What’s better than the fastest PC you can buy? It’s an Apple, it runs OS X Tiger, and it’s affordable. Very affordable. Lower than a Dell?
That affordability would appear to be the myth busting episode of the WWDC keynote address.
The new Mac Pro with dual Intel Xeon CPUs is a screamer and blows away the predecessor; Apple’s highly touted PowerMac quad G5.
How so? Except for the few lucky folks at the WWDC conference, not many Mac Pros are in the wild to test. So what? I ordered one to replace my two year old PowerMac 2.5ghz G5.
What will I get? First, it’ll run everything but Photoshop and Microsoft Office even better than my now antiquated PowerMac.
Second, it’s an Intel-based Mac that’s ready for 64-bit OS X Leopard which should be out soon. Well, maybe early next year. Actually, it might be June 2007. Still, that’s sooner than Vista, right?
Third, goodies inside. Not only is Intel inside, there’s room for four plug-n-play SATA hard drives, full size PCI Express cards, and a dual-link graphics card sufficient to drive dual 30-inch Apple Cinema Displays (now on sale for only $1,999.
Not only will this big puppy scorch the earth with speed, it’ll do so with less heat than the coal burning IBM chips in the PowerMacs.
Less heat means less cooling which means more space for those extra add on toys we love. More hard drives, more RAM, more cards, more video, more connections.
Did I mention connectors? In the front, there’s a new Firewire 800 port along with the USB and Firewire ports.
In the back, there’s even more USB ports, plus a Firewire 400 port, and another Firewire 800 port.
True, the Mac Pro case hasn’t changed much from the previous PowerMac case. It’s an imposing aluminum tank posing as artwork.
Add four 500-meg hard drives and the Mac Pro tops out at two terabytes of storage.
16 gigabytes of RAM? Maybe Garageband will open faster and run faster. I’m guessing that Mail’s slowness will still be evident in the Mac Pro, but I’ll let you know within about 60-seconds of getting my Mac Pro out of the box.
Nearly three years after Steve Jobs promised us 3ghz CPUs, Intel finally delivers one. Uh, two in each Mac Pro at the high end, a stock configuration of dual 2.66ghz CPUs in the middle, and a low end model with dual 2ghz chips.
Frankly, that surprised me. I expected at least a single Core 2 Dual CPU Mac Pro but Apple is making a statement—the Mac Pro means business.
Also meaning business is the final piece of the Intel CPU siwtch—the Xserve, also available with dual Xeon CPUs and cheaper than a Dell. Just like the Mac Pro.
In fact, everything coming out of Apple these days is cheaper than Dell. Maybe that’s why the stock market values AAPL stock more than DELL stock.
Do your own comparison. Apple’s machines are high end, not low end, but feature for feature, and point for point, they’re now competitive on price.
But you won’t find a $499 Mac with a 15-inch display to match a Dell price, so most comparisons have to be on Apple’s terms. Still…
Sales of Apple’s PowerMacs have steadily declined in the past few years, so much so that Apple no longer breaks out individual model sales stats, instead providing the stock market with only laptop and desktop numbers.
If power is what you want, that’s what you’ll get with the Mac Pro.
The new Xeon chips from Intel are about as good as you can get today, and Apple claims the standard configuration Mac Pro is shipping today.
Graphics choices are better than ever with both Nvidia and ATI 256meg graphic cards. Storage has never been better in a Mac desktop—up to four SATA hard drives; easy plug in, no cables.
If you love specifications, check out the Mac Pro pages on the Apple web site. I won’t bore you with details here. Besides, a little saliva drool is already on my blouse.
One other really nice change to that work-of-art aluminum case in the Mac Pro is the dual optic drive space. Now you can have dual SuperDrives. Get a second for just $100 more when you order from Apple.
Or, wait for the SuperDuper Blu-Ray DVD player-recorder SuperDrives and pop it in yourself.
I’ll admit that when I watched the QuickTime movie of Steve Jobs’ keynote address that I was certain we’d get more good news after the introduction of the Mac Pro machines.
Unfortunately, we did not. The show-n-tell of Mac OS X Leopard was anti-climactic and there was no “…one more thing” this year. Too bad.
Regardless, I like what I see in the Mac Pro. I’ve got one coming, and my screams of delight will let you know how it screams like a hot knife through warm butter ringside at a WWF grudge match.
You know, I didn’t even mention that the Mac Pro can run Windows.