Apple UK is offering Xserve Cluster models at its Apple Store. They products cost £2,399 and ship in early April.

Specifications are as follows: dual 1.33GHz PowerPC G4 processors; 2MB L3 cache per processor; 256MB DDR333 SDRAM; 60GB ATA hard drive; Gigabit Ethernet and a ten-client edition of OS X Server.

The models are designed for use in Mac cluster set-ups. Uses include life science, or running processor intensive applications such as Shake or BLAST. The servers may also appeal to creative markets seeking solutions for distributed rendering and compositing.

"We think this configuration will accelerate adoption of Xserves in the primarily Linux-based cluster computing market and allow us to be more competitive with some of the Linux machines," Apple's Xserve product manager Doug Brooks told MacCentral.

To reduce cost and streamline its product for this market segment, Apple has removed some features found in other products in the line: these machines lack a CD-ROM drive, video card, second Ethernet port and cannot hold multiple hard drives.