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Apple ships superpowered Mac Pro — SSD options too!!

I’ve been looking for a computer with the muscle to handle hardcore NLE video editing while working on a couple of musical compositions, checking the email, running an IM session and handling the hassle of Flash crashing in the browser, and I think Apple deliverd this very machine this morning — the new Mac Pro, a supercalifragilistic speed demon with up to 12 (yeah, count them) processing cores.

Apple promises the new Mac Pro will deliver 50 percent greater performance than the previous generation. You get: quad-core and 6-core Intel Xeon processors, all-new ATI graphics and the option for up to four 512GB solid state drives (SSD).

(Apple’s getting pretty serious about SSD, right? Wonder what the chances are for a fully solid state iPod classic come September?)

“The new Mac Pro is the most powerful and configurable Mac we’ve ever made,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With up to 12 cores, the new Mac Pro outperforms our previous top-of-the-line system by up to 50 percent, and with over a billion possible configurations, our customers can create exactly the system they want.”

These professional desktops are driven by next-gen quad-core and 6-core Intel Xeon processors running at speeds up to 3.33 GHz.

Apple has a few interesting details on these chips, explaining these multi-core processors use a single die design “so each core can share up to 12MB L3 cache to improve efficiency while increasing processing speed.”

The tech specs are a wet dream to anyone who ever spent time trying to tweak power out of a G3 Power Mac, listen up: “These systems feature an integrated memory controller for faster memory bandwidth and reduced memory latency; Turbo Boost to dynamically boost processor speeds up to 3.6 GHz; and Hyper-Threading to create up to 24 virtual cores.”

The Mac Pro now comes with the ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics processor with 1GB of memory and customers can configure-to-order the even faster ATI Radeon HD 5870 with 1GB of memory.

For the first time, Mac Pro customers have the option to order a 512GB SSD. Now, you can install up to four of these inside the internal drive bays. This means you can expect ultra high-speed disk bandwidth and random disk performance to deliver speeds twice as good as the average performance of a standard disk drive.

Display:  two Mini DisplayPorts and one dual-link DVI port. Wanna do video? Just connect up to two LED Cinema Displays without an additional graphics card or adapter. The dual-link DVI port supports legacy DVI-based displays up to a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels.

Like the iMac, the Mac Pro meets stringent Energy Star 5.0 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold status.

Pricing & Availability

The new Mac Pro will be available in August through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The new quad-core Mac Pro, with a suggested retail price of $2,499 (US), includes:

  • one 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon W3530 processor with 8MB of fully-shared L3 cache;
  • 3GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM memory, expandable up to 16GB;
  • ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB of GDDR5 memory;
  • two Mini DisplayPorts and one DVI (dual-link) port (adapters sold separately);
  • 1TB Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
  • 18x SuperDrive

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