Apple Shuffles Power Mac Lineup

Hoping to reduce some of its older inventory, Apple Computer Tuesday increased the speed and dropped the price on some of its Power Mac computers and flat panel displays.

As expected, the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker began shipping the towers with the option to buy single 1 GHz, dual 1.25 GHz or dual 1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 processors with prices hovering between $1,499 and $2,699.

Based on its 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 comes with expansion capabilities with five slots, including four open high-performance 64 bit 33 MHz PCI slots and two external drive bays for optical drives. Pre-installed with either a SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) or Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive, the G4s also come with four 3.5-inch hard disk drive expansion bays and either a 60GB, 80GB or 120GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive running at 7200 rpm. The Power Mac G4 also now has a 180GB drive option.

Building on the latest technology unveiled at this month’s Macworld in San Francisco, the new Power Mac G4 also adds a new high-speed FireWire 800 port in addition to two FireWire 400 ports and four USB 1.1 ports. The towers also come with a dedicated 4x AGP slot for graphics, and either the ATI Radeon 9000 Pro or NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 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.

The new G4s also support 54Mbps AirPort Extreme 802.11g wireless networking, optional built-in Bluetooth and 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet built-in. Apple is also automatically including its iLife applications (iTunes 3, iPhoto 2, iMovie 3 and iDVD 3), which is currently sold as a separate suite.

To make it all look very pretty, Apple also introduced a 20-inch version of its popular Cinema Display. The active-matrix LCD with 1680-by-1050 pixel resolution is being offered for $1,299.

“We’ve priced it very aggressively so that almost everyone can now afford a stunning, widescreen Cinema Display,” said Apple’s vice president of Hardware Product Marketing Greg Joswiak.

The company also reduced the price of its 23-inch Cinema HD Display, with 1920-by-1200 pixel resolution from $3,499 to $1,999. Apple’s 17-inch (diagonal) Studio Display retails for $699.

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