they'd want: different motherboard, different chipset, different CPU, different drivers, etc. Might as well "go with what's working" for them.

      That being said, considering their already buying bulk from Intel, adding another line of chips to
      • Well, not quite.

        Apple's "Pro" stuff has always been quite a bit different.

        For one, it took *forever* for the G5 to make its way from the PowerMac to the iMac (at which point, it stopped completely). The G5 was a radically different architecture from the G4, not to mention that Apple's been flip-flopping between IBM and Moterola for years. Apple, of all people, should have learned the lesson not to put all of its eggs in one basket after their falling out with IBM subsequent to Motorola exiting the market.
      • The article mentioned that Intel is doing flat rates to all manufacturers now... so I don't think buying more intel chips is going to get them any discount on the parts they're already ordering... (and the prices they charge HP, Dell, Apple, ... are public information now)

        What would save money would be the generally lower cost of AMD chips.
    • Re:pure speculation (Score:4, Interesting)

      by FuturePastNow (836765) on Monday July 17, 2006 @10:50AM (#15731352)
      An "Exclusive for X years" deal with Intel is the reason Apple can't use Opteron; the reason Apple won't use Opteron is because Intel provides the complete package of processor and chipsets, optimized for stability and performance. In order to use AMD processors, Apple would have to sign deals not just with AMD but also with ATI, or NVidia, or VIA, or another chipset maker.

      And you're wrong, AMD no longer has the high-end edge. They won't regain it until 2008 at the earliest.
    • Apple? AMD?

      You miss the fact that Apple locked itself to Intel brand.

      Those Intel guys speaking in conference, cheesy games like not supporting Firewire 800 because people still see USB2 as a joke...

      If you want AMD from Apple, I don't think it will happen.
  • by Clockwurk (577966) * on Monday July 17, 2006 @10:09AM (#15731108) Homepage
    I'm guessing that apple will make their new lineup similar to their current one. A single dual-core for the low end(conroe), a faster single dual core for the midrange (conroe) and dual dual-core or the high end (woodcrest).

    Apple desperately needs to update their powermac line; its embarassing when compared to any current PCs.

    Apple:
    Dual-core 2.3GHz PowerPC G5 processor
    512MB of 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-4200)
    250GB Serial ATA hard drive
    16x SuperDrive (double-layer)
    NVIDIA GeForce 6600 with 256MB GDDR SDRAM
    $2,499.00

    Dell XPS 700:
    Dual-core 3.0ghz Pentium D
    2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 2 DIMMs
    320GB Serial ATA Harddrive
    16x DVD-ROM
    16x Dual-Layer DVD+/-R/RW Dvd burner
    Dual 256MB nVidia GeForce 7900 GS in SLI
    20 inch UltraSharp(TM) 2007FPW Widescreen Digital Flat Panel
    $2503

    For $4 more, you get a faster processor, 4 times the memory, more harddrive space, dual optical drives, SLI, and a 20" LCD. Apple has done a good job of making sure that they add a lot of mac only accessories (or gimmicks depending on your point of view) that make direct comparisons to a PC harder. Stuff like backlit keyboards with light sensors, integrated webcam, frontrow, firewire, small formfactor, etc.

    On a tower, things like expandibility, quiet operation, and size are pretty important and apples last workstation was fairly poor by that standard. The powermac looks nice, but 2 harddrive bays and 1 optical bay aren't going to cut it in such a large case.

    Apple's brand is strong enough to command some premium, but they certainly are immune to market pressure and may need to realign their pricepoints. Mac minis need to start at $500, imacs at $1000, and Mac pros at $1500. Notebooks should start at $800 and $1500 respectively.
    • The XPS is a gaming rig. It looks great on specs but few companies will buy it. Companies who buy DELL for the sort of work done on macs typically buy the "Precision" line.

      However, it doesn't change much to your conclusion. A decent dual-core, dual cpu rig powermac G5 from Apple with 2GB of RAM, the Nvidia 7800 graphics card and a 20-inch monitor costs about 5k, whereas the similarly specced Dell Precision costs 3.5k. The difference is substantial.

