Hardware updates, OS previews highlight WWDC 2012

Mac Pro quietly gets first update since 2010

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Hardware updates, OS previews highlight WWDC 2012

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Mac users yearning for a new Mac Pro finally have their wish—Apple on Monday quietly released an update to the tower Mac, nearly two years after its last update. And the prices of the new Mac Pros have not changed from the previous models.

Apple offers two standard configurations of the Mac Pro. The $2499 model features a 3.2GHz quad-core Xeon W3565 processor, which is capable of a speed of 3.46GHz using Turbo Boost. The processor also supports Hyper-Threading for up to eight virtual cores, and has 8MB of L3 cache. The $3799 model has two 2.4GHz six-core Xeon E5645 processors, with Turbo Boost performance up to 2.67GHz. The E5645 also has Hyper-Threading (24 virtual cores) and 12MB of L3 cache.

The $2499 Mac Pro has 6GB of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM, while the $3499 Mac Pro has 12GB of 1333MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM. Both Mac Pro models come with a 7200-rpm 1TB hard drive, with the three other hard drive bays open for customization. For video, the Mac Pro comes standard with a 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5770 PCI Express cards. The 5770 has two Mini DisplayPorts and a dual-link DVI port.

The previous $2499 model had a 2.8GHz quad-core Xeon W3530 processor with 3GB of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM, a 1TB hard drive and a 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics card. The previous $3499 model had two 2.4GHz quad-core Xeon E5620 processors with 6GB of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM, a 1TB hard drive and a 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics card.

Build-to-order (BTO) options for the $2499 Mac Pro includes a 3.33GHz six-core Xeon processor for an additional $500. The $3499 Mac Pro has options for a pair of 2.66GHz six-core Xeon processors ($1200) or two 3.06GHz six-core Xeon processors ($2400).

Apple also updated its Mac Pro Server. The updated version has the same 3.2GHz quad-core Xeon W3565 processor as the $2499 Mac Pro, but the Server includes two 1TB hard drives, 8GB of RAM, and OS X Lion Server. It is $2999.

The Mac Pro update wasn’t mentioned during the WWDC keynote, but Apple updated the Mac Pro product page soon after the keynote concluded. Overall, the update to the Mac Pro is a relatively minor one—a speed bump and increases in RAM. Not only did the storage and video remain the same as in the previous models released in July 2010, but Apple didn’t see the Mac Pro fit for Thunderbolt, which is on every other Mac. The Mac Pro still uses USB 2.0 ports instead of USB 3.0, which made its debut in the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

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