Apple Computer Inc. on Monday announced that its newest desktop computer, the Power Mac G5 is now shipping in the single processor configuration — the dual processor 2GHz model will ship later this month. First announced at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple bills the G5 as the “world’s fastest personal computer.” Apple will also ship the new desktops with an updated version of Mac OS X, which takes advantage of technologies in the Power Mac G5.
“We believe this is the start of a new era in personal computing,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Product Marketing, told MacCentral.
Apple said they have received over 100,000 pre-orders for the Power Mac G5 since its introduction. Apple executives declined to give a breakdown of this number by configuration, but said they are pleased with the pre-orders so far.
“All of the configurations are doing really well — we couldn’t be happier with the results,” said Joswiak.
The systems incorporate 400MHz 128-bit DDR SDRAM with throughput of up to 6.4GB/sec, one 133MHz and two 100MHz 64-bit PCI-X expansion slots and AGP 8x Pro graphics slots. The processors and their 1GHz front side bus can handle 16GB/sec of bandwidth, according to Apple.
The heart of the new Power Macs is the PowerPC G5 processor, developed by Apple and IBM. The 64-bit microprocessor features full support for 32-bit applications, and a parallel architecture that can handle 215 simultaneous in-flight instructions, two double-precision floating point units and an optimized Velocity Engine. The chips are also designed for full support of symmetric multi-processing (SMP).
With a massive power outage shutting down one of IBM’s manufacturing plants in East Fishkill, NY last week, there was speculation that the G5 could be affected, but Apple said it had no effect on production.
“No, it [the blackout] didn’t affect production — we are right on schedule,” said Joswiak.
The Power Mac G5 will also ship with an updated version of Mac OS X Jaguar, bringing the operating system to 10.2.7. The update contains enhancements for technologies found in the G5 — Apple declined to comment on when or if the update would be available for existing Macintosh computers.
“This version of Jaguar has been optimized to take advantage of the 64-bit technology in the Power Mac G5,” said Tom Boger, Director of Power Mac Product Marketing.
“The kernel has been updated to take advantage of memory expansion and the vector libraries and math libraries have been optimized,” said Joswiak. “Any application that does dynamic linking to those libraries will get an automatic benefit without having to recompile.”
More information on the G5 and pricing can be found on Apple’s Web site.
Update: Added comments from interview with Apple executives