PowerPC's final act?

by Giles Turnbull

Apple today reaffirmed its position as supplier of supremely expensive products for graphics professionals, with a series of hardware and software announcements that will have everyone drooling but only a small minority opening their wallets.



A collection of new PowerBooks with increased screen resolution and better battery life is the first thing. A 1680 x 1050 pixel display on the 17 inch model is certainly going to be lovely to look at, but inside it's still a G4 processor. In its attempts to reinvigorate laptop sales between now and the Intel switchover next year, a better screen and battery are the least Apple could offer.



And there's no denying they look like very enticing machines, but before you reach for your Apple Store bookmark in Safari, you might want to take a look at the minimum specifications for Apple's new professional photo editor, Aperture.



This much-anticipated app was an obvious one for Apple to release. After all, it had 'pro' software in other areas of creative media, but only iPhoto for photography.



Aperture offers RAW support, extremely detailed metadata support, real time image editing, and loads more. As predicted by many folks, it really is a 'pro' iPhoto. The quick tour and the gallery of screenshots are particularly enlightening.



But wait, the lowest of the minimum specifications is a 15 inch or 17 inch PowerBook. The recommended specs are a dual 2GHz G5 machine, 2GB of RAM, and of course one of the best graphics cards.



That's one resources-hungry app. Makes you wonder what they're planning for the Intel machines, doesn't it?



Until they appear, if you want to get the best out of Aperture you're probably going to have to cough up for a dual dual-core Power Mac G5, the new big beast in the Mac world. And what a beast it is, crammed with more slots for more extras than most people could ever need. You wanna run eight 23 inch Cinema displays from your Power Mac? Well, now you can. You know, for those really wide screen movies.



These computers, and this application, are the luxury goods, the top-of-the-range products for the most dedicated of professionals. This might well be the curtain call for the PowerPC architecture. The final act.




Like the look of this stuff? Or still holding out for an Intel machine?


2 Comments

chrisridd
2005-10-19 14:20:10
Minimum specs
The minimum specs are the same as for CoreImage, so they must be using CoreImage very heavily in Aperture.


But yeah, they are pretty heavy specs for a machine editing photographs!

skamuel
2005-10-19 22:31:15
Minimum specs
True. Motion, which also relies hevily on CI, has quite hefty requirements as well.