So Apple has now completely moved to Intel — yesterday, Steve Jobs announced the new Intel-based Mac Pro, replacing my beloved Quad G5 PowerMac. And they did it in waaaay less time than I thought it would take.
I haven’t had time to digest all the hubbub concerning the new machine, but here’s what I think I understand. The new box has quad 64-bit cores, based on a dual-core Xeon processor, Apple claims that this machine (in it’s top end, 3.0Ghz config) is twice as fast as my little Quaddie. Wow, that’s some serious smoking processing!
Drive capacity is much improved, with dual DVD slots, and room for up to four SATA drives. With 750Gb drives out there, that’s 3Tb in the box! Installing four HDD in my Quad takes some doing, so this is quite an improvement.
The mmemory ceiling appears to still be 16Gb, but the speed and bandwidth of the memory subsystem has been increased. I’m sure that’s part of the improved speed being advertised, along with increased bus speed.
I’ve also read somewhere, but haven’t confirmed, that the massive fan complexes are gone, as is the water cooling. It’s just not needed for the new processors. While I would welcome the quieter performance — my Quad is noisy at times — the water cooling was just…. well…. cool.
Apple has even published a nice Mac Pro Developer Note, talking all about the new hardware and design.
And after all that, the new box is cheaper than my Quad G5 was. Go figure. The promise of Intel machines being less expensive than the PowerPC chips appears to be bearing some fruit. Add to that some significant drops in the Cinema Display pricing — the 30″ display is now just $2k — and the story just keeps getting better.
I have no need to upgrade from my Quad G5 right now, especially with Adobe lagging on having Photoshop ready for the Intel Macs. Frankly, I think eight cores are in the offing for next year, and that’d be a more impressive upgrade path. However, the drooling over the new machine has just begun! 🙂