Apple unveils Mac Pro with 3GHz quad-core Xeons

Intel's official quad-core Xeon lineup only includes processors with clock speeds up to 2.66GHz. Apparently, however, the chipmaker has 3GHz quad-core chips in store, and it has decided to give Apple early dibs. Apple has introduced a new version of its flagship Mac Pro workstation system that can accommodate up to two 3GHz quad-core Xeon 5300-series processors. Apple says the quad-core Xeons all have 8MB of cache (4MB per dual-core die), so Intel obviously isn't sneaking Apple 45nm prototypes a few months before the Penryn launch. Nonetheless, one may already order 3GHz eight-core Mac Pro systems from the Apple Store.

In its default configuration with dual 3GHz quad-core Xeons and 2GB of RAM, the Mac Pro costs a hefty $4,296. Users can max out the system by outfitting it with 16GB of DDR2-667 FB-DIMMs, 3TB of storage via four 750GB hard drives, an Nvidia Quadro FX 4500 professional graphics card, dual 16X DVD burners, 802.11n Wi-Fi, quad-channel 4Gb fiber channel PCIe cards, and other extras. At that point, the machine will set you back almost $15,000—and that's without a monitor. Apple quotes a 3-5 business day lead time for both configurations.

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