In a move many people expected to happen at last month's Macworld Expo, Apple has unveiled new Power Mac G4s that offer significant enhancements to Apple's professional desktop line while changing only the front panel of the elegant Power Mac industrial design. In fact, the front panel change points to the Power Mac's differentiating name - Apple identifies the new models as with the clunky moniker "Power Mac G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors)."
The new Power Macs all feature dual PowerPC G4 processors running at 867 MHz, 1 GHz, or 1.25 GHz; the first two have 1 MB of backside L3 cache, and the 1.25 GHz model offers 2 MB of backside L3 cache. Three video cards, all of which offer ADC and DVI connectors and support dual monitors, are available: the Nvidia GeForce4 MX with 32 MB of DDR-SDRAM, the ATI Radeon 9000 Pro with 64 MB of DDR-SD-RAM, or the Nvidia GeForce4 Ti with a 128 MB frame buffer of DDR-SDRAM for the ultimate in graphics power. The main system memory is also DDR-SDRAM, which provides twice the throughput of conventional single data rate RAM. Storage comes in the form of a 60 GB, 80 GB, or 120 GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive running at 7200 rpm, plus either a Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) or a SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW). If you want more storage, there are three additional 3.5-inch internal hard drive expansion bays and one more external expansion drive bay. Additional system expansion is possible with the four 64-bit 33 MHz PCI slots and one 4x AGP slot. After that, the specs return to the familiar, with two FireWire ports, four USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet, an AirPort card slot, keyboard, mouse, and so on.
The new Power Macs do require (and boot into by default) Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar; they also include Mac OS 9.2.2. Other bundled software includes Lemke Software's Graphic Converter, Omni Group's OmniGraffle and OmniOutliner, Caffeine Software's PixelNhance, and Ambrosia's Snapz Pro X, plus Apple's full iApp suite.
The dual 867 MHz Power Mac G4 starts at $1,700, with the dual 1 GHz model starting at $2,500 and the dual 1.25 GHz model at $3,300. The dual 867 MHz and dual 1 GHz models are available immediately; the 1.25 GHz model is slated to ship in the second half of September.