SAN FRANCISCO—Apple ushered in the world of 64-bit computing to its Macintosh line on Monday morning, introducing a new line of G5 Macintoshes to an enthusiastic audience at its Worldwide Developer Conference here. Although Apple also introduced its latest version of Mac OS X, dubbed "Panther," Apples new hardware crowned Apple as the manufacturer of the worlds fastest personal computer, according to selected real-world and synthetic benchmarks.
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs confirmed what sharp-eyed Internet watchers noticed last week on Apples Web site: the new G5 systems, based on a 64-bit processor from IBM. Within Apple, the marketing glitch now goes by a new term: "premature specification."
"It was a mistake and its true," Jobs said of the Internet glitch. "But it doesnt even begin to tell you the story that were going to tell you right now. We are delivering today the worlds fastest personal computer."
Three new 64-bit Apple G5 systems will ship in August, ranging in price from $1,999 to $2,999. The lowest-end system will include a 1.6-GHz G5 processor, 256 Mbytes of DDR400 memory, a 80-Gbyte hard drive, a GeForceFX 5200 card from Nvidia, and a 4X SuperDrive. The midrange model will be identically configured, save for an increase in memory to 512 Mbytes and a larger 160-Gbyte hard drive. Apples fastest G5 tower will include a pair of 2.0-GHz G5s, 512 Mbytes of DDR400 memory, a 160-Gbyte hard drive, a Radeon 9600 graphics card, and the 4X SuperDrive. In all, the highest-end system is about $1,000 less than a dual-Xeon Dell workstation, Jobs said.
"From now on, anybody who tells you that a Macintosh is more expensive than a high-end PC—you can tell em where to look," Jobs said.