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Apple Releases Updated PowerMac G4 Line

MWNY - Apple Releases Updated PowerMac G4 Line

by , 12:00 PM EDT, July 18th, 2001

During this morning's MACWORLD Expo keynote, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled a new line of PowerMac G4 computers. The new computers come in three different configurations, with the low end machine sporting a G4/733MHz chip, the mid range a G4/867MHz chip, and the high end featuring two 800MHz G4 processors. The new PowerMacs feature a slightly redesigned enclusure, bringing it more in line with the looks of the PowerBook G4 Titanium and the iBook. According to Apple:

Offering the ultimate in performance, expansion and digital media solutions, Apple today introduced a powerful new line of Power Mac G4s with 733 MHz, 867 MHz and dual 800 MHz PowerPC G4 processors. Apples revolutionary SuperDrive, a combination CD-RW/DVD-R drive that can burn DVDs which can be played in consumer DVD players, is now standard in Power Mac models costing $2,499$1,000 less than before.

"These are the fastest Macs ever, with 867 MHz and dual 800 MHz PowerPC G4 processors," said Steve Jobs, Apples CEO. "With the 867 MHz processor and our revolutionary SuperDrive together in a system costing just $2,499, more users can now afford to create professional quality DVDs."

The new Power Mac G4 line offers incredible performance with systems featuring 867 MHz and dual 800 MHz PowerPC G4 processors with Velocity Engine. For the ultimate in processor utilization, both the 867 MHz and dual 800 MHz processors include 256K of on-chip level 2 cache running at processor speed and a large 2MB of level 3 backside cache per processor. For advanced graphics, NVIDIA GeForce2 MX graphics cards are now standard on all models, with the new NVIDIA GeForce2 MX with TwinView card for dual monitor support standard in the dual 800 MHz model. The dual 800 MHz Power Mac G4 runs professional applications like Adobes Photoshop up to 83 percent faster than a 1.7 GHz Pentium IV-based PC*.

The revolutionary SuperDrive, a combination CD-RW/DVD-R drive, together with Apples pre-installed iDVD or optional DVD Studio Pro software, can create professional-looking DVDs that can be played in consumer DVD players. The SuperDrive is now standard in Power Mac G4 models starting at just $2,499. The SuperDrive writes DVD-R at 2x, reads DVD at 4x, writes CD-R at 8x, writes CD-RW at 4x and reads CD at 24x.

Housed in a updated "quicksilver" enclosure, the Power Mac G4 line includes:

  • an award-winning design with a side door that swings open to provide the industrys easiest access to expansion slots and memory;
  • five slots, including four high-performance 64 bit 33 MHz PCI slots and an 4x AGP slot with NVIDIA GeForce2 MX graphics card with TwinView and 64MB of SDRAM for dual display support in the dual 800 MHz model, or NVIDIA GeForce2 MX graphics card with 32MB of SDRAM in both the 733 MHz, and 867 MHz models;
  • two 400Mbps FireWire ports and two 12Mbps USB ports to connect the latest DV camcorders, printers and storage devices;
  • Mac OS X pre-installed providing protected memory, preemptive multitasking, advanced memory management, symmetric multiprocessing and a highly-optimized BSD networking architecture;
  • Apples innovative iTunes "jukebox" software that lets users easily manage their own digital music collections and burn their own standard audio CDs, Disc Burner software to easily create data CDs, and iMovie 2, the worlds most popular, easy-to-use digital video editing software;
  • 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet built-in on the motherboard for transferring large files, such as image and digital video files; and
  • three 3.5-inch hard disk drive expansion bays with one pre-installed Ultra ATA hard drive up to 80GB.
  • Pricing & Availability
    The new 733 MHz and 867 MHz Power Mac G4s are available immediately and the 800 MHz dual processor Power Mac G4 is expected to be available in August through The Apple Store (www.apple.com), at Apple's retail stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers. The new Power Mac G4s are available in three standard configurations.

    The 733 MHz Power Mac G4, for a suggested retail price of $1,699 (US), includes:

    • 256K on-chip level 2 backside cache;
    • 128MB of PC133 SDRAM memory; 40GB Ultra ATA/66 hard disk drive;
    • NVIDIA GeForce 2 MX graphics card with 32MB video SDRAM in 4x AGP slot;
    • CD-RW drive;
    • two FireWire and USB ports;
    • four full-length 64 bit PCI slots at 33 MHz;
    • 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet, AirPort ready and built-in 56K V.90 modem; and
    • iDVD, iTunes and iMovie 2 software.

    The 867 MHz Power Mac G4, for a suggested retail price of $2,499 (US), includes:

    • 256K on-chip level 2 backside cache and 2MB of level 3 cache;
    • 128MB of PC133 SDRAM memory; 60GB Ultra ATA/66 hard disk drive;
    • NVIDIA GeForce 2 MX graphics card with 32MB video SDRAM in 4x AGP slot;
    • SuperDrive combination CD-RW/DVD-R;
    • two FireWire and USB ports;
    • four full-length 64 bit PCI slots at 33 MHz;
    • 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet, AirPort ready and built-in 56K V.90 modem; and
    • iDVD, iTunes and iMovie 2 software.

    The dual 800 MHz Power Mac G4, for a suggested retail price of $3,499 (US), includes:

  • 256K on-chip level 2 backside cache and 2MB of level 3 cache per processor;
  • 256MB of PC133 SDRAM memory;
  • 80GB Ultra ATA/66 hard disk drive;
  • NVIDIA GeForce2 MX with TwinView graphics card and 64MB video SDRAM in 4x AGP slot;
  • SuperDrive combination CD-RW/DVD-R;
  • two FireWire and USB ports;
  • four full-length 64 bit PCI slots at 33 MHz;
  • 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet, AirPort ready and built-in 56K V.90 modem; and
  • iDVD, iTunes and iMovie 2 software.
  • The Power Mac G4 is available in more than 600,000 build-to-order configurations through The Apple Store (www.apple.com). Options include a combination DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive, up to 1.5GB of SDRAM, the NVIDIA GeForce3 graphics card, up to 72GB Ultra160 SCSI drives, AirPort Base Station and AirPort Card, and Harman Kardon iSub and SoundSticks, and Apple Pro Speakers. Standard 4.7GB DVD-R discs, available from The Apple Store (www. apple.com) in packs of five for a suggested retail price of $49.95 (US). For a list of compatible DVD players, visit www.apple.com/dvd/compatibility.

    * Based on commonly used operations in Adobe Photoshop 6.0.

    You can find more information at the Apple Web site.

    The Mac Observer Spin:

    While not an Earth moving improvement, faster G4s are a welcome addition to Apple's lineup. Most of the rumor sites had pegged the top end machine to be a 933MHz model, with a Dual 800 somewhere in the middle. As it turns out the Dual 800MHz machine now holds up Apple's top end. Faster machines will eventually see the light of day, but we are now likely forced to wait until MWSF to see the magical 1GHz barrier broken.

    The new cases do not offer an improvement over the old, just a look to bring the G4 more in line with the portable line, and we assume the new iMac should it ever actually be announced. All in all this serves as a maintenance upgrade for Apple professional desktop line, and while not an ideal one, the improvements are certainly welcome.

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