posted by Thom Holwerda on Thu 12th Jun 2008 21:52 UTC
IconApple's PowerMac G5 has been out of sale for nearly two years now, which some find a sad thing. As we all know, the desktop PowerPC market is more or less dead by now, which means getting your hands on a PowerPC workstation is either difficult, or very expensive. Terra Soft Solutions, the company behind Yellow Dog Linux, is about to launch its YDL PowerStation, the unofficial successor to the PowerMac G5. "Not just a simple replacement, but a well designed, perfectly packaged, readily upgradable, and far, far, more open source friendly system. The YDL PowerStation is four cores of unleashed Power in a solid, affordable package."

Terra Soft solutions being an open-source company, focussed on selling Linux, the YDL PowerStation's primary focus is being open, in more than one sense of the word. "Not even when 'you-know-who' offered a PowerPC workstation did the community enjoy such a well supported powerhouse. From firmware to graphics cards to OS, the PowerStation is open." What they mean by this is that not only are the operating system and the firmware open source, but the machine's components are all easily accessible. And the icing on the open source theme's cake is the fact that the machine comes with an XGI Volari XP10 videocard - which has open source drivers. TSS hopes to serve several markets with the YDL PowerStation, mostly related to development.

The machine has some pretty hefty specifications:

  • Quad-core (2 dual-core CPUs) 2.5GHz IBM 970MP processors with AltiVec SIMD acceleration for native 32- and 64-bit processing; 1MB L2 cache per core
  • 8 DIMM slots for DDR2 667MHz for up to 32GB RAM; ECC supported
  • Adaptec Obsidian 8 port SAS RAID Controller with support for RAID 0/1/10 base and RAID 5 with optional mirror fast write cach daughter card; single 70GB SAS drive by default, up to 4 drives total 1 enhanced IDE for media devices
  • 2 Broadcom HT2000/BCM5780 Gigabit, full duplex ethernet ports

The base model, which has all the above specifications and 2GB or RAM, will sell for a price of USD 1895. Shipping starts late June.

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