Apple unveils 8-core processing on the Mac Pro

Apple on Wednesday updated its desktop Mac Pro computers adding two new 3.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors, bringing 8-core processing to the Mac. The new machines can run the 3.0GHz Intel Xeon processors and are available as build to order options.

"The 8-core Mac Pro gives pro software developers a platform to prepare new versions of their applications for the future, when 8-core technology is more prevalent on the desktop," an Apple spokesperson told Macworld.

Using two “Clovertown” 3.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 series processors, the 8-core Mac Pro comes with 8MB of L2 cache per processor (16MB total), 667MHz DDR2 ECC fully buffered DIMM memory, eight FB-DIMM slots on two memory riser cards (four slots per card) supporting up to 16GB of main memory and 1.33GHz, 64-bit dual independent frontside buses.

The Mac Pros have a double-wide, 16-lane PCI Express graphics slot with the option to install an NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT with 256MB of GDDR2 SDRAM, one single-link DVI port, and one dual-link DVI port; an ATI Radeon X1900 XT with 512MB of GDDR3 SDRAM and two dual-link DVI ports; or an NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 with 512MB of GDDR3 SDRAM, two dual-link DVI ports, and one stereo 3D port.

The systems have support for up to eight displays and digital resolutions up to 1920 by 1200 pixels; dual-link DVI ports support up to 2560 by 1600 pixels. Analog resolution support is up to 2048 by 1536 pixels.

The new Mac Pros have four hard drive bays with up to 3TB of internal storage. They also have the normal complement of AirPort Extreme wireless ready and optional Bluetooth 2.0 support.

There are many configuration options available to build an 8-core machine from the Apple Store, but at the high-end of the processor spectrum, the cost will run about $3,997.

Update: Added comment from Apple and clarified the 8-core configuration.

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