I was reading this morning an editorial at BusinessWeek regarding Apple being “too cool” but not delivering new PowerMacs. I have heard that the G4 CPUs are already close to their limit regarding the speeds they can deliver. In the past I wrote an editorial regarding Apple creating “Macs based on x86/Opteron” but seeing Apple staying faithful to the Motorola CPUs, could the development of multi-CPU Macs could be a (temporary) answer to the G4 speed limit (especially when the G5 is nowhere to be seen)?So, the idea would be to create machines that would hold 4 and 8 CPUs as an addition to the existing 2-way PowerMacs, however for prices between $3000 and $6,000 USD. Speeds for these models will have to be 1,33 and 1.5 GHz G4s (even if they might have to hand-select the CPUs that can handle these speeds).
Such machines would enable Macs to “virtually” have a sum of 5,33 up to 12.6 GHz, and for prices up to $6,000 could beat easily Sun and SGI workstations (and even some Dell ones) – at least in price/performance ratio…
The only question would be of course to tweak MacOSX and make it even more multithreading than it is today (which might help more with responsiveness). You see, in order to take advantage of SMP, the OS and apps need to be written in a way that compliment multithreading.
The real problem might just be though third party application developers, who might need to redesign, or simply tweak their own high-end apps, or in a worse situation, they would have to learn how to write multithreading applications (that was mostly a necessity on BeOS and not on other OSes so far). Except a few developers in the BeOS community, the rest never mastered completely multithreading programming. If Apple could overcome this problem with its own devs and provide education on the matter, it would be great to see such workstations from Apple, especially after the acquisition of many companies by Apple that do high-end 3D, rendering and music software.
What do you think? Could that be a temporary solution on the absent of G5 and maybe even bring Apple to a new market and some additional cash in today’s struggling economy?