Clock Speed IS Everything (11/5/01)

Hey, great news! While Intel is dorking around with its Pentium 4 at a measly 2 GHz, Motorola (whom everyone knows is the Clock Speed King, baby!) has reportedly just bested that score by a full twenty percent: according to The Register, good ol' Moto has successfully produced PowerPC G5 chips at a stunning 2.4 GHz. Break out the party hats, because Chipzilla's reign of terror has finally come to a crashing end.

Of course, we may be celebrating a mite early. Intel still holds a minor advantage, in the sense that you can actually buy a 2 GHz Pentium 4, whereas G5s of any flavor are still strictly the stuff of lab tests, prototypes, and pipe dreams at this point. There's also the fact that yields on those 2.4 GHz chips is still sort of low, and by "sort of low," we mean, two. That's right, everyone; if The Reg's sources aren't yanking our chains, then Apple has received exactly TWO 2.4 GHz G5s with which to play. So if you want a 2.4 GHz Power Mac G5, we recommend placing your preorder now, because otherwise you're going to have a looooong wait ahead of you.

See, it turns out that those 2.4 GHz monsters are basically mutants; "normal" G5s are currently running at 1, 1.2, 1.4, and 1.6 GHz-- nothing to sneeze at, certainly, but a darn sight less frightening than those two 2.4 GHz pituitary freaks. And, of course, even the 1 GHz G5s aren't commercially available, yet, and we're personally not expecting to see them hit the market for at least another six months or so. But really, is that any reason to refrain from thumbing our noses at Intel and saying "neener neener neener"? Well, okay, yes, it is... but we're ignoring our better judgment this week for religious reasons.

As for what Apple should do with those two freakishly fast G5s, well, a couple of options spring to mind. The first is to dim the lights, put on a little Barry White, and give those two chips a little privacy in the hope that they'll breed. If that fails, we figure that Apple should stick them both into the Fastest Mac We Can't Buy-- a dual-2.4 GHz Power Mac G5-- and then put it up for auction on eBay. You just know that there are a few filthy rich Mac nuts out there who'd be willing to shell out crazy ducats to own what would likely be the single zippiest Mac on the planet for at least the next two years (especially now that, to our utter shock and surprise, Xtrem appears to have vanished from the face of the 'net). Why, the proceeds from the sale of that one system alone could keep Apple in the black for another quarter. And if the winning bidder turns out to be an anonymous benefactor who then donates the system to the AtAT studios, well, so much the better...

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The above scene was taken from the 11/5/01 episode:

November 5, 2001: iTunes 2 is here-- and its installer nuked a whole wagonload of data before Apple fixed the bug. Meanwhile, sources claim that Motorola has produced G5s running at 2.4 GHz, and Apple launches an ill-conceived plan to sell more copies of QuickTime Pro by restricting access to its high-resolution movie and game trailers...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3373: The Installer of Great Peril (11/5/01)   See, folks? Sometimes it pays to be slow. The long-awaited iTunes 2 officially hit the 'net on Friday night, and as expected, a swarm of Mac users abuzz with enthusiasm descended upon Apple's servers like locusts upon a "Grains Of Many Lands" buffet and snapped that puppy up posthaste...

  • 3375: Just Fomenting Rebellion (11/5/01)   You've seen it a zillion times, to the point where clicking a box that says "Later" is purely a reflex action now; that annoying little box that nags you each day to upgrade to QuickTime Pro. And if you're wondering why you should fork over $29.99 just to tack the word "Pro" onto the end of everyone's favorite media architecture, Apple is only too happy to list the benefits: play movies at full-screen size, edit movies instead of just watching them, automate the editing process with AppleScript, etc...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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