Did Apple tip its hand by announcing the dual-core PowerPC-based Power Mac G5 today?

“Apple Computer Inc. may have tipped its hand on Wednesday, by revealing its new line of Power Mac G5s based on the dual-core PowerPC processor,” John G. Spooner writes for eWeek. “The notoriously secretive computer maker’s new lineup includes single chip models running at 2GHz and 2.3GHz and a dual-processor machine with 2.5GHz chips. Apple also updated its PowerBook portable line.”

“By moving to the dual-core PowerPC chip, a move that’s been anticipated since IBM officially unveiled its dual-core PowerPC 970MP earlier this year, Apple also communicated something else,” Spooner writes. “Despite Apple’s plan to begin moving its computers to Intel Corp.’s x86 chips in 2006, the new systems suggest that PowerPC chips are likely to be around for a while in the Power Mac line and its other products are likely to make the switch first.”

MacDailyNews Note: Common knowledge. Apple didn’t tip its hand at all. In fact, CNET News’ Stephen Shankland reported this on June 3rd, three days before Apple’s official announcement was even made, “Apple plans to move lower-end computers such as the Mac Mini to Intel chips in mid-2006 and higher-end models such as the Power Mac in mid-2007.” Even Spooner himself wrote an eWeek article on June 8, 2005 that contained the quote, “‘I think that —PowerBooks and iBooks—and Mac Minis would be the first to get Intel processors,’ said Steve Baker, analyst with The NPD Group Inc in Port Washington, N.Y.”

Spooner continues, “Apple’s PowerBook line, which Apple updated on Wednesday with higher resolution screens, is the most likely candidate, followed by the Mac Mini. The PowerBook could move to Intel’s Yonah chip, a dual-core version of its Pentium M that’s due out in January, early next year, analysts predicted. ‘My expectation is the Intel chips would appear first in [Apple] notebooks and maybe consumer Macs,’ said Joe Wilcox, an analyst with Jupiter Research Inc. ‘There’s lots of reasons to do it that way. One is there’s lower risk for Apple and there’s greater need. If you look the notebook line…you still have the [1.67GHz] G4 processor. That’s where the need is greatest [for an upgrade].’ Yonah is expected to offer twin processors, each with speeds of around 2GHz.”

“Yonah was designed specifically for notebooks. But Intel has also been pitching it for small desktops. It’s part of the company’s Golden Gate PC reference design, which is about the same size as an external PC DVD drive, for example, showing it fits just as easily into tiny desktop machines like the Mac Mini,” Spooner writes. “With each introduction, Apple is likely to make a clean break between processors, analysts said, making it even more likely that the new PowerPC 970MP-based Power Mac line will be around for a time.”

Full article with some good information about upcoming Intel processors that Apple might use in various Mac models here.

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Analysts think ‘Yonah’ Pentium M may power Apple’s first Intel-based Mac – June 08, 2005

20 Comments

  1. Steve Jobs at the WWDC said that the low end machines would be the first to port to Intel, people obviously can’t remember that far back..so maybe a trip to the Quicktime page and watching the event again will help.

  2. “Apple didn’t tip its hand at all.”

    Correct. The G5 Quad is the big news here. With the other machines we now have a single dual-core chip instead of dual single-core chips, in other words an incremental upgrade.

    The Intel roadmap is still valid.

  3. It’s been said but I thought I should chime in too.

    I specifically remember steve saying that the low end would make the switch first, in the summer of 2006 and it would likely be another year before the powermacs became intel machines.

    That is why I never understand why analysts and rumor sites were saying this is the last update before intel. I was assuming they knew something I didn’t but I certainly hope its just that they forgot the switch on the powermacs is going to take so long. I hope apple has at least one more G5 update in the works, summer 2007 is 20 months away.

  4. It is going to be a looooooooooooooooooooooooooong wait for IntelPowerMacs.
    So much can change in the next 2 years.
    (Doesn´t the contract with IBM making chips end in 2008? Around that time is when to expect the IntelPowerMacs.)

    It is so long, one wonders why Steve even announced the Intel switch so early? Probably a personal matter…as in pissed off at IBM or someone…

  5. Disappointed Pmacs aren’t all quads. Don’t really see the point.

    Even Intel has said it first generation dual core chips will only be 60% better than a single core. I wouldn’t mind betting my 2nd Rev Dual 2GHZ is more powerful tham the new dual core 2 GHZ Pmac when performing tasks that support 2 processors. I suspect the new machines will of course be faster for general use, as both cores can always be utilized as if there is only a single processor. But hey, they’re supposed to be Pro machines!!

    Obviously they will go quad across the line eventually. It’s Apple’s tried and tue trick of refreshing the line up since the very first dualies.

  6. and…. there is no law that the switch to intel has to be binary. they (apple) may decide to use intel for the consumer side lineup and continue using the PowerPC reference for the higher end Pro workstations. the PPC is not dead yet. (not as long as big blue makes mainframes)

  7. Exhibit A: Just bought a Dell server for a small business customer with Dual Core 2.8’s 1GB of RAM, and two 80GB SATA HD’s for $549.
    With prices like that (and charging $3300 for a box with 512MB RAM) Apple will never get near the mainstream business world.

    Exhibit B: There’s nothing in Tiger Server that could even remotely compete with Active Directory, Exchange Server, Sharepoint Services, SQL Server, Live Communications Server, etc.

    I use both Mac & PC’s, but the reality of it is that implementing MS business software easily nets six figures. If I had to rely on Apple “business solutions”, I’d be making $1.25 for Keynote and Pages installs. LOL

  8. Yoe, Brad… the reason is IBM supply constraints. Look for the highend model to drop in price to $2999 as IBM is able to crank out more chips.

    Very few of the dual core chips can sustain 2.5 speed so they’re at a premium price right now. IF IBM can get the line cranking the fastest versions out in quantity I’d look for another model with a single dualcore 2.5 processor chip to either join the lineup or they’ll get rid of the cheapest model, push the 2.3 to the $1999 price point and replace the $2399 price point with the single 2.5 dualcore.

    Personally I’m pretty excited by the new quad machine. I’m going to wait 90 days to see how things shake out and then order one.

  9. Hmmm – some “reality check” – I just checked Dull’s web site, can’t find this alleged dual core server for $549 – so don’t believe everything that gets posted here.

    Here’s Dull’s server page I’m quoting:
    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/compare.aspx/tower?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd

    A tower server is avaiable for $769 – but it’s single processor, single drive and it DOESN’T HAVE AN OPERATING SYSTEM! That’s useful.

    So “Reality Check” needs to figure in – wait for it – Total Cost of Ownership! Oh by the way – I have an XServe G5 here in my office waiting to be deployed – I work on NetWare, Linux and Mac OS X – but I don’t do Windows.

    MDN Magic word life – we all need a life if we have this much time to write to these forums.

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