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New Power Mac G4s Announced

pudge posted more than 11 years ago | from the i-want-a-dual-proc-powerbook dept.

Desktops (Apple) 301

benh57 writes "Apple today announced the new Power Mac G4 towers with new faces, running at dual-867MHz (US$1,699), dual-1GHz ($2,499), and dual-1.25GHz ($3,299). All are running DDR, the two higher end models at 166MHz FSB with Radeon 9000, the low end at 133 w/GF4MX." Check it out at The Apple Store, and keep your eyes peeled for an appearance on the Power Mac G4 site.

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dual processors - all of them (5, Insightful)

eshefer (12336) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061056)

Thats front page news - apple becomes the first PC maker to go totaly to dual processor in it's pro desktops.

Re:dual processors - all of them (2)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061104)

And the way they did it! Yesterday $1600 (more or less) bought you a single-proc machine. Today, $1600 (more or less) buys you a dual-proc machine at the same or slightly better speed.

I've already spec'd out my dream machine. (Realistically, that is.) It comes in just over $2,000, all-inclusive. For more than twice the oomph I could have gotten yesterday.

The new exteriors are sexy, too.

Re:dual processors - all of them (2, Interesting)

DietFluffy (150048) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061137)

Even more interesting is the fact that Apple doesn't seem to be relying as heavily on trade shows (ala macworld) to promote new products anymore.

Re:dual processors - all of them (5, Informative)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061143)

all dual combined with the faster motherboard should make these really fast running 10.2. can't wait to see the benchmark tests. it is also the first Mac since the Beige towers that have two full sized front bays. if you look at the new case modifications, you can see that this is meant to move a TON of air through the case. the whole back panel seems to have speed holes, and there are ports in the front of the case for full air pass through (older G4/G3 case had no venting in the front and most of the back was sealed up except the fan ports). it also has a monster heatsink. apple.com has some VRs posted of the inside [apple.com] and outside [apple.com] of the case. besides the already listed stats, here are some other interesting bits of information. the full breakdown is now up at Apple.com as well.

from macminute.com- [macminute.com]

* the ability to have two internal optical drives via a build-to-order option that adds a second DVD/CD-RW Combo Drive ($250)

* support for four internal hard drives (two ATA/66, two ATA/100)
* support for up to 2GB of DDR RAM with four slots (266MHz in the dual-867MHz, 333MHz in the dual-1GHz and dual-1.25GHz)
* dual-867MHz and dual-1GHz feature 1MB of DDR L3 per processor, dual-1.25GHz features 2MB per processor

* processor heatsink is considerably larger than previous models, but lacks a fan

* the return of an audio-in port

* ATI Radeon 9000 Pro replaces NVIDIA's GeForce4 MX in the mid-range and high-end models, but a GeForce4 Ti card is still available for an additional $250 (or $350 on the low-end Power Mac G4)

* video cards feature ADC/DVI connectors; VGA is supported through an included adapter

* dual-1.25GHz system delivers 18.3 gigaflops, versus 15 gigaflops for the previous generation dual-1GHz (20% increase)

yes, there is a fan (2)

EccentricAnomaly (451326) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062148)

* processor heatsink is considerably larger than previous models, but lacks a fan

Well, if you look at apple's site [apple.com] you can see a fan... but it looks like its up by the CD/DVD drives. What's up with that?

another, even bigger fan. (2)

EccentricAnomaly (451326) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062388)

I missed it before... you can see a second even bigger fan in the quicktime VR [apple.com] . Look under the drives, facing the massive heat sinks... Does a G4 really give out this much heat?? I wonder if this is a sign of a Power4 in our future :)

the giant fan conspiracy (2)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062624)

i saw that too..... i guess someone more knowledgable in the art of DIY computer building would know..... but this is strange to me....

yesterday they had dual 1GHz machines in the quicksilver cases. the quicksilver case has little ventilation. no front vents, small back venting ports. today they have the dual 1GHz and dual 1.25GHz with a massive 7lb heatsink, fan directly blowing across it and it basically is sitting in a windtunnel with those front and rear speedholes. i can only guess this is for the next coming speedbumps? i think this 1GHz chip is actually a revised version of yesterdays 1GHz chip, so it might run a little hotter? also the DDRam and whatnot might be a lil warmer, but i would guess this is planning for the next speedbumps till they fully redesign the case (if they do anytime soon).

Re:yes, there is a fan (2)

pi radians (170660) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062404)

Actually, the only image that will show you a fan is the QTVR. Carefully look and you can see a giant fan right next to the heatsink.

Re:yes, there is a fan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4062428)

it looks like there's two fans... a big one by the heat sink and a small one by the drives.

Re:yes, there is a fan (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062578)

...it looks like its up by the CD/DVD drives. What's up with that?
Burners generate quite a bit of heat, especially under continuous use. Two burners mounted as closely as it looks like Apple will let you begins to approach Pentium heat generation levels.

