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Apple Bumps PowerMac Line: Dual 1.42 GHz, FireWire 800, AirPort Extreme, Lower Prices

Apple Bumps PowerMac Line: Dual 1.42 GHz, FireWire 800, AirPort Extreme, Lower Prices

by , 11:15 AM EST, January 28th, 2003

Apple has announced a bump in the PowerMac line that includes the triple crown of updates: speed hikes, new features, and lower prices. The company announced single 1 GHz, and dual 1.25 GHz and 1.42 GHz units, a modest speed increase on the high end, but sweetened the deal with a significant price drop across the entire line.

Apple has cut prices on the high-end by 18.2% to US$2,699 from US$3,299. The mid-range PowerMac is now 20% less expensive, with yesterday's high-end dual 1.25 GHz models starting at US$1,999, down from US$2499 at the mid-range before. The low end single 1 GHz units at 11.8% less expensive starting at US$1,499, down from US$1,699.

Apple has also included AirPort Extreme, the new 54 Mbps 802.11g wireless networking standard, faster DVD burners, and one new FireWire 800 port. All three units also include two FireWire (400) ports, and the company has added QuickBooks for Mac OS X to the bundled software line. Apple's (rather lengthy) press release:

Apple® today announced the fastest and most affordable Power Mac® G4 line ever featuring a choice of a single 1 GHz, dual 1.25 GHz or dual 1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 processors with prices ranging from $1,499 (US) to $2,699 (US). The new line also features FireWire® 800 and has internal support for 54Mbps AirPort® Extreme and Bluetooth wireless networking.

Based on Apple's advanced Xserve™ architecture, including up to 2MB of fast Double Data Rate (DDR) Level 3 cache and 333 MHz DDR memory, the new Power Mac G4 line harnesses the power of Apple's UNIX-based Mac OS® X "Jaguar" with symmetric multiprocessing capabilities to deliver an incredible 21 gigaflops (21 billion floating point operations per second) of performance.

The Power Mac G4 provides incredible expansion capabilities with five slots, including four open high-performance 64 bit 33 MHz PCI slots and two external drive bays for optical drives. Apple's SuperDrive™ (DVD-R/CD-RW) optical drive for burning and playing DVDs and CDs, standard on the top configuration, now lets customers record DVDs, CD-R and CD-RW discs up to twice as fast as with previous models. The new faster Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive for watching DVDs and burning CDs enables customers to record CD-R discs twice as fast as previous models as well. Offering four 3.5-inch hard disk drive expansion bays with either a 60GB, 80GB or 120GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive running at 7200 rpm, the Power Mac G4 now has a 180GB drive option.

The new Power Mac G4 also adds a new high-speed FireWire 800 port, the next generation high-speed serial interface, in addition to two FireWire 400 ports and four USB 1.1 ports. With a dedicated 4x AGP slot for graphics, the line offers the ATI Radeon 9000 Pro or NVIDIA GeForce4 MX, both with 64MB DDR SDRAM graphics memory and dual display support; optional graphics cards include the NVIDIA GeForce4 Titanium and the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro, both with 128MB of DDR SDRAM. With the industry's first eight pixel pipelines, the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro is the world's leading graphics card.

The new Power Mac G4 line also offers the latest in communications with support for high-speed 54Mbps AirPort Extreme 802.11g wireless networking, offering speeds up to five times faster than previous wireless technologies, and optional built-in Bluetooth for wireless connectivity to a range of peripherals such as cell phones and PDAs. Apple's new iSync software is included, so customers can automatically synchronize address books and calendars between Macs and Bluetooth capable cell phones. The line also offers 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet built-in for the ultimate in Ethernet performance.

Every Power Mac G4 includes Apple's iLife™ applications, an integrated suite of award-winning software including iTunes™ 3 for managing digital music, iPhoto™ 2 for organizing and sharing digital photos, iMovie™ 3 for digital movie-making, and iDVD™ 3 for creating and burning Hollywood-style DVDs (SuperDrive models only). The line also offers a valuable bundle of professional and productivity applications, including QuickBooks for Mac New User Edition, Microsoft Office v. X Test Drive, FileMaker Pro Trial, Microsoft Internet Explorer, EarthLink, Acrobat Reader, Art Directors Toolkit, FAXstf, GraphicConverter, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner and Developer Tools

Pricing for the new models is as follows:

  • Single 1 GHz - US$1,499 - Available Now
  • Dual 1.25 GHz - US$1,999 - Available Now
  • Dual 1.42 GHz - US$2,699 - Available In February

You can find more information on the new PowerMac models at Apple's Web site, and at The Apple Store.

The Mac Observer Spin:

There are many in the Mac community who will not be pleased that today's announcements don't include 6 GHz G5 processors, but we think that Apple was very smart to lower the prices for the product line. The dual 1.25 GHz units, for instance, are 39.4% less expensive than they were yesterday, literally, and you get the new AirPort Extreme and FireWire 800 to boot. Until Apple can move to IBM's PowerPC 970, or Motorola suddenly discovers the secret to making the G4 significantly faster, this update is as good as it can get. Largely due to pricing, the PowerMac line is much more competitive today than it has been in some time.

Your mileage will no doubt vary on that pronouncement.

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