Apple Updates Mac Pro, XServe Before MacWorld

Sporting a 320GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive running at 7200 rpm and two of Intel's Penryn 45-nanometer Quad-Core Xeon 5400 series processors capable of running at speeds of up to 3.2 GHz, the Mac Pro is "the fastest Mac we've ever made," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing in a statement. "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."

The Mac Pro can be configured with up to 4 TB of internal storage and also comes standard with an ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics card with 256MB of video memory and a PCI Express 2.0 graphics slot and next-generation NVIDIA graphics cards. The Mac Pro can support up to four graphics cards which allow it to drive up to eight 30-inch displays at once.

The standard configuration sells for $2,799 but customizations can bring the price up quickly. Adding 32GB of 800MHz DDR2 fully buffered ECC memory to your Mac Pro costs $9,100 and a system with top-of-the-line configuration comes in at more than $20,000. All Mac Pros ship with Apple's Leopard OS 10.5 operating system.

The Mac Pro is outfitted with five USB 2.0 ports, two FireWire 400 ports, two FireWire 800 ports, optical and analog audio in and out, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and a headphone jack.

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Apple also launched the newest XServe server, a 1U rack-optimized server that it claims is up to twice as fast as its predecessor and includes an unlimited client license of Mac OS X Server Leopard.

In its standard configuration which sells for $2,999, the XServe comes with one Intel 64-bit 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Xeon processor with 12MB of L2 cache and a 1600 Mhz front side bus, but it can be upgraded to include two Intel Quad-Core Xeon 5400 processors running up to 3.0 GHz with 12MB of L2 cache per processor. Its 2GB of 800 MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM RAM can be expanded up to 32 GB.

Users can add up to 3 TB of storage and the XServe has two PCI Express 2.0 expansion slots that allow it to support high-bandwidth expansion cards like 10 Gb Ethernet and multi-channel 4Gb Fibre Channel cards. It also has built-in accelerated graphics that can drive up to a 23-inch display and a front-facing USB 2.0 port.

"With the latest Intel processors and no client access licenses, Xserve offers unbeatable server performance and value for under $3,000," said Apple's Schiller in a statement. "Xserve's power, storage and Leopard Server make it ideal for supporting Mac clients and mixed platform workgroups."

Both the Mac Pro and XServe are available through Apple resellers.