Re:dual processors - all of them (1)

innerlimit (593217) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061224)

when they rolled out the dual proc systems last time it was because of a shortage in chips-whith-higher-clocks supply... what's the deal with this?

like lightning-fast-pc's check this one out... [collegehumor.com]

Re:dual processors - all of them (1)

trash eighty (457611) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061381)

same thing, shortage of G4 chips that run at 2GHz+, a real acute shortage at that

Re:dual processors - all of them (2)

singularity (2031) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061460)

Actually Apple came close to doing this a while back and almost got blasted for it.

The original G4/MP machines, http://manuals.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/M anuals/specs/desktops/L05546A_EN.pdf , were knocked because it was seen as Motorola and IBM being unable to provide faster G4 chips.

The machines were offered in 400, 450x2, and 500x2 MHz.

I am sitting here with my G4/933, jealous of the new machines. I am really glad they have finally decided that dual optical drives could be important. While I have recently become glad that I go the Superdrive (having to brun 3.2 gigs worth of pictures for friends), I really wish I had the ability to burn CD's faster than 8x. Yes, I could go with a Firewire burner, but that seems like a lot of money when I already have a decent burner. A cheap iternal CD-RW would fit the bill perfectly.

I do not see why each option has a DVD drive, though. I would think that most people that would want dual optical drives would want either DVD-R/CD-RW or DVD/CD-RW as one drive, and CD-RW in the second. How often does one person need two DVD drives?

In the meant time, I suppose I can just wait for Jaguar (10.2) to ship. Apparently it is almost as fast as a harware upgrade on a CD.

Re:dual processors - all of them (5, Informative)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061545)

In the meant time, I suppose I can just wait for Jaguar (10.2) to ship. Apparently it is almost as fast as a harware upgrade on a CD.

That's a really good description of the 10.2 experience. Apple could have marketed it that way. I have 6C106 running on several machines, G3s and G4s, but my personal machine is a 500 MHz iBook. OS X 10.2 6C106 makes my machine (get this) more responsive, more capable, more energy-efficient, and cooler!

I mean, I could understand faster and more features; that's what OS upgrades are good for. But something in the new power management subsystem has tripled my battery life (no kidding) and seriously reduces the amount of heat that my iBook generates. I used to get uncomfortable after using my laptop for an hour or 90 minutes because the trackpad and palm-rests were hot to the touch. It was okay, though, because the battery would be almost flat by that time. But now I get three plus hours of battery and the machine is always cool to the touch. I don't know if that comes from hard drive spin-down or from processor cycling, but I love it.

Incidentally, that three-plus hours is doing stuff like surfing and email and MS Word, but it's with the AirPort card on.

Mac OS X 10.2 really is like a hardware upgrade on a CD, at least for us laptop owners.

Re:dual processors - all of them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4061602)

I agree, I have 6C115 running on my new iBook 600 and its quite a bit faster than 10.1.5 was.

I was worried about the 600Mhz on the G3 but in the end Jaguar is so fast it almost feels as if I'm running OS 9.

Nope, Jag is such a nice upgrade (I ordered mine for $20) I recommend it to all my clients.

Re:dual processors - all of them (2)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061938)

I do not see why each option has a DVD drive, though. I would think that most people that would want dual optical drives would want either DVD-R/CD-RW or DVD/CD-RW as one drive, and CD-RW in the second. How often does one person need two DVD drives?

I could see some people who would find it useful to have both DVD-R and DVD+R or +RW (or whatever the hell all the different versions are) on their machines in order to produce custom disks for special situations.

Re:dual processors - all of them (2)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061993)

I have a G4/450 dual processor system from that era. I knew it wasn't a big advantage when I bought it, but I was definitely looking forward to it on MacOS X.

And I wasn't disappointed, and I have real-world evidence to back it up.

When Final Cut Pro 3.0 for MacOS X came out, I tried it out in the store on one of their then-new single-processor 867 systems. The 867 seemed a bit sluggish - when I was rendering, the whole world would stop and I couldn't even pull up a web browser window. But I can do this seamlessly on the dual 450, so in my eyes it's a much nicer machine to work with than the 867.

So I don't think you'd regret buying a dual processor system even if it was a small cut in nominal processor speed (933 to 867 for instance).

My main problem with my system is that my ego really wanted the dual 500 as the top of the line, but my rational self couldn't justify paying $1,000 more for it(*).

Anyway, it looks like a repeat with the current range - the dual 1.25ghz system is only about 25% faster in mhz and is 32% more expensive. Might not be so bad if the total performance was 32% better, but it's probably not since it doesn't have a memory subsystem or disks that are 32% faster. I would have certainly gone for the high-end machine if it had been $2,999, but for $3,299 it seems like they're pushing it.

What do you think? Is the .25ghz extra worth $800 more?

D

(*) Of course I could have ordered the 500 bare through the Apple Store online, but I called them and the whole experience was pretty bad because I did not have a credit card capable of handling the full amount, and they're pretty inflexible on payment options (no COD, not even cash).

