Apple goes SMP for all pro-Macs

Clean sweep

Apple has added faster memory across its professional PowerMac range, cranked the top of the range to 1.2Ghz, and made dual processors the default across the line.

That puts some ClearBlueWater™ between the iMac range and the professional range, the two had grown so similar in capabilities that the biggest difference appeared to be the inclusion of Ottomatic on one range, but not the other.

Curiously Motorola, which trumpeted the arrival of the Apollo 7455 in January, has been so far strangely silent. Perhaps they're sulking: because it appears to world+dog that IBM will be handling Apple's CPU needs in the future.

The new models include more expansion room (the leaked case diagrams proving spookily prescient), ship with a choice of Nvidia's GeForce4 MX or ATI's 9000 Pro, each with 32 and 64 MB of DDR memory respectively.

The low-end model retains the 133Mhz bus, while on the mid- and high-end models it's cranked up to 167Mhz; the high-end model boasts 2MB of L3 cache.

The creaking ATA-66 IDE controller is retained, but all models also have an additional ATA-100 bus - - a sensible move.

The Apple store lists the 2x867Mhz model (256MB RAM/60GB HD/DVD-CDRW) at $1,699; the 2x1Ghz model (256/80/Superdrive) at $2,499 - and both available for delivery right away.

Speed mavens must wait 6-8 weeks for the two high-end options:- the dual 1.25Ghz (512MB/120GB/Superdrive) at $3,299 and a built-to-order version of the latter (2GB/2x120GB/Superdrive) with the Nvidia Titanium card for $4,999.

UK prices are £1,349, £1,999, £2,699 and £4,189 respectively.

Apple claims that the net effect of all this is to double the memory throughput, and gives it a performance rating of 18.3 Gigaflops for the high-end model (compared to 3.7 for the single-processor 500Mhz G4).

Sales of the PowerMac collapsed this year, down 26 per cent from the same quarter last year, which the company attributed to "current economic conditions are having a pronounced negative impact on its professional and creative customers and that many of these customers continue to delay upgrades of their Power Macintosh systems due to the Company's ongoing transition to Mac OS X ... and in anticipation of certain software vendors transitioning their Macintosh applications to run natively in Mac OS X. Further, the Company did not experience the anticipated increase in Power Macintosh sales it expected following the introduction of Adobe's PhotoShop 7," in its most recent SEC filing. ®

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