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Apple rolls out new eight-core Mac Pro, Xserve refresh

Apple on Tuesday unveiled its latest Mac Pro, which the company claims is its fastest ever with eight processor cores standard.The Mac Pro definitely sounds like it pops a wallop.
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Written by Larry Dignan on

Apple on Tuesday unveiled its latest Mac Pro, which the company claims is its fastest ever with eight processor cores standard.

The Mac Pro definitely sounds like it pops a wallop. Here are the details:

  • Two Intel 45 nanometer quad core Xeon
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    processors running up to 3.2 Ghz--each processor has 12 MB of L2 cache;
  • Up to 4 TB internal storage;
  • 1600 MHz front side buses and up to 32 GB of 800 MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM;
  • ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT with 256 MB of GDDR3 memory.

Add it up and Apple claims a 61 percent increase in memory throughput based on preproduction testing. The full footnote provided in Apple's statement is as follows:

Testing conducted by Apple in December 2007 using a preproduction 2.8 GHz 8-core Mac Pro with a 2.66 GHz quad-core Mac Pro. All systems were configured with 4GB of RAM. Results are based on the STREAM v. 5.6 benchmark (http://www.cs.virginia.edu/stream/ref.html) using OMP support for multiprocessor-compiled builds. All systems were configured with 8GB of RAM. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of Mac Pro.

The new Mac Pro starts at $2,799, but build to order systems will run you more. Apple also touted the Mac Pro's expansion capabilities. There are four internal hard drive bays with direct-attach, cable free installation of four 1TB Serial ATA hard drives. If you're a video, content, creative professional type you're probably salivating. And if you're not a creative professional you'll probably still want one (at least I do).

Separately, Apple rolled out its latest Xserve rack server. The Xserve starts at $2,999 and has up to two quad-core Xeon processors. An unlimited client license to Mac OS X Server Leopard is included. Here are the standard specs:

  • a single 64-bit 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Xeon processor with 12MB of L2 cache and a 1600 Mhz front side bus;
  • 2GB of 800 MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM RAM, expandable up to 32GB;
  • a single 80GB SATA Apple Drive Module;
  • dual Gigabit Ethernet on-board;
  • internal graphics;
  • two FireWire 800 and three USB 2.0 ports; and
  • an unlimited client license for Mac OS X Server version 10.5 Leopard.

These systems show how Apple's decision to build on Intel's platform makes so much sense. As Intel ramps up the processing speed, Apple can tag along. And given Intel is rolling these days, Apple can refresh systems rapidly.

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