Update: Apple PowerMac G5
October 19th, 2005
Apple has revised its Power Mac G5 model line today. These models can be expected to be the last PowerPC G5 configurations.
Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, announced earlier this year that Apple will be moving its microprocessor lines from IBM (PowerPC G5) and Motorola/Freescale (PowerPC G4) to Intel's Pentium D desktop processor and Intel's Pentium M laptop processor. Apple plans to release its first Macintoshes with Intel processors starting in mid-2006 and complete the transition to Intel by the end of calendar year 2007.
In the meantime Apple needs to revise its product lines, so these new Power Mac G5s have been announced.
These Power Mac G5s are explicitly transitional models. With their PCI Express architecture, they serve as an effective field test for technologies that will be important in Apple's first Intel-based workstations. The dual-core processors on the Power Mac G5s are also somewhat of a preview of the Pentium D processors that we expect to ship in high-end desktop Macintoshes sometime in 2006. The top-of-the-line Power Mac G5 Quad includes two 2.5 GHz dual-core processors and promises to represent the high water mark of G5 performance.
Support providers can continue to deploy Macintoshes with PowerPC G5s and G4s that meet the current desktop recommendations with no more risk than with any other desktop or laptop. Information Systems & Computing (ISC) does not expect that the University's support periods for Macintoshes with PowerPC G5s and PowerPC G4s will be reduced. As more information is released about this transition, ISC will continue to provide University-centric information and analysis to Penn's Mac community.
Support providers should also be aware that the inclusion of PCI Express on the Power Mac G5s means the exclusion of 'traditional' PCI cards. Providers who need PCI card compatibility can still purchase 2.7 GHz Power Mac G5s of the previous generation from Apple, though this is an extremely expensive way to retain backward compatibility with a dated expansion card standard. University affiliates who need PCI compatibility can check with the Computer Connection for remaining stock of previous generation Power Mac G5s.
Finally, this quarter's Performance PC Buyer's Guide has been updated to reflect the recent introductions. This Performance PC guide now explicitly builds the Mac OS configuration as an iMac/G5. Power Mac G5s can easily meet these specifications, but are not necessary for most users and continue to be quite pricey.
--John Mulhern III, Senior Project Leader, ISC Technology Support Services (October 19th, 2005)
Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
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