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Monday, June 23, 2003

Apple Debuts The Power Mac G5
1:50 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

At today's Worldwide Developer's Conference, Apple's Steve Jobs announced new generation Power Macs featuring a new 64-bit processor dubbed the G5. Apple has introduced three models ranging from 1.6Ghz to a Dual 2 Ghz, which Jobs called the "world's fastest personal computer."

The new Power Macs support up to 8 GB of RAM with all models featuring 4x SuperDrive. They also feature super fast 1 Ghz front side bus, 8x AGP graphics, 133Mhz PCI-X slots, HyperTransport support, FireWire 800 and 400, USB 2.0, Airport Extreme, Bluetooth, and more.

The new PowerMacs feature an all aluminum enclosure featuring 9 fans but with be up to twice as quiet as current Power Mac G4's. The new Power Macs will be shipping in August. Apple and IBM expect to announce a 3 Ghz G5 within the next 12 months.

Here are the three systems announced today:

The Power Mac G5, with a suggested retail price of $2,999 (US), includes:

- Dual 2.0 GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5;
- Dual Independent 1 GHz front-side buses;
- 512MB 400 MHz Dual Channel (128-bit) DDR;
- 8 DIMMs, 8GB maximum memory;
- 160GB Serial ATA hard drive;
- AGP 8X Pro graphics slot;
- RADEON 9600 Pro-64MB DDR;
- 3 PCI-X slots (one 64-bit 133 MHz, two 64-bit 100 MHz); and
- 4x SuperDrive(TM).

The Power Mac G5, with a suggested retail price of $2,399 (US), includes:

- 1.8 GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5;
- 900 MHz front-side bus;
- 512MB 400 MHz Dual Channel (128-bit) DDR;
- 8 DIMMs, 8GB maximum memory;
- 160GB Serial ATA hard drive;
- AGP 8X Pro graphics slot;
- NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra-64MB DDR;
- 3 PCI-X slots (one 64-bit, 133 MHz, two 64-bit 100 MHz); and
- 4x SuperDrive.

The Power Mac G5, with a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US), includes:

- 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;
- AGP 8X Pro graphics slot;
- NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra-64MB DDR;
- 3 PCI slots (64-bit, 33 MHz); and
- 4x SuperDrive.

Here's more from the official press release:

The new Power Mac G5 is the world's fastest personal computer based on SPEC CPU 2000 benchmark results and leading professional application performance tests when compared against 3.0 GHz Pentium 4-based systems and 3.06 GHz Dual Xeon-based systems:

  • In the SPEC CPU 2000 independent testing comparing the Power Mac G5 against leading 3.0 GHz Pentium 4-based systems and 3.06 GHz Dual Xeon-based systems, the Power Mac G5 won three out of four key benchmark tests. All tests were run with the same industry standard GCC 3.3 compiler to insure a fair comparison;
  • Single processor tests results show the Power Mac G5 an impressive 21 percent faster than the 3.0 GHz Pentium 4-based PC on SPECfp_base2000, which measures single processor floating point performance, and 10 percent slower on SPECint_base2000, which measures single processor integer performance; and
  • Dual processor tests results, which determine the fastest personal computer since dual processor systems are faster than single processor systems, are a clean sweep with the Power Mac G5 beating the 3.06 GHz Dual Xeon workstations by an incredible 41 percent on SPECfp_rate_base2000, which measures the total floating point throughput of the system, and edging out the same system by three percent on SPECint_rate_base2000, which measures total integer computation throughput.
  • In addition to outperforming Pentium 4- and Dual Xeon-based systems in industry-standard benchmarks, the Power Mac G5 ran significantly faster than Pentium 4 and Dual Xeon-based systems on performance tests of the most popular applications for creative professionals:
  • On a test of 45 commonly used actions, Adobe Photoshop ran twice as fast on the Power Mac G5 than on 3.06 GHz Dual Xeon workstations;
  • Logic Audio on the Power Mac G5 can play nearly 40 percent more tracks with reverbs applied than Cubase SX running on a 3.06 GHz Dual Xeon workstation; and
  • Genentech Blast runs up to five times faster on a Power Mac G5 than on a 3.06 GHz Dual Xeon workstation.
  • The Power Mac G5 features a stunning new anodized aluminum alloy enclosure, designed to meet the needs of the most demanding professionals. The new enclosure is built around four independently controlled thermal zones for advanced airflow management, with fans in each zone that are individually controlled based on a sophisticated combination of thermal and power monitoring, resulting in the Power Mac G5 running two times quieter than the previous Power Mac G4. The G5 enclosure also features an easy-to-open access panel allowing quick access to internal components for tool-less installation of memory, hard drives, optical drives or an AirPort Extreme card. Front and rear handles allow professionals to rapidly and safely move Power Mac G5s when and where they need them, and front-mounted FireWire, USB2, and headphone ports provide convenient access for popular peripherals.

