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Old Mar 8, 2005, 05:08 AM   #1
will
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Lightbulb Opinion: New PowerMacs

The PowerMac was last updated 272 days ago, it seems long overdue for an update to me, but the availability faster processors seem to be holding it back (an educated guess).

Ignoring any issus with the availability of faster processors, the RAM and graphics card of the PowerMac seems under-specified. All Powerbooks come with at least 512M, yet two of the PowerMacs have only 256M. Then there's the graphics cards, even the dual 2GHz machine only ships with a FX5200 Ultra with 64MB. Finally the low end PowerMacs are over-priced, I know it offers more expansion opportunities than the iMac, but it costs more and doesn't include a screen, more memory, or a better graphics card.

Unless Apple have something special up their (or rather, IBM's) sleeves (dual core?) then I think they should update the PowerMac line as soon as possible, even if it doesn't result in a faster high-end. I'd like to see:

* At least 512M on all models, and 1G on high-end machine.
* Decent graphics cards with at least 128M RAM across the range and the option of X800
* PCI Express (if not too costly, could wait for next revision)
* Bluetooth as standard
* Lower-priced entry-level model (ideally a cut to $1299)
* Support for four internal drive bays
* Same motherboard across the dual range
* The long-rumored 17" LCD panel, priced at $499 or lower

If it's possible to bump low end processor speeds to 2 and 2.3GHz, so much the better, but I don't think the lack of faster processors should stop any update.

Last edited by will; Mar 8, 2005 at 05:13 AM.
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 05:20 AM   #2
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Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more. Everyone seems to get far too hung up by the speeds of the fastest machines but forget to realise that there's actually much more to the range. I'd love to see the updates you mentioned but I can't see Apple doing it anytime soon unfortunately, unless IBM does in fact come on stream with some faster G5s.

Slightly off topic - Apple really needs to rethink their GPUs across the range (not just the PowerMacs).
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 05:34 AM   #3
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I agree too. Power Macs are simply too expensive for what you get. There is upgrade potential, sure, but it's a high price to pay. I expect all models to have at least 512MB of RAM in the next revision, owing to the current PowerBook configurations, but Apple likes to only update a line when it gets updated: no interim half measures.

I just hope that we don't have to wait until June (WWDC) for updates.
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 06:21 AM   #4
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 06:32 AM   #5
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I find it very interesting how Apple no longer updates anything except at the update cycle. I feel very strong they they have written in stone contracts for productions runs period. While 90% of the others offer items as they are available Apple doesnt and not only that when they do update its tech its behind the PC world 9 out of 10 times. Not starting the PC argument but any thoughts about how Apple brings product (Powermac ) to market? we know they have allways had QTY problems. Is this because of the way they do business? I think it is and doesnt allow for needed flexibilty in production runs. Tier structure plays a big role, why not sell a machine with one fastest CPU if you are having QTY problems from IBM with the 2.5 G5.... stuff like this kills me being a long time semifanboy.
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 08:41 AM   #6
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I really think the PM is evolving and they are going to release a new mobo and the dual core - which they need to to remain competitive. So instead of a small bump and people buying now - they hold and wait for the homerun - I kind of wish they would release on a more timely basis and then there would not be this fear of buyer's remorse - I just bought and they upped the technology - I am soooo obsolete. If they did the frequent incremental approach it is expected and one can easier live with the purchase.
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 08:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziwi
I really think the PM is evolving and they are going to release a new mobo and the dual core - which they need to to remain competitive. So instead of a small bump and people buying now - they hold and wait for the homerun - I kind of wish they would release on a more timely basis and then there would not be this fear of buyer's remorse - I just bought and they upped the technology - I am soooo obsolete. If they did the frequent incremental approach it is expected and one can easier live with the purchase.
we'll be lucky to see a dual core this next revision, but I agree that they need something more than a speed bump. There was so much talk about the IBM Power5 and its derivatives, yet we've not seen or heard anything. The latest news is about the 970GX (front page) and that's not going to be enough, I think.

