Confirming expectations, Apple has upgraded its Xserve product, introducing a faster processor and additional storage.

The company has introduced a 2.3GHz dual-G5 Xserve, a model previously available exclusively only to Virginia Tech, for use in its System X supercomputer. This new configuration offers over 35 gigaflops of processing power and a fast front side 1U server system bus, running at up to 1.15GHz for up to 9.2GBps of bandwidth per processor and up to three 400GB drives - a maximum 1.2TB of storage.

Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller said: “We improved the best 1U server in the industry with more power and more storage for the same breakthrough price.

"Xserve G5 delivers unbeatable price performance and manageability. Xserve G5 ships with an unlimited client access license of Mac OS X Server that allows users to connect an unlimited number of Mac, Windows or Linux clients to the server without additional software licensing fees.”

“The 2.3GHz Xserve formed the basis of Virginia Tech’s upgraded System X supercomputer cluster. 1,100 Xserve servers are now achieving over 12.25 trillion operations per second, a speed increase of 20 per cent over the original system's performance,” said Srinidhi Varadarajan, director of the Terascale Computing Facility at Virginia Tech. “The Xserve G5 cluster delivers unrivaled computing power per unit density, low power consumption and lower heat dissipation at a fraction of the cost of other supercomputers.”

The new configuration offers dual 2.3GHz PowerPC G5 processors and up to 8GB of 400 MHz DDR memory. It supports up to three 7,200rpm 400GB Serial ATA Apple Drive modules, (up to 1.2TB of internal storage). When used with Apple’s PCI Hardware RAID card It can deliver 800GB of internal RAID 5 protected storage. Two full-length 64-bit, 133 MHz PCI-X slots provide up to 1GBps throughput and allow easy expansion to high-performance storage and networking cards.

Xserve G5 ships with an unlimited client edition of Mac OS X Server version 10.3 pre-installed.

Apple offers multiple service and support programs for Xserve including AppleCare Premium Service that offers four-hour on-site response and 24x7 technical support.

Xserve G5 ship in three standard configurations (prices include VAT):

Pricing

A single-2.0GHz PowerPC G5 processor with 1GB of PC3200 ECC RAM, a single 80GB Apple Drive Module (expandable to 1.2TB), dual Gigabit Ethernet on-board, a Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) drive, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0, and an unlimited client licence of Mac OS X Server for £2,199.

A model featuring dual-2.3 GHz PowerPC G5 processors with 1GB of PC3200 ECC RAM, a single 80GB Apple Drive Module with expandability for up to 1.2TB, dual Gigabit Ethernet on-board, a Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) drive, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0, and an unlimited client licence of Mac OS X Server for a suggested retail price of £2,899.

A cluster-optimized Xserve with dual-2.3 GHz PowerPC G5 processors, 512MB of PC3200 ECC RAM, a single 80GB Apple Drive Module, dual Gigabit Ethernet on-board, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0, and a ten-client licence of Mac OS X Server for a suggested retail price that starts at £2,199 per cluster node.