As promised, Apple has begun shipping Xserve G5s this March.

"Xserve G5 is a big hit with customers who want a powerful 1U rack-mount server for thousands of dollars less than alternatives from Dell, IBM and Sun," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing.

"With dual G5 processing power, massive storage, incredible I/O performance and Apple's Mac OS X Server software included, Xserve G5 is affordable, easy to manage and easy to cluster."

"We chose a 64-node Xserve G5 cluster over an AMD-based cluster running Linux," said Jonathan Cohen, director of the Centre for the Study of Brain, Mind and Behaviour at Princeton University. "Apple is known not only for the ease of use, support and innovative engineering of its products, but also for the creative spirit that it is now bringing directly to bear on the needs of high-end scientific computing. The combination of Apple's flair for innovation and standards-based open source software make Xserve G5 an easy and exciting choice."

Apple also announced its Apple Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics, a turnkey, high-performance computing cluster that allows any scientist to configure, operate and maintain the system. This includes iNquiry, a 3rd-party bioinformatics package from The BioTeam that provides 200 ready-to-use bioinformatics applications optimized for Xserve G5s.

Single processor 2.0 GHz Xserve G5 servers are available now through the Apple Store and Apple Authorised Resellers.

Dual processor 2.0 GHz and cluster-optimized dual 2.0 GHz Xserve G5s will be available next month, Apple said.