Apple opts for DDR SDRAM in 600MHz G4s

Power Mac line to be upgraded January

Apple looks set to boost its dual-processor Power Mac G4 line to 600MHz early next year, after announcing the new models at MacWorld Expo in San Francisco in January.

The update will also see the Mac platform commence support for the double data rate (DDR) SDRAM memory technology, part of Apple's latest Universal Motherboard Architecture design.

Apple insiders claim that the new G4s will ship with 400MHz, 533MHz and 600MHz, though with Motorola's ongoing problems getting decent yields of first-generation PowerPC 7400 (aka G4) processor running at over 500MHz, the top-speed model may prove difficult to get hold of.

Of course, this time last year, Apple was all set to unveil new PowerBooks at MacWorld Expo, but pulled the launch at the last minute, apparently throwing in as a sop to the masses Steve Jobs' decision to drop the 'interim' from his CEO's business cards. Something similar could happen again, especially since MacOS X is also likely to figure prominently in Jobs' show keynote. Ditto cut-price Cubes.

However, with dual-CPU G4s generally failing to set the Mac faithful alight - since so few apps support multi-processor configurations, there's not much point replacing a new 500MHz G4 with a new dual-500MHz G4, even if they are the same price - Apple's desktop line is need of a speed boost, particularly with AMD's Athlon processor (usually ignored in Apple public benchmark demos) nudging up to 1.5GHz. ®