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New Powerbooks, Power Macs Out

October 20th, 2005

It’s getting late and I have to give midterm exams tomorrow, so I won’t say much. But I will say that I am not disappointed that I went ahead and bought my Powerbook when I did, four months ago. The new upgrades that came out just a few hours ago are not really much to write home about. They have higher-resolution displays (1440 x 960 on the 15-inch, as opposed to my 1280 x 854, for example) which are supposed to be brighter; they allegedly have a longer battery life, but these claims are always highly questionable, no matter who makes the computers; and they have made the optical Superdrive standard for all Powerbooks, which just means the lowly 12-incher now has one, too.

Aside from that: pretty much nothing. No processor upgrade, not even the smallest speed bump. Essentially, they improved the display and juiced up the battery a little. Ho-hum. Apparently they couldn’t get squat from IBM for the last of the G4 PowerPC Powerbooks.

The Power Macs, on the other hand, have what may be a more significant upgrade: dual-core CPUs. The CPU clock speeds also remain the same, like in the Powerbook, but the dual core has got to count for something. Already, the G5 performs very well, hertz for hertz, compared to Pentiums; a dual-core, dual-processor “Quad” Power Mac will likely be an impressive beast. 4 MB of L2 cache, yikes. Of course, the price matches the hardware: $3,300 for the top-of-the-line Power Mac Quad, and that’s before shelling out at least $300 for at least another 2 GB of RAM (Apple’s 512 MB included is clearly not intended to be enough for anyone–it’s a given people will add RAM by the gigabytes).

But hey, I shelled out that much on my last Powerbook, the Titanium, three and a half years ago. If I did not need a portable for work and could spend the money for a home computer, this one would not in the least be a disappointment for me. It’d certainly make my Powerbook’s single-core single-G4 CPU look, well, pathetic. Not that I’m complaining. And frankly, I wouldn’t use the speed and power enough to justify going that far. But raw CPU power for a computer geek is like raw engine power for a car geek. It’s just so cool to have.

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  1. ykw
    October 20th, 2005 at 08:10 | #1

    At my house, I have a 21″ external 1600 x 1200 lcd dvi screen, that provides perfect viewing quality, tied to a dell laptop. Can one do the same trick w/ a Mac Laptop if they want to get more viewing power? I also have an external mouse and keyboard, so that the whole thing feels like a desktop. I only use the laptop in laptop mode when traveling.

  2. October 20th, 2005 at 09:11 | #2

    Just passing through, cool blog by the way.

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