Apple has kept to its promise to begin shipping some Power Mac G5s before the end of August, though demand exceeds supply.

The company's new dual-processor 2GHz G5s are not expected to ship until September. Apple has secured 100,000 pre-orders for G5 systems worldwide.

The KRCS Group now has demonstration single processor 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz Power Macs installed in its Birmingham, Leeds and Nottingham showrooms, confirmed marketing manager, Keren Filfoyle-McGroarty.

Square Group director Darren King told Macworld today: "We received some 1.6GHz Power Mac G5s this morning. They will be on display in our New Oxford Street showroom from tomorrow." Square had expected to receive demo units last week, but delivery was delayed.

Sales boost Despite its limited quantity the arrival of stock has boosted orders, observed Rapid Group sales director Garrett Doyle: "Since we have had product the amount of orders has gone up," he said.

"I think it is because people won't place an order if they think there may be a delay, and they don't want to leave a deposit if it won't be available for ages. They want to be aware of any impending issues – until people have seen the G5 nobody knows what issues there may be."

Staggered shipments King warned: "We have not been able to fulfil many of our pre-orders yet, as the majority of these are for 1.8GHz and 2GHz Power Macs, and we have only received 1.6GHz machines so far."

Some UK dealers have not yet received stock. "Apple keeps moving the date back," observed one, "I have no idea when they will arrive," said another, speaking earlier this week.

Speaking privately, many Apple dealers have expressed anxiety that with G4 and G5 Power Macs and all PowerBook models unavailable or in short supply, and softer demand for iMacs, they have had little to sell in recent weeks: "We have been trying to run a business on air," one dealer observed.

Mac users placing fresh orders today can expect wait for their new computers; The UK Apple Store shows an eight to ten day wait for single processor 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz Power Macs and four to six weeks for the dual processor 2GHz G5s.

Architecture review The 1.6GHz models carry a diferent PCI architecture to the other Power Macs, with three open full-length 33MHz, 64-bit PCI slots installed. The 1.8GHz and dual 2GHz Power Macs use the new PCI-X architecture, with one 133MHz, 64-bit slot and two 100MHz, 64-bit slots on board. The 1.6GHz models also carry an 800MHz (not 900MHz) frontside bus and can address a maximum 4GB RAM, in contrast to 8GB on the high-end Macs.

Taiwan's Economic Daily News claims Hon Hai (formerly Foxconn) is manufacturing the Power Macs on Apple's behalf. French Mac site MacBidouille reports production delays because of the door locks on the new Macs, but this is unconfirmed.

Apple Japan last week reportedly announced a month's delay shipping the new Macs.

Are you a G5 customer? Has your new Power Mac shipped or arrived? Let us know on Macworld UK's reader forum.