At any rate, that doesn't apply anymore since you can no longer downgrade machines on the online Apple store, and you can no longer upgrade CPUs on the lesser systems. So you're stuck paying $800 more if you want .25ghz more. Pity.

In the end, this means there's little point to buying an Apple machine online anymore. Might as well be pampered at an Apple Retail Store for the same prices to the penny (including sales tax).

Re:dual processors - all of them (3, Informative)

ckd (72611) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062631)

In the end, this means there's little point to buying an Apple machine online anymore. Might as well be pampered at an Apple Retail Store for the same prices to the penny (including sales tax).

It might be cheaper--no shipping charges. Also, there's an Apple store in tax-free New Hampshire [apple.com] , if you can get there.

Re:dual processors - all of them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4062034)

I do not see why each option has a DVD drive, though. I would think that most people that would want dual optical drives would want either DVD-R/CD-RW or DVD/CD-RW as one drive, and CD-RW in the second. How often does one person need two DVD drives?
I suspect the option for a second combo drive versus an option for a CD-RW is to keep fewer parts on hand. Most Apple's systems are now combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) or SuperDrive (DVD-RW/CD-RW) which allows them to keep the number of parts down. I suspect the remaining CD-ROM and CD-RW systems are stock on hand and will not be on the price list much longer.

18.3 Gigaflops! (1)

joebp (528430) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061073)

According to this article [thenakededge.net] on Moore's observation, we shouldn't be seeing computers this powerful until roughly Q3 of 2005.

I want one.

No, I want a beo... err

Re:18.3 Gigaflops! (1)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061577)

Well, that article is about a single processor, not dual-processor machine.

(Not to mention the fact that when Apple quotes gigaflop figures they are talking about all-in-registers zero-pipeline-stall vectorized operation, not actually doing anything useful -- like reading from memory.)

Re:18.3 Gigaflops! (4, Insightful)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061988)

(Not to mention the fact that when Apple quotes gigaflop figures they are talking about all-in-registers zero-pipeline-stall vectorized operation, not actually doing anything useful -- like reading from memory.)

Um. I'm no expert, but to me that sounds like any cache-resident vector function, like a 5x5 convolve or something. You take a small performance hit when you have to load the next cache line, but if you're lucky your pipeline is deep enough to keep the processor units going while that fetch happens.

I mean, how else are they supposed to quote processor performance if it's not this way? If you want them to talk about performance of the whole system, taking things like memory and busses into account, they're going to have to pick a real-world application to test with. They do that already, using Photoshop as their benchmark the same way the graphics board companies are using Quake as theirs. Apple's test shows the dual 1.2 GHz machine to be about 90% faster (or almost twice as fast) as a single-processor 2.5 GHz P4. And yet Apple still gets hell for using Photoshop as their metric.

Seems like you can never satisfy everybody.

All Dual Processors (3, Insightful)

blakespot (213991) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061077)

This is an excellent move for Apple. Solid UNIX high-end workstations making use of multiple processors, as a robust, pre-emptive multitasking system should. Let's hope Apple finds some what to make the public aware of this singificant spec of their tower machines.

Sadly...my dual G4 800 may be getting grey hair...

blakespot

Dont feel bad my G4 733 is excellent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4061287)

OS X ruleZ!

Re:All Dual Processors (1)

ellem (147712) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061702)

stop weeping. I have a single G4 400! (AGP at least!)

Re:All Dual Processors (2)

pi radians (170660) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062447)

I'll trade you, all I have is a G3 300.... and its beige!

I'm so ashamed.

Re:All Dual Processors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4061708)

dual 800? please. my g4 400 has a tone more grey hair than that.

Re:All Dual Processors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4061981)

My dual Athlon MP is only 3 months old and fast!
it cost me just $1000!

Re:All Dual Processors (2)

blakespot (213991) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062588)

But you can't run OS X on it.

What was the point of that purchase?

blakespot

DDR Memory, but not bus. (2, Insightful)

zmalone (542264) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061095)

Much like the Xserve, it looks like they've managed to hack DDR onto the G4 processor, and its still running on a bus which is not doubled like the Athlons. Running the bus at 166mhz should make up for that a little bit though. Interesting that after all the commentary on the new cases having huge (7lbs) heat sinks, I couldn't find any images of them on the apple site. They must really be that big.

here's your heat sink picture........ (3, Informative)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061197)

they do sorta show it in the VR of the innards.....

http://www.apple.com/hardware/gallery/pmg4_august2 002_480.html [apple.com]

yes it is huge, and notice the holes in front of case venting through to the back plate that is all speed holes. i wonder if it is these dual processors that are that hot, or if Apple is just planning for the future speed bumps? also, look in the open case... there is a fan right about in the middle of the case blowing right across (or sucking air over) the heatsinks. they moved the hard drives out of the air path and use an Xserve-like (or the actual Xserve) low profile power supply strapped up to the inside top of the case. interesting layout changes inside.