      However the Powermacs are nice, well made and powerful enoug
    • by larkost (79011) on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:09AM (#15731497)
      While you do mention that Apple generally includes things that other manufactures do, I think you brush that off a bit too quickly. In the Apple computer that you mention here are a few of the things you forgot to mention:

      Capacity of 16GB of memory. (the Dell maxes out at 8)
      The video card has a Dual-Link DVI capable of driving 30" displays. (not on the standard Dell, probably an option)
      Apple has two 4x PCI-Express slots and one 8x slot open. (the dell has one 1x and one 8x open.. but in fairness does have the space for SLI)
      The Apple has FireWire 800, which if you are doing video is a god-send. (not an option on the Dell... you just can't pump that data over the busses if it is not connected to the NorthBridge and expect to have decent performance)
      Optical audio in and out (probably an add-in option on the Dell... possibly third-party)

      Go look at Dell's site for things that have those sorts of specs and you will be in the "Workstation" class products, and you will be looking at a large price jump.

      And your summary judgement that the G5 is not as good as the Pentium D is very arguable. The two processors are in the same class as each other, to the point where saying either one of them is "faster" is misleading at best. You have to be very specific about what "faster" means in order to have an honest comparison. Anything else is simply a lie.

      And as to the prices you say that Apple "has to" have. I think that Apple's continued existence over the last few decades means that they have a good idea what they "have to" do. And if you look at products that are comparable (and I challenge you to find a product that is comparable to the Mac mini... remember size is a real feature) I think that your illusions of Mac's being significantly more expensive disappear.
    • For $4 more, you get a faster processor, 4 times the memory, more harddrive space, dual optical drives, SLI, and a 20" LCD. Apple has done a good job of making sure that they add a lot of mac only accessories (or gimmicks depending on your point of view) that make direct comparisons to a PC harder. Stuff like backlit keyboards with light sensors, integrated webcam, frontrow, firewire, small formfactor, etc.

      For $4 more you don't get a Mac.
    • While I agree that high end Apples are very expensive, you say that they are noisy. The G5 is one of the quietest towers I've ever seen. At my university we have a lab about half filled with G5s and half filled with some flavor of dell thing. The G5s are very quiet. I think the G4s were the last tower to be really loud, but I just replaced mine with a new iMac, and I've never heard so much as a peep out of it, even while playing some pretty beefy games or doing video encoding.
    • I agree, those price points would be perfect.

      I wonder how much it actually costs to manufacture these things, and how much is profit.

      I bet my intel core solo mac mini cost less than $300 to make.
  • was kinda screwed up :) i mean it looked like 7 different editors had gone through it and tried to put in their own views of what the new mac pro should be. and wound up stuck in an infinite loop of just rehashing the same issues.

    there are better articles out there on the new mac pro. i just haven't had a chance to read them yet.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I use Quad G5 desktop.

    The problem is Applications. I keep monitoring Applications CPU usage, I see many of them use single CPU, mencoder like open source stuff uses single CPU while iDVD happily uses all 4 CPUs (360% CPU usage)

    Legendary mac shareware uses single CPU while saving TIFF files. To use all CPUs you need professional applications and they are expensive.

    Photoshop CS, AVID comes to mind.

    Games are just beginning to use SMP and can't expect 4 CPU.

    There is advantage of Quad CPUs but don't expect too m
    • by larkost (79011) on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:13AM (#15731519)
      So your argument is that non-pro software is not optimized to use expensive pro-level hardware? How is that news or important?

      If your needs justify the expense of a Quad-core computer, then your needs also justify the expense of the professional software needed to drive it properly. After all, "professional" means that you are making money doing that.
    • Parallel Processing programing is different then normal program. You cant just make a program then compile it with SMP and have it magically work on all processors. You need to design the application to work on different number of processors figueing out what it can do at the same time verses one followed by the next. What a good SMP OS will do is try to keep all the processors balanced so the load is evenly spread. But Apps will not magically run SMP with standard coding without calling threads, forks, o
  • It's too bad they aren't willing to look at the new AMD Opteron 4x4 and 8x8, mentioned recently. That would allow the system to keep the quad (and beyond) name and run cool and efficiently (compared to the Xeon).
  • by Hootenanny (966459) on Monday July 17, 2006 @11:00AM (#15731429)
    I'm willing to hazard a guess on the nature of the redesigned enclosure.

    Have you noticed how Apple likes a certain symmetry between applications (iTunes brushed aluminum, Safari brushed aluminum) and the Pro enclosure (G5 brushed aluminum)? Apple seems to be experimenting with a lighter, smooth metal theme as seen in the current Mail.app. I hereby conjecture that the new Pro Mac enclosure will likewise be a very light-colored, smooth metal with a similar look.
  • The only thing I disagree with is the death of the PowerPC remarks. I expect Apple to keep at least one G5 in its product line (e.g. the dual 2.3, perhaps a single CPU dual core 2.5) to support those needing fast PowerPC boxes until all key software, such as Adobe's product line, has migrated.

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