    IMG: Power Mac G5 Front View
    IMG: Power Mac G5 Open View

    WWDC: Apple Previews Mac OS X 10.3 Panther
    3:15 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Apple today previewed Mac OS X version 10.3 "Panther," the next major version of Mac OS X. The fourth version of Mac OS X promises over 100 new features including a completely new Finder; Expose, a revolutionary new way to instantly see all your open windows at once; and iChat AV, a complete desktop video conferencing solution for business, education and consumers.

    Here's more on Panther's upcoming features:

    Panther features a completely new Finder that puts a user's favorite folders, hard drive, network servers, iDisk and removable media in one convenient location, providing one-click access to everything a user needs. The redesigned Finder also features lightning-fast search, colored labels for fully-customized organization of documents and projects and dynamic browsing of the network for MacŪ, Windows and UNIX file servers.

    Panther also features Expose, a revolutionary new way to instantly view all open windows and choose any of them to be on top. Expose visually unshuffles overlapping windows on the desktop into an organized view so a user can quickly find and select the window they want. Expose will even temporarily clear the desktop of all windows, so users can get to any file on the desktop previously hidden by the open windows. Powered by the Mac OS X Quartz(TM) graphic engine, Expose is a major advance in user interface design that will change the way people work with multiple files, applications and projects.

    Building on the success of iChat, Panther extends instant messaging to the next level with iChat AV. With full-screen, full-motion video over broadband, crystal-clear audio over 56K modem and a familiar easy-to-use interface, iChat AV makes natural conversations over the Internet immediate and effortless.

    In addition, Panther includes FileVault, a new feature that secures the contents of a home directory with strong 128-bit AES encryption. With FileVault, users can select to have their whole home directory encrypted automatically so it encrypts and decrypts files on the fly, without interrupting their work. For mobile users, FileVault provides a new level of security on the road so if anyone ever tries to access a user's account or if their notebook is lost, important data is always protected by high-security encryption.

    Panther also includes new features that make it even easier for Macs to co-exist in Windows networks including an IPSec-based VPN for Microsoft and Cisco networks, support for ActiveDirectory and SMB-based home directories on Windows servers and enhanced Windows integration within the Finder that enables printing to shared printers.

    Mac OS X is the world's most popular UNIX-based operating system and Panther adds system-wide advancements to UNIX-based technologies including X11 for Mac OS X, major performance improvements to NFS, a ports manager for accessing open source projects, expanded Kerberos support, an integrated IPv6 networking stack and the ability to access Quartz graphics from Python programs.

