Oooo, this is going to stick in a few craws. We know that, despite our last-minute warnings not to get your hopes up, several AtAT viewers still expected new Power Macs to appear at the Expo last week. Worse yet, we know that some of those optimists, against every sane impulse imaginable, were even expecting those new Power Macs to contain G5 processors instead of the far-more-likely Apollo G4s we've mentioned. This produced one of those confluences of expectations for which the phrase "setting one's self up for a big, painful fall" was presumably invented.
So no, we didn't get new Power Macs last week, but that's only logical, really, since Apple stood to benefit most by keeping the spotlight focused sharply on the new iMac, whose double-jointed form and lovable contortions are wowing the press and customers alike and generating a ton of free advertising; amid last week's media circus, a new Power Mac would simply have been a distraction. Meanwhile, AtAT had been expecting revised Power Macs to surface later this month, and our hopes as to their specs were characteristically conservative: Apollo G4s running at 933 MHz at the entry level, with the clock speed reaching 1.2 and maybe even 1.4 GHz at the high end. Generally impressive, though well within the realm of Things That Might Actually Happen.
Or so we thought. Unfortunately, now it looks like even our relatively staid expectations may have been overly optimistic. Faithful viewer Dundee informs us that MacMinute (who, as we've pointed out in the past, never seems to be wrong about these things) has discovered that Apple does plan on shipping new Power Macs next week-- but that their specs might prove to be slightly disappointing. Apparently come Tuesday, the new G4s will ship in non-Apollo 800 MHz, 933 MHz, and dual-1 GHz configurations. So the good news is that the PowerPC has finally oozed its way up to the long-sought-after gigahertz level; the bad news, of course, is that, real-world performance notwithstanding, Intel is currently pushing 2.2 GHz. Sure, it's all just a matter of appearance, but hey, numbers sell. (Or fail to, in this economy.)
Despite a clock speed gap that continues to widen instead of shrinking, though, it's worth noting that a high-end Power Mac with two 1 GHz G4s galloping under its hood is probably the closest to heaven a Mac fan will get for the next half a year without actually taking his or her own life (or at least raiding Uncle Steve's acid stash). As such, we look forward to this incremental improvement, slight though it may be, when it supposedly materializes via a low-key press release on Tuesday. And if you were hoping for G5s instead, try not to get all pouty and stuff-- it's undignified. Weeping gently to yourself is acceptable, however.