Another Week, Another Event

The first order of business is to wish my wonderful wife a very happy birthday!!!

I know I’m a bit late posting about the latest Apple media event. There’s really not much to say. I can’t comment on Aperture because that application is way out of my league. However, I do think it’s interesting that Apple is trying to distance it from Photoshop as much as possible. As far as I can tell, the two applications have little in common. I imagine many people who invest a great deal of time in one will also find the other valuable. If you are curious for more info on Aperture, visit Apple’s product page.

PowerMacs

My 1.8 GHz PowerMac G5 looks positively anemic next to these beasts. Like the iMac, we have moved to DDR2 SDRAM, though the PowerMacs remained at the same 533 MHz memory the iMac has instead of being bumped to 667 MHz. Sometimes I think Apple is going all conservative on me. In addition to the new memory, the PowerMac has adopted PCI-Express as well as some serious graphics cards, including (finally) a professional level card with the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500. The dual ethernet ports are also worthy of note for anyone wishing to turn a PowerMac into a server.

The big news, of course, is dual-core. Some early reports are indicating that the dual-core 2.3 GHz model is slightly faster than the previous generation dual processor 2.5 GHz machine. (The previous machine had two single-core processors in it.) I’m sure the many variables listed above were also contributors to this performance gain, but it is promising. I was perplexed when I saw the “new” machines were running at a slower clock-speed than the previous generation, but it seems the machines still have quite a boost in performance. (Incidentally, this is not the first time a “MHz regression” has occurred. According to MacTracker, the final G3 PowerBooks were running at 500 MHz, but the first G4 PowerBooks came out at 400 MHz.)

In all, the new PowerMacs are a very strong lineup. If Apple’s claims are true about performance gains, then Macintosh-based professionals may want to snatch one of these up before “the Switch” if their current machine is growing long-in-the-tooth.

PowerBooks

Um, were these updated? Seriously, I like the new screen resolutions. Hopefully, the future onset of resolution independent user interfaces will allow them to pack the pixels even denser in the future. The product line has also been simplified. All PowerBooks have DVD-burners, but only the two larger models get dual-layer burning. Both larger models have 128 MB dedicated graphics memory, backlit keyboard, and optical audio. Truthfully, the 15-inch model seems to offer the best value, especially at my educator discount.

Are these updates exciting? No. Did I expect more? A little bit. Regardless, my PowerBook G3 has seen better days, so I might be trying to justify getting the 15-inch model. We’ll see… I feel myself being swayed by Apple’s beautiful product pictures…

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