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Steve Jobs Announces Yikes! and Sawtooth G4s!

During Steve Jobs' Keynote address this morning, he officially announced the availability of the PowerPC 7400 (G4) and the Power Macintosh G4 product line. The units will be available in 400, 450 and 500MHz configurations. True to rumors, the 400MHz configuration is based on the Yikes! project we've been talking about for some time now. This was done in order to get the machines out on the street as soon as possible as well as to drive the price of the G4 machines down to a consumer level.

Jobs may have been forced to do something he may not have had to if it weren't for the constant media demand behind Apple Computer these days and the renewed interest in Apple's stock. He announced that the 450 and 500MHz configurations of the Power Macintosh G4 were Sawtooth based systems, but put a certain twist on their shipping dates. He mentioned that Apple would be shipping 400MHz models immediately, then several weeks later the 450Mhz models, and then a few weeks after that, the 500MHz models. So it appears that rumors were true and the Sawtooth based systems were, and still are behind schedule. Hopefully Apple will be able to ship these units in volume before the holiday season, but that remains to be seen.



The Sawtooth based models will pack some powerful features such as a 2x AGP slot, 3 times the memory bandwidth and twice the PCI bus pull-through of the two lower-end, Yikes! based models. The high-end 500MHz unit will also ship with 27GBs of hard disk space, 256MB of RAM and a DVD-RAM drive for $3499, while the 450MHz Power Mac will include 128MB of RAM, a DVD-ROM Drive and 20GB of hard disk space for $2499. The 400MHz version will ship on a current Yosemite logicboard with a 10GB hard drive, 64MB of RAM and a CD-ROM drive for $1599. Both Sawtooth based units contain an internal airport slot and internal FireWire. Sources warned not to expect these high-end Sawtooth based systems any time within the next couple of months.

True to previous reports, these new units will ship in dazzling grey and translucent white plastics with no "G4" lettering on the side. Jobs described the new Pro colors as silver, grey and graphite. All three of Apple's current displays have been also been refreshed to the grey color scheme, with the 15" flatscreen also receiving a transition to USB since none of the Power Macintosh G4 systems will ship with an ADB port. Apple also finally introduced their all digital 22" Apple Cinema Display LCD, which is the largest LCD in the market. The display has zero flicker and supports a resolution of 1600 by 1024. True to rumors, these displays will be very constrained due to a shortage of LCD screens and will only be available from the AppleStore for a whopping $3999.

Finally, Jobs was pleased to preview the Power Macintosh G4 commercial, which we talked about last week. The commercial features a Power Macintosh G4 and a bunch of Army Tanks, mocking restrictions on exporting the Power Macintosh G4 because it is considered a "Super Computer" by certain standards.

Additional information on Apple's new offerings will appear on AppleInsider.com throughout the week. Details of other announcements made during the conference can be read at MacNN.com.