I'm definitely not a chip guy, but judging by what the guys at ArsTechnica are reporting about the next generation of G5 chips, this could be the year that the PowerPC architecture (and Mac platform) regain the speed crown from Intel:
Yes folks, a battle is not brewing, it's completely underway. A G5 jump to 2.5 or 3.0 GHz this year would represent a percentage speed increase likely not achievable by either Intel or AMD in that timeframe, the latter not being slated to hit 90nm until the second half of this year. Indeed, MR is betting that come late year, the G5 will be the fastest CPU of of the bunch. The real question is, if that happens, will it also be the most expensive?
Of course, a G4 eMac is still at $1000, and a current PC with monitor can be had for $600. Do iLife's apps tip the balance? Does immunity to viruses hold any cash value? Will a (perceived or otherwise) speed advantage make a difference?
I actually still think platform choices are interesting. Or rather, relative platform choices. I see the Wintel platform beset on all sides:
- Europeans use smartphones more than desktop computers
- Linux plus Intel is gaining huge ground in places like Germany and China (plus all the fanless stuff is from VIA, not Intel)
- The digerati all have PowerBook G4s
- Consumer electronics companies are becoming computing powers in their own right (ref. PlayStation, plus XBox2 is likely going to be PPC powered)
Wouldn't it be funny if Microsoft had a plan to port Longhorn, their next generation of Windows, to the PPC platform?!!?