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Weâ€™ve been waiting for this one for a while and were anticipating an announcement at next weekâ€™s Macworld in San Francisco but Apple have jumped the gun and today introduced the new Mac Pro
with eight processor cores and a new system architecture that they tell us delivers up to twice the performance of its predecessor.
The new Mac Pro combines two of Intelâ€™s new 45 nanometer Quad-Core Xeon processors running up to 3.2 GHz, powerful new graphics and up to 4TB of internal storage. The 8-core configuration starts at just $2,799 for the 2.8GHz model and there are also 3.0 GHz and 3.2 GHz options. A 2.8GHz 4-core model is also available.
Philip Schiller, Appleâ€™s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, told us, â€œThe new Mac Pro is the fastest Mac weâ€™ve ever made. With 3.2 GHz 8-core Xeon processing, a 1600 MHz front side bus and 800 MHz memory, the new Mac Pro uses the fastest Intel Xeon architecture on the market.â€�
The new Mac Pro features the latest Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5400 series processors based on state-of-the-art 45nm Intel Core microarchitecture running up to 3.2 GHz, each with 12MB of L2 cache per processor for breakthrough performance and power efficiency. Apple say that, with a new high-bandwidth hardware architecture, dual-independent 1600 MHz front side buses and up to 32GB of 800 MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM memory, the new Mac Pro achieves a 61 percent increase in memory throughput.
Every Mac Pro comes standard with the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics card with 256MB of video memory. The Mac Pro includes a new PCI Express 2.0 graphics slot that delivers up to double the bandwidth compared to the previous generation, and supports the latest generation of graphics cards from NVIDIA, such as the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT with 512MB of video memory, or NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 with 1.5GB of video memory and a 3-D stereo port for stereo-in-a-window applications. With support for up to four graphics cards, the new Mac Pro can drive up to eight 30-inch displays at once for advanced visualization and large display walls.
Apple also tell us that the new model is the most expandable Mac ever, featuring four internal hard drive bays with direct-attach, cable-free installation of four 1TB Serial ATA hard drives, totaling 4TB of internal storage and support for two SuperDrives. Optional 15000 rpm SAS drives can deliver up to 250MB/s of RAID 5 disk I/O performance. Combined with SATA or SAS drives, using an optional Mac Pro RAID card offers the ultimate data protection and disk I/O performance on the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro is easily and conveniently accessible in front and back so users can connect external devices with five USB 2.0, two FireWire 400, two FireWire 800, optical and analog audio in and out, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and a headphone jack.
Every Mac Pro includes Leopard and the new ultra-thin aluminum Apple Keyboard. Built-in Bluetooth 2.0 makes it easy to reduce cable clutter with the optional Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple Wireless Mouse.
Pricing & Availability
The new Mac Pro is shipping today and will be available through the Apple Store, Appleâ€™s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.
The standard 8-core Mac Pro, with a suggested retail price of $2,799 (US), includes:
- two 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors with dual-independent 1600 MHz front side buses
- 2GB of 800 MHz DDR2 ECC fully-buffered DIMM memory, expandable up to 32GB
- ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT with 256MB of GDDR3 memory
- 320GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive running at 7200 rpm
- 16x SuperDriveâ„¢ with double-layer support (DVDÂ±R DL/DVDÂ±RW/CD-RW)
- two PCI Express 2.0 slots and two PCI Express slots
- Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
- Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse.
In addition to the standard configuration, the Mac Pro offers numerous build-to-order options; see website for details.