With their customary audaciousness, Apple has introduced a new line of PowerMacs which feature dual Power PC processors at speeds from 867 MHz, 1 GHz or 1.4 GHz. The new G4 machines feature XServe, Apple’s server architecture supporting up to 42 1U stacks with up to 630 Gflops processing power and support for storage up to half a terabyte machine and 20 terabytes per 42U rack. That’s a lotta Mac isn’t it?
Well even Macs on the desktop are now a lot more Mac with the latest G4s supporting DDR-SDRAM via a 133 MHz system bus, 2 MByte L3 cache, etc. etc.
Reactions as to the importance of this announcement vary. It’s gotten some ho hums, but we think it’s bigger than that. Apple’s moves have been significant as the company addresses the film and video content creation markets and is offering server architectures to support their ambitions. It’s a far cry from those cute little iMacs on the desk. Furthermore, with its commitment to multi-processing across the line, Apple is pushing the drive towards multiprocessing apps. And, if you think about it, this is good for Intel as well as they push their hyper-threading technology. Hyper-threading is Intel’s technology which enables more efficient use of one processor by letting it act as multiple processors. So far, Intel has made the technology available on its Xeon server platforms but the company has been lobbying software developers to support multi-threading and Intel will move it down into the mainstream.
In other news, Apple says that the emergency situation that led them to raise the prices on their iMacs by $100 has eased, so the company is announcing a $100 price cut on their flat-panel display iMacs and eMacs. The company attributed the increase in price to a rise In component costs including memory and LCD panels. Those dark days have passed it seems and now Apple is offering reduced prices on the IMac and eMac and also Apple has added an upgrade to Apple’s SuperDrive, a DVD-R/CD-RW drive. The eMac, an all-in-one 17-inch CRT/Computer now starts at $1,099 and the iMac, the cute flat-panel desk lamp design starts $1,499. And both, represent the most economical computer with recordable DVD (albeit DVD-R).