Apple Shows Speedy G5 Desktop
NEW YORK -- Apple on Wednesday demonstrated its forthcoming G5 personal computer and detailed desktop and server versions of OS X Panther at the
Claiming that the highly anticipated
"This is the fastest personal computer today," said Greg Joswiak, vice president of hardware product marketing at Cupertino, California-based Apple. "We'll be at 2 GHz in August, and shipping 3 GHz
Joswiak described the G5's specs as follows: a 2-GHz processor, a 1-GHz bus, 400-MHz DDR 128-bit memory, 1.5-Gbps Serial ATA, high-performance I/O, and optical digital audio input and output, priced at $2999 for the high-end system. He said that price is almost $1000 less than a computer from Dell with similar attributes.
Apple also improved the cooling system with a total of nine fans, so the G5 produces half the noise of a G4, Apple said.
"We built the product with the creative pro in mind," Joswiak said.
To that end, Joswiak also demonstrated forthcoming versions of the Panther desktop and server software. Panther, as version 10.3 is code-named, is the fourth major release of Mac OS X.
During the presentation, Joswiak said there are more than 100 new features in Panther, but he concentrated on the areas most relevant to creative professionals, including a font book, which Apple claims is the first font management tool built into an operating system; enhanced PDF functionality; and printing improvements.
While the current iteration of Mac OS X can create PDF files, Apple bolstered the use of PDFs to give users more control, including color space conversion, compression, and a new PDF reader called Preview that Apple claims is the fastest reader available. Joswiak showed a demo in which Preview was three times faster than Adobe's Acrobat Reader running on Windows.
Among the improved printing capabilities with Panther is SMB printing, which enables printing from any shared Windows printer on a network. The company also added drag-and-drop printing, PDF workflow plug-ins, and virtual PostScript printing.
AppleScript was enhanced as well, with a new script editor that includes built-in shortcuts with commonly used scripts. The image events capability enables users to scale, rotate, flip, and crop images.
Joswiak also spoke of improvements to Expose, which now features easier navigation. Users can sort through multiple open windows, seeing either all open windows or only those within an application.
The last feature he showed off was Pixlet, a studio-grade codec based on Wavelet and inspired by Pixar, hence the name.
On the server side, Panther includes Kerberos support for single sign-on and Samba 3 native support for Windows users. Both versions will be available by year's end; the desktop will cost $129, and the server will carry a $999 ticket for an unlimited number of users.
Apple has also broken out Soundtrack as a stand-alone product; it was previously available only with Final Cut Pro. The software enables users to add music to their video, DVD, or Web projects, Joswiak said.