DDR, yes -- but no the CPU (4, Informative)

blakespot (213991) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061099)

As an FYI:

These machines do have DDR memory and a DDR system bus but the G4's themselves are running at 133 or 167MHz (depending upon model). The system controller and memory are running full tilt though (266 or 333 depending).

blakespot

No!!!! (3, Funny)

avalys (221114) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061120)

I just bought a new Power Mac G4 (933). Yesterday!!! 12 f*cking hours ago!!!

Noooooooooooo!!!!

Re:No!!!! (2)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061160)

well, then you could have gotten the rebate on a monitor? if not.... sorry buddy. sometimes those rumor sites do know.

Re:No!!!! (1)

avalys (221114) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061213)

Well, that's it. I'm going to force those blithering idiots at CompUSA to take it back.

I'm assuming the dual 867 will give me better performance overall (using Photoshop, Office v.X, Illustrator, Quark) than the single 933, correct?

Re:No!!!! (-1)

Bitter Old Man (572131) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061397)

You're an idiot. I have no sympathy for you.

Re:No!!!! (1)

avalys (221114) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062509)

Oh, and how is that?

Why don't you go visit the store I went to, and then tell me my characterization wasn't accurate.

Re:No!!!! (2)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061454)

I'm assuming the dual 867 will give me better performance overall (using Photoshop, Office v.X, Illustrator, Quark) than the single 933, correct?

Only if you're doing more than one thing at the same time. ;-)

The answer is yeah, overall the dual-proc machine should be faster than the single-proc machine, thanks to new multithreading enhancements in the Finder and the faster busses.

Why are they the idiots? (1)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061486)

Get used to the way the world works. I bought a dual 1Gig a couple of months back. Maybe I should try and force them to take it back because I don't want to pay full price for 10.2 huh? Or maybe I can just complain that I'm no longer on the top end and they'll make an exception in my case.

I mean, that's what Apple is there for right? To make you as an indivual feel special.

Or maybe I should remember that I've got a buddy with a dual G4450 who's still getting great performance out of his machine and calm down. Your 9 ain't going to become crap overnight pal.

Re:Why are they the idiots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4062013)

you have a frind who has a G4 4.45 GHz?? Gimme his address so I can steal it!

Re:No!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4061554)

Apple does run a hardware discount program where you can get a rebate direct from apple on any machine bought within 10 days of a price drop. So if your 933 has been downgraded, you might be able to get some money back on it. Can't find the apple link right now, sorry.

Re:No!!!! (1)

kennedy (18142) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061932)

HA HA! *points and laughs*

so how did you manage to get your head so far up you ass that you didn't know new g4 towers were coming soon?

oh well, sucks to be you!

this is good (2)

aztektum (170569) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061127)

I do enjoy when Apple puts out new products, it means their old products will become slightly more in my price range. Although I don't know how much longer I can wait for a deal on older TiBooks. I may have to whip out the credit card.

>:D

Still out of range, only faster.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4061420)

Sigh.. they've taken the older G4's off of their website! They are the only model I'm looking at buying from Apple right now, as I already have a nice 20" Trinitron monitor and am in no hurry to reduce my visual real-estate (even though their displays are superior, it is also a money issue - I'm not paying for a new monitor when I already have one that is more than adequate!).

So, where does this leave me? With Apple computers that are still out of my price range, but faster, which does me no good!

Dual CPU's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4061136)

This may very well be Apple's answer to the growing performance gap between G4 and Pentium 4 CPU's. Don't expect this to double the computer's CPU performance, but it should still provide a significant increase.

"Faster than light" processor speed? (1, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061145)

This page [apple.com] says "The faster-than-light processor speed gets an additional boost with an advanced cache memory architecture that provides ultrafast, dedicated [blah blah blah...]"

Not that I expect much truth-in-advertising from computer vendors, but isn't that a bit much?

Oh, well...

I wonder if they count spring-loaded folders as one of Jaguar's 150 "amazing" new features... not that I didn't think it WAS pretty amazing in OS 8, but...

Re:"Faster than light" processor speed? (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061280)

The only reason they like to harp on this is that someone at Apple figured out that a single calculation (on the original G4s @ 400Mhz) took less time than it did for the light from your monitor to travel the 12" to your face.

Hence, faster-than-light computing.

Re:"Faster than light" processor speed? (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061515)

Riiiiggghhht... Well, the ENIAC could complete a calculation in less time than it takes a bolus of digested material to fall from an anus to the surface of the water in a water closet, so I guess by that reasoning the ENIAC was faster than s---.

Re:"Faster than light" processor speed? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4061563)

Sorry, you were about to tell me what the ENIAC was faster than, but then the signal cut out and I didn't get it. Could you try again?

Re:"Faster than light" processor speed? (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062409)

And my abacus is fast as fuck.

Unfortunately (1)

catwh0re (540371) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061171)

Unfortunately the rumours about powerbook upgrades to 1ghz, weren't fruitful... damn

Board Colors (1)

zmalone (542264) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061178)

I know that Apple uses colored PCBs for various prototype stages (if I remember correctly, one of these machines went on eBay a little while back with red/brown boards). I thought that blue was one of the colors that they used for prototyping (some of the 6100 prototypes I've seen images of have blue boards, and undoubtedly there are newer examples out there). Did they change they're testing process around, or did they just shift colors to have a better visual look in the final revision?

