Apple introduces more power in PowerMacs lines, new resolution in PowerBooks, new prices in Apple Cinema HD Displays, and an all new professional application for photographers. The hits just keep on coming.
Apple has begun shipping a PowerMac G5 “Quad” system with two new dual-core IBM PowerPC processors. If power is what you need, this new “Quad” PowerMac G5 is about as powerful as you can get.
How so? First, the CPU itself features a dual-core. Think of it as two of the previous PowerPC chips in a PowerMac except they’re squeezed into one chip. And there’s two of those ‘dual-core’ chips in the new high-end PowerMac.
Along with all that extra horsepower, the new system architecture can support 16 gigabytes of 533 mhz DDR2 RAM. There’s also space for up to one terabyte of internal Serial ATA hard drives.
These PowerMacs are the first to feature PCI Express expansion slots. The PCI Express and DDR2 RAM were also present in the most recent upgrade to the 2.7ghz PowerMacs.
Apple also squeezes a little more money from each PowerMac. A single-processor, dual-core PowerMac at 2ghz is $1,999. The 2.3ghz dual-core (a single chip) is $2,499, and the “Quad” dual-processor, dual-core system is $3,299.
More power costs more money. The low-end PowerMacs are available now from the Apple Store while the “Quad” PowerMac is slated to ship in November. Apple’s ‘Mighty Mouse’ is included in the new PowerMac line.
The two high-end PowerMac models feature the NVIDIA GeForce 6600 with 256megs of GDDR SDRAM.
The PowerBook line also gets power but only in the display resolution and graphics cards. The 15-inch and 17-inch PowerBook models now have higher resolution screens.
The 15-inch PB model’s screen goes up to 1,440 x 900 resolution, which is the same as the previous 17-inch PowerBook’s screen. Now, the 17-inch PowerBook sports a new screen with 1,680 x 1,050 pixel display, which is the same resolution as Apple’s popular 20-inch Cinema Display.
Each of the high end models feature the ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics card with 128megs of dedicated DDR video memory. The new displays are 26-percent and 46-percent brighter than the previous models, respectively.
Both the 15-inch and 17-inch PowerBooks have greater battery life, DVD-SuperDrives, and built-in support for Apple’s 30-inch Cinema HD display. Pricing is more competitive for the 17-inch model, which now starts at $2,499.
The 12-inch PowerBook is $1,499, and the 15-inch PowerBook is $1,999 in base configurations.
Apple has been selling more of nearly everything and that results in lower prices for the Cinema HD Displays. The 23-inch Cinema HD Display is reduced in price by $200 to $1,299, and the 30-inch Cinema HD Display is reduced by $500 to $2,499.
Are you thinking 30-inches of TV screen? Me, too. But no news in that department. Hold on to the Elgato EyeTV for awhile.
The new PowerMacs, PowerBooks and lower pricing was announced in New York at a photography show. Apple announced a new post production application aimed at photographers. It’s called “Aperture” and features an all-in-one post production suite of tools for professional photographers.
Aperture features an end-to-end workflow in RAW, making the process of dealing with huge file sizes as easy as working with common JPEG files.
The new application fetures “Stacks” which allows photographers to group sequences of shots together in a full-screen workspace. The whole environment can span multi-image displays (now conveniently at a lower price from Apple).
Apple says the multi-image viewer in Aperture allows side-by-side image display, up to 10 or 12 on a side. Magnifications can be as high as 800-percent.
There’s also a standard suite of image processing tools, such as red-eye reduction, straightening, cropping, multiple version management, and a fully non-destructive workflow.
The new professional application also provides support for device specific ColorSync profiles. Photographers will be able to print contact sheets. Aperture also works with AppleScript and Automator actions.
From what I can tell, this is a very slick application that fits well in the Apple “pro” line now occupied by Final Cut Studio. It’s also not likely to tick off the folks at Adobe, because it’s not fully direct competition with Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
By the way, Adobe, where’s Photoshop Elements 4.0 for the Mac? Feeling a little ‘twitchy’ with all the cool stuff coming out of Cuptertino? Losing some developers to Apple?
Aperture is also integrated with .Mac so prints can be ordered online or published online. All this professional photographic power doesn’t come cheap. Aperture’s price tag is $499.
The only disappointment in today’s announcement? No iTunes version 7.0. Hey, it’s been a week already.