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Apple Ships First G5s

2 GHz dual-processor model due out by month's end By Dave Nagel
Apple has now started shipping the first two models in its Power Macintosh G5 line of workstations. The new models offer a revamped system architecture, incorporating several hardware enhancements (including PCI-X, AGP 8x and vastly expanded bandwidth) and are available in 1.6 GHz and 1.8 GHz configurations. The dual-processor 2 GHz model is still on track for release by the end of the month, according to Apple.

The new G5 models use IBM's PowerPC 970 chip, which offers a 64-bit architecture and are built for full symmetric multiprocessing. They offer up to 1 GHz frontside bus, support for up to 8 GB DDR RAM (up to 400 MHz 128-bit wide DDR) and 8x AGP graphics. Apple says the new machines offer 12 times the bandwidth of the previous G4 models (8 GB per second), with 6.4 GB per second memory bandwidth. It also incorporates 133 MHz PCI-X slots with 2 GB per second bandwidth.

Other features include:

  • Serial ATA with 1.5 GB per second bandwidth;
  • One FireWire 800 port;
  • Two FireWire 400 ports;
  • Four USB 2.0 ports (including ports on the keyboard);
  • Bluetooth wireless connectivity;
  • Support for AirPort Extreme;
  • Optical audio inputs and outputs;
  • Nvidia GeForceFX 5200 Ultra or ATI Radeon 9600 Pro graphics;
  • 4x SuperDrive in all models.

The new models are available now in two configurations with the following specs (in addition to those listed above):

  • Single 1.6 GHz G5 with 256 MB RAM, 80 GB hard drive, 800 MHz front-side bus, 333 MHz dual-channel 128-bit DDR memory, four DIMM slots (up to 4 GB RAM), three PCI slots (64-bit, 33 MHz), Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra-64 MB DDR;
  • Single 1.8 GHz G5 with 512 MB RAM, 160 GB hard drive, eight DIMM slots for up to 8 GB memory, three PCI-X slots (one 64-bit 133 MHz, two 64-bit 100 MHz), Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra-64MB DDR.

The 1.6 GHz model sells for $1,999. The 1.8 GHz model sells for $2,399. And the dual 2.0 GHz model, which will be available later this month, will sell for $2,999. For more information, visit

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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