Apple is preparing to upgrade its professional desktop Mac Pros, with reports suggesting the company will be introducing Intel’s new 'Penryn' processor.

The company will be first to market computers marshalling Intel's new 45-nanometre processors. Apple is anticipated to introduce a top of the range machine equipped with an 8-core architecture that uses two top-speed Xeon 'Harpertown' chips, Apple Insider reports.

The new Macs will offer speeds up to 32GHz, and up to 12MB of L2 cache, alongside a new super-fast 1,600MHz frontside bus.

The new computers are expected to offer up to 45 per cent better performance than Apple's existing Mac Pros, and could ship as soon as next month, assuming Intel can provide processors in sufficient quantities.

Earlier this year Intel accelerated its plans to introduce the new powerful processors in face of stiffening competition from AMD.