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Apple to Announce the Power Mac G5 at WWDC

Panther, the next generation of Apple's modern-day Mac OS X operating system, won't be the only thing turning heads three weeks from now in San Francisco. The computer maker, which will not hold its trademark "Keynote" event at Macworld "Creative Pro" conference in July, will use its annual developers conference to showcase this summer's product offerings, sources tell AppleInsider.

Traditionally, Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) is scheduled during the month of May. However, in March of this year, the company announced that it had rescheduled its 2003 Worldwide Developers Conference for late June, in order to provide developers with a more complete preview release of "Panther." What the press release did not say is that this first developer release of Panther would be demonstrated by Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, on the company's new line of Power Mac G5 desktop computers.

The new Power Mac G5s will sport a completely new motherboard design utilizing DDR 400 RAM as well as AGP 8x graphics, FireWire 800 (FireWire 2), and USB 2.0, sources said. "In the box" connectivity among the news systems is based on Hypertransport — a universal chip-to-chip interconnect developed by AMD and partners — which provides 64-bit addressing and will replace Apple's multilevel bus architecture found in current systems. This royalty-free technology sports a low manufacturing cost and is capable of transferring data at up to 12.8 Gigabytes per second.

The new Power Macs will be powered by IBM's 64 bit PPC 970 processor, otherwise known to Apple Marketing as the the "G5." Initial offerings of the Power Mac G5 are said to boast 1.4 to 1.8GHz, single core PPC 970 processors, with the possibility of a dual 1.8GHz chips shortly thereafter.

To accommodate the new motherboard architecture, Apple has developed a modified Power Mac G5 enclosure, which is said to be more square and compact than the current Power Mac G4's deep, rectangular form-factor. It lacks the 4 curved handles found on current units, but sports a single USB and a single FireWire 800 port on the front of the casing, with additional ports in the rear.

According to sources, Apple plans to make the Power Mac G5 available to the public following their introduction on June 23rd. These initial units will ship with Mac OS 10.2, and hence, will not be optimized for the 64 bit PPC 970 processor. Consumers who purchase these Power Mac G5s will receive a coupon for a free copy of Mac OS 10.3 (Panther), which will ship in September and will be optimized for the new 64 bit processor.