Re:Board Colors (1)

class_A (324713) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061984)

The Xserve motherboard is also blue, don't know of any significance though.

Oh yeah! (5, Funny)

Raster Burn (213891) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061193)

I never knew that I could be sexually attracted to a computer!

Totally OT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4061498)

Are you the Raster Burn that used to BBS in St. Louis, MO?

Re:Totally OT (2)

Raster Burn (213891) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061522)

Yep.

Re:Oh yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4061506)

It's the holes, isn't it.

Re:Oh yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4062327)

> I never knew that I could be sexually attracted to a computer!

You're posting on /., and this surprises you?

What this also means.. (1, Insightful)

catwh0re (540371) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061194)

It's very likely that apple are pumping out dual g4 systems to simply get rid of the remaining g4 chips, (like how you get them in everything now except the iBook). This could on the opposite side be apple introducing speed updates and time for an even longer wait for the G5.

Re:What this also means.. (5, Insightful)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061483)

It's very likely that apple are pumping out dual g4 systems to simply get rid of the remaining g4 chips...

No, I don't think so. I think they're moving entirely to multiple processors in the towers for two reasons. First, they're more clearly distinguishing between the iMac and the tower. Yesterday, a low-end G4 seriously overlapped the top-of-the-line iMac. Today, the line is clearer.

The other thing is that Apple's proud of the degree to which Jaguar is threaded at low levels of the OS. Dual-processor machines really will be faster, even for just basic surfing and email and whatnot, than otherwise equivalent single-processor machines.

Incidentally, was anybody else slightly surprised that Apple didn't just double the whole product line, introducing "small" and "medium" dual-proc machines and a "large" quad-processor system at the $4,000 price point?

Re:What this also means.. (2, Interesting)

elocutio (567729) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061599)

I find it interesting that this move has been made so soon after recent announcements that Apple is considering a move to an x86 architecture.

I felt those claims were groundless, but they gave me a really good laugh. This new product release is much more like the Apple that I have come to expect and love. :)

Re:What this also means.. (1)

dtfarmer (548183) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061950)

Oh, they're pumping out those old 1.25GHz G4 chips that won't be available to ship until 6-8 weeks from now - but mark your words, they're gonna get rid of them if it kills them!!!

(but at least you covered your ass - "the g5's are coming soon! or not!")

Re:What this also means.. (1)

bbc22405 (576022) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062187)

They are doing this because they need to do something, and this is something they can do. Their chips are not so expensive and not so toasty, so putting 2 per box is not too expensive or toasty. They were going to have a top-end motherboard with dual processors anyway, so it's not that much more engineering, manufacturing, and support to put dual lower-speed CPUs on the same board in lesser models.

I'm guessing that it was the arrival (and recent maturity) of OS X that makes the dual procs finally worthwhile to a substantial fraction of the users. I do like the resilience (under load) of a multi-processor Unix box!

Pretty sweet, but the other big news (4, Insightful)

jht (5006) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061216)

The other shoe that dropped today was that they've now gone full-tilt with the eMac, adding a Superdrive and running it at 800 MHz for the same price ($1499) as the 15" Combo drive iMac.

Meaning that unless you really like the cool look of the iMac, you can save a couple of hundred dollars by getting an eMac instead, without giving anything else up (I believe they're based on the same motherboard spec) besides the cool screen. And the eMac has a pretty decent screen.

I've been leaning towards getting an iMac in the fall to replace my wife's old iMac DV 450 (we could use the DVD burner to make movies of the baby), but assuming no other drastic changes I'd be inclined to go with the eMac now instead. And Apple is steadily returning the CRT to it's place as the lower-end anchor even though LCD prices are starting to drop again (they also reduced the prices of all the other iMac configs). That's interesting.

Basically, I'm going to be watching the early fall with great interest - once these new configs are well-established there'll probably be some speedbumping of the whole line around October or so. My guess is that the iMac and eMac could hit 1 GHz, the PowerMac towers will start at 1 GHz and go to either 1.4 or maybe as high as 1.6 (Moto is supposedly sampling the 1.6 part now), and the PowerBook will probably get a speedbump to, say, 933 MHz at that point, too. They may not all be at once, but those are the next logical steps, and I'd expect to see them all before years' end (and before Christmas season, in particular).

Re:Pretty sweet, but the other big news (1)

mbbac (568880) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061594)

I think the lower power draw of the iMac would more than make up the price differential over the life of the computer. The iMac's monitor would also be easier on your wife's eyes.

Re:Pretty sweet, but the other big news (2)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061910)

I have to admit that I'd still buy an iMac because the LCD screen really makes a huge difference in readability.

That arm is a wonderful ergonomic invention, too - I just wish they could add that to their bigger monitors.

