Tuesday, January 5th
The New Pro Power Macs [Pictures and more details added and 8:06 AM, January 6th]
|Mr. Jobs introduced the new Pro line of PowerMacs. The machine is definitely another case of Apple's design team Thinking Different. While it retains some aspects of a traditional minitower, the case has colors that are very similar to the iMac. The majority of the sides are white, while the front and rear of the machines are mostly Bondi-blue and translucent like the iMac.
One thing that got a big round of applause from the audience was the way the inside of the machine is accessed. Mr. Jobs pushed a button (or lever) and the entire right side of the computer folded out. This door panel included the CPU, memory, hard drives and all available slots. It is simply the easiest computer in the world to work on, a far cry from some past Apple models. Power users will very much appreciate the ability to quickly access all components. The new PowerMacs will also operate while the door is open.
The new line includes handles at all four corners of the box to not only act as stands, but to make it much easier to carry around.
These are the specs, pricing, and availability from Apple on the new units:
Key features of the new Power Macintosh G3 line include:
The fastest PowerPC G3 microprocessors yetrunning at 300MHz, 350MHz, and 400MHz, with support for up to 1 GB of DRAM in 4 DIMM slots
- ATI RAGE 128 graphics controller with 16MB SDRAM graphics memory and support for QuickDraw 3D RAVE and OpenGLmaking the latest games, graphics and video editing software stand out.
- Translucent blue and ice minitower enclosure that provides the industrys easiest access to expansion slots and memory
- Two 400Mbps FireWire ports and two 12Mbps USB ports to connect the latest cameras, printers and storage devices; USB keyboard and mouse
- 100MHz system bus for fast data through-put
- Increased expansion options through three 64-bit 33MHz PCI slots; one 32-bit 66MHz PCI slot for graphics
- Fast networking through 10/100BASE-T Ethernet
- Storage choices including Ultra ATA-33 and Ultra2 SCSI LVD hard drives
- ADB to support customers current displays and add-ons
Pricing and Availability
The new Power Macintosh G3s are available immediately via The Apple Store (www.apple.com) and Apple Authorized Resellers, with over ten thousand build-to-order (BTO) configurations, including industry-first options for DVD-RAM optical storage and soon to be available 100GB of disk sthorage and Gigabit Ethernet communications. The following standard configurations are also available worldwide through Apple resellers and The Apple Store:
- Power Macintosh G3 U.S. SRP $1,599 300MHz/64MB DRAM/512K level 2 backside cache/ATI RAGE 128 with 16MB Video SDRAM/6GB Ultra ATA hard drive/24x-speed CD-ROM drive (maximum)/FireWire/USB/10-100BASE-T Ethernet
- Power Macintosh G3 U.S. SRP $1,999 350MHz/64MB DRAM/1MB level 2 backside cache/ATI RAGE 128 with 16MB Video SDRAM/6GB Ultra ATA hard drive/DVD-Video/FireWire/USB/10-100BASE-T Ethernet
- Power Macintosh G3 U.S. SRP $2,499 350MHz/128MB DRAM/1MB level 2 backside cache/ATI RAGE 128 with 16MB Video SDRAM/12GB Ultra ATA hard drive/24x-speed CD-ROM drive (maximum)/ZIP/FireWire/USB/ 10-100BASE-T Ethernet
- Power Macintosh G3 U.S. SRP $2,999 400MHz/128MB DRAM/1MB level 2 backside cache/ATI RAGE 128 with 16MB Video SDRAM/9GB Ultra 2 SCSI 7200rpm hard drive/24x-speed CD-ROM drive (maximum)/FireWire/USB/10-100BASE-T Ethernet
Two new Macintosh Server G3 configurations are also available and include a license for AppleShare IP 6.1; a ten-client license for Apple Network Assistant 3.5; and, SoftRAID 2.5.1 for enhanced performance and security through striping and mirroring of hard drives. BTO options are also available. Standard configurations include:
- Macintosh Server G3 U.S. SRP $3,299 350MHz/128MB SDRAM/1MB level 2 backside cache/ATI RAGE 128 with 16MB Video SDRAM/9GB Ultra2 SCSI 7,200rpm hard drive/24x-speed CD-ROM drive maximum)/FireWire/USB/10-100BASE-T Ethernet
- Macintosh Server G3 U.S. SRP $4,999 400MHz/256MB SDRAM/1MB level 2 backside cache/ATI RAGE 128 with 16MB Video SDRAM/2x9GB Ultra2 SCSI 10,000rpm hard drives/24x-speed CD-ROM drive (maximum)/FireWire/USB/10-100BASE-T Ethernet
The Mac Observer Spin: Apple has introduced a Minitower design that looks good at any angle. This may be the least impressive aspects of the new computer, but it may also be one of the most important. Apple is doing more than just designing cute boxes here.
They are turning the personal computer into a fashion statement, and they are also making a box that people will enjoy looking at. The iMac was one thing in that it is aimed at the consumer market, but by making a really neat looking professional model, they turn it into something that people will enjoy using all that much more because it is cool. This will translate into more units sold.
Our only negative comment will be that it took Apple way too long to bring a 400 MHz computer to market. In August and September of 1997 (15 and 16 months ago), both Power Computing and Motorola were ready to come to market with a 300 MHz Mac clone. Until yesterday Apple's fastest shipping computer was a 333 MHz Power Mac. On the same note, Apple's effort to finally bring a 100 MHz system bus to the Mac is overshadowed by the near-term introduction of 200 MHz system busses on the Wintel side.
Hopefully Mr. Jobs and his team will be able to continue to work their magic and shorten some of these lead times. This is especially true as the company keeps up its ongoing efforts to use more industry standard parts. Perhaps the next 24 months will see Apple in the lead with bringing these new technologies to market.