Apple Goes Dual-Chip For The Macintosh

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The era of the single processor Power Mac G5 has come to a close, and future machines will have dual-chips.

When the 1.8 GHz Power Mac G5 left the Apple online storefront, it signaled the end of single chip machines in the computer maker’s high-end lineup.

Apple Goes Dual-Chip For The Macintosh

Future Power Macs will be dual-processor systems, with chips by Intel inside, replacing the IBM PowerPC chips previously used. High-end systems from Apple with Intel processors won’t be available until later in 2006.

Existing units of the 1.8 GHz G5 with the single processor can be found in other sales channels, though potential users will likely wait for a favorable price drop before picking one of them up.

In a statement, Apple clarified its plans. “The 1.8 GHz Power Mac G5 is no longer available at the online Apple Store but is available in other channels while supplies last. The Power Mac G5 line is now all dual processor and delivers the ultimate in performance for our most advanced customers.”

Apple’s change to Intel as chip supplier after over a decade with IBM and Freescale didn’t come without precedent. Before using the PowerPC platform, Apple used chips produced by Motorola.

But Why Now?

The timing of the change, announced recently at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, has caused some observers to question Steve Jobs‘ decision to announce it publicly.

It is speculated that Apple should have told its developers privately about the upcoming change, to avoid causing potential purchasers of existing systems to wait until the new machines become available.

Developers could have been compelled to stay silent on the change via non-disclosure agreements, but perhaps Apple felt the news would inevitably leak out and decided to head off those rumors.

And another school of thought from commentator Robert Cringely contends the move will lead to an Apple-Intel merger, with Apple hardware manufactured by OEMs instead, with Intel chips, and Apple switching its focus to software only.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Apple Goes Dual-Chip For The Macintosh
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