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Technology / AI and automation


The first PowerPC-based Macintoshes, expected to be launched by Apple Computer Inc on March 14, will offer better price-performance than any other major low-end RISC workstation, and beat Pentium machines as well, Open Systems Today believes. The US trade paper, citing internal Apple documents and industry sources, reckons that one of the new machines tops all competing machines in SPECint92 price-performance, in SPECfp92 floating-point price-performance, and in SPECfp92 straight performance – and also has the lowest list price: it also beat everything in straight SPECint92 benchmarks except for a Digital Equipment Corp Alpha workstation, which was slightly faster, the paper says. The base model’s price-performance of $33 per SPECint92 and $25 per SPECfp92 compares with $68.90 and $50.60 for the best Hewlett-Packard Co machine (although Hewlett cut some key models just after the news item appeared), $84.00 and $70.60 for DEC, $151.30 and $190.20 for Sun Microsystems Inc, and $245.10 and $149.60 for IBM Corp. And the paper reckons that the boxes also walk all over the cheapest Pentium machines, citing a 60MHz Ambra DP60/PCI at $2,670, which works out at a price per SPECint of $44.48 and price per SPECfp of $45.24. Starting at $2,000 for a Power Macintosh 6100/60 – it seems the PowerMac name has given way to Power Macintosh – the new desktops are built around the PowerPC 601 microprocessor, which is rated at 60 SPECint92 and 80 SPECfp92. As reported, the 66MHz Model 7100 is expected to start at $3,000 and the 80MHz Model 8100 at $4,500. They are to come with 8Mb, expandable to 72Mb, 136Mb and 264Mb respectively. The low-end model has a 160Mb disk, the others 250Mb. The low-end model has one slot and one SCSI interface, the others models have three slots and dual SCSI channels. All three have Ethernet. Apple will be using Insignia Solutions Ltd’s SoftWindows emulator, the paper says: this is claimed to deliver Windows performance of a 25MHz 80486; 68000-based Mac applications run under the System 7 emulator, for which performance comparisons are vague; about 50 native applications are said to be ready for them, including Excel, Word and Works, WordPerfect, PageMaker and ClarisWorks.

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CBR Staff Writer

CBR Online legacy content.