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Mac Reference Desk: The Dual Processor G4/1 GHz Power Mac

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Power Mac Dual Processor G4/1 GHz Facts at a Glance

  • Introduced: January 28th, 2002
  • Discontinued: N/A
  • Processor Family: Motorola MPC7455 AKA Apollo G4
  • Processor: Dual G4/1 GHz
  • Processor L1 cache: 32K
  • Processor L2 cache: 256K at 1 GHz.
  • Processor L3 cache: 2MB DDR SDRAM at 250 MHz.
  • System Bus Speed: 133 MHz
  • RAM Slots: 3, 168-pin SDRAM DIMM.
  • RAM Installed: 512 MB, 1.5 GB max.
  • PCI Slots: Four full length slots, 64-bit, 33MHz
  • Graphics Slot: 4x AGP slot, filled.
  • Graphics Card: nVIDIA GeForce4 MX, 64MB of DDR SDRAM. ADC & VGA connections.
  • Hard Drive: 80GB Ultra ATA (7200 rpm)
  • Optical Drive: "Super Drive" Writes DVD-R at 2x, Reads DVDs at 6x, Writes CD-R at 8x, Writes CD-RW at 4x, reads CDs at 24x
  • Expansion Bays: Three 3.5-inch hard drive expansion bays, one filled.
  • FireWire: Two 400Mbps ports (15W total power)
  • USB: Two USB 1.1 ports
  • Networking: 10/100/1000BaseT Ethernet, 56k V.90 internal modem & AirPort slot (IEEE 802.11b compliant)
  • Initial Shipping OS: 10.1 (boot) and 9.2
  • Initial Retail Price: $2,999
  • Current Prices

Reviews

Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2002

The introduction of the January 2002 Power Macs was a quiet one. The official announcement came weeks after the Macworld expo in San Francisco. This was done, no doubt, to avoid stealing the new iMac's thunder, but the new towers are definitely deserving of attention.

Overview: This latest round of Power Macs are the first to break the elusive (for Motorola at any rate) "Gigahertz barrier." The new lineup consists of a G4/800, a G4/933 and a Dual G4/1GHz. All three use Motorola's new MPC7455 processor, aka Apollo. The Apollo is manufactured using a silicon-on-insulator process which boosts clock speed and lowers power consumption. All three models sport 256K "on chip" cache running at full processor speed, but the low end model lacks the 2MB backside (or level 3) cache found on the G4/933 and Dual G4/1GHz machines. The L3 cache runs at one quarter of the processor speed, or 233MHz and 250MHz for the G4/933 and (dual) G4/1GHz respectively. Although the MPC7455 is currently topped out at 1GHz, Motorola claims there is plenty of room to push this number higher.

Meet The Dual Processor G4/1 GHz: The dual processor G4/1 GHz represents the current top of the line, and something of a paradox for for Apple. Although there are two, each G4 processor is only 67 MHz faster than the (single processor) G4/933. Our more astute readers will be quick to point out that OS X makes use of both processors, as do MP savvy applications like Photoshop. If you use a lot of MP savvy applications, you will see a real benefit from the second processor. If you are counting on OS X to turn all of your applications into MP powerhouses, you may end up disappointed. We pitted the Dual G4/1 GHz against the single processor G4/933 and found only a minor difference between the two in most instances. The tests where the dual processor machine really shined were in multiprocessor applications. An fractal program we test with, for example, fully saturated both GHz processors, completing its job in less than half the time of the G4/933. Running multiple active applications at the same time is another case where the second processor will come into play. The dual G4/1 GHz is truly targeted at the power user running programs that can saturate both processors.

The dual G4/1 GHz comes with 512 MB RAM and an 80 GB drive, enough to get you launched into the digital lifestyle. Also in line with the digital lifestyle theme is the "Super Drive," an optical drive that can write DVD's, write or rewrite CD's and read DVD's and CD's. Phew! This amazing flexibility comes at the expense of speed. The CD-RW drive in the G4/800 is rated at a respectable, if not groundbreaking, 24x10x32. Contrast this with the Super Drive's 8x4x24 CD-RW functionality or the 32x10x40 external drives that are now available and you get the picture.

Graphics punch is provided by the nVIDIA GeForce4 MX card with 64MB of DDR SDRAM. This card resides in a 4x AGP slot. ADC & VGA connections allow you to connect Apple's flat panel displays or any standard CRT based display. Shortly after the new Power Macs' release, Apple made the nVIDIA "GeForce Titanium" card available as a build to order option. This card, which adds $250 to your tab, sports 128 MB DDR SDRAM and advanced features not found on the MX. We have not tested this card yet, but based on its specs, it is probably well worth the extra cash for serious gamers and multimedia professionals.

Additional MacSpeedZone Resources

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet, Or Slower Than Molasses In A Juneau Winter? - Virtual PC Performance On The New G4 Tower Macintoshes - Well it actually falls somewhere between these two extremes. For the test results below we ran Virtual PC 5.0 with Windows 2000 on each of the new Tower machines

Eeny Meeny, Miney Moe - All The New G4 Towers Go Toe To Toe - A Performance Report - We finally have benchmark results for all three of the new Tower Power Macs. In general, the results confirm our feelings about each one of these machines

Dual Processors, Gaming And OS X - In Terms Of Performance The Gigahertz Machine Is A Giant Killer!

