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Macs get $300 price cuts

Despite all the management turmoil, Apple sees its way to cut prices $300 on the 6500 Power Macintosh and 6400 Performa series.

In the first concrete product move since its management upheaval this week, Apple Computer (AAPL) today reduced prices up to $300 on select Power Macintosh 6500 and Macintosh Performa 6400 series computers.

The Power Macintosh 6500 line, introduced in April 1997, offers performance ranging from 225 to 300 MHz, using a 603e PowerPC processor. It features an advanced graphics chip from ATI Technologies, built-in Internet access capabilities, and video capture, edit, and publishing options.

The 6500 comes standard with a minimum of 32MB of memory, a 3GB or 4GB hard drive, and 16-bit sound. Systems also feature a minimum of 256K of level-2 cache memory to improve performance. Other standard features include a built-in 12X-speed CD-ROM drive and 33.6-kbps modem.

A 6500 model with a 300-MHz 603e processor, 64MB of memory, and a 4GB hard drive will fall in price from $3,000 to $2,800.

This compares favorably with fastest multimedia systems from Intel-processor-based vendors such as Compaq Computer and IBM. Systems with speedy Intel processors and large memory and hard drive configurations are typically well over $3,000.

At the lower end of the spectrum, a Power Macintosh 6500 with a 225-MHz processor will fall from $2,000 to $1,800. This includes the standard features and a 3GB hard drive.

Prices were also slashed $300 on the Performa 6400 series. The 6400/200 Video Editing Edition is now $1,800, down from $2,100. This model includes a 200-MHz 603e processor, 32MB of memory, a 2.4GB hard drive, an 8X CD-ROM drive, and a 28.8-kbps modem.

The 6400/200 Video Editing Edition adds multimedia features such as video capture and creation and publishing using Avid Cinema video-editing technology.

A standard Performa 6400 (not a Video Editing Edition) with a 200-MHz processor, 32MB of memory, a 2.4GB hard drive, an 8X CD-ROM drive, and a 28.8-kbps modem is now $1,400, down from $1,700.