Apple Updates the Mac Pro Desktop

In addition to its new iMac and Mac Mini consumer desktop lines, Apple has also announced significant updates to its professional-level Mac Pro desktop as well.

The new Mac Pro starts at $2,499; but Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing is quick point out that "the new Mac Pro is a significant upgrade and starts at $300 less than before." Schiller adds that "the Mac Pro features an advanced system architecture, new faster processors and our best-ever graphics options to deliver a faster, more powerful system that our professional customers are going to love."

The Mac Pro uses Intel quad-core "Nehalem" Xeon processors and architecture, which Apple claims can "deliver up to twice the performance of the previous generation system." The Nehalem processor has an integrated memory controller that supports triple-channel memory.

The $2,499 version of the Mac Pro has one 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 3500 series processor, 3GB of 1,066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM, Nvidia GeForce GT 120 graphics with 512MB GDDR3 memory, a 640GB 7,200-rpm SATA-3Gb/sec hard drive, and 18x SuperDrive.

The $3,299 version of the Mac Pro has the same graphics and drives, but instead uses two 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500 Series processors for a total of 8 cores, and has 6GB of 1,066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM.

All new Mac Pro configurations come with four PCI Express 2.0 slots, five USB 2.0 ports, four FireWire 800 ports, Bluetooth 2.1, and feature both Mini DIsplayPort and Dual-Link DVI outputs. There are a number of build-to-order options, including upgrading the configuration to two 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors (an additional $2,600 from the two 2.26GHz Quad-Core Xeon processors) or a total of 32GB of memory (a $6,100 upgrade from 6GB of RAM). You can also add a RAID card ($700) and additional hard drives (640GB is $200, 1TB is $300) to populate up to all four hard drive bays. Graphics can be upgraded to up to four Nvidia GeForce GT 120 512MB cards ($150 for each additional card) or a single ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB ($200) instead of the stock Nvidia GeForce GT 120 512MB. The new Mac Pro also features a redesigned interior for easier expansion:

"The redesigned interior of the new Mac Pro feels like the well-organized workstation it is. No rat's nest of components here. You don't need to turn the system on its side or struggle to reach into awkward spaces to make changes. Just remove the side panel for instant, easy access to everything. Slide out the processor tray to add memory. Slide out hard drive bays to add storage. Slide a simple bar to change up to four expansion cards at once. And with plenty of I/O ports both front and back, you'll have room for all your external devices."

All new Mac Pro desktop model will be available starting next week.
Tags:  Apple, Mac Pro