Apple's move to G5 processors from IBM is giving the company a clear advantage against manufacturers using chips from Intel or AMD, an industry expert has said.

"The 970FX", (the G5 chip that powers Apple's Xserve and is thought likely to drive a future Power Mac G5 upgrade from the company), "should yield well at 2.5GHz, up from the 2GHz speeds of the 970 used in the original Power Mac G5. This 25 per cent increase in clock rate will not soon be matched by Intel or AMD," writes Microprocessor Report editor-in-chief Peter Glaskowsky.

Intel's new Prescott chip is described as "struggling to eke out minor clock-rate improvements, and AMD will have to wait for its own 90nm products (due in the second half of the year) to achieve substantial speed-ups for Athlon 64," he writes.

The new G5 chip has already won the coveted Microprocessor Report Analyst's Choice Award for Best Desktop Processor of 2003. Glaskowsky is optimistic for the future of the processor architecture.

"Apple has promised to deliver 3GHz G5 systems this summer, implying the arrival of further speedups for the 970FX. That's an aggressive target, but it should be achievable. The 970FX has the necessary architectural sophistication in its deep pipelines to make this speed possible, and IBM has the necessary technology," he said.

He predicts that at 3GHz the 970FX should outrun chips expected from AMD and Intel this year. "The processor has put Apple back among the leaders of the PC speed race and given it a chance to win greater sales," he said.

More information on the analysts opinions and predictions for IBM's new processor are available in the Microprocessor Report. A subscription is required.