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Apple Releases 800, 933, & Dual 1 GHz PowerMacs With GeForce4 MX [UPDATED]

Apple Releases 800, 933, & Dual 1 GHz PowerMacs With GeForce4 MX [UPDATED]

by , 8:35 AM EST, January 28th, 2002

Apple has surprised us all, or at least those not paying attention to the rumor sites, by releasing 4 new PowerMac towers today. The company has released four new PowerMac towers today at the Apple Store. The new units come in 800 MHz, 933 MHz, and two models with dual 1 GHz processors. Much as the rumor sites have been suggesting for the past 10 days. The three high-end models include the brand spankin' new GeForce4 MX high end graphics card from NVIDIA, Apple is touting these units as the first PCs to feature a GeForce4 card, while the low end model comes with the ATI Radeon 7500 card. Apple has also increased the bundled software to include GraphicConverter, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, and other apps in addition to Snapz Pro X, which was added earlier. The down and dirty from Apple:

Apple® today announced the ultimate digital powerhouse for creative professionals the new Power Mac(TM) G4 featuring dual 1-GHz PowerPC G4 processors, the industry's first NVIDIA GeForce4 graphics card and a DVD/CD burning SuperDrive(TM), priced at just $2,999(US).

Delivering an amazing 15 gigaflops (15 billion floating point operations per second), the dual 1-GHz Power Mac G4 runs professional applications like Adobe Photoshop up to 72 percent faster and encodes DVD Video over 300 percent faster than a 2-GHz Pentium 4-based PC*.

"The new dual 1-GHz Power Mac G4 with NVIDIA GeForce4 graphics is the fastest Mac ever and the fastest personal computer ever for creative professionals,'' said Philip Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "This is the first Mac to break the 1-GHz barrier and the first computer in the world to feature NVIDIA GeForce4 graphics."

Apple also introduced two new Power Mac G4 models with 933 MHz and 800 MHz PowerPC G4 processors, starting at just $1,599(US). All models feature the Velocity Engine(TM), and the 933 MHz and dual 1-GHz models include 2MB of double data rate (DDR) L3 cache per processor to boost performance even further. All models also include next generation graphics technologies from NVIDIA and ATI. The 800 MHz Power Mac G4 includes the ATI Radeon 7500 with 32MB of DDR SDRAM. The 933 MHz and dual 1-GHz models debut the incredible NVIDIA GeForce4 MX with 64MB of DDR SDRAM, able to generate an astounding 1.1 billion textured pixels per second. In addition, all Power Mac G4 models now offer dual monitor support.

All new Power Mac models include both Mac® OS X and Mac OS 9, with Mac OS X factory-set as the startup operating system. Mac OS X features symmetric multiprocessing, enabling the operating system itself, as well as applications, to take full advantage of dual processors for dramatic performance gains. In addition, all new Power Macs include Apple's award-winning suite of applications for digital music (iTunes(TM) 2), digital video (iMovie(TM) 2 and iDVD 2) and digital photography (iPhoto, free download from apple.com).

Housed in their award-winning, easy-access enclosures, the Power Mac G4 line includes:

  • 800-MHz, 933-MHz and dual 1-GHz PowerPC G4 processors with Velocity Engine;
  • ATI Radeon 7500 with 32MB DDR SDRAM or NVIDIA GeForce4 MX with 64MB DDR SDRAM graphics and dual display support in all models;
  • support for up to 1.5GB of PC133 SDRAM;
  • five slots, including four open high-performance 64 bit 33 MHz PCI slots and an 4x AGP slot for graphics;
  • two 400-Mbps FireWire(R) ports and four 12-Mbps USB ports to connect the latest DV camcorders, printers and storage devices;
  • Mac OS X as the startup operating system providing protected memory, preemptive multitasking, advanced memory management, symmetric multiprocessing and a highly-optimized BSD networking architecture;
  • Apple's innovative iPhoto digital photo management software, iTunes MP3 software for managing digital music collections and burning standard audio CDs, and iMovie 2 easy-to-use digital video editing software; iDVD 2 software for authoring DVDs is also included in systems with SuperDrive;
  • 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet built-in on the motherboard for accessing fast networks and transferring large files, such as image and digital video files; and
  • three 3.5-inch hard disk drive expansion bays with one pre-installed 7200 rpm Ultra ATA hard drive up to 80GB.

