New Power Macs at MacWorld SF, new PowerBooks November 1st - Macenstein

New Power Macs at MacWorld SF, new PowerBooks November 1st

Posted by Igor

Our sources hint at 2 upcoming revisions to Apple’s most important professional products, the Power Mac G5 and the PowerBook G4. The PowerBook update is said to be relatively minor, while the real news is the desktop update.

Due the week of the MacWorld SF convention, the Power Mac is expected to (finally) see an upgrade to the 970MP Dual Core PowerPC processor. Speeds should top out around 3 GHz. The 3GHz mark has been the holy grail Mac users have been searching for for almost 2 years. We have heard now from 2 semi-reliable sources that the advantages of the dual core systems are said to provide benchmarks around 60% (or higher) above the current models. Pricing for the high and mid-level models is expected to increase slightly, but not too bad, with the top model coming in at $3199, while the low-end configuration is expected to see a $100 drop. There will be 3 models. A single 970MP Dual Core PowerPC processor model at 2.5 GHz ($1,899), a dual 970MP Dual Core PowerPC processor at 2.7 GHz ($2,599), and the high end model 970MP Dual Core PowerPC processor at 3 GHz. The high end model is expected to ship with the ATI Radeon X850 XT standard, and 1GB of RAM. Most other specs should remain the same as current models.

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The PowerBook will see a somewhat disappointing update in early November, but we’ll take what we can get. Look for processors speeds slightly increasing to 1.8 Ghz for the 17-inch model, and 1.67 GHz for the 12 and 15-inch models. The 17-inch will see an increase in RAM to 1GB, and one source claims an across the board hard drive upgrade to 100GB (we are not certain of this). Prices should remain the same as current models.

(Editorial opinion)
While the Power Mac update is rather exciting, we are a bit wary of the reported boost in performance. The problem as we see it is; these will be the models that the Intel versions will be compared to, so if these new Power Macs really DO provide a 60% increase in performance, Apple may end up shooting itself in the foot. While we would never suggest Apple may be intentionally holding back performance in the PowerPC version Power Mac in order to not steal the thunder from the MacTel PMs, the Intel PMs better be able to provide something more impressive than lower power consumption over these when they launch end of ’06.

Credibility: Power Mac update 7.5/10
Credibility: PowerBook update 6/10

UPDATE October 1st, 2005. Both MacOSXrumors and MacBoudille seem to think new updates to these lines are coming sometime between now and December. (Why not say now and next December, just to be sure?).
They site current low inventories across the board as proof. Well, as the new “rumor” kid on the block, we won’t second guess anyone with a somewhat proven track record. However, our source was right about the Mac minis… Anyway, since the Power Mac is not expected to go Intel until late 2006 at the EARLIEST, we still believe even if apple has the machines ready now, it is going to wait until the last possible minute to minimize time between the arrival of the intel, and this last PowerPC update. Plus we hear Apple needs something to talk about at the Expo this year.

2 Responses to “New Power Macs at MacWorld SF, new PowerBooks November 1st”
  1. Steve says:

    On the flip side, what can Apple expect for PB sales with faster Intel chips on the horizon if they don’t move to the fastest chips that they can get volume delivery on?

    I’d swap speed for a battery that could last for a flight across half this country, so I’m eager to hear about 6-8 hour battery life (over 1-2) for a portable.

    Power management is a much bigger issue to me than speed in laptops.

  2. Get An Ax says:

    Think Secret and Apple Insider are both saying PowerBook updates around Nov 1st.
    Looks like you will get some vidication, Doc.

    Although they think those Power Macs are coming sooner than you do.

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