US: Incorporating eight processor cores and a new system architecture said to deliver up to twice the performance of its predecessor, Apple's new-version Mac Pro is said to be "the fastest Mac" yet. The specification includes two of Intel's new 45 nanometer Quad-Core Xeon processors running up to 3.2 GHz, powerful new graphics and up to 4TB of internal storage. The launch announcement came during the same week that Apple revealed it is to cut the price charged for music downloads in the UK from its iTunes store, writes David Davies.
The publicity for the new Mac dwells on the presence of the latest Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5400 series processors. Based on 45nm Intel Core microarchitecture running up to 3.2 GHz, the processors each feature 12MB of L2 cache. Meanwhile, a new high-bandwidth hardware architecture, dual-independent 1600 MHz front-side buses and up to 32GB of 800MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM memory are said to achieve a 61% increase in memory throughout.
The Mac Pro comes as standard with the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics card featuring 256MB of video memory. A new PCI Express 2.0 graphics slot is included, while there is also support for the latest NVIDIA graphics cards. The specification also features a grand total of 4TB of internal storage, Leopard operating software, an ultra-thin aluminium Apple Keyboard and built-in Bluetooth 2.0. A number of build-to-order options are also offered in addition to the standard configuration.
"The new Mac Pro is the fastest Mac we've ever made," commented Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice-president of worldwide product marketing. "With 3.2 GHz 8-core Xeon processing, a 1600 MHz front side bus and 800 MHz memory, the new Mac Pro uses the fastest Intel Xeon architecture on the market."
Apple has also introduced a new Xserve 1U rack-optimised server. Including an unlimited client license for Mac OS X Server Leopard, Xserve incorporates up to two Quad-Core 3.0 GHz Intel Xeon processors for 8-core performance, a new server architecture, up to 3TB of internal storage and two PCI Express 2.0 expansion slots, among other features.
In other news, Apple has announced that it is to cut the price it charges for music downloads in the UK from its iTunes music store within the next six months. The reduction is set to bring the UK into line with charges elsewhere in Europe. At the moment, Apple charges 79 pence per download in the UK, against 99 euro cents (approximately 74p) in the rest of Europe.
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