The new Power Mac G4 also offers an exciting suite of creative, productivity and communications applications designed specifically for Mac OS X, including: Ambrosia Software Snapz Pro X, Caffeine Software PixelNhance 1.5, Code Line Communications Art Directors Toolkit for X, Lemke Software GraphicConverter 4.1, Omni Group's OmniGraffle and OmniOutliner, James Thompson PCalc, FileMaker Pro Trial 5.5, Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0, Earthlink 2.5, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5.1 and Smith Micro FAXstf X Preview, as well as Apple Developer Tools X.

Pricing & Availability

All three new Power Mac models are immediately available through the on-line Apple Store®, at Apple Retail Stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers in three standard configurations:

The dual 1-GHz Power Mac G4, for a suggested retail price of $2,999(US), includes:

  • 256K on-chip level 2 cache and 2MB of DDR SDRAM L3 cache per processor;
  • 512MB of PC133 SDRAM memory;
  • NVIDIA GeForce4 MX graphics card and 64MB DDR SDRAM in 4x AGP slot;
  • 80GB Ultra ATA/66 hard disk drive; and
  • SuperDrive combination CD-RW/DVD-R optical drive.

The 933 MHz Power Mac G4, for a suggested retail price of $2,299(US), includes:

  • 256K on-chip level 2 cache and 2MB of DDR SDRAM L3 cache;
  • 256MB of PC133 SDRAM memory;
  • NVIDIA GeForce4 MX graphics card with 64MB DDR SDRAM in 4x AGP slot;
  • 60GB Ultra ATA/66 7200 rpm hard disk drive; and
  • SuperDrive combination CD-RW/DVD-R optical drive.

The 800 MHz Power Mac G4, for a suggested retail price of $1,599(US), includes:

  • 256K on-chip level 2 cache;
  • 256MB of PC133 SDRAM memory;
  • ATI Radeon 7500 with 32MB DDR SDRAM in 4x AGP slot;
  • 40GB Ultra ATA/66 7200 rpm hard disk drive; and
  • CD-RW optical drive.

The Power Mac G4 is available in build-to-order configurations through The Apple Store. Options include a DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo drive, up to 1.5GB of SDRAM, up to 72GB Ultra160 SCSI drives, AirPort® Base Station and AirPort Card, Harman Kardon iSub and SoundSticks, and Apple Pro Speakers. Standard 4.7GB DVD-R blank discs are available from The Apple Store in five-packs for a suggested retail price of $24.95(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 on the new models at the Apple Store.

The Mac Observer Spin:

The GeForce4 MX you say? That's tasty. There was very likely some money that exchanged hands between Apple and NVIDIA in order for Apple to be able to claim to have the first PC to include a GeForce4 card. In our opinion, that was some money that was very well spent. The PowerMac G4 line is a very solid gaming system with that card, and this will be some very good PR for Apple for at least a few days.

We are a tad less sanguine on the speed boost of the G4 processors, but Apple has, at long last, crossed the great GHz Barrier. This is a big step for the company in the almighty Public Perception War. While Apple still lags behind the "2 GHz" Pentium 4 processors, a dual GHz PowerMac is a much stronger counter argument than a dual 800 MHz system. Say it out loud: "Dual GHz Processors." It sounds fast, doesn't it?

Now let's look at the fact that Apple's high-end machine now costs less than US$3000. That's a nice break from the past, and another good tool for comparing the cost of Apple's hardware to high-end hardware from the Dark Side.

We would also like to express our ecstatic thanks that Apple has begun bundling more software with its tower line. A lot of it is shareware, but it is very popular shareware that has long been commercial quality, and is certainly a mainstay for many Mac users. Snapz Pro, GraphicConverter,and OmniGraffle are outstanding products to include with these units. We hope Apple continues to bundle other software with its pro line; this is a very good step.

Lastly, Apple has to quit claiming that its towers are faster than whatever P4 against which it is comparing them based on Photoshop alone. It's downright embarrassing, and it doesn't fool anyone.

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