Power Mac G5 is Apple’s best work yet
Cupertino’s 64-bit desktop system and Panther OS mix beauty and exceptional performance
I don’t want to look ahead too far, but the G5 architecture is going to make one hell of a server. That’s not conjecture. I ran all of my performance tests, including Final Cut Pro, on the Server edition of the Panther OS without bothering to shut down Panther’s services. I don’t care if cooling requirements will prevent Apple from squeezing a pair of G5s into a 1U rack chassis. I’ll generously set aside two rack spaces if I have to. My lab’s Xeon servers already occupy that.
I’m also jazzed about the possibilities of G5-equipped notebooks. It’s no accident that Apple paid such attention to Panther’s text and graphics rendering, with improvements in speed and quality most apparent in Panther’s handling of PDF and HTML. These set up innumerable possibilities for the rich, real-time presentation of complex and changing data.
Data analysis and translation, digital media, security, high-bandwidth data gathering, complex user interfaces, software development, and network monitoring are types of common applications that the Power Mac G5 handled sublimely in my tests. That describes the kind of work I do every day, a breadth of activity that colors my opinion of this system.
More than anything else, the Power Mac G5 shatters the long-standing limits of expectation imposed by Intel and Microsoft. Maybe you’re not a customer for this machine, but very shortly you will see shades of the Power Mac G5 in every dual-processor desktop you buy. The risk that Apple takes here is the same one it took with the PowerBook G4, OS X, Xserve, and Xserve RAID. Maybe customers aren’t as dull, as timid, or as easily led as other vendors believe.
In this article, a dual-processor 3.06GHz Xeon system's I/O throughput -- in the comparison with the Power Mac G5's -- should have been noted as 1.3GB per second. It has been corrected in this article.