D

Omissions (1)

donux (162692) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061260)

8xAGP, Firewire 2 and USB 2 are missing. No big deal but interesting. Great to see audio ports built in.

It's all about the software though. 10.1 is superb - 10.2 is alleged to be a big improvement.
Who cares how fast your G4 is clocked? It won't run OS X.

Re:Omissions (1)

trash eighty (457611) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061319)

Who cares how fast your G4 is clocked? It won't run OS X.

really? i'll stick to my G3 iMac then... ;)

Re:Omissions (3, Insightful)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061493)

It's all about the software though. 10.1 is superb - 10.2 is alleged to be a big improvement.
Who cares how fast your G4 is clocked? It won't run OS X.


Uh... is there some joke in here that I haven't gotten?

Incidentally, 10.2 is a big improvement. I've been running 6C106 (the release was 6C115) for about 10 days now. It's heaven, really peppy even on 400-500 MHz G3 systems.

Zip bay, vents... ? (2)

Steve Cowan (525271) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061308)

While you could probably hack one of those two Optical drive bays for a Zip drive, I am puzzled why Apple would no longer offer Zip as a BTO option.

Hopefully Apple or a third-party mfr will offer an attractive Zip bezel for this case.

Also, those massive cooling vents on the front of the machine kind of have me worried that this thing is going to sound like a wind tunnel... but that is the bitter reality of it: you can't have all the speed and none of the noise.

Otherwise this looks like a damn impressive machine, and a long-overdue overhaul to the G4 line. I'm drooling already. Nice work Apple.

Re:Zip bay, vents... ? (4, Insightful)

Spencerian (465343) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061444)

Why would you NEED a Zip drive as a built-in option when you can burn a CD that holds over 6 times as much?

You can still buy a USB or FireWire Zip drive and connect it externally, but now Apple doesn't dedicate a place in the case that is a waste of space for anything other than a Zip drive.

Re:Zip bay, vents... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4061582)

Why? Because a zip disk is more expensive... er... oh right.

Re:Zip bay, vents... ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4061500)

Also, those massive cooling vents on the front of the machine kind of have me worried that this thing is going to sound like a wind tunnel...

If anything, the vents make me feel it is less likely these things will howl like the previous Dual GHz model. The extra holes mean better ventilation, better ventilation means the fans don't have to work as hard. Apple has almost certainly heard the complaints about the previous model and done their best to get rid of the most of the noise. I'm going to buy either the 867 or the GHz model, probably today. The one thing that worries me is the good chance for new model bugs, especially given that these are obviously new mobos and there have been vague reports of Xserve problems.

Re:Zip bay, vents... ? (1)

pininfrna (600431) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061715)

These 'vents' in the front might actually not provide much added ventilation... because they are speakers. :-)

Re:Zip bay, vents... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4062546)

No, the speaker is at the top.

The four "vents" are ports:

Front headphone jack, audio line-in, audio line-out, and Apple speaker mini-jack, for connecting to Apple Pro speakers.

A Q about DDR (1)

DLWormwood (154934) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061419)

I'm assuming some of those more skeptical of Apple and more willing to be critical of their hardware decisions are reading this so I'll ask...

As a Mac user, what benefit will DDR bring to PowerPC based systems? My understanding is that the data bus from the CPUs to the bus controller is still SDR; what, then, can take advantage of the increased memory bandwidth? PCI and ATA are much slower than memory. The only subsystem I can see that can hook to the memory at full tilt is the graphics card, but I don't think AGP is at DDR memory speeds yet. Or is it?

Re:A Q about DDR (2, Informative)

MonaXier (563400) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061605)

I think 4x AGP benefits from DDR (both ATI and nVidia have been using it for ages). According to Apple, the CPU can access the RAM twice per clock cycle, which (they claim) gives you up to 2.7 GB/s throughput - twice as much as PC-133 RAM. Also, the CPU has 2MB (1MB per unit, I think) DDR L3 cache.
As for why the system bus is still 133 or 167 MHz, I think it may be limitation of G4 processor - all the PDFs on Moto site say 100 or 133 MHz bus, depending on the model. More info at architecture [apple.com] page.

Re:A Q about DDR (1)

0x69 (580798) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061908)

Apple's site is really short on hard facts, but DDR main memory can still be very useful with both CPU's stuck on a single SDR bus. IF the system controller (chipset), OS, & drivers are clever enough, DDR can up to (theoretical) double performance when the CPU's, video, network, disks, etc. are collectively making memory the performance bottleneck. Apple's ads suggest that they want to look good in intense multitasking situations like this.

Re:A Q about DDR (2)

stux (1934) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062399)

The memory bus is DDR, the processor bus is SDR.

There are two processors.

This means the memory subsystem can keep BOTH processors completely saturated. (the processor core could use more data... but there is NO way to get more data into the processor faster than SDR (except for L3 cache)

So essentially this is a HUGE improvement for heavy tasks which get a big improvement from bus speeds and processor count...

