CUPERTINO, CA - Apple (www.apple.com) recently made several announcements regarding its hardware and software releases, most notably, the introduction of a new dual-1.8 GHz PowerMac G5. The new dual-processor machine replaces the single 1.8 GHz system in the middle of the G5 line up and is priced at $2,499. The single-processor machine will be phased out, with remaining units selling for $2,099. Apple has also lowered the price of its entry-level 1.6 GHz G5, which is now selling for $1,799. The dual-2 GHz machine stays at the top of Apple's line up with a price of $2,999. All models come with the Panther operating system installed.
On the applications side, Apple has updated all three of its professional video tools. Final Cut Pro 4.1 is available as a free update and has been optimized for use on G5 workstations. The tool is now capable of outputting seven simultaneous SD streams, up from four previously. The encoder - Compressor 1.1 - for Apple's DVD Studio Pro has been optimized for the new G5 systems and offers a 25 percent increase in performance. And the company's Shake compositing tool has been upgraded to Version 3.02, offering improved rendering performance.