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Ask Max: How Much Longer Will the PowerPC Be Around?

Asked on 05/26/2006:

Nice forum. I read your article on the new Intel chip/Macs and it cleared up some things for me. I am one of those folks who use my Power PC Macs to earn a living. I do have a lot invested in software. Is Apple going to stop selling the Power PC machines? How long do I have, especially since I did have my eye on a new iMac flat screen, will I be able to purchase a Power PC one instead of the new machines. I don't need to have the brand new, flashy, top of the line machines, but I do need to plan this purchase. Thanks for your help.


Apple has another year at least of selling PowerPC computers. My guess is that the XServe will be the last system to be switched to an Intel chip. We may find that there will always be a PowerPC server line from Apple, while all the other systems run on Intel. The question of when the switch will happen is really as soon as they are ready to rev the computer line. I doubt we will see any more PowerPC upgrades from Apple. That means what is available today is going to be the fastest PowerPC Macs available. A fact that makes planning easy, in a way. Buy what will work best for your workload today. Then start saving for the Intel hardware and software switch. If you are working fine now don't panic and buy a computer because you are afraid it's going away. PowerMax will always sell every generation of Mac we can get our hands on for as long as someone wants to buy them.

The switch is happening right now and it can be nerve racking. Just the other day Apple discontinued the PowerBook G4 15-inch and the iMac G5-17 inch. Soon the 20-inch iMac G5 will be discontinued. The next announcement is coming any day now. So think about what you need now and focus on that.

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