Quad G5: PowerPC's swansong?

by Giles Turnbull

Well, I think I've heard rumors covering pretty much every eventuality for the release of the first Intel Macs now. The first rumor said it would be the desktop consumer line - specifically, Mac minis - that would go Intel first.

Then it swapped around, suggesting that the aging Powerbook range would be pepped up first, in an effort to keep Powerbook customers happy, and to reward them for waiting so long with their G4-powered laptops.

Now it's swapped back to consumer again, with Think Secret's report that the iBook will be first in line.

Frankly, I don't know what to believe (although I'm more inclined to believe Think Secret than most) and I shall wait until I hear the real announcement direct from Apple.

But whatever machine it is, I'm inclined to believe the rush of rumors saying that the Intel machines will be with us sooner than we expected.

Which in turn makes me wonder - have we already seen the last PowerPC Mac?

I'm thinking of the Power Mac Quad G5, reviewed very positively in this Computerworld article, which describes something sounding like the one featured in the famous "The World's Fastest Computer" advertising campaign - the campaign that got pulled.

The reviewer writes:

I witnessed Final Cut Pro effects applied in real-time to eight video streams, and performance was barely affected.

Well, sure, but it's a four-processor machine. It sure ought to be fast.

And I suspect it might well be the pinnacle of PowerPC Mac architecture. There's quite likely to be newer versions, speed bumps and minor additional features, but if the Intel machines are as close as the rumours suggest, then the sleek silver sides of the Power Mac Quad G5 could well be the last we see of PowerPC.

Shall we plan a wake?


2005-11-17 22:42:59
My point of opinion "PPC to Intel"
I think that they will start with the top of the line like they do with everything but their is one more point to put out the erasion they are switching to the Intel is power consummation meaning they are thinking about laptops. Well what laptop is behind, the Powerbook. If they start with the Powerbook that has grate power consumption levels as in a 8h battery would customers be happy, yes laptop customers care about their power consumption. After that how knows the iBook and mac mini will change at the same time and the iMac is to big of a product to mack any mistakes on and and the Powermac is their stable workhorse and of corse their servers will be last considering they don't want to lose their cell phone server market.
2005-11-18 06:22:50
My point of opinion "PPC to Intel"
I agree. The Powerbooks are the whole reason for the switch. It makes sense that they would be first. I'm guessing it may be early spring before we see them though since it is hard to uderstand the recent PB refresh otherwise.
2005-11-18 10:44:10
What if the PowerMac doesn't switch?
I know that Steve Jobs showed a timeline at WWDC indicating that everything would eventually move over to Intel chips.

But what it Apple decideds that the PowerMac is better off keeping the PPC chips?

2005-11-18 11:56:22
What if the PowerMac doesn't switch?
And what about this news?


2005-11-22 20:35:04
Floating point performance on Intel
I wish that Apple would supplement the PowerPC lineup with Intel boxes.

I don't want the Intel Macs, floating point performance still sucks, doesn't it? If it does, I'm going to be buying PPC Macs before they go away.