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Apple Bulks Up iMac, Power Mac G5 Desktops

Apple rolled out an iMac G4 all-in-one desktop with a 20-inch LCD screen and retooled its Power Mac G5 high-end desktop line by adding a dual-processor 1.8GHz model.

Apple on Tuesday rolled out an iMac G4 all-in-one desktop with a 20-inch LCD screen and retooled its Power Mac G5 high-end desktop line by adding a dual-processor 1.8GHz model.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company also updated its Final Cut Pro 4, Shake 3 and DVD Studio Pro 2 software for video and film professionals by fine-tuning them for its G5 processor, unveiled in late June, and Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther" operating system, which shipped in late October.

The 20-inch iMac comes with OS X Panther preinstalled and sports a widescreen display with a pixel resolution of up to 1,680 x 1,050, according to Apple. The table lamp-shaped iMac series now has three models: 20- and 17-inch units with 1.25GHz G4 processors, and a 15-inch model with a 1GHz G4 processor.

All models include 256 Mbytes of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, an 80-Gbyte Ultra ATA/100 hard drive, two FireWire 400 and three USB 2.0 ports, support for Apple's AirPort Extreme 802.11g wireless networking and optional built-in Bluetooth connectivity.

The 20- and 17-inch units also have Nvidia's GeForce FX 5200 Ultra graphics processor with 64 Mbytes of DDR video memory plus a DVD-R/CD-RW SuperDrive. The 15-inch model has a DVD-ROM/CD-RW optical drive.

Available now, the 20-inch iMac is priced at $2,199. The 17- and 15-inch models cost $1,799 and $1,299, respectively.

Apple said it added a dual 1.8GHz model to its Power Mac G5 family to meet customer demand for dual-processor units. Previously, the company rolled out the G5 line with 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz single-processor models and a 2GHz dual-processor model. Now the 1.8GHz and 2GHz units--priced at $2,499 and $2,999, respectively--each have two processors. Apple also trimmed the price of the 1.6GHz model to $1,799 from the original $1,999.

All of the Power Mac G5 models are available now and ship with OS X Panther installed.

The 1.6GHz unit comes with an 800 MHz front-side bus; 256 Mbytes of 333MHz, 128-bit DDR SDRAM; an 80-Gbyte Serial ATA hard drive; an AGP 8X Pro graphics slot; an Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra graphics card with 64 Mbytes of DDR SDRAM; three PCI slots; and a DVD-R/CD-RW SuperDrive.

The 1.8GHz and 2GHz dual-processor models each include 512 Mbytes of 400 MHz, 128-bit DDR SDRAM; a 160-Gbyte Serial ATA hard drive; an AGP 8X Pro graphics slot; three PCI-X slots; and a DVD-R/CD-RW SuperDrive. However, the 1.8GHz unit has dual independent 900MHz front-side buses and an Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra graphics card (64 Mbytes of DDR SDRAM), while the 2GHz unit has dual independent 1GHz front-side buses and a Radeon 9600 Pro graphics card (64 Mbytes of DDR SDRAM).

The new G5- and Panther-optimized software products--Final Cut Pro 4.1, Shake 3.0.1 and DVD Studio Pro 2.0.2, with the new Compressor 1.1 update--are available now for current users as free software updates, according to Apple. Upgrade versions of Final Cut Pro 4 and DVD Studio Pro 2 also are being offered for $399 and $199, respectively, the company said.