Apple Beefs Up Mac Pro, Xserve With Pricey Processor, HD Options

The Apple-focused Web site Friday reported the new hardware upgrades, which were not officially unveiled by Apple itself.

New for the single-socket Mac Pro is the option to upgrade to the new 3.33GHz Intel Xeon Nehalem quad-core processor, in addition to the base 2.66GHz and optional 2.93GHz versions previously offered. The Mac Pro is also available in a two-socket version, although the 3.33GHz Xeon is currently not an option for this version.

Also newly available for configuration in the Mac Pro are 2-TB, 7,200-rpm SATA hard drives, MacRumors reported. The Mac Pro has four drive bays, giving it a total maximum raw capacity of 8 TBs.

Configuration information for the Mac Pro can be found by clicking here.

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Apple's Xserve rack-mount servers can now also be configured with up to three 2-TB hard drives, or a maximum capacity of 6 TBs, as well as new 4-GB RAM modules, giving the server a total maximum memory of 24 GB for the single-socket version and 48 GBs for the dual-socket version.

Configuration information for the Xserve servers can be found by clicking here.

Apple sells the 3.33GHz Xeon quad-core processors for an extra $1,200 over the base price of the Mac Pro. The 2-TB hard drives are priced at $550 each and the 4-GB RAM modules are priced at $450 each by Apple.

Apple's pricing for such components is considerably higher than from other sources. A quick check online finds pricing for the Hitachi GST 2-TB, 7,200-rpm Deskstar 7K2000 drive starting for as low as $160.

Meanwhile, the extra $1,200 cost of the 3.33GHz Xeon processor adds nearly 50 percent to the price of the base version of the Mac Pro, which starts at $2,499.