updated 09:30 am EST, Tue January 8, 2008
Mac Pro Jan 2008
Apple today introduced its first comprehensive update to the Mac Pro since August 2006. Using the 45-nanometer Penryn architecture that forms the foundation of the Xeon 5400 line, the new workstation clocks at up to 3.2GHz with a faster, 1,600MHz bus and as much as a 12MB Level 2 cache. Using 800MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM memory, the system can hold as much as 32GB of memory across eight slots and has 61 percent more memory bandwidth than the past model, according to Apple.
The new architecture brings twice the potential interface bandwidth through PCI Express 2.0 in two of its four PCI Express slots and provides a whole suite of new graphics options. Every system starts with a 256MB ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT but can be upgraded to faster NVIDIA options, such as the 512MB GeForce 8800 GT or a 1.5GB Quadro FX 5600. The latter includes a 3D stereo graphics port for pro modeling work. As before, each PCI Express slot is usable for video cards and can handle as many as eight displays across four adapters. The improvements make the Mac Pro useful in nearly any situation, according to the company.
""The new Mac Pro is the fastest Mac we've ever made," says Apple's senior VP of Worldwide Product Marketing, Philip Schiller.
Storage is also expanded with the new release. Buyers can now order the system with 1TB drives, amounting to a total 4TB of internal storage through the four drive bays; new for the first time is SAS storage, which lets buyers equip the system with 15,000RPM hard drives that can provide as much as 250MB/sec of throughput in RAID 5 -- an advantage for video editors and other disk-heavy applications, Apple says.
Each system also now ships with the new aluminum Apple keyboard and a Mighty Mouse; a wireless version of each is also available.
A standard configuration is raised in price to $2,799 but now offers two quad-core, 2.8GHz Xeon 5400 processors, marking the first time Apple has shipped an eight-core system as its default configuration. The stock system also ships with 2GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, and a 16X SuperDrive. Bluetooth 2.0 is now also standard, according to the company. Build-to-order options include stepping down to a single quad-core 2.8GHz processor, 3GHz and 3.2GHz eight-core options, an 802.11n-capable Airport Extreme connection, and the Mac Pro RAID card for hardware management of multi-drive arrangements.
The new Mac Pro ships today and is available immediately through the online Apple Store.