Uh, Time For Quad-Boxes? (8/1/00)

Those of you who have been tracking Apple's standing in the megahertz races, we have some news for you, and it ain't good. While the advent of dual-processor Power Macs as standard equipment at the high end should give you some indication that Apple's given up hope of ever seeing Motorola catch up to Intel and AMD, even the specious marketing message of "two 500 MHz chips, one 1 GHz chip-- same difference" has just been derailed. Faithful viewer Mike Dini sent us after a Salon article which describes Intel's latest breakthrough: a Pentium III running at 1.13 GHz. (That's 1130 MHz, for the mathematically challenged.)

Meanwhile, Motorola's still spluttering along with the same 500 MHz G4 that it couldn't ship last year. The company's stagnancy in the clock speed arena even prompted MacEdition to offer up a wanted poster, which advertises a "1,000 Megahertz 'in silicon'" reward for the apprehension of the Motorola Semiconductor Group, "alias 'Slow-Aim,'" for "violation of Moore's Law." So let's see... the G4 is still at 500 MHz, Intel's at 1130 MHz. Motorola's new slogan: "44% of the clock speed of the competition, but twice the fun!"

Yes, we know full well that clock speed isn't everything when it comes to performance-- but, sadly, it's almost everything when it comes to marketing. Hey Apple, here's an idea... the new 1.13 GHz Pentium III is $990. Just introduce a new top-of-the-line Power Mac G4, hike the price by a grand, and toss a 1.13 GHz Intel chip in the box. As in, literally, toss it in the box-- don't bother hooking it up to the motherboard or even soldering it down somewhere; let it rattle around loose to save on costs. Then you can market the system as a dual-G4 Mac with "a 1.13 GHz Pentium III included!" They'll sell like hotcakes. Trust us.

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The above scene was taken from the 8/1/00 episode:

August 1, 2000: Word of incendiary Macs is spreading; is the restless ghost of Gil Amelio the culprit? Meanwhile, Intel trots out a 1.13 GHz processor, while Motorola continues to play FreeCell all day long, and Steve Ballmer publicly equates Linux with communism...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2452: Them Pesky Poltergeists (8/1/00)   There are many images from the Amelio Dynasty that stand out: 90,000 Performas sold, no two of which had the same model number; those creepy infomercials that reeked of stale desperation; the torrents of red ink that made the elevator scene in The Shining look like someone got a paper cut...

  • 2454: The New Cold War Erupts (8/1/00)   Reason number 423 why you should support Microsoft's every move: it's an all-American democratic watchdog that's fighting a war to keep the commies out of your computer. Well, okay, maybe not your computer, since you're probably a Mac user-- but all that Intel-compatible iron out there is just waiting to be seized by the Red Menace...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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