reported on Friday that some Apple resellers were getting shipments of the dual processor Power Mac G4 machines. Today Apple officially announced their availability.
“The 800 MHz dual processor Power Mac G4 is the fastest Mac we have ever shipped,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s VP of Worldwide Product Marketing, in a statement announcing the systems’ availability. “With the revolutionary SuperDrive and incredible applications such as Apple’s iDVD and DVD Studio Pro, the new Power Mac G4 advances the state-of-the-art in computing for creative professionals.”
Though there aren’t a lot of applications optimized for dual processors, Mac OS X is designed to take advantage of symmetric multiprocessing. For software that is thus optimized, Apple says the new Power Mac G4 can do up to twice as much work in the same amount of time by automatically balancing the workload between both processors simultaneously. Harnessing that power, the 800 MHz dual processor Power Mac G4 runs professional applications like Adobe’s Photoshop “up to 83 percent faster than a 1.7 GHz Pentium IV-based PC,” the company claims, with the statistics based on “commonly used” operations in Adobe Photoshop 6.0.
Housed in a new enclosure, the US$3,499 dual Power Mac G4/800 MHz chip machine includes 256K of on-chip level 2 cache running at processor speed and a large 2MB of level 3 backside cache per processor. It comes with an 80GB Ultra ATA/66 hard disk drive; NVIDIA GeForce2 MX with TwinView graphics and 64MB video SDRAM for dual monitor support; two FireWire and USB ports; five slots, including four full-length 64 bit PCI slots at 33 MHz and one 4x AGP slot; 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet, AirPort ready and built-in 56K V.90 modem; and iDVD, iTunes and iMovie 2 software.