Photoshop, Gaming And More - A Further Exploration Of The Comparative Performance Of The New Dual Gigahertz And 933 MHz G4 Towers

Is Apple's Top Of The Line Dual Processor Gigahertz Tower Too Fast, Too Powerful? Perhaps - The Dual Processor G4/1GHz vs The G4/933, A Performance Report

More Extensive Performance Numbers On The Dual G4 Gigahertz Machine When Running OS X

The Inside Scoop On The Gigahertz Power Mac - Up Close And Personal - A Pictorial Review - Today we take a look inside. The internal components of these computers are laid out in a nice, uncluttered way. Everything is very identifiable, uncomplicated, and easy to access

A Dueling, Dual Processor Shoot Out - A First Look At The Performance Of The New Gigahertz Tower Compared To The Last Generation Dual Processor Machine

The Gigahertz Power Mac Unveiled - A Pictorial Review - We are in the process of acquiring all three of the new Power Mac Towers. The first to arrive was the dual processor gigahertz machine. Although in looks it is similar to the last generation of Power Macs, for the uninitiated, we provide a pictorial unveiling of the new machine



 

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A Dueling, Dual Processor Shoot Out - A First Look At The Performance Of The New Gigahertz Tower Compared To The Last Generation Dual Processor Machine

The Inside Scoop On The Gigahertz Power Mac - Up Close And Personal - A Pictorial Review - The internal components of these computers are laid out in a nice, uncluttered way. Everything is very identifiable, uncomplicated, and easy to access

Is Apple's Top Of The Line Dual Processor Gigahertz Tower Too Fast, Too Powerful? Perhaps - The Dual Processor G4/1GHz vs The G4/933, A Performance Report - We spent the weekend benchmarking the new single processor G4/933 Tower. Below you will find some of the results of our work, and a comparison between the 933 and the dual GHz G4. All the test below we done using OS X.

Photoshop, Gaming And More - A Further Exploration Of The Comparative Performance Of The New Dual Gigahertz And 933 MHz G4 Towers - We take a performance look at the new Dual GHz and 933 MHz Towers (comparing them to each other and the last generation of Tower machines), when booted into a variant of Mac OS 9.

AppleTalk: Why I Need A Dual G4 Gigahertz Power Mac - Reader comments on the advantages of, a dual processor machine.


Additional Web Resources:

Which Of The Power Mac G4's Is The Fastest Digital Video "Engine"? - This test was inspired by a reader who was trying to decide between the G4/933 and G4/1000MP for digital video production. He wanted to know if the 1000MP was worth the added $700. Actually, if the two machines are comparably equipped (512MB RAM, 80MB hard drive, SuperDrive, etc.), the difference is $500. That means the 1000MP costs 20 percent more

Hands on with the dual 1-GHz Power Mac - Finally, with all the products in the sweet suite of applications that's included, why doesn't Apple also throw in AppleWorks, its productivity suite as it does with the iMac and iBook? C'mon, Apple, it's a nice productivity package and many pros would appreciate it. Despite these glitches, Apple's fastest Mac yet, the dual 1-GHz G4 packs plenty of features and performance at a very reasonable price

Apple Power Mac G4 (dual PowerPC, 1GHz) - The dual 1GHz Power Mac G4 is a better short-term than long-term choice. If you're looking for a speed boost today--perhaps because you have a G3 or early-model G4 and are ready to move to OS X or start editing video--this system will give you all the power and storage you need to run either iMovie or Final Cut Pro

Power Macintosh G4/800, G4/933, and Dual-1GHz - Let the iMac take center stage, with its all-in-one design and its flat-panel display; the real meat of Apple's product line remains in the desktop towers--excellent expansion, performance, and flexibility are still the standards that professionals require of their Macs

How Does The Pentium 4 and Athlon XP Running Windows XP Compare To The G4 Power Macintosh Running OS X? - Which is the fastest? It depends what you are running. Is megahertz immaterial? It would seem so. When a 1400MHz Athlong runs as fast or faster than a G4 "2000" and faster than an 1800MHz Pentium you have to look elsewhere for answers

The NEW Dual 1000MHz G4 Power Mac Takes On All The Other G4 Macs. - The Dual G4/1000 is the fastest. But as long as the refurbished Dual G4/800's are available for $2K, they give the best bang for the buck.

Review: Apple Power Macintosh G4 Dual 1GHz - Latest Power Mac proves that two processors are better than one.

Apple Finally Goes Gigahertz - Apple's Power Mac G4: gigahertz times two. This is just what Apple needs in the performance department. Previously, the fastest G4 chip in an Apple machine was the 867 MHz G4 released in July. But as so many Mac fanatics are quick to point out, there's a lot more to a computer's performance than the raw clock speed of the processor. Still, none will deny themselves the joy of saying a word that has so far eluded them: gigahertz. [Forbes]

Apple product managers on the 1GHz Power Mac - With the announcement of new Power Macs earlier today, Apple broke a barrier that every Mac user has been waiting for -- the release of a 1GHz Power Mac. MacCentral spoke with Greg Joswiak, Apple's senior director of Hardware Product Marketing and Tom Boger, director of Power Mac Product Marketing about the new systems. [MacCentral]

That's a Whole Lot of Power, Mac - Apple promises the dual-processor machine can perform an "amazing" 15 billion floating-point operations per second, or 15 gigaflops. According to Apple, this allows the machine to run Adobe Photoshop about 70 percent faster than an Intel Pentium 4 at 2 GHz. And encoding video is 300 percent faster, Apple claims. [Wired]

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