During his keynote today at Macworld San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled new, single processor, Nvidia-equipped G4 mini-towers with “power to burn.”
“We’ve been coasting along at 500MHz for almost 18 months,” Jobs said. “Today we’re taking it up to 733MHz with a new generation of G4 chip that delivers up to 5.5 gigaflops of sustained performance.”
The new systems, which see no change in the tower form factor, feature 133MHz system and memory buses and five PCI slots. The line features CD-RW drives in all models. And Apple unveiled a new SuperDrive, a combination CD-RW/DVD-R drive that can read and write (“burn”) DVDs that can be played in consumer DVD players. The Apple SuperDrive comes standard in the top Power Mac G4 model.
With Apple’s new iTunes “jukebox” software, all G4 users can burn their own standard audio CDs with the Power Mac G4’s new built-in CD-RW drives. In addition, the Power Mac G4’s new SuperDrive and Apple’s new iDVD and DV Studio Pro applications let Power Mac G4 users easily and affordably create professional quality DVD videos for playback on consumer DVD players, said Jobs. The new Power Mac G4 line includes:
The new 466 and 533 MHz Power Mac G4s are available immediately and the 667 and 733 MHz Power Mac G4s will be available in February through The Apple Store and Apple Authorized Resellers in the following standard configurations:
The Power Mac G4 is available in more than 300,000 build-to-order configurations through The Apple Store. Options include models with dual 533 MHz PowerPC G4 processors, in addition to up to 1.5GB of SDRAM, up to 72GB Ultra160 SCSI drives, AirPort Base Station and AirPort Card and Harman Kardon iSub and SoundSticks. The Apple Pro Speakers are optional for $59. SuperDrive writes to standard 4.7GB DVD-R discs, available from The Apple Store in packs of five for $49.95.
What’s more, Apple has sliced the price of its 15-inch Apple Studio Display flat panel from $999 to $799.
In addition, a new server line-up offering a Macintosh Server G4 system with AppleShare IP is also now available for $2,999 and two new Macintosh Server G4 with Mac OS X Server software systems, for $2,999 and $3,999.
After rolling out the new G4s, Jobs brought out Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of product management, to pack one of the high-end system against a Pentium 1.5 GHz system. The Mac, naturally, won hands-down.
“Comparing MHz from one type of chip to another is like comparing apples to oranges,” Jobs said. “What matters is sheer speed.”
Why a return to mostly single processors? Jobs said there simply weren’t enough of the Motorola chips to make enough dual processor systems to meet demand. But that doesn’t rule out their return to prominence in the months ahead.