This is a very good thing. It'd be better to have the processors on a DDR bus... but and extra 33Mhz is definately welcome.

AltiVec is soooo powerful that an altivec algorithm generally runs at the same speed as your memory subsystem... the cpu is actually idling waiting for memory.

Increase the memory speed and you release the latent potential of the altivec unit..

In many ways its more important these days than processor speedbumps.

Re:A Q about DDR (2, Informative)

qnonsense (12235) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062721)

The memory bus is DDR, the processor bus is SDR.

There are two processors.

This means the memory subsystem can keep BOTH processors completely saturated.

  • I don't thik so... This is the case of the Athlon, but that's for a very strange and unusual reason. Ever wonder why dual Athlon mobos cost so much? It's because the processor bus on the Athlon is point-to-point. That means each processor has its own bus, its own set of traces on the mobo. With a dual Athlon, 333MHz memory makes sense because even though each CPU bus is only 266, there are two independent buses. Each processor can use a full 266MHz of bandwidth at the same time.

    The G4 bus (to the best of my knowledge--please provide link proving me wrong) isn't point to poit, just like the P3/P4/Xeon bus isn't point to point. That means all the processors share the SAME 133MHz bus. So, no, two G4 processors can't each use 133MHz of bandwidth to the memory at the same time. G4s, like their shared processor bus cousins the P4 and Xeon, must share their processor bus across the board.

    The DDR memory is a good thing to be sure, and the memory subsystem could keep both CPUs saturated, but it can't. In fact, in standard SMP mobos (i.e. non-Athlon/Alpha dual mobos) there is NO way to ever saturate both CPUs.

    Hope that helped.

maybe I'm the only one (0, Flamebait)

hype7 (239530) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061542)

to be disappointed by these new machines.

Radeon 9000? It's not as fast as the 8500, which you can no longer get.

The second ATA bus is only 66! Now WTF is going on here? If you put one ATA100 in, you might as well go the whole hog and put two in!

Firewire stays as it was - 800mbits/second, needed if only for mind games with USB2

The case has holes for firewire or usb at the front... but instead, they just leave them as holes.

The case is the same with some plastic hacked on the front.

Money on they won't bother putting different eject buttons for the different drives - hit eject on the keyboard, you eject both

The displays are still as expensive as ever

Bluetooth built in would have been nice

I think that sums up. I'm waiting for the next lot, and hopefully they get rid of those shitty g4s by the time MW Jan comes around.

-- james

Re:maybe I'm the only one (2)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061587)

Dude, did you somehow miss the part where they're selling dual-processor machines for the same price as they sold single-processor machines (modulo a hundred bucks or so) yesterday?

I can't believe the way you just glossed over that to talk about eject buttons on the optical drives! Your priorities are seriously out of whack.

Re:maybe I'm the only one (2)

benh57 (525452) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061659)

The case is not at all the same. Look closer. The components are all moved around and the ventilation is completely changed. The hard drives are vertical!

Oh, you're trolling? nevermind. :)

Re:maybe I'm the only one (1)

pininfrna (600431) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061751)

The fact that you refer to the 4 new speakers on the computer as "holes for firewire or usb" pretty much sums up the value of all the comments you just made. :-)

Re:maybe I'm the only one (2)

Oculus Habent (562837) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061861)

Let's see...

  • Radeon 9000: The tragedy of a graphics card still too fast for anyone not looking for 150 fps out of Quake III (maybe you're anticipating EQ on Mac [macgamer.com] ...)
  • ATA-66?! Oh No! You can barely burst that kind of transfer rate, let alone maintain it. Besides, when was the last time you were copying 40GB from your second 80G drive to your forth 80G drive?
  • FireWire 2 - it's nice in the same way having 80 gigs of RAM is nice - bragging rights. Nothing else. Do you see many FireWire 2 compliant products out? Do you see many Apps that say "40GB RAM required, 80GB recommended"? It can wait. Meanwhile, the lack of the North/South bridge allows a FireWire 2 PCI card to get better transfer rates when they come out. The flashiness of FW2 doesn't yet justify the price.
  • I'll agree about no up front ports - it would be nice. But the vent holes are an important part of the equation.
  • Eject probably won't eject both, just one. Which one? Maybe the selected one. Maybe the first one only. Maybe Apple will write a nifty add-on that lets you select. Maybe it isn't a huge concern for most people.
  • This was an upgrade for the box, not the screens. You don't like the $2500 price tag? Buy a CRT - the VGA convertor is included. Sure, they are pretty, but even Apple knows that not everyone is going to spend $1000 on a 17" LCD when they could spend $250 on a 19" CRT.
  • Bluetooth built-in would have been OK. Except that maybe 1% of the people will use it in the next year. Despite the attempts to make Bluetooth the short-range communications technology, cables are still pretty popular. It isn't dying, it just isn't pervasive enough to include. And I know how hard it is to have to reach around behind the case and plug something in once.
  • Shitty G4s? I was just disagreeing with you until now. Do you have a general dislike of 1-digit numbers, or do you have no appreciation of the way processors work? G4 may not be Power4, but at least it's not Pentium 4.
*sigh*

Re:maybe I'm the only one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4062416)

Eject probably won't eject both, just one. Which one? Maybe the selected one. Maybe the first one only. Maybe Apple will write a nifty add-on that lets you select. Maybe it isn't a huge concern for most people.

