New Macintosh G3s boast curves, copper chips

Apple Computer has launched a new range of professional Macintosh desktops packing copper PowerPC G3 processors running at up to 400HMz, with 200MHz cache and a 100MHz memory bus. The new G3s ship without built-in SCSI or a floppy drive - but with USB and Firewire ports, the new ATI RAGE 128 graphics card, support for up to 1Gb of memory, and up to 100Gb of Ultra ATA storage inside inside its curvy post-iMac box. 'We think it's the most powerful PC in the entire industry,' said Apple interim CEO Steve Jobs.

Apple Computer's interim CEO Steve Jobs has shown off a new range of professional Macintosh desktops packing copper PowerPC G3 processors running at up to 400HMz, with 200MHz cache and a 100MHz memory bus.

"We think it's the most powerful PC in the entire industry," Apple interim CEO Steve Jobs told the crowd during his keynote at macworld San Francisco.

The new G3s ship without built-in SCSI or a floppy drive - but with USB and Firewire ports, the new ATI RAGE 128 graphics card, support for up to 1Gb of memory, and up to 100Gb of Ultra ATA storage inside the box, using IBM 36Gb drives.

The "box" itself takes its cue from the new direction in industrial design suggested by Apple's consumer iMac, and comes in a compact, curvy shape with handles and a "door" in the side which drops down to expose the motherboard and three drive bays.

The new machines feature both Firewire and 100Mbit/s Ethernet built onto the motherboard, with 1Gbit/s Ethernet as a build-to-order options.

Jobs told the expo crowd that while Apple's original decision to embrace SCI was "brilliant", but "history has passed it by" and Firewire was a far more powerful technology. Users who still want SCSI will be able to buy a $US50 expansion card from Apple.

As he did when he launched the iMac, Jobs compared the new Mac and "the fastest Intel PC available" - a 450MHz Compaq Deskpro - citing the controversial ByteMark numbers and staging a shootout using Adobe Photoshop.

Pricing on the new Macs starts at $US1599 and goes up to $2999.

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