Assessing The New G4 Product Line
With the Macworld New York Expo and Steve Jobs delivering a keynote address, it was inevitable that new products from Apple would be unveiled. Among those products were the new iMac line, the new series of Power Mac G4's, the Power Mac Cube, and the three new display units with ADC. This has created quite a stir in the community, and I want to take this chance and assess the situation. Specifically, the G4 line, that is the Power Mac G4 and the Power Mac Cube. Let's take a look at the features and the claims of performance, style, power, and yet more.
Power Mac G4
I'll start off with the newer Power Mac G4 product line. The entry level model nearly remains the same, no price change, not much performance change. However, the other two pre-configured models now boast dual G4 processors. This is interesting, and can be viewed in a variety of ways. Why didn't Apple beef up the G4's by giving them faster processors? Does Apple have the capability to allow faster Mhz speeds? If so, why didn't they make use of that ability at New York? Perhaps Apple currently does not have much ability to go much further in the Mhz range, so two processors are better than one. Let's say that the 500 Mhz G4 gets a benchmark speed of 1500, so should the dual processor 500 Mhz G4 get a benchmark speed of 3000? No, this is not a perfect world. Though there is twice the amount of processors, the speed and performance can not be exactly doubled. Of course it does boost the speed and performance quite well above the single G4 processor, but we shouldn't expect doubled results.
I feel as though I should just hit upon another topic, which many of you probably already know. In the views of many Mac users, Apple doesn't have to boost their Mhz speed to claim the fastest and most powerful titles. It's very interesting how a single 500 Mhz G4 can compete with a 1 Ghz P3. In some recent test results, there wasn't much difference between the two. The Mhz scale is not very accurate, as it cannot display how the computer achieves performance. Now when we add the second 500 Mhz G4 to the system, which won't cost you really anything because the price list remains almost the same for the new product line, the performance should again crush the fastest P3's on the market. As if the first time the G4 crushed the P3 wasn't humiliating enough, it's time to do it again with the second processor. Are we going to beat them into submission? Well, as long as we continue to have the fastest and most powerful computers, we should be ready to take on the largest tasks, even if it is smashing P3 machines.
Power Mac G4 Cube
The Power Mac G4 Cube will also be shipping soon. This is an appealing and yet indecisive item. Apple has made many adjustments and claims a great deal of things. First off, the size is really small and still housed in a clear shield. Within this, there is room for expansion, such as a full 1.5 GB of RAM. But you can't expand to 200 GB of hard drive space as the Power Mac can, but max it out at 40 GB. There are no PCI slots or any way to include these. Do you have much use for PCI cards? It depends what you want to do. Have any SCSI devices? Where will you connect these? Your options to include more ports are cut with the lack of PCI slots. As technology moves on, manufacturers will want you to buy new products with newer interfaces. It's normal for them to offer you the newest and best, even if you need to spend several thousand dollars for such items. At this time, I just cannot see that the Cube will offer as much power to that of the Power Mac. It's probably targeted toward the midrange users who want to save space and follow the new trends. How would an existing user incorporate existing hardware into this machine? It would be quite difficult. The Cube also contains no fan, and allows air to flow through the machine. Apple claims it will be nearly silent then. What about the hard drive? Was that silenced as well? You will most likely hear the hard drive as it reads or writes large chunks of data. So don't be fooled by silent computers just yet.
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