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By Sebastian Rupley  |  Posted 2003-06-23 Print this article Print

At the end of his keynote, Jobs confirmed last weeks reports that Apple has a successor chip to the G4, which is the new G5. Three new PowerMac G5 systems will start shipping in August, and the G5 chip itself is a product of joint engineering between Apple and IBM. The G5 is a 64-bit processor that runs existing 32-bit applications natively. It will be available in clock speeds up to 2GHz, with a 1GHz front-side bus (purportedly six times faster than the G4 bus). The chip is manufactured on a 130-nanometer process and contains 58 million transistors. "I dont know how they count those," Jobs quipped.

Systems based on the G5 will be available in two lower-end versions and one dual-processor high-end version which Jobs claims is "the fastest personal computer ever." The first low-end system is a 1.6-GHz G5 machine with 256MB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, and a GeForce graphics chip for $1,999. The second lower-end system is a 1.8-GHz machine with 512 MB of memory, a 160 GB hard drive, and a GeForce graphics chip for $2,399. The high-end system comes with two 2-GHz G5 chips, 512 MB of memory, a 160 GB hard drive and a Radeon 9600 graphics subsystem for $2,999. Jobs claimed that a system with two Xeon chips from Dell, comparably configured, would cost over $4,000. In benchmark test results that Jobs showed, which were produced by VeriTest and based on SPEC tests, Jobs cited the high-end G5 system as having 41 percent faster floating-point performance than comparable Pentium 4 and Xeon systems.

The new G5 systems come with a whopping nine fans, and have computer-controlled cooling systems built in. The corners of the all-aluminum cases have handles. There are 800/400 Firewire connections, a USB 2.0 connection, and optical digital audio built in. The systems support up to 8GB of memory, compared to the G4s limit of 4GB. All systems have 4x Superdrives.

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