Apple Introduces Dual 1GHz Power Mac G4

Editor's note: This story originally appeared on MacCentral.com.

Apple today took the wraps off the newest Power Mac G4 models. The new system sports dual 1GHz PowerPC G4 CPUs, what Apple bills as "the industry's first NVIDIA GeForce4 graphics card," and the SuperDrive. The new system is priced at US$2,999.

In addition to the new dual 1GHz system, Apple has also unveiled two new Power Mac G4 models running at 933MHz and 800MHz respectively. The low-end model starts at $1,599. The new mid-range and high-end systems feature 2MB of double data rate (DDR) Level 3 cache per processor.

Power Mac G4s have featured Nvidia's graphics technology exclusively for the past year, but Apple is mixing it up a bit with this latest model revision. The 800MHz model gets ATI's recently released Radeon 7500 card, an AGP model equipped with 32MB of DDR SDRAM. The 933 and 1GHz models both feature graphics cards equipped with Nvidia's GeForce4 MX chip. Apple said the new GeForce4 MX-powered card sports 64MB of DDR SDRAM and the ability to generate 1.1 billion textured pixels per second.

Some previous Power Mac G4 models have come equipped with GeForce2 MX-based graphics cards that feature TwinView technology, which provide dual monitor support. Like the Radeon 7500, the new GeForce4 MX supports dual monitors. Now regardless of what new Power Mac G4 model you pick, you'll be able to attach two monitors to the new systems using a single graphics card.

The new Power Mac G4s looks remain unchanged from previous editions, and outside of the graphics options and processor speeds, they share many architectural similarities with their predecessors. They support up to 1.5GB of PC133 SDRAM, four PCI expansion slots and an AGP 4x graphics slot, two FireWire ports, 4 USB 1.1 ports, AirPort wireless networking support, and Gigabit Ethernet. The $1,599 system features a CD-RW drive and 40GB hard disk; its more expensive cousins feature SuperDrives and larger hard disks, too.

As you might expect based on the new iMac's introduction earlier this month at Macworld Expo, the new Power Mac G4s ship with both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X installed, with Mac OS X set as the default operating system. Apple's new Power Mac G4s feature iTunes 2, iMovie 2, iDVD 2 and iPhoto, as well.

The new systems also feature a bundle of Mac OS X-compatible applications including Snapz Pro X, PixelNhance 1.5, Art Directors Toolkit X, GraphicConverter 4.1, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, PCalc, FileMaker Pro Trial 5.5, Acrobat Reader 5.0, Earthlink 2.5, Internet Explorer 5.1 and FAXstf X Preview. Apple Developer Tools X is also included.

Apple claims that the new 1GHz dual system can process up to 15 gigaflops (that's 15 billion floating point operations per second). Apple said that Adobe Photoshop 6.0 runs up to 72 percent faster on this new system than it does on a 2GHz Pentium 4-based PC. DVD video, Apple claimed, is encoded more than 300 percent faster on the new high-end Power Mac G4 than it is on that Pentium 4, as well.

Apple said that the new systems are all available now, through the online Apple Store, Apple retail stores, and Apple authorized resellers.

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