Apple launches eight-core Mac

Intel Xeon-based system is billed as the fastest ever Macintosh, with massive memory

Apple has launched a Mac Pro with two Intel quad-core processors working in tandem as a single processor, giving the system very fast performance.

The processors are 3GHz Intel Xeons. Users can choose between an eight-core, which uses two quad-core "Clovertown" processors; and a quad-core machine with two dual-core "Woodcrest" processors. Both can run slower at 2GHz, or be stepped up to 3GHz.

The dual quad-core machines offer 8MB of cache on-board as standard, which can be upgraded to 16MB. Along with the cache, the system can accommodate serial ATA (SATA) hard drives that can support up to 3TB (terabytes) of storage.

Apple announced the system quietly on its website on Wednesday, where it gave a price of $3,997 (£2,031).

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