Apple has begun shipping the dual-processor Power Mac G4 that was unveiled at July's Macworld Expo in New York.

As previously announced, the G4 features dual 800MHz processors, 256MB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, and a SuperDrive, which is a combination CD-RW/DVD-R (compact disc rewritable/digital versatile disc recordable) combination drive. Apple's SuperDrive allows users to burn audio and data CDs, as well as DVDs that can be played in many home DVD players.

“The 800 MHz dual processor Power Mac G4 is the fastest Mac we have ever shipped,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

Two of everything The G4 will also feature two FireWire and two USB (universal serial bus) ports, a built-in modem and Apple's iDVD, iTunes and iMovie 2 software.

The dual-processor system benefits from the symmetric multiprocessing capability of Mac OS X, Apple's newest operating system which was released in March. The Power Mac G4 can automatically balance the workload between the two processors, in effect allowing twice as much data to be processed in the same amount of time it would take a machine equipped with only with one of those processors.

The Power Mac G4 is available for £2,499 (excluding VAT).