from MacWEEK by Joanna Pearlstein
Apple on Aug. 5 will reportedly roll out faster Power Macs, including the company's first 200-MHz and multiprocessor offerings.
Starring in next week's lineup will be an 8500 model based on the 180-MHz PowerPC 604e and a 9500 model based on the 200-MHz 604e, according to sources. With 32 Mbytes of RAM, a 2-Gbyte hard drive and an 8x CD-ROM drive as standard equipment, the top-speed Macs are expected to cost $4,500 and $4,900, respectively.
Also due in August is the Power Mac 7600/132, which will reportedly have the same price and configuration as its 120-MHz predecessor.
Sources said Apple's first multiprocessor system, the 9500/180MP, will include two 180-MHz 604e chips. That system will reportedly share the memory and storage configuration of its single-processor sibling, the 9500/180, and is expected to cost about $5,700. The dual-CPU Mac will support the multiprocessing API developed by DayStar Digital Inc.
Both the new 8500 and 9500 systems will ship in late August, sources said. Earlier this summer, sources reported that Apple might delay the 200-MHz system because processors would not be available in sufficient quantities to meet demand. A shortage of chips last year made high-end Power Macs scarce, angering users and costing Apple millions of dollars in sales.
However, sources said Apple does not expect component shortages for these 604e machines, and it anticipates the 180-MHz and 200-MHz Macs will be easily available within weeks of their release. Apple could reportedly introduce 225-MHz 604e systems next month but will hold off to prevent a sales backlog.
Prices of the new high-end systems are expected to compare favorably to their slower predecessors, the speed-bumped systems that shipped in April. For example, the Power Macintosh 9500/150 -- which included 16 Mbytes of RAM and a quadruple-speed CD-ROM drive -- cost $4,800 at introduction, while the upcoming 9500/200 will run 50 MHz faster and have twice the RAM and CD-ROM speed for $4,900.
The new 8500/180 will reportedly cost $200 less than the 8500/150 while boasting a faster processor and double the RAM and CD-ROM speed.
According to sources, the new mainstream Macs will be accompanied by Apple's Performa 6400/180 and 6400/200, tower-style consumer systems using 180- and 200-MHz PowerPC 603e processors. Those systems will reportedly cost $2,400 and $2,800, respectively, and they will be available in limited quantities at introduction.
Finally, sources said Apple will add the 8x CD-ROM drive in the Power Mac 7200/120 but make no other changes to that system.
Apple declined to comment.
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