    Additional new features in Panther include:

  • an enhanced Mail application that organizes email into convenient threads with drag-and-drop addressing and a Safari(TM)-based engine for displaying HTML formatted email;
  • Fast User Switching, allowing users to share a single Mac and quickly switch between accounts without having to quit running applications and completely logout of the system;
  • Pixlet, the first studio-grade codec for filmmakers that was developed in conjunction with Pixar to deliver breathtaking HD-quality video on the Mac that is free from visual artifacts;
  • a fully integrated iDisk that increases productivity by automatically syncing a user's offline work to their .Mac Internet server storage once they're online again, so users can work locally on files with hard drive speeds and have them synced automatically back to their iDisk later;
  • integrated faxing synched with the Address Book so sending and receiving faxes is as easy as printing, and includes support for adding cover pages;
  • Font Book, a new application that provides system-level font management with double-click font preview, one-click installation and an intuitiveiTunes(R)-like interface for managing font collections, and searching, activating and deactivating fonts; and
  • a significantly improved Preview application that is the world's fastest PDF reader with super-fast text searching that builds an instant index of search results in a PDF, text selection and copying, URL support and support for the PDF 1.4 format. Preview leverages powerful improvements to Quartz filtering technology such as colorspace conversion, image sampling and compression for advanced PDF workflows.
  • Mac OS X version 10.3 Panther will be available by the end of this year for a suggested retail price of $129.


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    IMG Previews Warrior Kings
    1:15 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    IMG has posted a preview of Feral's upcoming 3D strategy game, Warrior Kings. IMG's Nat Panek recently took a beta for a spin and reports his findings. Here's a clip from the preview:

    Warrior Kings takes place in a sort of alternate-reality medieval Europe, in which a benevolent king has fallen victim to a coup by Imperial zealots. The king's son, Artos, manages to escape across the sea, and begins his struggle to reclaim the lands that are rightfully his. The player controls young Artos, his armies, and his subjects, and guides them all through perilous battles and wrenching decisions that will determine the shape and character of the empire to come.
    Be sure to check out the entire preview.

    IMG Preview: Warrior Kings
    Feral Interactive
    Warrior Kings
    Buy Warrior Kings

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    Contraband Posts New Abducted Screenshots
    11:10 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    The latest screenshots for Contraband's upcoming Sci-fi/Horror game, Abducted, have now been posted on their website. For those unfamiliar with Abducted, it?s an original adventure game from Contraband, featuring impressive graphics and an original story. Here's a more detailed description of the game:

    Abducted is a unique blend of the best of science fiction, horror and adventure all rolled into one harrowing, immersive game. Blending state of the art real-time lighting, dynamic shadowing, and per pixel rendering all within a hi-speed environment pushed by a proprietary cutting edge engine developed exclusively by Contraband Entertainment, you will be propelled into a realm unlike anything you know!

    The storyline: you?re awakened inside a stasis chamber, confused and disoriented. Breaking out, you find yourself to be inside a gigantic alien spacecraft. Who the masters of this ship are is unknown, but disrepair and dust translate to your grasping mind that this ship is long since derelict and how you got there, you have no clue. As you wander through its vast corridors, you discover that many parts of the ship have been overtaken by an ecosystem of alien vegetation and animal life, while yet other sections of the spaceship have utterly collapsed and long since ruptured outwards into the cold confines of space. As you make you way throughout the gargantuan ship, you make a terrifying discovery: you realize that as you?re hunting for answers, there are somethings hunting YOU. As you struggle to survive, you will be faced with a melee of horror and creatures unlike any you?ve seen before, with danger around every corner in this frightening yet awesomely beautiful alien world.

    While Contraband doesn't have a publisher yet, they plan to release Abducted for multiple platforms, including the Mac. For more info, or to check out the screens, head over to Contraband's website.

    New Abducted Screens
    Contraband Entertainment

    Click to enlarge
    Blizzard's Roper Talks Frozen Throne
    11:09 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    Gaming Illustrated's Sean Gibson recently sat down to an exclusive interview with Bill Roper, Vice President of Blizzard North, a subdivision of the popular gaming giant Blizzard Entertainment, to talk about the upcoming expansion set to WarCraft III:, WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne. Information ranges from the game's storyline, to new features, Roper's personal history at Blizzard, and more. Below is a sample from the full article:

    G.I. : You've added some new heroes, will they be introduced in the single player campaign, and how will they affect play on

    Bill Roper: Well in the single player campaign we introduce the new hero types as characters. So in fact when you first start the game out the first race you play are the Night Elves, and your chasing Illidan. We start by introducing The Warden who is the new Night Elf hero, and so really what you get to do is have an introduction to new concepts of the world, but also introductions to the new characters through a strong presentation. However as you go through the single player campaign, that hero ramps up against several segments of that campaign so really get to play with what their new abilities do. We've done a lot of work to build challenges that are set up to be addressed by specific hero abilities.

