I have to think that the PowerPC never really attained its true potential, but that’s not Apple’s fault. First Motorola and then IBM failed to deliver the speedier chips Apple needed to keep up with the rapidly-advancing X86 platform. Both AMD and Intel kept moving ahead, whereas Apple’s chip partners languished and failed to deliver the right chips at the right time.
Take the original announcement of the G5. Steve Jobs introduced an on-screen presentation featuring IBM’s state-of-the-art processor fabrication plant, and how they had developed technology that would blow the competitors from Intel away. He even had the temerity to promise that, a year hence, there would be a 3GHz version. Outstanding!
But the G5 had some serious deficiencies, most notable of which is that they ran real hot. So the most powerful Power Mac G5 required multiple fans and liquid cooling to keep the box at a safe operating temperature. Some folks actually suffered coolant leaks, which meant that their Mac towers were “toast,” as far as repairs were concerned.
Unfortunately, IBM couldn’t tame the G5 sufficiently to reduce the massive cooling requirements, which pretty much put a serious damper on the prospects that there’d ever be a note-book version. So what was Apple to do?