Apple today announced the fastest and most affordable Power Mac G4 line ever featuring a choice of a single 1 GHz, dual 1.25 GHz or dual 1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 processors with prices ranging from US$1,499 to US$2,699. The new line also features FireWire 800 and has internal support for 54Mbps AirPort Extreme (US$99 Airport Extreme Card required) and Bluetooth (US$50 Bluetooth module required) wireless networking.
Apple also unveiled a new 20-inch Cinema Display, priced at US$1,299 and announced significant price reductions to its entire flat-panel display line. The 23-inch Apple Cinema HD Display is now priced at US$1999 (from the previous US$3499) and features 2.3 million digital pixels (1920 by 1200 pixels) to support HD content in its native format. The 17-inch Apple Studio Display supports a resolution of 1280 by 1024 pixels (equivalent to the work space you get with a 21-inch cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor) for US$699 (from the previous US$999). “With dual 1.25 GHz performance priced at only $1,999 plus our new 20-inch Cinema Display priced at just $1,299, Apple is delivering unprecedented value to our professional customers,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Product Marketing. “With FireWire 800 and support for AirPort Extreme
and Bluetooth, the new Power Macs are the ultimate systems for the digital professional.”
“‘We’ve changed the economics about how you buy a Power Mac,’ said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of worldwide hardware product marketing. ‘We’ve reduced prices up to 40 percent.’ The price of the midrange model has dropped from $2,499 to $1,999, and the high-end model from $3,299 to $2,699. IDC analyst Roger Kay said the performance gains on the new systems and related price cuts are important moves for Apple, particularly as IT spending continues at lower-than-expected levels. ‘The new (Power Mac line) is well configured and aggressively priced,’ he said. But ‘the real draw is the display. The 20-inch Cinema Display is big enough to see a full-page spread at 100 percent, the benchmark for professional layout artists,'” reports Joe Wilcox for CNET News.com.
The 20-inch Cinema Display resolutions are: 1680 by 1050 pixels (optimum resolution), 1280 by 800 pixels, and 1024 by 640 pixels. Contrast ratio is listed at 350:1. Height: 17.3 inches (43.9 cm), width: 21.34 inches (54.2 cm), depth: 6.93 inches (17.6 cm) minimum; 10.43 inches (26.5 cm) maximum, and weight: 18.9 pounds (8.6 kg).
Based on Apple’s advanced Xserve architecture, including up to 2MB of fast Double Data Rate (DDR) Level 3 cache and 333 MHz DDR memory, the new Power Mac G4 line harnesses the power of Apple’s UNIX-based Mac OS X “Jaguar” with symmetric multiprocessing capabilities to deliver 21 gigaflops (21 billion floating point operations per second) of performance, according to Apple.
The Power Mac G4 provides incredible expansion capabilities with five slots, including four open high-performance 64 bit 33 MHz PCI slots and two external drive bays for optical drives. Apple’s SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) optical drive for burning and playing DVDs and CDs, standard on the top
configuration, now lets customers record DVDs, CD-R and CD-RW discs up to twice as fast as with previous models, according to Apple. The new faster Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive for watching DVDs and burning CDs enables customers to record CD-R discs twice as fast as previous models, as well. Offering four 3.5-inch hard disk drive expansion bays with either a 60GB, 80GB or 120GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive running at 7200 rpm, the Power Mac G4 now has a 180GB drive option.
The new Power Mac G4 also adds a new high-speed FireWire 800 port, the next generation high-speed serial interface, in addition to two FireWire 400 ports and four USB 1.1 ports. With a dedicated 4x AGP slot for graphics, the line offers the ATI Radeon 9000 Pro or NVIDIA GeForce4 MX, both with 64MB DDR SDRAM graphics memory and dual display support; optional graphics cards
include the NVIDIA GeForce4 Titanium and the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro, both with 128MB of DDR SDRAM. With the industry’s first eight pixel pipelines, the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro is the world’s leading graphics card.
The new Power Mac G4 line also offers the latest in communications with support for high-speed 54Mbps AirPort Extreme 802.11g wireless networking (US$99 Airport Extreme Card required), offering speeds up to five times faster than previous wireless technologies, and optional built-in Bluetooth for wireless connectivity to a range of peripherals such as cell phones and PDAs. Apple’s new iSync software is included, so customers can automatically synchronize address books and calendars between Macs and Bluetooth capable cell phones (US$50 Bluetooth module required). The line also offers 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet built-in for fast Ethernet performance.
Every Power Mac G4 includes Apple’s iLife applications, an integrated suite of award-winning software including iTunes 3 for managing digital music, iPhoto 2 for organizing and sharing digital photos, iMovie 3 for digital movie-making, and iDVD 3 for creating and burning Hollywood-style DVDs (SuperDrive models only). The line also offers a valuable bundle of professional and productivity applications, including QuickBooks for Mac New User Edition, Microsoft Office v. X Test Drive, FileMaker Pro Trial, Microsoft Internet Explorer, EarthLink, Acrobat Reader, Art Directors Toolkit, FAXstf, GraphicConverter, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner and Developer Tools.
The single 1 GHz Power Mac G4, for a suggested retail price of US$1,499, and dual 1.25 GHz Power Mac G4, for a suggested retail price of US$1,999, are available now. The dual 1.42 GHz Power Mac G4, for a suggested retail price of US$2,699 will be available starting next month. All Power Mac G4 systems are available through the Apple Store, at Apple Retail Stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers.
The Power Mac G4 is available in build-to-order configurations through the Apple Store. Options include a second DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo drive, up to 2GB of DDR SDRAM, up to 720GB of ATA storage, AirPort Extreme Base Station and AirPort Extreme Card, Bluetooth module, Harman Kardon iSub and SoundSticks, and Apple Pro Speakers.