Opinion » Cybernaut


Cool computers



Although liquid cooling systems are not new to computers, Apple is the first major company to offer it as a standard feature on an over-the-counter model.

The new Mac G5 comes equipped with a closed-loop cooling system that uses a water and propylene glycol mixture to bring the temperature down for the system’s new PowerPC 970FX chipsets, the top of the line currently made by IBM.

Typically you can only find liquid cooling systems in high-end and highly customized gaming computers, or in computers used for intensive commercial and scientific applications.

Only the top G5 comes with the liquid system, which is used to keep the temperature down for the computer’s dual 64-bit G5 2.5 Gigaherz processors that have a front-side bus that runs at 1.25 Gigaherz – currently the fastest in the industry. That’s a lot of computing power, which can generate a lot of heat.

What does it mean? According to a test by P2Pnet.net, applications like Adobe Photoshop run almost twice as fast on the top G5 than on the top Pentium 4 PC chips clocked at 3.4 Gigaherz. Logic Pro 6, a music editing program, played up to 138 more tracks, or four times more, than a comparable PC program with a 3.4 Gigaherz processor.

Final Cut Pro, a video editing program, can run eight simultaneous streams of 8-bit SD video, compared to a five streams on a dual 3.06 Gigaherz Xeon-based Avid workstation.

If you’re not into high-end print, music, animation or video production, these differences won’t matter all that much to the average user, but then again that’s not who the new Mac G5 was built for. The people out there who can use that kind of power, and who do heat up their system enough to do some damage to their hardware and hard drives, will definitely appreciate it.

Nintendo hints at gaming revolution

Nintendo, once the epoch of video game technology, has a point.

While the leading companies – Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo – struggle to beat one another to the market with next generation consoles that boast better graphics, connectivity and artificial intelligence, Nintendo pointed out that the home market really isn’t all that impressed.

For example, I really do think that the Tony Hawk Pro Skater franchise peaked with the second edition back in 2000 – the subsequent versions, while boasting better graphics and capability, are just not as much fun to play. Ditto goes with NHL 2001 by EA Sports; while the graphics are better on NHL 2003 and EA made the gameplay more realistic, I wouldn’t say the newer version is a better game in terms of playability.