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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 August, 2003, 08:27 GMT 09:27 UK
Apple fans snap up 'fastest' Mac
Apple Power Mac G5
Apple is hoping the G5 will boost Mac sales
Mac fans are rushing to get their hands on what Apple calls the fastest personal computer in the world.

More than 100,000 Power Mac G5s have been ordered since the machine was launched at the end of June, said the company.

Apple has also started to ship two models of the high-end machine, which uses 64-bit processing technology.

The arrival of 64-bit personal desktops heralds a new era in computing, offering more power for home users.

'Big hit'

Apple is hoping the G5, which costs between $2,000 and $3,000, will boost Power Mac sales.

Demand has been sluggish recently. In the last three months, the California-based company sold 156,000 Power Macs, down from 211,000 a year earlier.

"The Power Mac G5 is a big hit with customers and developers," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

It has already started shipping 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz single-processor models of the G5, ahead of schedule.

"We wanted to get those into customers hands as soon as possible, and we're right on track to deliver the dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5 later this month," said Mr Schiller.

Faster machines

Apple Power Mac G5
1.6 GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5
800 MHz front-side bus
256MB 333 MHz Dual Channel (128-bit) DDR
4 DIMMs, 4GB maximum memory
80GB Serial ATA hard drive
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra-64MB DDR
US retail price - $1,999 (UK - 1,549)
Powered by the PowerPC G5 processor designed by IBM and Apple, the G5 is the first personal computer to use 64-bit processing technology.

This refers to the amount of data a chip can process per clock cycle. Current personal computers use 32-bit processors.

The more powerful chip could lead to more realistic looking games, as well as smoother video playback on computers.

Apple is not the only hi-tech firm moving towards 64-bit computing.

Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices is planning to bring out a 64-bit processor for Windows PCs next month.

Rival chip manufacturer Intel has already developed 64-bit processors which are used in servers rather than desktop machines.

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