Jan 28, 2002

The PowerPC 7455 Is Too Little, Too Late

Let's face it: Apple's new offerings in the Power Mac line are too little, too late. The PowerPC 7455 is a cop-out for the real deals (the 7460, 7500, and the 8500). If Apple doesn't get its act together soon on the high end, it'll be relegated to a consumer-only nitch and dwindle until it's bought out for its brand name.

Apple's been severely slacking when it comes to keeping its high end customers appeased. Just how long did the Power Mac stay at 500 MHz? 18 months? Well, you do have to hand it to Apple: they broke Moore's law. But don't drone on about Motorola's bug in the 7400 that kept it at 500 MHz and no higher. IBM has a 1 GHz G3 out now (the PowerPC 750FX) and could have easily provided Apple with the firepower it needed then. No AltiVec you say? Motorola's a greedy miser. They could easily release an AltiVec-only co-processor, but they want to keep it tied to PowerPC so they're guaranteed business. Business from a company too stupid to drop deadbeat technology, Apple.

Motorola's PowerPC 7455 is a compromise. It's basically a rehash of heretofore substandard processor technology with a few new fabrication features added to let it crawl towards the 1 GHz mark. There's nothing new on the table with it, and that's what makes Apple look even stupider. How long have rumor sites been predicting Apollo (the 7460)? And it's a well-known fact that the 8500 has been in testing for over a year. Yet Apple finally breaks the gigahertz barrier with something that barely is capable of doing so, a silly token upgrade to the 7450.

Why do we Mac users put up with Apple delivering slop from a bleeding company that can't keep a schedule? The only thing that makes these systems "fast" compared to the new 2.2 GHz 786/Pentium4 or AMD's XP is Steve Jobs's Reality Distortion Field. That in itself is amazing, but not perpetually sustaining. Eventually (hopefully) Mac users will smarten up to this kind of marketechnology.

It's really kind of funny. Apple has awesome machines and stays ahead of the competition hardware-wise but runs Mac OS 8 and 9, which aren't at all native to PowerPC and can't do SMP, then it gets an OS that has memory protection, SMP support, full native PowerPC code, preemption, etc. (Mac OS X) and lets its hardware fall behind by a year.

I remember back when when Apple was encroaching on SGI's low and mid end systems; now you need a PowerPC 74xx to run Mac OS X because the 750 is under-powered but still shows up in the iMac and iBook lines. That's called selling snake-oil.

If I were you I'd consider the above and think about jumping ship. I didn't like to admit it but once I was honest with myself I felt like technology was going somewhere besides the Barbie aisle.

1 comment:

  1. I am on a 933Mhz 7455 G4 right now, ten years later and crawling the web fine.