Apple has sliced the price on the Cube, added a CD-RW model, and made Nvidia’s GeForce 2MX card a build-to-order option. But don’t look for the GeForce 3 to come to the Cube anytime soon.
The GeForce3, “the world’s most advanced GPU (graphical processing unit),” was announced this week at Macworld Tokyo. It will be a build-to-order option for Power Mac G4 towers. The card will sport over 57 million transistors and the ability to perform more than 800 billion operations per second and 76 billion floating-point operations per second (FLOPS).
“The GeForce 2MX GPU has a lower power consumption than the GeForce 3,” Stan Ng, product line manager of Apple’s G4 group, told MacCentral. “And this is necessary to keep the Cube quiet and fanless, which is one of its design goals.”
As announced during the Feb. 22 Macworld Tokyo keynote by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the Cube, which has been selling for US $1,499, has seen its price slashed to $1,299. A new $1,499 version of the Cube replaces the DVD-ROM with a CD-RW drive.
The new Power Mac G4 Cube includes a 450 MHz PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine, 128MB of memory, 20GB of storage, a slot-loading CD-RW drive on top, two FireWire and two USB ports, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet and a 56K V.90 modem. And it comes preloaded with iTunes and iMovie 2 software.
Build-to-order options available on The Apple Store (http://www.apple.com) include 500 MHz PowerPC G4 processors, memory up to 1.5GB, Nvidia GEForce2 MX with 32MB of SDRAM or ATI RADEON with 32MB of DDR RAM, up to 60GB ATA/66 hard disk drive, a slot-loading DVD-ROM drive, AirPort Card and AirPort Base Station, and Harman Kardon SoundSticks speakers and subwoofer.
“The powerful and stunning G4 Cube is now even more irresistible with the addition of a CD-RW drive and iTunes,” said Jobs. “Now you can have the combination of G4 power, stunning design, and the most amazing entertainment center in the world with iMovie 2 and iTunes.”
There had also been pre-expo rumors that you would see Cubes in new, translucent colors (think “iCubes”), but they didn’t materialize. However, long-rumored price cuts on the 22-inch Apple Cinema Display did take place (to the tune of US $1,000).
“Flat panel displays are the future of what we’re trying to do,” Ng said.