HOLY UPDATES, BATMAN! New Power Macs (“Quad” dual-core!), new PowerBooks, Display price drops, and new Photo Application! - Macenstein

HOLY UPDATES, BATMAN! New Power Macs (“Quad” dual-core!), new PowerBooks, Display price drops, and new Photo Application!

Posted by Dr. Macenstein

Apple’s latest invitation-only press event today unleashed the highly anticipated dual-core 970 Processor with a bang!

Er, make that FOUR bangs.

Apple’s newly announced PawerMac line up comes with a choice of 1 or 2 dual-core processor configurations. In essence, that is like getting 2 or 4 processors, since each dual-core chip effectively has 2 processors working together. This is great news for Apple’s graphics professionals, and the good news did not stop there.

The choice of graphics cards for the systems has been drastically updated, and professionals will have their pick of 4 of Nvidia’s latest cards. Of special note is the introduction of the Quadro FX 4500 for the Mac. This is Nvidia’s fastest workstation-class card, and should remove any stigma about running 3D applications on the Mac.

“There is some serious horsepower under the hood,” said Apple’s David Moody. That may be an understatement. The new Power Macs G5 “Quad” system is capable of processing 76.6 gigaflops using its 4 velocity engines, and 4 1MB Level 2 caches. The new systems also ushered in the introduction of PCI Express to the Mac line, a feature often requested by professionals. The new Power Macs are now able to accommodate up to 16 GB of DDR2 RAM as well.

Pricing for these monsters starts at $1,999 for the single dual-core 2.0 GHz configuration, $2,499 for the single 2.3GHz dual-core system, and $3,299 for the “Quad” dual-processor 2.5 GHz powerhouse. ( A Maxed out “Quad” system (without monitor) can easily top $18,000) .The single models are available now, the “Quadâ€? systems will be shipping in November.

Alongside the new Power Macs, Moody also unveiled 2 new PowerBook models. Largely consisting of screen resolution updates, the PowerBooks did not see the introduction of G5 processors, or even a speed boost, but did see some nice upgrades none the less. Superdrives are now standard on the 15 and 17 inch models, as is support for Apple’s 30 inch display. Battery life has received an impressive 22% increase as well. Despite the battery life increase, the displays are brighter than previous models. Resolution has been boosted to 1440 x 900 on the 15-inch model, and 1680 x 1050 for the 17-inch model. The models are shipping today, and are priced at $1,499 for the 12-inch model, $1,999 for the 15-inch model and $2,499 for the 17-inch model.

Apple did not update its displays with the rumored iSights, but did drop the prices of its larger displays, which is even better news. The 23-inch Cinema HD Display dropped $200 to $1,299, and the 30-inch Cinema HD Display saw a welcome $500 drop, to $2,499.

Finally, Apple today announced its latest pro application, called Aperture. As we predicted earlier, this application fills in the gap in Apple’s Pro line of iLife-counterparts. Designed for the professional digital photographer, Aperture focuses on the RAW format workflow. “Aperture is to professional photography what Final Cut Pro is to filmmaking,” said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Marketing. Along with basic iPhoto editing features like red-eye removal and cropping, Aperture allows for a non destructive workflow in its completely editable environment. Aperture’s best features seem to be geared towards the organization and cataloging of photos, as well as generating proof sheets and contact sheets. Aperture would seem to be the reason behind Apple’s larger than usual presence at the PhotoPlus Expo tomorrow. Aperture will ship in November with a $500 price tag.

All in all we’d have to say this is the most exciting Apple event in some time.

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