August 31st, 1999

[2:50 PM]
Apple Unveils The Fastest Personal Computer On The Planet (With Immediate Availability)
A new day has dawned for Apple today with the unveiling, at long last, of the new G4 PowerMac line. As we published on Friday, August 27th, the G4 was introduced with an evolutionary form factor, and mind blistering speed. Apple chose Seybold San Francisco, the annual conference for publishing professionals, to unveil the newest members of the product line. The PowerMac G4 is largely aimed at this sector of the Mac buying public and the crowd showed its appreciation. According to Apple"

Apple today introduced the Power Mac™ G4, its next generation of desktop computers designed for professional and “pro-sumer” customers. The Power Mac G4 is powered by the revolutionary new PowerPC G4 chip architected by Apple, Motorola and IBM, and is the first personal computer in history to deliver supercomputer-level performance of over one billion floating-point operations per second. The Power Mac G4s run professional applications like Adobe's Photoshop up to twice as fast as 600MHz Pentium III-based PCs.

The G4 chip incorporates a new execution unit named the Velocity Engine™—the heart of a supercomputer miniaturized onto a sliver of silicon. In a set of Intel's own tests published on their web site, the 500MHz G4 chip was 2.94 times as fast as the 600MHz Pentium III processor.

“The Power Mac G4 is not only the fastest Mac ever, it's the fastest personal computer ever,” said Apple's interim CEO Steve Jobs. “The revolutionary G4 processor with its remarkable Velocity Engine is the first ‘supercomputer on a chip,' delivering over one gigaflop of sustained performance.”

The new Power Mac G4 line is offered in three standard models, based on 400MHz, 450MHz and 500MHz processors, and in build-to-order customer-selected configurations from Apple's online store. The top two standard models feature support for up to 1.5 GB of fast industry-standard PC100 SDRAM, a new 100MHz system bus that delivers up to 800 MBps of data throughput, Rage 128 AGP/2X high performance graphics, an Ultra ATA/66 drive interface, and Apple's breakthrough AirPort™ wireless networking (optional). All models feature 1MB level 2 backside cache, dual Universal Serial Bus (USB) and 400-Mbps FireWire® ports, internal drives from 10 GB to 27 GB (configurable to more than 100 GB via build-to-order) and removable storage including ZIP, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM with video playback, and DVD-RAM. The Power Mac G4 comes in a stunning translucent clear, silver and graphite minitower that has a side door that swings open to provide the industry's easiest access to internal components. The Power Mac G4 line starts at an aggressive retail price of U.S. $1,599.

In addition, Apple announced that two new Macintosh® Server G4s and a new Macintosh Server G4 with Mac™ OS X Server will be available in November.

* The G4 processor, with its Velocity Engine, is an average of 2.94 times faster than the fastest Pentium III (600MHz) in selected tests published by Intel to demonstrate Pentium's speed.

Better yet, and very surprisingly for Apple, part of the product line is available immediately. The 400 MHz G4s are available NOW from The Apple Store and through Apple Authorized Resellers (we are not yet sure of supplies on hand in resellers). The 400 MHz units are priced starting at US$1499. The 450 MHz units, expected to be available in a "few weeks" according to Steve Jobs, are priced starting at US$2499. The 500 MHz units, which will be available later this fall, are priced starting at US$3499.

The Mac Observer Spin: These machines are hot. The new coloring alone is simply stunning and we hope that we might see iMac and iBook models with the new "Graphite" colors. Apple is going to sell a gagillion of these machines to many segments of the Mac buying public. Graphic and science applications in particular are going to be unbelievably fast on this computer.

Mr. Jobs referred to the G4 as a Super Computer, and while he is exaggerating a tad bit, it is not by much.

We also would like to congratulate Apple for being ready to roll with these machines NOW instead of two months down the road. It shows that they have improved some aspects of their product development even more. It also shows that their security remains tight, though it did not prevent us from publishing nearly exact details of what would be announced. We certainly had no idea that they would be ready to go now though. Kudos to Apple!

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