Repeat after me: you'll be running Logic on a faster PowerBook G4, not G5, in 2005. But that may not a bad thing.

There's just no convincing some people. It's not enough that top Apple
brass told financial analysts as recently as Wednesday 1/12 not to
expect a PowerBook G5 in the near future. The moment Cupertino makes an
order with its manufacturer for a new model, the rumor mill immediately
assumes this means the imminent arrival of the PB G5.
Not so, say all the Mac rumor sites (including those being, ahem, sued
by Apple for leaking trade secrets) — yes, a new model is coming, but based on a G4-class processor. Ironically, far from being able to crank out a G5, it sounds like Apple's still suffering chip shortages of a newer G4.

But wait a minute — who needs the rumor mill here? I could have told
you that. Based on past Apple behavior, a safe bet is to expect a speed
bump PowerBook G4 (higher clock speed, minor enhancements) in the next
few months and a more major revision by fall, though more likely
featuring a G4 than a G5.

The big question is, why does everyone think they need a G5, from a
digital audio perspective (or any other)? Apple and IBM had long been
skeptical about the ability of the G5-class chip to work in a laptop
version, in contrast to the G4 which from the beginning was intended
for low-power, low heat-generation applications. Keep in mind, too,
desktop G5s benefit not only from the chip, but from the architecture
of the whole machine. New, faster G4s, despite the name, could match or
excel the current G5s in performance in the near future, and if we're
really lucky a much-predicted  dual-core G4 could be a huge boon to
audio. (More so, possibly, than a G5 laptop.) 64-bit hasn't yet
delivered big performance gains for laptop audio on either Mac or
Windows.

Yes, for digital audio it'd be nice to see Apple's laptop
price-performance ratio coming closer to the PC. But because Apple is a
single vendor, these gains are often delivered
generation-to-generation, and there's no question you'll see a new
PowerBook generation this year. Who cares what the chip is called?
Let's hope it delivers enough drool-worthy performance to put us all
deeper into debt. Again.

  • Guest

    The latest generation of FreeScale PPC 32-bit chips lift the system bus bottleneck that current G4 chips have. A dual core 32-bit PPC chip with dual VPUs would be a real winner.

  • Guest

    The Motorola G4 is dated p.o.s.

  • Guest

    Front-Side Bus. The G4 is stuck with an anemic 167 MHz FSB, which is literally circa 2000 technology

  • admin

    No question the front-side bus and other bottlenecks cripple the current-generation G4. But that's the point: anticipated new chips solve some of these problems (see first comment).

  • Guest

    64 bits is something almost no one needs yet, especially on a laptop, where >4GB RAM would be prohibilitively expensive anyway. And it doesn't speed things up– if anything, 64-bit is slightly slower because of the extra data to be moved around, and only helps speed if you were using a many-gigabyte dataset.

    Besides, the G4 has more than 32 bits of addressing available to the OS, so can use more than 4GB anyway. And even Tiger won't be able to run apps with a GUI natively in 64-bit mode.

    So what's so great about a G5? Marketing! Basically, they just need to come out with an upgraded G4 with a fast bus, call it the "G5-Mobile", and stick it in a laptop.

  • Guest

    Like the first poster said, the new G4s aka the e600 series (e700 would be the 64-bit series and be the perfect laptop G5) not only adds a memory controller on die (something that other chips use the bus for) it also adds PCI express and gigabit ethernet on die with a 667 MHz bus for the left over bits.

    The dual core version is even better.

    Check out Freescale's website for more detailed information.

    The problem of course being that Freescale has to actually ship these.

    Any new chip that would be released now in Powerbooks would still be based on the G4e framework and either be a 7447b with same 167 MHz bus and faster clock speeds, or the 7448 with a new 200 MHz bus.

  • Guest

    There must be someone around with
    access to an iMac G5 and a
    recent-vintage G4 Powerbook. It
    would be interesting to see some
    comparative benchmarks on Logic
    plugins, to see just how you gain
    today with a G5 over a G4 on the app.
    Every app is different …

  • Guest

    I would be very happy with a Dual Processor PowerBook. On battery, the energy saver could disable one of the chips, on full power, having two 1.4Ghz G4 chips in a laptop would be very speedy indeed!

  • Guest

    Well said. I have yet purchased a G5 because neither is the OS, nor any software had been able to take advantage of the 64-bit technology. Until the killer apps are ready, I don't see why I shouldn't stick with my G4s, G3s–and even the G2s–603, 604e.