We’re less than impressed. – Ed

Apple has come up with a new version of the iMac. You can see a picture of it here.

Pretty? For sure.

How much does pretty cost you? Roughly about $200 more than the equivalent x86 model.

What would that $200 more get you if put into an x86 system? About 20%-30% more speed.

The problem Apple has is that when pretty has to fight power or price, pretty loses about 97% of the time, and always will. Pretty will never lose all the time, but pretty won’t suddenly start winning a lot more, either.

Actually, pretty even has to cheat a bit to get that 3%.

There’s nothing terribly wrong with the processing power of the iMac. It is true that the Motorola chips do about a third more work per clock cycle than the pre-PIV/Athlon, and about two-thirds more than the “classic” PIV, so that 700 or 800MHz G4 equates to about
a 1GHz PIII/Athlon or a 1.3GHz PIV. Certainly not the fastest thing on God’s green earth, but good enough for most purposes (high-end gaming not being one of them).

But that’s not good enough for Apple.

About once a year, Apple entertains those of us not in the Reality Distortion Field with technically accurate but grotesquely misleading claims about how much more powerful their computers are than the x86 competition.

Usually they use one single esoteric benchmark to prove their claim, but I guess they couldn’t find one this year, so this year’s trick is the following: “with a Pentium-crushing 800MHz PowerPC G4 processor.”

Now I don’t have the slightest doubt this statement is so. Problem is, Intel’s up to the Pentium IV.

Imagine AMD trying to say something like that. It’s preposterous, unthinkable. Whoever thought that one up at AMD would be given early retirement on the basis on senility, and Jerry Sanders would get the same for OKing it.

But none of the usual x86 rules work in Apple Valley. I don’t know what’s more despicable; Apple for dishing out this BS year-in, year-out, or Macsters for swallowing it.

Apple’s tragedy is that its great mistake didn’t kill it. It just lingers on playing Oz to a small group of loyalists. At most, it will influence the x86 world a little here, a little there, nothing else.

One day, some day, that won’t be enough, and it will pass, bemourned by a few, ignored by most. That won’t be a good day for the PC world, won’t be a bad day. It just won’t matter outside of family; Apple is just irrelevant to the mainstream PC world.

It wouldn’t be much of an oversimplification to call the early history of the personal computer the tale of two men. Stephen Jobs and Bill Gates.

Jobs saw computing as an elite activity; Gates didn’t. Gates was right; Jobs was wrong. For whatever you might want to say about Gates, be thankful that his vision won out over Jobs’.

It was the computing Civil War, and Apple and some Macsters are like the old Confederate veterans after the war mumbling about the South rising again.

Not going to happen.

Email Ed

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply