Analysts say new PowerPC 970 only 2GHz ‘won’t erase gigahertz gap’

“Apple Computer appears poised to boost its Power Mac line in what could be a much-needed overhaul of its high-end desktops. Apple is preparing to introduce a new line of machines that are built around IBM’s speedy new PowerPC 970 chip, analysts say, a move that won’t erase the ‘gigahertz gap,’ but should at least narrow the chasm,” writes Ian Fried for CNET

We pause here now to let that sink in… Now, take a deep breath, you’re going to need it.

“Late Thursday, Mac watchers say that the Apple store briefly displayed a series of specifications for new G5-based Power Macs. The desktops were said to range from a 1.6GHz model to a dual 2GHz machine, with the machines boasting up to 8GB of RAM, a 1GHz procesor bus, Serial ATA drives and other performance enhancements. Fried writes. “For years, Apple has been on the losing end of the megahertz race, using Motorola’s G4 processors, which have been slowly improving in performance, while Intel and Advanced Micro Devices crank out ever-faster chips at a much swifter clip. Megahertz isn’t everything when it comes to performance, but increasing the clock speed generally does boost chip and computer performance.”

“It is not clear just how far adoption of the IBM chips will take Apple in terms of performance. According the the specifications briefly posted on Apple’s online store, the new PowerMacs top out at 2GHz. Meanwhile, Intel is nearly ready with a 3.2GHz chip and is coming out with Prescott, a revamped processor that should take it to even higher speeds,” Fried writes.

“Meanwhile, Needham’s Wolf said in his report that ‘the 970 could reach a 2.5GHz speed by mid-2004 and 4.0GHz to 5.0GHz speeds by 2005.’ The current top-of-the-line PowerMac has dual 1.42GHz G4 processors. Some say the move to IBM may only be an interim step, with Apple’s real future stemming from porting its operating system to Intel-based chips. Bear Stearns’ [Andrew] Neff, among others, has called on Apple to make such a move,” reports Fried. Full mess here.

MacDailyNews Take: After recovering from our apoplexy, we came to the realization that the majority may still think, “Intel’s number is bigger, so it must be faster.” The G5 debut will either shatter the “Mhz Myth” once and for all, so that even those down at the very bottom of the intelligence scale (Wall Street analysts) will finally understand, or Apple will continue to be viewed as a maker of machines that aren’t as fast as ones with Intel Inside because their GHz ain’t as big.

And Apple’s ‘real future’ isn’t moving to Intel chips, if that’s what the “analyst” Neff implied. If so, do they actually pay this guy or is this some sort of community rehab deal they have worked out for the poor soul? If he’s implying that Apple will release Mac OS X for Intel to compete with Microsoft, that’s a little better (we’d love to see the resulting firestorm, not to mention Bill Gates’ head popping off its stem like a dandelion), but please just shut your uninformed yap anyway, okay, Andy?


  1. Well, I assume there will allways be people justifying their defending of MS crap, as long as most of them are indirectly dependent on MS for a living. I do pity them.

  2. He should be comparing it to the Itanium2, which according to Intels website is to be introduced 6/30 and runs up to (drum roll please), 1 GHz on a 900MHz bus. Plus it’s only for servers.

  3. I bet this guy was bullish on Global Crossing. But seriously there
    are some real issues to consider: Who is Apple competing
    against and what is a real performance boost? I agree that
    the bigger the performance boost whatever that really means and
    clearly it doesnt just mean processor speed, the more likely that
    professionals and the public will be tempted to upgrade. I also
    recognize that Apple does not want to become a niche or
    boutique computer company but the ground for its competition
    with Gates is OSX and other Apple soft ware–it is the reliability
    and utility of the software that will lead the sale of the hardware.

  4. Apple could release a 10GHZ Mac and you know what the response from the Wintel folks would be? “Speed ratings are a myth”.

    Enjoy the many pleasures and benefits of using Apple’s Mac OS. Let the others struggle with the torment of using MS’s version.

  5. This person, Ina Fried, Staff Writer, CNET, has a job for a reason. For the uninformed this story seems completely believable, unbiased and even well informed. However, for the well the informed, the article makes the blood boil. This CNET staff writer seems to know nothing… or does he/she? I think the article was written by an informed person targeting a specific and uninformed audience. It’s called ‘spin’. Nothing new. I just wonder what the incentive or motive for the writer is. To gather as many ‘facts’, organize them in such way and then report them only points to two scenarios:

    1) This person is stupid and is currently on the short list for layoffs at CNET (and so is their editor); somehow this person is a writer but can’t read between the lines, didn’t understand his/her source material and maybe didn’t read thier own article… maybe their editor was really busy and only had time to run a spell check?

    2) This person is smart and has motive to add negative spin to this story. We can only guess what his/her motive might be. Very subtle… quite brilliant really. It *almost* seems as though it’s written by someone who fully believes what they are writing. Crafty. This story targets the uninformed masses (i.e. Windows Users and/or 95% of Wallstreet).

    I’m not an expert with these sorts of things so I can’t properly speculate to what means an article like this is effective. Does this person hold stock with competitors? Is this person dumb –I don’t think so. Payed off? Perhaps. I don’t know… consider me officially vexed! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

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