Apple has updated its Power Mac range, introducing three new models.

All dual-processor Power Mac G5s now include dual 64-bit processors at up to 2.7GHz, and Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Four Power Mac G5s are available now: the 1.8GHz single-processor model and three types of dual processor Macs, running at: 2.0GHz, 2.3GHz and 2.7GHz respectively.

The Power Mac range offer larger hard drives that can be extended to offer up to 800GB of internal storage; a 16X SuperDrive with double-layer support capable of burning up to 8.5GB on a single DVD; 512MB of memory across the line; higher performance graphics options; and built-in support for Apple's 30-inch Cinema HD Display on the flagship 2.7GHz model.

Apple senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller said: "The Power Mac G5 continues to deliver the ultimate performance for our most advanced customers running bandwidth- and compute-intensive applications. With dual 2.7GHz 64-bit G5 processors, dual 1.35GHz front side buses, ATI Radeon 9650 graphics, 16X SuperDrive with double-layer support and Mac OS X Tiger, the new Power Mac G5 is the most powerful and advanced Mac we have ever made."

However the 2.7GHz speed bump means that Apple is still unable to meet the 3GHz target it predicted it would meet by WWDC 2004.

64-bit power

Powered by dual 64-bit PowerPC G5 processors, the Power Mac G5 provides an 128-bit memory architecture. It also delivers expansion of up to 8GB of 400 MHz DDR SDRAM and supports graphics cards with up to 256MB of video memory.

With its 64-bit features, Tiger also provides access to as much physical memory as can be installed on a Power Mac G5. Even 32-bit applications benefit from the system’s ability to access large amounts of RAM: the system can manipulate data in multiple applications entirely in RAM for maximum performance, says Apple.

The top model features two 2.7GHz processors, each with an independent 1.35GHz front-side bus for a bandwidth of up to 21.6GBps.

On display

The new Power Mac offers dual-display support with either the ATI Radeon 9600 graphics card with 128MB of video memory or the ATI Radeon 9650 with 256MB of video memory.

The flagship dual-processor 2.7GHz Power Mac G5 features built-in support to drive Apple's 30-inch Cinema HD Display. Available as a build-to-order option on every model, the NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL high-performance graphics card can drive up to two 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Displays.

The Power Macs also offer industry-leading connectivity, including Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 800, FireWire 400, three PCI-X or PCI expansion slots, USB 2.0, optical digital audio input and output, and analogue audio input and output.

The damage

The single-processor 1.8GHz model remains in the line up. It costs £999 and comes with 80GB, 64MB DDR Video memory, and an 8x SuperDrive. Next up is the Dual 2GHz with 160GB, 512MB RAM, 128MB DDR video memory, and a 16x SuperDrive. It costs £1,349.

The dual 2.3GHz model, with 250GB, 128MB DDR video memory, and a 16x SuperDrive costs £1,699. The Dual 2.7GHz, £1,999 Power Mac G5 also features a 16x SuperDrive, but adds an ATI Radeon 9650 video card and 256MB DDR video memory.

Previous prices across the range were: Dual 1.8GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5 for £1,349, Dual 2.0GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5 for £1,699, and Dual 2.5GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5 for £1,999.

The price of Apple's line of widescreen flat panel displays has also been reduced.