RealTime IT News

Apple Dual Chip G5's Pack Multimedia Power

Apple Computer is bringing several new products to market, just ahead of the holiday buying season.

Apple is introducing its Power Mac G5 desktop computer, which contains dual microprocessors with clock speeds of 1.8 gigahertz and prices start at $2,499. The dual chip G5's are designed especially for video and audio editors, publishers and advertisers.

Apple's G5 line utilizes chips manufactured by IBM , which are able to manage 64 bits of data simultaneously, as compared to the 32 bits of consumer PC's using chips made by Intel . Apple shipped 221,000 G5 units in its most recent quarter and its entry-level G5 is now $1,799.

Apple also said is out with a version of its iMac computer which has a 20-inch flat panel screen, adding to its 15 and 17 inch models.

In addition to its new G5 and flat-panel model, Apple also announced the release of multimedia software packages, including Final Cut Pro 4, Shake 3 and DVD Studio Pro 2, and the latest version of Mac OS X, known as Panther.

"Final Cut Pro now delivers simultaneous playback of seven fully uncompressed standard definition (SD) video streams with real-time effects using a dual 2.0 GHz processor Power Mac G5 and Xserve RAID," Apple said in a statement.

The Power Mac G5 that carries a suggested retail price of $2,999 contains dual 2.0 Ghz 64-bit PowerPC G5, with dual independent 1 Ghz front-side buses, 512MB 400 Mhz 128-bit DDR SDRAM, 160GB Serial ATA 7200 rpm hard drive, AGP 8X Pro graphics slot, RADEON 9600 Pro with 64MB DDR SDRAM, 3 PCI-X slots and a 4x Super Drive (DVD-R/CD-RW).

"The Power Mac G5 lineup now includes three models: dual processor 2.0 GHz, dual processor 1.8 GHz and single processor 1.6 GHz. Featuring the world's first 64-bit desktop processor with the industry's first 1 GHz front-side bus, the Power Mac G5 offers unprecedented memory expansion of up to 8GB and advanced 64-bit computation, while running existing 32-bit applications natively," Apple said in a statement.

In a related development, a computer cluster of 1,100 Apple Power Mac G5 desktops is being set up by Virginia Tech, which is said to be the third fastest computer in the world. The supercomputing cluster is running Apple's Mac Os X operating system (which is based on FreeBSD) with 10.3 TFLOPS, or trillion operations per second, according to Top500.org. The clusters and connected using InfiniBand interconnect technology and Gigabit Ethernet switches.

The "homemade" supercomputer is reported to cost only $7 million, far less than many very expensive, high-end supercomputing clusters.

Updates story to clarify that the cluster is running Apple's Mac Os X operating system, which is built on FreeBSD, not Linux