    All of that makes for a better storyline and a better campaign, and then at the same time get you very familiar with that hero so when you go onto you have a much higher facility to play. As far as how it affects I think the single biggest thing it does is that it gives players more to play with. You've now got 1 more hero and 2 more units, plus whatever rebalancing we've done. We now also have neutral heroes - 5 in total - that anyone can have. So no matter what race you play you actually have 6 new heroes to play with. It really opens up strategic options and makes the game more fluid and fun.

    Check out the full interview for more info. WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne will be shipping on July 1st, 2003. To place your pre-order, head over to the IMG Store.

    WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne Interview
    WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
    Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne

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    HomeLan Fed Previews Republic
    11:09 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    Gaming website HomeLan Fed has posted a preview of Republic: The Revolution, the upcoming and original action/adventure game from Elixir Studios. The article focuses heavily on the game's innovative gameplay, including the new "recruitment system" and more. Here's a sneak peak at the article:

    The game then asks you a series of multiple choice questions that help set up how your character thinks about how best to overthrow Karasov. You have three ways of doing so: money, influence, or force. Then it?s time to actually start recruiting people to join your quest. It?s here that you first see the game?s graphics engine that shows off the cities in Novistrana that you explore (Only one city, Ekaterine, was available in our preview build; the final game will feature three cities, including Novistrana?s capital). The game?s cities are huge and you can check out pretty much any part of the area by clicking on the overhead map and getting all the way down to ground level. You see people walking on the streets, having lunch in restaurants and cars driving on the roads. The level of detail in the cities is high, especially in the buildings which really have the look and feel of a former Communist nation.
    Be sure to read the full preview for more information, and for even more, check out the official website. Republic: The Revolution is being developed for Mac by Feral Interactive; a release date is yet to be announced.

    Republic: The Revolution Preview
    Republic: The Revolution
    Buy Republic: The Revolution

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    EverQuest Release This Week
    10:18 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    A recent news post at an official website for the popular MMORPG, Everquest, has revealed that the upcoming Mac version (EverQuest: Mac Edition) of the game is now available for pre-order on the Sony web site. What's more, a projected release date was set to June 23rd, 2003 - today. Here's the official comment:

    Pre-order EQ For The Mac!
    It's good news for Mac users because the world of EverQuest will soon be available. The projected release date is June 23rd, 2003. And better news: they'll be able to pre-order today!
    IMG spoke to our distributor today to confirm that the game will be in stock by the end of the week. We've also learned from IMG's own beta tester that the beta testing was shut down late last night.
    Minimum Specs:

  • 700 MHz G4 Power PC
  • 256 MB RAM
  • OS/X 10.2.4 or higher
  • 32 MB 3D Video card with hardware texture and lighting (ie ATI Radeon or NVidia GeForce)
  • 28.8K (or faster) Internet Connection
  • 2.1 GB available Hard Drive space

    Recommended Specs:

  • 800 MHz G4 Power PC
  • 512 MB RAM
  • OS/X 10.2.5 or higher
  • 64 MB 3D Video card with hardware texture and lighting (ie ATI Radeon or NVidia GeForce)
  • 56K (or faster) Internet Connection
  • 2.1 GB available Hard Drive space
  • Be sure to stay tuned to IMG as we keep you updated on the game's progress. If you would like to pre-order a copy of Everquest: Mac Edition through the IMG Store, you can do so at the link below, and for more information about the game, check out the official homepage.