D
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 09:16 AM   #8
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It does seem though that Apple rarely will do a small update to be followed by another small update in a few months. They seem to prefer to wait until they can do a larger update every 6 months or so. On the other hand, given the problems of the G5, Apple has had to do updates that haven't involved Ghz increases (the first one). A lineup shift and increase of other specs like you suggest would be good, but don't expect price reductions. Apple seems to like its price points.
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 11:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Anderson
we'll be lucky to see a dual core this next revision, but I agree that they need something more than a speed bump. There was so much talk about the IBM Power5 and its derivatives, yet we've not seen or heard anything. The latest news is about the 970GX (front page) and that's not going to be enough, I think.

D
Yes, we'll be very lucky to have dual cores in the next revision, but I won't be surprised since Apple has had samples since August and IBM should be just about into full production runs on them.
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 12:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziwi
...I kind of wish they would release on a more timely basis and then there would not be this fear of buyer's remorse - I just bought and they upped the technology - I am soooo obsolete. If they did the frequent incremental approach it is expected and one can easier live with the purchase.
On the other hand, the more frequent and timely the updates are, the more quickly the perceived obsolescence. At least the lucky few who may have gotten their top-of-the-line PowerMac G5's back in mid-2004 still have the "top-of-the-line", right?
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Old Mar 10, 2005, 07:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemingray
On the other hand, the more frequent and timely the updates are, the more quickly the perceived obsolescence. At least the lucky few who may have gotten their top-of-the-line PowerMac G5's back in mid-2004 still have the "top-of-the-line", right?
It's amazing how you can justify things

Roll on those upgrades!
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Old Mar 10, 2005, 07:27 AM   #12
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You'll never find a gig of RAM standard in a Mac, but based on the PowerBook updates, it wouldn't surprise me to see the bump the base RAM configuration. It's about time.

For me, I just want a non-crippled dual-2.0 model (8 DIMM slots, 1GHz FSB, SuperDrive) around the 1800.00 mark (educational). Unless I get a hell of a raise, or I get a couple dozen pieces published this year, I can never afford the top-end, nor do I think I really need it. I just need something snappier to do my Photoshop batch actions, which I think the dual 2.0 will handle well. I'd also like to see a 10,000 rpm HDD option.

The only thing I don't like about the new PowerMacs is the lack of expandability - I like that I could put an extra optical drive and up to three (I've added two) hard drives to my MDD PowerMac, but yeah, we can all bitch about something.

I'm thinking we're gonna be waiting until June, personally.
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Old Mar 10, 2005, 08:14 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by iGary
You'll never find a gig of RAM standard in a Mac, but based on the PowerBook updates, it wouldn't surprise me to see the bump the base RAM configuration. It's about time.
I basically agree with you here, maybe the top model could have a gig of ram standard, but that would be about it.

Quote:
...
I'd also like to see a 10,000 rpm HDD option.

The only thing I don't like about the new PowerMacs is the lack of expandability - I like that I could put an extra optical drive and up to three (I've added two) hard drives to my MDD PowerMac, but yeah, we can all bitch about something.
A second optical drive is nice, but I could live without it. Having room for a total of 3 or 4 harddrives is more important. Although in an ideal world, I'd like both. As for the 10K RPM drive, you could always buy one and add it as the second drive in the system.

Quote:
I'm thinking we're gonna be waiting until June, personally.
I hope you're wrong, but I feel that you are correct. My feeling is it will be announced with or just after Tiger - especially if there is a dual core/dual proc version.
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Old Mar 10, 2005, 08:24 AM   #14
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I just had to mention this because to tell you the truth i never looked, my Aurora can hold-6 hard drives and 4 optical drives.Why im not sure but i just checked. Thats pretty amazing! Powermac is wasting a lot of space. Perhaps they will redo the innards when the dual cores come out. I found it odd that it held less then the G4 powermacs.
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Old Mar 10, 2005, 08:33 AM   #15
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I just had to mention this because to tell you the truth i never looked, my Aurora can hold-6 hard drives and 4 optical drives.Why im not sure but i just checked. Thats pretty amazing! Powermac is wasting a lot of space. Perhaps they will redo the innards when the dual cores come out. I found it odd that it held less then the G4 powermacs.
It is interesting that although it is a much larger machine, the G5 offers less room for goodies - no big deal given a lot of people use FW HDD's these days for extra storage, but none the less...

The extra optical drive is not a big deal, just create a disc image and burn it, but it woulld be nice.

