Apple has introduced its fastest-ever professional Macs, introducing re-vamped versions of the Mac Pro and Xserve.
Available immediately, the new Mac Pro's offer eight processor cores and a new system architecture that the company claims offers "up to twice the performance of its predecessor". The new professional desktop Macs use two of Intel's brand-new 45-nanometre Quad-Core Xeon processors running at up to 3.2GHz.
These new Macs also offer much-improved graphics and up to 4TB of internal storage for creative professionals, with listed price starting at just £1,749 (including VAT).
"The new Mac Pro is the fastest Mac we've ever made," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing. "With 3.2GHz 8-core Xeon processing, a 1,600MHz front side bus and 800MHz memory, the new Mac Pro uses the fastest Intel Xeon architecture on the market."
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 3.2GHz, each with 12MB of L2 cache per processor. These systems host a new high-bandwidth hardware architecture, dual-independent 1,600MHz front side buses and up to a whopping 32GB of 800MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM memory. All told, Apple promises the new Mac Pro's achieves a 61 per cent increase in memory throughput.
Graphics processing power has been optimised by Apple's choice to deploy the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics card with 256MB of video memory. The Mac Pro also 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 GeForce 8800 GT with 512MB of video memory, or Quadro FX 5600 with 1.5GB of video memory and a 3D stereo port for stereo-in-a-window applications.
With an eye to the needs of the most advanced video, 3D and scientific markets, these new Macs can support up to four graphics cards, meaning they can drive up to eight 30in displays at once.
Expandability options include four internal hard drive bays with direct-attach, cable-free installation of four 1TB Serial ATA hard drives, (4TB in total of internal storage) and support for two SuperDrives.
As an option, users can select 15,000rpm SAS drives that 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 excellent data protection and disk I/O performance on the Mac Pro. These Macs are equipped with five USB 2.0, two FireWire 400, two FireWire 800, optical and analogue audio in and out, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and a headphone jack. Naturally, all new Mac Pro's ship with Apple's latest Leopard OS and the Apple Keyboard. The standard 8-core Mac Pro costs $2,799 and features:
- two 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors with dual-independent 1,600MHz front side buses;
- 2GB of 800MHz 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 7,200rpm;
- 16x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+/-R DL/DVD+/-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 including: one 2.8GHz, two 3.0GHz, or two 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors; up to 32GB of 800MHz DDR2 fully-buffered ECC memory; up to four 1TB Serial ATA hard drives running at 7,200rpm or up to four 300GB SAS drives running at 15,000rpm; Mac Pro RAID card; up to two 16x SuperDrives with double-layer support; NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT or NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 graphics cards; AirPort Extreme 802.11n; Apple USB Modem; Apple wireless Aluminum Keyboard; Apple wireless Mighty Mouse; and Mac OS X Server Leopard.
More information on available options, as well as UK pricing, should be made available on Apple's UK website soon.