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July 19
More Details on the New Dual-Processor G4s

by David Nagel
Executive Producer
[email protected]

Earlier today we reported on Apple's new dual-processing G4s Cube, which will, as of today, replace the single-chip 450 MHz and 500 MHz G4 desktops. The new models were announced at the Macworld Expo during Steve Jobs's keynote address, which began at 6 a.m. PDT. The new models tip the scale of the price/performance ratio back toward the midrange. Users had previously questioned the value of spending $800 more for a mid-range G4 that offered few benefits over the low-end model. The new dual-processing models are not only priced the same as previous single-processor models, but the also include extra features (beyond the extra chip): gigabit Ethernet; 1 MB backside cache per processor, for a total of 2 MB; and much bigger hard disks.

Here are some more details on the new G4s based on a separate release from Apple.

The new G4 line includes two multiprocessing units, occupying the mid-range and high-end slots in Apple's pro lineup. The low-end G4 400 remains unchanged with a single processor. The 450 MHz and 500 MHz Power Mac G4s each contain dual PowerPC G4 processors with Velocity Engine, which Apple claims can deliver up to 7 billion calculations per second. Apple says that, when running applications like Adobe Photoshop, the dual processor 500 MHz Power Mac G4 is as fast "as a 2 GHz Pentium III is expected to be upon its release a year or more from now."

Apple also announced that the new Power Mac line comes standard with gigabit Ethernet, an industry first. All three G4 models feature 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet built-in on the motherboard, supplying about 125 MB per second network speeds.

The most significant part of the announcement, besides the simple fact that Apple's delivering dual processors before it delivers OS X, is that the new models are priced exactly the same as the single-processor models they replace—$2,499 for the dual 450, $3,499 for the dual 500.

The new models are also shipping with the new pro optical mouse and pro keyboard and iMovie 2. (See separate story.) Complete configurations for the new lineup are as follows:

  • Power Mac G4 with single PowerPC G4 400 MHz processor with 1 MB level 2 backside cache, 64 MB of PC100 SDRAM memory, ATI RAGE 128 Pro AGP 2x with 16 MB video SDRAM, a 20 GB Ultra ATA/66 hard disk drive, DVD-ROM drive with DVD Video playback, FireWire and USB ports, three full-length 64-bit, 33 MHz PCI slots, 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet and a built-in 56K V.90 modem. Price: $1,599.
  • Power Mac G4 with dual PowerPC G4 450 MHz processors with 1 MB level 2 backside cache per PowerPC G4 processor, 128 MB of PC100 SDRAM memory, ATI RAGE 128 Pro AGP 2X with 16 MB video SDRAM, a 30 GB Ultra ATA/66 disk drive, DVD-ROM drive with DVD Video playback, FireWire and USB ports, three full-length 64-bit, 33 MHz PCI slots, 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet and a built-in 56K V.90 modem. Price: $2,499.
  • Power Mac G4 with dual PowerPC G4 500 MHz processors with 1 MB level 2 backside cache per PowerPC G4 processor, 256 MB of PC100 SDRAM memory, ATI RAGE 128 Pro AGP 2X with 16 MB video SDRAM, a 40 GB Ultra ATA/66 disk drive, DVD-RAM drive with DVD Video playback, three full-length 64-bit, 33 MHz PCI slots, 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet and a built-in 56K V.90 modem. Price: $3,499.

Apple says the models can be configured in more than 69,000 ways via the Apple Store. For more information, visit http://www.apple.com.

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