Or maybe even <gasp!> put an eject button on the drive? Now that would be innovative.

Re:maybe I'm the only one (2)

EccentricAnomaly (451326) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062559)

I'll agree about no up front ports - it would be nice.

There's two USB ports on the keyboard and two on the monitor... why put any on the front of the case??

17" iMac price increased $100? (2)

haaz (3346) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061573)

Is it just me, or did the price on the 17" iMac increase by $100?

(OH GAWD NO NOT $100 OH THAT'S BLOODY LARCENY OH THE PAIN OH MY GAWD NOOOOO.... sorry... ;-) I just realized that it is kind of ridiculous to be screaming bloody murder over a $100 price drop when they've cut the prices on their other machines and introduced rocking PMG4s. ;-)

Re:17" iMac price increased $100? (2)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062085)

Is it just me, or did the price on the 17" iMac increase by $100?

I don't think so. I was at the local Apple Store this weekend drooling^W admiring the 17" iMac with Jaguar on it. I remember the price for the system being $1,999, which is the same price as they're listing on the Apple Store web site today.

But they did drop the price on the 15" non-SuperDrive models by $100.

Re:17" iMac price increased $100? (2)

x136 (513282) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062376)

Nope. I watched the keynote. It was $1,999 then it's $1,999 now. :)

Re:17" iMac price increased $100? (1)

garren_bagley (413546) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062421)

Re: Is it just me, or did the price on the 17" iMac increase by $100?

It's just you.

Re:17" iMac price increased $100? (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062655)

Is it just me, or did the price on the 17" iMac increase by $100?
It's just you. The other iMacs dropped by $100.

heat sink is HUGE (2)

paradesign (561561) | more than 11 years ago | (#4061766)

that has to be the biggest heat sink ever! i wonder why they dont go with on chip active cooling like the pc people. has anyone hacked a pc heatsink onto a g4?

the blue board is f'n gorgeous, but i NEED my zip drive!!!

100GBps error... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4061959)

Tues 8/13/02 11:54 EDT
from: http://www.apple.com/powermac/architecture.html

quote:
"
Dual drive interfaces
The Power Mac G4 now includes two ATA hard drive interfaces. All standard systems ship with a 7200rpm hard disk drive on an ATA/100 bus, with theoretical data throughput to and from the hard drive up to 100GBps.
"
Don't we all wish. I think Apple means 100MBps for that ATA100 interface.
100GBps HDs would make RAM seem pretty slow.

Mixed reaction (2, Interesting)

Xel (84370) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062047)

I was waiting for these for a long time. And im disappointed, frankly.

Basically, the motherboard is a thing of beauty: DDR finally comes to Mac, dual procs, gobs of cache, ATA/100 AND ATA/66, a bitchin memory controller, 4x AGP and 4 PCI slots... This is the culmination of everything Mac users have been lusting over in a mobo.

But what the $&#*@ is up with that case??

It looks like Apple is so stubbornly hanging on to the 4 year old G3 design that theyre just cramming everything in wherever it will fit- some HDs mounted sideways, some flat. PCI slots on TOP? vents everywhere, ungly front bezel that looks like it was cobbled together last minute to accomodate the two optical drives, and a heatsink the size of an air conditioner. The engineers should have stopped and asked themselves if this was a good idea after they started perforating the thing like a cheese grater just to get air flowing through it.

----------------
www.overstim.net

Ran to the Apple Store at Lunch (2, Informative)

tsmit (222375) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062239)

We have an Apple store across the street from where i work, and i ran over at lunch to check things out. They are getting the low end 867 and 1 gig machines in tomorrow, but won't be getting the 1.25 machines in for 2-3 months. Apparently, the 1.25 chips aren't even available yet, at least thats what the Mac dweebie said.

The holes in the front (1, Interesting)

pininfrna (600431) | more than 11 years ago | (#4062449)

/. keeps down-modding my posts about this bit of info which I think is pretty informative... the holes on the front aren't vents, they are little speakers.

Re:The holes in the front (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4062658)

It's probably because you are wrong. Besides earlier spy photos of the case which showed there was nothing attached to the holes (people had hoped they were usb or firewire connectors), there's also the fact that the data sheet for the new PowerMacs says Built-in speaker. If the little holes were speakers, it would be plural. This case is all about airflow because of the whining about the whining of the previous case fans.

Re:The holes in the front (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4062673)

yeah surround sound hehe

Why don't you just get a REAL computer... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4062750)

...instead of wasting your money on Apple's overpriced, proprietary crap?

You could get a faster Windows box for half that price! Plus it wouldn't tie you to one hardware vendor and you could actually buy some software for it!
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