Like we've all seen, there have been like ZERO rumblings about any updates on this model, only murmurs about processors and the like that are not even slated for this machine, but other consumer electronic products.

Like I've said, by the end of the year, I'll be in the market for a dual 2.0, which at that point I hope is below the 2G mark. It's just what I need for the post processing batch work I do with really large (42-meg) 16-bit images. My G4 puts along nicely with 2 gigs of memory, but the wait is starting to get annoying. With larger and larger image sensors on cameras, images just keep getting bigger. I need the power...

We'll all just have to wait and see.

Off-topic, I do believe we'll see a speed boost on the iMacs soon, though.

17" 1.8

17" 2.0

20" 2.0
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Old Mar 10, 2005, 08:56 AM   #16
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Not trying to stray off topic but i expect those imac specs with a drop in price due to LCD panels getting cheaper along with perhaps a new GPU but so far all the 6200s that i have seen have a fan on them while the fx5200 doesnt. Why i mention this is because imac vs Powermac thing they got going on. If this does indicate the next imac then powermac has to play off of it if you will by what it offers over imac.
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Old Mar 10, 2005, 10:49 AM   #17
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http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/5203/
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Old Mar 10, 2005, 01:37 PM   #18
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good deal about the memory, it's about time.
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Old Mar 10, 2005, 09:57 PM   #19
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Unhappy

...In the last week or so I have decided it's time for my first ever desktop Apple Mac (having had an iBook and a PowerBook). This summer I shall have 1k sitting on my shelf waiting for Apple to update the PowerMac G5 line... I don't mind the price points at the moment, just under 1k with edu. discount for the bottom-of-the-line G5. What annoys me is how it compares to the price of the iMac. For that price I'd like Airport and Bluetooth thrown in for free, along with cheaper BTO options on the 128MB graphics cards.

I can't believe I'm considering this, but if there's no updates in June I'll have to bite the bullet and buy what's on offer now. With stock ram (whether that's 256 or 512 by June)... And add a new video card and ram later on...

Oh, and I'm also surprised by how big the case for the thing has to be - seems to be a lot of wasted space in there... Hopefully a new revision will bring a slightly smaller form-factor? AND if LCD's are getting cheaper, when are Apple's display costs going to come down?!

*gasp*
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Old Mar 11, 2005, 03:58 AM   #20
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Can anyone tell me why you would need two drives when we have a superdrive Or is it just becasue people can't wait to get dual layer etc.
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Old Mar 11, 2005, 06:47 AM   #21
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SO bummed!
I'm ready to drop $3k on a new G5 and monitor, but with the end of life so overdue I will not waste money with knowledge like that. I kinda feel like we've been caught in a catch-22. On one hand 10 yrs. ago we all wished Apple would be more mainstream since it's a superior machine. However, since the iPod and the "switcher" type products, the high-end products are seriously neglected. The PowerMac tower is WAY overdue. We all understand the slow speed bump, but the other features that can improve the box are considerable. Plus, I was at the Apple store the other day and realized that the laptops are looking cheaper and cheaper everyday. It went from a strong Ti box to a lame plastic box. The tower is WAY too large.. what's the reason for that? Other than PCI cards, there should be a revision to a smaller box. The new iMac is very bulky, I think it too can be smaller and lighter or bring back old goose neck flatscreen iMac... I think my frustration is steming from the lack of attention Apple is paying to it's PRO market. Remember we have been the bread and butter for Apple for almost it's entire existance and I hope they can pick up the slack and get back in the game with some new products, mainly the PowerMac.... if I have to wait till June, I will seriously be bummed!!!!

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Old Mar 11, 2005, 06:53 AM   #22
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Can anyone tell me why you would need two drives when we have a superdrive Or is it just becasue people can't wait to get dual layer etc.
There are several possible reasons that multiple optical drives are useful.
  1. You're running a program that requires a CD or DVD be loaded while running it and you want to be able to use a second drive for other things at the same time.
  2. You have a program where you have to keep swapping between optical discs - this saves wear and tear on the drives if you have more than one.
  3. You want to be able to burn 2 CDs at the same time.
  4. Use one for playing an audio CD or video DVD and the other drive for normal computer use.
  5. etc...

I like having dual optical drives, but only if they are both internal. I don't have a decent place to stack an external drive.
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