updated 08:50 am EDT, Tue July 27, 2010
Apple jumps to Xeon 5600 for new Mac Pro
Apple today launched its first update to the Mac Pro in a year and a half with a speed boost as well as a new display. The new pro workstation uses as much as two six-core, 2.93GHz Xeon 5600 chips for a total of 12 cores, or 50 percent more than the outgoing top-end model. They can Turbo Boost to 3.6GHz and have both lower memory lag and a larger 12MB of cache.
The systems now have a second Mini DisplayPort jack in addition to DVI and can output to two modern Cinema Displays without needing a second card. Apple's new Magic Trackpad is an option as an alternative to the Magic Mouse, and users can now opt for up to a 512GB SSD in each of the four drive bays. Graphics can scale up to a Radeon HD 5870.
To accommodate pro users worried about using wireless peripherals, Apple now has a $29 Battery Charger that comes with six rechargeables.
Pricing for the systems starts at $2,499 for a system with a single 2.8GHz quad-core Xeon, 3GB of RAM across three sticks, a 1GB Radeon HD 5770, a 1TB hard drive, an 18X Superdrive, built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and a wired keyboard to go along with the Magic Mouse. A higher-end $3,499 model uses two 2.4GHz quad-core Xeons, 6GB of memory and specs similar in other areas to the base version. The single-processor system can option up to a 3.33GHz quad-core chip, while the dual-processor version has the option of 2.66GHz and 2.93GHz six-core Xeons.
The systems should be available in August from the Apple Store.