    EQ For The Mac News Article
    Buy EverQuest

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    Diablo II Chat Log
    10:11 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    Blizzard recently held a Q&A session, to answer questions about the upcoming patch for their hit RPG, Diablo II. Pretty much every question imaginable about the patch was asked and answered, from whether or not there would be performance increases, to what some of the ladder changes would be.
    Here's a snippet:

    Q: How will the ladder change with the Patch?

    Blizzard: The purpose in 1.10 is to provide a new, clean environment free of twinking. There will be new ladder-only drops of items as well as new Horadric cube recipes. Also, only ladder characters will be eligible for the ladder.

    We are still testing patch 1.10 and are really looking at only bugs at this point. We are excited about all the new stuff going in and as SOON as it is ready to release, we will get it out. I wish I could be more specific, but all I can say is that we know everyone wants it NOW (so do we) but it has to be right when it comes out.

    To check out the full article, follow the below link. Be sure to stay tuned to IMG for more info on the patch.

    Diablo II Chat Log
    Blizzard Entertainment
    Diablo II
    Buy Diablo II

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    Mac Halo Hits First Playable
    9:24 AM | Jefferson Regan | Comment on this story

    Westlake Interactive have upgraded the development status of Halo on their "Project Status" webpage - the game is now at First Playable stage. This would appear to indicate good progress towards a full Mac release later in the year.

    In case you're curious what a game being called "first playable" means, here's Westlake's description:

    First Playable - The point when a game has enough code up and running that you can actually play it. Many features are probably still not working, possibly including sound & music, networking, optimzations, Mac interface, save games, some 3D hardware support, etc.
    Stay tuned to IMG for more news on the status of this project.

    Westlake Interactive: Project Status
    Bungie Studios
    Westlake Interactive
    Halo: Combat Evolved

    The Gamesome Mac Talks with ATI
    9:24 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

    On tonight's broadcast of The Gamesome Mac, the weekly Mac gaming radio program, hosts Sean Smith and Omaha Sternberg talk with Stanley Ossias, senior product manager at ATI Technologies, about his company's Radeon line of graphics cards and chipsets for the Macintosh.

    Sean and Omaha will also offer Mac gaming news, reviews, and commentary, and together with their guest will take questions live from listeners in The Gamesome Mac's chat room.

    The Gamesome Mac can be heard live on MacRadio from 6 to 8 pm Pacific Time, 9 to 11 pm Eastern (Tuesday from 0100 to 0300 UTC), and on demand thereafter. You can tune in at The Gamesome Mac's web page, where you'll also find archives of past broadcasts. QuickTime 5 or 6 and a 28 kbps or faster Internet connection are required.

    The Gamesome Mac

    IMG Launches RSS Feed
    6:00 AM | Jason Sims | Comment on this story

    In response to reader demand, Inside Mac Games is pleased to announce the launch of our RSS feed. "RSS" is a simple XML specification for publishing news headlines, which can then be listed on other sites or viewed in standalone applications such as NetNewsWire.

    NetNewsWire is a handy way to check the latest headlines on all your favorite sites in a single application. The IMG RSS feed lets you view full news articles right in NetNewsWire, but does not show images or give you access to read and post comments. To open the actual article in your web browser, just double-click the headline in NetNewsWire.

    To subscribe to Inside Mac Games in NetNewsWire or the freeware NetNewsWire Lite, click on the Subscribe button in the toolbar, and then paste in the following URL:

    Follow the link below to download NetNewsWire.


    Mac Games News for Friday, June 20, 2003

    IMG Store: Pre-Order Neverwinter Nights5:10 PM
    Geneforge 2 Closer to Shipping, New Screenshots12:49 PM
    Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 Demo Released12:11 PM
    Ambrosia Releases EV: Nova 1.0.611:13 AM
    Quake III Patched Again9:47 AM
    CNN Money Reports on 'The Return of Shareware'8:37 AM
    Custer's Desktops: Unreal Tournament 20038:37 AM
    Solace Now Shipping8:37 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Friday, June 20, 2003 on one page

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    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

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