Apple’s G5 Disappointment

June 9, 2004 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Macintosh | 1 Comment

Almost a year since announcing the PowerMac G5, Apple introduces a new generation of PowerMacs. I was looking forward to buying a low end model in the $1600-$1800 range; instead, Apple raises the price of the low end PowerMac to $2000. A very disappointing upgrade.

Apple seems to have a compulsion to engineer and spend precious nonrecurring dollars on both a regular motherboard and a crippled motherboard, in order to preserve their margins and upsell customers to the mid- and high-end models. Back in 1999, Apple did the same thing with the Yikes! G4 PowerMacs. All I can say is that this may be a factor in the sliding marketshare of Macs (from 4% then to 2% now). In those (good old) days, one can get a low-end tower for about $1500.

Apple would like you to think that you’re getting yesterday’s $2500 dual 1.8GHz for $2000. However, reading the specs carefully, the dual 1.8GHz has the same motherboard limitations as the previous single 1.6GHz – only 4 RAM slots (must be populated in pairs) and PCI-only slots.

Personally, I don’t care about PCI, even though I’m paying for something I will probably not use, but the lack of RAM expandability is a show-stopper. I would like to take advantage of a volatile RAM market, and having only one RAM upgrade opportunity instead of 3 for a $2000 computer is not a good value proposition. [I know I can replace existing RAM, but that means I’m actually paying more than I should each time I do so].

There are a few options – getting a good price on an older G5 model (single or dual 1.8GHz), waiting for a G5 iMac or a headless Mac at WWDC in two weeks, or getting a CPU upgrade for my aging Cube.

Apple wants to take advantage of PC technologies and economies of scale, but they’re not willing to let their customers do the same. For being too cheap to include four 25-cent RAM sockets, they’ve lost a sale. For now. We’ll see in two weeks.

1 Comment

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  1. Here’s a video that shows what Steve Jobs

    said at least year’s G5 introduction:

    WWDC 2003 SteveNote


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